Deaf President Now!
"Deaf President Now!" summarized the student protests of March 1998, of the appointment the 7th hearing President of Gallaudet University.
This video was very moving; it showed students fervently campaigning for the removal of the newly appointed hearing President of Gallaudet University Mrs. Zinser. The Gallaudet community felt it was time to have a deaf President. The protest spanned nearly a week, there were no classes held as students took to the streets to protest the appointment Zinser. The Gallaudet community even went so far as to create mock dolls of Zinser and burn them in the streets. I doubt they wanted her dead but that was just how strongly they felt about her removal and the placement of a deaf person as President of the school. I wasn't shocked when the Board gave in to the students' demands. Zinser finally resigned making way for a deaf man to be appointed as President. Initially, thought the students were overreacting; but I begin to see parallels between the women's movement and the civil rights movement and realized that when women and minorities fought for equality, many people believed they too, were overreacting. I was reminded that you can't judge someone, because you don't understand what it is like to walk a mile in their shoes. The appointment of a deaf President to the students would have legitimize deaf people, without a deaf President the message was sent that deaf people somehow weren't good enough to be leaders. But as a little boy pointed out in the video that having a hearing President didn't adequately serve the deaf community at Gallaudet since a hearing President could never "share the same experience" as a deaf person.
The questions I have after watching this video are:
What happened to Zinser after she resigned?
What happened to the first hearing President, Dr. Jordan? Where is he now?
I was able to locate information or Dr. Jordan. Dr. I. King Jordan, Gallaudet's first deaf President served as President from 1998-2006, he resigned in 2006. He currently serves on the Commission on Presidential Scholars. He was appointed by President Obama and…… [Read More]
These churches include the Pilgrim Lutheran Church of the Deaf, International Deaf Mission, Los Angeles Deaf Church., Holy Angeles Catholic Church of the Deaf and the Grace Bible Church of the Deaf, to mention a few. There is also a presence of the Jewish deaf community. When it comes to education, the Los Angeles area has a sizable program at the California State University Northridge with a National Center on Deafness. As a region, California has several schools for the deaf with both oral and signing or total communication. There is also a program for the deaf and hard of hearing program in the Los Angeles Unified School District. All these factors make Los Angeles and California as a whole a "deaf friendly" region for the deaf communities in it.
American Athletic Association of the Deaf
According to the USADSF, in 1945, the Akron Club of the Deaf in Ohio sponsored the first national basketball tournament at which time it established the American Athletic Union of the Deaf which was later renamed the American Athletic Association of the Deaf ("About USADSF"). It was later renamed the U.S.A. Deaf Sports Federation or USADSF in 1997. This association mainly purposes to foster and regulate uniform competition rules as well as provide social outlets for deaf members and their friends. It also serves as a parent organization of national sports organizations, conduct annual athletic competitions and assist in the U.S. teams participation in international competitions. It is the only recognized national athletic association that coordinates the participation of American deaf and hard of hearing persons in international competitions. It is also affiliated with the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (Stewart 74).
The deaf athletes are different from other athletes on the playing field by their loss of hearing and are all united on the USADSF's national teams by their virtue of experiences they share as well as the challenges they face. Former and current athletes act as ambassadors within the United States and around the world and serve as role models either actively or…… [Read More]
Deaf individuality itself is highly valued in the Deaf community. Members seem to concur that hearing people can never completely obtain that identity and become an experienced member of the deaf community. Even with deaf parents and a native grasp of ASL the hearing person will have missed the familiarity of growing up deaf, including residential school. For a lot of members of the deaf community, speech and thinking like a hearing person are pessimistically valued in Deaf Culture (What is Deaf Culture, 2011).
Residential schools provide a very important link in the communication of Deaf Culture and Language. Children here are capable to communicate in a language willingly understood by each other. Deaf children are capable to partake in social clubs, sports and appreciably enough, to be around deaf role models. It is important for deaf children to be hopeful to further their education and to learn that deafness does not mean that they cannot grow up to be victorious and contented. Success of course being at each persons own viewpoint on what success and happiness means to them personally. This is not to say that conventional education is iniquitous for deaf children, but one must keep in mind that socialization is indispensable to a child's growth and with no common language socialization is restricted (Deaf Culture, 2011).
