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 and active state association of the Deaf in the country and much
older than National Association of the Deaf itself.