A Hearing Loss & Late Deafened Blog

Deafhood– A Late-Deafened Viewpoint

In Deafness, Hearing Loss on July 22, 2008 at 3:21 am

Vallhallian recently summarized Paddy Ladd’s definition of Deafhood, interpreted as a process of accepting (actualizing) one’s deafness.  Acceptance or self-actualization, according to Paddy Ladd, means participating fully in Deaf culture and apparently using ASL to communicate.  Anything short of that equals some kind of “arrested development,”  according to many who have read his book.  I haven’t read it, but like Vallhallian I will quote excerpts from the book, and from comments others have made to Vallhallian– who merely opened a good discussion. 
 
The problem I have with Ladd’s Deafhood definition is that not everyone fits neatly into his box.  First, Ladd seems to assume only those born Deaf, or who became Deaf in early childhood have constructed their identities upon deaf existence.  The majority of us use a “medical model” of deafness because we became deaf in “old age”  according to him, therefore our “hearing” identities were already set when we became deaf.  Hmmm.  (Also because there are more of us than them, they’re nearly “invisible”– I’m not even going there, but I COULD argue that the majority of hearing people think “deaf” people don’t speak and all of them are fluent in ASL, to the point  I find it nearly impossible to identify myself as “deaf” without smoothing it over with a modifier– such as LATE-deaf, or PARTIALLY deaf– but OK. . . I’m not going there.) 
 
First of all, 65% of all people with hearing loss are under age sixty-five.  Many of those people have likely been experiencing hearing loss for quite some time.  An HLAA figure estimates the average person waits at least seven years before getting hearing aids.  It’s reasonable to think those diagnosed with hearing loss at age sixty-five did not suddenly become deaf, rather they suddenly felt it was OK to come out of the hearing loss closet after they retired.  I personally know several people in their forties and fifties who have confided they were losing hearing, and they’ve done nothing about it despite my encouragement. 
 
Old age aside, one might argue that hearing identity is set even by middle-age, which is true to a certain extent.   However, research conducted by Levinson, Neugarten, and Erikson  has demonstrated that adults continue to develop emotionally well into old age.  Our personalities can and do change as we gain new insights and experiences.  Hearing loss is definitely a NEW experience for some.  Most who lose their hearing as adults consider it a significant life-changing event.
 
In fact it’s HUGE, and usually requires working through the five stages of grief before self-actualization can take place.  Those with progressive hearing loss may have a harder time working through all five stages as each new drop in hearing brings new grief.  Hearing loss is not just a loss of hearing, it’s a loss of lifestyle– sometimes bit by bit. However, we can learn to live full and joyful lives without hearing well.  The goal is to get beyond depression and to find ways of realizing our life’s dreams or to set new goals that fit in with our new deaf lifestyles.       
 
Most would agree that all of us have multiple identity constructs consisting of our inner-selves– how we process what’s happening around us, and our outer selves– how we relate to those around us.  For example, when I’m at home I am mom.  Where I work, I’m the lady who helps with computer problems.  In my birth family I’m the “baby.”  I am a liberal.  I am a vegetarian, and a collector of teacups.  I am a former PTA member, a former Sunday School teacher. I wanted to be a rabbit when I was four.  I used to play the flute in my high school band.  What I have been in the past is as much a part of me as what I am today, because each and every experience makes up the person I have become.  I used to hear well.  I have worn hearing aids most my life.  All kinds of experiences– those I’ve processed alone and those I’ve experienced with others, those in the distant past and those that happened just today, hearing and deafened– make up the unique individual of me.    
 
Now we come to page 202 in Ladd’s book where he says this,  “Adaptational theories are useful when considering how Deaf culture might be reactive to the majority culture and its actions.  Likewise if one considers that the Deaf environment is the hearing world by which they are surrounded, adaptational strategies are an important part of the individual and collective Deaf life.  . .”   
 
“Adaptational strategies” are a way of life for the hard-of-hearing/late-deafened as well.  I am forced to sit in silence at social events and meetings where I can not hear.   Accommodations are always less than they should be.  For example, I have taken ASL and I will have an interpreter for my daughter’s college graduation.  My ability to understand ASL far exceeds my ability to express myself in ASL.  I will have to concentrate hard during my daughter’s graduation ceremony.  I am not comfortable hearing spoken English, nor watching an interpreter– but the two together seem to work.  I’ll be sitting in the front row so I may be able to lip read a little too.   
 
So–my personal experiences include both hearing and deafness, both on a daily basis depending on my environment– and occasionally at the very same time.  Additionally, my deaf experiences have integrated into my personality.  It’s hard to determine which traits have developed due to a 30-year-plus progressive hearing loss, and which have been part of a natural progression over time.  Like most Deaf people, I’m very visually oriented.   
 
Self actualization means to fully realize one’s potential.  I argue that the purpose of organizations such as SWC, HLAA and ALDA is to encourage HH/deaf/Deaf individuals towards self-actualization in the real world through  public advocacy, awareness of accommodations, offering information about ADA rights and teaching morale building coping skills.  Many self-actualized late-deafened people go on to become leaders in hearing loss organizations like the ones named above.  
 
Self-actualization does not and should not require ASL.   I believe my journey as a late-deafened person, my ‘deafhood’ journey, just as valid as those in Deaf culture.   All HH/deaf/Deaf can recognize that we may be walking different paths, while sharing in similar goals.  In doing so we may celebrate each other’s achievements as a community of HH/deaf/Deaf people.  I touched on this in my blog about unity at the International Federation of Hard-of-Hearing Congress and the Say What Club Conventions I recently attended.  I’ll look forward to any comments.
 
Kim
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  1. Great post Kim!

    We all share some aspect of “deafhood” – and what we need to cherish and nurture is the common ground of our struggles, and our coping strategies. There’s much for all of us to learn from each other. Thanks for helping to promote the mutual understanding.

    Paul S

    BTW, (Slightly Coded Message): I’m “in” tomorrow morning. TTYL.

  2. WOW! great article kim. Lots of introspective and wise words. I’m proud to know u.
    you’re so open to understanding. wish we could elect u to be the ambassador between deaf and Deaf culture.
    love ya
    pearl

  3. Good blog. I am aware that the majority of the deaf community is mostly late-deafened (and increasing, due to the baby boomers entering golden years), so having them to learn a new language (ASL) does not make any sense to me. VERY small percentage of the deaf community is deaf people using ASL.

    The problem with Deafhood is that it is “Americanized”, so if one of us feels no need for learning sign language, one is not deemed “fit” for Deafhood journey.

    Actually, it should be “d”eafhood, instead of “D”eafhood.

    Of course, we could discuss this to the death ;o) And then at death, we all become dust… moot.

  4. What is more, in your other blog, you explained about how late-deafened people were more often advocates for the Deaf people, getting accessibility for us, etc. And that “famous” d/Deaf people were usually born with normal hearing, so they already had their foundation for languages established before they lost their hearing.

    Glad to see you being empowered by the conventions or you’d not write a wonderful posting about deafhood. :o)

  5. I like this – helped me ponder on deafhood by/of those late-deafened.

    A line here clung to my mind when reading was this –

    “Self-actualization does not and should not require ASL.”

    Hmm, it got the engine of my thoughts running. ASL probably play a different role in those born and early deafened as contrasted to hearing people growing old and deaf. The coping processes for these two group are different.

    We need more of your posts, how do oral and late-deafened people cope and become self-actualized as a human being with hearing loss. We need to see more sharing of life-stories about different journeys as a “deaf” person. These diverse stories will help us reach a better consensus on the definition and meaning of “deafhood” in the lives of the deaf and hard of hearing.

  6. Like Charles Katz, the line “self-actualization does not and should not require ASL” caught my eye as well. My immediate thought was it is not actually ASL that provides the “glue” for Deafhood, but the interaction with Deaf people and the sharing of the common perspectives and experiences that helps us to understand and achieve our Deafhood. And in your case, you are likely to have achieved a variation of Deafhood that might be called “late-deafened Deafhood”, if that makes sense?

    –DonG.

  7. There’s no point buying into the deafhood thing, it is a thinly-veiled glorification of what he would like to see, rather than what actually exists. It’s not even based on his own British deaf background, it was barely true 23 years ago. Understanding deafhood and culture is an attempt by Mr Ladd to save what is left of it, cultural deaf are panicking without leadership..

    There is a theory a number of people like Mr Ladd hold, in that preservation of deaf culture is only possible if you organize strict rules and a pecking order, backed up by isolation, since any attempt to bridge Isolation and include diverse deaf and HoH people, is looked on as colonization, so hated.

    In my time the ‘enemy’ was hearing and mainstream, now, it is clearly non cultural deaf and the CI people… who have wandered in and staked a claim.

    People like Mr Ladd are the past, they don’t move on, they can’t. ASL ? that’s AMERICAN sign language. Mr Ladd bases his theories on BSL, and the British deaf experience, no wonder cultural deaf in America are struggling to find their place in it.

    Deafhood ? accepting culture, or accepting hearing loss ? Mr Ladd links denial amongst people like us, that prevents us accepting culture, he ignores ability, preference, and everything else, so blame is again heaped on us, but, deafhood’s main followers are not us who would be most likely to start his ‘journey’ but cultural deaf who are continually stating they already HAVE an ID, already HAVE a culture, already HAVE a language, but still searching, why ?

  8. Great post ya got here. Its like where another commenter earlier thought of the possibility that the book was based on his own self-journey. Then again, I hadnt read the book and supposing he did conduct studies to come up with his conclusions. It would be interesting to know if he actually included the late deafened among his studies, cuz I am guessing that he did not.

  9. The meaning of “deafhood” shall always be talked in the deaf cultural aspect as in “D”eafhood and not “d”eafhood. I’d just rather move away from such labelings anyway. Kind of like getting into the “C”ripplehood, “B”lindhood, “R”etardedhood, “D”isablismhood and so on (if they are ever such words to begin with). You either accept that have a condition or that you have a loss of certain functionality in your body or you don’t. And if you acknowledge and accept with what you have…then great! And then you get those who are these “super cripple” or “super crips” who are the kind of people who go above and beyond the zeal for life and brag about it. Now, just bear with me on the use of those words and I’m not trying to demean certain people with those words. Just trying to get some points across here.

    People who resort to using “deafhood” are simply focusing too much on the narrow rather than expansively. In life we may have only one condition and that’s hearing loss to deal with but in life nothing is ever for certain. You may end up having several disabilities over a course of your lifetime. “Deafhood” doesn’t cover that. It’s just a politically correct, deaf culture word just so that some people can get these warm fuzzy feelings about themselves whenever they talk about it.

    I made a few challenges to DE and others a few years ago to take that concept to AGBell members, ALDA members, IFHOH members, HLAA and present this new label called “Deafhood” (but not “deafhood”). But that’d be kind of hard since the leaders of Deafhood Foundation already attacked AGBell via DBC which means they attacked AGBell members and those who share similar philisophies as AGBell. Not very “Deafhood”-like of them, eh? I guess they’ve been “colonialized” from within?

    The whole “d/Deafhood” thing is just nonesense. It just complicates matters. The simple question is, do you accept your deafness (ie hearing loss)? And if so, great! However, it doesn’t mean you have to like your hearing loss just that you simply accept what you are missing and not dwell on it. And then you do something about it whether it’s getting a hearing aid, cochlear implant, learn signing (ASL, SEE, PSE), cued speech, aural rehabilitation, meet other people who have similar hearing loss, etc…

    The bottom line, everybody takes a journey and discover who they are over the course of their lifetime. People do not have the right to tell me (or others) that I (or they) don’t accept my “d/Deafhood.” Doing so is called playing Deaf politics. I accept my deafness. I accept others. I do things differently. I am blessed with the hearing I have. I am blessed that I can hear and understand words. But do I like having hearing loss? No. But I do what I can so I can enjoy the sights, sounds, and smell on Earth while I am still alive. I don’t dwell on my hearing loss. It is a part of me but it does not define me since so many other things in my life have defined me. But people don’t have to play into this Deaf political correctness game thinking it’s a path to “Deaf nirvana.”

    Again, people who use “d/Deafhood” have a narrow look on it. Otherwise lets give every possible conditions or people who lack certain body functionality with the -“hood” name to it.

  10. mcconnell, I had to chuckle at your very last statement as I thought, ahhh so what do we call those that have been castrated? 😉

  11. In opera there’s a name for that Valhallian– Castrati. They have beautiful voices– or had. No one does that anymore. 🙂

  12. Mike–
    “I am blessed with the hearing I have. I am blessed that I can hear and understand words. But do I like having hearing loss? No. But I do what I can so I can enjoy the sights, sounds, and smell on Earth while I am still alive. ” Right– I enjoy life as an HH/deaf person, but I don’t enjoy lack of hearing.

    You said “everyone takes a journey to discover who they are. I almost wrote that in my post. I don’t see my life’s path as a journey towards accepting deafness. That’s just one of many paths I’ve been on, and is no more or less than my parenthood path, my career path, my education path. . . They are ALL journey’s toward self-actualization.

  13. MM– All good points. I think its strange the way Ladd has become such big stuff here in the US. I’ve seen many Deaf Americans compare their struggles with repression to American Black history. I don’t deny the parallels,since Black Americans have their own cultural identity apart from other Americans. Some went through a phase of glofiying “Ebonics” too, but we don’t hear much about that these days. I think this whole Deafhood thing is temporary.

  14. CN Katz and Don G– First of all, I spend lots of time with the oral deaf. Recently while at the IFHOH Convention, a friend said, “These are my people.” It was the first convention she had been to where most everyone was HH or deaf. I remember feeling that same way at my first convention. I can’t say the late-deaf have a different “culture” because several factors come into play when defining culture. For example the late-deafened don’t cook special dishes. We don’t celebrate special heroes, we don’t dance a particular way. . .But our community and the way we socialize is different from socialization with hearing people. For one thing no one EVER says, “nevermind.” That would mean social death. I could write a blog post about our social rules, so I’ll stop here.

  15. That reminds me, Kim. The “nevermind” comment. In a deaf and hard of hearing, we all understand that sometimes we will have to repeat what was said. And I agree it would be “social death” for those who do not want to repeat. What I experienced was in a similar situation but it was in a signing environment. This was 22 years ago while as a freshman student at Gallaudet. I can remember several instances where I was new to signing did I get the “never mind” brush off whenever I asked them to repeat what they were trying to say in ASL, especially by those who don’t use their lips much. Now, these were probably rare instances back then so I don’t know how new signing students are treated nowadays at Gallaudet. But never did I ever imagine that I would get discriminated by a few Deaf people solely because I couldn’t understand their signing in ASL at first. Again, these were rare instances.

  16. Karen,
    That’s right. There are many definitions of what constitutes culture. One is if they have their own heroes. So if you look at the many Deaf heroes such as Rober Weitbrecht, “Deaf Smith”, Thomas Edison– many were late-deafened and spoke English. Robert Weitbrecht REFUSED to use ASL. Even our modern heroes like Marlee Maitlin are oral. Another definition of culture is a shared way of life. I saw a website that listed the special devices the Deaf use in their daily lives like TTY and vibrating alarm clocks or light-blinking doorbells. The late-deafened use that same stuff. Webcaptel, PDA’s for texting and even interpreters. So I fail to see how this distinguishes them from people like me.

    I’ve always hated the small d, big D designation. I don’t like the term hard-of-hearing either. They’re all divisive. What we need is ONE umbrella label we all fit under. Hearing-impaired is no longer PC. I prefer simply small d deaf for all.

  17. MM and Mike McConnell,

    Letting you know I enjoy your contribution to the discourse here and there. It does help people like myself musing on the concept of deafhood.

