Monday, February 11, 2008

How Deaf Is Deaf Enough? Playing God on

On Ka'lalau's Korner the following question is asked:
Can humans exist without some people being Deaf and using American Sign Language (ASL)?
I don't really understand that question, how about this one:
*Can the Deaf Community accept that ASL is not the natural language of all Deaf people?*

A couple of days ago a thread was going around on the Pediatric CI Circle called "Born to Talk" where a mother posted this experience:

Last night, I overheard my son in the bathtub playing with his pirate ship and
having battles with empty, enemy shampoo containers when I thought, "I should
have this on video to show people that spoken language is not 'unnatural' for
deaf children." (Guess that wouldn't be fair to my boy when he grows up since he
was in the tub after all. lol) Here was my deaf child, happy as can be, with no
technology hooked up and no one even listening to him as far as he knew, fully
narrating both sides of a battle with play by play action; correcting himself
when he pronounced something wrong or thought of a better word than the one he
just used; and including sound effects for the cannons and such. It was another
example of a time when I think to myself, "What if I hadn't given this child
this verbal outlet?" He was SO born to talk. The fact that he was born unable
to hear did not change that.

Hmmm. Jordan was "born to talk" and now he won't shut the hell up. Is it okay if he speaks first and signs later??? Is he still "Deaf enough" for the Deaf community?

In another "profound comment" on that blog, the blogger writes (extremely intelligently *dripping in sarcasm*):

Oralists and CI people are like dogs needing constant praises and treats.

My son and others like him will NEVER be accepted by Deaf people like this "gentleman."

Moi blogs: At the crux of the issue is: what exactly is DeafRead supposed to be?

The response may be perceived as a direct correlation to the following question:

What exactly is the DEAF Community supposed to be?

Note to the Editors of who posted this on my comments:

J.J. Puorro (a DR Human Editor) said...
A few quick comments:

1.) It is a shame that Paula decided to leave DR. It was her decision however.

2.) If your posts are ending up in extra, please review the DR guidelines. It has nothing to do with the human editors disliking CI posts. It has to do with the post not meeting the guidelines. If you see a conflict where you did not violate the guidelines and the post is still in Extra, E-mail us for an explanation.

3.) We have something in the works and hope to announce it shortly. Sit tight everyone...

4.) I will not be commenting further here, any questions just E-mail me using the DR "contact us" page.

Moi addresses a fundamental issue in all of this:
As in our homes in the real world, we are selective about whom we allow in our homes and even more selective about whom gets to see the entire house. Only people that we feel close to and comfortable with usually get to see our back rooms, the upstairs, our bedrooms, and so on. Friends and acquaintances can get as far as our porches, our living rooms, our kitchens, and maybe more, depending on the situation and on our level of openness. We don’t allow people in our homes who do the following: treat us or our people with disrespect, diss our values, dishonor us in any way, insult us, et cetera. We definitely allow people who are different from us and who have different opinions from us, as long as they’re friendly and respectful. The DeafRead main page, to me, is analogous to the back rooms, while the Extra page is for everybody and anybody.

...just do some serious soul-searching about the future of the DEAF community before you opt for segregation of the "successful cochlear implant stories" of fellow deaf community members who are knocking on your door.


On a lighter note...
Christina dropped another bomb of a post on her blog, made me cry (I'm sensitive like that):
Looking back on our 1st Year of Parenthood, but more specifically, our 1st Year as Parents to a Deaf Child, I really could've used a "Do's and Don't" list. So, in an effort to help the Mommy's and Daddy's who may be going through, I figured I would make my own. Now, I know every family is different. And we all have different, take my advice for what it is....advice. And always, always, do what is best for YOUR family.

Here it goes:

Do ask questions if your baby fails all or part of the Newborn Hearing Screen.
When will they repeat the test? Who was it done by? Can I get a second opinion? And most importantly, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Don't let the Newborn Hearing Screen folks sugarcoat the results.

