Monday, February 06, 2006

Monday Morning: coffee and news roundup

In the CNR we check out the latest news tidbits involving Deaf people, not including the ones about the miracle of hearing. Often Deaf people are portrayed as pretty sad clowns and pathetic figures in the news; the reality is usually quite different.

More highways, less churches: With the decline of the Deaf Club I've noticed the rise of the Deaf Church both as a meeting place and a place of worship (although the truth is any time Deaf people get together in groups of three or more the place they're in AUTOMATICALLY turns into Chat Land.) Apparently Cavalry Deaf Church has been razed to make room for highways:

A church that has served the deaf community for half a century in Riverside is fighting for survival more than two years after Caltrans evicted the congregation and razed its sanctuary to make way for new ramps on Interstate 215.

Calvary Deaf Church, which rents space at another church, has alleged in Superior Court that Caltrans violated state law requiring that places of worship be fully replaced when condemned for public works projects. A trial is set for Feb. 27.

Apparently Caltrans also promised to protect and preserve pews and equipment inside the church but allowed them to be destroyed by vandals. At first glance it seems like a typical story: Deaf people getting pushed aside for progress. But really, how many highways does LA need?

Yes, but no: the W. will flip to hear that Fulton School for the Deaf in his hometown of Durban, South Africa, has elected its first Deaf deputy principal! Why is this important?
Durban teacher Ingrid Parkin has become the first Deaf deputy principal of a school in the history of education in the developing world.

Parkin, 33, has taken over the management post at the Fulton School for the Deaf in Gillitts, where she has been teaching for the past nine years.

And the pupils are delighted as they feel that for the first time someone in a management position understands what it is like to be Deaf and that they are represented at the top level.

That's the Yes. What's the no? No, this is not the first time in the developing world a Deaf person has been in a management position in a school, though it may be the first time in the history of South Africa. We've got examples all over the country, and in my own school - MSSD - I experienced two: Cindy Bailes and K.J. There's also France, where Massieu worked as Sicard's assistant, and rumors of schools run entirely by Deaf monks who trained royalty all over Europe in the sixteenth century. Then there was the deaf-blind monk, Sanzan Tani, who wrote his wisdom on the hands and wrists of young seekers of wisdom. Deaf people have always been the true managers of Deaf schools, because all their non-signing hearing paper-pusher counterparts could do with the kids would be to wave them into corners. On a side note, this woman is the wife of Olympic swimmer-and winner-Terence Parkin. So we're talking about a damn cool family here. Go guys!

Deaf Peddlers get into New York Newsday:
On a train from Brooklyn to Manhattan, a bearded Pancho Tiriado, 47, mumbles and gestures frantically with his hands. Tiriado is deaf and has trouble speaking. His long, dirty fingers clutch a frayed piece of paper with some Bible verses and some words he cannot speak: "Can you spare change. Deaf and Homeless."

On the back is a suggested donation: $1.00 or 50 cents.

One guy gave him a $1.50. Another handed over a $2 lotto ticket.

I wonder if this guy had anything to do with the scandal a few years ago where some criminals took control of a group of Deaf Mexicans and forced them to peddle for money? If so, it is a sad statement that the City did nothing to help these people.

1 comment:

Penny L. Richards said...

The Ingrid Parkin story includes the qualifier "in the developing world." That would mean except for the US, France, etc. But in the bigger sense, you're right, "Deaf people have always been the true managers of Deaf schools." (Maybe they should call her the first known *official* instance of this in the developing world.)