Monday, October 26, 2009

What Should Make DVTV/DeafRead A Part of the Deaf Community?

This is not exactly a summary but more of organizing my afterthoughts of the vlog:

I have struggled with the concept that DVTV, DeafRead, and other Deaf blog aggregators are a part of the Deaf Community. A Community means shared experiences and interest that also involve supporting for a common cause. To call it a Deaf community, it has to be a construct model. We can not see DVTV and DeafRead etc. as "the Deaf community" since b/vloggers and commentators are not in the position of having a true interaction in person like most Deaf community events do. There is no natural way of interaction using natural signed language in a natural setting in the Deaf vlogosphere. Yes, there are video comments but still it is not a natural way to have a decent interaction since misunderstandings by misinterpreting or taking out of the context are made by one commenter at a time that leads the others to jump in and making the thread twisted. This is least likely to happen when it is done face to face and that the problems will be ironed out much more effectively.

Not only is the concept of a community a "construct" (model), it is a "sociological construct." It is a set of interactions, human behaviors that have meaning and expectations between its members. The actions are based on shared expectations, values, beliefs and meanings between individuals. In DVTV and DeafRead, there are so many different directions, values, beliefs, etc. that in no way it can be shared to form a common goal (i.e. how to support families with Deaf bbaies) which is why divisions happen.

Yes, we could see division happening in DVTV/DeafRead so does that mean the Deaf community is divided? No! There are much more to what the Deaf community is than just looking at DVTV and DeafRead. We need to look at the Deaf Community as a whole that the parts include sports tournaments, educational conferences, political conventions, arts, recreational clubs, etc. in the national and the international level where face-to-face interactions and the use of natural signed languages take place.

Remember that the goal of the Deaf community is empowerment. Knowing what a community is, and its social and cultural nature, will help us to know what it takes to make the Deaf vlogosphere as a part of the true Deaf Community that we are able to be empowered by our efforts to make a collective journey to reach the goal for the ultimatum of the Deaf Community. To call DVTV or DeafRead or any blog aggregator of the Deaf "the Deaf community", it is necessary to consider about including the use of natural signed language in a natural setting and having frequent gathering opportunities.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Audism in Public Schools

Watch this first: Watch this last: Summary: When I viewed the Pantene ad, it gave me a flashback of several incidents of audism that I went through while growing up in a public school just like that girl had experienced. Looking back, I recalled being ridiculed and snickered when my name was called to give a dancing performance similar to a mixture of Michael Jackson style and what we now would call it a hip-hop style. After winning the award, the attitude among the students had changed as I felt they respected me more ever since the performance. It is true that as a Deaf person, you have to work much harder to prove that you are capable of such things.

Another experience I had was when I was involved in a diving team, I did not get as much support and enthusiasm from the teammates and not even from the diving coach. I was again mocked and snickered in the first few weeks of practice and I was about to give it up until a Black janitor who watched the whole thing since day one recognized how I was treated came up to me. Although he didn't know sign language, I was able to understand him so well that he made an effort to communicate clearly with me. Just like this man in the ad, he came in the light and started to support me by giving me tips and encouragement. From there, I was able to dramatically improve my performance in diving.

The lesson from this is that every Deaf child needs a role model who believes in them by giving them support that they are capable of doing such things in spite of their hearing level.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What Does Deafhood Mean To You? (Part I of II)

Here you will see 21 Deaf vloggers' responses on what Deafhood means to them. As you can see, Deafhood is a positive term to many vloggers who know the true meaning of Deafhood which is based on their individual experiences. There are more vloggers coming up in part II!