Deaf Discrimination

Hearing privilege is a real thing. Most people are at least marginally aware of the Deaf community, and the proliferation of ASL in high schools and colleges has helped shed light on the traditions and history of American Deaf culture. In spite of this increased visibility, little attention is paid to the continued social and economic barriers the Deaf community face. Contrary to the myth of mediocrity, the full potential of Deaf people is often limited by oppressive and marginalizing social policies, norms, and general public obliviousness. Lydia Callis writes about audism and its implications (don’t know who she is? Learn more about her).

“Last thing you remember, you were walking down the street– now you are lying in a hospital bed. The lights are so bright you can barely see, and your whole body is in pain. You try asking for assistance, but none of the medical staff can understand you because none of them communicate by using American Sign Language (ASL). They hand you some paperwork and ask you to write your questions on a note pad, but all you want is a conversation. What happened to you? How did you get here? What are you supposed to do now?”

Read the full article here.

Facebook Fail

Christin Scarlett Milloy reports on the case of a black, Deaf and disabled trans woman, Kylie Brooks, who, after having successfully advocated for change to local Toronto services whose policies forced trans individuals “out” publically, then found herself the target of Facebook’s “real name” policy.

““Kylie” is a woman’s name and her account identifies her as female. However, in her profile picture, she appears as a black person who would commonly be read as masculine, with short hair, and a bearded face. Brooks is trans, and someone who works for Facebook has looked at her profile photo and decided she doesn’t look “Kylie” enough.”

The irony of an anonymous employee many thousands of miles from Kylie being empowered with the discretion to control her name and access to her community is repugnant.

Read more here.