I've always been curious about how deaf individuals feel about signing in public and being approached by others. Since ASL is visual language, deaf individuals signing in public have no real way of keeping a conversation quiet unlike the hearing people. Hearing people have the opportunity to whisper or lower their voice in public while deaf people don’t have that luxury. While reading in this chapter, I read that deaf people have to physically “hide” themselves to make a conversation private. It’s crazy how many things we (hearing individuals) take for granted on any everyday basis. From reading this chapter, I've learned some very valuable information about when or when not to approach deaf individuals. It’s important to respect their boundaries just as you would with anyone else. The same respect and privacy we give hearing people, should also apply to the deaf we encounter.
Something I found interesting about this chapter was the use of “name signs.” I've never heard of such a thing before. As I read on in the additional information section, I found out that it’s a sign usually given to you by a deaf person that’s personalized, and distinctive. Pretty neat! J
In my past experiences with the deaf community, I've learned that they often ask a lot of questions. They are very curious about your life, and want to know anything/ and everything they can. Nonetheless, we had this discussion in class a couple of weeks ago. Growing up as a deaf child can be very hard! The miss out on a lot of things that hearing children do not especially if their parents don’t sign. Because they missed out on so much as a child, it’s important for them that they communicate as much as possible. For instance, a deaf children growing up with hearing parents miss out on basic, everyday conversations. For example, they may never hear “How was your day?” Nonetheless, it’s very important to them that they don’t miss out on anything.
As getting asked where I learned ASL, it’s casually come up in several conversations. However, as I stated above I feel like being curious is just a part of their culture.
As a hearing individual, it’s important to recognize and respect American Sign Language. As stated in the text, ASL is one language that commonly belongs to the deaf community. As a hearing individual, you must think of all the possibilities you have as a hearing person (not saying that deaf individuals are any less superior). Nonetheless, we are able to communicate more easily on a day to day basis. The deaf community can do just as much or not more but face more challenges along the way. Because of these, some may be more hesitate with hearing people learning ASL. Can you blame them? I can’t!
As a new learner of ASL, it’s also important of me to learn about the culture. Just like any other language ASL is constantly changing. Therefore, it’s important we alter ourselves that of the ever-changing language. As the example in the book stated, it’s not any different than going to a foreign country and learning their language. Ultimately, it’s a sign of respect!
ASL students have trouble learning English for the same reasons many non-native speakers have learning English the first time! It’s a completely different language! As it stated in the text, many deaf children start school without any real language at all! This was shocking to me! Because they are deaf, they missed out on the ever crucial “language bombardment” that many hearing children face. During this time, children learn about language and begin to imitate and produce it. One thing that I found shocking was that some parents of deaf children refuse to learn ASL! Nonetheless, the parents don’t communicate with the child whatsoever. It really bothers me to think that parents could just ignore and not make any effort whatsoever. It’s their job as parents to do anything and everything they can for their children!
Before reading this chapter, I was curious to know how deaf people read/ and write in English. However, I have learned that many deaf people use “deaf English” to write. My cousin that is deaf writes using deaf English; it is English mainly written in the ASL grammar syntax. On the other hand, I’ve also met some deaf people that fluent in written English! Just as I am learning a new language, they are too! It’s takes a lot of dedication and time for a deaf individual to become fluent in both ASL and written English!
In reading the Chapter, I also learned about the overwhelming language gap many deaf children are facing in the schools. I feel like this directly affects me in the future because of my career choice. As a future teacher, it’s up to me to help these students become successful! It’s up to me to accommodate these students, and give them the necessary tools they need in the classroom.
Before reading this chapter, I thought reading for enjoyment was a personal choice for anyone (including the deaf). However, after reading I’m shocked to find out the many horrible things deaf children endured in the past! For long periods of time the English language was forcibly battered into the minds of the children. Ultimately, they were punished for not succeeding! For generations, the library was used as a form of punishment. For most hearing people, a library is a quiet, relaxing place full of knowledge. However, for many deaf children the memories they have of the library haunt them! They were also struck by therapists for mispronouncing words! I don’t blame them for not finding reading enjoyable! The majority of their experiences with the English language have been nothing less than horrible!
