Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type



Communication Disorders

First Reader

Professor Carol Morgan

Second Reader

Dr. Kevin C. Motl

Third Reader

Dr. Benjamin Utter


History has recorded the mistreatment of both Deaf people and women across time and cultures. The discrimination, struggle for rights, and the strides of progress thus far are congruent themes in both narratives, but neither expressly acknowledges the experiences of Deaf women, who encounter prejudice for both labels. In order to ascertain the breadth and magnitude of Deaf women’s challenges, their role and limitations in Deaf history, and their personal and social difficulties today were researched. These challenges are then illustrated by six personal accounts from modern Deaf women. The results of the study indicated that Deaf women experienced and continue to experience gender-based discrimination from both Deaf culture and the hearing world, and social prejudice and stereotypes from the hearing world based on their deafness. These biases in turn affect their development, identity, education, vocation, income, relationships, and personal success.



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