This was our biggest mistake, THAT I STILL REGRET. Since Christian was a C-Section baby, they claimed that his failed test "Was completely normal...he probably just has fluid in his ears". I believed them. I took that hope home, and didn't do the research. We went back two weeks later to find that he failed again...with no fluid in his ears.

Do trust your gut feelings.

Regardless if you are a 1st time parent, or a vetran, you have to trust your instincts. You know your baby better than anyone. We had the TOP ENTs in our area tell us our kid could hear fine after doing some pitchfork tests. I KNEW ALL ALONG that my kid couldn't hear the sound. He was just responding to the MOVEMENTS of the doctor's arms.

Don't feel guilty about shopping around for the best doctors for your kid.

There's no time, or room for worrying about hurting a doctor's feelings. Do what is best for your kid.

Do get the right tests for your baby.

Request and ABR for more clarification if you have to. Have an actual audiologist do it, not just a tech. Be prepared to ask questions.

Don't bang pots and pans next to your 3 week old's bassinet. *repeat offender*

Trust me. It does NOTHING but make you worry more. You CAN'T change that they can't hear.

Do prepare yourself for long lagtimes between visits, tests, and results.
It happens. No matter where you live. Just be patient. With that being said, take Marielle's Mom's advice too: You also have to fight, fight, fight to get appointments. Be the mom they fear! Call around until you find somone who can see you within a reasonable time.
The secretary at Hopkins and I got to know eachother very well when I called EVERYDAY for Month for Christian!

Do Your Research, and Keep an Open Mind.

Learn about your child's degree of loss. Where do they fall on the Speech Banana? Learn what the Speech Banana is. Research communication options, and don't RULE ANYTHING OUT. I remember feeling how there was NO WAY that my son would use American Sign Language. He was going to speak, and I believed that ASL was NOT going to help him. I'm glad that my husband and I opened our minds and hearts to all of the communication options available. For our family, we chose to use ASL along with spoken English. It works for us. Research what will work for YOUR family.

Don't OVER RESEARCH. *guilty of this as well*

Googling and WebMding "Profound Hearing Loss" everyday, all day won't help. Watching YouTube videos 3 hours straight about kids with Cochlear Implants wont' either. All you'll do is burn yourself out. Take a Break. I enventually did, only after I lost about a week's worth of sleep.

Do make sure you have your county's Early Intervention team in place...EARLY!

It was a very long road to Christian's diagnosis and amplification, and we really didn't get EI involved as soon as I would've liked. The moment you suspect something isn't quite right, CALL THEM.

Don't let your child's hearing loss DEFINE THEM and YOUR FAMILY. *this one's a beauty!*

It took me a long time to stop the never ending chorus of "I have a Deaf Baby. I have a Deaf Baby. I have a Deaf Baby" in my head. For a period of time, I let Christian's hearing loss define him, and I REGRET THAT TOO! It took a good friend to smack me to my senses and help me realize there was so much more to my little man. Sure, he couldn't hear quite as well as us, but other than that he was fine. You'll end up missing the little things, like laughs, giggles, and cuddles.

Do make time for your spouse. *not easy*

When we actually heard the words "Your Son Is Profoundly Deaf", it rocked my world, and it definitely rocked my marriage. Having a new baby already shakes up your world, then couple that with a kid who may have some special, it was rough. It's so hard to not take every waking moment to talk about the baby and how he can't hear, what we're going to do about him not hearing, why he's not hearing, etc. My husband and I FELL INTO THAT TRAP. Take a step back. Remind yourselves why you had your beautiful baby to begin with. Take time for eachother. You need eachother now more than ever.

Don't Blame Yourself

I'm a hearing Mommy to a Deaf Baby. I blamed myself everyday for his hearing loss. I tore myself apart thinking that something that I DID caused this. It broke my heart. Then, one clicked. After a serious amount of prayer, I accepted that Christian's loss was completely out of my control. I did everything right during the pregnancy. It just so happens that we carry a gene that just happened to be passed down to our kid. The sleep you lose blaming yourself isn't worth it. Save your energy for your baby.

