Deaf culture and the Right to Testify - Talk by Sari Altschuler, Director of Health, Humanities, and Society, Northeastern University

by Student Accessibility

Lecture Social Justice Virtual

Fri, Feb 26, 2021

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM EST (GMT-5)

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Please join us for the 3rd annual lecture in disability and accessibility. In this talk, Sari Altschuler will examine the particular case of the Deaf community and its relationship to the development of civic rights for white and Black Americans—particularly the role of sign language in determining what it meant to have a voice before the law.The American Revolution ushered in an unprecedented optimism about the abilities of individuals—at least white men—to participate in civic life. Using Enlightenment-inspired rhetoric, Americans in the new nation espoused the belief that almost all such individuals could be made good citizens, and in the first decades of independence they created institutions for people with particular impairments to do this work. This had unanticipated reciprocal effects: As the institutions began to define what it meant to be Deaf, blind, or mad in America, they also gave individuals with particular disabilities a stronger sense of shared identity, community, and common experience that, in turn, shaped the very ideas of American citizenship and belonging.

Co-sponsored by Office of Student Accessibility and Health, Culture, and Society Initiative

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