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Collection of magazines and newspapers for the deaf

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITDSA-0149

Scope and Contents

This collection is made up of various periodicals of and for deaf and hard of hearing people whose publication dates range from 1988-2008. The issues include Deaf Life magazine, Deaf Rochester, Empire State News, Deaf Rochester News, Rochester School for the Deaf annual reports, and issues of the Deaf American. There are also some deaf newspapers from 1988-1991, and an original and copy of deaf poetry magazine Action #7 with a note crom Jim Cohn.


  • Creation: 1986-2008


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Periodicals for the deaf such as Deaf Life, the Deaf American, and Empire State News document news, events, and culture of the deaf population in the United States. Many of them are published at educational institutions for the deaf. Deaf Life, which makes up a good portion of this collection, has its' roots at National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID).

Matthew Scott Moore, a student majoring in Social Work and minoring in Photography/Film at Rochester Institute of Technology, founded a new independent organization, the Student Communication Center, as a means of giving Deaf students hands-on experience in print and video media. He already had extensive experience with print media, having edited his high-school newspaper, The Reflector, at Indiana School for the Deaf. (And the college’s official publications, written by hearing professionals and printed by an outside company, had no student involvement.) The little collective published a newspaper, Perspectives, and produced a TV show, Sharing, on the Student Communication Network, or SCC-TV, later renamed Student Television Network, which aired after Moore graduated in 1983. He continued working with SCC as Alumnus Advisor.

Moore incorporated his own tiny, independent media company, now called MSM Productions, Ltd., and produced and directed the pilot episode of Deaf Magazine, a half-hour magazine-format show focusing on Deaf issues and personalities. The program was opened-captioned, and featured attractive graphics and original theme music. On June 23, Deaf Magazine aired on primetime on WOKR, Rochester’s local ABC affiliate, and drew unanimously favorable responses.

Moore also envisioned a magazine for the deaf. ASL users have an expression glossed as deaf-life, which literally means “the reality of being deaf.” Moore chose it for the title. The first monthly issue, with a cover story on Dr. I. King Jordan, was published in July 1988. This first monthly issue also debuted the popular Q/A feature “For Hearing People Only.” The first installment was “What is ASL?” What makes DEAF LIFE unique? For one thing, it’s written and produced by Deaf people.


3.5 Linear Feet (6 document boxes 2 half document boxes)




The collection is comprised of seven deaf-related periodicals and several issues of newspapers from 1986-2008


The collection is arranged by title of periodical, then in chronological order.

Other Finding Aids

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive Deaf periodicals

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection was donated to the RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive over time from many sources.

Related Materials

Larry Scott collection of deaf studies publications

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Jean Pietrowski in February 2016.

Collection of magazines and newpapers for the deaf
RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive
Jean Pietrowski/Jody Sidlauskas
8 February 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA