GEORGE VEDITZ, 1861-1937
Every American school child is taught who George Washington was â€“ what if every Deaf child grew up knowing who George Veditz was?
â€¢ Son of German immigrants
â€¢ Bilingual in German and English
â€¢ Deaf at age 9 from Scarlet Fever.
â€¢ Attended Maryland School for the Deaf and learned American Sign Language (ASL).
â€¢ Passed entrance exam for Gallaudet College at 17.
â€¢ Valedictorian for Gallaudet College Class of 1884.
â€¢ Accepted to John Hopkins University but began teaching instead
â€¢ Taught at Maryland School for the Deaf and Colorado School for the Deaf
â€¢ Editor of MD and CO School Newspapers
â€¢ Chess Champion and Raised Pigeons
o Maryland School for the Deaf Alumni 1892
o Gallaudet Alumni Association of the Deaf 1889
o Colorado State Association of the Deaf 1904
o Maryland School for the Deaf Alumni Association
o Colorado State Association of the Deaf
o National Association of the Deaf 1904-1910
â€¢ NAD Motion Picture Project
After collecting $5,000 the National Association of the Deaf from 1910 â€“ 1920 filmed several Deaf and Hearing individuals using ASL. Rhetorical speeches, sermons, short performances, etc were included.
This project was coordinated largely by Roy Stewart at Veditzâ€™s urging. Veditz had typed out a transcript of his â€œPreservation of Sign Languageâ€ ASL speech based on his memory of what he had signed.
Quotes of Veditz:
“Wherever the deaf have received an education the method by which it is imparted is the burning question of the day with them, for the deaf are what their schooling make them more than any other class of humans. They are facing not a theory but a condition, for they are first, last, and all the time the people of the eye.” – 1910
Proceedings of the Ninth Convention of the National Association of the Deaf and the Third World’s Congress of the Deaf, 1910 (Los Angeles, CA: Philocophus Press, 1912, p. 30 – response to AG Bell’s letter declining to endorse the NAD’s resolution for ASL and English in Deaf schools.
“We possess and jealously guard a language different and apart from any other in common use – a language which nevertheless is precisely what all-wise Mother Nature designed for the people of the eye, a language with no fixed form or literature in the past, but which we are now striving to fix and give a distinct literature of its own by means of the moving picture film.” – 1910
Proceedings of the Ninth Convention of the National Association of the Deaf and the Third World’s Congress of the Deaf, 1910 (Los Angeles, CA: Philocophus Press, 1912, p.22 – The President’s Message)
“I hope that you will cherish and defend our beautiful sign language as the noblest gift that God has given to us.â€ – 1913 Veditzâ€™s own text transcription from his Preservation of Sign Language speech
Veditz refered to AG Bell as “the High Priest of the Oral Method in this country.”