Self-Advocacy: It’s OK to File a Complaint

Mar 28, 2022

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Video Description:

Natasha, a West Indies female with brown wavy hair and brown eyes sits in front of a wall decorated with flowers and a wooden sign with stylized text “family beside us.”


I had told DSS, the DSS office ahead of time to prepare Zoom for Deaf people. And in the future when we return to physical classes, I always want to mention that you’ve got to caution your Deaf professors and the DSS offices ahead of time and to add that interpreters aren’t there to cheat for the Deaf student and as Deaf students, we also have a chance to make a complaint or a grievance where they could add or change policies. I’m not looking to get a professor fired, but I do want to find some type of policy that can give a professor a pause and maybe change their thinking so they don’t target a student who has an interpreter. So policy change is one way to get this done.

And another issue that happens sometimes is other students mock Deaf students in the classroom. A lot of times they make faces or make comments or they say, “well, I can’t focus on the professor because your interpreter is distracting me.” And in that sense what can I really do about it?  As a Deaf person I want access. I had a student ask me why don’t you go to a Deaf college?  And because they said — and I thought I grew up in a hearing society and I’ve been mainstreamed, right?  And I have the right to make my own choice of what college I attend. And instead of thinking of that oppression of what it was, I realized that I can communicate with the DSS office whether it’s an issue with a hearing student or a professor, I always bring that to the DSS office so they can create those policies. If we don’t do that, that provides a chance for others to fail. Remember, we have a voice, we need to speak up and use it.

Video Description:

A teal circle animates on a white background. Banners appear with text: Self-Advocacy: It’s OK to File a Complaint.

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