The Postal Service dedicated a stamp honoring deaf-studies pioneer Robert Panara April 11 at a ceremony in Rochester, NY.
Panara was an influential teacher who inspired generations of students through his use of American Sign Language.
The 2-ounce stamp — the 16th entry in the Distinguished Americans series — features a 2009 photograph of Panara signing the word “respect.”
“In creating this stamp, our goal was to communicate Robert Panara’s love and enthusiasm for literature, poetry and theatrical pieces as he used American Sign Language to make each topic more dramatic and enlightening,” said Chief Operating Officer David Williams, who dedicated the stamp.
“Poetry and drama came to life through his unique style of expression. Robert was famous for his ability to establish an immediate rapport with his students, through fluid, eloquent sign language which many described as ‘sculptures in the air.’”
Other speakers included Gerald Buckley and Harry Lang from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where the event was held. John Panara, Robert’s son and an NTID faculty member, also participated.