However, when he announced his resignation on August 24, 1987, it still came as surprise to many. In the months-or by some accounts, the years-leading up this date, many in the deaf community and on campus had advocated for a deaf person to be named to the presidency. In 1986, Congress passed the Education of the Deaf Act and amended it in 1992. Holly Frey: And that's not really how it should be. Soukup, through his group, also supports deaf-owned businesses, saying they can serve as an economic engine in the community. The student body president, Greg Hlibok, wrote to Zinser and asked her to withdraw her candidacy, which would have guaranteed that the next president would be deaf. And the trouble is a lot of these stories have this distinctly inspiration overtone and there's this whole thread of overcoming hardship.
At noon on Friday March 11, students and other members of the local and national deaf communities participated in an organized march to the U. The mainstream media had yet to latch on to the cause, however-but that would change. Initially, students cited the lack of racial diversity among finalists, Fernandes's lack of warmth, and her lack of fluency in. Anyway, I just listened to your flu epidemic episode and I had a few things I thought you might find interesting. They also announced that there would be no reprisals for the people who had been participating in the protest. After six hearing presidents, the staff, faculty, students, and alumni of Gallaudet were ready for a deaf president.
And it's very presented in a way that ultimately comes off as being a heartwarming uplifting tale told to nondisabled people about a disabled person. That night, around 8pm, Zinser publically announced her decision to resign as the president of Gallaudet University. Also it's not very advantageous for a pathogen to be super deadly in the first place. It showed that through a unified effort a fight against the system could be won. Wilson: So in the earliest years after Gallaudet was founded, it was a legitimate claim that there weren't really any deaf people in the United States who were qualified to be president of the school because before that point there had been really almost no way for a deaf person to get a college education. So I was really - I've been on the lookout for a while for a story that would not fit that mold because I kind of don't want the podcast to contribute to that pattern of setting people up as being inspirations for other people rather than actual human beings with agency and the ability to do things on their own, which is why when we did that thread on Facebook a couple of weeks ago that said please tell us events to talk about and someone said deaf president now, please, and I looked into what that was about, I said okay, we're going to break our rule.
The whole attitude of benevolence is that 'I am better than you, and I'm helping you. But by the morning a full scale Civil Rights protest was in the works at Gallaudet. Wilson: So following that meeting, the board had planned to make an announcement in the university auditorium, basically saying that they were not yielding their position. Elisabeth Zinser and two deaf candidates Dr. It has classes taught in both American Sign Language and in English. Holly Frey: And as the news spread, Civil Rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson wrote a letter of support to the students of the university.
Holly Frey: Right, it seems like a very positive take on things initially, but when you stop and think about it, you kind of realize that it sets up people with disabilities as other and having to overcome things to be equal. On the night of March 6th, the board was supposed to announce their choice for president at university's gym. The elder Gallaudet had traveled around Europe to learn about teaching methods for deaf children after he had met a young deaf girl who really did not have any access to education at all. Zinser had significant leadership experience in higher education, but no command of sign language or any real understanding of Deaf culture. By the 1980s only about 20 percent of the faculty and administrative staff were deaf. The student body, the faculty and alumni along with many deaf advocacy groups had been lobbying for quite some time for the university to have a deaf president.
If the American media told the story of a blind doctor in 1849, the tone would be pretty similar to the story of a blind doctor in 2014. Kevin Cook coached the team briefly to success. Cook's persistence on defense and discipline turned the program around. Holly Frey: Edward's mother, Sophia Fowler Gallaudet was deaf and also served as the Columbia Institution's matron. In 1875 a woman became president of Wellesley College. Holly Frey: So it's easy to see all of this governmental involvement in the establishment and development of the school as a hearing nation attempting to see to the best interest of its deaf citizens. Wilson: Acts of Congress have also continued to shape the university, changing the name to Gallaudet College in honor of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and also granting it university status in 1986.
It's so easy to just hop online and have the discussion instead of a lot of back and forth via email. Holly Frey: At this point, the argument that there weren't any qualified deaf people that could be president of the university was really completely invalid. By the 1860—61 academic year, the Civil War had been in progress for over six months. The journal is managed and edited by graduate student members of the chapter. Jordan became Gallaudet's first deaf president. And at that point, schools for the deaf had really only existed in the United States for less than 40 years. This monumental mark began when a president retired in 1987.
An art teacher was hired for the first time. King Jordan, Gallaudet's current dean of arts and sciences, and Harvey Corson—were deaf. So if someone wants to teach at a school for the deaf or to work with organizations for the deaf, things like that, a lot of times those people will decide to go to college at Gallaudet. He announced his decision in a heart-felt meeting with the football team. The power demonstrated by the Gallaudet students fueled efforts around Deaf rights for years to come including later protests at Gallaudet , but also efforts to pass the Americans With Disabilities Act. As I spoke to various people who were involved in Deaf President Now and other people who care about Deaf and disability rights today some of whom weren't even born in 1988 , I kept coming back to this question.