Finally, DO FIND SUPPORT! *Pediatric Cochlear Implant Circle...sometimes*

My husband and I are so lucky to have an amazing family, and a very close group of friends who have been there for us throughout our entire journey. Through their prayers and support, we have been able to stay positive and focus on our family. Let your family and friends know what you need from them. THEY WANT TO HELP.

I found an amazing group of parents at the Listen-Up website who have been such an invaluable resource. We share stories, advice, and most importantly, we support eachother. I STRONGLY urge parents of babies who have been diagnosed with a hearing loss to stop by and visit. It helped us out SO much.

By no means am I an expert when it comes to dealing with Hearing Loss. I certainly have moments everyday where I wonder "Is this right? Am I doing what is right for Christian"? This entire year has been such a learning experience for me. I test my own limits, and patience, just as any other Mom does with young children. I still worry everyday. I learned this year to keep an open mind and an open heart. Most importantly, I learned to let go of the guilt, the fear, and the anger. I learned to enjoy my sweet, silly, and absolutely PERFECT little boy for the child that he is.

*Love, absolutely LOVE Christina*


Anonymous said...

There were some who were advocating for the complete removal of CI blogs, both at the conference and in discussions off-line. Knowing moi, she was just trying to find a compromise that would allow the CI blogs to stay and keep everyone at the table.

I would strongly suggest you study colonial theory and check out Paddy Ladd's "Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood." His doctorate is in cultural studies, and his work reflects that. It will help you understand why this is happening.

I do believe that Jordan will be accepted by most of his peers when he enters the Deaf community.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jodi, your comments on DeafRead are right on target.

I absolutely LOVED Christina's "Dos and Don'ts" and would like to reproduce them at HearingExchange for the parents there as well. Please ask her to get in contact with me.

Peace * Love * and Me (which is what Guilia has for her signature on her cellphone)

Anonymous said...


"Moi" was NOT referring to Deaf babies, implanted or not. "Moi"'s entry clearly pointed out non-Deaf-centered BLOGS (the majority of which were written by you, Paula, etc.) that were disrespectful of ASL, Deaf community members, and anything that ain't audist-centered.

It is fine to disagree, but to intentionally confuse groups (non-Deaf-centered bloggers with innocent Deaf babies) smacks of inflammation.

Stop trying to instigate a "culture war" where innocent Deaf babies will be the real victims. Leave babies out and take your fight to people YOUR size, OK?

Valerie said...

Thank you for your posting. I spent yesterday in tears after reading Moi posting over that same question - Am I deaf enough?

I don't know the answer. I only know I am deaf - emotionally, physically, socially, and medically. I guess I am going about this the wrong way, I thought since I accept myself, others will accept me.

On the big plus side, I have met a group of awesome people. What would I do without my daily dose of you blog, or Paula's, Abbie's, Paotie, Mike's Geo's, Jen's or so many others . The interaction between many of the blogs add to my smile each day. I felt as if I shared the Steak and Shake problem with Karen. The support we give each other should override the comments of being deaf enough. This is what gives me hope in not just the Deaf Community, but in every community.

As I spend the next few days thinking about my place in this wide world of cyberspace and the world of deafness, I wonder is it better to be isolated or inclusion? But I am so very thankful for the one who have the words to express how I feel as well.

OCDAC said...

There's a few folks out there that need to grow thick skin to be able to deal with the scourge of the old deaf guards.

LaRonda said...

Hi. Just my 2 cents worth here. (My tone is polite here.) :)

I wanted to respectfully invite you to consider that just because 1 or 2 people write things that appear to represent an entire Deaf Community perspective, their comments or posts are, in fact, not representative of the entire community.

I become frustrated at times when this assumption is made. When 1 or 2 prominent v/bloggers share a hot opinion that goes against the grain and obviously rubs people wrong, those people react defensively by clumping us all together and claim ALL people in the Deaf community feel this way. Not true.

I respectfully suggest we all take care not to stereotype or make assumptions.

~ LaRonda

moi said...

Thank you for reading my post. I also wanted to thank you for the warm comment you left awhile back. You and I agree that we are all part of the same community.

That's why I was so surprised to read your post all but accusing me of rejecting your son and others like him.

