Research & Scholarly Achievement
at Gallaudet University
A critical mass of Deaf people in urban settings forms a unique cultural linguistic environment. For example, hundreds of Deaf people, mostly Jewish and Italian first-generation Americans, lived within a one-mile radius of the Gravesend section of Brooklyn, N.Y., in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. A designated bus to transport children to the nearest school for deaf students in Manhattan served the community. Deaf people lived in concentrated areas that were affordable, close to jobs, and offered an interwoven community. Very little documentation has been conducted on urban deaf life, with minimal "oral history" interviews on the mid-20th century city experience. Over 80 people have been identified as potential interviewees, and the SDDC has formed a team of advisors to guide research. Comparison and contrast with hearing communities is part of this humanities research that examines the way groups wrestle with linguistic, educational, and employment challenges.