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Women and Deafness Home  Contemporary Gender Issues and Deafness   Famous Deaf Women   Organizations of Deaf Women  




This page is devoted to equality issues related to Deaf women 








The Brighton Declaration on Women and Sport

USADB Basketball, Inc.


Courtesy of USADB


            Equality within gender and sport groups has been an ongoing battle.  However, with the passage of Title IX in 1972, the view of sports within the United States changed. Title IX required equal opportunity for girls and women in sports. Even with the passage of this law, women continue to struggle to obtain equal opportunity and participation in sports, especially in decision making and leadership roles within sports.  Women are rarely seen in management, coaching and officiating positions at high level sporting competitions.  In May of 1994, the first international conference on women and sport took place in Brighton, UK.  At that conference, 280 delegates from 82 countries developed a Declaration of principles to provide guidance in order to increase the involvement of sport at all levels, functions, and roles. Listed below are the ten principles: equity and equality in society and sports; facilities; school and junior sports; developing participation; high performance sports; leadership in sports; education, training and development; sport information and research; resources; and domestic and international cooperation. Currently more than 400 organizations worldwide have been moved to endorse the Brighton Declaration on Women and Sport. On April 6th, 2013 the USA Deaf Basketball (USADB) officially endorsed the Declaration immediately following their championship game in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.  The USADB is committed and motivated to gender equality and it is a top priority of the organization. The USADB commits to provide Deaf girls and women equal opportunities in sports and leadership roles.  USADB is striving to increase the amount of female participates and strengthen their outreach programs and services for Deaf and hard of hearing females. 

United States of America Deaf Basketball. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.usadb.us/


International Working Group on Women and Sport (1994). The Brighton Declaration on Women and Sport: Women, Sport and the Challenge of Change. Retrieved from http://www.iwg-gti.org

Posted By  B. Foster








International Week Of the Deaf


International week of the Deaf is celebrated annually the last full week of September. Each year has an over laying theme for the week. In September 2013, the theme was Equality for Deaf People. Equality for Deaf people helps to unite the Deaf community and promote the rights of deaf people. This theme also focuses on recognition of sign languages and sign systems around the world. Equality does not only focus on linguistic equality, but also artistic, social, political, cultural, and human rights for all deaf people worldwide.   

Resources  Visualife. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://wfdeaf.org/
Posted By  Jessica Whipple









Internet loopholes: Deaf women sues ebay 


Yet another battle for equality in a service that is well known, and used every day by many people. Melissa Earll sues ebay for discriminating against her deafness. As a seller, there is a pin number that can only be acquired by calling. Melissa suggest there are essay solution for the problem but ebay refuses to comply. Court decision have been split because of the clause in the ADA stating that only a place “of public accommodation” may be held responsible. There was a similar case to this one concerning “Netflix” which Melissa is using in reference for her own equality battle.


Low, R. (2013). Mo. woman sues ebay for ‘deaf discrimation’ [Web]. Retrieved from http://fox4kc.com/2013/01/07/mo-woman-sues-ebay-for-deaf-discrimation/

Nowicki, J. (2013, February 08). For americans with disabilities, court fights for equality ensnared in internet loopholes. Retrieved from http://genprogress.org/voices/2013/02/08/18427/for-americans-with-disabilities-court-fights-for-equality-ensnared-in-inter/ 

Posted By  Diana Cruz 










Two Deaf Women Discriminated Against in the Workplace


Equality in the work place is an ongoing battle that deaf and/or hard-of-hearing individuals struggle to overcome everyday.  Gender inequality is apparent in both the deaf and hearing world; deaf women have to overcome more obstacles for equality in the work place.  Students from Rochester's Technology National Technical Institute for the Deaf paired with the producers of the hit television show “What Would You Do?” and discussed the obstacles and hardships deaf and hard-of-hearing people face in the work place.  “What Would You Do?” is show that uses “…hidden cameras to depict actors doing controversial things…” to see how people react ("Deaf discrimination: Rit/ntid," 2011).  Two deaf women of RIT/NTID agreed to a social experiment where they would be turned down for a job by a hiring manager (played by an actor) solely because they were deaf.  Not as many people as one may hope stood up for the girls, but two people are shown that speak up about the rights of the deaf girls have.  The most outrageous part of this video is when “…HR professionals witnessed the situation and advised the Smart World Coffee managers on how to discriminate against deaf and hard of hearing people without overtly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)” ("Nad expresses outrage," 2011).  National Association of the Deaf took action and sent a letter of concern to the company and explained how to properly train their HR professionals and encouraged Deaf awareness.  Because of people like these HR professionals these two deaf women and many more deaf women will be lifetime educators and advocates of their deafness; hopefully this prejudice will cease in the workplace. 




Deaf discrimination: Rit/ntid students appear on abc’s “what would you do?” program. (02, 02

2011). Retrieved from http://www.ntid.rit.edu/news/what-would-you-do 

Nad expresses outrage at discriminatory hr practices. (03, 03 2011). Retrieved from


Posted By  S.Covert 









Still Facing Prejudice Today


Jessica Wells was a nursing student at the Cox College of Nursing until she was dismissed during her third semester because she was deaf. Once Wells started doing hands-on work the school claims that a deaf person cannot properly care for a patient because there are certain sounds a nurse needs to be listening for, and she could not do this. Wells made it through her first two semesters with interpreters and student note takers. Then during her third semester, she was dismissed from the program. On August 9, the jury sided with Wells and awarded her $50,000. This case is a prime example of how deaf people are discriminated against. Wells was as equally qualified as her hearing counterparts, but because she has a “disability” she is discriminated against.


