Two recent incidents in the media has prompted me to write this open letter to all Deaf organizations. The first incident in the media was the “House Divided” episode on the television show, House MD. In that episode, the show turned into a science fiction instead of being the usual medical drama. A boy was secretly cochlear implanted by Dr. House, then immediately afterwards, the boy could understand everything he was hearing. No speech therapy. No training. No waiting period for the CI to be turned on.
Then the boy rips out the CI. Talk about a poorly researched script!
Now we have this article in Newsweek, which is linked on DeafRead. In this article, the journalist compares the culturally Deaf to those who are mentally ill and being proud about refusing their medication.
In other words, the journalist thinks a Deaf person has to have a cochlear implant to have a good life, to have control over their lives, to be able to participate in society on an equal basis. No mention about American Sign Language or Deaf Culture is mentioned in this article.
I am personally outraged at the irresponsibility by the media. The flawed information and perceptions presented by the media are damaging to the Deaf Community. This only perpetuates further discrimination and misinformation about us, making it harder for us to get equal communication access and respect for our language and culture.
So my question to all of the Deaf organizations out there: Why aren’t you doing something about this?
There’s only so much I can do as a v/blogger. Why aren’t we seeing action on these matters from our organizations that exist to serve us?