My “Ear Hooks” have finally arrived in the post and am loving them :D
For those you don’t know what “Ear Hooks” are, they are a form earphones for the deaf. Basically they are hooks that hang over my ears next to my hearing aids that I can plug into phones or Ipods. When I set my hearing aids on…
I need to get these!!! How much did yours cost??
I used to wonder why most Deaf students tend to graduate high school with the reading level of a 9-year-old. But more accurately, I wondered where these statistics came from in the first place. I admit I used to assume the cause was deaf people not being able to sound out the words, just like the sources claimed. But that never really made sense to me, as I knew plenty of older Deaf people who have no problem reading entirely through visual thinking. In fact they tend to read faster than those of us who read at the speed of speech, because we “hear” a voice in our heads sounding out the words.
Furthermore, what was the national average for hearing students? Turns out they’re actually not far behind. Only 38% of 12th graders in the United States tend to read at or above grade level. It never dawned on me until much later that the Deaf statistic tends to be used as a way to circumvent various methods of deaf education.
English is the second language of the vast majority of these Deaf high school students. After you make the distinction between ASL and English as completely independent of each other, it seems pretty obvious. If anything, being able to read at a fourth grade level in your second language by grade 12 sounds pretty accomplished to me, if not average/expected.
Then I found this article, the only one I’ve seen that indicates any form of awareness. Seriously, a “new” reason? Thanks y’all for owning up to the fact that you’ve been clouding the general population’s understanding of deafness for the past who knows how many years.
I’m totally with you on this one! This is not a “new” thing to us, but I guess it may be to the general public.
I also suspect that another factor in this whole mess is the difference between ASL and English as languages (and I don’t mean visual vs. spoken). Most Deaf students graduate with a reading level of around 4th grade. And right about then is when we start learning a whole bunch of new vocabulary that all really means the same thing. We move away from just spelling and start a very long process of expanding our vocabulary.
Now, I’m not saying that the same thing doesn’t happen in ASL. It definitely does. But there’s a very different aspect of the languages: ASL is based in concepts, while English isn’t. For example, if you’re in an 12 grade biology class, and your teacher is talking about “cardiology”- most hearing people will eventually come to understand that that means the workings of the heart. But in ASL you still sign HEART. So when you have a Deaf student who is reading the word “cardiology”, the word is entirely foreign to them. The Latin behind it is lost on them, as well as what this word in general means. The higher the level, the more complex the vocabulary for words that could be boiled down into simpler concepts (which is the basis of ASL).
ASL absolutely allows you to express complex concepts. But the root of the language is the root of the words. It’s the expansion of the concepts connected to those words that allow us the complexity- We don’t tend to shove complex meanings into one word as English does.
That’s just a theory. It’s one that I’ve seen again and again played out though, so I’m starting to have more faith that it isn’t just “It’s a new language.” but also “It’s a new language that is structured completely differently from the one they know, and they don’t get the exposure to it the way a hearing person hearing another language might.” The only way they are really exposed to most new vocabulary (if you’re profoundly Deaf and don’t tend towards ALDs) is by sight, which can make it harder to glean meaning from context.
((The example about cardiology is actually one I experienced. When I told the student, “It means the heart, how it works, and the study of it. ‘Cardio’ means heart,” they asked me very confusedly, “Then whey don’t they just say heart?” I didn’t really have an answer for him on that one because in the class, we signed HEART and expanded it from there. It was his first time seeing the concept in English form.))
ATTENTION ALL INTERPRETERS, DEAF/HARD-OF-HEARING INDIVIDUALS, CITIZENS OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI: There is a resolution on the floor of the Missouri House that I feel, while still containing language I would prefer to see changed, is still a monumental step forward for Missouri. Please take the time to read the entire resolution and contact your representatives about lending their support to the passing of this resolution. Pictured above are 3 brief screenshots depicting the specific “Bill of Rights” outlined. Follow the link below to find a full copy of the text of the resolution.
It’s still on people’s lips despite being surprisingly old-fashioned.
I wish I could say that this used to the term that referred to deaf-mutes, since most deaf people were inherently viewed as mutes (whether they were or not), and since they were seen as mute by default, seen as less…
Researchers have concluded that a gene responsible for most cases of hereditary deafness may have an unexpected benefit: it may protect you from infection.
Stella Man, a member of David Kelsell’s team at Queen Mary, University of London, spoke at the European Society of Human Genetics meeting in Amsterdam today, 8 May. She announced that the Cx26 protein encoded by a deafness gene might help wounds to heal.
Faster healing should help to prevent infection, for example by limiting bacteria’s access to the blood after surgery, she says. “It’s speculation, but maybe the Cx26 deafness mutations have been selected owing to their beneficial effects on wounds.”
In addition, a team of German and Ghanaian researchers had reported that the skins of people with one or two mutated copies ofCx26 are thicker than those of people with normal genes2. This probably presents a stronger mechanical barrier to pathogens. Kelsell’s team decided to investigate in more detail.
More than skin deep
Cx26 is a member of the connexin family of proteins. These proteins are the main components of special channels called gap junctions that link cells and allow them to communicate.
The researchers looked at the Cx26 protein in skin cells grown in the laboratory, to which they were able to add a mutated version ofCx26. When they added the aggressive bacteria Shigella to the cultures, cells containing the mutant gene were invaded by fewer bacteria.
They also found that, compared with normal cells, cells containing the mutant gene moved more rapidly around a Petri dish; such movement is a characteristic feature of cells involved in rapid wound healing.
[click link above for full article]
Great piece by The Washington Post on Gallaudet University’s evolving culture, which includes students who didn’t grow up in schools for the deaf (but instead, public schools) as well as hearing students being taught instruction in sign language. This is a big evolution for the school, which as recently as five years ago heavily protested the appointment of a school president who (while deaf) did not grow up learning American Sign Language. That proposed president, Jane Fernandes, eventually had to give up the opportunity, and considers herself a victim of an ongoing war within deaf culture. “There remains entrenched at Gallaudet a strong deaf culture that perpetuates a very narrow way to live as a deaf person,” she claims. Fascinating story about a small, insular subsection of the world.
Director: Ted Evans
Starting in the 1980’s, drama ‘The End’ follows 4 Deaf children over 60 years. After the introduction of a treatment aimed at eradicating deafness, the very survival of Deaf language and culture is at stake. Featuring stunning visual effects and an ensemble cast, ‘The End’ is a thought-provoking alternative vision of the future.
Submitted by: surduss
This is very touching!! Take the time and watch it!
AUSLAN (Australian Sign Language)
I picked up a good bit there last year… I want to go back sooo much!!!!
Statistically, you’re most likely a very normal human being. You probably went out today and listened to the world around you. Those muttering conversations on the other end of the train. The birds singing daily doolally’s in the tree. Your friends on the phone and Skype. The sound of the gentle…
Hands Solo. The Deaf Porn Star. ;D
*WARNING* Contains Sexual References and Scenes.
hahahahaha. This is the most random thing ever, but it’s a good bit of fun.