On “What Rejection Does to the Deaf Community”

Posted on 17 November 2006. Filed under: Audism |

ElisaWrites made an interesting post in her blog today about the long-term costs of “deaf on deaf” audism. In this case, she comments on the harm that can be done when Deaf ASL users reject deaf people who grew up oral or who use SEE signs. I hope you will go read the post on her site, then come back and comment here (Elisa has closed the comments on her blog).


Does anyone know how I can get in touch with Elisa? I would like to cross-post her essay here, but I don’t want to do that without her permission.

Elisa (for the few of you who don’t already know) is a blogger who actively supports FSSA. But to clarify, I very much want to see essay submissions from people on all sides of the protests, whether FSSA supporters or Fernandes supporters. I am especially interested in essays that are co-authored by both an FSSA-sympathizing partner and a Fernandes-sympathizing partner. Essays can be submitted to ashettle (at) patriot.net The main criteria is that they relate in some way to reunification or healing at Gallaudet, and help promote the process. See more details at https://reunifygally.wordpress.com/2006/11/16/be-a-guest-blogger-at-reunify-gallaudet/


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4 Responses to “On “What Rejection Does to the Deaf Community””

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Just use her full name (all run together as one word) then (at)yahoo(dot)com

I have experienced the rejection from the deaf community firsthand because of few reasons 1) I use Cued Speech as my primary method of communication not sign language 2) I have two cochlear implants 3) I use spoken language (oral method) with my hearing peers and deaf friends that are non-signers. 3) I rarely use sign language even I know sign language pretty well. I have encountered and experienced many prejudices from many deaf people in my area. I am for unity for the deaf as long they respect the person’s preference of communication methods and their decisions…

Thank you, Jarom.

Deaf culture can be a beautiful thing — but not everyone identifies with it to the same degree. Most Deaf, deaf, hard of hearing, hearing impaired, and deaf-blind people will still want some degree of contact with hearing people and hearing culture and norms — if nothing else, at least their own family members and members of the public. And not everyone will choose the exact same point on the continuum between full immersion in Deaf and full immersion in hearing. I think people need to choose what feels right to them. And sometimes what “feels right” at age 20 will be different from what “feels right” at age 30 or 50.

I think to some extent, younger D/deaf people are starting to become more accepting of differences. For example, more of them have grown up with classmates–and friends–who have cochlear implants (whether one or two). So the idea of CIs doesn’t faze them as much as it does for older deaf people.

In my own experience growing up with signed English before coming to Gallaudet, I find that some individuals in ANY group are going to be more accepting (or less so) than the other individuals in the group. Sometimes it’s worth trying to build relationships with individuals outside of a group context rather than worrying about breaking into a pre-existing group. Or building relationships with people who aren’t necessarily “full Deaf” (culturally) but who maybe identify more strongly than you do right now.

And, of course, respect has to go both ways: if the other person is more comfortable signing as their primary mode of social communication then I hope you match that, even if there is a mix of signers and non-signers there. Otherwise, even if someone is willing to accept your own choices as the right ones for YOU, they may resent that you effectively forced them to be in a situation where they didn’t have full communication access. (And in that kind of situation, I hope your non-signing friends would accept that there are times when you are socially obligated to sign as an accommodation for the people present who depend on that as a mode of communication.)

Hi – came to your blog via Deafread —
I just opened up the comments on my blog, I hope it works now – let me know if its still closed. And thanks for the reference.. and you have my permission –

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