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Gallaudet Univeristy
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DVDs, CDs, and Videotapes about Deaf Culture

This is a list of some videotapes, DVDs, and CDs specifically about Deaf culture and deaf history.

  • Gallaudet University offers a database with video streams in Windows Media and QuickTime, and first-rate associated metadata.  Among the many titles available on the site are silent films, including – astonishingly – the first surviving film (1910) using American Sign Language and nine titles from 1913 made for the National Association of the Deaf.  To view the films, go to:   http://videocatalog.gallaudet.edu/userSelectFeed.cfm  and then click on the topic of choice.


  • The Gallaudet University Archives houses the world’s largest collection of items and documents related to the Deaf community, its history, and culture, including a Deaf film collection of more than 750 films and 300 videotapes that provide rare footage documenting deaf history and illustrates the sign language used by deaf Americans long ago.  A subgroup within the film archives is the Veditz film collection, the historic film collection of the National Association of the Deaf.  The films available for viewing are listed in the ALADIN on-line catalog.  Enter search words such as “Deaf film collection” to view the films listed.Note: because of their fragile nature and inherent value, the Deaf film collection can be viewed only at the Gallaudet University Library.


For current ordering information, contact the sources provided at the end of this document.

An Interview with Bernard Bragg: The Man Behind the Mask
          (VHS, 6 tapes, 30-45 min., voice-over)
With an extraordinary ASL storytelling style, Bragg relates many of his life stories and experiences in six videotapes.  Series contains Deaf cultural and cross-cultural issues that offer viewers a glimpse into many facets of a Deaf person’s life.

ASL Across America
 (12 videotapes, 1 hour each; 1989 and 1992)
Features Deaf people in natural, unrehearsed conversations.  Participants provide a balance of age, gender, and educations.  Topics featured are regional sign variations, personal school experiences, education of deaf children, and past, present, and future of Deaf Clubs located in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Detroit, Albuquerque, Seattle, and St. Paul. Each “City Set” conversation consists of two videotapes: the first is a full-screen, edited version of a four-person conversation with voice-over.  The second presents all four participants on screen at the same time.
      Sign Media, Inc.

(VHS/book, 64 min., 1992)
Deaf students’ perspectives on their language
This unique tape/text combination features student essays and journal entries on the role of American Sign Language in the lives of Deaf students.  The companion videotape features the authors further discussing their perspectives and recollections of their experiences.  Topics include school and family backgrounds, ASL and personal identities, and status of ASL as a language and a medium of instruction.    (Clayton Valli, Ceil Lucas, Esme Farb, and Paul Kulick, editors)
      Harris Communications

ASL Poetry: Selected Works of Clayton Valli
 (105 min., voiced, signed)
Guided by a narrator, the viewer proceeds through the poetry collection of 21 poems, performed by a varied group of signers using different styles.  This format allows the viewer to have a clear insight into the hidden meanings in the poetry of Clayton Valli.

Bird of a Different Feather & For a Decent Living
 (60 min. signed)
Master storytellers Ben Bahan and Sam Supalla present two original ASL stories offering keen insights into the “Deaf experience.”  This entertaining tape is an ideal classroom supplement or a great gift for family and friends.
      Harris Communications

Children of a Lesser God
 (VHS, DVD, 119 min., closed captioned; 1986)
This sensitive drama about a deaf woman embittered in her struggle to find acceptance in a hearing world received five Academy Award Nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor—William Hurt, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actress—Marlee Matlin.

Charles Krauel: A Profile of a Deaf Filmmaker
 (30 minutes, open-captioned, voice-over)
The feeling of Deaf culture of another time pervades this valuable archival video. Charles Krauel’s zeal in filming cultural events left an important legacy—an opportunity to study the Deaf community from the late 1920s through the 1950s. Cultural behavior can be observed throughout the documentary, rich with Deaf folklife such as signed sing-alongs that were a staple of social gatherings of the time. Footage of residential schools and students, Deaf cheers, and spontaneous performances are included.

Cochlear Implants: Covering the Basics
 (40 minutes, closed-captioned, voice-over)
The videotape covers the technology, options, and pros and cons that many parents must weigh when deciding what is best for their deaf child. Phil also shares important information about the Deaf community, Deaf culture, and sign language. The videotape also covers them in depth, in addition to post-operative therapy, FDA warnings about cochlear implants, and questions to ask your doctor.

Deaf Awareness Orientation Package
 (3 videotapes, 30 minutes each)
These three videotapes cover topics such as ‘Introduction to the Deaf community,’ ‘Using your TTY,’ and ‘Working with a Sign Language Interpreter.’
      Sign Media, Inc.

