Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Beginning Anew

My goal is to talk about something new and different every day. Here goes.

First, my daily update:

I am a week away from being done with summer school. I just heard from my husband today for the first time in over a week. He's deployed right now, so it pretty much makes my day to hear from him.

Other musings:

In my Individual Learning Differences class, I was assigned to a group project with the purpose of discovering the history, treatment and classroom strategies to help those with hearing impairments. My group became so interested in the topic that we even learned a bit of sign language to aid our presentation. Unlike in my presentations in high school, I actually found the information useful. I had no idea what a big world that of Deaf Culture is.

When I heard about the Cochlear implant I thought that it was a great opportunity for someone who is deaf to be able to join the hearing world. I was unaware how biased that assumption was. Apparently those in Deaf Culture think of the implant as a tool of ostracization. If a child receives a Cochlear implant, that child is no longer a member of the allusive Deaf Culture but yet is not a member of the hearing world either. When the device is turned off, the child is still Deaf. Therefore, the child is ostraziced from both the deaf world and the hearing world.

Something else I learned: there is a difference between "Deaf" and "deaf". Deaf with a capital "D" refers to someone who was born deaf. Deaf with a lower case "d" implies that someone who was born hearing but is now deaf. "Hearing impaired" alludes to a person who has some loss of hearing or to a Deaf person who prefers to live in the hearing world. (i.e. attempting at communicating in verbal English.) I also did not realize that there is a huge reason for there to be a Deaf Culture.

Think about it. Someone who is born deaf learns to "speak" ASL. (American Sign Language) which is a sort of slang. If this person never is taught SEE (Exact Signed English) then this individual can't decipher the written word. Therefore this person is exempt from, not only the world of music as they can't hear, but also the great works of literature. And without the understanding of the written word, this person cannot read subtitles so they are exempt from cinema culture as well. This is a shared culture of the majority of the inhabitants of the Earth. Music, movies, literature. So it makes sense that those who are deaf would find a culture entirely their own. It makes sense why they would ostracize themselves from the rest of society. I mean, without books, music, movies and the ability to communicate in a language other than ASL, what do they have in common with hearing society? Deaf Culture is also arguably the only culture passed down from child to child. The majority of deaf children are born into hearing families. Consequently, the first time they find someone to relate to is within the classroom of other children who are deaf. Something to think about.