No matter how well you speak as a Deaf person, you are still not hearing.

I would like to share this story of what happened to me yesterday at the Early Hearing Detection Intervention conference in Atlanta, GA.

I was an exhibitor working two days and everyone heard me say “Good Morning” pleasantly when we start the day and also talked to many hearing parents and teachers at my booth whether they are Deaf or Hearing and I think that many people in the exhibit hall had already heard me talking for two days.

A man came up to me and asked if I could an interview when he realize that I am a parent of two Deaf children(adults now) and would pay me for my time. I told him that I am not that interesting about the money but would love to give any knowledge I have.
This man took me to this lady that will do the interview. After talking for a few minutes, I told her that I mostly read lips because I am Deaf, she was shocked that I was Deaf. She said that she was sorry and declined to do any more interview and told me that she thought I was hearing.  She said that she only wanted to interview hearing fathers of deaf children. I told her that I have as much experience with deaf children as any hearing parents.

Ladies and gentlemen,  I have said this before and will say it again, no matter how well any deaf child learns to speak, they will never be hearing…or should I say “normal”?

I finally became normal when I learned to be bilingual at the age of 19 by being fluent in American Sign Language because ASL gave me the complete accessibility I am having now with the 100% communication modality capability.

EHDI (Early Hearing Detection Intervention) will have their conference in St. Louis, Missouri next year and I encourage all of you, Deaf citizens and Deaf Professionals, to come and help many people that needs to be educated in the importance of bilingualism for all Deaf/Hard of Hearing babies at start and also encourage them not to be bias or have any discriminatory attitudes towards American Sign Language ever again.

Oh, by the way, do you think that I have been discriminated?

John F. Egbert

  1. Don G. says:

    Not discrimination per se, if they were interested in Hearing people’s perceptions on raising Deaf children, but that kind of interview/article/report will definitely lead to a very biased, skewed perception of what it is like to have Deaf children. They definitely missed an opportunity to get an “insider” view of what it is like to be Deaf and to raise Deaf children.

  2. Barry C says:

    John – it was nice chatting with you briefly at the EHDI conference… I am shocked that someone would simply “dismiss” you from her interview simply because you are Deaf! Either she didn’t think you would know anything about raising Deaf kids (LOL), or she wanted a biased response — only Hearing parents. If that is the case, then whatever she is writing is definitely biased against Deaf kids and Deaf parents.

    I don’t think “discrimination” is the right word — I think it is IGNORANCE on her part.

  3. johnfegbert says:

    Barry C

    Yes, I agree with you that is it mostly IGNORANCE.

    The word, discrimination so happens to be louder and the situation in the Deaf community with Deaf education and language deprivation, it is a habit of getting a bigger ammo to get results.

    BTW Barry, nice meeting you at the conference.


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