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Keith Nolan: Deaf in the military

April 23, 2011

Keith Nolan always wanted to join the United States military -- but he’s deaf, an automatic disqualification according to military rules. In this talk, he describes his fight to fight for his country. (In American Sign Language, with real time translation.) (Filmed at TEDxIslay.)

Keith Nolan - Teacher
Keith Nolan doesn't believe his deafness should be a barrier to serving his country -- and is making the case for increasing the role of citizens with disabilities in the military. Full bio

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Double-click the English subtitles below to play the video.

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Keith Nolan - Teacher
Keith Nolan doesn't believe his deafness should be a barrier to serving his country -- and is making the case for increasing the role of citizens with disabilities in the military.

Why you should listen

Keith Nolan was told that he couldn’t enlist in the army because he was deaf -- but he didn’t take no for an answer. After he finally convinced a commander to let him audit ROTC classes, he proved himself a top student and earned his uniform. Although a standard military hearing test prevents him from enlisting, his continued fight has inspired many would-be soldiers with disabilities -- and a vigorous online campaign on his behalf.

The original video is available on TED.com
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