Manuscripts

MSS 213
Abbott, Nancy, 1944-
The Nancy Abbott Collection of Deaf Telecommunicators of Greater Washington, Inc., Records, 1969-1992

Gallaudet University Archives


Descriptive Summary
Repository: Gallaudet University Archives
Call No.: MSS 213
Creator: Abbott, Nancy, 1944- 
Title: The Nancy Abbott Collection of Deaf Telecommunicators of Greater Washington, Inc., Records, 1969-1992
Quantity: 17 boxes (9 linear feet) 
Abstract: Records mostly relating to the organization known as the Deaf Telecommunicators of Greater Washington, Inc., collected by former executive director Nancy Abbott.  Includes minutes, correspondence, position papers, financial records, and more. 
Note: This document last updated April 2016.   

Administrative Information
Acquisition Information: Donated to the Archives by Nancy Abbott, August 1995.  
Processed By: Christopher Shea, April 2016. 
Processing Note: 
Conditions on Use and Access:  This collection is open to the public with no restrictions. Photocopies may be made for scholarly research.
 
Related Material in the Archives

Manuscripts
• Collection of TTY history, 1966-1975. Gallaudet University Archives, call number MSS 088 
• Collection of Washington Metropolitan Deaf Alliance, 1974-1985. Gallaudet University Archives, call number MSS 182

SMSS
• Papers, Nancy Abbott, 1979-1980. Gallaudet University Archives, call number SMSS

Organization History
Deaf Telecommunicators of Greater Washington, Inc. (DTGW) began its existence in 1968 in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. After Robert Weitbrecht invented the teletypewriter (TTY) coupler in 1964, communication over telephone lines was still a novelty to deaf people.  Furthermore, the only way to obtain TTYs was through secondhand donations from businesses, government agencies, and telephone companies, a process that was unreliable and difficult for the deaf to navigate. DTGW was founded as a nonprofit clearinghouse to collect, distribute, and repair TTYs for the local deaf community, as well as creating answering and news services for DC-area TTY owners and a "Hotline for the Deaf" to provide emergency advice and referrals. Although limited in scope, these services helped open a new world for the deaf.
 
During these early years, DTGW struggled to retain members, as many simply joined to get TTYs and dropped out once they had them. In 1975, Marilyn Pierce was elected president, succeeding founding president Louis Schwarz. Under President Pierce, DTGW changed its mission, becoming more concerned with telecommunications advocacy and facilitation.  It encouraged TTY use for local businesses and government agencies, provided education on telecommunications and the deaf, and took over the publishing of the Greater Washington Area TDD/Community Directory, more commonly known as the GWA*.
 
The GWA* began as a single mimeographed sheet of TDD numbers in the DC area, published by Christ Lutheran Church of the Deaf in the 1970s. Under DTGW, the GWA* expanded into a full telephone directory, including personal and business listings that extended as far as Baltimore and Frederick. After being irregularly published every few years, it shifted to annual publication in 1983.
 
The records in this collection were acquired and donated by Nancy Abbott (1944- ). Abbott was elected as the DTGW's secretary in 1973 and also volunteered as editor of the GWA* from 1977 onwards. In 1983, she was promoted to executive director.
 
Scope and Content
These records document most of the history and practices of the DTGW from its founding, although most of their emphasis is on the Abbott/Pierce years from 1975 through the late 1980s.

There is little information on the eventual fate of the DTGW after these years. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence (mostly Abbott's and Pierce's), newsletters, and some bylaws and other organization rules.
 
Also included are numerous copies of the GWA* directory from its early years through its growth in the 1970s and 1980s, helping demonstrate the rapid increase in TDD use over the years.
 
Series Descriptions

Series 1. Founding documents, 1975-1983
Box 1
Includes copies of DTGW's articles of incorporation from 1975, several amended versions of the organization's bylaws over the years (the original bylaws were lost, and new ones were created when DTGW filed for incorporation), and articles of amendment filed in 1983 in order to clarify DTGW's tax-exempt nonprofit status. Series 7 has more on tax exemptions. Also includes a brief "synopsis of DTGW" covering the organization's history from the 1970s to the early 1980s. 

Series 2. Correspondence and minutes for boards, 1969-1989
Boxes 1-3
Records from DTGW's governing bodies, including the Board of Directors, Advisory Board, and Nominating Committee. (For the Financial Committee, see Series 7.) Also includes minutes and reports from annual meetings, as well as some position papers on TDD-related issues. Bulk of the series is Board of Directors correspondence and minutes, covering most of DTGW's existence from 1969 onwards. 

