Forging Connections

Through an ever-growing variety of organizations-including state and national associations, alumni groups, literary clubs, churches, and conventions of all sorts-deaf people formed links in their own communities and across the nation. Gatherings were a chance to share news, discuss changes in schools, raise money, and organize future events.


The first deaf women's literary society at Gallaudet University, also known as "O.W.L.S." , later became Phi Kappa Zeta sorority. In this reunion photograph, four members in the front row fingerspell the word "owls" behind their mascot. Only members know the meaning of the group's original name.

Gallaudet University Archives




The National Fraternal Society of the Deaf made it possible for deaf people to get insurance. The society also organized events, such as these Long Island, New York socials.


Gallaudet University Archives


Churches for deaf people, like any church, offered the opportunity to worship together in an accessible language, join a community, and enjoy social events.


Gallaudet University Archives



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