Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Re: Ci Controversial, Why?
Delicately dipping my big toe in the freezing water...
60 posts later, I have finally taken the time to research the word "Audism."
To do so, I went straight to the About.com queen, Jamie Berke
I'm Better Than You
In the deaf culture, calling someone an audist is akin to calling someone a racist.
What is audism? A simple definition would be that it is a negative or oppressive attitude towards deaf people by either deaf or hearing people and organizations, and a failure to accomodate them. People who have audist attitudes are considered to be audists. For example, the refusal or failure to use sign language in the presence of a sign language-dependent person is considered audism.
According to an article in Capital D Magazine (vol. 1, issue 1) (now apparently defunct), Tom Humphries invented the word "audism" in 1975 to mean an attitude that people who hear and speak, or have good English are superior. This applies whether the person who hears and speaks is deaf or hearing.
The writer of this post says,
Think about it. What are advocating of CIs blogs about? Success stories. Oh, I can hear the lake! Oh, I can hear the crickets! Oh, I can hear music! Oh, I can hear the sounds of human voice! And the list goes on. Doesn’t it seem audistic to boast of hearing success as if being deaf is not so cool?
What if deaf individuals who have worked so hard in avt and in life in general are just proud to live their deaf experience with a ci and the "superiority aspect" of being fluent in the English Language has nothing to do with it? What if they are advocating "Choice" in the deaf experience by discussing the benefits of ci? If Rachel is here on deafread.com to interact in productive dialogue with individuals interested in her experience, is she an audist because she is willing to openly answer questions about her journey? Or is she an "audist" because her views conflict with those of readers?
She responds to criticism, reads it, listens and reflects...she is not an audist.
*Audism is in the eye of the beholder*
Jamie Berke has been so generously relating her Cochlear Implant Experience, this is what she shared earlier today:
On the way home, I found I could hear Bob's voice. At home, I even heard him laugh. At the grocery store, we were asking the pharmacist questions, and suddenly I realized I could hear the pharmacist's voice. On the way out of the store, talking to Bob, I heard something else that it took me a moment to realize what it was...my own voice.
I now suppose that Jamie Berke will be considered an "audist" for wanting a cochlear implant and being amazed that it actually works.
But, no...because your post interestingly incorporates two aspects in the equation, "...the linguistic perspective. Why? Because the AVT therapy’s sole purpose is to train CI implantees to speak what? English!" You continue by saying, "But when we Deaf are faced with this attitude that ASL is ok for somewhat successful deaf children but spoken English is a must for a successful deaf child to grow into the world, it rubs the Deaf people WRONG way!"
1. The achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted: attributed their success in business to hard work.
a. The gaining of fame or prosperity: an artist spoiled by success.
b. The extent of such gain.
3. One that is successful: The plan was a success.
4. Obsolete A result or an outcome.
*Success is not in the eye of the beholder, it is in the eye of the person who has desired, planned or attempted*
Do you measure your level of success based on how others see you or as how you see yourself? Really consider the answer to that question and you will begin to see Rachel as a twenty year old woman who sees herself as successful. This is why she is not an audist, just a person who has achieved something desired after working so hard for so many years, and that she wants to share this experience with others. Audism carries a component of hatred, just like racism...do you really feel that Rachel hates you?
Or do you feel judged?
"Now, if ASL was not dismissed by CI advocates as unnecessary, the story COULD be different."
Rachel does not dismiss ASL in general, it just does not have a part in what has been her experience until now.
You conclude with this:
It is up to you, CI advocates, to drop the dismissal attitude of ASL as an important part of d/Deaf people, not just because it is a culture thing but also because it facilitates their connection to the language expression!
No one has dismissed ASL as an important part of Deaf people and Rachel is a success story for me as the hearing mom of a deaf child with a cochlear implant...I will NOT allow her to be dismissed.
As seen on the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Circle, Learn2Hear and Listen-Up yahoo support groups, many parents of children who wear cochlear implants are incorporating the use of sign language with their AVTherapy. There is no written law regarding communication methods and the cochlear implant. Actually, ALL communication methods are accepted and welcomed on these groups.
Why are so many people having so much trouble accepting the Cochlear Implant as a tool in approaches to Deafness?
(Paotie...I know, this was not one of my sexy, fun-loving posts just not feelin' it today...*wink*)
PS. Mike McConnel's hitting the road and I for one am really sad about it...check out his farewell blog here.