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Diversity in DeafRead

Posted Nov 04 2009 10:02pm

Normally I don’t post more than once a day, but I was surfing DeafRead and I saw people blogging for the CI blogs to stop. I feel compelled to say something on this matter.

Has everyone forgotten the Deficit Thinkers fiasco already? Nobody owns DeafRead. Not the CI users. Not the DeafHooders. This is a place where we can exchange our thoughts, feelings, ideas then debate and refine those things.

The cochlear implant situation is a very much part of our community. It’s here to stay. Instead of brushing it aside and refusing to talk about it, I think the best thing for us to do is educate ourselves on the technological advancements and continue to debate the pros and cons of it. Otherwise, how will we be able to share or debate with parents our feelings on it without looking ignorant?

I have to also say that Rachel, whose blog caused such angst, is part of the Deaf Community. Rachel may not use American Sign Language and have misconceptions about many things about us, but she’s still one of us. Castigating her for who she is, isn’t going to help her feel welcome and be open to learning more about us. Rachel does not know the complexity of those issues because she doesn’t really see the need to. She is happy with who she is and considers herself to be very successful. Why are we angry about that?

I can understand being angry when lies and misconceptions are being spread about ASL and the Deaf culture, but we haven’t exactly made ourselves very endearing to people like Rachel. When someone goes off at her, it only intensifies her and others’ beliefs and misconceptions about us.

In my previous blog post, CI Militants, I was furious at Susanna and I now realize I may have given the wrong impression. I was furious at Susanna because she was very dismissive of us, our experiences and ASL. She’s the one who I considered to be a CI militant. She should know better because after all, she is an adult and should be open-minded enough to explore all angles to this issue. But she blatantly dismissed us and that’s wrong.

But it’s also wrong when Deaf people dismiss people like Rachel and her experiences. It’s the reality for her and others like her.

And I feel I need to clarify this part: while I dislike CIs in general and will not choose it for myself, I do think it’s important for us to respect other people’s decisions when it comes to CIs. It does work for some people.

We need to continue emphasizing that the CI industry, the doctors and audiologists need to be transparent with their data, numbers and research so the parents then are able to make a fully informed decision.

Through our v/blogs, we can be part of that. If you don’t want to discuss CIs on your v/blog, then don’t. Your v/blog is your internet home/cafe/whatever you like to call it. Your v/blog is your place. It’s your right to post about whatever you want and if it’s any good, readers will come and discuss that topic that you enjoy discussing about.

You also have the choice of not reading v/blogs that you don’t like or agree with. Nobody is forcing you to go to a particular v/blog and watch or read that post. Nobody’s forcing you to discuss those issues that was on a particular site.

It’s all about freedom of speech and choices. I’ve yet to find someone who 100% agrees with me and other v/bloggers on every single thing that’s been posted. So if we want to boot CI blogs off DeafRead, then someone’s going to want to boot DeafHood blogs off. Then pretty soon there’ll be no v/blogs left on DeafRead.

Is that what we want?

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