Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Peter Jennings' Connections with the Deaf Community

From DeafDigest Blue, 8/21/05 Edition....


The Peter Jennings connection to deafness? He was the commencement speaker at a recent years Gallaudet graduation day ceremonies. And at NTID, he also gave a speech. Here is what NTID FOCUS, Fall 1986, had to say:

During Peter Jennings' first visit to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology in 1984, he was presented with several mementos from the university including a glass bowl made by a student in RIT's School for American Crafts. Upon receiving the bowl Jennings joked, "It's always something breakable." He immediately followed by saying, "But I assure you that the link between ABC and the hearing impaired is not breakable." Later that same evening and in honor of his visit to NTID earlier in the day, Peter Jennings signed "Good night" at the conclusion of his TV broadcast.

When he returned to RIT in 1986, Peter Jennings arrived to a standing ovation in NTID's packed theater. Jennings returned the compliment by telling them that he felt as if he were "coming back to family." During his second visit Jennings claimed that of all the places he gives speeches NTID is "the only one in which I look forward to making a speech." At the time Jennings was so fond of NTID he brought
someone along with him to meet the students - his mother Elizabeth Jennings.

Peter Jennings will forever be a 'folk hero' among people who are deaf and hard of hearing, since his world and national news program on television was the first ever to be captioned. For a number of years it was the only captioned news available on television on a regular basis.

Said one NTID student to Peter Jennings, "We want to make sure yourealize how much we appreciate the opportunity to know what is happening at the same time as everybody else."