“But from its beginning in 1864 until 1988 — 124 years — every president of the institution was a hearing man — that changed when Dr. I. King Jordan became Gallaudet’s first deaf president,” she said.
In his 19 years at the helm of the university, Jordan witnessed and was part of many changes affecting the deaf community — cultural, technological, medical, political and demographic, Fernandes said.
“Among his many accomplishments was championing the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a law that has improved accessibility for many U.S. citizens, including those without disabilities,” she said.
“Today, Dr. Jordan sees the deaf community at a crossroads, and the decisions the community makes in response to a convergence of social forces will determine its future and perhaps even its survival,” Fernandes said.
The struggles of the deaf community today are reflected in similar struggles occurring in the wider hearing world, she said, “thus all people can learn and benefit from attending his talk.”
Jordan said he plans to speak about his strong feelings that deafness — and disability — is “one kind of diversity that should be included when we talk about how important diversity is in our society.
“We too often focus only on ethnic and gender issues, and I want to remind people that disability and deafness is just one aspect of the normal human condition,” Jordan said. “And I will talk about diversity within the deaf community — there are many ways to be deaf, and people outside deafness don’t realize how diverse our community is.”Indeed. Deafness goes far beyond that just people who are culturally deaf. It's much more than diverse than that. By the way, if you're curious as to where Jane K. Fernandes went after the 2006 DPN2 protest go here and read the University of NC Asheville magazine who introduced Jane to the university.