Kansas City Star Reporter, . "Deaf Woman Wins Lawsuit Against Misouri Nursing School." Kansas City Star [Kansas City, MO] 13 August 2013 , n. pag. Web. 12 Nov. 2013. <http://www.kansascity.com/2013/08/18/4419019/deaf-woman-wins-lawsuit-against.html>.

Posted By  Jessica Welter  









Banks Face Massive Payouts to Deaf Customers


According to a Times investigation, banks are routinely discriminating against customers with hearing loss by failing to provide equal access to services. “Deaf customers report being regularly inconvenienced and humiliated by banks’ indifference to their hearing loss and the insistence that security measures are carried out by telephone.” The unfair treatment includes broken hearing aid loops systems, poorly trained and rude staff, a lack of understanding about how text phones work and an over-reliance on spoken answers to security questions. These occurrences have left some people stranded overseas without money because their bank blocked their card.

Banks do provide online messaging services, but deaf customers have complained that their messages have gone unanswered.

Banks will argue that deaf people can use ‘text relay’ or a minicom to communicate over the phone. “This allows the deaf customer to type a message that is relayed through an operator.”

Campaigners say that banks are acting in defiance of the Equalities Act, which guarantees disabled customers equal access to services, and banks could end up having to pay significant compensation to deaf customers. 

Resources  (2012, February 21). Retrieved from http://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/news-and-events/all-regions/press-releases/banks-face-massive-payouts-to-deaf-customers.aspx
Posted By  Mary Stegall









World Federation of the Deaf

The World Federation of the Deaf, WFD, was founded in 1951 as an “international non-governmental organization.” WFD encourages the proper use of the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other acts that coincide with the United Nations and its sub-agencies.” This agency tries to keep intact “sign language, organizations, and culture and other activities.” The top priority is to make sure Deaf Individuals have the same opportunities in all aspects of life including: education, information, and careers. “WFD’s philosophy is one of equality, human rights and respect for all people, regardless of race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual preferences, age and all other differences.”


World Federation of the Deaf. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://wfdeaf.org/

Posted By  Alexis S.









Police Taser, Arrest, and refuse Interpreter to Deaf Women

Lashonn White, a born-deaf woman, faced a brutal experience when she made a call to 911 trying to ask for help. When the officials got there, White ran out and waved her hands toward the officers and before she knew it they had her on the ground attempting to get her in handcuffs. Officers said they had ordered White to "stop" and when they saw that she kept approaching they tased and handcuffed her. When White got to jail, she was confused at what was going on. The officers ordered a nurse to communicate with her through notes if she had to because White was deaf. However, feeling as if the notes were to be misused against her she kept asking for an interpreter so that she knew what exactly was happening to her. Police refused and kept her in jail for 3 days until they figured out what happened the day they arrested her.White comments, "Why do we have an Americans Disability Act anyway", referring to the fact that she wasn't provided with an interpreter in her situation which goes against her rights as a Deaf woman.

Inmates who cannot speak English are provided with a phone interpreter, but for White who needed a video telephone, there was none provided. This situation comes to show that there are places in our society that need to be revised in order to be deaf-friendly, to a minority group that lacks equality in the criminal justice system.



Retrieved from http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/innocent-deaf-woman-spends-60-hours-jail-without-i/nRLHN/

Video from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59tqUEdlCOA

Posted By  Jacqueline Najera









Dismissed from Nursing Program


The article “Deaf woman furious over dismissal from NSCC nursing program” is about a woman named Christine VonMering-Former who believed she was dismissed from her nursing program because she was deaf. Former felt as if the North Shore’s certified nursing aid degree program owed her an apology because she felt like she was being over judged. Gill noted that one of the reasons why they had dismissed Former was because she was unable to realize when the patient was in pain. Former signed a document claiming that she could hear emergency sirens and the cries for help by a patient. Though Former requested for a sign language interpreter, her request was denied. Former claimed that if they would have provided her for an interpreter, she would have finished her program. Former felt like North Shore did not do enough to keep her in the nursing program. Fromer said she worked for Bank of America for nearly 20 years before she was laid off in 2008. She decided to study nursing after working as an assistant to deaf adults, including developmentally disabled individuals. She enrolled in North Shore's 100-hour certified nursing aide program in April and said she now plans to pursue the program at another institution. Former’s husband, Jeffrey, said that his wife is going to get her CNA no matter where she has to go.


Jourgensen, T. (2011 August, 23). Deaf woman furious over dismissal from NSCC nursing program.

Retrieved from: http://www.itemlive.com/news/deaf-woman-furious-over-dismissal-from-nscc-nursing-program/article_54afccf5-9ebc-535d-865d-30ff3bad7c33.html

Posted By  Beena Thomas





















Comments (1)

Anonymous said

at 10:48 pm on Sep 16, 2007


a great video on you tube by D-PAN (Deaf Performing Artists) that SHOWS the deaf perspective on equality in the modern world.

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