Random Thoughts and Musings by moi

Musings by a feisty, opinionated Deaf gal who wants nothing but the best for her community and her people

dimanche 3 septembre 2006

Access is a two-way street, m’dear.

Erin Himmelmann over at DeafDC.com wrote about a very frustrating experience where she went to a concert and the interpreters were placed too far away to watch them and the show at the same time. She has some type of vision limitation, which made that even more frustrating. Adam Duritz, the lead singer of the Counting Crows, refused to let the interpreters move closer because they “bother him.” He requests that at every show, so he is aware. After she objected, they turned down the lights even more on the interpreters... which just made things worse.

Erin argued that this was willful denial of access, she paid good money to see this, and she expects to get her money’s worth. All true and all are valid arguments. However, in the comments section, there are two brilliant gems that reframe the situation. Joseph Rainmound, who blogs at surdus.blogspot.com, wrote the following comments:

1. Or you could say that the interpreters are for the hearing singers so they can reach as wide an audience and make as much money as possible. One deaf girl is not paying his “bills” but she’s certainly paying for a ticket. *rolling eyes*

2. That’s why the access model doesn’t work. We need hearing people to start taking ownership of their own communication. I for one would like one of them to realize the interpreters are there so they can get their message across to all people - including but not limited to Deaf people. Without interpreters there’s individuals and populations the speaker wants to reach but can’t.

Rainmound brilliantly reframes the situation in a way that puts the onus on the hearing communicator by pointing out that to deny deaf people access, they are also denying themselves the opportunity to get their message out to as wide an audience as possible. This is the type of reframing we all need to be doing to get anywhere. I doff my cap to thee, Rainmound.

Erin’s article and all the comments can be found at: http://www.deafdc.com/blog/erin-himmelmann/2006-08-28/this-wasnt ignorancy/


  • At 23:06, Blogger Mr. Sandman said…

    I agree- brilliant re-framing. Perhaps something people could work on is developing a list of situations/arguments, and then re-crafting responses so that they do not just merely respond, but re-frame. These new arguments could then be disseminated for the community at large to use.

  • At 18:42, Blogger moi said…

    What a fabulous idea! I'll pass this on to some people. Thanks!


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