Deaf NYC

ID: 2951
School: Research Center/Lab
Program: Schuchman Deaf Documentary Center (SDDC)
Status: Ongoing
Start date: October 2015
End Date: September 2021


A critical mass of Deaf people in urban settings forms a unique cultural linguistic environment. For example, hundreds of Deaf people, mostly Jewish and Italian first-generation Americans, lived within a one-mile radius of the Gravesend section of Brooklyn, N.Y., in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. A designated bus to transport children to the nearest school for deaf students in Manhattan served the community. Deaf people lived in concentrated areas that were affordable, close to jobs, and offered an interwoven community. Very little documentation has been conducted on urban deaf life, with minimal "oral history" interviews on the mid-20th century city experience. Over 80 people have been identified as potential interviewees, and the SDDC has formed a team of advisors to guide research. Comparison and contrast with hearing communities is part of this humanities research that examines the way groups wrestle with linguistic, educational, and employment challenges.

Principal investigators

Additional investigators

Priorities addressed

Funding sources

Approved Products


DiGiovanni, Brianna (moderator); Aguilo, Roxanna; Aponte-Salcedo, Jr. Carlos; Creamer, Patrice; Fanshteyn, Marina; and Pucciarelli-Miller, Alexandria (2020, May 12). Deaf NYC: Apart + Connected. Virtual panel. Schuchman Center, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC.