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  #1  
Old 07-01-2008, 09:41 PM
Subway Prophet Subway Prophet is offline
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Fuck you, Deaf "Community"

1. My 4-year-old daughter is deaf. She is not "Deaf" with a capitol D. She simply has no hair cells in her cochlea, she has no functioning inner ear. Even though she is deaf, she is not automatically part of your little world of shame and exclusion, and her native language is not ASL. It is not child abuse if we decide to raise her in a household that speaks English. So: fuck you for claiming her as your own, without a second thought to the wishes of her parents.

2. We gave our daughter cochlear implants when she was an infant. We made this long and difficult decision based on the research that was available to us, based on the educational resources available in our area, based on the nature of her deafness, and, yes, based on our own biases and desires. She had her surgeries before she was old enough to make the choice for herself, because to wait so long means to give her hearing long after her developing brain can make the best use of it. It is a well-known and long-researched phenomenon that pre-lingual implantation leads to vastly improved speech and hearing skills. But you call it child abuse. You call it cosmetic surgery on an infant, and more than once you called me a monster for it. It is not child abuse, to make complicated decisions about your kids without their input - it's called parenting. Nor is it cosmetic to give my kid a developmental boost. So: fuck you for heaping accusations of pre-lingual cosmetic surgery child abuse on me.

3. Our family is learning ASL, and have been since we learned our daughter was profoundly deaf. We will use sign as a second language, indefinitely. My wife is in school to become an interpreter. Nor do we believe in a purely oralist tradition; we acknowledge the importance of communication between deaf people without assistance. We get it, ok? We're committed. But because we gave our daughter cochlear implants, you automatically believe that we're out to destroy ASL, to destroy Deaf culture. You never listen to our reasoning, because what do we know? We're motivated by a desire to mingle in both worlds, and yet we're constantly scoffed at by the Deafies on principle. So: fuck you for your pernicious false dichotomies.

4. Speaking of false dichotomies: what the hell do you mean by the "Hearing Community"? You mean the 99% of the world...with functional ears? They form a single community separate from your own? Because obviously it's the Deaf Community vs. the world. Yeah, fuck you and your false dichotomies, again.

5. It's funny how your handicap isn't a handicap. You aren't missing a major sensory organ, it's simply that you have chosen a primary language which is signed rather than spoken. You embrace and welcome the nature of your language and your community, and you are, you say, just as capable as any hearing person. I get it - it's not a handicap. It's not a disability. You feel that there's nothing wrong with your bodies. You aren't broken machines in need of repair. You're not incomplete people deserving of pity. You're a close-knit community because, I gather, there's a conspiracy of doctors and audiologists and educators and academics and hearing-aid industry types, who are, to a person, out to suck your wallets dry then utterly crush and humiliate you, simply because...they hate your lifestyle choice. But you look past all that. You're complete and beautiful human beings and you're happy with the way God created you. There's nothing wrong with being deaf. Deafness is beautiful! So fuck you for demanding - and happily accepting - constant special accommodation for your alleged non-handicap. (And fuck you for demanding respect and understanding from my family, without giving us any in return.)

6. Your precious ASL doesn't have a sweet simplicity; it's just as capricious and arbitrary and fucked-up as any other language. I mean, come on! In our current class, we're learning three - THREE - different signs for the word "car". Which you don't apparently use interchangeably. What the hell? It kind of messes up your principle of "conceptual accuracy". Especially considering that there are many signs for most common words. A lot of the difference is regional, but a lot is just "we do it this way, they do it that way". ASL is, simply, fragmented. English, at least, has standardized on "wh" question words: "who", "why", etc. But English, even in signed form, is "too ugly" for you. Fuck you and your "beautiful language" high horse.

7. ASL purists, who want to distance ASL from English as much as possible, who advocate removing as much fingerspelling from the language as possible, who want to remove as many initial letters ("T" for toilet, "B" for box, etc.) as possible... yeah, I see you fingerspelling common words, I see you happily using intial letters. Fuck you for...well, for being uppity elitists. Go drive a Hummer while you're at it.

8. ASL has no written form. It must use another language - the hated and maligned English - for written communication. Therefore, it's nigh-impossible to look up a new word by its sign. Therefore, memorization plays a much larger role in ASL than in most languages. Therefore, more effort goes into learning how to sign, when other kids are learning how to read and write. Guess what kind of impact that has on illiteracy rates? And...you seem to prefer it that way? Before I met y'all I thought the illiteracy was the result of educational and developmental difficulties. But the more Deaf people I meet, the more I find that you don't much care about reading and writing proper English. ASL and TV is all you need. So...yeah. Fuck you for that, too. By the way, my deaf daughter is learning how to read, you dipshits.

9. While I'm at it, Alexander Graham Bell has been dead for 86 fucking years. When he was alive, he didn't gas any Deaf babies, he didn't sterilize anyone. If you honestly believe that he wanted to prevent deaf people from reproducing, even when his mother and wife were deaf, then I honestly believe you're pretty damn stupid. At any rate, it's a vastly different world today than it was back then. Believe you me, there are plenty of other villains to worry about today. Fuck you for not getting over A.G. Bell already.

