In the 21st century, every minority group has a law that supports their rights in one way or another. Deaf people have legal rights just as any other member of society. Despite the constant confusion of those specific rights, and though Deaf people are grouped as “disabled”, it certainly does not prevent them from being independent and having full, healthy lives similar to that of a hearing person. Ignorance is never an excuse, so today we will provide some insight into some of those rights set up to protect those who are Deaf.

Fact #1- Deaf People CAN Work

Discrimination is one of the challenges that the Deaf Community continues to face. However now, we have the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), passed into law in 1990, which prohibits such discrimination directed to any persons with a disability. There was a time where most unemployed Deaf people, who were actively searching for jobs, missed opportunities because of their limited hearing caliber. According to Title I of the ADA, the law now makes it illegal for employers to overlook qualifications due to a disability. Some criteria apply if the employer is a large or small business, but most businesses must follow this law and the general rule of thumb.

Fact #2- Deaf People Use Phones Too!

Another great section of the ADA is Title II, which concerns accessibility to public programs and services and prohibits any discrimination based on the same. Even more, the impact arose when the ADA demanded that all telecommunications companies meet the needs of the Deaf by providing relevant Video Relay Services (VRS). Through VRS, Deaf people can now have meaningful conversations with loved ones in real-time than the use of the antiquated TTY. Here Deaf people can have access to an interpreter, who connects and mediates the call between the Deaf person and the hearing person on the other line. 

Fact #3- “Yes. Deaf People Can Drive!”

This repeated question has received many contrasting views from the public and even law practitioner: “Can Deaf people drive?!” The fact remains that Deaf people can perfectly drive themselves any place at any time and be in complete control of their vehicle. With special devices installed to alert them in case of sirens and blind spots, there is no reason to deny them their driving rights. 

What are some other fun facts you’d like to share? We would like to hear your thoughts by leaving us a comment below or sharing your stories with us via our Facebook and Twitter pages!