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Project Origins

From the outset, the Deaf Printers Pages has been participant-driven. An advisory team of retired Deaf printers initiated the project with the Schuchman Deaf Documentary Center in 2019. That year the Center hosted a reunion of retired Washington Post printers at Gallaudet University. Eighteen Deaf printers shared stories and developed a plan for an online exhibit.

A group of retired Washington Post Printers standing and sitting for a photograph. The group includes men and women and is white-presenting. Each person holds up a handshape in ASL, spelling out "Washington Post" and the sign "print".

Since that time an advisory team of retired printers has gathered and selected photographs, videos, objects, and other source materials which represent the history of Deaf Washington Post employees. This team has aided in the collection of narrative histories, identifying subjects across the United States and consenting to their own interviews. Major decisions on exhibit design and content have been guided by the advisory team.

Advisory Team:

  • Janie Golightly
  • Mike Golightly
  • Jan DeLap
  • Penny Herbold
  • David Herbold
  • Dick Moore

Project Team:

  • Dr. Brian Greenwald, Center Director
  • Dr. Jannelle Legg, Project Manager
  • Jean Bergey, Center Associate Director
  • Zilvinas Paludnevicius, Cinematographer
  • Aleah Nishizaki, research
  • Christy Pe, transcriptions
  • Tyrone Curry, transcriptions
  • Savannah Lynch, transcriptions
  • Summer Dykstra, transcriptions
  • Brenna Smith, graduate assistant

Major support for the exhibition came from The Washington Post Corporation, and Donald Graham & Amanda Bennett. Additional support provided by Sorenson Communications, Inc. and the following individuals:

  • Thomas H. Bull
  • Donna F. Drake
  • Race R. & Jean  Drake
  • Jane B. & Michael D. Golightly
  • Brian H. & Rebecca W. Greenwald
  • David S.  & Penny C. Herbold
  • Kenneth Mikos
  • Ronald & Melvia Nomeland
  • Danny & Stephanie R. Owens
  • Alice Slingerland
  • Rachel E. Stone & Ray P. Harris

Curatorial Statement:

In this video project manager Jannelle Legg describes the historical contexts which shaped the nature of the project and the inclusion or exclusion of perspectives in the exhibit on Deaf printers at The Washington Post. Time: 1:23. Click to enable captions. Transcription below and here

Deaf printers were employed at The Washington Post throughout the 20th century. Across this period, the dynamics of this workplace changed considerably as a result of broader social, political, economic, and technological trends. The composition of the workforce at the Washington Post reflected these historical contexts. Deaf women and people of color experienced barriers to entering the workforce at the Washington Post which white Deaf men did not. Social norms and educational practices regarding gender and race often precluded Deaf women and Black Deaf people from the training necessary for union membership and employment at a newspaper. Similarly, they may not have the same access to the social networks which Deaf printers utilized to locate friendly print shops and ease their entrance to the International Typographical Union. The absence of Deaf women and people of color is reflected throughout this project. Where possible we have attempted to recover insights on these experiences, but we acknowledge the exclusivity of the stories presented in the Deaf Printers Pages.

A note on project accessibility:

In this video graduate assistant Brenna Smith describes the project accessibility standards. Time: 1:00. Click to enable captions. Transcription below and here.

This website aims to meet W3C web design standards. The project is built using the Omeka platform and Thanks Roy theme, which incorporate ARIA landmarks, skippable navigation menu, and semantic HTML5 markup for greater accessibility when navigating the site without a mouse or with a screenreader. We have undertaken to include metadata for visual content. Both images and videos include textual descriptions. Videos are captioned in English, available within the HTML5 video player. Separate transcripts are available with video descriptions.

A note on project transcriptions:

In this video graduate research assistant Savannah Lynch describes the process of transcription. Time: 59 seconds. Click to enable captions. Transcription below and here

American Sign Language (ASL) and English are distinct languages which are delivered in different modalities. ASL is expressed in a visual-kinesthetic form, while English is expressed in both spoken and written forms. In order to make the Deaf Printers Pages meaningful to a broad community of language-users, this project uses English transcriptions to visually represent narrative content. These transcriptions are translations prepared by graduate research assistants at Gallaudet University. In the development of transcriptions, graduate research assistants worked collaboratively to write and revise translations from pre-recorded videos. These documents were reviewed by our advisory team for both accuracy and clarity before use in the project.