10. Again with the calling me an audist in denial of your beautiful heritage. Which is funny, because from my perspective, you're being "deafists" in denial of your own handicaps. But you don't see me calling you out on it several times a week. Fuck you and your utter lack of tact.

But mostly, fuck you for putting a claim on my kid. I've been at this for more than four years, and you're just getting more hostile at us hearing-family-with-deaf-child-who-has-cochlear-implants. Our world, the world of the hearing, the world we're raising our girl in, the world you loathe so much -- our world is fucked up, sure, but it's roses and cotton candy and day-long free pony rides compared to yours.
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2008, 09:54 PM
Chessic Sense Chessic Sense is offline
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I agree. I can understand being OK with your body, but it's highly insulting to people like you that don't WANT your child to be deaf or to be born into the culture. It's OK to not want your child to live with a handicap!

Since when is cosmetic surgery on an infant a bad thing? what about cleft palettes? SHould those not be fixed? What about my friends baby with the 11th finger. Should it not have been removed? There are deformities and handicaps that are fixed routinely. Deafness IS one of them!
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:57 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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Deaf people shouldn't be ashamed of being deaf and shouldn't be made to feel that way, but I can't understand this persecuted attitude that makes these nutcases want to attack people who are taking care of the children, and not only doing the smart thing but the right thing in the process. It's incredibly shitty and presumptuous and mean-spirited, and it's not prejudiced. I'm glad the nearsighted community didn't send nasty messages to my parents when they got me glasses as a kid. Lord knows what culture I missed out on.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:07 PM
Justin_Bailey Justin_Bailey is offline
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That is some powerful strong anger. And I agree with every word.

Bravo.
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  #5  
Old 07-01-2008, 10:08 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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Man, I hear you.
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  #6  
Old 07-01-2008, 10:09 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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[shrug] Bitch all you like now, but when she's 17 you'll be sending her to Gallaudet. Where else?

Maybe, shaped by your influence, she might shake things up a little there, culturally.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:14 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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This is second hand anecdote, but since we're here, I might as well:

When my daughter failed her first three hearing tests*, my mom got inexplicably freaked out. I mean, the possibility of having a deaf granddaughter must be unsettling, but frankly, we knew a 23 week gestation micropreemie was running pretty good odds for something being wrong, and of all the things possible, deafness didn't strike me as all that bad. It took her a while to finally tell me what the real problem was, and it was this: she's spent 26 years teaching sixth grade. Along the way she's had her fair share (more, actually, 'cause she's one of the really good teachers) of students with disabilities. Blind kids, developmentally delayed kids, deaf kids, autistic kids, behavioral disorder kids - and, she says, of all of them, the deaf people are the most screwed up. Especially the ones who don't understand English or read or write. She says they're in their own little angry depressed worlds, no matter how kind she tries to be or how many veteran teacher techniques she uses to draw them out and include them in the class. I was shocked - I was far more worried about blindness than deafness, to be honest.

It sounds like you're doing everything you can to give your daughter more opportunities and more ways of connecting with a far greater variety of people than these hate filled jerks have. That's got to be a good thing, I don't care how much "pride" they have in their insularity. Fuck 'em.



*She's not deaf, just a heavy sleeper. Or something. Later tests found no problems.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:20 PM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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Subway Prophet writes:

> Therefore, more effort goes into learning how to sign, when other kids are
> learning how to read and write.

There is some question about this. Some researchers claim that a child can be taught to use a sign language faster than an oral language.

> ASL has no written form.

There's nothing keeping it from having a standard written form except that no one has bothered to create it. A written language for ASL would be no more or less artificial than written English is relation to spoken English. Written English is a lot different than spoken English.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:20 PM
susan susan is offline
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I have deaf students in my classes at Not Gallaudet. I also have blind students and chair-using students. The more the merrier.
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  #10  
Old 07-01-2008, 10:26 PM
ArizonaTeach ArizonaTeach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subway Prophet
9. While I'm at it, Alexander Graham Bell has been dead for 86 fucking years. When he was alive, he didn't gas any Deaf babies, he didn't sterilize anyone. If you honestly believe that he wanted to prevent deaf people from reproducing, even when his mother and wife were deaf, then I honestly believe you're pretty damn stupid. At any rate, it's a vastly different world today than it was back then. Believe you me, there are plenty of other villains to worry about today. Fuck you for not getting over A.G. Bell already.
What do the deaf have against Bell? I know the Italians hate him, but what do the deaf have a beef with? Hell, Helen Keller dedicated her books to him. I am truly confused.

Oh, and I sympathize with your rant. Several years ago, out theater department worked with a local school for the deaf on a production of Children of a Lesser God. The kids were OK, if a little I don't know...elitist (there were a lot of private jokes and laughing at our kids who were trying to communicate), but for the love of God, the teachers from that school...apparently anything and everything was designed to insult them somehow.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:39 PM
cerberus cerberus is offline
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SP: Good on you.

Getting surgical treatment of congenital deafness is pefectly ethical - we don't wait for surgical interventions for congenital heart defects, skeletal/muscular defects, gastrischisis and the like.

The human animal was "designed"/evolved to use sound. By default, our brains process it, our ears detect it. Sound is a major, major, majorly important external environmntal input. Hearing is as critical as sight and touch.