As my regular readers know, I've always advocated for accepting everyone, no matter what their background and communication mode.

My most recent post focused on creating a safe place with a strong Deaf center, while trying to find a way to keep everyone else "at the table." It was about the blogs, not about individuals.

I do not reject people based on their differences from me, nor do I advocate doing so.

Thank you.

Unknown said...

I am speaking to Anonymous of 931 AM.

You wrote:

". . . that were disrespectful of ASL, Deaf community members, and anything that ain't audist-centered."

I am culturally Deaf. Deaf parents , residential school, and all that have-to in order to be a true blooded Deafie. Your comment is disrespectful to me.

The Deaf community is NOT like this.

Jodi, and the like minded bloggers . . . your blogs are WELCOME in DeafRead! Your views give me satisfaction as s culturally Deaf person with moderate views.

Jodi, I se you as a moderate like me. Paula is more on the right, but that's perfectly fine! She is no way an audist. She welcomes ASL users on HearingExchange and advocates choices.

Cali, a commenter in this blog, mentioned Paddy's book. I do recommend it too! A difficult read, but well-worth it.

kiss-fist ya, Jodi!

Anonymous said...

We the deaf people know what are we talking about our language demanding are asl...ASL...of course ASL is the visual communicated!!

Oral of course help us talking to hearing one by one, hardly group...not in the meeting no NO NO...even in Dr. office, socialist...No NO NOOO and more...

ASL is too hard for you to understand once you used ASL and let your kid involved with dinner table to watch and talk during dinner, during TV show or movie,etc. It helps with a wonderful ASL. I promised you'll love it. It shouldn't get your kid disapproving the oralism but improving as well. ASL is our 1st prior language because of VISUAL!! So we can watch our conservation, NOT "VOICE SOUND" that we hear. We want to hear the visual sound. Keep research

Karen Mayes said...

I would like to leave a comment, saying that I came across one commenter (Fibber McGee) who left the message on Paula's Hearing Exchange blog (under the posting "Threats Not Tolerated at Hearing Exchange", who said "Long live the difference. Each person to his/her taste." Check it out, to get a better understanding of it. The point is all languages are equal, no superior nor inferior. Same goes for communication methods as well... the key word is COMMUNICATION and enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous, you said:

"Stop trying to instigate a "culture war" where innocent Deaf babies will be the real victims. Leave babies out and take your fight to people YOUR size, OK?"

The same can be said of you. Not to mention that you should come out from behind your anonymity and be honest about who you are.

Jodi, Mike and I are not disrespectful of ASL or the Deaf Culture. Just because we don't subscribe to the exact same beliefs as you and others doesn't mean we can't have meaningful discussions from our perspectives on deafness.

Moi, I read your blog post too. What you propose is to shuttle people with different beliefs off to the side, as if what they say has less importance than those who subscribe to Deaf Culture. While your suggestions may have been well-meaning, you will be forcing a greater division between the two cultures that have hopes to come to an agreement. I don't see how it will have any positive outcome except that a few people will be happy to have done away with anyone who dissents with their opinions and beliefs.

LaRonda, it seems to me that there are very few people within the Deaf community who are willing to rebut bloggers who call us audists (a highly derogatory term) or tell us we're making mistakes with our children by choosing oral communication and/or cochlear implants. Nor is anyone coming to our defense when we're attacked via comments or on other blogs. So, if there are only 1 or 2 prominent vloggers/bloggers who are posting as if but are not representative of the deaf community, where is everyone else?

Dianrez said...

Not that Deaf-culture-acceptance thing again! It is very much an individual event: what one puts into a community is what one gets out of it. If an individual enjoys and participates eagerly in a community, he will be more accepted than if he is a stranger who holds himself aloof and tells himself "this is not me".

It helps if one is equipped with ASL and familiarity from childhood, but many people have proven that one can jump in cold and still earn acceptance.

As for Deaf babies talking, it happens even in those who are raised in a non-oral environment. I used to be amazed at my Deaf son making airplane and train noises while playing with his toys at age 2. When I asked his hearing sisters where he learned those noises, they would answer "he's always done that, nobody taught him."

