Deaf Articles Essay

3. “Why Can’t Deaf Experts Hear Us?”
a. What are the present Deaf issues?

Some of the Deaf issues mentioned in the article are that that “Deaf experts” don’t like the thought of Deaf children learning to sign without voicing. They think that each Deaf child should be learning Total Communication, but there is no evidence showing that Total Communication is the best way to educate Deaf kids. Another issue is that the people at Gallaudet feel as if they are having to educate the educators about the need of American Sign Language in Deaf schools. Deaf people feel as if their culture is being attacked and is being weakened. The last main problem is that the so called “Deaf experts” study special education but none of them have any personal experience with Deaf people.

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These experts endorsing the programs don’t listen to the opinions of Deaf people, they only demand research and quote hearing people with Ph.D.’s. b. From the article, list three important facts you learned from the writer. I learned that the writer of this article is Deaf. I know this because at the beginning of the article he states, “Some days I wonder if my Deafness is contagious. I keep writing and signing the same things over and over again.” Another fact is that he has personal experience of trying to explain to educators the need for American Sign Language in the schools. When he talks about educating the educators, he explains that the powers just keep looking the other way. The last fact is that Jack Levesque feels as if the Deaf culture is being sort of taken away from them and is dying out. Why did you pick these facts?

I picked the first fact because by knowing that the writer is Deaf it helps you better understand the emotion and personal feeling behind each word. I picked the fact that he has tried to explain that they need ASL in schools because that is what he is writing about, the use of ASL not English to educate the Deaf. He has personal frustrations with no ASL in schools; he is not simply relaying the message for other Deaf people. I chose the last fact because in reality, if you are forcing a different language than a native language on someone, you are stripping their culture away from them by not allowing them to just be themselves.

This is a good point that he brings up and it saddens me that someone would even want to do that to another human. c. What are some observations or comments you have about the article? I wish that all of the Ph.D. experts in special education could just meet or talk to a few Deaf people and really get to know them. I think by doing this, they would realize how important Deaf culture and Sign Language really are to a Deaf person. I think this would change all the hearing people’s minds about forcing English onto Deaf people. It just isn’t natural for them.

d. What do you think of Bonnies Bass’s article?

I think that the point that she brings up makes a lot of sense. Americans just assume that Sign Language is just like English, but it is not. The grammar is completely different and the syntax is completely different. It is sad that Deaf children are not pushed to learn American Sign Language right away when they find out they are Deaf. It doesn’t make sense for kids to be tested on English when their native language should be Sign Language. That is like taking an English speaking student and putting a Spanish test in front of them and expecting them to get high scores. This article makes a lot of sense and I wish that more hearing people would read it so they could better understand that the two languages are different.

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