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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

When you think of a minority, what comes to mind?

For most, the popular groups such as women and African-Americans are the first to occupy your thoughts.

However, there is another minority group just as large and just as important as these. There is a community in our society that has been ignored for centuries.

Aristotle claimed that they were incapable of being educated, and society has simply pushed them aside for the most part.

A professor at UF once told me that if every member of this minority group from all over the world came together, it would be the third-largest nation on the planet.

Most readers will not have a clue about which group I am referring to. The invisible minority in our society is the deaf.

The issue of deaf discrimination is rarely discussed in the public discourse. In fact, it is rarely discussed at all due to lack of knowledge.

The deaf community faces discrimination from all ends, including education, employment and more. Due to a communication barrier, this minority group is labeled as disabled and often referred to as dumb.

The deaf have their own culture and use their own language just like other groups that have fought for equal rights over the years.

The problem is that the deaf community is largely ignored by society, and their voices have yet to be heard.

We live in a hearing world controlled by hearing people, and this gives the deaf very little power. They rely on interpreters and closed-captioning to function.

We need to learn about this minority group just as we learn about all of the others in every history class. We need to attempt to communicate with and accommodate this group of people simply because they deserve the same rights as everyone else.

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For more information, look into an organization called Signing Gators here at UF.

Arianna Scalone

UF Student

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