Series 3. Correspondence, 1968-1992
Boxes 3-12
An extensive collection of correspondence on various topics. There is some overlap between the various categories, as multiple copies of letters were retained in different files. The correspondence is broken down into the following categories: 
• General correspondence, 1968-1989 (boxes 3-5) 
• Correspondence on TDD-related topics, 1971-1989 (boxes 5-7) 
• Correspondence with advertisers and sponsors, 1984-1985 (box 8) 
• Executive director (Nancy Abbott)'s correspondence, 1984-1989 (boxes 8-11)
• Incoming correspondence, 1972-1985 (box 11) 
• President (Marilyn Pierce)'s correspondence, 1975-1983 (box 11-12)
• Nancy Abbott's correspondence (after departure from DTGW), 1987-1992 (box 12) 

Series 4. GWA* books and correspondence, 1969-1990
Boxes 12-15
Copies of the GWA* directory, as well as other TDD directories produced by other Maryland- and DC-area deaf groups. Also includes some correspondence related to GWA* production and sales. See series 3 for more correspondence on the same subject. 

Series 5. Out of the Clatterbox, 1970-1987
Box 15
DTGW's newsletter, taking its name from early TTYs, which were frequently rough-operating and noisy. Includes information on board elections and meetings, DTGW policies, and events in the Washington deaf community. 

Series 6. Member lists and certificates, 1975-1987
Box 15
Includes member lists, certificates of appreciation, brochures, blank envelopes and letterhead, and other materials related to the everyday functions of DTGW. 

Series 7. Finances, 1969-1990
Boxes 15-17
Material on DTGW's financial status, including correspondence with the treasurer and the financial committee, budgets, cash statements, and ledgers. 

Series 8. Photographs, undated
Box 16
A small collection of photos.

