The civil rights movement of the 1960s inspired many minority groups to press for greater self-determination and economic opportunity. Marches, sit-ins, and protests became tools for change and increased awareness.

As many Americans came to accept greater cultural diversity, deaf people began to explore more openly their cultural-linguistic identity and assert their right to access information. Interpreting services, captioning and telephone access were among the accommodations stressed.

New technologies, in medicine as well as communications, have changed the experience of being deaf and the ways deaf individuals communicate with each other and people everywhere.