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GOODBYE DEAFREAD:Rules are Rules-Bookmark Me

Posted Nov 19 2008 7:11am

It is with great pride and nostalgia that I must bid a fond farewell to I have recently been invited to collaborate with Cochlear, Italy to create a blog written in Italian (God help me) focusing on parent support regarding issues in Deafness. While I have been granted freedom in choosing topics, arguments and methodologies for creating this blog, there is a collaborative element, therefore I must go. There is a great need for support in Italy and based on my experience as Jordan's mom, yahoo support groups and the education I have received here on, I embrace the opportunity to help other parents. I am obviously a cochlear implant advocate, but I appreciate the diversity of each and every family's approach and experience with Deafness.

Thank you to everyone who has welcomed me into the Deaf Community, enlightened me and shared personal experiences, I have appreciated every single interaction-positive or negative...they have all been learning moments.

One post in particular greatly affected my perceptions and increased my sensitivity with regard to the Deaf Community...I leave you with this:

Response inspired by Jodi’s comment re: her view that hearing aids / CI are essential to function in a hearing world and her view on the word “hopeful”

Just wanna let ya all know that Deaf folks who dont have CIs - even Deaf folks who dont talk can FUNCTION in a hearing world

shocking yes

i know you only catch fleeting glimpses of us on Dancing with the Stars and as sex objects, victims, or crazed men on TV and films but i wanna let u know that we go to the bank, we pump our own gas, we hold jobs, we raise children and we do all of this in WHAT?…
drum roll…. “THE HEARING WORLD”

we not only live in the hearing world, we not only function in the hearing world, we not only make love, give birth, shout, cry, laugh, pray, die, but we actually excel at many of the things we do in the hearing world
and guess what …we can do this with or without hearing aids or cochlear implants
and guess what …even though parents go to all the great length they do to ensure that their deaf child can live and FUNCTION in the hearing world - they will still at times experience discrimination, being left out, prejudice, misunderstanding, identity confusion etc
being able to TALK on the PHONE does not ensure full “functioning abilities” in the hearing world
being able to say - hey, im me. i may be different than the majority but i am NOT inferior, i am NOT helpless, i am NOT pitiful, i am NOT defective, i am NOT deficient, i am NOT an outcast - i am a full fledged member of society whether u like and/or can accept my difference or not - i really dont care what u think cuz i am ME
now the “Hopeful” part - underrepresented folks cling to hope that the Dominant WORLD will some day be able to FUNCTION in their world instead of trying to obliterate it, demean it, destroy it, minimize it, etc

The hopefulness is oriented toward u and what u can be - not towards me
The potential that the US might soon have its first African-American or female president is more a testiment to the US’s legacy of discrimination and a milestone for our society than the individual achievement of Obama or H. Clinton

We shall overcome is not about becoming worthy - its about shattering injustice
if u believe that it is foolish or futile to hope because u r cynical that our society will ever change so instead u invest everything possible in changing ur child to fit society - so be it - i wish u well. at the end of the day though there will be a moment when a cloud passes over your child’s face and it will be one that u have been dreading and one you have been denying and failing to see and it is best that u do not stare into ur child’s face to see what more you can change in his being to cast away that shadow - instead it may be best for u to turn and look over ur shoulder to see what is it that is casting this shadow and turn ur energy to combating the real foe - society’s perception of what is NORMAL, DESIRABLE, ACCEPTABLE and what is FUNCTIONING!
since the time that Spilman (you can google her jodi) was quoted as saying “Deaf people are not ready to FUNCTION in a hearing world”i have known that the essence of this message really is “Hearing people are not ready to FUNCTION in a Deaf world”

oh yeah - in case u didnt know - u totally insulted me and all my people by saying non-CI non-speaking people can’t function in a hearing world. This is audism plain and simply - “the belief that the ability to hear and speak are superior to being Deaf”
im doing a way lot more than just functioning sweetheart
re: hope - if u desire i have no hope that u will “get it” - that is fine with me
however i will continue to hope that the rest of society will - we have come a long way but it is slow going given the attitude that some hold so dearly
just saw these entries that seem to relate to this topic: Quote near bottom from Children of a Lesser G-d really relates to what is discussed above Discusses how to remain principled and passionate

Um...Thank you...
*I Fistsmack You*
Bookmark Me
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