Deaf Culture Autobiography
 (VHS, DVD 8 tapes 40 min. each, signed in ASL, voiced, 1990)
Deaf adult role models share their stories of success.  The eight videotapes feature Gilbert Eastman, M.J. Bienvenu, Alfred Sonnenstrahl, Dr. Paul Johnston, Rev. Thomas Coughlin, Dennis Schemenauer, Patrick Graybill, and Howie Seago.  These are recommended as videotexts for learning Deaf culture.
      Sign Enhancers, Inc.

Deaf Culture Lectures: Deaf & Hearing Cultural Differences
(1994, 30 minutes)
Learn about differences in values between Deaf and hearing cultures in this popular lecture by Nathie Marbury. Closed captioned.
      Sign Enhancers, Inc.

Deaf Mosaic
 (30 minute series of videos, signed and captioned; 1985-current). Television magazine format features a variety of subjects related to the Deaf community.  The Deaf Mosaic videos can be watched online through the Gallaudet Library’s Aladin system at:  http://www.gallaudet.edu/library/library_services/how_do_i__/watch_deaf_mosaic_online.html.

Deaf Mosaic’s Deaf President Now! Revolution Videotape
(27 min., voice narration, open captions)
Deaf Mosaic presents the Emmy Award-winning program of the seven-day revolution at Gallaudet. This remarkable video shows the historical confrontation as it occurred when students went on strike after learning that a hearing president had been appointed at Gallaudet. The world watched and listened as the revolution ultimately resulted in the appointment of the University's first deaf president.
      Gallaudet University Press

DEAFology 101
(VHS, 60 min., voiced, closed captions)
A high entertaining yet informative video lecture on Deaf culture as seen through the eyes of Deaf humorist Ken Glickman.  “Professor Glick” with his “mad scientist look” gives a hilarious, fast-paced crash course on Deaf culture and explains many situations unique to the Deaf world.   Ideal for Deaf culture classes or pure and crazy entertainment.
      ADCO Hearing Products, Inc.

Deaf President Now!
Deaf Mosaic’s Deaf President Now! Revolution
(VHS, 30 minutes, voice-over)
The Emmy award-winning Deaf Mosaic program on the Deaf President Now! Revolution shows key moments in the protest as they actually happened, including interviews with students, faculty members, and others who were there.
      Gallaudet University Press

Deaf Way II: Opening Celebration - "Believe"
(VHS, captions, voice-over, 105 min.)
Opening Celebration commences with international performances and official welcomes by Gallaudet president I. King Jordan and a corps of Deaf leaders. Amazing stage acts follow, performed by deaf professionals, including exotic Chinese dancers, Cubans dancing salsa, a storyteller from Australia, interpretive dancers from the Czech Republic, and many others. Deaf children and adults close the performance by signing to the song "When You Believe," confirming their belief in a peaceful and prosperous future for everyone, the hallmark of Deaf Way II.
      Gallaudet University Press

Deaf Way II: A Visual Anthology
(VHS, 66 min., captions, voice-over)
Take a whirlwind tour of the festival, the sensational opening celebration, the magnificent art exhibited at Gallaudet University, the Millennium Arts Center, the Kennedy Center and lectures by international scholars on Deaf issues.  Viewers shift from wondrous dance, comedy, and drama segments to the ingenious activities for children.  Interviews with deaf artists and attendees add insight to the varied experiences of the festival, ensuring a genuine portrayal of the multifaceted marvels of Deaf Way II.
      Gallaudet University Press

The Fantastic Series
 (VHS, 30 minutes each, voice-over, captions)
A series of programs from Gallaudet University focuses on deaf and hard of hearing primary school children, age 6-10, providing a blend of information and entertainment.  Most segments include facets of Deaf culture.
NOT ON SALE: Gallaudet University still has those products ????
      Gallaudet University Press

The International Conference on Deaf History
 (5 videotapes, 1 hour long each, voice-over)
To understand Deaf people, you must understand their history. These tapes are from the first International Conference on Deaf History held at Gallaudet University. The conference program featured speakers from all over the world sharing their research and perceptions of historical aspects of Deaf communities
       Sign Media, Inc.

Introduction to American Deaf Culture
 (60 minutes each, 5 1-hour videotapes and workbooks, voice-over)
A five-part series:  Rules of Social Interaction, Values, Language and Tradition, Group Norms, and Identity. Can be purchase in
Individually or as a set.
      Sign Media, Inc.

The LACD Story
(VHS, 30 Minutes long, voice, narration and closed captions)
The Los Angeles Club of the Deaf Story presents the historic changes of a deaf club in a large city.
      DeBee Communications

Laurent Clerc 1785-1869: A Video Documentary
(VHS, 30 minutes, sound, signed, captions)
An historical documentary about a deaf man who brought sign language to America from France in 1815 and established the first permanent school for deaf people in America.  The tape traces his life, beginning with his childhood in France, and highlights his achievements as America’s first deaf teacher.
       DeBee Communications

Poetry in Motion; Original Works in ASL
 (3 Videotape, 60 minutes each, signed)
Pat Graybill, Clayton Valli, and Debbie Rennie express their thoughts, emotions, and ideals through poetry combined with the dramatic beauty of American Sign Language.  If poetry is indeed the window to the soul, these deaf artists offer a unique view into the heart of the Deaf community. 
      Sign Media, Inc.

