Headline Oct 08, 2014/



IT IS JUST SO DIFFICULT, to bring the deaf's experience to you all. I spent many difficult, and frustrating hours with them.

Technology that lets  deaf people  has a downside:

It threatens sign language.

The deaf's world ends where our world begins?! Think about that.

In sign language circles,  each person has a sign name, usually based on physical appearance.

A man with a big nose,  for instance, might be refereed to with a Pinocchio  like gesture.

Distinct social customs abound:

Switching lights  on and off  to get a room's attention,  for example,  Deaf raves, with organ-shaking bass and sign-language rappers, have large followings; so does deaf theatre.

Thousands of athletes attended the  ''Deaflympics''  last year.

Technology could wipe out all that. In America the share of  deaf children taught by sign language has fallen from  55%  to   40%,  in the past decade.

Other countries show similar pattern.

Deafness will not disappear, says Trevor Johnson, a linguistic professor at Marcquarie University in Australia, but it needs to be studied as a cultural relic before it withers.

Colin Allen, president of the World Federation of the Deaf, a human rights group based in Helsinki, says:

The real worry is not about the technology itself. but the perception that sign language is redundant.

A UN convention on disability may provide some protection: the deaf lobby in Kosovo used it when campaigning  for legal protection of their language and culture.

In South Africa it helped shape national policy which encourages school-leavers fluent in sign language to teach deaf students. 

The irony is that,  even as sign language declines among deaf people, it is attracting new adherents among the hearing.

A book called   ''Baby Signs'' , published in America in  1996,  spawned a business that teaches  signing  to hearing children in over  30 countries.

It claims that hearing  children/students  who learn some sign language are ahead of their peers by   12  IQ  points  at the age of eight.

Britain plans to introduce a   GCSE    (an exam usually taken by 16 year-olds)  in sign language.

In America   90,000    college students study  it :

A figure that has risen risen eight fold since the millennium, and almost as many still study German.

So, while I would shy to comment on the state-of-affairs in the developing world, let me just nod and say to:

O'' Captain Imran Khan   -at the Democracy Square : How about a sign language simultaneous broadcast of your speeches?!

The deaf students are waiting!

With respectful and caring dedication to the President  of the  World Federation of the Deaf. See Ya, Sir, on !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' The Deaf Friendly '''

'''Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!