Barbara Kannapell

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Barbara Kannapell
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Born(1937-09-14)September 14, 1937
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
DiedAugust 11, 2021(2021-08-11) (aged 83)
Known forCreating a new rhetoric of Deaf identity, involving recognition of Deaf culture and American Sign Language
Spouse(s)Mary Eileen Paul
Academic background
Alma materGallaudet University (Bachelor of Science), Georgetown University, (Doctor of Philosophy)
ThesisLanguage Choice Reflects Identity Choice
Doctoral advisorRoger Shuy
Academic work
InstitutionsGallaudet University, Community College of Baltimore County

Barbara Kannapell (September 14, 1937 – August 11, 2021) was a public intellectual, activist and sociolinguist who was the first to promote bilingualism as an educational philosophy for the education of Deaf students.[1]


  1. Seelye, Katharine Q. 2021. Barbara Kannapell, 83, an Activist in the Deaf World. New York Times (August 26, 2021), Section A, p. 20.

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