A short time ago, we had a patron at the Mesa Regional Family History Center who was deaf. I had the opportunity to work with him in doing research for quite a while. We communicated by writing our questions and answers on slips of paper. I am afraid I don't write very quickly, and tried to convince him to use the computer, so I could write more quickly, but I did not seem to get that concept across to him very well. Then in response to my last post about attending genealogical conferences, I got a very interesting comment from another member of the deaf community.
That got me thinking about resources for doing genealogical research available to those who are deaf or otherwise disabled. I did find several genealogical organizations for the deaf:
Utah Deaf Genealogical Association, This appears to be a blog by W. David Samuelsen.
Alldeaf, deaf genealogy group. It doesn't look like they have too many members but this is a rather large forum.
DeafBiographies.com. This is a website devoted to biographical information about Deaf Americans through the early 20th century. This site contains a database of information which researchers -- genealogists and historians -- can use to find a more complete picture of this oft-overlooked population.
There was apparently a Family History Workshop and Conference for the Deaf back in June of 2006.
Actually, looks like pretty slim pickings. I would be interested to hear from any readers who are disabled either deaf or otherwise. If I do get some feedback, I will pass it on. Some of the topics that would be helpful:
How does your disability affect your ability to find your ancestors?
How are you treated by the members of the genealogical community?
What do you see as your greatest challenges?
What changes in the way genealogists do their work would help you?
Thanks in advance for any comments.