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New York Times Horribly Wrong on the Deaf

July 28th 2011
This is in response to Monica Davey’s NY Times article, “Among Twists in Budget Woes, Tensions Over Teaching the Deaf” of July 26, 2011. Comments are no longer accepted :( We deserve full recognition of American Sign Language (ASL) we hand to Deaf lives. What bugs me more is when editors/reporters state how we are “whining” which is an ongoing misleading judgment of us Deaf people. It just breaks my heart when our views are being misrepresented as we try to share our experiences for you to understand how critical it is when Deaf children do not acquire a language so that they could learn about the world.
 
Mainly through ASL, Deaf children get information about the world. Deaf children have the opportunity to grow up bilingual. Do not allow our Deaf children fall short of the education they deserve just because the hearing professionals think it is more important to speak. We the Deaf people are the very people who end up being the most affected by parental decisions influenced by hearing professionals. We understand how budget shortfalls are forcing difficult decisions in every state BUT legislators and critics or should I say cronies still do not get it. Deaf people and parents have actually LIVED through the experiences of the educational and medical systems. We know exactly what it takes to raise Deaf children. Why can’t every Tom, Dick, and Harry understand us who have our own language and identity as individuals in our own distinct culture? ASL is a real, visual “spoken” language on a par with any other languages. An interesting contrast was brought up between the belief that exposure of ASL to a hearing baby will aid them in language development, whereas a Deaf baby at times must show the inability to learn a spoken language before they are taught ASL. This notion was originated due to the idea that sign language hinders the development of a spoken language in Deaf children! (Mayberry, 2008)
 
Attempts to wipe away ASL demonstrate an assault as genocide treaties made clear “…that obliterating a group's culture is a form of genocide." That, we cannot allow such put-down of one's Deaf life. The extreme focus on the medical aspect of fixing the hearing/ears, rather than being focused on language development, has created this situation. An intervention is very much needed to resolve the unrest behind the promotion of cultural destruction that is sure to bring back the slippery slope of eugenics. We. Do. Not. Accept. This. Mistreatment. If that's considered whining, so be it.

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