Intersectionality and Autoethnography: DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, Deaf and Hard of Hearing-Latinx Children Are the Future

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Carla García-Fernández

Abstract

Deaf-Latinx K–12 students are the largest group of racially minoritized students in the US, lagging far behind the complimentary proportion of Deaf-whites in obtaining degrees. Educational institutions have sustained and reproduced privilege and inequality patterns. This article explores how using Deaf-Latinx Critical Theory (Deaf-LatCrit) in educational research facilitates Deaf-Latinx epistemology, intersectionality, and cultural intuition in autoethnography. It effectively captured how I, a first-generation DeafChicana college student, navigated structural inequity in educational institutions. When extant literature and resources are limited, counter-stories must be included to expand knowledge about issues of educational equity, and promote accountability, decision-making, and action. Autoethnography validates my DeafChicana existence and calls for attention to multiple interlocking issues within the educational system. Deaf-LatCrit and autoethnography provided the platform for me to conduct this study, which derives primarily from my own higher educational experiences. This Deaf-Latinx ethnographic study provided me a valuable tool and a safe outlet to reflect on my academic experiences, and exposed five thematic concerns: raciolinguicism, interpreter quality, classroom exclusion, institutional and structural systems, and professional development. Recommendations are included to help individuals become more aware of unconscious and conscious discriminations so we can together improve support for DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, Deaf, and Hard of Hearing-Latinx students in higher education.

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