Lyndon B. Johnson
Signer of the NTID Act
Growing up in rural Texas, Lyndon Baines Johnson experienced poverty firsthand, and his early stint as a teacher made him determined to improve educational opportunities for the poor. One important piece of “Great Society” legislation signed by Johnson was the Civil Rights Act of 1964. On June 8, 1965, he signed Public Law 89-36, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf Act, providing for the establishment and operation of a co-educational postsecondary institute focusing on technical education for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Rochester Institute of Technology won the hosting bid. A pioneering group of 70 students arrived in Fall 1968, and in 1971, the first graduating class of 54 celebrated. This was the perhaps the most notable of Johnson’s achievements as they affected the Deaf community.