To fetishize a hearing defect is ridiculous. It is one thing to demand equal respect for a person who is deaf, and quite another to demand that the hearing defect be completely discounted.

It is critical that a birth defect be openly and honestly acknowledged and dealt with in order to maximze the potential of the affected child. Putting the defect in its proper context requires that we not, for good or for ill, define the child in terms of the defect. Marginalizing/Lionizing the deaf defines the child primarily in terms of deafness.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:49 PM
Subway Prophet Subway Prophet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner
> Therefore, more effort goes into learning how to sign, when other kids are
> learning how to read and write.

There is some question about this. Some researchers claim that a child can be taught to use a sign language faster than an oral language.
My daughter's first word was "eat", and she said it when she was 9 months old. She signed it. (My wife then handed her the coveted french fry, and the kid stuffed it into her mouth and promptly spat it back out. She's learned to love them since, however.)

But you know what? I don't really care about how fast she picks up language. As long as we got her started early, and as long as she can write an intelligible, structured essay by 12th grade, well then her language development is just fine by me. A majority of hearing kids in our demographic can do this. A majority of deaf kids cannot.

This skill is critical - CRITICAL - to stimulating your intellect. It is essential for continuing education, for getting good jobs. Being able to read and write well opens far more doors than any ADA-based government program can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner
A written language for ASL would be no more or less artificial than written English is relation to spoken English. Written English is a lot different than spoken English.
I've heard (and made) this argument before, but it doesn't really hold water.

Written English differs from spoken English, true. But not by a lot. You can write English exactly as it's spoken, and be understood. You can speak English exactly as it's written, and be understood. In most cases, you won't even sound like a dork. The written and spoken forms simply are not that different from each other.

ASL differs a lot from English. As in, even if you had complete mastery over the differences in vocabulary, the grammars are still different. More than just the grammar - punctuation, empahsis, timing - ASL is vastly different from English, or any written language.

Plenty of people have "bothered to create" a written form of ASL, but they've all been failures, lacking in various vital areas - e.g. hand location, direction, etc. - but most notably acceptance by the ASL crowd.

I fear that this is an implicit attribute with ASL. It excludes - and thereby discourages - written communication.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:50 PM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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If people are going to make us pretend they don't have a handicap due to political correctness, then they don't get the right to try to sympathy us into special treatment when they actually have a handicap.

I agree with the OP, most individuals that suffer fron some type of physical malady likely need to assume a "rugged individualist" attitude to some degree just in order to maintain their sanity.

But when an organized charity or group that presupposes to represent a group of people that share a handicap, their ability to simply proselytize to the masses and shape a form of groupthink about a disability and how they view a family should deal with it are often varying perceptions.

I'm with the OP...holding your post at truth, it's time for the middle finger and some stand-offishness of your own.

Good job. Great rant stylistically and humor-wise, and more importantly, relevant.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:54 PM
OtakuLoki OtakuLoki is offline
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Originally Posted by BrainGlutton
[shrug] Bitch all you like now, but when she's 17 you'll be sending her to Gallaudet. Where else?
How's about NTID? Among other things, AIUI NTID is very well integrated with the rest of the RIT community, which might be an bonus in some people's eyes.

Gallaudet isn't the only option for the hearing impaired.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:55 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
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IIRC, we once had a poster who referred to those with cochlear implants as "the frankendeaf".
(handy). Fortunately, said person was banned a long time ago.

So good luck with those you're up against.
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:08 PM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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Without googling it, because I'd rather read what the OP says, what are the success rates of cochlear implants?

And if they aren't entirely successful, do they afford some type of rudimentary hearing?
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:11 PM
Gatopescado Gatopescado is offline
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What?
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:17 PM
Subway Prophet Subway Prophet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaTeach
What do the deaf have against Bell? I know the Italians hate him, but what do the deaf have a beef with? Hell, Helen Keller dedicated her books to him. I am truly confused.
A.G. Bell's thing was that he believed deaf people could be mainstreamed into society. His teaching philosophy was decidedly anti-sign language. Since the Deaf Community holds ASL to be the glue that binds them together... well, you can see how they perceive Bell's philosophy as an existential attack on their culture.

Bell was also a supporter of Eugenics, in a time when Eugenics was a raging fad in many parts of American society, including the scientific and academic sectors. Note that I'm defending his sympathies, here. But I recognize that he had changed his stance many times over the years. And obviously, Bell didn't lend much support towards preventing deaf people from breeding, since he and his children all had a deaf parent.

BTW, Helen Keller was, apparently, brainwashed to act as a shill for Bell. A dedicated socialist, too. None of the Deafies I've interacted with think much of her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaTeach
Oh, and I sympathize with your rant. Several years ago, out theater department worked with a local school for the deaf on a production of Children of a Lesser God. The kids were OK, if a little I don't know...elitist (there were a lot of private jokes and laughing at our kids who were trying to communicate), but for the love of God, the teachers from that school...apparently anything and everything was designed to insult them somehow.
There's an insult in ASL which took me a while to figure out.

The sign for "hearing" is to repeatedly roll your right-hand index finger in front of your bottom jaw, indicating (ultimately) that the subject can hear his or her own voice.

