Why Deaf Awareness Matters
International (MNN) — The International Week of the Deaf (IWD) may seem like another irrelevant holiday that some government body established.
But, for 70 million Deaf people, it’s so much more than that.
IWD is a symbol of hope for the global Deaf community. It’s the hope of increased Deaf awareness among their hearing counterparts. It’s the hope of finally being acknowledged as something more than “Other” or “Disabled.”
And, as DOOR International’s Rob Myers shares, it’s a step toward restoring dignity for people like Amit.
When he was young, Amit was influenced by the faith of his parents and decided to attend church with them. It was a “hearing” church, and Amit’s parents interpreted the service for him so he could understand what was going on.
“As he was signing with his family, the pastor took note of that signing and ended up coming over after the service and talking to the family,” shares Myers.
“The pastor’s question to the parents, which the parents passed on to Amit, was, ‘Why are you using monkey language with your son?’”
It may seem like an odd question, but as Myers explains, “Many people may label sign language as ‘monkey language’ simply because they associate [it] with some of the communication aspects that are being taught to gorillas and chimpanzees.” Read on…..
I love surfing the internet reading up everything related to the deaf community, while there is a lot of news, videos and stories circling around. This particular topic caught my eye and has actually become one of my favorite topic at this moment in time: “The Race To Save Dying Sign Language”
This particular topic is something I didn’t expect to happen and I didn’t realise until it hit me that language does disappear including sign language. I am very interested in following those stories as I am a great believer in preserving deaf history….and together we can do just that!
Al-Sayyid, a Bedouin Village
Researchers can accurately date the origins of ABSL to 200 years ago, a time when nomadic Arab tribes roamed the dunes of the Negev desert and survived by herding goats. The head of one of those tribes was the sheikh of the al-Sayyid clan, an Egyptian peasant who migrated to the area after a family feud, married a number of local women, and adopted the Bedouin way of life. When his children, two of whom carried the recessive deafness gene, were rejected as “foreigners” by surrounding Bedouin tribes, they married among themselves. Four generations later, the first deaf children were born; as their deaf children had deaf children of their own, the language started to form. Read more
Bengkala in Bali
Bengkala has had a higher than normal deaf-since-birth population for over seven generations. Today, 42 of Bengkala’s almost-3,000 villagers have been deaf since birth. By comparison, about two or three births per 1,000 in the United States produce a deaf or hard of hearing child. The high percentage of deafness is caused by a geographically-centric recessive gene, called DFNB3, which has been present in the village for over seven generations. For years, villagers believed the deafness were the result of a curse. Read more
Hawaii Sign Language
The discovery of Hawaii Sign Language in 2013 amazed linguists. But as the number of users dwindles, can it survive the twin threats of globalisation and a rift in the community? Read more
Deaf Arabs Create New Language – This is something we have just found today, a new language is being created, read more about this
How interesting to find where Sign Language is commonly used in other countries. I wasn’t aware that French Sign Language is more widely used in countries than ASL! Source
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