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Sexual and Gender Minorities

Deaf Awareness Month: Reflecting On Audist Barriers in the Sexual Violence Field

The first American school to teach American Sign Language (ASL) was the Hartford-based Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons in 1817 (renamed the American School for the Deaf). While the focus on educating persons with disabilities was groundbreaking at the time, it is clear from the institution’s name alone that there was an implicit, audist prejudice in its perception and approach to its students.