Saturday, May 29, 2010

Flashback: Problems of Deaf in Communications

Letters to Editor - St. Louis Post Dispatch - November 22, 1989, Wednesday Edition

Problems of Deaf

I am not happy about the comments made recently by Richard G. Stoker, who now runs the Central Institute for the Deaf, on the sign language issue.

American Sign Language should not be looked down on as a poor alternative in communication. It is not the sign language that narrows the scope of life of deaf people. It is the hearing people who engineered the ongoing problems of deafness. They would not let the deaf people have their own destiny or say in issues related to deafness.

Ninety-eight percent of the graduates of the institute do use and know American Sign Language. Oral communication does not solve the problems of deafness alone. We need to combine sign language with oralism to make total communication more feasible for deaf persons around the world.

While only a few benefit from oralism, the greater need for the majority of the deaf community is total communication, combining oralism and sign language.

We need to continue to advocate the right of the unspoken majority of the deaf community who lack the use of oralism. American Sign Language is a true bridge between deaf and hearing people.

Paul J Kiel
St. Louis

*Updated: 05-29-2010:

I was going through files for some papers. I came across the article from the newspaper. I notice it was 21 years ago and some views have changed. I believe bi-bi approach is better. It is entirely up to each deaf individual to choose what method. Remember that oralism is still a false facade of audism. It was 130 years ago that hearing people domineered the deaf education. It is proven twice in 1965 and 1988 that oral education has failed many deaf children. It is the truth!