George W. Veditz
(1861 - 1937)

First Deaf Filmmaker

"As long as we have deaf people on earth, we will have signs.. .the noblest gift God has given to deaf people." George W. Veditz, 1913

Last Update: March 27, 2013
American teacher elected president of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) in 1904 and again in 1907. During his time as President, sign language was being threatened by oralist proposals. Veditz therefore dedicated NAD to financing cinematic recordings of speeches in sign language. The project began in 1910 and the resulting 1913 film, The Preservation of Sign Language, became the first registry done of sign languages in the world and has since been selected for inclusion in the National Film Registry. In the film, Veditz provides an enthusiastic defense of sign language. He lost his hearing at age 8.

References + Suggested Readings

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