Political Socialization of the Deaf Community Through New Media Accessibility
Owen, Diana M.
The Deaf community has unique socializing factors, primarily linguistic, that influence their political engagement and are directly affected by political and procedural accessibility to the new media environment. The following study focuses on the socializing factors of the Deaf community specifically in regards to political information, opinion, and activism. Ultimately, I seek to uncover the reasons behind idiosyncratic or deficient political socialization. The methodology combines survey and interview to highlight real and perceived holes in the accessibility infrastructure of our country and clearly indicate the need for awareness and increased feedback in the political arena and in the media. Assistive technologies like closed captioning have particularly complex underpinnings but are the most relied-upon source of information for Deaf consumers. In this study, I present the perspectives of policy makers for media accessibility, producers of assistive technologies, and advocates within the Deaf community. I believe that the lack of accurate, first-hand access to news in the media contributes to episodic political isolation of the Deaf community. Much of the research about Deaf politics only touches the fringe of this issue: that we require greater mobilization of the Deaf community and of our political leaders and lobbyists to streamline important communication through accessible and effective media outlets. I propose that policies concerning media accessibility will only become increasingly retroactive. Using the results of my research and the principle of “kairotic space” between consumers and vendors, corporate social responsibility presents itself as the best intercession that can be made for Deaf political socialization in the new media environment.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.