In the Deaf Culture to be deaf in actions, principles, knowledge, and fluency in ASL is seen as a positive thing. Deafness is not a disability but rather a special way of being. Nevertheless, it must be noted that not all members of the deaf community share the same principles of those deaf who support Deaf culture. Even though a deaf person may sign, that by itself does not mean they follow Deaf culture or the attitude of that Culture, remember that Deaf culture is a characteristic. Each Deaf person is unique and views may be different. "This may be due to several things like setting of education, language, whether their parents were deaf or hearing and if they signed or not, which language the deaf person uses and so on. Along with this there are a lot of Hard of Hearing people who favor Deaf culture over hearing culture" (Deaf Culture, 2011).
There are…… [Read More]
There is "evidence that deaf children benefit from early exposure to sign language points to the need for in-depth sign language training for parents and other caregivers, with special attention to underserved populations such as those in rural areas," (Marschuck 2001 p 9). Parents should not rely on external schools at later developmental stages, when the damage to the child's cognitive and linguistic abilities could have already been done.
Chomsky's Developmental Theory
In order to better understand how this issue is such a problem for the population of deaf children born to hearing parents, it is important to explore relevant theoretical models of language acquisition. According to Noam Chomsky's theory of language development, children have an innate ability to learn any form of human communication
(Macaulay 2006). We as human beings are essentially hard-wired to learn language skills and concepts. Here, the research states that "human beings are born with an innate knowledge of how language is structured and use this innate knowledge to work out how to acquire competence in the language to which they are exposed," (Macaulay 2006 p 54). Infants show similar language acquisition abilities despite cultural or regional differences because of the Language Acquisition Device (LAD) that Chomsky believed help facilitate language learning. Children do not learn language simply through imitation, but through a more complex process that is innately conducted cognitively. Thus, language acquisition is rapid because of these innate structures already in place (Macaulay 2006). Chomsky's theory takes an interesting twist when applied to children of deaf populations. One study (Goldin-Meadow & Mylander 1998), explored the language structures used by deaf children in the United States and in China. What the research discovered was that the compilation of language structures in hand-made gestures was incredibly similar, despite vast cultural and language differences. According to this study, "These striking similarities offer critical empirical input towards resolving…… [Read More]
Equally destructive is the attitude that communicating with the Deaf person may involve more time and effort than one wishes to expend" (Zieziula, 1998, p. 193).
Moreover, and perhaps one of the most important challenges related to this issue, a large percentage of deaf individuals do not trust the hearing society. "Historically, the dominant hearing culture has relegated deaf people to social categories such as "handicapped" and "outsider." The history of oppression and exclusion of the deaf community -- although with important variations depending on the countries -- and the ignorance and rejection of the natural and preferred means of communication of many of them is a well-known and many times denounced phenomenon," (Munoz-Baell & Ruiz, 1999, p. 1).
Finally, there is a real deficiency of information in Deaf culture regarding hospice and its related services. Finding appropriate facilities can be a time-consuming and frustrating process.
The program: breaking down barriers
The purpose of this program is to meet the challenges stated above by providing hospice services that cater to the unique needs of deaf individuals. This will be accomplished through the use of educational classes and workshops provided in churches and community centers. Deaf persons skilled in ASL will be trained as volunteers and must be available on call when a deaf patient is admitted to the facility. Only those individuals with a high level of signing skills will be accepted. The volunteers will also be asked to accompany the patient to doctor visits as well as make needed home or hospital visits. However, volunteers will not replace certified interpreters who accompany the patient on office and doctor visits. Grief counselors will also be interviewed and possess ASL skills, and may include pastors, ministers, priests, and other religious clergy who serve the Deaf community.
Another vital part of this program will be to generate program awareness throughout the local deaf community by providing advertising and educational materials and possibly a Website.
Community outreach…… [Read More]
Sign language has become a politically charged issue in the deaf community: a means to create a cohesive social group. For the same reason that cochlear implants are viewed as controversial, speaking is occasionally viewed as selling out. Matlin's move did not deter her, however. With moral support from Whoopie Goldberg, Matlin maintained her identity as a proud member of the deaf community while still being willing to express herself in whatever way she pleased.
Matlin is married to a police officer and has four children. She still works as an actor and views herself not as a deaf person who happens to be an actor but the reverse: as an actor who happens to be deaf (Putz 2005). Her level of comfort with the mainstream hearing society is far from threatening to the cohesiveness of the deaf community. Matlin can also be a role model for any aspiring actor needing encouragement from those who actively pursue their dreams without fear.
