So my friend Kat who has written a couple of posts for this blog has now started her own blog writing about deaf issues and ideas as well as her life from the point of view of a deaf teen!To visit her blog please go toooo... kathrynwilkins16.blogspot.co.uk
This is just a sample of some of her writing...
After doing some research into a well-known deaf model:Fletch@, reading about Louis Tomlinson's new found "deafness" and simply talking to deaf friends I started to wonder what are the connotations of the word "deafness", what does it really mean?
Well, deafness goes across a wide spectrum: from mild to profound and within that spectrum are many different levels, and every individual's needs regarding deafness is unique. Some people choose to use BSL, some choose to speak and some choose to use a combination of both. There are hearing aid users, cochlear implant users, BAHA users and some who choose not to wear anything. Unfortunately Cochlear Implant's do spark a bit of controversy within the deaf community, but I'll leave that for another post! As you can tell, the deaf community is diverse, so being deaf doesn't always necessarily mean that you cant hear-full stop.
So why do we have to tick the disabled box on forms, just because we're deaf-we can still do everything that hearing people do so why should we let our deafness get in the way. We're not disabled, we're able to do anything. I personally think that deafness is separate to disability, we should be allowed to say that we're "deaf" and not "disabled" when applying for jobs,for uni etc. Another label we have to put up with; Special needs. Man people associate special needs with being stupid, that they can't do anything. Well I for one know that's not true because I volunteer with them, I have a family member who has Down's Syndrome and they're a pleasure to be with. But why should people associate deaf people with the word stupid? This relates back to the old saying 'deaf and dumb', many deaf people are on par with hearing peers,some above average and yes some are below the national average but that's not because they're dumb, it's because they haven't been provided with the necessary amount of support to enable them to achieve their potential. And yes we may need to have support and resources in an educational and work environment, and we may use a different language. But Special needs?! What happened to being "deaf"?
To end on a positive note I'm proud to deaf, proud to be a part of the deaf community, proud to say to people "I'm deaf."