    Deafhood as nonsense, narrow-minded, simplistic – I see and let’s see as time goes by – It is nothing new to see a deaf person not living in the deaf world calling those who doesn’t interact much in the hearing world – narrow-minded, cultish, clannish, etc. I have come across this reasonings among the writing of Mabel Hubbard Bell who lived 100 years ago.

    As a culturally deaf person who study and write about deaf history and is at work constructing an allegorical “epic” drawn mainly from deaf history and our experience, I found the deafhood concept workable and possibly plausible to become a well-tested theory to explain the behavior of ALL deaf people – it does fit, maybe not too tightly.

    I don’t mind to be perceived as a “soldier” who fights and believe in deafhood. I don’t mind being thought of as a comrade in arms with Paddy, whom I call my kindred spirit. I am about to post something about the developmental stages of deafhood and plan to write/sign about deafhood. I listen to some legendary deaf Elders who expressed deep reservations about the concept. I read opposing viewpoints like yours with some kind of relish. I gaze with wonder at those who wear the “deafhood” mantle with such vapid pride. It is just the way it should be!

    deafhood just felt right deep in my gut instinct/intellect.

    I look forward to more conference keynote speeches given and academic papers being written ON deafhood. Your counter-viewpoints are taken here – and I thank you for your contribution. More more I would probably ask for –

    Time will tell. Deafhood (and in its any future transformation and manifestations) will latch on and permeate into the lives of deaf and hard of hearing people all over the world.

  18. CN Katz– “I found the deafhood concept workable and possibly plausible to become a well-tested theory to explain the behavior of ALL deaf people – it does fit, maybe not too tightly.” Will you be including the late-deafened and oral deaf in your alleghorical epic?

    One thing that bothers me about those who promote Deaf Culture and Deafhood is they fail to take into account the fluidity of culture. One must realize the culture will grow and change with technology. For example, in the 1800s, America was largely an agrarian society. Farmers are a rare breed now. The industrial age and then the age of technology changed American culture, though we still glamorize that way of life. It is part of our past, but not our future. I believe technology is changing Deaf culture as well because there’s a new breed of oral deaf young adults with CI’s who currently outnumber those without. They have special needs just as deaf of the past had, but not similar to the older generations of deaf.

    And actually in thinking about this it’s no different from hearing society. We’re currently seeing the impact of children who grew up with computers entering the workplace, who use technology in ways people my age would’t dream of.

  19. Kim,

    Great article!! The one thing that has struck me most in finally finding a support system in my over 40 year struggle with losing my hearing, is that there are so many levels of “d/Deafhood” that are argued. I guess it is more the need to argue that has me perplexed.

    Heck, I don’t even know what to call “not hearing”. If I say “Hearing Impaired” I get a heated declaration from a Deaf person that I am not to use that term in relation to myself, a simply hard of hearing person. “Hearing Impaired”, according to this individual, does not differentiate between she and me, and she wants her separateness because, “…damn it, she has been Deaf since birth!” I understand her wanting to own that, but is the fact that I began losing my hearing at an early age in childhood, losing most by the end of my teenage years of any less significance? Do I not also need to be accommodated or is there a list of priority for consideration here in d/Deafhood?

    I could go on and on with terms, labels, categorizations that I have put out there and that have been responded to with argument. All I know is I CAN’T HEAR!! I don’t care how you label it, categorize it, or what term you use. I just want to do everything I can to get along in my world. I would hope my world would include h/Hearinghood and d/Deafhood, but sometimes I get the feeling I am supposed to choose!!

  20. I think it is rather simple and not complicated at all to understand. I believe deaf culture has its back is to the wall. Deafhood offers (At least they think), a way to re-unite the ‘Deaf Community’ as it was, by laying down the line in the sands we shouldn’t cross, a rallying point if you like.

    We see drives for ASL/BSL education run on cultural lines etc, and schools and parents looking on in total puzzlement. Mainly because the ‘deaf’ asked for access to integration policies and laws, but now seem to want to reverse it, they want to save their community ethos instead which is not showing the ability to be able to integrate or accept those who aren’t like them.. Acquired and deafefened and others have always had to find ways, so it is slightly easier for us to adapt, we HAD to, they never had to.

