“How in the world did a Deaf guy become an elected politician?” That’s the question almost everyone has when they meet Canadian Gary Malkowski and learn that he served as an MPP.
Gary was elected as an Ontario Member of the Provincial Parliament (MPP) in 1990, serving the constituency of York East in Toronto for 5 years. He was the first Deaf parliamentarian to serve in government in Canada, and the first in the world to address a legislature in a sign language, specifically ASL.
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of his election, the biography Deaf Politician – The Gary Malkowski Story by Richard Medugno is now in large print paperback and as an ebook on Amazon.
Deaf Politician follows Gary from being born deaf into an immigrant, working-class family in Hamilton, Ontario through his education at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, to his community activism in Canada and political career in Toronto.
Gary lost his seat in the 1995 election, but he continued to advocate for the Deaf, deaf and hard of hearing through other avenues, most notably the Canadian Hearing Society. Among many other awards recognizing his accomplishments, he received a Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Gallaudet University (2011).
Gary is now the Director of Sign Language Institute Canada, a national network of professionals striving to excel in higher standards for teaching Sign Language. SLIC certifies teachers and instructors of ASL/LSQ (la langue des signes québécoise) in Canada.
To find out more or to become a member of SLIC, go to www.slicanada.ca.