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Robert Panara, 94, a scholar in the field of deaf studies, a writer and poet, and a professor at institutions including Gallaudet University in Washington and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) in Rochester, N.Y., died Sunday at a nursing home in Rochester. He had heart ailments, said his son, John.

Growing up in Depression-era New York, Mr. Panara, who lost his hearing before he turned 10 - a casualty of spinal meningitis - received few of the services or accommodations available today for deaf or hard of hearing students. He was educated in mainstream public school classrooms.

He attended Gallaudet, focusing on literature, and taught there for nearly two decades before becoming the first deaf professor at NTID. Beginning in the 1970s, he wrote articles and books that helped establish deaf studies as a formal line of academic inquiry.


Washington Post Article 
By Emily Langer

"Robert Panara, writer, poet, professor and pioneer of deaf studies, dies at 94"

Robert Panara could not hear the noise in Yankee Stadium the day in 1931 when Babe Ruth emerged from the dugout, strode toward him and extended his hand. Mr. Panara, then 10 years old, was deaf. He had lost his hearing several months earlier  . . .

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