Thad Martin was born in Sacramento, California in 1967. He contracted spinal meningitis while in first grade at Starr King Elementary in 1973,
and and as a result he became profoundly deaf. His parents chose the Total Communication method, and Thad learned Signed English soon afterwards. Thad returned to the same school and mainstreamed there as the only Deaf
student. His parents fought the school district to win an interpreter/aide for him there in the seventh and eighth grades, and again in 1980 to obtain an interpreter when Thad enrolled at El Camino High School in
Sacramento, again as the only Deaf student there. He gradulated as Salutorian in his class in 1985 and was accepted to the University of California at Berkeley that fall. Here, for the first time, Thad discovered the
Deaf community and began learning American Sign Language. Thad graduated from University of California at Berkeley with BA degrees in Art and English in 1989, and obtained his MFA degree from the same university in
1992. After teaching art at the University of California at Davis for two quarters in 1994, Thad moved to Austin, Texas in 1995 where he currently resides with his wife and son.