The District of Columbia is blessed with not only museums and historical sites, but also Deaf-related attractions. So it made sense that in March 2023, groups of high school and college students visited Washington, DC with us as an educational trip. We took three tours around the nation’s capital, as well as in neighboring Virginia, and we would like to share what we did and saw here.
First up is the Gallaudet area, where three Deaf-related spots of interest can be found: Gallaudet University itself, Signing Starbucks, and Mozzeria, a Deaf-owned pizzeria. Students walked through the 99-acre Gallaudet campus, and a high-school group also had the chance to see the MSSD area and visit their football field. They learned about the history of Gallaudet, what kinds of courses they offer, and they also savored exploring the goodies in the Bison Shop. After the tour of Gallaudet, the students ambled over to the Signing Starbucks, only a few blocks away from the campus, and ordered their drinks in ASL! Finally, the pizzas in Mozzeria earned the students’ approval as their favorite meal in DC!
Then we had a grand tour of Washington DC’s memorials. As there were numerous memorials to see in so little time, we took a charter bus to help us move around. We walked around the Tidal Basin to see the Jefferson Memorial, the FDR Memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Then we went up to the Lincoln Memorial, also where MLK, Jr. did his famous “I Had a Dream” speech, and the Vietnam War Memorial. After lunch, we drove to Mount Vernon, our first president’s homestead, and then walked through the gigantic Arlington Memorial to pay our respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where a guard stands watch 24 hours a day.
The students also visited various museums at the National Mall of their groups’ choices, such as the National Museum of the American Indian, the awe-inspiring Air & Space Museum, the Holocaust Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, and the American Art Museum, where a Deaf artist’s work can be found.
Even though the tour only covered a single city, every day during the tours were jam-packed with things to do, see, and eat, and the students returned home full of memories and new knowledge!