Advocates for deaf community rally at State Capitol

A speaker stands in front of the Iowa State Capitol where the rally took place. (Photo: Steffi Lee)

Activists gathered in Des Moines as part of a nationwide effort to help the deaf community achieve more in their communities.

The Deaf Grassroots Movement rallied at state capitols across the country, raising awareness about areas where advocates say they need more help.

That includes more opportunities in the workplace and expanded resources in education.

Iowa president Kathy Miller was born deaf. She spoke at the rally, saying she wants others to understand there's a different way of viewing how people communicate.

She emphasized how American Sign Language needs to be considered as an option.

She says she'll continue fighting for more interpreters and American Sign Language to be used in all public classrooms.

"Everywhere you go, you have wheelchair access, you have ramps," she said. "We don't have that as a deaf community. Children from 0-5, they need to have language provided to them in sign language. They need to be able to have that type of exposure. Speech reading doesn't work if you're completely deaf."

Speakers at the rally also pushed for more voter registrations.

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