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Unread 11-23-2009, 10:21 AM   #1
TwentyBucks
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ASL student attending Deaf event

Hello, I am a hearing ASL student, and as part of my ASL course, I am required to attend "Deaf Culture" events. Tonight is my first event and I think that the only hearing people there are going to be me and my fellow students.

I have one simple question. If I am talking to a hearing person at this event, is it okay to use voice? Like if there are no Deaf people involved in our conversation, would it be okay to voice some things with some of my classmates?

I am asking this because I really think it is going to be an overwhelming experience and I'd like to be able to talk to one of my classmates and say "Are you having a hard time communicating? Cause I sure am"
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Unread 11-23-2009, 11:37 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by TwentyBucks View Post
Hello, I am a hearing ASL student, and as part of my ASL course, I am required to attend "Deaf Culture" events. Tonight is my first event and I think that the only hearing people there are going to be me and my fellow students.

I have one simple question. If I am talking to a hearing person at this event, is it okay to use voice? Like if there are no Deaf people involved in our conversation, would it be okay to voice some things with some of my classmates?

I am asking this because I really think it is going to be an overwhelming experience and I'd like to be able to talk to one of my classmates and say "Are you having a hard time communicating? Cause I sure am"
No.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 12:05 PM   #3
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I'm interested in this as well...

Would it be okay to use voice as long as you are also signing what you are saying?

I know using voice only is like talking behind someone's back, or speaking in Spanish when there are no people there who can understand what you're saying... it might make people feel like you're talking behind their backs.

But, if you use voice and sign simutaneously... is that okay? At least signing as best you can with the signs you know?
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Unread 11-23-2009, 12:10 PM   #4
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I'm interested in this as well...

Would it be okay to use voice as long as you are also signing what you are saying?

I know using voice only is like talking behind someone's back, or speaking in Spanish when there are no people there who can understand what you're saying... it might make people feel like you're talking behind their backs.

But, if you use voice and sign simutaneously... is that okay? At least signing as best you can with the signs you know?
In my opinion yes that is much better. And as you get better , you won't feel the need to voice. But if you are novice, I can read your lips too while you sign.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 12:12 PM   #5
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It is a general rule to sign when there is a Deaf person present, even if that Deaf person is not included in your conversations. It is similar to hearing people talking to one another, others can hear them but realize it is their conversation. You can use your voice when signing with your friends, that is not a concern. The main concern is to provide equal access.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 12:25 PM   #6
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I don't see what is wrong with it. Nobody should be deprived of their natural language.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 12:28 PM   #7
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Okay thanks, I guess I will try to avoid speaking

I think it is unfair though because I go to school at a large university and there are people from all over the world here, speaking their native languages amongst eachother. If there was a large event hosted by native English speakers I wouldn't expect the Japanese students to speak Engligh to eachother in their private conversations.

Oh well I guess it will probably just help me learn faster anyway. Thanks guys.

Edit: Oh and if I am signing WHILE I speak to a hearing classmate, is it appropriate to use SEE or do I need to sign ASL and speak English? Thanks a lot!
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Unread 11-23-2009, 12:30 PM   #8
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Okay thanks, I guess I will try to avoid speaking

I think it is unfair though because I go to school at a large university and there are people from all over the world here, speaking their native languages amongst eachother. If there was a large event hosted by native English speakers I wouldn't expect the Japanese students to speak Engligh to eachother in their private conversations.

Oh well I guess it will probably just help me learn faster anyway. Thanks guys.
I agree that it would not be fair for anyone to say it's wrong for you to speak. It would be like telling deaf people not to sign if there are speaking people around. That is ludicrus.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 12:38 PM   #9
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Thanks for sharing your opinion rockdrummer. I guess theres no perfect answer to this question. I'm just going to have to get there and see what it is like. If the whole room is completely silent except for us hearing students we will probably be too uncomfortable to speak anyway.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 01:14 PM   #10
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I don't see what is wrong with it. Nobody should be deprived of their natural language.
Nobody is saying that hearing students should be deprived of their natural language. They can stay home and voice all they want if that's what they prefer, but if they're attending a Deaf event then what they say should be accessible to the majority. As others have noted, simcomming is an option, but I think they would learn more if they went voice-off for the entire event.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 01:22 PM   #11
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It's not possible to speak English and sign grammatically correct ASL at the same time. If you MUST speak, gloss it. But honestly, try and keep your voice off for a couple of hours, it won't kill you and you can talk to your friends about it all you want after the event is finished.

