New NAD Publication – World Federation of the Deaf: A History

WFD Front cover full s_opt

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is pleased to announce publication of World Federation of the Deaf: A History by noted author, Jack R. Gannon. World Federation of the Deaf: A History will debut at the XVI World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf in Durban, South Africa, July 18-24, 2011.

The World Federation of the Deaf: A History is a large, colorful and beautifully designed book chronicling the world Deaf community and the national organizations of the Deaf around the globe. This far-reaching history highlights the achievements of Deaf people worldwide and also focuses on the advocacy efforts of member non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to improve human rights and the quality of life of Deaf citizens in their respective countries.

This publication is an excellent educational and informational tool for use by national government officials, schools and individuals, that includes national organization background and current advocacy activities of the 127 affiliate member organizations of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and more than 158 biographies of world leaders since the organization was established in Rome, Italy in 1951.

The World Federation of the Deaf: A History includes summaries of 13 World Congresses of the World Federation of the Deaf. There are two special sections in the book, a four-color section depicting “deaf national” postal stamps from various countries around the world and a “deaf international” section that will briefly describe other international organizations of the deaf and their activities.

Numerous photographs and other visuals are displayed throughout the book that enhance descriptions of the historical accomplishments and efforts of Deaf people who have worked together to improve the life of all Deaf people worldwide in nations throughout the world.

“The Gannon’s service and commitment to global Deaf community is immeasurable and priceless. This is a tremendous achievement. We couldn’t thank them enough for their yeoman’s work. We look forward to having this book change the world’s perception of our community as an enlightened group of people who ask that our civil, human, and linguistic rights are respected,” said NAD President Bobbie Beth Scoggins. “We would like to thank everyone who was instrumental to bringing about the publication of this book, the WFD, Ordinary Members from all over the world, Gallaudet University, Gerald “Bummy” Burstein, the Laurent Clerc Cultural Fund (LCCF), and countless volunteers who pushed along this milestone.”

Writing this book has been a labor of love for author Jack R. Gannon. The idea was conceived in 1992 and became one of the most challenging and difficult projects ever undertaken by this experienced and well-known figure in the Deaf community. Gannon, a retired teacher and Gallaudet University administrator, is the author of two other books, Deaf Heritage, A Narrative History of Deaf America (also published by the NAD) and The Week the World Heard Gallaudet. He is the curator of “History Through Deaf Eyes”, a national exhibition about the American Deaf community, which was developed at Gallaudet University and toured the United States and co-author of Through Deaf Eyes: A Photographic History of an American Community.

“My hope is that this book will become an important resource for Deaf people everywhere to better understand the remarkable efforts of our leaders who founded and sustained the WFD and our national organizations of the Deaf. At the same time this book can serve to enlighten those who are not deaf and share our struggle for human rights and the celebration of human difference,” said Jack Gannon.

The NAD and WFD believe that the Deaf community, their families and the professionals who work with them will learn more about the history of national Deaf associations worldwide and the importance of collaborative efforts among national and world organizations. This publication will also be an invaluable reference for students and other academics studying or researching the global Deaf community, and international policy and human rights issues.

Copies of this first-ever history of the world Deaf community will be available for sale through the National Association of the Deaf (USA).

To purchase a copy of this book, please go to and download the PDF order form. FAX the form to 301-587-1791 or mail it to:

WFD Book
National Association of the Deaf
8630 Fenton Street, Suite 820
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3819

About World Federation of the Deaf (WFD)
The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), established in Rome, Italy, in 1951, is an international, non-governmental central organization of national associations of Deaf people, with a current membership of associations in 130 countries worldwide. Associate members, international members and individual members also make up the WFD membership base.

The philosophy of the WFD is one of equality, human rights and respect for all people, regardless of race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual preference, age and all other differences. WFD supports and promotes in its work the many United Nations conventions on human rights, with a focus on Deaf people who use Sign Language, and their friends and family. WFD works with the aim of solidarity and unity to make the world a better place.

WFD has consultative status in the United Nations (UN) system, including the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); the International Labor Organization (ILO); and the World Health Organization (WHO). WFD also co-operates closely with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and has representatives on the Panel of Experts on the UN Standard Rules for the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. WFD is a member of the International Disability Alliance (IDA).

About the NAD
The NAD was established in 1880 by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level. These beliefs remain true to this day, with American Sign Language as a core value. As a nonprofit federation, the mission of the NAD is to preserve, protect, and promote the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America.

The advocacy scope of the NAD is broad, covering a lifetime and impacting future generations in the areas of early intervention, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, and more – improving the lives of millions of deaf and hard of hearing Americans. The NAD also carries out its federal advocacy work through coalition efforts with specialized national deaf and hard of hearing organizations, as well as coalitions representing national cross-disability organizations.

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) represents the United States of America as the non-governmental organization affiliate to the World Federation of the Deaf.