My Open Letter to All Deaf Leaders

Posted: June 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

DEMAND IT for the Deaf

Dear Everyone as Deaf Leaders,

As we all know that there are many parents of newborn Deaf babies who are not aware of the Deaf community and their full communication abilities using language in the visual modality – American Sign Language.  But we all know that the medical profession typically shows nearly no knowledge about ASL and most tell the parents not to learn Sign Language. This is a big problem. Deaf babies and children in school face the real problem of language deprivation and it’s not caught until it’s too late to catch up to achieve the “normal” communication modality skills in learning how to learn and in learning interactional skills.

Every problem has a solution.

We need to find the best solution to achieve prosperity for Deaf people to have a normal life. That starts with being bilingual: ASL/English for every Deaf child with their parent’s blessing.

A gigantic step forward for parents of newborn Deaf babies and also the society is to start having the HEAVY exposure of Deaf children and adults on TV advertisements…..DAILY.

Fifty years ago, there were hardly any black people on TV advertisements, and today we have diversity on TV because the NAACP demanded it.  The ramification of this is that everyone is more familiar with Black culture than 50 years ago.

The vast majority of people in society do not know that Deaf Culture and American Sign Language even exist!

We need the NAD, DBC, ASDC and many other Deaf organizations to have a summit to start a big movement to have more bilingual Deaf people on TV advertisements everyday….YES!…EVERY DAMN DAY!

John Egbert
Parents of two Deaf

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Comments
  1. Nesmuth says:

    I was just elected as Vice President of the Texas audiological network and my words carry heavy weight among the 400plus members and leaders in audiology in the USA. If you want me to say pretty things about ASL, you’re all gonna have to return back all the things you’ve all cause stolen from me that includes the AIM TRS concept. Until then I’m going to trash ASL and thats my promise.

  2. Check out what this school is doing ! http://www.signingtime.com/blog/2011/06/making-a-difference-this-school-is-teaching-asl-with-signing-time/ If we teach ALL babies how to use their natural language. Babies learn to crawl before they walk, sign before they speak. We need to give ALL children the gift of communication. ASL is so beautiful, so easy, so expressive, and the research shows that children who learn ASL early in life have better communication skills for the most part in comparison with their peers who don’t.

  3. Kate says:

    So, how do we make this happen? Good idea, but what do we do?

  4. Kate,
    you and also everyone else can email to NAD that you want to be part of this movement and NAD will do it when everyone DEMANDS IT.

    And thank you for your support, Kate.

    John

  5. Richard Roehm(Nesmuth),
    I did not approve your second comment and you are not welcome on my blog anymore, Good Bye.

  6. By the way, I’m a latent deaf instructor, (my post about the school up above). I think that by educating children early, to accept one another’s differences and cultures, eventually prejudices will be extinct. Prejudice is learned behaviour. Teach children to welcome people with respect and as they are and they are more likely to respect cultural differences of others. They are also learning Spanish at the school

  7. johnfegbert says:

    xpressivehandz,

    I agree, that both sides of the group need to educate each other’s differences and/but which side of the deaf children’s instructors need the most help to be doing this?
    Yes we need to stop this deficit thinking about Deaf children using visual language and that is where we need to see improve in that area.
    We all know that AGBell doesn’t approve bilingual philosophy for Deaf babies and children in schools so that is where we need to start working on to stop the AGBell bias of sign language for Deaf babies at start.
    John

  8. Actually, John, I can’t answer for teachers of the deaf children. I am a latent deaf volunteer teaching hearing children ASL at a private school. 🙂 We live in an area that has an astoundingly high population of deaf people. Isn’t it great to know that if they see a child at the park who is deaf and signing to be able to walk up to that child, their peer, and sign, “Hi, Friend. Play?” Or to just be able to speak up if they need help communicating downtown, or wherever they may be?
    As for myself, as I slowly become more deaf, I rely on having all the information at hand, reading lips and Signing, though it is harder to learn so many signs as I get older. I’m not as quick as I used to be, which is probably why sharing with children is so easy for me.
    I thought I should clear that up. I didn’t realize it could be read differently the way I worded that above. I love reading your posts, by the way.

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