Saturday, February 24, 2007

Call that rich and varied deaf culture?

Barb DiGi shares her perspective in her vlog from reading a local Utah newspaper covering Deaflympics (Feb. 16th) who interviewed selected participants giving away some misinformation that is not found acceptable to her eyes. Rich and varied deaf culture was the subtopic of the article and she was appalled that not even one word, ASL, was mentioned. ASL and Deaf culture are like salt and pepper. You just simply don't separate them on the table. For deaf people who decided not to have hearing aids or cochlear implants didn't mean that they had no desire to communicate with hearing people.


Amy said...


I loveeeeee your vlog! I'm sooo thrilled that you created a vlog and expressed your frustration, no no not that... more of exasperation of how media protrays us.

That means we need to be proactive about American Sign Language. It is quite obvious that the hearing people does not KNOW about ASL!

Oh gosh... how much work we need to do???

I think the mistake of trying to do "all of things" for everyone is making people confused!

I love your vlog! Just love it!

Amy Cohen Efron

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't it surprise me anymore?
Nice vlog report from the article.

We need to do something and educate the media about how ASL is interwoven with Deaf Culture like found in any other languages.


Toby Welch said...

Hi Barb,

It is sad to see how some Deaf people give different answer. I believe they don't know much about Deaf culture and/or ASL. They need to take those class or workshop about Deaf culture and ASL to get more familiar how to explain same message. It is tough. This is not first time. We need to have same message to share with the world.

Keep vlogging!


Wacky Taz said...

You make a clear point about the article not being representative of what deaf culture is all about.

Perhaps the two persons that were interviewed and edited their responses or the reporter could have interviewed more.

Also, I wonder if the reason that ASL wasn't mentioned is because there is deaf people from other countries using their own native sign language. That could be the reason behind the 'rich and varied' theme coined by the reporter.

We all need to be aware of the existence of ASL and others in order to reeducate the media before the information is disseminated to the public.

drmzz said...

It's a bugger, it bothers me that for the most, the media often interview the wrong persons. Instead of thinking of others, this person advocate for themselves and their peer group and misrepresenting unity.

Anonymous said...

God.. you are hot!

Gallaudet Protest Legal Issues said...

It's extremely difficult for a hearing person to see things from the perspective of someone born deaf. Even if they make an effort to understand, they still fail, because they don't have enough information and don't have the experience necessary to understand.

There is a lot of propaganda in mainstream culture about Helen Keller and issues like: Would you rather be deaf or hearing... Etc. The public mind is fixated on the concept of the deaf experience being "silence."

They do not understand that culturally deaf people actually live in a *visual* world and the visual world itself is not "silent"--It's filled with activity and motion.

We need a deaf "star" like Helen Keller, but different. Someone who can educate the hearing world about the truth about the deaf experience.

Anonymous said...

Like you, I am appalled. I wonder why Dr. Davila was not interviewed by Utah's newspaper reporters. To defend ASL which is the foundation of the deaf culture, perhaps both the president of NAD and the president of Utah Association of the Deaf should consider writing to the editor of Utah's major newspaper. It is deaf people's job to interject a hearing-impaired person in order to educate hearing readers about the unacceptable term "hearing impaired.

Ed them, ed them, ed them!


Joey Baer said...

Great vlog! We need to continue and share our concerns through vlogs and in this way, more and more people will become educated!
Then whenever they are approached to be intereviewed, they will know what to say - and that ASL is heart of our culture. Even though it will be a long road, we are getting there!

Barb DiGi said...

Thanks for your comments!

We all share the same frustrations..not having the right interviewees to represent deaf culture, reporters not having a greater understanding of the defintion of deaf culture and ASL being neglected.

Wakcy Taz, I thought of that too but our own "deaf" Americans called themselves hearing impaired and mentioned about the use of total communication instead of identifying themselves deaf and use ASL. That's where it threw me off.

Jean, you are right. We need to defend ASL more effectively and be proactive. For starters, I will send this message to the editorial section of the Park Record newspaper. Meanwhile, I can share this message to NAD and Utah Association of the Deaf. Somebody gotta say something, right?

Joey, isn't it sad that even those who have hearing loss shy away from ASL? Perhaps they don't recognize ASL as a heart of our culture or that the reporter carved it out. We should, when given an interview, have the authority to approve their written work first before being published.

Deaf Niches said...

Ahhhh... I agree with you. Wanting or having a CI does not necessarily mean one wants to be hearing. I recall attending a workship on CI, which you also attended, a few years ago, and learned to see it just another hearing DEVICE, like hearing aid, TTY, etc., nothing more. It is like saying an Asian girl wanting to become a Causcian lady, so she'd go to a plastic surgeon to alter the shape of Asian eyes, dying jet black hair to plantium blond, etc., as we have heard the stories about it.

But I noticed that, almost universally, when hearing people want to interview deaf people for some media reason, they would hone on the "hearing impaired", or H/H, so anyone who can TALK. It is like having a choice to communicate with a Russian who did not know English or a Russian who knew little English, I'd pick the Russian who knew little English over the Russian who did not know English. Discrimination, I know... but it also shows the comfort level which can be abused for some kind of gain.

Deaf Niches said...

Then again, it is all in attitude. There will always be some people who are against certain devices while others advocate for the devices. Important... like Barb and other people said... EDUCATION which removes ignorance and attitude.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

I want to tell you how to be proud of ASL stands for Always Serve the Lord although it is itelf meaning American Sign Language. Glory be to live better or to die better.

Anonymous said...

You should write to the editor of the newspaper or write to the prson who wrote about this article to complain that it's not true. You should write and tell them that we deafies like to talk or social with hearing people without CI and mention about ASL.


Anonymous said...

that's true you should write to the editor of the newspaper to show concern and educate them. so that way next time they will interview several deaf people instead of just one. great vlog wow amazing we now have vlog to communicate on line wonderful it like our own deaf tv news ha
Mo Paton

W. David Samuelsen said...

Park City newspaper is a small fry compared to Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune published other side of the same mountain.

The linked article is gone. Has to use user and password to get into it.

I would like to know the names of those persons being interviewed for this distorted article.

David, Salt Laker

Barb DiGi said...

Yes, you are right David..I checked and found out it disappeared. The name of the ski and snowboard director is Lisa Tempesta. I don't recall the name of the athletes who were interviewed but I can find out.

I am glad it is a small newspaper company but that doesn't mean we can ignore it. I have already written a letter them and waiting for their response.