"I wanna go to Gally, but I don't wanna sign."
(#32170) | 2006-11-04 14:59:45
Christopher, I apologize for not answering your question at this point. I just need to respond to this phenomenon of people who actively resist learning ASL and about deaf culture who still attend Gallaudet. As people who read my blog know, I’m very accepting of various backgrounds and communication modes. I didn’t grow up in a deaf school, I didn’t grow up signing ASL, my family is hearing, and so on, so a militant Deaf Culture stance is not where I’m coming from.
I’m not going to criticize or attack this stance - that would undermine the open dialogue we all need to have. But I really, really do not understand this perspective. If people don’t want to learn ASL, that’s okay. They have hundreds of other options for college, and some of them have sizable numbers of deaf students. So it is possible for these people to find a community and socialization opportunities outside of Gallaudet. Why, then, would they want to go to Gallaudet at all? What does Gallaudet have to offer them that they can’t find elsewhere if they aren’t interested in signing/learning how to sign or interacting with deaf people who want to sign?
Furthermore, why can’t we be allowed to have just ONE place where we sign, can expect professors and other employees to sign with some level of competence, and where we welcome those who did not grow up signing but are willing to learn, and so on? Why do we have to give up the only option we have if we want sign?
Again, before anyone flames me, I respect people who don’t want to learn how to sign. I’m just confused at the idea, “I don’t want to sign, but I want to go to the only college that has signing everywhere, even though I could go just about anywhere else.” Please help me understand rather than shooting me down.