Remembering a DeafBlind leader and AIDS educator

AMP Stories

An AMP Interview Stories, Historic, AIDS Organization / Leader, Living with HIV, Activism, LGBTQ Community, Men, White
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Dan Mansfield

Three friends and colleagues share their stories of Dan Mansfield, a leader in the Deaf and DeafBlind communities.

As a young man Dan grew up Deaf, but had resisted his diagnosis of Usher Syndrome, a genetic disorder resulting in a combination of hearing and vision loss. His older sisters had already become both deaf and blind, and at their encouragement he became involved in the DeafBlind community, eventually taking up leadership roles locally and nationally.

Being raised in a deeply religious family made it difficult for him to come out as a gay man, but once he did, he quickly became a leader in Seattle’s Deaf LGBTQ+ community. He founded and became the first president of the Northwest Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf (NWRAD). Later, when Dan received his diagnosis of AIDS, he bravely shared that information with others and channeled his energies towards providing AIDS education to Deaf and DeafBlind communities of the Pacific Northwest.

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