Matlin would not seem to be a controversial figure but she has been. Reading about Matlin reminded me of how politically charged deafness and deaf culture have become. Speech and cochlear implants can be viewed as bridges between deaf individuals and the world around them, as a means to solidify membership in the deaf community, or both. Matlin shows that deafness is not a hindrance to success; only doubt can prevent the fulfillment of a dream. What Matlin also shows is that deaf individuals are just that: individuals. The deaf community is no more monolithic than the Jewish community or the Latino community. Each person must decide for himself or herself whether or not to embrace speech.
Most likely, Matlin was using her voice to express herself fully. Her decision was a courageous and admirable one, because deaf children and also adults sometimes feel ashamed to use their speaking voice. The voice can be a more shocking reminder of the barriers between deaf and hearing communities. When Matlin was a child her brother humorously referred to her voice as being a foreign accent (Putz 2005). Vocal expression does not need to be perceived as a negative for deaf people. Those who choose to use their voice are not subverting the deaf…… [Read More]
The 2008 television movie Sweet Nothing in My Ear presents the controversy over cochlear implants in a sensitive, albeit heart-wrenching, way. Whether or not Adam receives the implant, he will be a loved child and will grow into a healthy, robust adult with the potential to fulfill his dreams. The question is whether Adam will grow into a Deaf adult or a hearing adult. His mother is Deaf, and so is his grandfather. Adam is therefore already part of the Deaf community, and if he were to not receive the implant, he would seamlessly integrate into that community. With his mother's and grandfather's support and familiarity with Deaf culture, Adam would have no trouble finding ways to thrive without hearing. On the other hand, Adam's father is a hearing person. Because Adam gradually loses his hearing, he has already had one foot in the hearing world. Adam is therefore caught between two worlds, the hearing and the Deaf. Like a bi-cultural or bi-racial child, he will always contend with problems related to fitting in completely with one or the other community. If he decides to shun the implant, he will be embraced by the Deaf community but will have a difficult time integrating into the hearing world when he is in school and in his future career. Adam is too young to make the decision on his own, as his parents' conflicting opinions undoubtedly create confusion in his head. If he has to decide at this stage in his life, the best option for Adam would be to accept the implant in spite of the potential negative consequences he might experience from the Deaf community. It is a difficult choice, but one that must be made as Adam starts to develop an identity. Adam should accept the implant.
The reasons for the implant tend to outweigh the reasons against it. For one, Adam can and will still be a part of the Deaf community; it is up to the community to accept him on his terms and for…… [Read More]
Is there, after all any comparison between ordinary schools and those meant for the deaf? If, after all, the parent of a deaf child decides to remove the child from a failing school and wants to enroll him in a public school, where, normally, there is no provision for the deaf, then what will be the next step? As far as the question of student assessments is concerned, each school has the right to assess a child as it sees fit. It is towards this goal that most schools are geared up, and if an outsider assessment proves that the school is not progressing well by the end of 2014 and not all students are proficient in reading and writing and mathematics, and then it is deemed to have failed. This is where the question of deaf and other disabled children comes in. Can deaf children be taught to read proficiently?
There is no doubt that though they can be taught to read, they will not be able to read with as much ease as normally able children. (Journal provided by client) So, is a quality education assured for them, or is the Act meant for those children who suffer from no disabilities? Will these hearing impaired children enjoy the benefits of being educated with their peers, and also enjoy a meaningful educational experience in the process? Will the tests that are designed more for normal children than for disabled children give an accurate picture of the school's progress, and is it really correct to test deaf children who are not actually as proficient as their peers in the school? (No Child Left behind Act- abclocal.go.com)
In addition to this is the fact that there are in existence quite a few conflicting laws on the issue of discipline and behavior of disabled children. Though measures have been taken to inculcate changes in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, it is to the parent's benefit that they must keep abreast of all the laws and rules pertaining to their deaf or…… [Read More]
Sign of Respect
In this video, the basic message is that as new signers we should act with the same level of respect that we use with the hearing, that is, if we do not understand, express this honestly.
