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Deaf Protest Draws Small Crowd, Attention

Deaf News: Deaf Grassroots Movement protest draws small crowd, attention.

STAUNTON, VA -- Newsleader: Only a few people attended Thursday morning’s Deaf Equal Access Now rally, organized by the Deaf Grassroots Movement and Wesley Arey, a member of the Shenandoah Valley Club of the Deaf.

Arey wore a large, green bubble-sized costume with the words “Deaf Access Now” plastered across the back. He walked up and down Beverley Street handing out pamphlets to passersby.

Despite the small crowd, the rally drew attention through its bright green signs that lined the block from Lewis Street to North Central Avenue. Signs called for equal pay for Deaf people, access to American Sign Language for Deaf children, and equal access to jobs and services.

Arey got involved with the movement after seeing a video on Facebook that outlined the realities that Deaf people face on a day-to-day basis. The video went viral and Arey decided to help. Last year, he helped campaign for a rally held in Washington, D.C.

“Over one thousand people showed up to the rally. It went on for two days,” Arey said in an email. “There were speeches, testimonials, and chants. After the rally, we went home and decided to continue meeting.” That’s when they came up with the name Deaf Grassroots Movement.

“Since then, it has expanded from seven people with small-town ideas for Deaf equal access to countless activists, representatives and political advocates countrywide,” Arey said. “But we have a long way to go. My role in this is the interim executive director.”

Thursday’s rallies took place across the state - not just in Staunton. Deaf protesters in Richmond, Fairfax, Norfolk, Martinsville, Wytheville and Lynchburg also participated.

“This rally includes 113 cities around the U.S,” Arey said. “Now that we have spread out, we are expecting fewer people from each city. I am expecting 10 people.”

“DGM strives to make noises, get attention and encourage others to fix Deaf people’s issues,” Arey said. “We hope this will get the lawmakers involved. We want them to recognize us and get involved in initializing the process of helping us solve our problem.”


Related DGM on the News:
Deaf Grassroots Movement Raises Awareness For Deaf Community - WBRC
Deaf Grassroots Movement's National Corner Rally Held Today - KATC
'Deaf Grassroots Movement' Rallies at Main Street Square - KOTATV
Deaf Grassroots Movement Activist and Supporters Rally at Shepler Park - KSWO

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Related Deaf Deaf Grassroots Movement:
DGM and NAD - Partners For Deaf Rights
Deaf Grassroots Movement - National Deaf Rally
Deaf Grassroots Movement Nationwide Rally
Deaf Protest at White House in Washington DC
Deaf Protest At The White House 2015 Live Video
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