Loud and Clear on Deaf Rights I. King Jordan, Gallaudet's First Deaf President, Symbolizes Progress for the Hearing Disabled

By Clara Germani, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, May 13, 1991 | Go to article overview

Loud and Clear on Deaf Rights I. King Jordan, Gallaudet's First Deaf President, Symbolizes Progress for the Hearing Disabled


Clara Germani, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


BEFORE I. KING JORDAN was deafened in a motorcycle accident as a young man, he'd never even seen a deaf person, let alone thought about the disability.

So it's ironic that the Gallaudet University president has brought unprecedented visibility to what he calls the "hidden" disability of deafness. Indeed, once you've seen Dr. Jordan's expressive brown eyes smiling through a graceful blur of sign language, you can't forget him.

Take his recent trip to Los Angeles, for example. Planning to do Southern California "right," he rented a convertible. Top down, he got no farther than the first stoplight before a driver recognized him and was calling excitedly, "You're from Gallaudet!"

This is not unusual, even though it has been three years since the Deaf President Now (DPN) student protests. That March 1988 week of demonstrations won the ouster of a newly appointed hearing president and the installation of Jordan as the first deaf president of the university for the deaf.

"DPN is ongoing ... the awareness level of Gallaudet, of deafness, of what deaf people can do has changed a lot," explains Jordan orally as well as in sign language. "The name `DPN' has taken on much more meaning than a week at Gallaudet."

And Jordan's job itself has taken on more meaning than what the already-weighty title of university president implies. There are added demands as the symbol of deaf civil rights.

"He is very much aware of his role as a symbol of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community as well as the broader disabled community," says Philip Bravin, an IBM Corporation executive, a Gallaudet alumnus, and chairman of the university's board of trustees. "He works very much to try to represent all these groups and ensure that the world down the road is a better place for all of those people to live in...."

DPN has become a ubiquitous term in the Gallaudet community. It is used to define different eras, like BC and AD, and to describe the civil rights of the deaf.

DPN - and Jordan as its symbol - is credited variously with being a fund-raising and federal-funding bonanza for once-obscure Gallaudet, blasting open career opportunities for the deaf, giving a new level of self-esteem to the deaf, and influencing passage last fall of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

"The food is even better" after DPN and Jordan, quips graduating senior Deborah Dee.

While Jordan initially thought the DPN movement would fail and had to be convinced by students to participate in demanding the school's first deaf president, he clearly has not skipped a beat in taking advantage of the opportunity for the deaf.

People are hearing a lot more from Gallaudet with a deaf president than they did during the school's previous 124 years under hearing leadership.

Jordan's charm - an unselfconscious liveliness - has become a handy tool in fund-raising and lobbying. And with the stamina of the marathon runner that he is, he is constantly touring the country promoting the university.

Expecting Jordan's travels to begin to pay off, the university projects $5 million in private support this year. That's a dramatic increase over pre-DPN years when private support hovered at just $1 million annually because administrators didn't fund-raise for fear it would decrease federal support, explains Carol Parr, Gallaudet vice president of development. JORDAN'S extra legwork in Congress paid off immediately in 1988 when he won the university a 6 percent increase in federal funding after his predecessors had begun to face decreases. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Loud and Clear on Deaf Rights I. King Jordan, Gallaudet's First Deaf President, Symbolizes Progress for the Hearing Disabled
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.