Reply from Gally’s PR Executive – Murphy

Heye all – Catherine Murphy, Gallaudet’s Executive Director of Public and Media Relations responded to my inquiry. As per her specifications and permission I am republishing her reply in full here – the only change i have made is to remove the [at symbol] with (at) to reduce risk of spam etc.

My first inquiry to her is embedded in her reply and my response to her reply is at bottom.

Again and as usual folks – this space is not a place for bashing folks. I do see her reply favorably and that she formally knows that we are watching and caring.


Catherine Murphy
to patti durr cc president (at)
date Wed, Mar 16, 2011 at 2:42 PM
subject Re: Concerns re: ‘no particular reason’

Hello Ms. Durr,

Thank you for your inquiry. In response to your concern regarding whether I support American Sign Language, I am including links to press releases and stories primarily related to American Sign Language that have been vetted or promoted through my office since the time I took over as Gallaudet University’s Executive Director of Public and Media Relations on December 20, 2010.

In regard to your concern about Gallaudet’s story on campus dialogue, the topic of the feature was about embracing the diversity that exists on campus and the opening sentence was meant to highlight a few examples of that diversity. Gallaudet is known worldwide as the only liberal arts university entirely dedicated to deaf and hard of hearing students through a bilingual learning environment. As one of your readers suggests, there was no intent behind using a particular word order, i.e., “native signers” being listed before “new signers,” or any reason for not listing “hard of hearing” people at all. Thank you for bringing your concerns to my attention.

Please feel free to make this response public provided it is republished in its original format and in its entirety.

Catherine Murphy

On Sun, Mar 13, 2011 at 2:40 PM, patti durr wrote:

Greetings Ms. Murphy:

I hope you are well and enjoying your new post at Gallaudet University. There are many concerns about your having been selected for this post over Deaf candidates as many folks desire to have a Deaf spokeperson and also because of your past work at the AG Bell Association and on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alliance Task Force, where you actively advocated for the exclusion of American Sign Language & portrayed Deaf ASL people as being dependent.

In light of your professional history, it seems to me that it would be beneficial to have some type of commitment or evidence coming from your office that shows you support American Sign Language and that you have an understanding of what audism is and why it is to be challenged.

Until such a time as you make evident your complete understanding and commitment to Gallaudet’s bilingual-bicultural mission – our concerns will remain.


Patti Durr

Catherine Murphy
Executive Director of Public and Media Relations
Gallaudet University
800 Florida Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002
202-651-5019 voice
202-250-2738 video phone
808-938-7080 mobile/text
202-651-5704 fax
catherine.murphy (at)


from     patti durr <pattidurr (at)>
to Catherine Murphy <catherine.murphy (at)>
cc president (at)
date Wed, Mar 16, 2011 at 7:46 PM
subject Re: Concerns re: ‘no particular reason’

Greetings Ms. Murphy:

Thank you for your prompt reply. I truly appreciate all the links you sent me. I enjoyed reading the press releases and seeing your office promoting Gallaudet’s work in regards to American Sign Language. I also appreciate your confirmation that there was no ill-intent in listing Hearing before Deaf in the press release about the campus dialogue event.

My inquiry to you also asked about your understanding of audism and why it is to be challenged.  I do not see any comment in your reply in regards to that topic so perhaps a review of the film “Audism Unveiled” by Gallaudet professors Bahan, Bauman, & Montenegro would be of interest to you as well as the the National Association of the Deaf’s Community Values statement – “Diversity. We value deaf and hard of hearing Americans with diverse perspectives, experiences, and abilities. We are committed to the elimination of audism, linguicism, racism, and other forms of discrimination.”

Again, I appreciate your reply, the links and the advanced permission to republish your reply, which can be seen at:


Patti Durr


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Michael Bunjer
    Mar 19, 2011 @ 16:43:57

    Hello Patti,

    Catherine Murphy is not the problem, it’s the University itself! Bottom line, Gallaudet is not operated as a Deaf Centered run University! Way things are at Gallaudet is nothing less than a bad joke!


  2. handeyes
    Mar 19, 2011 @ 17:04:55

    Heye Bunjer –

    Did i say C Murphy was the problem???? Nope i said ‘girl, dang not cool listing Hearing first and audism is an important concept ur PR will want to be educating folks about’

    to which she said ‘Thank you for bringing your concerns to my attention.’ in terms of the “Hearing…” first but made no mention of the A-word (audism) and to which i replied ‘thanks and u might want to watch the film that was produced by three GALLAUDET professors called Audism Unveiled and also familiarize urself with NAD’s position re: audism’

    now back to ur rant about Gally SUCKS

    i disagree and will disagree to the bitter end with u on that. Gallaudet is NOT a joke and it is operated on a Deaf Centre. Perhaps not as strong as u would like but it is pretty good.

    The danger is – that it is at a threshold where some folks are pushing it to be even LESS Deaf centred and more Hearing centred

    that is the dilemma being faced Bunjer. u wanna preach the gospel of tossing it all out and creating something brand new – i say – START CREATING and stop tossing stones or do like many good folks r doing and are called to do – steer Gally in the direction of being Deaf centred yet open and welcoming – something it has done by and large BRILLIANTLY. (dont listen or worry about the few bad apples that rant and rage about the injustices of a strong ASL Deaf centred environment – they have their own agenda and no credibility soo….)

    u may go ur way to create things as u see fit or u can join in trying to steer things in the right direction with love, hope and faith and TRUTHS!

    but just saying all is crap when some things are not is a crap shot, me pal.



  3. Michael Bunjer
    Jun 23, 2011 @ 07:49:43

    Hello Patti.. Its June 23rd, 2011.. and yet?

    It’s still very wrong for oppressors at Gallaudet to handpick such an Audist like Catherine Murphy, and the Core Deaf Community shall not let this slide. Gallaudet is our Deaf Space, and deaf and hearing folks must respect it at all costs otherwise be paying big for it! Oppression should not be tolerated but unfortunately it is as far as today. It sucks at Gallaudet not to run Deaf Center there no matter what anyone says differently! I don’t care if anyone is accused of not doing anything about it, and it is still dead wrong! I have hope that all that will change, tide will be in our favor eventually one way or the other. Ye have faith even while Deaf are being put down! Eventually in time Deaf people will be hell bent for Deaf Center to be where Home Sweet Home is.. At Gallaudet!

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