Deaf Americans: Fighting for the Chance to Serve in the Military

Summarized by Hannah F. Mann, staff writer

Keith Nolan, a deaf cadet private in California State University Northridge’s ROTC program, is campaigning for a change in the Pentagon’s ban on deaf people in the military. Many in the deaf community emphasize that hearing loss does not preclude one from performing non-combat jobs. As such, they believe deaf people should be permitted to enlist, albeit with certain restrictions.

Opponents point out that the nature of the armed forces require that each enlisted member be able to serve in all capacities of the military, including combat. This view negates even support jobs, such as intelligence and inventory, for deaf people.

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