Deaf Suffragists/Activists: Introduction


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This InfoGuide points to Deaf Suffragists or Activists who supported Women's Rights. If you need access to Deaf periodicals and resources for more information, go to the Deaf Women InfoGuideThe following staff and faculty provided information on this topic: Dr.Deirdre Schlehofer, Dr. Karen Christie, Dr. Harry Lang, Amy Stornello, and Susan Murad. In addition, information was gathered from the 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage (CSD) website, Herstories of Deaf Women (Dr. Karen Christie), and a Deaf Women from the Women's Suffrage Movement blog (UCL Library Services, London). The left image is a newspaper clipping of Susan B. Anthony meeting Deaf women from the Deaf-Mute College (Gallaudet, circa  1888). (Courtesy of Dr. Karen Christie). Vicki Hurwitz deserves credit for being the first to launch the Deaf Women Studies class, and she also generously shared information about some of these figures. 

Some of the individuals were advocates of women's rights, if not suffragists as they may have lived during a different era. There was anti-suffrage sentiment as well and this Deaf woman wrote expressing her views about women not needing the vote. Burns, Mary Helen.  (1913, June).  The other side of the question.  Delivered May 7, 1913.  Printed in The Buff and Blue, Vol. 21 (9), pgs. 312-314. This June 1913 Silent Worker article (p. 166-167) shows the views of Deaf women on suffrage. (Courtesy of  Dr. Karen Christie)

You can navigate this guide by reviewing the individuals who are listed in alphabetical order in the left-hand column. Use the RIT Libraries Catalog to find books or videos and encyclopedias to get background information about famous individuals. Browse the catalog by subject Women Suffrage. Review videos using the databases listed below: Films on Demand, Kanopy, and Swank. Proquest Women and Gender Studies are also linked below.

Check out the Harry G. Lang collections in the RIT/NTID in the Deaf Studies, Culture & History Archive where there are research files on some of these individuals. Also check out Deirdre Schlehofer's Undocumented Voices of Deaf Women Leaders: A Historical Analysis project related to the Deaf President Now movement in Archives and on YouTube.

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