On “Confessions of a Deaf Girl Who Had an Audistic Attitude”

Posted on 3 December 2006. Filed under: Audism, Guest Bloggers |

Blogger Zoee Nuage wrote her own personal story about how she used to look down upon Deaf ASL users but then came to change her attitudes.

It’s a long story, but an eloquent and interesting one. I like it because Zoee Nuage is a good example of someone who strives to examine her own attitudes and assumptions toward other people in a very honest way. This kind of self-exploration can sometimes mean confronting some very uncomfortable truths about ourselves. But the results can be very positive both for society (if we succeed in changing our own attitudes) and for ourselves (in that we learn about ourselves and maybe become better people for it).

Most of us in today’s society say we want to eradicate prejudice and discrimination. Typically, this involves advocating for change in society–for example, through educating OTHERS about diversity, or asking OTHERS to change policies and laws to accommodate a diverse population. These are vital components of any movement for social change. But, ultimately, social change only happens when each of us comes to take responsibility for OURSELVES and our OWN attitudes and behavior.

Mahatma Ghandi used the phrase, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” His grandson, Arun Ghandi, continues to teach this philosophy today (explore his web site at www.gandhiinstitute.org/). In Ghandi’s philosophy, this phrase is usually used to mean: If you want to live in a nonviolent world, you must begin by examining your own behavior and avoiding violent acts. (Both Mahatma and Arun Ghandi use a very broad definition of the word “violent” that most Americans probably aren’t used to. So being “nonviolent,” in the Ghandi philosophy, means far, far more than “don’t hit people.”)

In the context of fighting prejudice, the “Be the change…” phrase could be extended to mean: If you want to live in a world in which every person is judged on who they are, and not what labels they wear, then you must begin by examining your own attitude to eradicate prejudice within yourself.

See Zoee Nuage’s story at: http://znuage.blogspot.com/2006/11/confessions-of-deaf-girl-who-had.html


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3 Responses to “On “Confessions of a Deaf Girl Who Had an Audistic Attitude””

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Nowhere in Zoe’s story indicated she “looked down upon ASL.” She always found the language beautiful but did not use it because she was taught in SEE most of her life. She used ASL only one year when she attended a school for the deaf. Please read her blog again.

To be precise, what I said was that she used to look down on ASL users, not on ASL itself as a language. Though you’re right, her formerly negative attitudes were more toward people who did not read and write well in English than necessarily toward people who use ASL.

Thank you, Cy.

Yeah Cy is right. It wasn’t really the language of ASL at all that I looked down on, or even ASL users. It was d/Deaf people in general, no matter what method of signing they used, SEE, Cued speech, ASL, or even oral deaf people. It all fell on how capable they were when it came to writing and reading. Maybe didn’t make that clear in my post, but I did not only judge Deaf ASL users when it came to their writing/reading skills, i judged ANY d/Deaf person’s English writing/reading skills. Had to make sure i made that clear here 🙂

Anyway thanks for liking my post this much, what a compliment 🙂

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