“A” is for Advocacy – A review of the ASL Manual Alphabet

A-ASL-Alphabet“A” is for ADVOCACY, a very important part of the lives of people who are in the Deaf Community. Advocacy, first and foremost, is the domain of the core members of the Deaf Community, its Deaf members. These members identify themselves as deaf due to a number of variables, including but limited to: audiology, politics, education, social, and culture. These individuals are becoming more empowered in advocating for themselves, and that is a most excellent thing.

You may say: Advocate for what? To start with, fair treatment in some of the aforementioned variables that influence core values. In terms of audiology, the Deaf Community makes its stance known, and lobbies for, legislation that impacts the Community, for example. One such example is Indiana HB 1367, which has become a hot topic in the Community. Here at 360 Translations we support the majority of Deaf Community, and the National Association of the Deaf, in opposing HB 1367. This advocacy crosses most component factors in the Deaf Community, namely audiological, political, and educational, social, and cultural concerns – it is a major piece of legislation that has the entire country talking! Do a simple web search on “HB 1367” and you will see a variety of views. You should view a number of YouTube videos on the subject, as they will enlighten you on how polarizing this issue truly is.

In the not-too-distance past, advocacy in the Deaf Community meant hearing people advocating for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people. While this still exists, and 360 Translations is a major player in this advocacy, the trend today is the empowering the Deaf Community for self-advocacy. A turning point in history that set the trend for this empowerment was the “Deaf President Now” movement at Gallaudet University in 1988. Read more about this very important movement here, where the Deaf Community rose up in opposition to audists in higher education, among other things. At the time it was considered an isolated protest, but it has become to mean much more than that, and is now truly a continuing movement.

You can read more about 360 Translations Advocacy work on our website, especially as it pertains toADA issues. We advocate, as does the Deaf Community, 24/7 for equality in communication access in all facets of deaf/hearing interaction.

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