Tuesday, 20 October 2020

The Deaf Elite


Deaf elitism exists simply because there are deaf who acquired ENGLISH and so are more capable of advancing than lesser educated peers.  There is strong evidence this more able/elite deaf then set themselves up as campaigners, mentors, awareness teachers, open up charities and such to promote DEPENDENCY for their lesser-able peers and guess who provides it?  Money for old rope.

These are very adept deaf people, not to be underestimated, they can counter and even zero huge support charities as well. Mostly they are people who have very real and viable alternatives TO sign language.  One school for the deaf in the UK provides 60% of ALL UK leading campaigners on sign language, yet, it is an oral one.  Paddy Ladd was oral e.g. but became a 'born again' signer after his opus got read and there was mileage to be made in the USA.  The ASL/BSL community has not enabled deaf to move outward indeed the drive is to cement this alternative to real inclusion.   You have to be in it to win it basically. 

It is true the 'community' can be unwelcoming to the deaf who don't adopt the position, the elite are determining who is deaf and who isn't, mostly based on to what degree this elite can control them, not grassroots, who are too disadvantaged to raise the issue with it and reliant as they are on sign cannot communicate with non-signers anyway.  Unless the deaf 'visitor' has the wherewithal to learn sign themselves it is a waste of time.  

Relentless campaigns for 'help', support, rights etc fuelled by dire warning 'everyone is against the deaf', 'they are against sign language', 'want to undermine the community', 'trying to make us hearing',  tend to suggest that deaf are left out, ignored, deprived discriminated against etc when the very essence of the rights drive is to maintain its alternative community which this elite controls. 

Advance, further education, real inclusion, are not really on the community agenda, the elite doesn't want too much acceptance their power is gone.  The UK hasn't really a base for advance via the community any more, deaf clubs have gone to the wall, deaf schools have closed, all the negativity (And ego-fed self-promotion of this elite), has been online let's all have more deaf schools again, this time sign only ones etc, so they can create another generation who feel even more deprived and next time no English at all. The message carries because grassroots don't engage or cannot. All they know is they sign and are isolated. We are supposed to have in the UK 100K deaf, but less than 24K actually rely on sign language to what degree nobody knows.

The deaf community may well discover they have been confined to isolation by their own leadership.  I don't buy the bilingual debates, they use this to suggest ASL or BSL allows English in, but, we all know differently don't we?  Many deaf cannot follow anything BUT sign language and a lot aren't interested or capable of changing that or acquiring other essential skills.  

We can be thankful the young deaf are no longer engaging with this elite and see through it all, they want what hearing have and they know what they need, to get that, and it isn't some glorious isolation in a deaf club forever complaining where is the help? Deaf are doing it for themselves.  Having a community doesn't mean inclusion is unwelcome unless the deaf lack any confidence outside it.  

Maybe making a welcome haven for such people isn't really the way forward.  There is no impetus for any change is there?