Anonymous said...

""We the deaf people know what are we talking about our language demanding are asl...ASL...of course ASL is the visual communicated!!"

But truthfully, you don't know. You know what is best for YOU, and you know what your peers say is best for them. You don't know what a child with a cochlear implant needs. You don't know how easy or hard it is for these kids to hear in given situations. You don't know if they prefer to see or hear their language. You don't know my child. You don't have experience with cochlear implants, let alone kids with cochlear implants, but you profess to know what they want and need based on the fact that they are deaf. I understand the necessity of ASL for many people. Long before I had a deaf child, I had interest in sign language and actually had a signing book for preschoolers I had ordered for my daughter sitting on our table when I found out my son was deaf. But it didn't turn out to be what my son needed. My son needs to be able to talk. He needs to be able to be heard by EVERYONE. Trust me when I tell you, my son would not be satisified if he couldn't express himself to and get feedback from *everyone* he interacts with. If we were a deaf family living in deaf community, ASL could do that, but we're not. And most parents of deaf children are not. Please involve yourself in some way with kids with ci's in order to learn about them...not to preach to their parents. You understand your life, now take time to learn about someone else's, and then come back with more broadly informed comments.

moi said...

Tales of a CI Gal,
I'm sorry you took the post so personally. It's not about that at all. As far as I'm concerned, you're part of the community. And I'm not alone in that sentiment (about everyone who wants to be part of the community is welcome). It was never about individuals. Nor rejecting individuals.

Thank you, LaRonda. Exactly - I've never claimed to represent the entire community or a group. I speak for myself, and I wish people didn't make assumptions about my intentions or what I was saying.

Anonymous said...

Paddy Ladd's book is full of logical flaws.

In the first place, Ladd's definition of "Deafhood" is based upon the medical model, which of course, is rejected by "Deaf culture."

As such, the "oppression" that Ladd suggests is part of "Deafhood" is borne because of HEARING people's attitudes towards the Deaf - based on the medical model, once again.

In other words, one should appreciate "Deafhood" because it represents the differences between the "hearing world" and those who are "deaf" or are in the process of "being Deaf."


A Deaf prostitute and a Deaf john who get together are no doubt engaging in the "process of Deafhood."




Unknown said...

Hi All,
Will comment later, just finished lessons, gotta go see "pack-man!" *smile* Thank you all for your interesting comments, looking forward to later...Jodi

Karen Mayes said...

Hmmm... I did read Paddy's book, last year, but I mostly skimmed through it. I did say I'd read it again but I have not gotten around to it...

All right, I will read it...soon.

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way that LaRonda does when people make assumptions like this. I feel so discouraged when I read about people crying because they take something personally that was never intended to be personal. What hope is there for our community to build bridges if people react emotionally like this?

Tales of a CI Gal, I do not mean to diminish your reaction in any way. I can imagine that you've had to deal with more than your share of rejection and confusion about where you stand. Please be assured that as long as you come to us with curiosity and respect, the vast majority of us WILL and DO accept you. I know moi would agree wholeheartedly.

Dianrez said it perfectly - if you enthusiastically participate, you're welcome!!!

Anonymous said...

If your son can talk and oral with you then great. C.I. helps him then wonderful. But with the group discussion or planning, your son will not understand what was going on. ASL will not stop him or get an interpreter! Get an interpreter for your family dinner talk, I don't think so. Ask him at the dinner moment with family or outside family what we talked about. Let you know that I almost always finish my dinner first! The whole point is if your son can or can't oral, do or don't have C.I. will always have ASL no matter what. It helps him visual the whole environment not just one by one. Some deaf don't accept being deaf is normal when they are kid cuz they never saw another deaf kids. Who knows?

Anonymous said...

I always find the best way to approach Carl's blogs is with blinkers on, but it still doesn't usually make sense. Still, the ASL community like the British BSL one, I suppose has to have its eccentrics...... I find him quite amusing, is that how you are supposed to view him ? I would doubt anyone takes him seriously....

