DeafDigest Mid-Week edition, October 19, 2011

— A hearing educator of the disabled said deafness is a bad disease

When an educator works with the disabled, then she should show sensitivity to the needs of the deaf, but Dimity Dornan, didn’t. She is the director of Hear and Say, an organization of the disabled in Brisbane, Australia. In a speech, she said deafness is a “scourge in our world” during a banquet event. In other words she is saying that deafness is something bad and is a “disease”. Already the deaf Australians are demanding that she be legally prosecuted for her sickening comment.

It is the same as the comment “the deaf are not yet ready to function in the hearing world” that Jane Bassett Spilman, the former chairperson of Gallaudet board of trustees, made in 1988. She was trying to tell us that Elisabeth Ann Zinser, a hearing candidate was more qualified than two deaf candidates for the Gallaudet presidency. The Deaf Community anger over that comment ultimately led to her resignation from the board.


— Will the federal government allow the deaf to drive trucks?

During the seventies, few articles appeared in the Deaf American magazine complaining about the government not allowing the deaf to drive trucks. Yet, there was another article that contradicted the complaint. The January 1978 edition featured Harold Roach, Mexico, NY, a deaf trucker that completed his 30th year on the job. He drove these long trailer trucks. The article, however, did not mention if he was able to drive trucks across state lines or if he drove only in New York. Last week there was a request filed with the government to allow the deaf to drive trucks. And over the years, there have been few deaf truckers telling DeafDigest editor that they drove across state lines.

Deaf American magazine? It was published by the NAD years back but not any more.


— A most popular Deaf video not captioned by Netflix

We, the deaf, all love to hate Netflix. This big video provider would not caption the videos that we want to watch. And we are forced to sue them. But what makes us even angrier is that they do not caption the most popular program in the Deaf Community. It is the “Switched at Birth”


— A surprising use of sign language

Wall Street protesters are using sign language for communication purposes. It is because the police do not allow the protesters to use amplifiers to reach the audience. The speakers have signs for such words like approval, disapproval, a point of order, silent applause, a big disagreement, get it done, etc, etc. While these signs are not ASL, sign language is sign language!


— Is Harkin movie captions settlement a joke?

Harkin, which is Arizona’s #1 movie theater chain,
agreed to install captions in half of its 25 state
theaters. Is it a joke? Probably because Harkin
also owns movie theaters in California, Colorado,
Oklahoma and Texas. And the Harkin agreement
is for for Arizona only. Deaf people in these other
states are out of luck!