The sign for "thinking like a hearing person" is to do this sign in front of the forehead.

I laughed when I figured it out, then used it casually in conversation, then someone took me aside and explained it to me. When I saw that sign being used, it was not meant to be a funny kind of joke. A hearing person doesn't understand Deaf people. A hearing person constantly makes assumptions which are insulting to a Deaf person. A hearing person is stupid.

Children of a Lesser God was made by hearing people, for hearing people. The protagonist was a Deaf person who was lonely because she couldn't talk. If you think about it, it's kind of silly, since she signs, and everyone around her at the school signs, so either she's lonely because (a) she's a genuinely bitter and socially-removed person who has no love in her life, or (b) she wants to have hearing and reject her deafness. I think that most people who watched the movie figured it was really (a). A lot of Deaf people think the message was (b) and hated the film and everyone associated with it.
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:33 PM
Subway Prophet Subway Prophet is offline
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Originally Posted by FoieGrasIsEvil
Without googling it, because I'd rather read what the OP says, what are the success rates of cochlear implants?

And if they aren't entirely successful, do they afford some type of rudimentary hearing?
The success rate is far from 100%. There are significant medical risks, since it's essentially brain surgery (drilling a hole into the skull to hook up an electrode strip directly to a nerve - that's close enough to brain surgery for my tastes.) There have been cases of meningitis due to an infection in the auditory nerve.

There's also varying degrees of effectiveness with the implant once it's in. Just mapping the processors (i.e. "tuning" the device) is a long process. Sometimes an implant won't connect well to the auditory nerve. Sometimes the implant will stop working, and require a second surgery to replace it (we did this last year, in fact.)

And if you get the implant as a prelingually-deaf adult, odds are that you'll never hear speech well enough to stop having to lip-read. The brain doesn't learn as quickly as an adult, and an unstimulated cochlea will ossify - slowly turn to bone - which will have a direct impact on efficacy. There are many prelingually-deaf adults who got the implant who later regretted it.

Having said that, if you implant before the age of, say, 3, then you have a real good chance of giving the kid hearing while the brain can really learn how to hear.

My daughter got hers at 10 and 13 months, and at age 4 1/2 can hold a conversation with me without needing to read my lips. Did we get lucky? I don't know.

Finally, there are some who say it isn't really hearing. That it's just computer-processed noise that helps one distinguish between some, but not all, kinds of sound. I think that argument's bullshit. It takes sound waves, converts them into a signal that the nerve can understand, which the brain then processes into a sensory input. That's sound, dude. Saying it's not hearing is like arguing that you don't see the color blue the way I do - yet as long as we both see the same color, we're both seeing blue, though perhaps are different degrees of perception.
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:41 PM
Subway Prophet Subway Prophet is offline
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My wife just called me. She stayed back at the school after my little dust-up happened, while I came and posted here - and she had a little post-mortem discussion about the incident.

I may have to retract point #3 - the punk who was pissing me off apparently wasn't getting on my case because of the cochlear implants, but exactly what I did to piss him off isn't clear.

She did tell me that her ASL interpreting class instructor, who is deaf and a self-proclaimed member of the Deaf Community, supports our decision to implant and doesn't have anything against CI's. Of course, she is also fairly literate, which I can't help but think has something to do with her more sensible attitudes.

Shit. It's late and I'm tired. We'll see how this all washes out tomorrow night.
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:51 PM
Subway Prophet Subway Prophet is offline
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Originally Posted by Subway Prophet
was also a supporter of Eugenics, in a time when Eugenics was a raging fad in many parts of American society, including the scientific and academic sectors. Note that I'm defending his sympathies, here.
Fuck me on a fucking sandwich with mayo and bacon and a fucking pickle. Fuck!

I meant to say:

"Note that I'm not defending his sympathies, here."

Let the record show that I believe Eugenicists are poopy-heads who need a good talking-to about human decency. In no way would I ever advocate their beliefs!

Stupid typo!

Going to bed now! Good NIGHT!
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Old 07-02-2008, 12:43 AM
gaffa gaffa is offline
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Originally Posted by Subway Prophet
Finally, there are some who say it isn't really hearing. That it's just computer-processed noise that helps one distinguish between some, but not all, kinds of sound. I think that argument's bullshit. It takes sound waves, converts them into a signal that the nerve can understand, which the brain then processes into a sensory input. That's sound, dude. Saying it's not hearing is like arguing that you don't see the color blue the way I do - yet as long as we both see the same color, we're both seeing blue, though perhaps are different degrees of perception.
You might want to check out this article in the November 2005 issue of Wired. The author completely lost his partial hearing, and got implants, but was unsatisfied with the sound they provided. He worked with the engineers on the software for the processor until he was able to enjoy music.

I've been on the Net since 1988 and have always been surprised by how rarely one saw e-mail addresses from Gallaudet.edu. In a text-only forum, I had naively assumed that the deaf would be eager to communicate. The only deaf people I regularly communicated with tended to be those who had learned lip-reading.
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Old 07-02-2008, 02:12 AM
Justin_Bailey Justin_Bailey is offline
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Originally Posted by OtakuLoki
How's about NTID? Among other things, AIUI NTID is very well integrated with the rest of the RIT community, which might be an bonus in some people's eyes.
NTID is actually completely integrated with RIT and deaf students take all of the same classes hearing students take. It was a rare class indeed if it didn't have at least one deaf student.
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Old 07-02-2008, 02:17 AM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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But you know what? I don't really care about how fast she picks up language. As long as we got her started early, and as long as she can write an intelligible, structured essay by 12th grade, well then her language development is just fine by me. A majority of hearing kids in our demographic can do this. A majority of deaf kids cannot.

This skill is critical - CRITICAL - to stimulating your intellect. It is essential for continuing education, for getting good jobs. Being able to read and write well opens far more doors than any ADA-based government program can.
My daughter was born nearsighted. My husband and I have always made her sight correction needs one of our top priorities. I cannot imagine any loving parent would WANT to cripple his/her child, in any way. And being deaf is being crippled/handicapped. Sure, there are ways to compensate for deafness or partial deafness, but hell, they're a poor substitute for being able to hear, IMO. You had a limited timeframe to get this done. I'm glad she's able to hold a spoken conversation with you.
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Old 07-02-2008, 03:21 AM
ToeJam ToeJam is offline
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((((Subway Prophet)))) and send some to your Kid too, dude.

It's tough, but for what it's worth, I believe you made the right choice with the CI's. I don't fully support your rant vs. the Deaf community, but I can see it for what it is. Which is someone needing to vent about the subject, and I do agree with it in parts and pieces.

That being said, I do hope you teach your kid to the fullest extent possible- let her learn English, a foreign language, music, whatever she wants. If she has difficulty, that's fine, but don't discourage her. If it were my child in such a position, I would do the same thing you've outlined here as well. So yeah, screw the community for it can be, but just raise your daughter to be the best person she can be period.

My wishes are sent your way.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton
[shrug] Bitch all you like now, but when she's 17 you'll be sending her to Gallaudet. Where else?

Maybe, shaped by your influence, she might shake things up a little there, culturally.
No dig at you BG, but this point just stuck out at me. Hey, why not William and Mary? Or Harvard? Or any other college out there? If she's got the grades and the skills to pay the bills she should get to go where ever she wants to go. Yeah, the CI and the hearing issues are there, but just because someone has a deficiency at an early age, doesn't mean one should try to limit themselves.

Sure, Gallaudet might be a good school, and it might be what some people need, but it shouldn't be seen as the only place out there for someone just because they've got a hearing disability. I know a few people with hearing disabilities and even the CI's and they've done just fine in their classes at the colleges they went to.
Frank Zappa said it best:A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it's not open. So just keep on promoting the learning, and always be open to the possibilities that life has to offer, and end up wherever you may, just be happy wherever it be.
Peace out, and take care!
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Old 07-02-2008, 03:32 AM
Indistinguishable Indistinguishable is online now
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Originally Posted by Subway Prophet
Of course, she is also fairly literate, which I can't help but think has something to do with her more sensible attitudes.
I may just not be fully aware of the details of deaf culture, but...

Are literate members of the deaf community rare?

[I had written a long explanation of my thoughts on the matter, but maybe I should see what the answer to this question actually is, first]

Last edited by Indistinguishable; 07-02-2008 at 03:37 AM..
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  #27  
Old 07-02-2008, 04:27 AM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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Subway Prophet writes:

> ASL differs a lot from English.

Read my post. I *never* said anything that contradicts this. I said that written English differs a lot from spoken English. *Nobody* is claiming that ASL is similar to English. It's a *different* language.

> Plenty of people have "bothered to create" a written form of ASL, but they've all
> been failures, lacking in various vital areas - e.g. hand location, direction, etc. -
> but most notably acceptance by the ASL crowd.

By "bothered to create" it, I meant bothered to create a written form that is generally accepted. The reason that no written form is generally accepted is there is no particular use for it except for linguists who study ASL in the same way that other languages are studied (including many obscure languages that have no written form). Linguists need something to use for their linguistics papers to talk about it. There's no reason to write ASL down generally because it's more convenient to write things in English.

This means that deaf people grow up bilingual. There's a bizarre notion among Americans that being bilingual is some awkward, difficult thing that most people can't do. Nonsense. It's sometimes estimated that half the population of the world grew up bilingual and speaks at least two languages natively.

Indistinguishable writes:

> Are literate members of the deaf community rare?

No, but it's estimated that the average deaf adult in the U.S. has a fourth-grade reading level.
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  #28  
Old 07-02-2008, 04:36 AM
lizardling lizardling is offline
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There are idiots everywhere. And I'm sorry that you ran into one of those purist types.

Pretty much what RoOsh said.

Regarding the literacy issue, I have an unposted thinky post somewhere on the state of the educational system as it's supported (or failed) deaf kids, but what a lot of it boils down is to whether people push the kid to succeed or fail at regular academia. Especially at the state schools for the deaf. Education is a huge issue in Deaf culture because so much of it is the communication issue, which is at the heart of the handicap.

By literate, you'd have to define what you meant. I've heard that quite a few Deaf kids who don't get adequate support from family + school wind up exiting the system with a very substandard reading level because everyone is so hellbent on communicating with them that they forget about the meat+veg part of one's education. And then by the time they do remember, it's a bit late for that. It's a fairly depressing statistic but I wouldn't be able to pull up factual numbers, I'm afraid.

