Robert Frederick Panara: Pioneer of Deaf Studies passed away

Robert Frederick Panara (94), the pioneer of deaf studies passed away in Rochester, US. Robert was an author, a poet, a professor who later went on to become the first deaf teacher within the mainstream Higher Education in the US. He helped translate Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Hamlet and Othello into sign language. His wife Shirley Fischer was also deaf. Both used sign language to communicate.

Panars’s key contributions and achievements:

In 1965, Panara helped establishing America’s first Technical college for the deaf, National Technical Institute for Deaf (NTID). NTID was set up by an act of US Congress and is a part of the Rochester Institute of Technology. He also helped in the foundation of the Connecticut-based National Theatre of the Deaf. In 1948, Panara became the first deaf person to get a Master’s degree in English from New York University.

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