Certainly, just as in the scene where someone such as Amy do not understand, answer b should always be our answer. However, beyond just expressing understanding or lack thereof as a sin of respect (or disrespect) to a deaf person is not enough. We must use this as a template for all of our interactions with the deaf community. Just as we would like the Golden Rule and the benefit of the doubt applied to us, we need to give the same consideration first so that we deserve to have it from the deaf.
If we treat the hearing impaired as if they are not aware, what does this say about ourselves and our manners? If we see this simply as an exercise in good manners, it will not be so difficult to see the hearing impaired community as anything other than normal people who deserve the same respect that we do in any situation where we may not have the same access to or level of communication in a data set as we might like to have.
There are more similarities than differences between the hearing impaired community and the hearing community. Just as they wish to have respect, they wish to have it just as much as we do. Indeed, a "handicap" is simply propelled by perception. If one has never heard, they have no idea that they are "behind" or "handicapped." Any situation is a double edged sword. It can go both ways.
Do those in the hearing impaired community have many of the experiences that happened between those in the video in the Deaf Community Center and someone who hears such as…… [Read More]
United States Deaf Olympics
While sport is vital in anyone's life, it may be even of great significance to the individual with a disability. This is due to sport's rehabilitative power to affect persons especially power based on prestige and because sport may be a means of including an individual into society. The American Athletic Association of the Deaf recognized this and began a new approach to rehabilitating people with hearing impairment (Deaf People) by means of establishing and introducing the Deaf Olympics and other sporting events.
With the introduction of Deaf games, it later developed to recreational sport, and afterwards led to competitive games like the Deaf Olympics. The Deaf Olympics gave individuals with hearing impairment an equal opportunity or fair chance to excel in sport often means a complete transformation of lifestyle and attitude.
Presently, the inclusion of athletes with a disability within one competitive sports ground and, at times, within the same event, has also taken a closer step towards the inclusion concept as a whole. Furthermore, athletes with hearing impairment are slowly receiving recognition and acceptance into the Olympic family. Since 1984, athletes who are deaf have participated in demonstration events at the international level including the winter and summer Olympics.
The people with haring impairment popularly known as deaf people have long been contending in sporting events, despite the fact that they typically vie in opposition to other group of people with a similar disability or impairment. Though, the Akron Club for the Deaf in Ohio was the primary organization to assume the first sponsorship of the national basketball tournament in the United States in the year 1945. This club further went ahead and founded the American Athletic Union of the Deaf (USDAF, 2006). This union afterward became the American Athletic Association of the Deaf, and in 1997, the name changed to USA Deaf Sports Federation (USADSF).…… [Read More]
"Co-enrolled classrooms," they advise, "represent a promising additional possibility for increasing student social access to peers, as well as increasing achievement. A co-enrolled classroom typically consists of an approximately 2:1 ratio of hearing and Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing (DHH) students. A team of two teachers, a general education teacher and a teacher of DHH students, collaborate to provide instruction. In many CE classrooms, the teachers and students frequently use both spoken English and sign language" (p. 20).
According to Hicks (1999), these trends have also provided new opportunities for understanding how young people interrelate and react, features that hold special significance for understanding deaf education in a multicultural classroom. "As such," she advises, these trends "open up new ways of thinking about how cultural groups may function in relation to one another in a multicultural classroom" (Hicks, 1999, p. 19). This author also emphasizes that today's multicultural classroom has compelled teachers are begin looking at their lessons from the perspectives of "their black students, their Hispanic students, their white students, their poor students, their middle-class and upper-middle class students, their traditionally successful students, and their unsuccessful students" (p. 33). Therefore, it is clear that teachers also need to look at their lessons from the perspective of the deaf students, if they are so tasked.
In spite of legislative attempts to level the playing field for disabled students in recent years, significant disparities remain firmly in place for the deaf. For example, in her study, "Improving Practices for Students with Hearing Impairments," Easterbrooks (1999) points out that, "Most students who are deaf or hard of hearing are educated in their local schools, and many are in areas of this country where there are small numbers of students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Schools with few students may not have a variety of employees with sufficiently broad bases of specialization to advise the system" (p. 537).
