John McCain was a chair of the Gallaudet University board of trustees
John McCain is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republician candidate in the 2000 and 2008 U.S. Presidential Election. He used to be a chair of the Gallaudet University board of trustees.
In November 2006 McCain stepped down from the board because he disagreed with the decision to end the appointment of incoming Gallaudet President Jane K Fernandes. He was unhappy with Gallaudet protests. He felt that decision to terminate her appointment was unfair and not in the best interests of Gallaudet University.
Jane K Fernandes was an unpopluar provost. They say that she does not appreciate the primacy of American Sign Language at Gallaudet and in deaf culture and that she lacks leadership qualities. One Gallaudet student said that Dr. Fernandes did not say hello when she ran into students on campus.
“I cannot in good conscience continue to serve the board after its decision to terminate her appointment, which I believe was unfair and not in the best interests of the University,” McCain wrote to outgoing President I. King Jordan.
McCain did not give much explainations why he resigned as a chair of the board of trustees. If he did, maybe he would get more votes and supports from the Deaf Americans. Many Deaf Gallaudet students feels that John McCain was not loyal to Gallaudet for some reasons. He rarely attended to the meetings. They feel that McCain did not care about what was going on at Gallaudet when there were some issues. He made a choice by not having the opportunity to hear the issues surrounding the protest.
Did he really care about the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Americans? Many people did not know that John McCain was a strong advocate of telecommunication legislation benefitting Deaf and Hard of Hearing people. He introduced the Telecommunications Accessibility Enhancement Act of 1988 and also he was a chief co-sponsor of the T.V. Decoder Circuitry Act of 1990. The federal law requires most new T.V. sets to have built-in decorder circuitry capable of receiving closed captioned programming. McCain was also a chief co-sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
John McCain failed to capture enough votes to win to be U.S. President. The next U.S. President will be Barack Obama.
Good news is that Obama knows basic American Sign Language.
CORRECTION: John McCain was a Gallaudet University’s board of trustees not as a chair. Brenda Jo Brueggemann was Board Chair. Good news is that Obama knows a couple American Sign Language signs.