The People’s Republic of China is home to over 20 million d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing people, many among them belonging to ethnic minorities. Drawing on ethnographic eldwork in two minority regions, the Tibet Autonomous Region and the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, this article comparatively discusses ndings on sign language use, education and state welfare policies. The situation in these domains is analysed through the framework of the ‘civilising project’, coined by Harrell, and its impacts on the d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing among ethnic minorities are shown. For instance, through the promotion of Chinese and Chinese Sign Language over and above the use of local sign and written languages as well as through education and the medicalisation of disabilities.
- Ethnic sign languages; ethnicity; Tibet; Inner Mongolia; China; Deaf Studies