Hypocrisy of hearing people

Image description: Sign on a fence saying “No Signs Allowed”

I love the irony of this sign and I love how it includes the idea of hearing people trying to ban Deaf people from using Sign Language.

Let’s face it, hearing people generally dominate Deaf people like colonial masters. Thora Hubner explains Deafhood and Colonialism here.

There are exceptions to the stranglehold of hearing people, like the Gallaudet Revolution and some wonderful hearing parents like Rachel Coleman who understand that their Deaf kid’s natural language is Sign Language regardless of Cochlear Implant Programs.

As Terje Basilier said in 1993:

“If I say yes to another person’s language, I have said yes to the person. If I say no to their language I have said no to the person.“

So can someone please tell me why the colonial masters are so hypocritical?

Why do hearing people set up the world so that Deaf people MUST have teacher qualifications before they can look after Deaf preschool kids? But then when hearing people are looking after Deaf kids it’s OK for them only to have a “willingness to learn” Sign Language.

Yeah, I have a “willingness” to learn every language on the planet. But I shouldn’t get a job with Deaf kids, or as an Advisor on Deaf Children, or as head of a Deaf organisation until my Sign Language is as good as a native signer. And then I should only get the job if no Deaf people are suitable and I have agreed to job transition “Succession Planning” ie A SIGN LANGUAGE AND WRITTEN agreement for how and WHEN a hearie will hand over their job to a Deafie.

This hypocrisy must change. It must be called out.

2 thoughts on “Hypocrisy of hearing people

  1. Blah, I agree. My late mother was a SEA, and went after opportunities that asked for SEA with knowledge of sign language. Yes, my mother and I communicated in sign language rather well but in no way was she qualified to act as a sign language interpreter. She had no interest in improving her signing skills (she did not know ASL, only SEE). I’d try to help her learn new signs only to have her get defensive and go off on a tirade about how most deaf kids don’t even have parents who can sign.

    I would have loved to have had more deaf adults involved in my life as a child. Instead, I had hearing teachers who insisted that I could do whatever I put my mind to. Yet, how was I supposed to believe that if none of the 15ish staff in my elementary school’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing department were deaf?


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