Sunday, May 23, 2004

things deaf people should be worried about?

So this is supposed to have some Deaf shit in it. I've been focusing on the war and Iraq because they're, well, huge - but we still have a future of our own and a lot of things to be concerned about.

  • Who's managing the subtitling of films in this country? When I returned from a visit to the UK, I contacted one of the major subtitling groups offering to volunteer in order to help bring more subtitled movies to theaters in New York. There's really so much that could be done, that isn't. Well, I don't have the e-mail anymore so I can't quote it, but basically, they just gave me a blurb about their company with no further information. I reworded my e-mail and sent it twice more with no luck.
  • What about other forms of subtitling? Television and radio are fast being replaced by the internet. Newspapers too. You can download and watch a ton of shit. But none of it has closed captioning or subtitling, despite the fact that Quicktime and Windows Media Player have closed captioning and subtitling layers in their programs already established. We have to think about the future here.
  • The rights of Deaf children. I still believe implants are a personal choice. Therefore, I feel that distrait parents and infants are in no position to judge such a difficult issue. (I was offered the choice of Deaf school or mainstream school at 11. I didn't fully understand it then. How is a kid supposed to understand an implant?) Other countries and the EU have established "rights for Deaf children." We should be working on that. We should also have more support groups around the US composed of Deaf people and hearing parents of Deaf children to go meet new parents of a Deaf child. My mother never, ever met a Deaf person til I was about six - and I didn't know Deaf people could even drive till I went to high school. With such preconceptions about Deaf people's lives and abilities, it's no wonder doctors so easily drive through experimental, invasive and cosmetic surgeries to "defeat deafness."
  • The decreasing job market. Has anyone been exploring the problems caused by the ADA? We had so many frivolous lawsuits - some initiated by Deaf people, some initiated by unscrupulous lawyers taking advantage of Deaf people - that employers are understandably weary of hiring Deaf people. And this is part of the next one too...
  • Deaf people should be working on being in charge of Deaf services. It should have been Deaf people organising film subtitling, Deaf people arranging support groups for new parents, Deaf people teaching businesses about the ADA - not hearing people handpicked by the government, who probably view Deaf people as medical problems and burdens to be borne rather than opportunities to be plucked.

Ok, them's some thoughts. Discuss!

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