Imagine if you tried to watch tonight’s presidential debate but couldn’t understand what was being said. Now imagine if, after several such debates, you went to the polls and found that your questions couldn’t be answered because no one spoke your native language.
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“The goal of SignVote is to promote greater participation and engagement from our community in the political process and to elevate awareness of key issues that impact a deaf person’s quality of life,” said Chris Soukup, CEO of CSD.
Deaf people can’t enlist in the military because they aren’t able to pass the physical requirement of being able to hear beyond a certain threshold. CSD continues to investigate barriers to deaf employment.
Deaf people are prohibited from being Transportation Security Officers, though the career would otherwise seem uniquely suited for them. Today, the Department of Homeland Security requires Transportation Security Officer applicants to pass a hearing test.
Did you know that there were no Deaf commercial truck drivers before 2012? Anyone wanting to drive a commercial truck or passenger bus must have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). The Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates CDLs.
What kind of stories do you see about deaf people in the news or in your social media feed? What sorts of words, language, or images do you notice are associated with deaf people? Are they stories of woe and despair turned into hope?
Rhulin lost his pilot’s license in ‘47. The rise of radio communications meant Rhulin and generations of Deaf pilots that followed him were excluded from flying many types of planes, because they could not use radio equipment on planes.
“Deaf and hard of hearing individuals are 150% more likely to be victims of assault, abuse and bullying in their lifetime. Domestic violence impacts 1 out of every 2 deaf women, and 1 out of every 6 deaf men,” says ADWAS Executive Director.
Not only am I a lifelong advocate, I am a survivor. Having witnessed firsthand the lasting impact that violence has on individuals, I became innately aware of the need to create awareness that violent behavior or abuse is not acceptable.