In…… [Read More]
ASL the Deaf Community
ASL: The Deaf Community
Although there has been a call for equality for all students with disabilities in the arena of education, the fact is that there are still inequalities that exist for individuals with deafness. It was reported September 23, 2013 that the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and Joseph B. Espo, attorney with Brown, Golstein & Levy, LLP in Baltimore, Maryland, "filed a lawsuit against the University of Maryland College Park and several of its officials over the university's long-standing and continuing failure to provide captioning of announcements and commentary made over the public address systems during athletic events at Byrd Stadium and the Comcast Center. The complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland." (National Association of the Deaf, 2013, p.1) According to National Association of the Deaf, a new international human rights treaty, and specifically the 'Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) "recognizes the inclusion of sig language and deaf culture in society." (National Association for the Deaf, 2013, p.1) It is related that the CRPD has been ratified in 134 countries since 2006 although it has not been ratified in the United States. In addition, it is reported, "more than 650 U.S. organizations want to change that including the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and the U.S. International Council on Disabilities (USICD)." (National Association of the Deaf, 2013, p.1)
I. What is Required?
In order for CRPD to take effect in the United States there is a need for a 2/3 super majority vote in the U.S. Senate. The Senate held a vote on the treaty in December of 2012 and the vote was lost by a mere five votes. Organizations that are opposed to international treaties battled against the CRPD with a campaign that was misinforming and this assisted in defeating the treaty in December 2013. The Senate however, has the power to schedule a new vote. (National Association of the Deaf, 2013, p.1)
II. ASL: Difficulties in Education
Difficulties that deaf children face in mainstream education are reported to include: (1) acceptance; (2) communication; and (3) frustration.…… [Read More]
Closed Captioning/CART -- Closed captioning provides an ongoing written transcription of movies, television, and/or stage productions. With new technology, Closed Captioning has moved into Communication Access Real-Tim Translation, or CART. CART transcribes spoken words into printed text onto a screen or computer, and is much more interactive and used for not only entertainment, but court or other official meeting presentations (Nomeland, pp. 180-1).
Alert Systems -- Are relatively low-tech; flashing lights when the doorbell rings, vibrating pillows if there is a smoke or burglar alarm, etc. Most of these technologies have been supplanted by more sophisticated applications on smart phones (Nomeland, p. 187).
Internal devices are medically oriented implants that either amplifies sound in those who have a hearing disability or replace some of the inner ear mechanisms to allow the deaf person to actually "hear" sounds. These are becoming more and more sophisticated, some even with computer "smart" chips to help filter noise and enhance voice sounds. They are relatively expensive and often used for children and teens so they can more actively participate in a hearing world. The issue surrounding these medical implants focuses on the assumption that there is something wrong with being deaf, and that deaf culture needs to be "repaired" using outside technology (Nomeland, pp. 58-9, 211).
The Cochlear Implant Controversy. (February 11, 2009). CBS News Sunday Morning.
Television Show Transcript.
Baron, N 2008, Always on: Language in an Online and Mobile World, Oxford
Univeristy Press, New York.
Kaplan, a. And M. Haenlein. (2010). Users of the world, Unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Ideas.Respec.org.
Nomeland, M., et.al. (2012). The Deaf Community in America. Jefferson, NC: McFarland…… [Read More]
Three years later, the company improved its picture clarity and introduced the "emotional intonation" feature, considered important components of visual language. But at present, only 10% of the deaf and hard-of-hearing know about VRS. The Internal Revenue Service refuses to accept VRS calls. And VRS can be performed only with high-speed internet access. But companies, like Sorenson, provide videophones for free. Those who have no high-speed internet access or a videophone may use IPP relay. It is similar to the outdated TTY but performs faster and more smoothly. The deaf user types his message on a computer.
For the working deaf who need to use the telephone, Able Planet launched the wireless device. This is a telephone and a hands-free set for a cell phone to address these difficulties in the use of a telephone. The technology enables wireless communication with a telecoil in hearing aids. At the same time, it promises to eliminate noise interferences. Trial users at the Colorado State University said the phones had a 81.6% satisfaction rate for discriminating words while traditional handsets with compatible hearing aids produced only 52.6%. Inventor Jo Waldron said that it was an option for approximately 34 million Americans with mild to severe hearing loss. It costs $34.95 for cell phones as compared with land-line telephones at $65.95.
More Technology for Deaf Workers
Another recent technology is an avatar, which can translate spoken works into sign language. Created by IBM Corporation, this technology is intended for the real world in the absence of an interpreter for the deaf or for confidential conversations. It is, however, in prototype form and is compatible only with the British sign language. It is known as SiSi or "Say It Sign It." It uses speech recognition to convert a conversation into text. Sisi then translates the text into gestures of sign language. An avatar then animates and carries it out. SiSi is designed to allow incorporation into other vendors' deaf-accessibility products and other countries' sign.