Personally, when I attend Deaf events and there is a group of hearing students who prefer to talk to each other and not even try to sign with each other, I get annoyed. It's rude. If you're going to talk, leave the event. You're there to, at the very least, practice your ASL, and you can do that with your fellow classmates.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 01:26 PM   #12
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The way I see it...

Deaf people can't hear spoken languages. At least with spoken languages, if you hear someone speaking Japanese... you know what they MIGHT be saying if you happen to speak Japanese as well.

I think that's why there's not a lot commotion going on if someone was to use BSL among an ASL majority... yet people become vocal when people speak.

Spoken languages are not fully accessible to the deaf population.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 01:39 PM   #13
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If there was a large event hosted by native English speakers I wouldn't expect the Japanese students to speak Engligh to eachother in their private conversations.
It's not about you. It's about the Deaf participants at the event you're attending. Try seeing things from their perspective.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 01:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwentyBucks View Post
Hello, I am a hearing ASL student, and as part of my ASL course, I am required to attend "Deaf Culture" events. Tonight is my first event and I think that the only hearing people there are going to be me and my fellow students.

I have one simple question. If I am talking to a hearing person at this event, is it okay to use voice? Like if there are no Deaf people involved in our conversation, would it be okay to voice some things with some of my classmates?

I am asking this because I really think it is going to be an overwhelming experience and I'd like to be able to talk to one of my classmates and say "Are you having a hard time communicating? Cause I sure am"
sure why not? don't worry about it too much. just go with the flow and figure it out as you go by. chance is - you will have a good time, regardless of voicing or not
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Unread 11-23-2009, 01:53 PM   #15
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I don't know. I kind of see a double standard here. It would be wrong for anyone to tell deaf people to not use sign just as it would be wrong for anyone to tell hearing people to not speak. The OP did state that in the case where spoken language is used there would be no deaf people participating in the conversation.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 02:00 PM   #16
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Since this is part of your ASL course, you have to ask your teacher about this. As a former teacher, I had suggested to the students to leave the room if they really feel a need to speak to each other, otherwise it's perfectly fine to sign and voice together.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 02:11 PM   #17
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Perhaps the issue is not about using different languages, but using a language that the other people are missing out on because of their "disability". So it doesn't seem rude when Deaf use ASL amongst the hearing because they can still see the ASL clearly and even someone with no ASL background might stand a chance at understanding some classifiers.

But when speaking around deaf people, it is rude because you are using sound which they can't hear? Maybe a better analogy would be people using ASL in a room full of blind people? The blind might be able to hear people moving their arms around, but they stand little to no chance of understanding what is actually being signed.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 02:20 PM   #18
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What is rude is to refer to deafness as a disability. At least that is what I have been told. I don't agree that someone that has no signing will be able to follow a conversation of a fluent signer. And spoken language is accessible to deaf folks that can speechread.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 02:58 PM   #19
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I kind of see a double standard here. It would be wrong for anyone to tell deaf people to not use sign just as it would be wrong for anyone to tell hearing people to not speak.
You're not getting it: nobody is saying that the hearing people shouldn't speak. We're saying that they shouldn't speak without signing. It would be one thing if the hearing person didn't know any sign language, but these are ASL students who presumably have at least limited knowledge so they really have no excuse.

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And spoken language is accessible to deaf folks that can speechread.
Not really. Even the very best speechreaders can only hit around 35% accuracy. Some have nicknamed it speechquessing.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 03:50 PM   #20
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What is rude is to refer to deafness as a disability. At least that is what I have been told. I don't agree that someone that has no signing will be able to follow a conversation of a fluent signer. And spoken language is accessible to deaf folks that can speechread.
Try lipreading a tonal language like Mandarin.

