COLUMBUS – State Senator Bill Beagle (R-Tipp City) announced the Senate passage of legislation that would designate March 13 through April 15 as “Ohio Deaf History Month” in an effort to raise awareness for deaf history and culture throughout Ohio.
“Deaf history is rich and complex, but not without adversity,” said Senator Beagle, who sponsored the legislation in the Senate. “Advancements in technology and the emphasis on early detection are especially noteworthy and this legislation pays tribute to those who have made important contributions to the deaf community.”
Advocates for the deaf community hope that Ohio Deaf History Month will be an opportunity to focus efforts on celebrating deaf culture and educating the public about the deaf community’s rich history.
“We want to thank Senator Beagle for proposing this piece of legislation,” wrote Dawn Watts, co-founder of Citizens of Deaf Culture. “We are excited about this new opportunity for sharing the vibrant culture and history of the deaf community, which has made a significant impact on Ohio and American 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.
The legislation now goes to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.