You may wonder why I am writing this blog and wonder why I am so passionate about this subject, I will explain below.
There are many people out there who wish to take us back into the 1800s, they believe that Sign Language is dying and is no longer relevant because of the invention of Cochlear implants.. what happened in the 1800s you ask? At a conference held in Milan Italy, in 1880, ruled in favour of banning Sign Language and instead, Deaf were forced to be taught in an oralist education!! This had a HUGE effect on Deaf people and we almost lost our language!!
Many Audiologists, despite numerous studies proving otherwise, tell parents who are deciding on getting their child CI, are told NOT to teach their child Sign because it will hinder their ability to learn to speak, this is quite hilarious as I know many CODA (Child of a Deaf Adult), whose first language was Sign and they speak English better than most I know whose first language was English!!
Here are several reasons why Sign Language needs to be saved, this beautiful language MUST be saved….
Not all Deaf can get CI: You either have to have the implant in before the age of 5, or you must have had lost your hearing later in life. Even then CI doesn’t work for everyone.
Not ever Sign user is Deaf: No, many hearing use it too, for numerous reasons, ie they may non verbal, or their friends and family members may be deaf.
Deafblind need to know what’s going on: Yep that’s right, I cannot lipread, I cannot hear very good and because of my limited (and I mean limited) vision, I cannot just go to a meeting or a conference and come out of it and be able to tell you everything that was just said.
Sign Language is beautiful: Oh yeah and did I mention how beautiful it is? Sign language is so expressive and beautiful to watch!!
Next post, I will speak about Deaf culture and Hearing culture differs in regards to conversation etiquette, as well as post the link to the video of the New Zealand National anthem in all 3 of languages.