These days though, more and more deaf kids are stuffed into mainstreamed schools with IEPs to help them from the get-go. Ideally, they'll get good interpreters and can focus on the meat+veg of academia instead of struggling with the communication part during the key parts of their academic lives.

Regarding a written form of ASL, aren't there also different notation systems for dance and stage choreography that are also similarly buggy?
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  #29  
Old 07-02-2008, 05:05 AM
Jurph Jurph is offline
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I have it second-hand from a number of friends who work with the Capital-D-Deaf that the community (but not necessarily even a majority of the individuals) are petulant, militant, political, and focused on identifying the Deaf as victims whom only the community can rescue. The OP's use of the word "claim" really resonates. For a group of people who struggle so hard to communicate, it amazes me how many cultural taboos, forbidden words, and discriminatory speaking rules there are, e.g. "Oh, a Hearing person isn't allowed to name themselves in ASL. They're given names by their Deaf friends, but until then their name is finger-spelled." Think about that: until they name you, you have no name. It's an insular community that relishes victimhood but abolishes the word "disability". They demand better-than-equal treatment while openly deriding and scorning the people who help them. They love the (self-?) righteous fury that comes whenever a Hearing person accidentally treads on one of their taboos and they can blast them with shame. It's not unlike certain religions and cults in those respects.

I'm glad your kid got the cochlear implants. I strongly believe that only she has the right to determine how she will relate to herself and the world around her despite her disability. I wish you both the best of luck in helping her find a path that suits her.

Last edited by Jurph; 07-02-2008 at 05:06 AM..
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  #30  
Old 07-02-2008, 06:18 AM
Septima Septima is offline
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I have a question that is totally off-topic, but...

How do deaf people generally react to a random hearing person (without a deaf family member) learning to sign?

In my experience, russians adore foreigners learning to speak russian. The same is true for faroese, and many other languages. Others (norwegians, possibly americans?) just take it as a fact of life, and may even make fun of a foreign speaker with an accent. Where do deaf people fall on this scale? Do they welcome this foreign speaker, or ridicule him/her? Or something else?
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  #31  
Old 07-02-2008, 06:37 AM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em in the ear.
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  #32  
Old 07-02-2008, 06:56 AM
FriarTed FriarTed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subway Prophet
Fuck me on a fucking sandwich with mayo and bacon and a fucking pickle. Fuck!

I meant to say:

"Note that I'm not defending his sympathies, here."

Let the record show that I believe Eugenicists are poopy-heads who need a good talking-to about human decency. In no way would I ever advocate their beliefs!

Stupid typo!

Going to bed now! Good NIGHT!

If it helps, I just read that as a typo of "Not that I'm defending...."
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  #33  
Old 07-02-2008, 07:09 AM
Half Man Half Wit Half Man Half Wit is offline
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Huh, I never knew there was a tightly-knit deaf community like this. Is this a worldwide phenomenon, or something that's largely confined to America/the English speaking part of the world (inasmuch as that distinction makes sense)? Because I'm not aware of anything comparable in Germany, but I might just haven't heard of it. Maybe even subconsciously turned a blind eye.
Anyway, the whole thing strikes me as absolutely bizarre -- I mean, it's not a great revelation that everybody tends to seek out a pedestal from which to look down upon their peers, and any form of insularity is a natural conduit for that, but to make the basis for this a disability?
I would have thought that being deaf entailed to want to be able to hear; I've got no olfaction (which isn't in any way comparable in regards to the handicap it poses, of course), and I'd certainly rather be able to smell than part of a community of similarly afflicted.
They'd probably stink to high heaven, anyway.

Be that as it may, I hope everything goes well for the OP; raising a hearing afflicted child must be hard enough without getting grief from some hypocritical 'best interests' association with misguided communal notions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley23
I'm glad the nearsighted community didn't send nasty messages to my parents when they got me glasses as a kid. Lord knows what culture I missed out on.
Oh, I wouldn't worry, they've got a rather blurred notion of culture anyway.
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  #34  
Old 07-02-2008, 07:53 AM
friedo friedo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin_Bailey
NTID is actually completely integrated with RIT and deaf students take all of the same classes hearing students take. It was a rare class indeed if it didn't have at least one deaf student.
NTID is cool. I had no idea it even existed until I showed up at RIT for my first semester and asked my RA, "what's with all the deaf people around here?"

I was even able to learn some rudimentary ASL just by watching the interpreters in my classes. (One of them was really hot.)

I've since forgotten it all, though.
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  #35  
Old 07-02-2008, 08:03 AM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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Regarding the OP rant I have this to say: Hear, hear.
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  #36  
Old 07-02-2008, 08:15 AM
Justin_Bailey Justin_Bailey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Man Half Wit
Huh, I never knew there was a tightly-knit deaf community like this. Is this a worldwide phenomenon, or something that's largely confined to America/the English speaking part of the world (inasmuch as that distinction makes sense)? Because I'm not aware of anything comparable in Germany, but I might just haven't heard of it. Maybe even subconsciously turned a blind eye.
I can't speak for the world, but I know the US has little pockets of deaf communities in places nearby deaf schools such as Upstate New York (NTID), Washington DC (Gallaudet) and Southern California (various smaller schools for the deaf).
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  #37  
Old 07-02-2008, 08:29 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IntelSoldier
what about cleft palettes? SHould those not be fixed?
Nitpick: that should be cleft palate. A cleft palette is something that keeps spilling paint everywhere.

