Is There a Right Way to Be Deaf? There is a wrong way to be one! Reading this article I just feel sad, a deaf person has grown up being given the sign language her community demands of her only to then turn on her parents and begin the old rambles about 'Us' and 'Hearing people' when it turns out not to be such an advantage at all. Sign was meant as a communication assist and educational tool, not, as a way of life, or a way to permanent reliance on others, but an empowerment toward independence. One tool amongst numerous options.
Many of the issues she raises are down to belonging to this 'closed community' of sign language dependents and being unable to move outside it as a result, so back to the old stock in trade response, of 'blaming' everyone else for issues of poor communication or 'support'. The message offer nil hope to those coming through who are younger. Deaf take no responsibility for the way they live their lives or, responsibility, or for encouraging others towards inclusion by recognising choice in the deaf worlds.
She fails to see the reason for her dilemma is her parents bowing to the deaf cultural view, had she been made more aware of sign alternatives and other options perhaps she would have attained an ability to be truly bilingual and made the best of both 'worlds' deaf and hearing. The only future for deaf community is the social one, the social area is important, but it is leisure time, and the deaf need abilities to do the day job and work with hearing, they go to these deaf educational areas and, primed to fail in that respect, so the mantra is 'All hearing must sign too.' how unrealistic is that?
Just when we thought realism was creeping into deaf activist campaigns they revert to historical type again. Many more deaf outside the community manage without all this hand wringing and misplaced blame culture, and identity angst, millions with hearing loss too, they don't have to run access campaigns, so we are probably talking about a deaf area who cannot or will never change, and trying to call it something else entirely. Maybe call it a right or something? or a culture? even if that changes nothing. Of course, if you point out why they are where they are, it cements their opposition and they blame you as well.
The reality is being deaf doesn't always suit you to a culture or a way of life or to other people, the individual will out and blame emerges. But the die isn't set you can attend different areas and learn ways out of it. The world revolves around hearing, and the written and spoken word, some deaf are refusing to recognise this basic fact of life. we KNOW deafness is an issue, but we also know sign isn't the be-all or end-all of the answer or if we are all able to live a lifetime in the restrictive area of the 'community'.
It's sad when it means kids turn and blame parents for it all and accept her 'peers' support that too. They blame hearing and their areas, have they not seen the illogic of their argument? can 2 out of 3 main areas be wrong? Can 6 times more deaf than in the 'community' be wrong? or, millions with hearing loss too? Apparently yes.
The sole argument against lip-reading seems to be based it on oralism hang ups more than anything, the only concession we can make is to agree the tuition is at fault and not started early enough. Once sign is used, these deaf won't attempt anything else, let's face it. So education needs to bear this in mind. Deaf are never taught what they need to learn, to be included and end up left out as a result.
She is really saying "My parents chose sign and it has disadvantaged me," but she still won't blame the real areas responsible for that choice. Her own peers, and her own community, where their spokespeople are desperate to avoid integration and inclusion whatever it takes, 'because it is our right'.
“Your whole life, they’ve been trying to take you away from me,” my father says to me, referring to the deaf community. But the deaf community could just as easily say the same about my father.
More than 90 percent of deaf and hard-of-hearing children are born to hearing parents like mine, who have little to no experience interacting with deaf people. When it was discovered that I was profoundly deaf at six weeks old, my parents faced a common decision: Should they adapt themselves to their deaf child, learn sign language, and embrace deaf culture, or have their deaf child adapt to hearing culture, give her cochlear implants or hearing aids, and train her in the precarious art of lip-reading?
My parents chose the former, believing that sign language would provide me with equal access to the opportunities afforded my hearing twin brother.