Gallaudet University is a university for students who are deaf and hard of hearing in Washington, D.C. It offers undergraduate degree programs as well as master’s and doctorate degree programs.
In 1857, Congress passed H.R. 806, which established the charter for the Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind. The charter also allowed for funding tuition for indigent deaf, dumb, or blind children belonging to the District of Columbia. (This institution is now known as the Laurent H. Clerc National Education Center, which runs two schools: Kendall Demonstration Elementary School and Model Secondary School for the Deaf.)
In 1864, Congress amended the charter, allowing the institution to grant and confirm college degrees. The program providing higher education became known as the National Deaf-Mute College. By 1894, the name became Gallaudet College, in honor of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, and in 1954, Congress amended the charter to reflect the name as such. In 1986, Gallaudet College became Gallaudet University, per a charter amendment.
Language and Policy
Gallaudet University has traditionally focused on two languages in its education: English and American Sign Language. Today the university posits itself as a bilingual institution, although this is subject to debate, since it is generally encouraged that the primary language for communication on campus be ASL.
Cued Speech at Gallaudet
Dr. Orin Cornett, the person who developed Cued Speech, did so at Gallaudet. As a result of his research, the college opened the Cued Speech Office. The Clerc Center also hosted a week-long Cued Speech family camp through 1991.
A number of cuers have attended Gallaudet as undergraduate and/or graduate students. Several of the faculty members are cuers or teach about Cued Speech.In general, however, the institution as a whole tends to not be very receptive of Cued Speech.