The Deaf Bilingual Coalition

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this is blog post I have found while researching deaf culture for my disabilities paper. The author-who is deaf and speaks both ASL and English- first gives information about what the deaf bilingual coalition (DBC) is and what they are really trying to do and then moves on to a personal story about his son who recently became deaf. I would like to focus more on the second half of his post which is mostly about his son and the success that he can have in life. I appreciated the calm way Mark Drolzburgh made his point that being deaf does not mean a child is deprived of a chance for success. He provides an excerpt from a letter that his son’s auditist sent them that said “Without use of this (hearing aid) system, he will be unable to reach his full communicative and academic potential.” Drolzburgh does not become angry with her and react in a harsh way, but he does suggest that, to him at least, the suggestion is absurd since he, his wife, and many deaf friends received degrees of higher learner and hold well-paying jobs. However, many deaf children are born to hearing parents who don’t know other deaf people and aren’t sure how to handle communication. The idea of their child not reaching his or her potential is frightening so of course they would seek out any solution. This is the mind set that is dangerous. Because the general population does not interact with or understand deaf culture they assume that being deaf would force a person into isolation, when it is really the opposite. Drolzburgh’s solution, which I agree with, would be to make ASL instruction accessible to children and adults who want to learn. Babies who learn ASL before they learn to speak have been shown to have higher IQs and a better understanding of language. The only way for hearing people to get deaf culture is to allow them to be apart of it by learning ASL. It is a way of bringing people together and disrupting the stereotypes that have seeped into society

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One thought on “The Deaf Bilingual Coalition

  1. I agree with Drolzburgh that it is the lack of communication between the hearing and the deaf worlds that create the misconceptions of the deaf. Greater proliferation of ASL would benefit many in the understanding of the deaf. He argues that ASL is not a handicap as his son’s audiologist implies. ASL is a language, and like all languages, it would benefit everyone to know one more.

    I may be reading into his words too much, but there is something about his attitude that weakens his stance. As part of an advocacy group, he seems somewhat resigned to the front his group pushes. He says that his son was “graciously provided an ASL interpreter.” Instead of asserting that his son should have the right to an interpreter, he seems thankful that someone acknowledge the right of the deaf; of course there is nothing wrong with being thankful, but as a proponent for the deaf, he should be firm and able to remain indignant until his group’s goals are accomplished.

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