Sunday, 27 October 2019

Deaf Children's teacher turns back on them and speaks instead..

A teacher for the deaf comes under criticism for turning her back on deaf children when in a pre-school class, as usual, BSL campaigners are angry about this.    ATR attempts to cut through the hysteria about sign to suggest the realities of teaching deaf children and the misconceptions over the signing approach.

"There does seem issues with the deaf child.  A lot is down to what deaf ADULTS want and what the state and 'society' feels deaf children need in the way of communication support.  It looks like a wrong approach here, some teachers in wanting the deaf child enable to follow SPEECH, use that approach disproportionally, they do fear that a total BSL/Sign approach will enable further isolation later on because the mainstream doesn't work that way. 

A teacher turning her back on a deaf child has no place in a classroom of deaf children or indeed those with any hearing loss.  

There is no doubt a singular BSL approach to learning sets up that child for life regardless of what other skills they might learn.  It then becomes difficult to get them to adapt as adults and I don't see ANY deaf adults improving their ability to communicate to hearing post-school.  If we accept sign is a right, we also have a duty to enable our children to be bilingual in the true form of the word. Sign isn't an inevitable and sole means a deaf child can attain, much depends on parental support, teaching approaches and the individual ability of the child itself, there is no one size fits all.

The right to sign has to be taken in that context.

An ability to read is vital more so than speaking or signing, but an INability (Or unwillingness) to develop that ability to communicate with hearing is the real issue.  You can have a culture and a language and still manage OK, welsh people do it.  The campaign for culture seems to be running on the fear factor, the fear it cannot sustain itself alongside an equal accessible hearing platform.  We should not be using the deaf child to make a deaf adult point.

The 'Deaf' approach is to aim for a total BSL environment despite no deaf schools e.g. Wales at ALL, and deaf clubs you can count on one hand. Dis-abling the deaf child the training, or empowering the ability to cross cultures, is going to be very bad for them in the future.  We simply create child martyrs to whatever cause celeb campaigners are running.  

Parents need to concentrate on how best to enable their child to succeed in what is a predominantly HEARING environment not pursue immersive sign approaches when in reality the support for that to function or be TAUGHT properly, is NOT there.  BSL interpreting is in 100s, deaf signers allegedly (Not proven because there is no system to collate figures), are in many 1,000s.  You don't need a degree in mathematics to work out BSL isn't enabled to function, and deafness under the 'cosh' of medical advance and alleviations too.

It should be noted the NDCS is NOT behind a BSL immersive approach, they have said so, also that while recent profile campaigns aimed at politicians for a BSL option in all schools, it has not got off the table, neither, has the 2004/5 declaration by the EU of the acceptance of BSL in education, the BDA misreported or misunderstood that, what the EU said, was it 'recognised' deaf people using sign language, (along with 37 other minority language approaches), but empowerment of that use was/is still the duty of the host government, ours in the UK has chosen not to do that, mainly because many hearing parents wanted to choose themselves what approach was used and were not confident sign was that approach.  

They (parents), were also concerned sign was being seen as some 'novelty' approach and supporters od 'learn the A, B, C of sgn', were not really understanding the implications of lifetime use or dependence on it or the deaf politic that drives it all.  Supporters were looking at the sign and ignoring the cultural elements of it, including its extreme areas.   The issue with children (and cute animals), is that emotion replaces logic and getting down to basics then becomes impossible. 

We doubt the shenanigans and rows and various crusades against speech/Cochlear Implants/Oral approaches etc has swayed parents towards sign either.  Last year we saw vicious attacks by deaf signers against a mother who wanted her child to have an implant accusing her of child abuse.  Social media e.g. has just enhanced these more extreme elements.  It's a perennial issue online and everywhere else, culture versus access and need etc, I expect it will ramble on for years and years, but in the end free choice will defeat the negative and lack of the holistic approach to supporting the deaf child, who isn't just 'Fodder for deaf culture' to exploit."

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