I am currently an art education major, but my dream has always been to work and possibly teach at a deaf school. I was born with a hearing impairment. I was not deaf but I was hard-of-hearing. We did not know about this hearing impairment until I was about four or five years old. I taught myself to read lips, so for the longest time they thought I was just stubborn and hardheaded, but little did they know I just could not hear them.
The medical field is notorious for providing cures to deafness, such as cochlear implants, which then leads people to believe that it is something that must be fixed and therefore labels deafness as a disability. While Tina Gianoulis was comparing the similarities between Queer and Deaf experiences in her article mentioned earlier she declares that, “most painfully, both groups have traditionally been forced to try to become “normal”. Well-meaning parents, determined that their children not be labeled “different”, have sent thousands of deaf children to speech pathologists and mainstream schools where they spend their youth feeling lonely, bewildered, and deficient.” which is the negative effect that the deafness should be cured thought has on those that actually experience hearing
With the deaf community having a signed language that is natural and practical to them, they were able to learn and communicate with others. So it boggles my mind to have someone like Alexander Graham Bell, who had a deaf mother and wife, and a Scottish immigrant would want to stifle and change the deaf community to fit in with everyone and not have the tools to make them who they are. I see it as Bell saying that you cannot get anywhere in life by being different yet Bell was different himself. Having them
Most of the hearing loss presented at birth is contributed with being inherited with it. The deafness presented at birth may be caused by a condition or infection that the mother was exposed to at pregnancy. The behavior or characteristics that you may see with a child of this disability is first and foremost the child not being able to hear. This characteristic alone contributes to everything that a deaf child does because a child must communicate somehow with people. A behavior that a child may learn would be sign language.
It is a hard and laborious method and in the past often had extreme measures, that were border line abusive, put in place to try and ensure success. Manaulism is when a deaf person uses sign language as their primary from of communication. Learning to communicate using sign language is much more easier on a deaf or hard of hearing person. Although the majority of Deaf culture views oralism as a form of abuse and an attempt to “fix” their disability, instead of embracing their differences and culture, many deaf families view oralism as a way to interact with the “normal” society of the hearing world and embrace the idea of allowing their profoundly deaf children to “hear” and talk to hearing people through a spoken language. When people hear the word “deaf” many times they think of their grandparents or other elders who have lost their ability to hear due to old age.
In America, English exists as the standard language. For that reason, it is understood that children will learn this as their primary language. However, according to the “National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders” website, “about two to three children per 1,000 are born deaf or hard of hearing”(Quick Statistics [NIDCD Health Information]) . Moreover, an article by Karen Kalivoda points out that “depending on the age of onset and the severity of the hearing loss, an individual's spoken language development may be radically affected”. Babies learn to speak by parroting the sounds around them; however, a deaf child does not hear these noises and, therefore, the child does not “develop their language” skills (Kalivoda).
Although American Sign Language (“ASL”) has been recognized as a true language since the 1960’s, the number of deaf children enrolled in schools with signing programs has been rapidly declining (Bollag, 2006). Instead, they have been increasingly educated through the oralism alongside their hearing peers in a ‘mainstream’ environment. The oral approach stresses that deaf children can – and should – learn to lip-read and speak, possibly with the assistance of technology like hearing aids or cochlear implants in order to maximize their hearing ability. At the same time, this method warns against (and in many cases, prohibits) the use of ASL, the native and natural language of the deaf. This is based on the theory that the ease of communication afforded through ASL will prevent children from trying hard enough to become successful oral adults (Lynas, 2005).
The deaf community is made up of a combination of people. Deaf of Deaf – deaf children born to deaf parents Deaf or hard of hearing– people with audiological deficiencies CODAs – hearing children of deaf adults Laten deaf – people who lose their hearing later in life Interpreters – people who facilitate language between deaf and hearing people Hearing – people who can hear Although these are all members within the deaf community, they are not all alloted a place within the American Deaf culture. Deaf of Deaf are at the center of the culture. They are the people who have benefited from having deaf parents, experiences from residential schools, and ASL as their native language. Hearing people ca... ... middle of paper ... ...n. "Culture and Empowerment in the Deaf Community: An Analysis of Internet Weblogs."
The Cognitive Imperative of American Sign Language As a cultural group, Deaf Americans present a thriving and distinct example of language in action. Many of the traditions of Deaf culture—including storytelling, word games, etc.—are celebrations of American Sign Language (ASL). But contemporary Deaf Americans face myriad issues, including the preservation of sign language as it relates to the child’s upbringing and education in particular. Because a child with a profound hearing loss is not able to access the language that pervades their environment, it is crucial that these children are given ASL as soon as possible. Using the framework of social neuroscience, it is possible to consider the consequences of a linguistic delay due to the absence of ASL in the child’s environment.
‘Deaf children who cannot communicate with their parents in their early years run the risk of permanent psychological damage’ (Lynas et al, 1988). However, with early identification, today’s technology and the different slant on ‘oralism’ we are moving to an era where all deaf children are expected to achieve proficiency in oral language. As Ling (1988) stated, “…with the insightful application of present day knowledge and the selection and use of appropriate electronic devices, most hearing-impaired children, regardless of the extent of their impairments can be helped to acquire fluent perceptual-oral language skills that can enable them to communicate, compete and conform with the majority of their hearing peers”.