A world free of audism


Humanizing Deaf people's experience by reframing deafness


Core Values:






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Deafhood Foundation promotes a concept of Deafhood as a journey that a Deaf person undertakes to discover his, her or their identity and purpose in life. This can be an empowering process for a Deaf person, among other people, to re-affirm Deaf people’s role and place in society, history, and the world. Deafhood focuses on a reframing of the historical, cultural and linguistic reality of Deaf people in the world from one that is minimizing, oppressive or damaging.  We work to convey how Deafhood can free the world of audism and re-create a society where Deaf people experiences full humanity and Deaf values and sign language are celebrated. 


The idea of Deafhood Foundation was sparked in 2007 when a group of concerned Deaf activists met in the San Francisco Bay Area and took the time to examine and re-frame the political, economic and ideological powers surrounding the Deaf communities, after being inspired by a book first published in Bristol, England: “Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood” by Dr. Paddy Ladd (2003).  The group of passionate individuals, filled with expertise in economics, social justice, organizational development, Deaf culture and American Sign Language, came together through weekend retreats to expand on principles and dreams of a better world for Deaf people.  As a result, Deafhood Foundation as an incorporated organization with clear mission and goals was formed in 2009.

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The first gathering to create the Foundation at Asilomar Conference Center, Pacific Grove, California in February 2007. Front: (l to r): Judy Gough and Ella Mae Lentz. Middle row (l to r): Colin Piotrowski, Danny Lacey, Marvin Miller, Kathy Say, Clark Brooke, Joey Baer. Back Row (l to r): Kevin Clark, Don Grushkin, Nancy Mitchell, David Eberwein, Butch Zein.

Dr. Donald Grushin delves into the meaning of Deafhood, how it provides a psychological framework on society's view of Deaf people throughout history, and how we can reframe this view.  


Since its inception, and through the generous support of donations, Deafhood Foundation, on a national level, is making waves by:

  •  giving out grants ranging from $2,500 to $5,000,

  •  providing Deafhood 101 & 201 classes for Deaf people,

  •  organizing Allies in Deafhood presentations,

  •  producing The Deafhood Monologues shows,

  •  hosting Deafhood Banquets,

  •  premiering a Deafhood Film Festival,

  •  starting an ASL translations of Dr. Paddy Ladd’s book, and

  •  introducing the idea of Deaf Economic Justice Indicator.