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Deaf Grassroots Movement at Florida State Capitol

Deaf News: Deaf protestors say its time to fight inequality, discrimination and oppression by the hearing in the state of Florida.

TALLAHASSEE, FL -- Tallahassee Democrat: Nearly 30 members of the Deaf Grassroots Movement rallied Wednesday at the Old Capitol. It was part of a nationwide demonstration at all 50 state capitals to call for better education, more job opportunities and acceptance by society in the Untied States.

The DGM aims to fight for the rights of the Deaf and future generations in the Deaf community in all 50 states. On Wednesday all 50 state capitols will have a rally for Deaf Rights, including Tallahassee, Florida.

Occasionally cars passing by on Monroe Street would honk their horns in support, but there was no reaction from the protestors. They were a quiet bunch but fingers started flying, eyes grew wide and faces filled with expressions when word spread a reporter was in their midst.

“So I can’t hear,” Bob Webb of Tallahassee signaled to a man carrying a notebook. “I have a brain. I have a heart.”

The Deaf Grassroots Movement formed in September after a protest at the White House in Washington, D.C. The group says education opportunities for Deaf children are abysmal when compared to those of children who can hear.

The activists planned the 50-state rally to raise awareness of their plight and to issue a call to action to the Deaf community and its allies to fight inequality, discrimination and the oppression Deaf people face.

Webb indicated that the Americans with Disabilities Act was a good thing but needed to be amended to include services geared toward the Deaf.

The group protesting in Tallahassee ranged in age from a middle-school student, who carried a sign saying “Please Invest in My Education,” to an elderly man with a long gray ponytail and ZZ Top-like beard.

Other signs proclaimed sign language as a birthright language, explained that hearing doesn’t make you a better person and listed how the hearing discriminate against the Deaf.

Webb explained the Deaf community feels the state is failing to provide them an equal opportunity in education, employment and in pursuing the American dream.

When asked what he wanted, Webb took to pen and paper from and wrote,

Stop discriminating against us in employment.
Audioism hurts us because they want us to be like hearing people.
Give us fair access, like all other communities.

“Don’t limit me,” Webb signaled. “So I can’t hear. So what?”

SOURCE - TallahasseeNews

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