The Normal Deaf Generation – Bilingualism

Posted: June 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

I was born Deaf and my parents were told not to learn or teach me to use sign language. My “normal self” was stolen away and put into the so-called “new deaf generation” – the listening and speaking generation.

Yes, with my gift for mimicking sounds and my ability to hear many sounds at different frequency levels gave me the ability to mimic sounds, vocally, and speak nearly as good as hearing people. But the fact is that I was trained to talk…just for the hearing society.  My communication modality skills was just a “one way street”…orientated toward the convenience of the hearing society.

If I wanted to try to access the “sub” normal communication modality that the hearing society allowed, toward me, I had to work hard to try to the read lips of these hearing people–with mouthing styles that could vary depending on hearing people’s accents, physical lip features or their style of communication.

The skills I developed, mostly in guessing what hearing people were saying… are skills that the majority of the Deaf are not able to utilize. That is why I became a poster child of the Oralist group that took advantage of the con-man propaganda style that convincing most parents of making the disasterous “informed decision” (i.e., uninformed decision) for how their Deaf child should be raised, like my parents unfortunately did to me.

Whatever articles or blogs or media news coverage that is out there giving information how certain minority group of Deaf babies or children in school are supposedly being successful under the Oralist auditory-only method is really only a micro-reality of the success of these small percentages of transformed deaf children or adults who have become hearing people to varying degrees. I am one of those Deaf (not deaf) people who can get by without being bilingual and could live as a monocultural person, but my conscience tells me not to be selfish and to tell the truth of my realization of what most Deaf people are going through under AGBell’s ideology of forbidding being bilingual in American Sign Language and English language.

It takes one to know one….and those who advocate for the AGBell ideology still don’t get it, unless the greed of making money off of Deaf society is their desire which we need to overcome.

Really, enough is enough….what more can I say?

  1. Alison Greathouse says:

    Well written, John.

  2. deafa says:

    oh geez, there are many ways to be deaf and none of it considered outdated.

    Last time I check ASL is alive,thrieving, and passed down to generations like any language and not an outdated educational method for the deaf.

  3. deafa says:

    oh geez (at the other blog, not yours) there are many ways to be deaf and none of it considered outdated.

    Last time I check ASL is alive,thrieving, and passed down to generations like any language and not an outdated educational method for the deaf.

  4. The difference between old oralism and today’s listening and spoken language is the ability to HEAR. The kids today do not lipread and “mimic sounds”. They hear and understand.

  5. johnfegbert says:

    Miss Kat’s mom,
    Even some hearing people can hear but but they’re tone deaf.

    You can give a hearing test to CI children in an audiologist sound proof room and surely as well as I can to mimic the test sounds of what they say to me and on the test is that I passed to hear what was said to me but reality, it was my ability to mimic what this person said and not quite sure what the word is.

    But when this CI child is out in the public society, I guarantee that 90% of those ci children and adults are tone deaf. Yes, they can hear and might mimic what was said but not sure about it.

    Miss Kat’ s Mom – why don’t you go to a mainstreaming high school and talk verbally in a normal way as if you are talking to hearing people and see if most of the ci children are able to hear like hearing people?

    We Deaf/HOH people will aways be tone deaf. It takes one to know one, I am the living proof and also being among the ci people. Regardless how successful the deaf child speaks, he or she will never be “hearing”

    I am not against speech but not oral only ideology like AGBell promotes. Bilingualism: ASL/English Education is the Solution to all the problems we are having now.

    It is not what the deaf child can do for you, it is what you can do for the deaf child. But unfortunately too many parents were misguided by self-interest people/organizations such as AGBell.


  6. Do you understand what the term “tone deaf” means? It means unable to sing on key. You are using it in a completely incorrect way. I have no idea what you are trying to say.

    As for if I could walk up to a teen, implanted in childhood and speak to them like a person with typical hearing…yeah. I could and have. I do it every single day at my child’s school.

    Again, for mimicing, that is not what these kids do. They have the ability to understand spoken language (not just a few words but the entire language) through listening alone. No lipreading, no struggling. Yes, it is tougher in background noise, but it is for everyone.

    And as for you “understanding” and me not, because I am hearing…well, you don’t have a CI that you hve had since young childhood, so obviously YOU don’t understand. Go find those adults, and ask them, because we parents already have.

  7. John F. Egbert says:

    Miss Kat’s Mom,
    Best of luck with you and Good bye.

  8. Unwilling to explain because I pointed out that you have been using that term wrong for several posts? No reason to be rude or dimissive, everyone makes mistakes. What did you mean?

  9. John F. Egbert says:

    Tone Deaf has many definition but same concept.
    My definition related to Deaf people is that many Deaf people can hear with hearing aids or ci
    but unable to comprehend exact sounds or pitch as hearing people.

    See this link and

    The frequency range of human hearing is so much different with cochlear implant and normal hearing so therefore the inability to hear normal frequency can be identified as tone deaf or tone deafness.

    How many frequency can a human hear with cochlear implant?

  10. Tone deaf only has one definition, the proper one.

    And deaf people are not necessarily tone deaf. Many can carry a tune just fine. And again, that has absolutely nothing at all to do with the ability to understand spoken language. There is no tonal element to spoken English.

  11. John F. Egbert says:

    Miss Kat’s Mom,

    No tonal element to spoken English?

    I think there are tonal element to spoken English,

    1 – There are basically three elements in any face-to-face communication:
    • words
    • tone of voice and
    • body language.

    2 – These three elements account differently for the meaning of the message:
    – Words account for 7%
    – Tone of voice accounts for 38% and
    – Body language accounts for 55% of the message.

    Miss Kat’s Mom, This is the last time to have any discussion with you and you need to do more research.


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