A well qualified candidate was passed over in the search for a new Superintendent of the Indiana Deaf School for reasons that are hard to fathom.
A graduate of ISD, David Geeslin has fulfilled various positions within the school over the past decade while pursuing advanced academic studies. I met David in 1991, the year before I left ISD to further my own education. He was an enthusiastic new member of the faculty and the bilingual-bicultural committee – a mixed group of Deaf and non-deaf teachers, administrators, and support staff who had worked through the often difficult and troubling historical issues of prejudice, discrimination, and distrust that unfortunately are endemic in many residential schools for the deaf.
I have always been grateful for my initiation into the Deaf community among such a wonderful group of committed people who were guided by an amazingly strong vision: to transform Deaf education from its centuries-old legacy of suppression (of sign language and therefore of deaf culture) to a contemporary model of linguistic equality and genuinely egalitarian relations among deaf and non-deaf peers. My life over the past decade has been shaped, in many ways, by the powerful and positive impact of participating in this group: it was proof that social justice is not only possible, but actually practical.
David, in my experience, has always been practical. I see that he will present a workshop on legislation this fall at the Indiana State Sign Language Interpreter`s conference. Obviously, he is aware of the need to work with institutional mechanisms to generate change. David