Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Do we need to de-prioritise BSL to Deaf children?

"We need deaf schools based on sign language as the prime teaching medium..."  

More arguments about switching to an immersive approach to a  sign based education for deaf children and claims this is a basic need being denied.  Should not inclusion be a priority?  This cannot be done by legislation alone.

This is nature versus nurture, nothing is written (Or signed until we do that). 

The thing about education is too much politics and not enough determination to offer deaf children a means of surviving and managing mainstream, cocooned as they are in specialist surroundings and a 'community' their sole alternative socially, means more of the same and nothing will change. 

Rather a pessimistic viewpoint!  The deaf community is all the deaf signer has, and it's their choice, not for you to say no...

'All they have and their choice..'?  Can you not see the irony behind your own statement?  They don't HAVE choices and that's the issue.

Inclusion in the mainstream means they need options to sign language it is a simple as that, I know this annoys certain areas, and they can yell discrimination till the cows come home but they need true bilingualism and alteratives to sign because it isn't what mainstream uses. You cannot demand they learn yours.  At best you can go half-way and hope others do the same.  Once you accept mainstream is not going to comply with demands then solutions become more realistic.

Pessimistically, showing deaf children that their future is one of reliance on others for life, a right even, and hearing are 'against' them, isn't much of an impetus to adapt at all. 

It's a base to launch deaf activism from, to blame everyone else, a base for a multitude of disassociated and disenfranchised people and focus groups to rant endlessly about, a breeding ground for extremes.

Deaf activism struggles in its own vacuum, it has turned deaf culture into a blame culture. There are no BSL schools, no BSL Deaf teachers, not enough interpreters, and no BSL curriculum to make it work. Political deaf views on opposition to our basic language acquirement, do them no favours either. It would take years to set a BSL system up and no guarantee parents would buy into or support it.   Who would train the BSL educational teachers up? and what bottom line on inclusion is there?  Or would it be 'cultural indoctrination on the 'Deaf Way' and children watching as endless campaigns come for others to sign too?  Where awareness is selective?

Mainstreaming must succeed we owe the deaf child that. Every child matters indeed, but they need choice and the Deaf community offers no choice at all, we have to convince people Isolation isn't inevitable, or what hope is there? Let us not bury realism beneath a layer of special need already hijacked by deaf activism whose bottom line is ignorance.

They need numbers to make waves, and there are less deaf now than there were, better approaches to hearing loss, CI's are better, Hearing aids are, and genetic advance will also address what wasn't addressable before.

Sign language is seductive, the idea that sign was a way in to other areas is never the reality, because once they sign at each other 24/7 what impetus is there to communicate any other way?  We need to prioritise bilingualism day one and actively ensure hearing and deaf peers work together, not, taught apart.

Of course, oral tuition started off very badly, but today we can make it work a lot easier and should be doing.  We need to bury deaf activists who call it cruelty, and intent on keeping deaf where they are, isolated so they can pontificate at them.

I find this conversation interesting as a look back to ye olde deaf ways, as they don't exist anymore, nobody wants it, and young deaf are getting out there and away from the restrictive lifestyles older deaf had no choice but to go with, let's be positive and make inclusion a reality, not another barrier created to keep the deaf out of it.  Deaf schools and clubs were a necessity in days gone past, they aren't now.

We need to prioritise ABILITY, not laud DISABILITY, simples.