Some individuals have asked about my PhD research and what exactly I am looking at, so I thought it would be a good time to do a blog post on the topic.
The current working title for my PhD is:
“Why equality law and Deaf people don’t get on: the potential solutions for the Deaf Legal Dilemma”
The Deaf Legal Dilemma is essentially the requirement that culturally Deaf people have to identify themselves as deaf or disabled in order to qualify for protection under equality legislation. That’s why I look at the issue of identity, and conclude that it is acceptable for Deaf people to do that due to intersectionality, that is, we all have mulitple identities. The issue remains is that the Deaf identity has no protection in its own right (see Figure 1), which I think accounts for the reason why Deaf people still experience inequality compared to hearing people.
So far, I’ve looked at the Deaf identity and created the concept of the Deaf Legal Dilemma. I’ve also looked at the theories of equality, to establish what Deaf people want/need from equality law (see here), and I’m now looking at equality law to try and identify weaknesses in protecting Deaf people. I’ll then go on to look at potential solutions, one of which is sign language recognition, to ascertain what would achieve equality for Deaf people.