Thank You, Harlan Lane

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Dr. Harlan Lane, via Gallaudet’s Website

Harlan Lane, a hearing psychologist and advocate for the Deaf community, passed away on July 13th at the age of 82.

Lane was a University Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States. He also founded the Center for Research in Hearing, Speech, and Language. His research focused on Deaf culture, speech and sign language.

Lane became an often controversial spokesman for the Deaf community- He openly criticized the use of cochlear implants and was one of the first to be against audism. He wrote extensively on the social construction of disability, stating “[u]nless Deaf people challenge the culturally determined meanings of deaf and disability with at least as much vigor as the technologies of normalization seek to institutionalize those meanings, the day will continue to recede in which Deaf children and adults live the fullest lives and make the fullest contribution to our diverse society.”

For his efforts and his research Lane received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of the Deaf (United States), the International Social Merit Award from the World Federation of the Deaf, and numerous other awards. He was also Commandeur de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques, the highest level of the academic honor given out by the French government.