I became (d)eaf at the age of ten. Many years later now, I have become (D)eaf. Ironically, it was life as a teacher of a self-contained Deaf class in a hearing, public (mainstream) school, that has been an eye-opening experience, and has propelled my own personal transition.
I have been teaching #Deaf children for ten years in this mainstream setting. I saw first-hand the way SEE signs (acquired by the students in other districts) negatively impacted the children; destroying their reading comprehension, and how mainstreaming often demoralized #students and was often a waste of time. I’ve also seen first hand how a love of #ASL and Deaf identity has a powerfully positive effect on the kids, and how ignorant, and arrogant, Administrators often are in their running of the DHH program in hearing #schools. This experience, and seeing these issues through the beautiful, expressive, eyes of my students, led me to understand, love and respect, deeply, the #ASLNOW and anti-audism campaign.
After a heart-wrenching decade in this job, I have left it now, finally honoring my longing to follow my many students who transferred to the local Deaf #school, and find some respite and healing, myself, in a Deaf-centered environment. Simple things like access and support, curriculum designed for Deaf students and being able to see the announcements made by the Principal, for example, will be truly thrilling to me.
But the lessons learned in the trenches about just how deep-seeded how insidious and how harmful #audism, both conscious and unconscious, is, in modern American mainstream education, will never give me peace until I have gotten the word out and participated in trying to change it.
Teaching those children was a tremendous honor and joy, and I hope they can hold tightly onto even a thread of the exhilaration we experienced together as Deaf people in the throes of that very hearing (yet not at all listening!) community.
Now, in an era when mainstreaming and Cochlear implants are on the rise, our children, are all too often being “taught” by hearing people who have neither any Deaf #Education background nor the humility to recognize how little they know.
In these settings there is no connection to or accountability to the Deaf community. Yet, these are the precious developing years of life. It is an outrage and shame that while these staff members are patting themselves on the back and convincing themselves, each-other, and the parents, that they are doing good work, the light in the eyes of the children is growing dimmer and the wildly joyful #language skills and educational abilities within them, turning to mush, as they grow older in a system of dysfunction and basic, brutish ignorance.
She is showing her love for Deaf Children and support for ASL NOW!
I wholly concur with these sentiments. They are very true for the UK as well. SUPPORT BSL NOW!