UNCA hosts talk by Gallaudet University President

Press release

from UNC Asheville News Services

I. King Jordan, who made history when he was appointed as the first deaf president of Gallaudet University, will deliver a talk, “The Deaf Community at a Crossroads” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, in UNC Asheville’s Highsmith University Union. Jordan will also speak to smaller groups of students during his visit to UNC Asheville as part of the university’s first Disability Awareness Week.

UNC Asheville Provost Jane Fernandes will introduce Jordan, who, she notes, “is a role model who inspires young people to achieve to their fullest potential. Indeed,” says Fernandes, “he coined the phrase, ‘Deaf people can do anything, except hear.’”

It took continual protests by students at Gallaudet, the world’s only university for students who are deaf, hard-of-hearing and deaf-blind, to force the appointment of a deaf university president. Jordan served at Gallaudet from 1988 until 2006. Since leaving Gallaudet, Jordan has continued to challenge American society to examine attitudes toward people with disabilities and to open minds, hearts and workplaces to them.

Jordan holds a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Tennessee, as well as 12 honorary degrees. He was appointed by President George Bush and reappointed by President Clinton to be vice chair of the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. In 2010, President Obama appointed Jordan to the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars.

This event is sponsored by the UNC Asheville Office of the Provost, Cultural Events & Special Academic Programs, Disability Services & Learning Support and the Center for Diversity Education. Jordan’s talk is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit cesap.unca.edu or call 828/251-6674.


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