Unknown said...

*Drinking a beer and listening to Norah Jones *Rain** Okay, pack-man was a no-show - bummer-pilates relaxed me a bit and I don't even know where to begin with all of these deep, deep comments.
First, I'd just like to tell Moi that I wasn't insulted at all by her post, I understand where she's coming from, but I'm just trying to dig out a space for myself and others like me for the future of my kid, should he choose to become a part of the Deaf community. If he doesn't, I already am, so that has to count for something. Can't I be deaf by affiliation if I'm living the experience vicariously through my son, so I can help him get through future obstacles? I'm heavy into the dialogue and issues raised on deafread and I'm not looking forward to getting the boot or being placed aside just because I'm a hearing mother. I did not at all take offense to Moi's post, I respect her point of view as a blogger and long time member of deaf read, I think her blog was expressed beautifully. However, placing the ci blogs to the side just isn't productive for the future of what is becoming a diverse Deaf community.
Paotie's intelligent wit and sexual analogy in analyzing flawed logic sparked my interest. (He always sparks my interest:))
I live for Anna S' comments...always. You are a very positive and informed moderate voice...when are you going to start blogging?
Paula...I knew that you would love Christina's Dos and Don'ts and I will forward the info to her if she doesn't see it herself - live for you. (ha ha giulia!)
Val...God you are sensitive, it is a beautiful thing. I know you are happy in your skin and that you appreciate all of the beautiful things life has to offer, so stop crying - don't waste your time. Take it all with a grain of salt and throw your shoulders back with pride, because your deafness makes you see the world on another level - a better, more profound level.
Cali, thanks for your comment and the book recommendation...I am just lining them up.
Anonymous, my intention is not to instigate a cultural war, it's to make sure there is a place for voices like mine on deafread a place that represents at least by what I can understand deaf people...of which there are many who do not use ASL and who wear cis. Simple as that...not into creating wars...just productive dialogue - I'm so passive by nature.
Laronda...believe me, I know that one or two bloggers are not representative of the whole community, but if their radical views can be present on the front page, why can't Rachel's informative awareness inspiring blogs of another approach to deafness be made equally visible????
Steve, thank you for your comment, I will keep working on the LIS thing, it is so frustrating here!
Karen...I like the word communication...a lot. said, "what one puts into a community is what one gets out of it." This is true when the community allows you to give to it, today's post was written to make sure the doors to this community do not close to those who are trying to give to it.
Rhonda - You are a powerhouse of a mother and advocate for your child.
Jenny - don't be discouraged, crying is a cathartic experience that means words have touched you and helped you understand something about yourself...crying is a good thing and yes, words are powerful, just as powerful as sign and speech.
Anonymous, the problem is that many people notice Carl and do not just take his words with a grain of salt, they consider them as truty. There is a lot of ignorance in this world ready to believe and make other people's ideologies their own. Yes, he is entitled to his own opinion and beliefs, but as a blogger on deafread his views get exposure, which is fine and well, but don't think that there are not people who take what he says as truth...and that is dangerous.
I am not proofreading this reply, so what it is it is...really thank you to those who have left comments and who every day inspire healthy dialogue...I kiss-smack all of you whether I agree or disagree with your views. The fact is that you are reading...Jodi

Anonymous said...

I am amazed by how saddened I am with the recent turn of events at Deaf Read. Yes, I understand that many ASL Deaf felt that the concept has gotten twisted. But essentially, to remove anything not directly related to ASL Deaf discussions and move them to the "extras" page, tells me that they are excluding all oral deaf issues and comments.

Oral deaf issues are going to become more and more common as time goes on, and if the divide between the oral and ASL groups continues, I see it ending by attrition. So go ahead and keep the ASL community closed. I will keep my child in the mainstream.

Abbie said...

Well, I feel that Moi intentions were good but it sits on the fence of segregation which is going to please everyone. Our everyday struggles mean just as much as anyone else. I am thankful that my personal experiences with the deaf community has been completely the opposite of Deafread.

