Friday, June 02, 2006

308: aint it great

308: deafhood questions for all!

Keep adding stuff to the new blackberry including improving the blog-from-email bit-they changed stuff without notifying us poor saps.
Reading the New York Post; I see the unthinkable-compliments for Hillary. Apparently homeland security cut money for terrorism protection because we have no national landmarks (? Whatever, Chertoff.) So he cut the budget by 40%. Anyone wanna bet they're HOPING we get attacked?

I wrote that I was going to post about Deafhood-a week ago. I chose to fck the city and go to the woods-I was in Vermont for a week enjoying the beauty of the state. Unfortunately ;the campground was covered with wriggly fun.; We survived. I took the opportunity to talk to a lot of faeries about themselves which was a nice change-in the past I've been in some ways shy about personal questions, which are, really, the only important ones.

Right now waiting for an important email and feeling worried. Sigh. So I thought I'd try to write about my perceptions of Deafhood. Patti Raswant got quoted on ridorlive.com as saying that Deafhood is about recognizing the false differences imposed on us by others. This process is very important for all races. Black people were told God intended them to be slaves; we get told all manner of bs about ASL, hearing aids, implants, etc., and how do we figure out what's real? What's a way for people to make money off of our community? Too many people have gotten off light by invoking the "I'm helping poor Deaf people" crap.

We also need tools to help us look at what we're being offered, questions to help us suss things out. Readers, I would love if u can give ur opinion on a couple of the below questions. These are thoughts from my notebooks, really. I want to find guidelines for us to help identify if something will help us towards a more clear Deafhood - a personal search for personal identity without BS.

  • 1. Is this centered on the person? Does this process recognize the individual's native abilities and desires? An example is implants. Some ethical questions: Do parents have the right to give cochlear implants to Deaf children who present signs of mental retardation? If a parent chooses to implant the child and the implant doesn't work, are the parents liable for mental damage done to the child by withholding fully accessible communication while testing to see if it works? Is the Deaf community responsible because we haven't done more to educate parents and prove our community is sustainable and beautiful?
  • 2. Do people try to 'push' the process by categorizing Deaf people and creating artificial separations? I was encouraged NOT to go to MSSD. They told me I would learn ASL and my brain would rot! Instead I became more intelligent. But the thing is they pointed to Deaf people with mental problems which were in my day program. There were few Deaf adults and I was taught to despise them because of what were basically lies. This was in 1990-1993 mind you!
  • 3. Are people concerned about the individual's TOTAL development or do they focus on one aspect and neglect others? This applies both ways-some Deaf people don't accept Deaf people who don't sign perfect ASL. But some deaf people sign GREAT ASL and maybe don't have the best interest of Deaf community at heart. Same with others-Im suspicious of people who focus on "speech" rather than the child's whole development.

I'm curious what you all think.

2 comments:

Pam said...

First of all, great blog. You're an amazing writer.
I'm a hearing person who's always been very curious about Deaf culture for a variety of reasons. The thing is, most people never get a chance to learn about it, and will live all their lives with some pre-conceived ideas. I think it would be helpful, and interesting if the Deaf community was given a chance to really educate the "general public". Educational institutions such as public schools, etc, could take some time to educate their students about Deaf issues and try to distinguish "myths" from truth.

Would you be interested in exchanging some more thoughts about the questions you posted by email?

Tangospeak said...

"3. Are people concerned about the individual's TOTAL development or do they focus on one aspect and neglect others? This applies both ways-some Deaf people don't accept Deaf people who don't sign perfect ASL. But some deaf people sign GREAT ASL and maybe don't have the best interest of Deaf community at heart. Same with others-Im suspicious of people who focus on "speech" rather than the child's whole development. "

This is a really valid question: I don't think I was even able to articulate how much I'd missed out on "total development" until I was in my 20's. I was born profoundly deaf but never learned sign in favour of being integrated into the hearing world. And now, I wish I did learn sign. Was always told how lucky I was to be able to learn to speak and how much better off I was compared to "them deaf signing people." Now, I think them deaf signing people are better off than me.