Date of Award

Summer 7-23-2017

Document Type


First Advisor

Frances Marquez

Second Advisor

David Penna

Third Advisor

Brendan Stern


Improving Deaf people’s participation in politics involved a service-learning project with three activities. First, the Deaf People for Hillary campaign focused on maintaining nationwide social media platforms; increasing Deaf representation in the Hillary for America (HFA) campaign and its disability community taskforce; and testing get-out-the-vote (GOTV) strategies among Deaf people in the Nevada primary. Second, an internship with the HFA campaign at the national headquarters included a first in campaign and political party history: an American Sign Language (ASL) voter assistance videophone hotline operated by volunteers to serve all voters regardless of party. Third, a post-election survey of Deaf non-voters looked into their reasons for not voting. The results of this survey point to the significance of education, awareness, and accessibility. These factors are influenced by participants’ experiences as Deaf individuals. The majority of Deaf non-voting participants said more ASL resources about elections would encourage them to vote. Future Deaf GOTV efforts should use these results to develop strategies. Accompanying each part of the project is a reflection of what I learned as part of my overarching goal of improving Deaf people’s participation in the American electoral process.



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