    They realised what kept the deaf community togther was the deaf schools etc. The UK blitzed them, we had 100s, now have about 30 only left, with 6 currently waiting to be closed…. The issue is NOT even integration issues,but a drastic reduction in deaf children to fill school places.

    No amount of policies are going to work if there aren’t pupils…. We had deaf clubs in every town of any size, then they started to shut at a rate of 2 every week. During 1995-2000 we lost 500…

    Again mainstream didn’t do that, the memberships simply declined. I know 4 deaf clubs around my area, that are struggling to keep together we all attend each others clubs to make it look like memberships are better than what they are…. Young deaf don’t want them, older deaf went to where they gathered at a HEARING youth club, and begged them to come to the deaf club, they said no thanks….

    I feel sad in some respects ‘Deaf’ are left out on a limb unable to really respond except in defiance. I think any community now HAS to embrace everyone, or find ways to accept, and the leaders they still have, have to help them come to terms with it. We all need each other that’s a fact….

  21. Michele,
    There’s overlap between each of the labels. It should be up to the individual what we call ourselves. Recently someone with bilateral CI’s told me I was merely HH.

    Yet in my ASL class, HH was was described as someone who benefits from hearing aids. One could ask, “HOW much benefit do you need to have to qualify as HH?” I sure don’t hear speech well without lip-reading, even with my aids on. I consider myself deaf as in late-deafened even though I don’t qualify for a cochlear implant. I DO qualify for the hybrid implant that hasn’t yet been approved by the FDA– because I have profound loss in speech tones. ONE low frequency is still “normal.” The rest are shot. So the question is how deaf do you have to be to be considered deaf?

    I believe ALL of us (HH/deaf/Deaf) are deaf in certain circumstances. I’m “deaf” to speech in noisy environments where background noise drowns out all my residual hearing. In that kind of environment I actually do better without my aids relying totally on lip-reading, as the noise from amplification causes pain.

    I have noticed some people with CI’s actually hear better than me with their CI’s on too. Though they may be more deaf than me without any kind of amplification.

    I know people with Menieres who experience routine deafness, but other times they hear perfectly fine. Their hearing fluctutates.

    If you look at the websters dictionary of the word deaf, it includes “partial” deafness meaning we could ALL be considered deaf.

    When we unite under the same unbrella and stop labeling each other, we’ll be more powerful as a group.

  22. McConnell,
    I’ve never had the experience of being shunned by Deaf people. I don’t get out there enough. But I have heard from SEVERAL oral and late-deafened adults that they were shunned by Deaf people when learning ASL.

    My aim was to learn ASL so I could benefit from interpreters, not to make new Deaf friends, though if it happens I would love to. But mainly learning ASL is more of a practical approach to my daily life. It gives me one more accommodation to utilize. Unfortunately it’s much easier to request an interpreter than CART in many instances because few understand what CART is.

  23. cnkatz, just as Kim pointed there are a whole variety and types of hearing loss along those with mild to profound. Your “deafhood” is going after a particular “niche” crowd.

    Your “deafhood” concept is no different than the simple idea of accepting one’s hearing loss and how a person sees him/herself as. It’s just another round on the labeling game, especially by those who call it “Deafhood” and not “deafhood.”

    Hey, go after the hard of hearing crowd whose hearing loss is at 30 dB (at 20 db is considered normal hearing) range and wears hearing aids. Tell them about “deaf” + “hood” (signed to the gut area) as if they have somewhere hidden away their “deaf identity” in their guts wanting to spring out. The thing is, most accept their hearing loss and have no problems being with hearing people. And they do not need sign language at all because it is not necessary for them to utilize it. If people are already happy, successful, and comfortable in who they are and how they deal on communicating with people then there is no need to expound on the topic of whether they accept their “deafhood” or not. There’s certainly no “b/Blindhood” but heck you sure can find plenty of “d/Deafhood.”

