Monday, June 20, 2011
Modern Roman Warriors
I could understand the reluctance of a community to let an outsider in, especially an outsider who was hearing. Just like you read my story, I read yours.
Since the huge debate regarding passing Italian Sign Language as a language has begun, I have been "Pro" as long as the language does not take rights away from those Deaf individuals who choose not to use LIS. I have shared stories of families with children with cochlear implants, who use Total Communication to provide information regarding the right to choose, and that that right must be respected.
Because...I have read your stories.
Because...you cracked the window.
A couple of months ago I became facebook friends with a friend of friends. I think I clicked the friendship- he had a good smile. We had a couple of exchanges over photos and I invited him to the Italian forum I administer. To my surprise he began commenting and posting articles related to Deafness. I wondered how the group would react. I felt kind of strange and invaded, I knew he had no direct involvement with Deaf. Then, one of the members of the forum reacted not nicely to one of his posts.
See, in that instant, or you choose to close the door, or you choose to open the window just a little more to provide a little more knowledge. He obviously wanted to learn and was curious. My group felt violated. He asked, "What can I do to help you?"
That is a double-edged question if you have not reached a point where you are comfortable asking for help. I have no problem with it. I replied, "I need a politician to help us pass Newborn Hearing Screening at a national level".
He answered, "I can help you."
He just happened to be a leader of a political party for the region of Lazio, where they have had tremendous difficulty passing the screening at a regional level, mostly due to the wrong politician at the wrong time. He asked me for information to write a note to the Regional Council to propose the screening.
I contacted two parent associations in Rome, a leading state of the screening researcher in Italy and our Fimp Audiology Network representative for Lazio. We collaborated to write the note that I then sent to the politician.
He modified it and presented it to various political parties in Lazio, and I just received an email from him stating that the Regional Council has agreed to consider the motion to refinance the project.