The International Week of the Deaf

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.

Amit’s story

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…..

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