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Old August 22nd, 2005, 06:49 AM   #1
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Deaf Activism?

I saw something about deaf activists come up on a discussion and googled "deaf activists" to find out more. Apparently, they don't want people getting cochlear implans because deafness is a culture? Doesn't that seem like being wheelchair-bound is a culture, as well?



Quote:
Sound and Fury focuses on the conflicts in one Long Island, New York, family: A deaf couple, Peter and Nita Artinian, refuse to let their 5-year-old daughter, Heather, get an implant -- much to the dismay of Peterís hearing parents. "If somebody gave me a pill that would make me hearing, would I take it? No way," Peter Artinian asserts in sign language. "Iíd want to go to a hospital and throw it up and go back to being deaf. I want to be deaf....If the technology progresses, maybe itís true deaf people will become extinct, and my heart will be broken. Deaf culture is something to value and cherish. Itís my culture." Other deaf people in the film echo his views, praising "deaf culture" and deriding attempts to cure deafness.


Um? Firstly, it's a couple's own choice whether to fix their deafness, so while I think every deaf person should get them, I go no further than that. For your 5 year-old daughter, though? Why would you force her into that, at her own detriment? I forget the case name but about adecade or so there was a case about a young Mormon boy needing a blood transfusion, but the parents refused to let him get one for religious reasons. The case went to court and the doctors were granted permission to give him the blood. Anyone else's thoughts on deaf as a "culture"? I think it's lunacy at this point. I've never seen someone in a wheelchair be proud and happy they're in a wheelchair.
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 08:51 AM   #2
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Well said Tabris. We have the knowledge and technology these days to help those who have some type of sickness or problem. Why prevent this to someone who could benefit from this...??? I just don't know what goes through some people's heads these days.
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 09:55 AM   #3
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Re: Deaf Activism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabris
I saw something about deaf activists come up on a discussion and googled "deaf activists" to find out more. Apparently, they don't want people getting cochlear implans because deafness is a culture? Doesn't that seem like being wheelchair-bound is a culture, as well?



Quote:
Sound and Fury focuses on the conflicts in one Long Island, New York, family: A deaf couple, Peter and Nita Artinian, refuse to let their 5-year-old daughter, Heather, get an implant -- much to the dismay of Peterís hearing parents. "If somebody gave me a pill that would make me hearing, would I take it? No way," Peter Artinian asserts in sign language. "Iíd want to go to a hospital and throw it up and go back to being deaf. I want to be deaf....If the technology progresses, maybe itís true deaf people will become extinct, and my heart will be broken. Deaf culture is something to value and cherish. Itís my culture." Other deaf people in the film echo his views, praising "deaf culture" and deriding attempts to cure deafness.


Um? Firstly, it's a couple's own choice whether to fix their deafness, so while I think every deaf person should get them, I go no further than that. For your 5 year-old daughter, though? Why would you force her into that, at her own detriment? I forget the case name but about adecade or so there was a case about a young Mormon boy needing a blood transfusion, but the parents refused to let him get one for religious reasons. The case went to court and the doctors were granted permission to give him the blood. Anyone else's thoughts on deaf as a "culture"? I think it's lunacy at this point. I've never seen someone in a wheelchair be proud and happy they're in a wheelchair.




I'm sure there is a very strong deaf culture that they take great pride in. And why not?? It is a language all its own.



If two deaf parents have a child who is naturally deaf I see no problem in letting them raise that child deaf as they see fit. When the child becomes an adult they can choose if they want the operation or not.
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 10:27 AM   #4
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Re: Deaf Activism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hevusa

I'm sure there is a very strong deaf culture that they take great pride in. And why not?? It is a language all its own.



If two deaf parents have a child who is naturally deaf I see no problem in letting them raise that child deaf as they see fit. When the child becomes an adult they can choose if they want the operation or not.


Come on. Deafness is a disability. ASL is an extremely limiting language in itself and being deaf puts one at a huge disadvantage in life in general. The culture isn't even a culture. It's just like my example of a wheelchair-people club or a quadriplegic culture. It puts people in a definite disadvantage, and the parents are outright denying the child a full life. What if the child decides to get the operation when they're 18 or 19? They'll have the vocabularly not even of a 3 year-old. That leaves the child at a distinct disadvantage as the child would obviously prefer to "speak" with ASL. There are too many barriers to overcome that late in life. Seriously, what culture does being deaf entail? ASL isn't unique to deaf people, since "hearies" can sign as well. So the child would still learn sign language, in addition to being able to live a decent life. There's no reason to deny the child a cure for a handicap like that.
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 10:58 AM   #5
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Re: Deaf Activism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabris
[quote name='hevusa']

I'm sure there is a very strong deaf culture that they take great pride in. And why not?? It is a language all its own.



If two deaf parents have a child who is naturally deaf I see no problem in letting them raise that child deaf as they see fit. When the child becomes an adult they can choose if they want the operation or not.


Come on. Deafness is a disability. ASL is an extremely limiting language in itself and being deaf puts one at a huge disadvantage in life in general. The culture isn't even a culture.[/quote]



A quick search on deaf culture provides 1.5 million links. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=deaf+culture

The culture is alive and well.



