May 26, 2016
Today, we join the world in celebrating the achievements of our brilliant, beautiful, and articulate alumnus, Nyle DiMarco, '13. Nyle and his professional partner, Peta Murgatroyd, won the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy on Tuesday, May 24, 2016, in the season finale of ABC's Dancing With the Stars. For Nyle, this was his second win on a reality television show in just under six months, as he also won America's Next Top Model last December. This feat is unprecedented in reality television history.
Nyle has been a tireless advocate and spokesperson for Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids (LEAD-K), and an outstanding ambassador for Gallaudet University and for the Deaf community at large. He is living testimony to what we already know, and what I stated in my April 2016 vlog, "Offering a deaf child both ASL and English, spoken and written, is the greatest gift anyone can give to that child, to the child's family, and to our world."
We applaud Nyle's accomplishments, and we are confident that he will continue his work to ensure that every deaf child has full access to language and culture, through his own unique brand of advocacy and his Nyle DiMarco Foundation. He cannot do it alone, though. We as a community have an obligation to educate the public about language acquisition in all children, particularly deaf and hard of hearing children, using proven, peer-reviewed and published scientific research and data. Our Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning, and our Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, have published extensively in this area.
We at Gallaudet are proud of his leadership and vision which we share with him. We stand ready to work with Nyle and many others to connect with the broad community to share our discoveries to influence how we can make this a better world for all children.