  24. Mike- That’s a good point. I wrote a blog awhile back about being on the fence between deaf and hearing. http://djembeslappin.blogspot.com/2008/06/on-fence.html

    where I included this comment from a Deaf blogger, “Kim, People who feel that they are fence sitters are the sign of helplessness. They do not learn how to embrace different main community and sub communities with different ideologies. People need to rethink how this approach this situation about finding Good solutions or too lazy find better solutions, blames others, and demand them to be responsible for your actions?”

    I feel actualized just as I am– on the fence. I have enjoyed learning a new language and being able to ask for ASL interpreters at public performances, but my family and most friends are hearing or oral-deaf. I’m doing what I need to do to reach MY full potential not someone else’s idea of what my potential should be. Other than basking in Deaf culture, Paddy Ladd never describes what he means by Deaf actualization.

  25. Kim, the use of interpreters was actually one of the quickest ways that I learned ASL when in college, because I would read their lips and pick up signs along the way.

  26. Kim,

    What a wonderful article you have written here.
    It is so well though out and explain so extremely well.

    I totally agree with your sentiments.

    If we all work together what we can achieve.

    I wish all people could read this article. I get so tired of saying I am late deafened and they always offer me an interpreter and I don’t use ASL so you have to continually explain.

    I would like to see this in every newspaper in America.

  27. Penny, you are always offered an interpreter when you say youre late deafened??? wow, I have to say thats quite amazing, because it is usually the case that when a deaf person actually needs an interpreter in many cities across the nation. They are often denied one, especially in hospital settings, when an interpreter is needed most. But aye, I would like to see in every newspaper in America to offer an interpreter, if they say no, then dont ask further, if they say yes, then provide one.

  28. a phrase just popped in my mind

    “deafhood need to be divorced from sign language in order to transform into a theory applicable for all”

    Take it as a grain of salt. The more challenges a movement of an idea receives improves over time. Got me thinking.

    Let’s sprinkle the seasoning of Time onward . . .

  29. Valhallian– I might be wrong about this but I think what PennyPenguin meant was that she’s offered an interpreter INSTEAD OF C.A.R.T. which is what you need when you’re late-deafened because most of us don’t use ASL. CART is less expensive than interpreters, but they don’t know what it is so are less willing to oblige. You have to explain, and explain again, then fight– because you’re asking for something they’ve never heard of and they aren’t sure they’re required to provide it. Pain in the neck!!!

    I fought for it for my kids’s graduations. Now my daughter is graduating college. Since she’s several hours away I asked her to arrange accommodations for me. I told her I’d need CART. You would think any college or high school would know what CART is, since some of their students probably use it. But for some reason the organizers of the graduation ceremonies never think to check in with their ADA dept. when organizing a grauation ceremony.

    So– long story short. My daughter told them her mother was ‘deaf’ and needed accommodations — something called CART. The office told her there would be an interpreter there. She said “fine” knowing that I’m learning ASL and can benefit some from that. She’s young and doesn’t know how to fight the system and I dont’ feel like doing it right now. I don’t know any CART providers in her city. I know someone who provides remote CART, but I’d have to get the school to acquire the equipment– OR I’d have to by the equipment myself for a one time event. BIG HASSLE. I run into this time and again.

    So– you think it’s hard to get an interpeter? Try getting CART. 🙂

  30. Ah, yes. The CART conunumdrum. There are many, many more people with hearing loss who do not sign have a need for a CART than compared to Deaf people who have a need for interpreters. It is really insulting at times when people offer interpreters to deaf people who don’t even know sign language. Remember, 30 million people with hearing loss in the United States but only less than a million Deaf people. And you wonder why AGBell had some reservation about the Pepsi commercial with a bunch of Deaf characters prior to the Superbowl kickoff? Now, America will think that every deaf/hh will need an ASL interpreter when they ask of for accomodation.

    “No. I don’t sign you moron. I just need the damn CART!”

  31. I am tring understand english.. I am believed other landers not use english, how they understandes about Deafhood and what writed by story in english, what is really? sign and write same for time. Diffrents peoples best undstand to sign and face-body`s languaes an english. Think to free english school. Deaf loves free, so deafhood 🙂

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