Why do deaf people not learn English?

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fuwious

New Member
Hello, alldeaf members.

I am a hearing person who works with profoundly deaf people in their workplace. I come in peace, so please do not be offended by the thread title.

I have a background of working with disabled people; however, prior to this job working with various deaf individuals and families, I had never interacted with a deaf person. I naively assumed the people I would be working with would be more or less the same as me, but soon discovered I was wholly unprepared for the reality of how the majority of them live.

Almost all of my clients have an extremely poor grasp of written English and virtually none speak or lipread. I began investigating correlations between deafness and low IQ scores. I found some evidence of this, but most results were that there is no correlation between deafness and a low IQ. I did, however, find out that a growing number of deaf people's first language is sign language! I assumed sign language was a means of communication reserved only for those individuals who are unable to lipread and/or speak.

I cannot fathom why they were not taught English as a primary language during their schooling. As you can imagine, their lack of English skills is a major disadvantage and actually quite dangerous in many ways, as I will outline below.

1. A disproportionate number of my deaf clients and their family are horrifically overweight as a result of dreadful dietary choices. Not once when food shopping with a deaf client has one of them inspected the label of a product for anything other than the price. Unfortunately, most of the poor people I work with are constantly visiting the doctor's office for physical ailments, and most are depressed.

2. A disproportionate number of my deaf clients make bad financial decisions and are in huge amounts of debt.

3. They are sexually promiscuous and do not take adequate precautions before engaging in sexual relations, which is resulting in large deaf families who are unable to communicate at a level required to thrive in the world. I know of several deaf females who are regularly taken advantage of by predatory hearing men. One in particular signed to me that she had been raped twice by a man, and in the same sentence complained about her television not operating properly.

4. The offspring of these deaf couples, who are unable to comprehend English, have even worse communication skills than their parents, and I know of some who are somehow permitted to be homeschooled by their parents. It's really quite troubling.

I was recently made aware of an emergency situation where a deaf child ,who required medical attention, was unable to communicate in English and had to sign what was wrong to his deaf mother. The mother also had no English so had to sign the problem to her mother over facetime. The grandmother also lacked the ability to express the problem in English so had to sign to her husband who thankfully knew some English. The grandfather made a call to the emergency services through a relay service, but because he did not understand basic medical terminology the call lasted over half an hour. Luckily the child was okay.

I fear that there is a growing epidemic in some sections of the deaf community and there is the potential for much tragedy if this appalling oversight is not rectified as soon as possible.
 

AlleyCat

Well-Known Member
O.M.G.

The only one here that is disabled is you. That your mind can be so disabled to have such misperceptions of the Deaf. You may be correct on certain counts or individual situations, but don’t you dare lump the deaf together as a whole into a group of gibberish-speaking, dangerous, horny-but-broke television-seeking people.

Shame on you.
 

Evo Dragon

Active Member
I went to Polling place. They tried to destory my voter ID because, they think I'm looking like an illegal alien who don't speak english. I hate vote fraud as They are assholes. Maybe, You're asshole, too
 

LoveBlue

Well-Known Member
Hello, alldeaf members.

I am a hearing person who works with profoundly deaf people in their workplace. I come in peace, so please do not be offended by the thread title.

1. A disproportionate number of my deaf clients and their family are horrifically overweight as a result of dreadful dietary choices. Not once when food shopping with a deaf client has one of them inspected the label of a product for anything other than the price. Unfortunately, most of the poor people I work with are constantly visiting the doctor's office for physical ailments, and most are depressed.

2. A disproportionate number of my deaf clients make bad financial decisions and are in huge amounts of debt.

3. They are sexually promiscuous and do not take adequate precautions before engaging in sexual relations,...
And you think none of these things apply to hearing people? Being Deaf has nothing to do with these issues.
1. How many obese hearing people bother to look at food labels? I'm not obese, but I rarely look at food labels, except maybe to check the sodium content.
2. How many hearing people make bad financial decisions and are in huge amounts of debt....LOTS.
3. This also applies to hearing people.

I bet the percentages of hearing people having these "issues" is just as high or higher then the percentage of Deaf/deaf people.

I suggest you look for another line of work because you clearly are no qualified for your current job.
 

Calvin

In Hazzard County
Super Moderator
Premium Member
Hello, alldeaf members.

I am a hearing person who works with profoundly deaf people in their workplace. I come in peace, so please do not be offended by the thread title.

I have a background of working with disabled people; however, prior to this job working with various deaf individuals and families, I had never interacted with a deaf person. I naively assumed the people I would be working with would be more or less the same as me, but soon discovered I was wholly unprepared for the reality of how the majority of them live.

Almost all of my clients have an extremely poor grasp of written English and virtually none speak or lipread. I began investigating correlations between deafness and low IQ scores. I found some evidence of this, but most results were that there is no correlation between deafness and a low IQ. I did, however, find out that a growing number of deaf people's first language is sign language! I assumed sign language was a means of communication reserved only for those individuals who are unable to lipread and/or speak.

I cannot fathom why they were not taught English as a primary language during their schooling. As you can imagine, their lack of English skills is a major disadvantage and actually quite dangerous in many ways, as I will outline below.

1. A disproportionate number of my deaf clients and their family are horrifically overweight as a result of dreadful dietary choices. Not once when food shopping with a deaf client has one of them inspected the label of a product for anything other than the price. Unfortunately, most of the poor people I work with are constantly visiting the doctor's office for physical ailments, and most are depressed.

