Kamis, 13 September 2012

Should We Get Rid of Small d in Deaf ?

Vlog in American Sign Language - Should We Get Rid of Small d in Deaf ?

Transcript: The topic about small d and big D for Deaf bothers me. I don't know about you but I have mixed feelings because it splits the groups as those who are labeled as small d and big D.

According to Deaf in America, Voices from a Culture, I am raising a question if the idea if outdated. Why? In 1972, James Woodward proposed "to use the lowercase deaf when referring to the audiological condition of not hearing, and the uppercase Deaf when referring to a particular group of deaf people who share a language -- ASL and a culture." ~From Deaf in America, Voices from a Culture. As seen on article: Got D for Dandy and for Deaf?

I used to think that way before as I had studied about it back in the 80's. At that time, most people seemed to agree about the concept. But now my thinking about it has changed. Why? I have several reasons to get rid of small d/big D concept but still keep the big D only. Why?

Even a person who don't identify themselves as a Deaf person and is not immersed in ASL and Deaf culture call themselves alternatively such as hearing impaired, hard of hearing or a person with a hearing loss as they avoided labeling themselves deaf which is their decision so why should we continue to use small d? What should we do with a small d in Deaf? Just get rid of it! But continue to use big D. Why? Here are several justifications.

Must we know the language? Yes, it is important but allow me to present the points. People, in general, who belong to their ethnic groups like Italian, African, etc. Do they use small i in Italian, nor small a in African although not all of them know the language or even culture especially here in America but we still refer them capital I in Italian-American or a in African-American. I am Italian but I don't know the language so should I call myself small i? Heck, no because it doesn't work that way. So why should it be different for the Deaf?

The big D in Deaf is used regardless of not having full understanding of ASL or Deaf culture. They will continue to go through a process experiencing what we call Deafhood. They will get to that point. Let's say when they finally get to the meat of ASL and Deaf culture, then they "graduated" to earn a big D? No! Deafhood is a process. That's why this kind of thinking is considered new that caused me to question whether or not that topic in the book is considered outdated.

Do you think that no, we should keep on labeling small d and big D or keep the big D for all regardless of not having the knowledge of ASL and culture and that big D represents a cultural group anyway.

Read more: http://deafprogressivism.blogspot.com/2007/10/should-we-get-rid-of-small-d-in-deaf.html

Video source avbria

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