Portrait of a Deaf Irish American
(VHS, 15 minutes voiced, captioned 1992)
An inspiring tribute to educator, writer, editor, businessman, entrepreneur, and civil rights activist, Terrence J. O’Rourke.  Author of two of the nation’s all time best-selling sign language texts, including A Basic Course in American Sign Language, and founder of T.J. Publishers, Inc., Mr. O’Rourke was a national advocate for the deaf.
      T.J. Publishers

The Preservation of American Sign Language – the Complete Historical Collection
(7 videotapes, 120 minute, without closed captioned)
The entire speech is included.  However, there is no biographical information or sign comparison. See, appreciate, and enjoy these sign language masters without voice-over or captions.
      Sign Media, Inc.

Schools for the Deaf
(VHS, 30 minutes, voice-over, sign, subtitles)
A historical document about a few of the oldest schools for the deaf in the United States.
      DeBee Communications

Sign Here and Silence is Golden…Sometimes
 (2 videotapes, 20 minutes each, captioned, 1989)
Several deaf performers share various insights about life in the deaf world.  They get the hearing persons point of view on the same topics. The resultant program offers much food for thought about these two not-so-different worlds and the richness to be gained by mutual understanding and continued communication.  An Emmy Award-winning production.
      Magic Lamp Productions

So Long Silence
 (VHS, 22 min closed captioned 1990)
An award-winning documentary about the lives of a young deaf girl and her classmates at the California School for the Deaf in Fremont.  Offers fresh insights into the   lives of deaf teens and how they perceive their strengths, challenges, and culture. Provides a strong message in breaking the stereotype of deaf teens as quiet!
      New Day Films

Through Deaf Eyes
(DVD, 120 minutes, voice-over, captions)
Through Deaf Eyes explores nearly 200 years of deaf life in America.  The film presents the experiences of American history from the perspective of deaf citizens.  Interviews include actor Marlee Matlin, I. King Jordan, other community leaders, historians, and deaf Americans with diverse views on language use, technology, and identity.  Six artistic works by deaf media artists that complement the core of the film are woven throughout the documentary.
      Gallaudet University Press

Tomorrow Dad Will Still Be Deaf & Other Stories
 (VHS, 90 min., voiced, signed, closed captioned)
Whether you are deaf or hearing, the wise and witty Bonnie Kraft will captivate you with the stories of her life as a CODA, the hearing child of deaf adults.
      Harris Communications

When the Minds Hears: A Synopsis in ASL
 (Set of 13 1-hour tapes; voice-over is provided)
Videotapes present a narrative and historical account of deaf education and location of the stories. Documents based on Laurent Clerc in France, American School for the Deaf, and Gallaudet University are presented.  These people and places paved the way in bringing education for deaf students as we know it today.
      Sign Media, Inc.

The World According to Pat: Reflections of Residential School Days
 (80 Minutes, voiced, signed, captioned: 1986)
Noted entertainer Pat Graybill’s one-man show offers humorous and touching insights into life in a residential school dormitory.  Included cameo appearance by others who provide their own recollections of residential school days.
      T.J. Publisher

Resources for Deaf Culture Material


For information about the cost and availability of these resources, write directly to the distributors, or contact local bookstores.

ADCO Hearing Products, Inc.
4242 South Broadway
Englewood, Colorado  80113
(303) 794-3928
(303) 794-3704

6130 Nancy Ridge Drive
San Diego, CA 92121-3223
TTY/Voice (858) 625-0600
FAX (858) 625-2336

DeBEE Communications
3900 Monet Court South
Pittsburgh, PA. 15101-3221
TTY (412) 492-8214

Gallaudet University Press
800 Florida Ave. NE
Washington DC 20002
V/TTY (202) 651-5488
FAX (202) 651-5489

Magic Lamp Productions
1838 Washington Way
Venice, CA 90291-4704
(310) 822-2985
V (800) 367-9661
Fax (310) 827-9123

New Day Films
190 Route 17M
P.O. Box 1084
Harriman, NY  10926
 (888) 367-9154
FAX (845) 774-2945

Sign Media, Inc.
4020 Blackburn Lane
Burtonsville, Md 20866-1167
V/T 1 800 475-4756
(301) 421-0268
FAX (301) 421-0270

T.J. Publishers
2544 Tarpley Road, Suite 108 
Carrollton, TX 75006
TTY (972) 416-0933
V (972) 416-0800
(800) 999-1168 (Orders only)
FAX (972) 416-0944

Other sources:

RIT  Libraries