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William J. Marra Exhibits

The William J. Marra Museum of Deaf History and Deaf Culture is truly a special place.

Each exhibit is designed to take you on a journey through the world of the *Deaf.

Come find out why being Deaf is not a disability, it's a human experience of experiencing the world with a Deaf worldview.

Deaf Culture

In this exhibit in the William J. Marra Museum,  a short video presentation of Deaf History and Deaf Culture explores the Deaf worldview.   Being Deaf means living in a visual world, a world where sight takes precedence and the norm is communication through a visual language rather than a spoken language.

A Different Way to Hear takes you on a journey through Deaf history and Deaf culture, offering answers as to why and how the Deaf flourish.  The long and rich history of the Deaf  community is explored through this memorable video.

A Different Way to Hear

History of Deaf Culture

One of many ways to explore and learn about Deaf culture is naturally through the history of a school for the Deaf.  Most states have a state school fo the Deaf.  In Kansas,a school for the Deaf was established in Baldwin County in 1861, a full three years before President Abraham Lincoln dedicated Gallaudet University.

The rich history of Deaf culture is explored though the history of a school for the Deaf.  As you pass through this section of the museum you begin to realize that the history of the Deaf community in Olathe, or anywhere, is not so different from the history of any school in the United States. 


Cheerleaders, sports, debate teams, computer classes — they are all on a Deaf school campus.  Dances, theater, the arts – you can find them at a school for the Deaf just as you can at any other high school. 

Come and explore the rich history and culture of a school for the Deaf!


Consider supporting the William J. Marra Museum, the only public and independently owned museum about Deaf history, arts and culture in the United States to help with maintaining and revolving the exhibits for future generations to appreciate and be inspired. 

“SAFE!”  “He’s OUT!”  “Curve ball to the left” — these are well known signs in major league baseball.  What may not be so well known is where those signs come from.

If the sports world can thank anyone for the signs used in baseball today, Luther “Dummy” Taylor, a pitcher for the New York Giants in the early 1900’s would be that person.  Luther’s manager wanted all his team to be able to communicate with Luther, so he insisted that all his players learn American Sign Language. From these first communication efforts was born the signal system used in the major leagues today.

The William J. Marra Museum of Deaf History and Deaf Culture is proud to host the only exhibit of its kind in the country featuring Luther “Dummy” Taylor.  Come visit the Deaf Cultural Center and stop in to say hello to a sports legend, a great ball player, a great deaf man – Luther “Dummy” Taylor.

Luther “Dummy” Taylor

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Chuck Baird Art Gallery

Just opened in September 2018!  The Chuck Baird Art Gallery showcases a broad range of De'VIA artwork by Deaf artists nationwide and internationally that convey the Deaf worldview and experience.

The Annual Youth De'VIA Competition works will be displayed in this gallery and is generously sponsored and made possible by the Kansas School for the Deaf Endowment Association

Visitors will have the opportunity to explore and see for themselves the myriad of stories about Deaf experiences told through the eyes and art.

Deaf Community Interviews

We were so privledged to have had the opportunity to interview members of our Deaf community, capturing their cherished memories and journey of being Deaf in America.   Stop by and see these wonderful interviews!

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