Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in ASL

Lincoln’s most famous speech, the Gettysburg Address, is approaching its 150th birthday on Tuesday. At a mere 272 words, it is a testimony to the power of brevity, but also to the unpredictable permanence of some texts and not others. In a time of social media and news tickers, the thought of celebrating an actual public speech is extraordinary and appropriate. Yet for many Deaf folks, for whom English is a second language, obtaining these historic texts in a ASL can be difficult. The same is true for interpreters who often have to translate these important texts on the fly, and don’t get to see ASL examples ahead of time. That why when I found the video below of Chad, an AP history student, signing the Address, I was elated. Please check it out below.

An important footnote about Lincoln. He signed a bill recognizing Gallaudet University as a full-fledged university.


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