Thursday, 12 November 2020

Being Deaf managing COVID

Deaf have really noticed that where the choice to mix with peers is limited and poor access via covid they lack the skills to interact with hearing.  This is a problem that has always existed with deaf they move from deaf education to the deaf community and then when that is difficult, suffer via lack of skills or confidence to interact with the rest of society.

Repeated requests to make inclusion a real concept with the deaf has been defeated time and again by opposition, and by a lack of deaf confidence with hearing people.  Rather than spending 24/7 of their social life just with other deaf they need to acquire skills and confidence to approach hearing people who mostly are more than willing to engage, it is just that deaf prefer other deaf so that bridge has never really been built or encouraged enough, and random activism insisting it is all some 'hearing plot' to remove sign or culture.

When COVID is over they will just go back to the same old again.  Deaf have a great opportunity during covid to make that next step to engage a lot more with hearing people, with their own families even, who took second place to deaf peers.  Unless that is addressed day one at education nothing will ever change.  The deaf reliance on face to face is also an issue as communication is still an issue even with facetime and zoom etc where real-time access still is not working properly.  We may not have a community to get back to and many clubs may never reopen.

It's good some have used text and paper and pencil because these are a way in to inclusion and who knows, others may learn to sign with them, which they won't whilst deaf adopt the community ethos of going it alone.  Covid exposed this as unviable in a pandemic and a pandemic is something the deaf cannot challenge either.  Inclusion takes effort real effort, but the only way to make access a reality whilst a dedicated deaf community is a barrier to it.