Collection inventory

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Rowley Family Papers

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Rowley family
Title: Rowley Family Papers
Inclusive Dates: circa 1974-1984
Quantity: 7 linear ft.
Abstract: Correspondence, papers, research notes for book on Amy Rowley, whose parents' efforts to require the state to provide a sign language interpreter in the classroom eventually resulted in the 1982 Supreme Court case Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Amy Rowley.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Amy June Rowley, born to deaf parents Nancy and Clifford Rowley, was highly intelligent and an excellent student, but without a sign-language interpreter in the classroom, she missed much of her teachers' instruction. Her parents sued the Hendrick Hudson Central School District and an interpreter was hired at state expense. The school district appealed and the case eventually went to the United States Supreme Court. Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Amy Rowley was the Court's first interpretation of what was then called the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (now the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, "IDEA"). The Court ruled that Amy's success without an interpreter proved she did not need one to receive "an appropriate education." According to the law firm Whitted Cleary & Takiff, "The holdings in the Rowley case have become the standard of analysis for every subsequent special education case arising in the Federal and State courts."

The Rowleys' attorney, Michael Chatoff, was also deaf; the case marked the first time a deaf attorney had argued a case before the Supreme Court.

Amy Rowley went on to earn a Master's degree and became a clinical assistant professor and coordinator of the American Sign Language (ASL) Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Education.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Rowley Family Papers consist of correspondence, notes, court transcripts, clippings, and other material relating to the Rowley's Supreme Court case.

Chronology contains court papers, notes, and other material following the Rowleys' case from its origins with their local school district to the Supreme Court.

Personal files consists primarily of correspondence with various individuals and organizations -- attorneys, judges, hearing specialists, friends, supporters, doctors, and so on. Also included here are more than two hundred pages of witness testimony, some samples of Amy's schoolwork, material relating to Public Law 94-142 (Education for All Handicapped Children Act, later the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA), and assorted other subjects. Almost all of this material remains in its original folders with the donor's original folder headings; folders labeled during processing are indicated by a title enclosed in square brackets [ ].

Miscellaneous contains material that was either unfoldered or unlabelled when the collection was received, and which was foldered and labeled by staff during processing. The bulk of this material consists of clippings from newspapers, newsletters, magazines, journals, and other publications. There are also four folders of TTY (sometimes called TDD) printouts of conversations, most involving R. C. Smith, the author of a book on the case, and Nancy or Cliff Rowley.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Chronology files are in chronological order. The remaining two series are in alphabetical order.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Other collections related to education of the disabled include the William Langner Papers and the Syracuse University Archives' Burton Blatt Papers.

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Subject Headings


Rowley, Amy.


Deaf -- Education -- Law and legislation -- United States.
People with disabilities -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Research notes.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Rowley Family Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Clifford Rowley, 2004.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 31 Aug 2009
Revision history: 15 Mar 2010 - Johnson box fix, misc. (MRC)