SP, I don't have anything to add to this conversation. I'm not deaf and I don't know anyone who is. You sound like a pretty good parent to me, though.
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  #38  
Old 07-02-2008, 08:45 AM
eleanorigby eleanorigby is offline
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You are bringing back flashbacks of a certain woman in some of my classes recently. She was not totally deaf; I don't know the degree of deafness she had. She had an interpreter in her classes and she had some kind of amplifier that she used. The classes met mostly online, with some on campus days. Day one, we are "introducing" ourselves online and she says she's deaf. Ok. She participates in class just fine or so it seemed--in fact, she rather monopolized class "discussion" online with the instructor egging her on. It got to be a joke--we could almost time the prof's response (always positive, no matter what input the deaf person made) to her--all the while the prof is ignoring other, more informed responses.

Fast forward to on campus: she again monopolized class with the aid of her interpreter. She sat in front of the class and then would say stuff like, "That person has to speak up!" when someone would make a comment from the back. She told people to talk more slowly because she didn't catch what they said (she lip read, fair enough), but mostly she was just obnoxious about her "differently abled" self. She wanted to be treated like any other student, but then got upset when she wasn't catered to.
But the worst thing was when we were in a circle (god knows why--grad school can be a lot like kindergarten)--we had to relate our favorite childhood book to our decision to become librarians or some such, and tell a few things about ourselves. This person said she was deaf, that she had an interpreter with her, that her favorite childhood book was X and that she had recently lost a lot of weight and was no longer fat.... all the while standing next to someone who's BMI had to be in the 30s. I can only suppose she was also tone deaf, socially. (that and she was still well, kind of hefty, made her comment odd to say the least).

I don't say she's representative of all (or even many) deaf or Deaf people--she got into grad school, so she must have some degree of literacy and intelligence. No doubt she has both, but her social "skills" (the monopolizing of class, the rudeness) coupled with an overweening sense of superiority (she worked at a famous library as an aide) did not endear her to her fellow students.

But what bothered me most was the response she got from others: they bent over backwards for her, catered to her ego, excused what would have been confronted or condemned in a hearing person. How is this helpful to anyone? It's a natural impulse, I suppose (I see it happen to people in wheelchairs, this able person guilt or whatever), and it's better than regarding those with handicaps as freaks (or being afraid of them), but it seems to me we have a long way to go before the blind, deaf, wheelchair-bound are truly mainstreamed.

I am sorry that the Deaf community has responded to CIs as some sort of threat. I remember the demonstrations at Gaulladet when the new President (provost?) was chosen and she was deemed "not deaf enough". Gah.
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  #39  
Old 07-02-2008, 08:46 AM
Lord Ashtar Lord Ashtar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argent Towers
Man, I hear you.
I see what you did there.
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  #40  
Old 07-02-2008, 08:53 AM
freekalette freekalette is offline
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This is why my (deaf) best friend hates the deaf community. He's got a cochlear implant that nobody - yet - has given him any shit for, but the fact that he mingles with us hearing folks gets him shunned something fierce.

I think you're doing the right thing by giving your daughter as many tools as possible to help her succeed in life. I second the notion to fuck the haters in the ear. Hugs to you and yours.
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  #41  
Old 07-02-2008, 09:18 AM
Justin_Bailey Justin_Bailey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eleanorigby
I don't say she's representative of all (or even many) deaf or Deaf people--she got into grad school, so she must have some degree of literacy and intelligence. No doubt she has both, but her social "skills" (the monopolizing of class, the rudeness) coupled with an overweening sense of superiority (she worked at a famous library as an aide) did not endear her to her fellow students.
This happens a lot at RIT. While it's far from the majority, there are some deaf students that want to steer the class conversation and 99% of all professors let them.

The one that didn't (who is still there and still teaching American Politics) was my hero.
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  #42  
Old 07-02-2008, 09:29 AM
Subway Prophet Subway Prophet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaffa
You might want to check out this article in the November 2005 issue of Wired. The author completely lost his partial hearing, and got implants, but was unsatisfied with the sound they provided. He worked with the engineers on the software for the processor until he was able to enjoy music.
Yeah, it's in our scrapbook. I keep meaning to follow up with the guy, see how much he was able to accomplish. (I seem to remember he went to the same Dallas audiologists that my daughter first went to.)

Funny-ish hijack: after reading that article, I tracked down Bolero to see what is was like. It's classical music, so it should be safe to put in the CD jukebox that plays over the PA at the book store I work at, right? As soon as the music comes on, my boss goes into a frenzy, running to the back office, yanking the CD out, and coming back to the front to demand who the hell put it in there. I guess the repetitive musical themes which the author of that article latched on to, can really bug some other people.

Of course, it was amusing to see her blow a fuse again a month later when a co-worker put some Philip Glass in the CD changer.

