Wednesday, December 28, 2005

from a comment i posted on dkos

The fact is I am a deaf man. I have perspectives on the world by virtue of that difference. The difference itself does not prevent me from participating fully in the world with or without technology. The difference in perspective - who could tell what value that might have? It is, after all, difference in perspective which precedes discovery and progress. To make everyone too alike, in body and in mind, is therefore counter to progress.

If health is the concern, then the health of the individual should be considered, not some sort of comparative health which stacks everyone white or black or man or woman up against some abstract generated average individual. Can the individual function on their own and with others well in their own way? Can they make a contribution to the world? I don't even know if these questions are right. I don't know if any could be.

And where do parents come in? The parents of Deaf children often do not know about deafness or Deaf people. They get told. They get a perspective handed to them on a plate. Now, they may do more research on their own. Some say they should. But when you're in mourning over something somber doctors inform you about, and these people you trust give you information... you tend to accept it.

They are told more than just that their child is deaf. They are told there is a Deaf world and a Hearing world. They are told that sign language is bad and may leave their child retarded. They are given quite a bit of ideology.

I know some parents who have Deaf children. They learned to sign with their child. They were lucky to have the time and opportunity to be able to, yes, but the point is that they are very involved with their child's life. Their child is very involved with the family life. They communicate and care. There is no "Deaf world" and "Hearing world." All this is possible without technology or invasive surgery. Yes, it requires effort. But so do technological options. But the contigent of Deaf people who are against cochlear implants have much of this at heart. There is also the point that the intimacy gained from this work is quite valuable.

There is more to being normal than being able to hear sounds. Far more important things, that too often get lost in this hubblebubble. What is the goal? For all children to be safe and healthy? Most likely, then, very little of this genetic engineering is necessary. Is the goal to make everyone superhuman supergeniuses? Would that do anyone any good, including the geniuses?

1 comment:

Ridor said...

Nice comments. I like this entry.

What can I say more?