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NTID's Robert Panara honored in stamp dedication ceremony

Apr 11, 2017

Robert Panara's son, John Panara speaking at dedication ceremony

The First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony for the Robert Panara two-ounce Forever stamp took place Tuesday morning at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

The words “Two Ounce” on this stamp indicate its usage value. SInce it is a 'Forever' stamp, it will always be valid for the rate printed on it.

Panara was the National Technical Institute for the Deaf's first deaf faculty member and also went on to help found the National Theatre of the Deaf.

On the stamp, Panara is shown signing the word for “Respect.”

John Panara, Robert’s son, said Robert made a career out of making sure deaf students were recognized and respected.

"He would tell people it’s not the ears, it’s what's between the ears that counts."

Robert Panara lost his hearing at the age of 10 from spinal meningitis; he died in 2014 at the age of 94.

David Williams, COO & Executive Vice President of US Postal Service, also honored Panara at the event, noting that he was a pioneer in the field of deaf education.  

"Robert was famous for his ability to establish immediate report with his students through his fluid, graceful use of sign language, described by many as sculptures in the air."

Robert Panara was also first deaf person to receive a degree in English at New York University.

He is the fifth person from Rochester to be recognized by the United States Postal Service with a stamp, joining Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, Chester Carlson, and George Eastman.