Deaf President Now collection
Scope and Contents
Deaf President Now collection contains digitized copies of documentation of protests held at Gallaudet University in 1988 by deaf student who wanted a deaf president. It also contains documentation of demands by students at National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) for specific concerns they wanted addressed by the administration. The records include a copy of a proposal of demonstration for Saturday, March 12, 1988, an official statement of the Deaf President Now Council to the Board of Trustees at Gallaudet, a message of support from staff members of Gallaudet University applauding the students for their courageous battle to protect the rights of deaf individuals and a request for students to contact their Senators for support to their cause. Additionally, there are two news articles about the protest and a flyer about a rally to be held.
Documentation on the subsequent speaking out on issues by NTID students in 1988 include correspondence, proposals, a list of their four major concerns, Affirmative Action guidelines and an executive summary of the NTID Guidance Paper.
All of these documents are in pdf format and can be viewed by contacting the RIT Archives.
- Creation: 1987-1988
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open to researchers. Permission required to make copies of any kind.
Historical Information: Deaf President Now
In 1988, Gallaudet University was the site of a student-led protest that today is called Deaf President Now, or simply, DPN. But DPN was more than a protest. It also was a unique coming together of Gallaudet students, faculty and staff with the national deaf community—all bound by clear and defined goals.
The DPN supporters believed that the time had come for a deaf person to run the world's only university for deaf and hard of hearing students. The Board ignored students request for a deaf president and hired a hearing person. The students were not going to accept this, the result was a protest whose effects are still reverberating around the world today.
DPN was remarkable not only for its clear sense of purpose, cohesiveness, speed, and depth of feeling, but also for its ability to remove the barriers and erase the lines that previously separated the deaf and hearing communities. In addition, it raised the nation's consciousness of the rights and abilities of deaf and hard of hearing people.
W. Scot Atkins, the donor of the collection was a NTID student at the time of the protest at Gallaudet and became one of the organizers during a quiet protest at NTID, assisting with writing the document of concerns that was given to NTID Dean James J. DeCaro.
0.25 Linear Feet (25 pdf files, 1 Half-Hollinger box)
Deaf President Now collection contains digitized copies of documentation of protests held at Gallaudet University in 1988 by deaf students who wanted a deaf president. The collection also contains documentation of demands by students at National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) for specific concerns they wanted addressed by the administration.
Content of this collection is arranged by subject.
Digital pdf files can be found at \\twcfileserver.main.ad.rit.edu\Archives\Deaf Studies Archive\Deaf President Now Collection Digital
Please contact the RIT Archives for access.
Box 1 is located in C.S. North, Shelf 224.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated to the RIT Archives in June 2012 by W. Scot Atkins. The papers were digitized and his records returned to him. Accession number(s): 2012:030
Finding aid created by Jody Sidlauskas in April 2014.
- Gallaudet University (Organization)
- National Technical Institute for the Deaf. Students (Organization)
- Deaf President Now collection
- RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive
- Jody Sidlauskas
- 10 September 2012
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