Sign language translation uses visual finger-spelling of words and phrases.…… [Read More]
educating the deaf. It deals primarily with the video "Dreams Spoken Here" and the ability to teach deaf people to communicate orally and therefore learn in a non-segregated environment.
Until relatively recently, deaf education occurred in specialized settings designed specifically to meet the needs of deaf children, according to John Luckner. He further adds that many methods were utilized to educate deaf children depending on the needs of the specific children as well as the preferences chosen by the parents. By segregating deaf children, many feel that the social options of deaf children are unnecessarily limited and constricted. Today, as in the past, the question of educating deaf children usually comes down to the seemingly simple question of teaching the child to communicate manually or orally. To many, this is not a simple choice. However, with the advent of advanced technology such as improved hearing aids and cochlear implants, it seems that the choice has been made easier as it is possible, with aid from these devices, for a deaf child to hear, as per the video, "Dreams Spoken Here." Further stated in the video, by providing the means for the deaf to hear, it is now possible to educate deaf children in regular classrooms, thus mainstreaming them into the social world of the hearing.
Upon viewing "Dreams Spoken Here," one is awakened to the fact that deaf people can indeed hear. It is, in fact, possible for the deaf to perceive sounds and learn to communicate orally. Clearly, the video changes the age old misconception that deaf people can not hear anything and are not capable of oral communication. Thereby, also altering the view that deaf children must be taught to communicate manually and in specially designed settings. Thus, effectively excluding them from the world of the hearing.
By identifying the presence of hearing difficulties early, and developing strategies to overcome the problem at an early age, deaf children may now be mainstreamed into the hearing culture, as seen in the video. Early intervention is the key according to the video.…… [Read More]
There has been a dearth of literature on the training and development of deaf and hard of hearing employees. This research attempts to highlight gaps in the research and suggest methods of improving deaf awareness in the fields of human resources and organizational development. The Americans With Disabilities Act requires all organizations to make reasonable accommodations to the workplace environment, policy, and procedure for deaf and hard of hearing employees. This applies to employee training and development as well as daily functionality on the job. Because six to nine percent of the population identifies as deaf or hard of hearing, it is critical for organizations to adapt their training and employee development programs to attract and retain deaf employees (Hersh, 2012).
To create effective training and development programs, it is important that human resources managers and staff understand best practices in adapting the workplace and making accommodations. The adaptation of all training and development programs requires respect, personalization, investment in consultation services, and the skillful use of technological tools. Both the design and application of training materials needs to change to properly accommodate the needs of deaf and hard of hearing employees, to fulfill not only the ethical policies of the organization but also the legal requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Review of Literature
Unsurprisingly, the needs of deaf and hard of hearing employees are not being met adequately in spite of the Americans With Disabilities Act stipulations. Haynes & Linden (2012) found that only half of deaf employees surveyed were satisfied with the accommodations being used in the workplace. According to Haynes & Linden (2012), the most common unmet needs were effective communication in groups and lack of co-worker support (p. 408). Common complaints from the deaf community related to perceived human resources and development weaknesses include poorly designed environments, poorly designed training materials, ineffective communication, lack of support from coworkers, and generalized "unmet needs," (Haynes & Linden, 2012). Impatience and being isolated are also among the…… [Read More]
Sign language is one of the most important elements of deaf communication, and losing this element frightens and outrages some members of the deaf community.
In addition, many deaf people feel that the rehabilitation necessary after implant surgery is often neglected or not budgeted for, and so, it is not managed effectively, and the implants are not used to their full potential. In addition, the implants do not miraculously cure deafness, what implanted patients experience is a reduced and altered sense of sounds and speech at best. Some patients have described the voice as "robotic," and the device will never allow people to hear the same way that a non-deaf person hears. This is another reason the deaf community is against the implants. They believe they make a deaf person even more "handicapped," to put it one way, because they do not fit in either world. They cannot hear the way "normal" people hear, and they can hear better than many deaf people, so they do not really fit in either community, making them an outcast in both. Many deaf organizations decry implants, equating them to genocide or abuse. Another author notes, "Cochlear implants on young healthy deaf children is a form of communication, emotional, and mental abuse' (Canadian Association of the Deaf, 1994)" (Harvey 337). Thus, the people that seem to benefit the most from these implants are the people that seem to shun them the most. While they have helped at least some people enter the hearing world, there is still much research and study that needs to be done to find out how they really affect hearing, especially in children, and how they really affect language and speech abilities.
