George W. Veditz

Leader and advocate

Son of German-speaking immigrant parents, George Veditz was born in Baltimore. Deafened at age 9, he was an alumnus of Maryland School for the Deaf in Frederick, and the top student at Gallaudet College. He taught at the Maryland and Colorado schools for the deaf, and founded their alumni associations and the Colorado Association of the Deaf. Twice elected NAD president, he is still remembered for his advocacy of Deaf rights, his staunch opposition to oralism, which was at the peak of its power, and his eloquent defense of sign language as “the noblest gift God has given to deaf people.” He spearheaded a project to record sign language on film, providing a precious legacy of early-20th-century ASL in action.

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