April 15, 2016
Meredith Sugar, President
Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
To Ms. Sugar:
Your April 1, 2016 online statement, “Dispelling myths about deafness,” has already elicited a tidal wave of responses from across the United States and international Deaf communities, including various statements from researchers specializing in deafness and language development. Those responses have highlighted numerous inaccuracies in your portrayal of current research.
We, the Linguistics Department of Gallaudet University, support those responses and have added a few words of our own. We would like to call to your attention the following evidence-based considerations that refute the framework of your arguments. While we share your concern for deaf and hard-of-hearing people to reach their highest potential, we do not believe that your current prescriptive policies are likely to lead to that outcome.
ASL is a LANGUAGE, not a tool.
Myth: ASL is not…
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