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Box 1 1974-1980 (50 folders)
Box 2 1981-1983 (34 folders)
Box 2 Post-1983
Personal files
Box 3 Ackerman, Gary
Box 3 Agnew, Jeremy
Box 3 Ambach, Gordon
Box 3 Augenblick, Marjorie
Box 3 Autry, George
Box 3 Ballantyne, Donald
Box 3 Barish, Steve
Box 3 Barnett, Walter
Box 3 Barrison, Harvey
Box 3 Betts, Doris
Box 3 Blum, Joseph
Box 3 Blumberg, Carol
Box 3 Bollard, Dr. Priscilla
Box 3 Bonsal, Judge Dudley
Box 3 Book, mag correspondence
Box 3 Bowe, Frank
Box 3 Bradford, Elizabeth
Box 3 Branciforte, Richard
Box 3 Bravin, Phil
Box 3 Brett, William
Box 3 Broderick, Judge Vincent
Box 3 Brooks, Helen
Box 3 Brooks, Charley
Box 3 Buckley Amendment
Box 3 Burger, Chief Justice Warren
Box 3 Busby, Howard
Box 3 Buscemi, Peter
Box 3 Button, Warren
Box 3 Byram, Ginger
Box 3 Calkins, Phil
Box 3 Campbell, David
Box 3 Carelli, Dick
Box 3 Casey, Kevin B.
Box 3 Cedo, Frank
Box 3 Charmatz, Mark
Box 3 Chatoff, Leona
Chatoff, Michael
Box 3 Correspondence
Box 3 Notes
Box 3 Press, docs.
Box 3 Collender, Mr and Mrs. Robert
Box 3 Conklin, Joan
Box 3 Collins, D'Emidio
Box 3 Comm. on Education of the Deaf
Box 3 Connors, Nancy
Box 3 Coultas, Robert
Box 3 Council for Exceptional Children
Box 3 [Court cases, decisions, transcripts, etc.]
Box 3 Coy, Edna
Box 3 Croke, Dolores
Box 3 Croton-Peekskill (map)
Box 3 Curinga, Eileen
Box 3 Dalton, John and Maxine
Box 3 Danielson, Lou
Box 3 Davila, Robert
Box 3 Deafness -- observation
Box 3 Dean, David
Box 3 DeLuca, Doreen
Box 3 Deninger, Carol
Box 3 Deninger, Michael
Box 3 Denis, Taris (Fanwood)
Box 3 Dennis, Barbara
Box 3 Dubow, Sy
Box 3 Dykeman, Connie
Box 3 Eible, Charles
Box 3 Elliott, Bob (Nancy's brother)
Box 3 "Elmer and Bunny" (Rowley)
Box 3 Ellis, Jim
Box 3 Epstein, Aaron and Jackie - includes transcript of 1982 National Public Radio piece (Nina Totenberg) on the Supreme Court case
Box 4 Correspondence
Box 4 Notes
Box 4 Press documents
Box 4 Fenner, Marilyn (Goodman)
Box 4 Ferguson, Mic
Box 4 Fitzpatrick, Joyce
Box 4 Follow-ups, associated matters
Box 4 Foundation Publishers
Box 4 Fox, Don
Box 4 Frankel, Max
Box 4 FDR Library
Box 4 Freeman, Robert (FOI)
Box 4 Felder, Barry
Box 4 General
Box 4 DPN [Deaf President Now]
Box 4 Gallegos, Ellen
Box 4 Garzione, Ellen
Box 4 Gedney, Stanley
Box 4 Geer, Sarah
Box 4 Glassman, Pearl
Box 4 Globerman, Regina
Box 4 Goldstein, Bruce
Box 4 Golinker, Lewis
Box 4 Greenfield, Meg
Box 4 Greenhouse, Linda
Box 4 Gregory, Gwen
Box 4 Gross, Norman
Box 4 Gullickson, Bill
Box 4 Gumnick, Karen
Box 4 Hable, Jim
Box 4 Harding, Paul
Box 4 Harslem, Barbara
Box 4 Hart, Phyllis
Box 4 Heldman, Edward
Box 4 Herbers, John
Box 4 Herr, Stanley
Box 4 Hibbs, Curt
Box 4 Higgs, Margaret
Box 4 Hippolitus, Paul
Box 4 Hipps, W. Handy
Box 4 Horan, Dan
Box 4 Horan, Elizabeth
Box 4 Hudson, Elisabeth
Box 4 [IEP (Individual Education Plan) notes]
Box 4 [Interview notes] - Amy, Clifford, Nancy, others
Box 4 Janger, Inez
Box 4 Johnny [Rowley, Amy's brother]