Quote:

What if the child decides to get the operation when they're 18 or 19? They'll have the vocabularly not even of a 3 year-old. That leaves the child at a distinct disadvantage as the child would obviously prefer to "speak" with ASL. There are too many barriers to overcome that late in life. Seriously, what culture does being deaf entail? ASL isn't unique to deaf people, since "hearies" can sign as well. So the child would still learn sign language, in addition to being able to live a decent life. There's no reason to deny the child a cure for a handicap like that.




The child will relate to her family in a much deeper way if she remains deaf. Yes, this puts her at a disadvantage over hearing kids, but what about advantages of the deep connection that will be made with her parents? But like you say, even if she heard she could still learn to sign and communicate with her parents.



You are right, if there are minimal risks involved she should have the operation.
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 11:07 AM   #6
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Re: Deaf Activism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hevusa

The child will relate to her family in a much deeper way if she remains deaf. Yes, this puts her at a disadvantage over hearing kids, but what about advantages of the deep connection that will be made with her parents? But like you say, even if she heard she could still learn to sign and communicate with her parents.



You are right, if there are minimal risks involved she should have the operation.


From the first hit from Google:

Quote:
Those who hold a cultural view might define the Deaf Community as:



* a group of persons who share a common means of communication (sign language) that provides the basis for group cohesion and identity;

* a group of persons who share a common language (ASL) and a common culture;

* those whose primary means of relating to the world is visual and who share a language that is visually received and gesturally produced


That's all the culture is, which is what I said in my previous post. Deaf Culture is a group of person who share a common culture? That makes no sense. No matter what, there is nothing to be lost from getting the operation, as she can still learn sign language. So in keeping that culture, one must force her to view the world in "primarily a visual" way? Humans already percieve the world in mostly a visual sense. But like you agreed, sans dire risk she should get the treatment. The Deaf Culture is nothing but a straw man for...what, exactly? Staying deaf? There are no benefits to staying deaf, period. Their only reasons are that they use ASL. Wooie. My little cousin knows ASL perfectly and she hears quite well, but had a deaf friend. Ergh.
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 02:09 PM   #7
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Re: Deaf Activism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabris
[quote name='hevusa']

The child will relate to her family in a much deeper way if she remains deaf. Yes, this puts her at a disadvantage over hearing kids, but what about advantages of the deep connection that will be made with her parents? But like you say, even if she heard she could still learn to sign and communicate with her parents.



You are right, if there are minimal risks involved she should have the operation.


From the first hit from Google:

Quote:
Those who hold a cultural view might define the Deaf Community as:



* a group of persons who share a common means of communication (sign language) that provides the basis for group cohesion and identity;

* a group of persons who share a common language (ASL) and a common culture;

* those whose primary means of relating to the world is visual and who share a language that is visually received and gesturally produced


That's all the culture is, which is what I said in my previous post. Deaf Culture is a group of person who share a common culture? That makes no sense. No matter what, there is nothing to be lost from getting the operation, as she can still learn sign language. So in keeping that culture, one must force her to view the world in "primarily a visual" way? Humans already percieve the world in mostly a visual sense. But like you agreed, sans dire risk she should get the treatment. The Deaf Culture is nothing but a straw man for...what, exactly? Staying deaf? There are no benefits to staying deaf, period. Their only reasons are that they use ASL. Wooie. My little cousin knows ASL perfectly and she hears quite well, but had a deaf friend. Ergh.[/quote]





Culture:

The predominating attitudes and behavior that characterize the functioning of a group or organization.



I would say the deaf have quite an argument in favor of considering themselves a culture. I'm sure being deaf and perceiving the world the way they do makes you think and develop in an extraordinary manner! So I can also understand why I would want my naturally deaf child to be a part of that culture. It is a culture that this man, in the article, is obviously proud of.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 05:29 AM   #8
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The culture

The culture is in their methods of communication, as the man even said. Therefore, being able to hear does not put you at odds with that culture, whereas limiting yourself so drastically sans hearing is a huge disability just to living in the real world. Humans are visual by nature, but as I'm sure you well know, hearing helps us identify what we can't see. So let's start a wheelchair "culture" because we all percieve the world from a rolling chair and I'll be darned if I can ever stand again.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 05:47 AM   #9
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Re: The culture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabris
So let's start a wheelchair "culture" because we all percieve the world from a rolling chair and I'll be darned if I can ever stand again.


I have no problem with wheelchair culture (http://www.paralinks.net/wheelculture.html).



But two parents that can't walk and have a child that can't walk is much different from two parents who can't hear having a child that can't hear.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 05:53 AM   #10
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Re: The culture

Quote:
Originally Posted by hevusa
[quote name='Tabris']So let's start a wheelchair "culture" because we all percieve the world from a rolling chair and I'll be darned if I can ever stand again.


I have no problem with wheelchair culture (http://www.paralinks.net/wheelculture.html).



But two parents that can't walk and have a child that can't walk is much different from two parents who can't hear having a child that can't hear.[/quote]



To a degree, but the method of communication isn't lost if the child can hear. There's no reason why the shouldn't be given that oppurtunity. ASL is what defines deaf culture. As I said, she'd learn ASL in order to communicate with her parents, anyway. But the majority of people don't know ASL, and by the time she's 18 and able to get the operation, she will literally have the understanding of not even a 1 year-old.
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