Deaf Rights Activism, Global Protests

A comprehensive definition of “protest” is given by Sharon Barnartt who argues that protests must be collective, contentious, political, and nonnormative. They involve a group of people; are demanding and have an ideological basis; challenge one or more power structures, and hence seek social (and not individual) change; and do not include actions such as lobbying politicians or fund-raising. This entry applies Barnartt’s definition of protests but focuses specifically on protests involving Deaf people and their “hearing allies” protesting issues relevant to Deaf people. This is not to imply that Deaf people have not played a major role in other protest movements.


Modern-day scholarly literature on deaf protests is scarce with the exception of literature on the Deaf President Now campaign of 1988, as outlined ...

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