COLUMBUS, OHIO – Deaf History Month, which is celebrated nationally from March 13 through April 15, could soon get formal recognition in the state of Ohio. Senate Bill 27, introduced by Senator Bill Beagle, has already received approval by the Ohio Senate and now moves to the House floor for a vote.
Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community advocates hope that Ohio Deaf History Month will be an opportunity to focus efforts celebrating Deaf culture and public education. “Deaf history is rich and complex, but not without adversity,” said Senator Beagle.
Ohio’s deaf history Senate Bill 27 celebrates the progress made by the deaf community over the last 200 years. Ohio Deaf History Month’s beginning date of March 13 commemorates the date Dr. I. Jordan King was elected as the first deaf president of Gallaudet University, a school for the deaf and hard of hearing in 1988. The ending date of April 15th recognizes the establishment of our nation’s first permanent school for the deaf in 1817.
Ohio’s School for the Deaf, established in 1829 in Columbus, was opened a little more than a decade after the very first Deaf school opened in the United States. The school is the only publicly funded residential school for the Deaf in Ohio.
If the bill passes the state House, it will move to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.