History of Deaf Island Disc Golf Tournament

Shayan and Kimberly Keramati wanted to bring back the spirit of Deaf culture to Martha’s Vineyard that was known as the “Deaf Island” back in the 18th century. They decided to host the first Deaf Island Disc Golf tournament in July 2002 at Riverhead Field Disc Golf course at Oak Bluffs.

The tournament grew successfully over couple years and attracted several of deaf visitors and players from all over the states to come to the island. Some came just to compete, some came just to socialize and go off to explore the island’s Deaf history and its local delights.

Please do come for the Deaf Island in 2015!!



Martha's Vineyard Sign Language (MVSL) is a sign language once widely used on the island from the early 18th century to the year 1952. It was remarkable for its use by both deaf and hearing people in the community; consequently, deafness did not become a barrier to participation in public life. In a section (village) of Chilmark town called Squibnocket, one out of four people are deaf. This was highest concentration of deaf people on the island that time.

Deaf fact - On April 5, 1714, Jonathan Lambert was the first case of deafness recorded on the island.

  - Pages of history The Martha's Vineyard Deaf Community
  - Deafness on Martha's Vineyard
Deaf History - Martha's Vineyard (Hearing Had to Learn Sign)
  -  Chilmark The town was once known for its unusually high percentage of deaf citizens. In 1854, Chilmark had a deaf population of one in every 25 people, while the national average was one deaf person in 5728.
  - Martha's Vineyard

Come and explore the Vineyard!

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