The Issues

An Introduction

[ Photo of DPN marchers waving flags with the Capitol Dome in the background ]

In 1988, Gallaudet University was the site of a student-led protest that today is called Deaf President Now, or simply, DPN. But DPN was more than a protest. It also was a unique coming together of Gallaudet students, faculty and staff with the national deaf community—all bound by clear and defined goals.

The DPN supporters believed that the time had come for a deaf person to run the world's only university for deaf and hard of hearing students. When this didn't happen, the result was a protest whose effects are still reverberating around the world today.

DPN was remarkable not only for its clear sense of purpose, cohesiveness, speed, and depth of feeling, but also for its ability to remove the barriers and erase the lines that previously separated the deaf and hearing communities. In addition, it raised the nation's consciousness of the rights and abilities of deaf and hard of hearing people.

 

[history icon] history behind DPN
the roots of unrest in the Deaf Community
[icon of a calendar  for March 1988] the week of DPN
see what happened day-by-day
[minutes icon] related documents
the text of various papers, flyers and memos
[Jackson] letters of support
correspondence from a variety of national figures
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