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“The Right To Be Deaf”

Presented by Octavian E. Robinson, PhD

This lecture was recorded and can be viewed below or by clicking here.

This talk explores what it means to radically embrace deaf ways of being and languaging in the context of contemporary social and political issues in the United States. A variety of social and disability justice issues affecting deaf people, including Black Lives Matter, Covid-19, and the 2020 election are explored with particular attention to questions of access, attitudes about signed languages, and the impact of signed language interpreting on deaf people’s human rights. 

Meet the Presenter

Image Description: A white male wearing an orange shirt is smiling at the camera.

Octavian Robinson is a historian by training and disability studies scholar by fortune. He earned his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in history; his dissertation focused on citizenship, belonging, and rhetoric among deaf Americans during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. He also holds a M.A. in Deaf Studies from Gallaudet University. His work is rooted in critical disability studies. The major threads of his research focuses on language attitudes toward signed languages in academia, ableist rhetoric among deaf people, and ableism in interpreter mediated contexts. He has published on history, ableist rhetoric, citizenship, disability justice, and linguistic rights.