Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Deafhood comes with pain or misunderstanding?

Perspectives on Deafhood!


ASL Risen said...

Very interesting to bring that up about pain or misunderstanding?

Well I want to bring up Deaf Motherhood role from my 2 video links:

Part 1 of 2 (copy and paste): http://asl.deafvideo.tv/watch/3240

Part 2 of 2 (copy and paste): http://asl.deafvideo.tv/watch/3241

I am so confused about Deafhood comes with pain or misunderstanding anyway! Have a very good day! Shawn

deafk said...

Hi, Hardy,

I wanted to mention one thing about the pain experience becoming Deaf is there is NO lesson or guide for us! Or crush course, 101 Deaf class or something like that. Once a while in the past, I wished I had some guide for my Deafhood, but that is how things go for us the Deafies. Do you get my message?

So, Deafhood is one of the keys to guide our lives.

Thanks, deafk

Deaf Socrate'sTrail said...

Deafhood is very new concept but at sametime it is very immature right now, in the future Deafhood would become strength based on epistemology, metaphyics, politics and ethics that would develop the concept of Deafhood understanding better through process in itself. We are entering into identity crisis! I think it is good because it forces number of Deaf people look into ourselves and rediscover new or old experience need to be re evaluated through examining!

deafk said...

I mean, for meaning instead of message... Do you get my meaning?, instead of Do you get my message...


Ella Mae Lentz said...

Im posting this abbreviated article from my blogsite "Ella's Flashlight" in hopes it helps clarify how Paddy Ladd's Deafhood can be interpreted. Nancy Carroll and I wrote this interpretation early 2006. I believe once people read and study the book and this article carefully, we can finally move beyond arguing against the word "Deafhood" and create a vision that is healthy, pro-Deaf, pro-SignLanguage, anti-audism, anti-deafness....come join and work towards that vision!
“Why another word for Deaf people? What’s wrong with the terms such as “deafness” , or “deaf and hard of hearing”? Deafhood is a term created by Dr. Paddy Ladd, a Deaf scholar in the Deaf Studies Department at the University of Bristol in England. Deafhood is found in Ladd’s book “Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood” (2003).

Deafhood is described as a journey that each Deaf person undertakes to discover their true identity and purpose here on the Earth as a Deaf person among other people. This journey is for anybody who is what George Veditz calls “first and foremost, people of the eye”. These people are visually oriented in dealing with the environment. They feel most at ease using a signed language rather than a spoken language. If you fit that description, you have begun the search for Deafhood. The degree of your hearing or speaking ability does not matter. Each person’s search for Deafhood occurs on all levels: physical, linguistic, mental and spiritual. And through that, it links each person to the amazing collective experience called the Deaf community and culture.

However, the search is not without obstacles. Those obstacles are Oralism and Audism that peaked in the early 1900’s with eugenicists such as Alexander Graham Bell, and weakened when Sign Language made a comeback in the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s. Eugenics is the science of controlling the population by deleting certain characteristics that are considered negative through selective breeding, sterilization, and at its worse, genocide. Oralism and Audism have come back more ferocious and dangerous in the 2000’s with rampant mainstreaming, cochlear implants, and genetic engineering. Boudreault (2005 CAD Conference) categorizes those as “neo-eugenics” because when it comes to Deaf people, their ultimate goal is to eradicate the “deficit”, that “horrible isolating disability,” through technology and education. Oralism is the educational philosophy and practice that focuses on developing speech (and listening) skills and looks down on and accuses Sign Language of interfering with Deaf people’s focus on that training. Audism, a word that was first published in 1975 by Dr. Tom Humphries (a Deaf scholar currently working at University of California in San Diego), describes the behavior and/or attitude of an individual, professional, or institution that believes that being Hearing is superior to being Deaf.

….that term [“deaf and hard of hearing”] seems to split the Deaf community as we try to label us one way or other. It has fostered unhealthy competition based on the differences. A result has been that we accuse one other of rejecting the other. This was the true success of Oralism that Deaf people are divided from other Deaf people as they are “brainwashed” in believing one with better hearing or speech is superior. This caused resentments to arise. The true success of Deafhood is when Deaf people feel “at home” with being Deaf and finds a commonality with other Deaf people in their use of Sign Language and their visual orientation. When we are secure with our own natural language and community, we can be healthier, more creative and more embracing of the diversity surrounding us.

…. we desire to unify those of us who seek our Deafhood …. to fight neo-eugenics, the oppression of oralism and the arrogance of audism. We begin by celebrating the many gifts springing out of our community, history and language. We vow not to fight against other Deaf people, but to support each other in our journeys towards Deafhood, and to challenge the influences of Oralism and Audism in our lives. We will fight against the systemic audism prevalent among our schools, jobs, and families. We will also fight against financial interests and remove the masks of benevolence of the Hearing companies or professionals that “think they know all about … the Deaf, but know nothing about their thoughts and souls, their feelings, desires, and needs.”

We acknowledge there are people who do not see the need to search for their Deafhood. Some of those people are ones who discovered they are Deaf in their later years, and feel they have no use for Sign Language or a Deaf identity. We understand that their primary language is spoken and their culture is Hearing and naturally they may desire to restore their old identity and abilities. We know there are other organizations catering to those people and we do wish them the most happiness possible. However, we declare that those people are welcome to initiate their journeys into Deafhood. To begin the journey, we encourage those people learn and use our vibrant and exciting Sign Language, and open themselves up to the challenges and possible new joys and friends among other Deaf people. We will challenge and encourage them, but we will never manipulate nor control their bodies, their minds, their souls as the Audists and Oralists have done to Deaf people for years.”

Stephen J. Hardy said...


You rock!

This is very helpful and I can use your information to educate Deaf people.

I can copy and paste to let them know what it is exactly! *smiles*

Peter Perkins said...

Ella Mae Lentz is on drugs, most of what you say is fantasy talking

Like book of Understanding Deaf Culture. There is no deaf culture, deaf culture like hearing is all with just other language.

For you to say deaf identity and deaf culture is just to put up barrier to hearing people and make it harder to get on with hearing and have problems as they not understand why deaf hate them for no reason because you say when it comes to deaf people their ultimate goal is to eradicate the “deficit”, that “horrible isolating disability. Hearing people not out to do that, most don’t worry about deaf.

On with cochlear it help to make opportunity more for people. Real thing is you can do more if you hear but I know it not always good for adult deaf.

If you deaf all from baby and you OK with it then good but don’t stop other from having opportunity to hear and have more to do open for them like to hear cute things own children say.

It not for you to say what others can do and try to control them, other people and their cochlear is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!!! If you want to stay in own little ‘deaf world’ good for you, stay there and leave rest of us alone.