She was generally a good boss, but a bit melodramatic at times.
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  #43  
Old 07-02-2008, 09:31 AM
Erasmus Darwin Erasmus Darwin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IntelSoldier
What about my friends baby with the 11th finger. Should it not have been removed?
The militant Pianist community weeps over your friends' decision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaffa
I've been on the Net since 1988 and have always been surprised by how rarely one saw e-mail addresses from Gallaudet.edu. In a text-only forum, I had naively assumed that the deaf would be eager to communicate. The only deaf people I regularly communicated with tended to be those who had learned lip-reading.
I seem to recall someone on another forum mentioning that text-messaging and Blackberries are big in the Deaf community. However, from what I read, they tended to communicate using lots of abbreviations, short-hand, and ASL syntax. So even there, they're essentially using their own language. That's not to say that there aren't plenty of deaf people with strong written English skills, but it takes more effort to learn it without the spoken analogue being second nature as it is to a hearing person, and so those who believe stridently in a Deaf community are less likely to put forth the effort.
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  #44  
Old 07-02-2008, 09:43 AM
Subway Prophet Subway Prophet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoOsh
I don't fully support your rant vs. the Deaf community, but I can see it for what it is. Which is someone needing to vent about the subject, and I do agree with it in parts and pieces.
Fair enough. But please, give me a hand here! (You too, lizardling, I remember your comments from the Gallaudet president thing, and I respect your opinion and your input.) What am I getting wrong? What subtle basis of Deaf behavior am I misinterpreting?

And what do I need to do to stem the casual insults and the dirty looks?

Like I said, we've been at this a few years, now. And I feel like I'm getting nowhere. My wife has decided to ignore it, just let it wash over her. In a way, she's right - as an interpreter she'll be privy to a lot of personal information from strangers and you can't let petty things like crazy spite and contempt affect you.

But this matters to me - a LOT - because this is the same kind of crap my daughter will have to put up with if she decides she wants to cozy up with anyone in the Deaf community.
__________________
I've spent the last few years building up an immunity to bullets. - Angus McGuire
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  #45  
Old 07-02-2008, 09:44 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subway Prophet
But mostly, fuck you for putting a claim on my kid. I've been at this for more than four years, and you're just getting more hostile at us hearing-family-with-deaf-child-who-has-cochlear-implants. Our world, the world of the hearing, the world we're raising our girl in, the world you loathe so much -- our world is fucked up, sure, but it's roses and cotton candy and day-long free pony rides compared to yours.
Is it wrong for me to recommend that when you encounter this, you put your fingers in your ears and say "I can't heeeeear you!!!!"?

Regards,
Shodan
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  #46  
Old 07-02-2008, 09:49 AM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eleanorigby
I remember the demonstrations at Gaulladet when the new President (provost?) was chosen and she was deemed "not deaf enough". Gah.
Slight correction. She was not Deaf enough, according to the protesters. I have a Livejournal friend who was a graduate student at Gallaudet at the time (he was one of the people trying to mediate between the protesters and the board) and he posted about it as the whole thing went down.
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  #47  
Old 07-02-2008, 09:54 AM
Captain Amazing Captain Amazing is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan
Is it wrong for me to recommend that when you encounter this, you put your fingers in your ears and say "I can't heeeeear you!!!!"?
Yes, it's very wrong.

He should put his hands over his eyes and say "I can't heeeear you!!!!"
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  #48  
Old 07-02-2008, 09:54 AM
OtakuLoki OtakuLoki is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan
Is it wrong for me to recommend that when you encounter this, you put your fingers in your ears and say "I can't heeeeear you!!!!"?

Regards,
Shodan

If we're going to talk about childish...

My sister's best friend through Junior High was a girl who's mother was an ASL interpreter. She and my sister were both very good at ASL, and would communicate through class by ASL, much to the chagrin of their teachers. Who knew what was going on, but because they were ignorant of ASL couldn't prove their allegations.

For a while my sister took to making editorial comments to and about people in family discussions in ASL. I got fed up with it, one day in the car.

I put my hands over my eyes and chanted "I can't heeeeaaar you!"

It did work.


ETA: At least I can say to Captain Amazing, I did it, not just talked about it.

Last edited by OtakuLoki; 07-02-2008 at 09:55 AM..
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  #49  
Old 07-02-2008, 10:05 AM
lobotomyboy63 lobotomyboy63 is offline
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http://www.signlanguageresourcesinc.com/deafculture.htm

For what it's worth...this article ran in the Atlantic Monthly in 1993. I didn't know anything about the issues till I read it, thought it was fascinating.
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  #50  
Old 07-02-2008, 10:17 AM
ArizonaTeach ArizonaTeach is offline
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Has very little to do with the topic at hand, except it's a neat story about the deaf I like to tell. Years ago, my friend and I went to a local movie theater to see...something...can't recall. And that day they were showing a special closed captioned version of Saving Private Ryan for a deaf organization...no sound at all, just the subtitles. Before the film started, there were maybe a hundred, hundred-twenty people out in the lobby, down the hallways, all signing, in dead silence. Swear to God, it felt like I was in The Birds. It was creepy. All these people, not a sound.
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