The Struggle for Self-Definition

Deaf President Now! poster. 
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In 1988, students and alumni of Gallaudet University defied their board of trustees to force the hiring of a deaf person as president. Previously, the liberal arts school for deaf students, founded in 1864, had always selected a hearing president.

Many felt the time had come for a deaf person to be appointed to this prominent position. Demonstrating students shut down the campus for a week before winning their demands.

The "Deaf President Now" campaign strengthened the position of other activists then negotiating the Americans with Disabilities Act in Congress.

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