Mark Raugh's Deaf Again By Mark Drolsbaugh

957 Words4 Pages
Mark Drolsbaugh, the author of Deaf Again, was born to deaf parents at a time when the deaf population didn’t have and weren’t given the same availability to communication assistance as they have today. He was born hearing and seemed to have perfect hearing up until the first grade when he started having trouble understanding what was being said but was too young to understand what was happening. (Drolsbaugh 8).
When it became obvious to his teacher that there was a problem, the school called Marks’ maternal grandparents, who were hearing. They didn’t contact his parents because the school had no system in place to make communication possible with the deaf, so they bypassed the parents and went to the grandparents. His grandparent’s reaction to the news was shock. Their reaction to his loss of hearing was the beginning of years of feeling inferior to hearing people and like a defective human being. Visits to doctors only confirmed to Mark that deafness was a horrible thing and that he had to do whatever he could to continue in the hearing world as best he could. He was given the distinct impression that something was terribly wrong with him and that he needed to be fixed, that deafness was a really bad thing. (Drolsbaugh 12).
During second grade it became clear that Mark was not doing well at his public school, which had large class sizes. He got hearing aids but even though it made everything louder it didn’t help him understand what was being said. People had the expectation and misunderstanding that since he had hearing aids, as long as he sat up front and paid attention he should be able to understand everything being said. That put all the responsibility on his shoulders, that if he still didn’t understand the teachers it was...

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...lusion, I feel that it is heartbreaking that so much weight was placed on the shoulders of such a small child, unnecessarily. Even though he was born hearing, he was born into Deaf culture. His parents and a large part of his father’s family were deaf. He didn’t need to spend his whole childhood and early adulthood feeling like an outsider, never really feeling like he fit in. His grandparents as well as his parents, who went along with it, were only doing what they thought was best for him, what the doctors had told them was best. On Mark’s web site, in the section What is Deaf Culture? The Joy of Belonging, there is a quote that I think sums it up, “The cultural aspects of the Deaf world are vital in providing a healthy sense of well-being. It focuses on what Deaf people CAN do, as opposed to the pathological approach of focusing on what's wrong.” (Drolsbaugh Web)

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