As a hearing individual, I never realized the importance of closed captioning to the deaf community. Once again, we take for granted the opportunity to watch television. Nonetheless, the deaf community cannot enjoy television without the use of closed captioning.
In the chapter, I learned about the disagreement that is currently circling the captioning industry. Some people feel it’s necessary for closed captioning to read verbatim the audio. Others believe that the captions should be simplified. As of right now, I’m currently on the fence about this issue. I can honestly say I can agree with both sides! Advocates of the verbatim side argue that it’s unethical and insulting to alter the wording. On the other hand, advocates for the simplified translation argue that deaf individuals cannot comprehend some of the vocabulary on TV. I do think it’s important not to treat deaf individuals as less superior people! Therefore, I agree with the supporters of verbatim captioning when the say it’s insulting to the deaf individuals. Why should we get the opportunity to receive more information via the TV just because we can hear? However, I also agree with the simplified approach on some things. If it ultimately allows for the deaf community to better comprehend what’s going on, why would we not make the change?
As a future teacher, I firmly believe in the knowledge of literacy. It’s an important part of learning for all students, deaf children included! In the past, my deaf children attended “Deaf-only schools” such as the Hartford Asylum. Schooling at the Harford Asylum was very tedious and demanding but yielded great results for their students. If you were to compare schools today with the Hartford Asylum there really isn’t a comparison. I believe that Hartford Asylum took more pride in educating their students! Unlike schools today, the asylum had no modern technologies, speech therapists, sport teams etc. They were ultimately focused on learning with no distractions! As a future educator, I believe that there such be a mixture of the two. The main focus should be on learning!
I find the idea of Charter Schools very beneficial for deaf children! It’s sad to say that many deaf children in public schools get left behind. Many are mainstreamed into classrooms were the teachers have no formal education in ASL whatsoever. Nonetheless, charter schools combine the best features of deaf schools, with the idea of mainstreaming.
Many children that participate in mainstreaming face great problems. Most of the time, they are the only deaf child in the class, and face staff they are adequate in dealing with their needs. One alternative to mainstreaming is the use of residential schools. However, these residential schools face many negative conations among parents, and teachers. Nonetheless, these schools are suffering! They are also facing budget cuts. Because of these budget cuts the quality of their programs are diminishing! I agree with the text when it states that closing all the state locals and rerouting the all deaf the deaf students is false economy. I firmly believe that our government should take action in strengthening our residential schools! As stated in the text good residential schools have many advantages over mainstreaming. These advantages include: professional staff, individual attention, everyday exposure to ASL, deaf mentors, etc. Because of these advantages, it’s important we get residential and state schools back on track!
As a current ASL student, I think it’s a good idea to learn as much about the language as possible! Before reading this chapter, I already knew that the library would be a good starting point. However, I was unaware of the Gallaudet Bison Bookstore. I found it very interesting that the bookstore was a mail order catalogue featuring a wide variety of books and multimedia. There are also many organizations that have websites that offer insightful information! In the future I plan on looking into these organizations in more detail J
Quiz (Chapters 16-30)
After taking the quiz, I was quite surprised that I knew many of the answers! After grading the quiz I ended up only getting one question wrong. The question that confused me the most was question number 6: Since all ASL teachers in schools and colleges hold ASLTA certification, it’s not really necessary to ask an acquaintance who their sign language teacher is, except out of curiosity. Not every ASL teacher is going to excel. Nonetheless, it may be beneficial for someone to inquire more information about a certain teacher before taking their class!
This chapter greatly affected me! As a future teacher is important that I know where to inquire more information about the deaf if necessary! One resource that I found rather interesting was the TDI Blue Book. I have never heard of this before! The blue book allows you to zero in on a specific county or state agency. For example, the blue book would allow finding local agencies for the deaf right here in bowling green!