MSS 217
Carmel, Simon J. (Simon Jacob), 1938-
The Simon J. Carmel United States Deaf Skiers Association (USDSA) Records, 1966-1978

Gallaudet University Archives

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Gallaudet University Archives
Call No.: MSS 217
Creator: Carmel, Simon J. (Simon Jacob), 1938-
Title: The Simon J. Carmel United States Deaf Skiers Association (USDSA) Records, 1966-1976
Quantity: 6 boxes (3 linear feet)
Abstract: Records of the United States Deaf Skiers Association, a group dedicated to promoting amateur deaf skiing, as collected by founding member Dr. Simon J. Carmel. Includes correspondence, clippings, brochures, ephemera, and more.
Note: This document last updated March 2017.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information: Donated to the Archives by Simon J. Carmel, 1987.
Processed By: Christopher Shea, March 2017.
Processing Note:
Conditions on Use and Access: This collection is open to the public with no restrictions.

Related Material in the Archives

Manuscripts

• Collection of the United States Deaf Skiers Association, 1948-1986. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: MSS 95

Photographs

• Sue Mather, photographs [World Winter Games, 1971]. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: PH0146

Vertical Files

• Carmel, Simon Jacob. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Deaf Biographical
• Skiing. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Deaf Subject
• World Winter Games for the Deaf, 1971. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Deaf Subject

Organization History

In 1968, 45 deaf skiers from around the country gathered in Park City, Utah, for the first national meeting. At this meeting, several people, including Jerome Moers and Simon J. Carmel, urged that a national deaf ski organization be created. The idea found favor, and the yet unnamed group elected Joe Cohen as its first president and began work on creating a constitution and by-laws. Carmel was originally chosen as Eastern Director, and later served as president as well.

At the group's second meeting, in 1970, the name United States Deaf Skiers Association was settled on, and the group agreed to have biennial meetings. The constitution and by-laws were approved and the board of directors was formalized. The USDSA also affiliated itself with the American Athletic Association for the Deaf (AAAD). This was so it could be recognized by the Comité International des Sports des Sourds (CISS), the international deaf sports governing body. CISS recognition allowed USDSA to participate in the World Winter Games for the Deaf (now the Winter Deaflympics) by selecting and training the United States ski team. The USDSA also held its first officially sanctioned races at the 1970 meeting.

Cross-country skiers were added to the group in 1972. The USDSA successfully bid to host the 1975 Winter World Games for the Deaf at Lake Placid, New York, in 1975. In 1998, the group admitted snowboarders and changed its name to the United States Deaf Skiers and Snowboarders Association (USDSSA). It continues to be active in sanctioning and promoting deaf winter sports.

Simon J. Carmel, born deaf in 1938, attended Gallaudet University, receiving a BA in physics from Gallaudet and a MA and Ph.D. in cultural anthropology at American University. At Gallaudet, Dr. Carmel was a noted athlete in soccer and swimming, representing the United States in swimming at the World Games for the Deaf in 1961. In 1962, he became interested in skiing and trained as a member of the Washington Ski Patrol, as well as becoming a qualified ski instructor. In 1967, he singlehandedly organized, trained, and coached the first American team to participate in the World Winter Games for the Deaf. In 1971 he was team director, and in later years he continued to be involved in fundraising, organizing, and training for the World Winter Games. Besides skiing, he has many other interests, including stage magic, deaf folklore and humor, sign language, and Jewish and Russian deaf history, and led an oral history program to document the stories of deaf Holocaust survivors. He worked as a crystallographer at the National Bureau of Standards and has also been a professor on the NTID faculty.


Scope and Content

The bulk of these papers is Dr. Carmel's correspondence on skiing and ski-related events, both as an individual and an officer of the USDSA. Researchers seeking a more comprehensive look at the history of the USDSA should probably start with MSS 95. This collection also has extensive material on Dr. Carmel's work with hearing ski groups to gain mainstream recognition for deaf skiers.

Also included are some clippings and publications related to deaf skiing, as well as some material on the 1971 USA ski team for the World Winter Games for the Deaf.

Series Descriptions
Series 1. USDSA records, 1967-1978
A small collection of correspondence, clippings, and publications on skiing, both general and deaf-related. Includes some correspondence with deaf ski clubs around the country, as well as the results of a project to gather statistical information on deaf skiers.

Series 2. Individual correspondence, 1968-1976
Dr. Carmel's correspondence with individuals related to the USDSA's mission. The bulk is correspondence with Tom Hassard, who served as USDSA's competition director and chair of the United States deaf ski team during the period covered by these records. There is also some correspondence with Art Kruger of the AAAD and some correspondence with directors of ski resorts about arranging events at their sites.

