Our History

Notices were sent out to the leading newspapers in New York State, announcing there would be a “convention for the deaf-mutes” at the Wieting Hall in Syracuse on August 30, 1865. Over 150 people attended the Empire State Deaf-Mute Association and established a new Constitution and By-Laws, which was drawn by John Carlin. John Wilkes Chandler of Mexico, NY in Oswego County was its first President. The name of the association was changed to the Empire State Association of the Deaf in 1912. ESAD is the oldest active state association of the Deaf in the country and much older than the National Association of the Deaf itself.

Our Mission/By Laws

The Association shall serve as the focal point of all cooperating agencies within New York State in promoting the welfare of the deaf in educational measures, in employment and in any other field pertaining to or affecting the deaf in their pursuit of economic security, social equality and all their just rights and privileges as citizens of New York State.


Our Regions

ESAD has 8 different regions within the state. Each region has their own representative serving their own region.

Niagara Region

Finger Lakes Region

Southern Tier Region

Central New York Region

North Country Region

Capital District Region

Hudson Valley Region

Downstate Region

Meet the Board

Each of the Board of Directors represents a region/part of New York State.

Empire State Association of the Deaf