Older Americans Month (OAM) is proclaimed annually in May by the U.S. President.
A meeting in April 1963 between US President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens led to designating May as “Senior Citizens Month,” the prelude to “Older Americans Month.”
Over the years, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) leads the observance of Older Americans Month.
ACL has resources to help lead our nation’s observance of OAM.
The first OAM theme was “Older Americans and the Family” in 1978. This year 2020 theme is “Make Your Mark” in which the goal is to encourage and celebrate countless contributions that older adults make to our communities. It would highlight the difference everyone can make in the lives of older adults, in support of caregivers, and to strengthen communities. https://acl.gov/oam/history
Older Americans Month is celebrated across the country through ceremonies, events, fairs, and other such activities.
Membership Organizations Serving the Deaf Community (OSD)
When Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million Americans had reached their 65th birthday; a third of them lived in poverty. There were a few national programs to meet their needs https://cdelaw.wordpress.com
In 1979, Hearing Loss Association of America (HLLA) with the leadership of the late Howard E. “Rocky” Stone was founded. https://www.hearingloss.org/about-hlaa
In 1992, Deaf Seniors of America, Inc. (DSA) with the leadership of the late Ralph White was founded. https://deafseniors.us/about-dsa
HLAA has developed the programs and events for older Americans with hearing loss, in which tools they strive to work with HLAA Chapters and State Organization for observing the month. https://www.hearingloss.org/chapters-state-orgs/find-a-chapter
DSA is an affiliate of the NAD. One of its seven sections is Senior Citizens. In 2007, they developed the first-ever joint project called “Senior Resources” in which it lists social gathering sites, senior housing, hospice, and other deaf-friendly facilities. https://www.nad.org/seniors/senior-resources
The three following older Americans – Amanda Boxer, Mary Sue Boxer, both of Maryland and Joanne Williams of Nevada – indeed “made the mark” for the difference they made in the lives of older adults and to strengthen both deaf communities and library communities today.
Senior Resources is one of the most important deaf cultural resources for the library of the future! Deaf Culture Digital Library (DCDL)
The American Library Association.
One of its divisions, Reference and User Services Association has resources on the aging population and older adults. E.g. Guidelines for Library Services with 60+ Audience: Best Practices, created by its Reference Services Section. http://www.ala.org/tools/atoz/older-adults