While he is best known for his efforts to preserve and nurture sign language by capturing it on film, Veditz’s many contributions to the deaf community changed the course of deaf history during a time when deaf people were struggling to preserve their own culture and language.

“As long as we have deaf people on earth, we will have signs,” Veditz declared in the 1913 film Preservation of the Sign Language.

“As long as we have our films, we can preserve signs in their old purity,” he said. “It is my hope that we will all love and guard our beautiful sign language as the noblest gift God has given to deaf people.”