Washington Post Deaf Printers
From 1970-2000 more than 125 Deaf people found employment at The Washington Post. The composing room and advertising departments of the newspaper became spaces where Deaf and hearing printers interacted daily, creating a uniquely accessible work environment.
In 2019, eighteen Deaf retirees from The Washington Post came to Gallaudet University to envision how their story might look in an online exhibition. The last of many generations of Deaf people who learned printing in school, the group wanted to record and share their history. Deaf Printers Pages is an expression of that goal.
This exhibit combines images, objects, and interviews, with historical narrative to explore and discuss the experiences of Deaf printers at The Washington Post. These stories are both unique and ubiquitous. They represent the experiences of Deaf workers at newspaper print shops across the country, reflecting their stories of employment struggles and negotiations, and of the technological changes which displaced skilled blue-collar workers. These stories are exceptional, highly specific to the social context of Washington DC and The Washington Post, reflecting a predominantly Deaf-school-educated, white, male experience.