Name change

The Deaf Society changed its name this year, dropping the word ‘Dumb’. From 1975 the Society was known as ‘Adult Deaf Society of New South Wales’. 


The word ‘dumb’ had always meant ‘unable to speak’, and it was not considered offensive by deaf people in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. 

But around this time it began to take on the additional meaning of ‘stupid’, so deaf people and their organisations stopped describing themselves as ‘dumb’.


      Sydney Morning Herald, 28 January 1978