I won’t say I’m an activist, I think it’s just caring We don’t become activists because we want to, but because we have to Activism is the only way we can even access the world
My first memory of activism is probably not my first actual instance My brain protects me by blocking out huge portions of my childhood I wanted to be in honors English classes The TOD (teacher of the deaf) didn’t want to support me My parents and I pushed I said I would absolutely prove I could do it We got access to the class – but not interpreters – and I did succeed
I learned sign language by having conversations Slowly Haltingly Then my fingers flew! And before anyone imagined I was signing more than talking It made everything possible Even with interpreters only in one or two classes – my grades improved
When I did have interpreters, I remember stares Staring Pointing Oh the deaf girl I remember an interpreter banging the desk when I was writing ‘Look at me!’ I remember being afraid of them I kept fighting that fear because I needed the language
Gradually the fear got worse Fear of new places Fear of yelling Loud noises Rainstorms Missing the information Death
It was always there, shadow nipping at my heels
Until one day a grey dog walked across the blacktop towards me It took us time, many many moments Hugs, Meals, Snuggles And all of a sudden he was chasing away the fears He was telling me about the noises and information before I missed it (Except for what people were saying – still missed that) He made all the difference in the world
Thanks to the Memphis Oral school article I’m learning lots and lots of hearing people have no idea about the prevalence of AG Bell’s ideas and how he was one of the strongest proponents of oralism in the United States – his theories are still evident in deaf education today.
“Oralism” which was the pedagogical approach of suppressing sign language in favor of speaking & lipreading. Oral instruction existed in the U.S. as early as 1840, with establishment of Lexington School and Clarke School in 1867, oralism established deep roots in the nation. Bell applied his study of eugenics to his goal of preventing the creation of a deaf race and presented his paper Memoir Upon the Formation of a Deaf Variety of the Human Race to the National Academy of Sciences in 1883.
In this paper, he proposed to reduce the number of deaf people by discouraging deaf people from marrying others who are also deaf or who have multiple deaf family members. He suggested presenting legislation to prevent this as well. AG Bell also advocated for speech reading and articulation training (oralism) and removed the use of deaf teachers and sign language from the classroom – this is something we see impacting the community today as a number of teachers of the deaf are not deaf themselves.
These strategies for assimilation into the hearing society presented by Bell still impact all areas of early intervention for deaf children today – seeing as 90 to 95% of deaf children are born to hearing parents. And the first deaf person these people ever meet is their child. Also, the first person to tell them about their child and deafness is usually a doctor or a audiologist, or possibly an educator, all professions that still see deaf people in ways impacted by Bell and his ideas.
I’m sure I could go on… but let’s just say that sign language is not often brought up first by these professionals and many parents do not learn sign language for their children in spite of ALL the people I see saying of course they would and how abusive that is.
Finally, I am just a Deaf person. My degrees are in social studies and history with a legal bent. I am not an expert by any means. Just wanted to say that this is what it is.
(Also, I have linked the article in my comments but TW for audism and ableism).
1/2 C Peanut Butter
1/2 C Peanut Oil
1/4 C White Wine Vinegar
3/4 C tamari (or soy sauce)
1/4 C fresh lemon juice
4 cloves garlic
8 cilantro sprigs (or 4 tsp dried)
2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
2 tsp fresh ginger
Combine all ingredients, mix well.
With 1/2 of mixture marinate chicken for 2 hours before cooking (baking or grilling)
Use remainder of marinade as sauce to mix with ramen or rice noodles.
Chop the chicken once it’s cooked, and add to your noodles – one breast per ramen packet or bunch of rice noodles.
Chop some peanuts – roasted – and sprinkle them over the top of your meal.
Welcome to my lifestyle blog. I know, lifestyle is … well, it’s so many things. But here I will be writing about what it’s like to live as a Deaf, chronically ill, and disabled woman in a mostly hearing world.
My partner is also Deaf, so sometimes we luck out and we get to do things with other Deaf people – and that’s where we are most comfortable and most ourselves.
In addition, I am from Colorado. I lived there for almost thirty years, and the sunshine, mountain air, outdoors nature, and frankly, privilege is a huge part of my background. Now that I live in Baltimore, I am working hard to learn and unlearn all kinds of things about being a white person in a community that is much more diverse.
I am a yoga teacher, freelance writer, and home manager in my day to day.
Check here for topics to include: Accessibility, Deaf life, Community building, History, possible justice/law topics, body positivity/neutrality, fashion, pets, travel, and recipes!