Cantonese is easier to lipread... but Mandarin? No way.

Hearing people can hear the languages, Deaf people cannot. The blind analogy or low vision analogy is the best one to use here.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 03:57 PM   #21
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Lipreading is inaccurate. You are going to this event as a class assignment. If it is a Deaf event, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."

There is nothing to argue here. The spirit of the assignment is for the students to mingle, practice sign, and not huddle in a group away from deaf.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 04:05 PM   #22
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I fully understand that speechreading is not 100 percent and it is very difficult. Again the OP stated only using spoken language when there were no deaf folks involved in the conversation. I don't see why that would be a problem.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 04:06 PM   #23
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I fully understand that speechreading is not 100 percent and it is very difficult. Again the OP stated only using spoken language when there were no deaf folks involved in the conversation. I don't see why that would be a problem.
Because they are wasting time they could be learning skills.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 04:07 PM   #24
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Because they are wasting time they could be learning skills.
right but it's not about that. I would say to sign to keep up your ASL skills but that is not what I percieve the comment to be about.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 04:10 PM   #25
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They are at a Deaf event... where majority of the people there don't have access to spoken languages.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 04:10 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by TwentyBucks View Post
Hello, I am a hearing ASL student, and as part of my ASL course, I am required to attend "Deaf Culture" events. Tonight is my first event and I think that the only hearing people there are going to be me and my fellow students.

I have one simple question. If I am talking to a hearing person at this event, is it okay to use voice? Like if there are no Deaf people involved in our conversation, would it be okay to voice some things with some of my classmates?

I am asking this because I really think it is going to be an overwhelming experience and I'd like to be able to talk to one of my classmates and say "Are you having a hard time communicating? Cause I sure am"
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right but it's not about that. I would say to sign to keep up your ASL skills but that is not what I percieve the comment to be about.
I perceive what the student wants to say as rude and talking behind the backs of others.

Do they want to learn ASL or not?
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Unread 11-23-2009, 04:12 PM   #27
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I perceive what the student wants to say as rude and talking behind the backs of others.

Do they want to learn ASL or not?
Why is it rude when there are no deaf people involved in the conversation?
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Unread 11-23-2009, 04:19 PM   #28
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Why is it rude when there are no deaf people involved in the conversation?
Because... they are at a Deaf-majority event. They don't have full access to spoken languages.

You can sign in BSL, or AUSLAN or whatever you want at an ASL event to your friends. Why? They can still see what is going on, even though they don't understand it.

SEE is a bit tricky because it became symbolic of oralism.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 04:30 PM   #29
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Okay thanks, I guess I will try to avoid speaking

I think it is unfair though because I go to school at a large university and there are people from all over the world here, speaking their native languages amongst eachother. If there was a large event hosted by native English speakers I wouldn't expect the Japanese students to speak Engligh to eachother in their private conversations.

Oh well I guess it will probably just help me learn faster anyway. Thanks guys.

Edit: Oh and if I am signing WHILE I speak to a hearing classmate, is it appropriate to use SEE or do I need to sign ASL and speak English? Thanks a lot!
I heard that most foreign language class do not allow people speak in English anyhow. They have to speak as much foreign lanuage as they can. ASL class should do the same.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 04:42 PM   #30
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A deaf event... yeah, I think you should sign. This is their time to feel equal. When hearing people are with other hearing, they can hear the beautiful group of people chattering in their language (think Cafe'). Deaf people are not nosy, it is just nice to do what hearing people do when they are around other hearing people. It gives deaf people an experience to what what it is like for people to socialize with each other . Hearing people watch people and even overhears other people's conversation everyday. It's all part of socializing and being aware of their surrounding.

When there are bunch of hearing at a deaf event speaking in Spoken language, deaf people are going to feel left out as always. They already feel that way everyday (and if hearing people can't understand sign language, then you know what it is like to be deaf around hearing people).

unless you mean this deaf events is for hearing people only. Then I think it is the most offensive deaf events I ever heard.

Like someone wrote, if it is really necessary to use spoken language, then take it outside. Because imagine majority of hearing people doing that at deaf events, it wouldn't be a deaf event at all.
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