Today I am not talking about sewing. In reality, It is way too late and I should be in bed. But I am up, upset and distracted, because of the propaganda about cochlear implants that I have just read. I have taken two courses in American Sign Language partnered with Deaf culture. (Capital 'D' Deaf means that the person identifies themselves as Deaf, is involved in the Deaf community, signs and does not feel 'hearing impaired').
A large part of this was learning about deaf children who were forced to attend 'schools' where they were punished for signing and forced to speak, although they could not hear nor control the pitch of their voice. Our book (which I have to find) had a very special story entitled 'CBS hurt the Deaf community by Caitlyn's story'.
Caitlyn was a young deaf child whose parents decided to have a cochlear implant installed. The Deaf community largely is against the Cochlear implant. Personally, I can't blame them. The story highlighted how Caitlyn was deaf and now can hear, can respond, 'acts like a normal child'. As though a (D)deaf child is less desirable than a hearing one?
I still remember the last sentence from the article- that when Caitlyn is ready, the community is waiting for her. I am reading this story now:
and I hope to finish it in the morning. Personally, I find discrimination of any kind disturbing. try to remember the last article you read in a newspaper about a deaf person. Can you remember one? Great! Do you remember how the person was referred to? By their first name, most likely, just like reporters refer to children or pets- not adults.
Just a parting thought. Now its way too late and I'll be at work in six hours... My boyfriend has learned some of the signs and as somebody who works at the airport, he says its amazing how his interactions with Deaf people have changed, how grateful they are who finds someone who understands them- even if its just a hello and thank you. We are hoping to take a class in ASL together soon. I can't wait to be in a ASL class again. I started the classes around three years ago, but I haven't practiced and forget a lot of the signs. I admit, I am excited when a Deaf person comes through my que. A chance to practice, a chance to remember! I simply wished that I understood more of the Deaf culture. There's some things that wiki just can't teach you. Maybe this class, we can make some headway into understanding Deaf culture better.
4 months ago