This is an historical first.
Gallaudet University’s Student Body Government calls for an historical first open meeting with AG Bell Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Here’s the link here!
For many years, National Association of the Deaf requested several meetings with AG Bell and it was never materialized.
Here is one of the many examples how NAD tried. George Veditz tried.
Throughout over 100 years, all of the efforts were fruitless. So much harm was done. The Deaf community became deeply divided and extremely fragmented. We end up hurting each other for decades. Because we have our differences how we perceive what it means to be Deaf and our preferences in how we communicate. It continues to be this way.
Edward Miner Gallaudet, who was President of Gallaudet University have attempted to meet with Alexander Graham Bell. Gallaudet gave Bell a honorary Ph.D. degree in 1880’s with hopes that it would cultivate positive relationship and collaboration. However unfortunately there was a disagreement on forming the “Normal Department”, also known as a graduate program to train teachers for the Deaf. Gallaudet wanted Deaf students to enroll into the “Normal Department”, but Bell vehemently disagreed. Bell lobbied the Congress to prevent appropriation to establish the ‘Normal Department”, however he succeeded reducing the requested amount of appropriation from $5,000 dollars to $3,000 dollars with one condition that no Deaf students were allowed to enroll in this program. There is the book, Never the Twain Shall Meet : Bell, Gallaudet, and the Communications Debate by Richard Winefield which provides in-depth information about the relationship between A.G. Bell and E.M. Gallaudet.
Now, our young Georges/Georgettes (after George Veditz) are taking the bold step to demand for an open meeting with Alexander Graham Bell Association.
Indeed, this is an historical first.
I am staying on the top of this and will continue reporting with you of any newest developments.
GO BUFF AND BLUE!
Amy Cohen Efron