Deaf Related EventsThe following has been observed in past years by the United States; some may apply to Canada and other nations. Public libraries are encouraged to form partnerships with local deaf-related organizations to celebrate one or more annual events throughout the year.
February 11, birth date of Thomas Alva Edison
A US presidential proclamation since 1983
To observe the birth anniversary of Thomas Alva Edison, an inventor with 1,093 patents His deafness was actually an asset as he once said it allowed him to work with less distraction and to sleep deeply, undistributed by outside sounds
Deaf History Month
March 13-April 15
To commemorate the three most important deaf cultural dates in American history
March 13, 1988: The victory of the Deaf President Now movement at Gallaudet University located in Washington, D.C. when the first deaf person was selected to become president of this 124-year-ole institution
April 8, 1864: Charter signed by the President Abraham Lincoln, authorizing the Board of Directors of the Columbia Institution (now Gallaudet University) to grant college degree to deaf students
April 15, 1817: First permanent school founded for deaf students in the Western Hemisphere, now known as the American School for the Deaf
National Association of the Deaf Ad Hoc Committee on National Deaf History Month (US) has developed a National Deaf History Month kit. www.foldadeaf.net click on "library."
Mother, Father Deaf Day
Last Sunday in April
To give members of Children of Deaf Adults, known as CODA, the opportunity to honor their deaf parents and to recognize the gifts of culture and language they received
CODA has library resources. www.coda-international.org
Better Hearing and Speech Month
To raise public understanding about hearing, voice, speech, and language disorders, and recognize speech and hearing professionals for the important work they do
American Speech-Language Hearing Association has library resources. www.asha.org
National Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week
Full week in June that includes the 27th, the birth date of Helen Keller
A US presidential proclamation since 1984
To observe the birth anniversary of Helen Keller who was born on June 27 in 1880 and to enhance public awareness about deaf-blind people’s needs for full participation in society
Helen Keller National Center has library resources www.hknc.org
Deaf Awareness Week
Last full week in September
To celebrate the culture, heritage, and language unique to deaf Americans
Some places use "culture" or "heritage" instead of "awareness" for the name of the week.
International Week of the Deaf
Last full week in September
To promote public awareness in local communities to strengthen solidarity among deaf people and to call attention to concerns important to deaf people
Some countries observe the Week at different times during the year. www.wfdeaf.org
First full week in December
Since December 1-7, 1974
To celebrate birth anniversaries of the two pioneers in deaf education who were born in the month of December – Laurent Clerc on December 26, 1785 and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet on December 10, 1787 – and to recognize their impact on American society since the 19th century.
General Interest Events
National Library Week
Let's Join the circle of deaf knowledge @ your library
April 16, 2008
This week is the 50th anniversary of National Library Week (April 13-19, 2008). Every year in April since 1958, communities across the country celebrate libraries of all types. Librarians, library workers, library customers and supporters are also commended for their contributions to what the nation’s libraries are today.
Older Americans Month
Proclaimed annually in May by the US President since 1980
For 2008, the national deaf community has good reason to celebrate this month because the National Association of the Deaf www.nad.org, its section: Senior Citizens Section www.nad.org/scs and Deaf Seniors of America (DSA) www.deafseniors.org have just launched “Senior Resources” – the first ever- comprehensive listing of items of interest to older deaf persons and their families or caregivers. When visiting www.nad.org/scs, please click on senior resources listing.
Read Across America Day is the first Monday of March to honor Theodor Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss. His birthday is March 2.
Sponsored since 1998 by the National Education Association www.nea.org.
One of the NEA partners is the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) www.dcmp.org. The National Association of the Deaf www.nad.org and the DCMP sponsor Read Captions Across America Campaign. DCMP is administrated by the NAD and is funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education This event is meant to place emphasis on the benefits of reading captions. Bill Stark, the DCMP project director, has always agreed with the famous saying of Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) -- "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not." For more information about this exciting event and DCMP resources that benefit the nation's libraries, please visit http://www.dcmp.org/outreach/newsletter/january2008.html.