Series 3. Event records, 1966-1976
Records of various deaf ski-related events, including training clinics, conventions, and competitions. Of particular interest is some material on the 1971 World Winter Games for the Deaf US ski team, including a set of post-Games questionnaires for skiers. Also includes some programs and other material from USDSA conventions.

Series 4. Mainstream ski organization records, 1967-1975
Boxes 4-5
Bulk is records from the United States Ski Association (USSA) and one of its affiliate groups, the United States Eastern Amateur Ski Association (USEASA). Dr. Carmel worked with both groups to gain recognition and accommodation for deaf skiers, such as mandating that ski patrollers carry a pencil and pad so they could communicate with the deaf. He chaired a Deaf Skiers Committee as part of both the USSA and the USEASA. Also includes some material from other hearing ski interest groups.

Series 5. Other winter sports records, 1968-1975
Box 6
Includes correspondence and clippings on deaf figure skaters, such as the Mariani and Sheehan families, as well as correspondence with Barry Strassler, who was then chair of the United States Deaf Hockey Committee.

Table
BoxFolderTitleYear(s)
1 1 Clippings and publications on skiing 1969-1974
1 2 Clippings and publications on skiing 1970-1976
1 3 Clippings on deaf skiing 1971-1974
1 4 Correspondence and catalogs on captioned ski movies for the deaf 1970-1974
1 5 Correspondence and clippings on deaf skiing 1970-1971
1 6 Correspondence and designs for USDSA patch 1971
1 7 Correspondence and ledgers on USDSA Christmas card sales 1971-1972
1 8 Correspondence and petitions for Amtrak "ski train" 1972
1 9 Correspondence on deaf ski clubs 1974-1978
1 10 Correspondence with USDSA board members 1974-1975
1 11 Expense reports 1972-1973
2 1 Reports and forms from Deaf Skier Statistics Project 1968-1969
2 2 Ski cartoons and graphics 1967-1975
2 3 Correspondence with Rosi Fortna 1971-1972
2 4 Correspondence with Bruce Gavett 1970-1971
2 5 Correspondence with Tom Hassard 1968-1975
2 6 Correspondence with Tom Hassard 1971-1972
2 7 Correspondence with Tom Hassard 1974
3 1 Correspondence with Tom Hassard 1974-1975
3 2 Correspondence with Tom Hassard 1974-1976
3 3 Correspondence with Jim Heuga 1970-1972
3 4 Correspondence with Art Kruger 1971-1974
3 5 Correspondence with Ni Orsi 1971
3 6 Correspondence with Don Padden on special project 1972
3 7 Correspondence with Jim Pederson and Lyle Olsen 1971-1976
3 8 Correspondence and clippings on deaf NASTAR races 1970-1972
3 9 Correspondence and fliers for competition program 1972
3 10 Correspondence and fliers for Eastern Deaf Ski Race Championships 1969-1970
4 1 Correspondence on deaf ski race clinic 1973
4 2 Correspondence on USDSA 1976 convention 1975-1976
4 3 Dom Bonura article on ski classes at Austine School 1973
4 4 Notes and correspondence for ski workshop in Detroit 1969-1973
4 5 Program from USDSA 3rd biennial convention 1972
4 6 Questionnaires for 1971 USA deaf ski team 1971
4 7 USA deaf ski team correspondence and clippings 1966-1972
4 8 Correspondence and bulletins for 1973 USSA convention 1973
4 9 Correspondence and forms from USEASA on identification of deaf skiers 1970-1972
4 10 Correspondence and minutes from USEASA President 1967-1970
4 11 Correspondence and minutes from USEASA workshops 1968-1970
4 12 Correspondence and newsletters from QASI (Qualified Amateur Ski Instructors) 1973-1974
4 13 Correspondence and reports from 50th Anniversary USEASA Convention 1972
5 1 Correspondence and reports from USEASA 1971 Convention 1971
5 2 Correspondence and reports on USEASA deaf ski representatives 1972
5 3 Correspondence on Eastern Ski Association convention 1974
5 4 Correspondence on ski workshop meeting at 1971 USEASA Convention 1970-1971
5 5 Information on USEASA competitions 1970
5 6 Panel report from USEASA Convention 1973
5 7 USEASA Deaf Skiers Committee correspondence and reports 1969-1973
5 8 USSA annual report 1975
5 9 USSA correspondence and minutes 1971-1972
5 10 USSA Deaf Skiers Committee correspondence and reports 1969-1975
5 11 USSA Deaf Skiers Committee correspondence and reports 1973-1974
5 12 USSA Deaf Skiers Committee correspondence and reports 1974-1975
6 1 Correspondence and clippings on figure skating 1968-1972
6 2 Correspondence and clippings on figure skating 1973-1975
6 3 Correspondence on ice hockey (Barry Strassler) 1972-1973
6 4 Correspondence on ice hockey (Barry Strassler) 1973