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Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Names Suite Office, Conference Room After Distinguished Deaf Individuals

Dr. Gertrude Galloway, Dr. Ernest Hairston Honored for Significant Contributions to Deaf Community

ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing honored two distinguished Deaf individuals today during National Deaf Awareness Month, by naming facilities in their honor during a ceremony held today in Crownsville, MD. The Dr. Gertrude Galloway Conference Room and the Dr. Ernest Hairston Suite Office will now be the meeting rooms to host those visiting the Governor’s Office.

Prominent guests included Dr. Galloway’s daughter, who flew in from Texas, and Dr. Hairston with his family. The event also hosted community representatives from various Deaf and hard of hearing advocacy organizations, including the National Association of the Deaf, National Black Deaf Advocates, Maryland School for the Deaf and the Maryland Advisory Council on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

“We are proud to be honor community members who have created such significant positive change for the Deaf and hard of hearing community,” said Director Kelby Brick of the Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. “Every single day as we enter the suite office and meet in the conference room, we will always be inspired to continue their advocacy for accessibility and equity.”


Dr. Gertrude Galloway was a civil rights advocate, educator, pioneer, and change agent for the Deaf community. Paving pathways for many Deaf women to hold leadership positions, Dr. Galloway became the first female president of the National Association of the Deaf in 1980, the first Deaf superintendent of the Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf in 1991, and the first female president of the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf in 1996. “You need to be tough to make it out there,” Dr. Galloway said. Her career as an educator and administrator at the Maryland School for the Deaf contributed to improving education for Deaf children. Her community activism extended to serving as vice president and president of the Maryland Association of the Deaf. Dr. Galloway passed away in 2014.


Dr. Ernest Hairston is a leader, author, advocate, and mentor for the Deaf community. He was a founding member of the National Black Deaf Advocates. Prior to becoming the first Black Deaf Ph.D. recipient in Special Education Administration from Gallaudet University in 1994, he dedicated his career as the first Black Deaf teacher at the North Carolina School for the Deaf. Dr. Hairston contributed to numerous publications and co-authored “Black and Deaf in America: Are We That Different?” As an educator within the federal government for four decades, Dr. Hairston proclaimed “education is the key to success.” He served on multiple boards, including Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Government and Maryland School for the Deaf. Dr. Hairston mentored Black Deaf youths and co-founded the High Bridge Foundation, Inc. in 2012 to support young people from underserved populations.

More information about the honorary room naming ceremony and each individual can be found at Videos of the ceremony are shown on our instagram story highlights.


About the Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
The Governor’s Office of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing serves as a coordinating office that advises the governor on issues related to the Deaf and hard of hearing population. The office advocates for and promotes the general welfare of Deaf and hard of hearing individuals in Maryland by addressing policy gaps, providing expertise related to Deaf and hard of hearing issues, and facilitating access to resources and services. Learn more by visiting our website at and connect with us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

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