In conclusion, cochlear implants have helped thousands of profoundly deaf people "hear" again. They can recognize sounds and speech with the implants, and they can develop speech and language themselves. However, many people in the deaf community oppose cochlear implants, because they believe…… [Read More]
Journey into the Deaf-World
This book looks at the Deaf-World culture in depth. In the process, the authors consider many practical, legal, educational, medical and social issues facing those in the Deaf-World. While the book covers many technical issues in detail, the underpinning for all of it is that the Deaf-World is its own unique culture with its own unique language, and is every bit as much of a subculture as it is to be African-American or some branch of Hispanic.
The authors work hard to establish the Deaf-World as a legitimate subculture. They point out that although most minority groups can point to a geographic location they're from, the Deaf-World is bound by language and experience but not geography. So while Mexican-Americans can point to Mexico on the map, those of the Deaf-World cannot do that.
Throughout the course of the book, the authors demonstrate that often the beliefs of people in the Deaf-World about their culture and language are challenged by people charged with helping them: educators, psychologists, audiologists, social workers, and others all tend to think of hearing loss as a disability. Those in the Deaf-World see it as a cultural difference with a different language. They do not like having the core of how they see themselves characterized as something that needs to be changed or fixed, and are particularly upset by the possibility that genetic engineering or other medical interventions, such as cochlear implants, might eliminate deaf people.
At the core of what makes the Deaf-World its own subculture is its language - American Sign Language (ASL). The authors note that ASL has been harshly criticized for centuries but that current research doesn't support the bias against using sign language.
One of the most persuasive criticisms of ASL came from people translating ASL into spoken English without understanding the particular syntax of ASL, which is entirely different than the syntax used for spoken English. On p. 44, the authors gave this example: A mother would sign:
ME MOTHER RESPONSIBLE CHILDREN ME TAKE-CARE-OF FEED CLEAN LIST." (When ASL is written out, it's done in all caps, and the hyphens indicate…… [Read More]
There is no initiation, or rite of passage; one can enter the Goth culture without gaining anyone's approval since this particular culture does not have a particular leader. Goths tend to resist being controlled (Kilpatrick, 3) and needing to qualify to enter the movement would go against one of the main components of the culture.
It is clear that individuals associated with the Goth culture distinguish themselves through their eerie, dark and mysterious fashion (La Ferla), however another distinction can be observed through their ways of thinking and approaching life. In her book The Goth Bible, Nancy Kilpatrick interviewed several everyday Goths and one main characteristic seems to be recurrent -- being Goth is about finding romanticism in darkness. While many Goths will discover their affinity for this romanticism in their teens, or youth -- since these are the years where most of us feel misunderstood, like outsiders - it is a lifestyle that many choose to pursue through adulthood, such as the author herself.
I do not myself belong to this culture, or scene, but I have observed a few individuals who have adopted the fashion and state of mind of being Goth. I personally cannot see myself "joining," or being attracted to this culture, however. The dark side just does not seem to attract me and I prefer to keep a more optimistic outlook on life. I do have to admit that the research I made on this Goth culture helped me to view it differently than I did in the past -- as something slightly less morbid and simply different.… [Read More]
Another means for supporting and financing the education of deaf people is through the promotion of a financial package meant to improve the resources available to special schools and teachers. In this sense, schools in Great Britain for instance receive special funds for training their teachers to reach British Sign Language level 3 (Scottish Council on Deafness, n.d.), to become more aware of the special needs such persons have in the society and the academic environment. At the same time, the recruitment of already trained personal is fully funded in order to have the best teachers available for these special schools.
In theory, these projects are worth mentioning and offer a positive perspective on the issues concerning deaf people. However, not all children or grownups can benefit from such funding possibilities. In the education area, there are only specialized agencies which commit their funds to providing financial support to special schools or individual endeavors. Even so, it is important to see that at least one part of the society is thinking of the less privileged and misfortunate.… [Read More]