BoxFolderTitleYear(s)
1 1 Articles of amendment 1983
1 2 Articles of incorporation 1975
1 3 Bylaws 1973-1983
1 4 Membership rules Undated
1 5 Synopsis of DTGW Undated
1 6 Advisory Board minutes and correspondence 1983-1989
1 7 Annual meeting minutes and annual reports 1982-1987
1 8 Board minutes 1969-1976
1 9 Board minutes 1969-1976
1 10 Board of Directors correspondence 1984-1986
2 1 Board of Directors minutes 1982-1983
2 2 Board of Directors minutes 1984
2 3 Board of Directors minutes 1985-1986
2 4 Board of Directors minutes 1986
2 5 Board of Directors minutes 1987-1989
2 6 Board policies Undated
3 1 Correspondence on advisory board 1983-1984
3 2 Correspondence on advisory board 1983-1985
3 3 Meeting notes Undated
3 4 Nominating committee minutes and correspondence 1983-1987
3 5 Notes for president's report 1974
3 6 Position papers 1986-1987
3 7 Correspondence 1968-1980
3 8 Correspondence 1972-1982
3 9 Correspondence 1972-1982
3 10 Correspondence 1973-1985
4 1 Correspondence 1983
4 2 Correspondence 1983
4 3 Correspondence 1983
4 4 Correspondence 1984
4 5 Correspondence 1986
4 6 Correspondence and clippings on public relations 1982-1985
4 7 Correspondence and handbooks for Deafpride advisory board 1983-1988
4 8 Correspondence and reports from public service organizations 1982-1985
5 1 Correspondence on election of directors 1983
5 2 Correspondence on fundraising 1982-1987
5 3 Correspondence on health care access 1984-1985
5 4 Correspondence on meetings and workshops 1984-1986
5 5 Correspondence to follow up 1985-1986
5 6 Correspondence with attorneys 1983-1989
5 7 Letters of appreciation 1978-1986
5 8 Memos to staff 1983
5 9 Surveys 1985
5 10 Agreements and correspondence for TTY loans 1972-1973
5 11 Correspondence and minutes for answering service 1975-1980
5 12 Correspondence and minutes for Hotline for the Deaf 1971-1976
6 1 Correspondence and minutes on relay service 1985
6 2 Correspondence and reports on TDD in Metro 1983-1985
6 3 Correspondence and reports on TDD in Metro 1983-1985
6 4 Correspondence and transcripts for 911 service for the deaf 1987-1992
6 5 Correspondence on collaboration with C&P Telephone 1983-1985
6 6 Correspondence on early TTY services 1972-1975
6 7 Correspondence on early TTY services 1972-1975
7 1 Correspondence on "Just Communicate" video 1984-1985
7 2 Correspondence on UNI-PTC 1986
7 3 Correspondence with election boards 1984
7 4 Correspondence with Maryland state government 1981-1984
7 5 Correspondence with professional organizations 1982-1985
7 6 Correspondence on telephone companies 1983-1984
7 7 MDAD survey on answering services 1981
7 8 Press releases and brochures on TDD services 1984-1989
7 9 Press releases and correspondence on TDDs and captioning 1985-1986
7 10 Proposal for answering service 1980
7 11 Seminar and brochures on relay service 1989
7 12 Tele-Consumer Hotline correspondence and fact sheets 1987
7 13 Tele-Consumer Hotline product lists Undated
7 14 WMDA reports and correspondence 1980
8 1 Correspondence with advertisers and sponsors (Jan-Feb) 1984
8 2 Correspondence with advertisers and sponsors (Feb-Oct) 1984
8 3 Correspondence with advertisers and sponsors 1985
8 4 Executive director's correspondence (Jan-Feb) 1984
8 5 Executive director's correspondence (Feb-Apr) 1984
9 1 Executive director's correspondence (Apr-Jun) 1984
9 2 Executive director's correspondence (Jul-Sep) 1984
9 3 Executive director's correspondence (Sep-Oct) 1984
9 4 Executive director's correspondence (Oct-Dec) 1984
9 5 Executive director's correspondence (Jan-Mar) 1985
10 1 Executive director's correspondence (Apr-Dec) 1985
10 2 Executive director's correspondence 1985-1986
10 3 Executive director's correspondence 1986-1987
10 4 Executive director's correspondence 1987-1989
10 5 Executive director's correspondence and applications for use of Gallaudet facilities 1983-1984
10 6 Executive director's incoming correspondence 1983-1989
11 1 Executive director's outgoing correspondence (Feb-Jun) 1984
11 2 Executive director's outgoing correspondence (Jun-Sep) 1984
11 3 Executive director's outgoing correspondence (Sep-Dec) 1984
11 4 Incoming correspondence 1972-1981
11 5 Incoming correspondence 1981-1982
11 6 Incoming correspondence (Jan-Apr) 1983
11 7 Incoming correspondence (Apr-Nov) 1983
11 8 Incoming correspondence 1983
11 9 Incoming correspondence 1983-1984
11 10 Incoming correspondence 1985
11 11 President's correspondence 1975-1983
11 12 President's correspondence 1982-1984
12 1 President's correspondence (Jan-Jul) 1983
12 2 President's correspondence (Aug-Dec) 1983
12 3 Nancy Abbott correspondence 1987-1990
12 4 Nancy Abbott correspondence 1991
12 5 Nancy Abbott correspondence 1992
12 6 Nancy Abbott correspondence 1992
13 1 GWA* 1977-1983
13 2 GWA* 1983-1984
13 3 TDD directories 1969-1975
13 4 TDD directories 1978-1987
13 5 TDD directories 1980-1987
13 6 TDD directories 1981-1986
13 7 GWA* covers 1982
13 8 Correspondence and contracts for ads 1978-1985
14 1 Correspondence and contracts for ads 1979-1984
14 2 Correspondence and contracts for ads 1980-1982
14 3 Correspondence for ads 1984
14 4 Correspondence for ads 1986
14 5 Correspondence for GWA* yellow pages 1985
14 6 Correspondence on candidates for GWA* 1986-1989
14 7 Correspondence on complaints about GWA* 1988-1989
14 8 Correspondence on GWA* 1983-1987
14 9 Correspondence on GWA* 1988
14 10 Correspondence on GWA* orders 1987-1990
14 11 Correspondence on GWA* sales agreements 1982-1985
14 12 Correspondence with GWA* staff 1982-1984
14 13 Correspondence with lawyers on missing ads 1988-1989
14 14 Correspondence with printers on GWA* 1980-1984
14 15 Form letters to members and advertisers 1988
14 16 Incoming correspondence on GWA* 1980-1982
15 1 Promotional materials for GWA* 1982-1988
15 2 Writers' guide for GWA* Undated
15 3 Correspondence for Out of the Clatterbox 1972-1984
15 4 Out of the Clatterbox 1970-1975
15 5 Out of the Clatterbox 1978-1985
15 6 Out of the Clatterbox 1987
15 7 Blank certificates of appreciation Undated
15 8 Brochures 1983
15 9 Brochures on services for the deaf 1983-1985
15 10 Certificate of appreciation for Nancy Abbott 1984
15 11 Certificates of appreciation for Marilyn Pierce 1983
15 12 Correspondence and programs for parties 1979-1984
15 13 Envelopes and letterhead Undated
15 14 Member and officer lists 1975-1984
15 15 Member lists 1982-1983
15 16 Member lists 1983-1987
15 17 Organization chart Undated
16 1 Budget 1984-1985
16 2 Cash statements and correspondence on finances 1980-1985
16 3 Cash statements and correspondence on finances 1986-1990
16 4 Correspondence on accounts receivable 1986
16 5 Correspondence on computer lease 1984-1985
16 6 Correspondence on donations 1980-1984
16 7 Correspondence on finances 1984-1987
16 8 Correspondence on tax exemptions 1983
16 9 Draft of financial policy Undated
16 10 Grant proposal to Meyer Foundation 1984
16 11 Treasurer's correspondence 1969-1976
16 12 Photographs Undated
17 Ledger book: receipts from members 1968-1971
17 Ledger book 1972-1978