The deaf community that I met they were open, warm and patient. I treat those that dismissed me just because I have a CI like I do in real life, I just don't bother. You don't respect me, I don't respect you. I lose no sleep over this. I'm not in the business of pleasing everyone, i'm here to tell my story to anyone that wants to read me and to learn from those that are willing to teach me, not classify me.

moi said...

Jodi, Paula, Abbie, and others,
Thank you for recognizing that my intentions were good. The final decision is really out of our hands at this point and all we can do is wait for the announcement, cross our fingers, and hope for the best.

Abbie, I want to thank you for contacting me directly via leaving a comment on my blog. I much prefer being asked directly and that makes me respect you all that much more.

Jodi, thank you for reaching out and clarifying where you stand. I truly appreciate that.

Everyone, I consider all of you who show a healthy curiosity and respect very much a part of the community. I'm actually excited at this opportunity for dialogue. I used to feel like "never the twain shall meet" when it comes to oralism and manualism. But now that I'm reading about parents who are giving their child everything by including both signs and spoken language, about oral deaf people who feel they are part of the community, and so forth, I'm feeling more hopeful that we'll be able to build bridges.


Anonymous said...


I applaud you for your ability to stick around with the Deaf blogosphere and just ride through the discussions without abandoning us. I agree with LaRonda. We are just as diverse with our opinions as any other groups of people can be. It is what makes our deaf community so exciting.

Personally, I love reading your blogs. You beautifully expressed your experience as a hearing mother of a deaf child. When I read your writings, I think about what my parents experienced when they learned that they have a deaf child.

I noticed some of us often forget, or not realize, the stages hearing parents go through when the doctor brings the news that their child is deaf. My mother said her stage of crying lasted for only two weeks, then she said "So what!" Recovering from shock took much longer for some of the parents my mother knew.

What the parents didnt haveduring the 60s/70s was support from the Deaf community because of the divide caused by the oral/medical system. The divide was, and still is, caused by the doctors and oral programs telling the parents not to learn sign language nor visit the deaf community. This lack of interaction created by the medical system created more isolation for the hearing parents and the deaf children.

Thanks to the blogosphere, you are able to bypass the barrier created by those who told you not to learn sign language and interact with us! Now you have us, the Deaf community via Deafread- the good, the bad and the ugly. It is still a beautiful community you wont find anywhere else!

Keep on blogging!

Julie Rems-Smario

Valerie said...


I don't know how tears move to crying. Yes, I can be sensentive. Sure I would love the world of harmony and peace, I am also a realist person. Come on I teach 5th grade special education/regular education in an intercity school with a free lunch ratio of 70%. I have tough skin.(just like those pre-school teachers).

I do agree with Abbie's comment that in "real" life we don't associate with others that don't accept us. We pick our friends and isolate the people we don't care to be around. I do follow the golden rule, treat others the way you want to be treated. I will continue to do that, as I live by example.

As I go to my full inclusion classroom, I am thankful for the opportunity to include all my students who were once isolated in a back portable without any mainstreaming. As all of us should be included and accepted based on our common bond - The desire to improve the live for all hard of hearing, deaf individuals and their families.


Unknown said...

Julie...thank you so much...Jodi

Anonymous said...

(the problem is that many people notice Carl and do not just take his words with a grain of salt, they consider them as truty. There is a lot of ignorance in this world ready to believe and make other people's ideologies their own. Yes, he is entitled to his own opinion and beliefs, but as a blogger on deafread his views get exposure, which is fine and well, but don't think that there are not people who take what he says as truth...)

I think to a certain sector of deaf people that use ASL, he is some preferred stereotype of how they see a deaf person, I am reluctant to talk about him off his own site, but he is highly selective what responses he allows, and has actively prevented me talking to him at his site, his right, but it does prevent him having to answer questions !

We have similar people in the UK who exhibit the 'Deaf' stereotype and rather over-hype it, refusing to provide access to what they say insisting on sign alone etc, a calculated move to use non-access to prevent you knowing what they really say, it's not access as I know it, and indeed, seems a deliberate policy to prevent it. A kind of 'Deaf' one-upmanship...