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American Annals of the Deaf

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Illusions of Equality: Deaf Americans in School and Factory 1850-1950

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Chapter 6. ‘‘Conspiracy of Silence’’ Contesting Exclusion and Oral Hegemony

1. The national deaf population was 57,804, as noted in the 1930 census. Of this group, 15,881 individuals were between the ages of five (an early age for admission to most schools) and nineteen. I derived the estimate of 40,000 adults by subtracting the number of student-age individuals from the overall group. See The Blind and Deaf-Mutes in the United States, 1930 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1931), 16 (Table 6).

2. For representative discussions, see ‘‘Training for Girls in This Machine Age,’’ Vocational Teachers (September 1930): 1; Odie Underhill, ‘‘Here and There,’’ The Frat (November 1933): 4; Norman G. Scarvie, ‘‘Practical Training For Underprivileged Pupils,’’ Twenty-ninth CAID, 136–37.

3. Regarding the percentage of deaf teachers in 1935, see Leonard Elstad, ‘‘Normal Training of Deaf Teachers,’’ Report of the Proceedings of the Convention of American Instructors of the Deaf (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1935), 194–97. Regarding the status of deaf teachers, see Norman G. Scarvie, ‘‘Practical Training For Underprivileged Pupils,’’ Twenty-ninth CAID, 136–37; ‘‘This Vocational Business,’’ Vocational Teachers (June 1931): 17 (reprint, Pennsylvania Society News).

4. J. Schuyler Long, ‘‘How Can We Further Advance the Education of the Deaf by Consultation with Our Graduates?’’ in ‘‘Proceedings of the Fifteenth Conference of Superintendents and Principals of American Schools for the Deaf,’’ Annals 76 (January 1931): 136. 164

5. On the Connecticut school, J. Pierre Rakow, ‘‘Typewriters Mechanics,’’ American Era March 1938): 61–62, 72; ‘‘Deaf Workers Make Good,’’ American Era (May-June, 39): 90–91; ‘‘Mr. Boatner’s Address,’’ American Era (November 1939): 14–15; Edmund Boatner, ‘‘Placement-An Increasingly Important Function of the School,’’ American Era (March 1940): 61–62; Editorial, ‘‘Placement Record,’’ American Era (May-June 1940): 90; Edmund Boatner, ‘‘Address,’’ American Era (October 1940): 1.

6. At the 1930 NAD convention, Troy Hill argued that a college open to all students, whatever their skills in written English, would substantially advance the position of deaf workers. See Troy E. Hill, ‘‘The NAD and the Future of the Deaf in America,’’ Proceedings of the Sixteenth Triennial Convention of the NAD and Fourth World Congress of the Deaf (New York: Fanwood Press, 1930), 52. Applicants to Gallaudet College had to pass a demanding written examination.

7. For proposals from Roy Conkling, the editor and publisher of the independent American Deaf Citizen, and from Harvey Barnes, a vocational instructor at Illinois’s residential school, see ‘‘Advanced Vocational Training at Gallaudet,’’ American Deaf Citizen (7 May 1932): 2; Barnes, Proposal to Establish an Opportunity School.

8. Editorial, ‘‘What the Deaf Need, A Moses,’’ Companion (26 November 1936): 6–7; Editorial, ‘‘What Shall the Solution Be?’’ Companion (29 April 1937): 6–7.

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