Box 5 Johnson, Mary
Box 5 Justice, John
Box 5 Karlovitz, Joseph
Box 5 Kleck, Robert
Box 5 Kligerman, Barbara
Box 5 Knause, Bob
Box 5 Kotkin, Minna
Box 5 Kuntz, Raymond
Box 5 Lane, Harlan -- Deafness Mtls.
Box 5 Lerner, Louise
Box 5 Lerner, Roberta
Box 5 [Letters of support]
Box 5 Loughbruck, Amy's audiological report
Box 5 Luftgarten, Jackie
Box 5 Malzkuhn, Mary
Box 5 Mansfield, Mrs. Walter R.
Box 5 Marino, Frank and Andrea
Box 5 Mathias, Senator Charles
Box 5 McKirdy, Laura
Box 5 McQuade, Louise
Box 5 Mendellsohn, Josh
Box 5 Merrill, Dr. and Mrs.
Box 5 Miller del Santo, Fran
Box 5 Monzon, Mario
Box 5 Morgan, Richard
Box 5 Moores, Donald
Box 5 Mulholland, Ann
Box 5 National Archives
Box 5 [National Center for Law and the Deaf]
Box 5 Nellist, Roger
Box 5 New York State Handicapping Education
Box 5 94-142 [Public Law 94-142, Education of All Handicapped Children Act, later the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)] (2 folders)
Box 5 Nixon, Don
Box 5 Nomeland, Ron
Box 5 Northern, Jerry
Box 5 Other cases [court cases]
Box 5 Passierb, Meredith
Box 5 Pimental, Al
Box 5 Polk, September
Box 5 Powers, Helen
Box 5 Prejudice notes
Box 5 Price, Hugh
Box 5 Rarus, Tim
Box 5 Ratzabi, Arlene
Box 5 Reynolds, Andi
Box 5 Roberts, Albert
Box 5 Roberts, Linda Carmody
Box 5 Rondthaler, Dorothy and Ed
Box 5 Rosen, Dr. Roz
Box 5 Rothschild, Karen and Ken
Box 5 St. George, Robert
Box 5 Sansom, Bob and Australia
Box 5 Schecter, Leona
Box 5 Schein, Jerome
Box 5 Schifter, Richard
Box 5 Schildroth, Arthur -- Gallaudet numbers
Box 5 Schneider, Lisbeth
Box 5 School board minutes
Box 5 [Schoolwork, Amy] - samples of Amy's schoolwork
Box 5 Schulder, Elliott
Box 5 Schwartz, Michael
Box 5 Shackleford, Suzanne
Box 5 Sheie, Mary
Box 5 Sheppard, Dick
Box 6 Sherman, Paul "Pete"
Box 6 Smelter, Hal
Box 6 Smith, Dorothea
Box 6 Spring, Bill
Box 6 Stansbury, Brenda
Box 6 Starr, Roger
Box 6 Sternberg, Martin
Box 6 Stivas, Alexander
Box 6 Supreme Court - includes bound copy of full proceedings from Rowley case
Box 6 [Testimony] - pages 1-29 missing (2 folders)
Box 6 Thompson, Joan
Box 6 Torr, Donald
Box 6 Totenberg, Nina
Box 6 Updegraff, David
Box 6 Vezina, Donald
Box 6 Walcott, Wayne and Donna
Box 6 Walker, Lisa
Box 6 Walker, Lou Ann
Box 6 Waterfall, Beth
Box 6 Wayne, Father David
Box 6 Weber, Mark
Box 6 Weintraub, Fred
Box 6 Westat -- numbers
Box 6 Weyr, Rhoda
Box 6 White, Byron
Box 6 Williams, Harrison
Box 6 Williams, Susan
Box 6 Wolkomir, Richard
Box 6 Wong, Al
Box 6 Yohalem, Jane
Box 6 Zavarella, Joseph
Box 6 Ziegler, Linda
Box 6 Ziev, Joel
Box 6 Zinser, Elisabeth
Box 6 Miscellaneous correspondence
Box 6 Unidentified notebooks
Box 7 Files - clippings, some court papers, correspondence, and miscellaneous other material (6 folders)
Box 7 Printed material - newsletters, magazines, newspapers, clippings, miscellaneous other material (2 folders)
Box 7 TTY printouts 1981-1983, undated (4 folders)

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