2. A disproportionate number of my deaf clients make bad financial decisions and are in huge amounts of debt.

3. They are sexually promiscuous and do not take adequate precautions before engaging in sexual relations, which is resulting in large deaf families who are unable to communicate at a level required to thrive in the world. I know of several deaf females who are regularly taken advantage of by predatory hearing men. One in particular signed to me that she had been raped twice by a man, and in the same sentence complained about her television not operating properly.

4. The offspring of these deaf couples, who are unable to comprehend English, have even worse communication skills than their parents, and I know of some who are somehow permitted to be homeschooled by their parents. It's really quite troubling.

I was recently made aware of an emergency situation where a deaf child ,who required medical attention, was unable to communicate in English and had to sign what was wrong to his deaf mother. The mother also had no English so had to sign the problem to her mother over facetime. The grandmother also lacked the ability to express the problem in English so had to sign to her husband who thankfully knew some English. The grandfather made a call to the emergency services through a relay service, but because he did not understand basic medical terminology the call lasted over half an hour. Luckily the child was okay.

I fear that there is a growing epidemic in some sections of the deaf community and there is the potential for much tragedy if this appalling oversight is not rectified as soon as possible.
You really have to to ask us not to be offended so you can come in peace? Think again. You say you have never interacted with deaf person before then don't assume anything that you have no idea what you're talking about. You'd be surprised how smart Deaf people is, I know many who works hard regardless of English skills nor they speak/lipread. Sign language does't necessarily mean those individuals can't speak or lipread. There is many who can speak and sign and has been doing just fine.
 

fuwious

New Member
Typical deaf. Slow to understand, quick to anger.

Guys, I am a friend to the deaf. The deaf love me!

I’m still waiting for one of you guys to stop being offended by my experiences with deaf people and explain why there’s a growing sub-culture in the community who do not learn English?
 

Calvin

In Hazzard County
Super Moderator
Premium Member
Typical deaf. Slow to understand, quick to anger.

Guys, I am a friend to the deaf. The deaf love me!

I’m still waiting for one of you guys to stop being offended by my experiences with deaf people and explain why there’s a growing sub-culture in the community who do not learn English?
It's obvious you're trolling AD.
 

Jane B.

Well-Known Member
I think the key to this is the mention of clients by the OP. It appears to me that the OP's experience is just with the group that uses the services of the company he/she works for and not the general deaf population.

Then those members that have responded have been offended with being lumped in with those people that the OP described and have been unwilling to look beyond that.
 

fuwious

New Member
I think the key to this is the mention of clients by the OP. It appears to me that the OP's experience is just with the group that uses the services of the company he/she works for and not the general deaf population.

Then those members that have responded have been offended with being lumped in with those people that the OP described and have been unwilling to look beyond that.
Thank you for your response, Jane. You are mostly right, but I have had interactions with the deaf family of clients as well.

Also, I have worked with and met literally hundreds of deaf people. In almost every case I have observed the characteristics I described in my opening post. That’s why I’m posting. I am very concerned about these people and future generations. Any time I have broached the subject with clients or family they have responded very aggressively and have even reported me to my employers on more than one occasion.

This is a sincere post. I sincerely do not understand why English is not a priority when it’s obviously having a huge negative impact on their lives.
 

rockin'robin

Well-Known Member
My .02 cents?...Don't lump us all together!...Those who were born profoundly deaf have never heard anything in their entire lives...ASL is their primary language and it's not English and they have to learn ASL also....So put yourself in their shoes...never hearing anything in your entire life since birth...but "expected" to know English, even "speaking" it....??….We have interpreters who know fluent ASL...and can vocally interpret it into English....Even people who only know a foreign language have trouble speaking English and they can "hear"....No excuse for them?....and those "hearing" people that can speak English...but can't write it?..I've met so many!
 

fuwious

New Member
I'm not lumping you all together. I specifically mentioned the people I have worked with and their families. In another post I referred to this group as a growing sub-culture of the deaf community.

And yes, you absolutely should be expected to have at least a solid foundation in the language that the other 99% of people you share the country with speak. The people I work with do not have this foundation and as a result they are, for lack of a better word, hopeless and wholly reliant on other people. If they could at least comprehend the language that surrounds them in their daily life they would have much more independence. Can you imagine how alienated these people must feel because they were so badly let down by the education system?

I am telling you that I have observed first hand a large group of people who are unable to communicate at all with anyone who does not know sign language. And this group is multiplying at an alarming rate. It seems you would rather ignore the problem and instead focus on being offended.
 

deerheart12

Member
Hi

I'm sorry you have to deal with this group of people. As a hard of hearing person who grew up oral and then picked up American Sign Language and attended to the Deaf school for two years, I have seen many range of education levels. Perhaps it might help if you took a Deaf Culture and American Sign Language class it might help you understand them better.

When hearing parents get the information that their child is deaf most of them are push or more likely lean towards to hearing aids/cochlear implants. However, depending on how much the child is getting input from their hearing aids (it may not be powerful enough) or sometimes they can't qualified for cochlear implants or other types of implants due to lack of nerve and stuff. So now what? How does the child communicate? Learn? they go to a deaf school or they find a local school that has a Deaf/HOH program that is probably not very well educated. I have read that many students have lots of problems getting the right support. These teachers have no clue on teaching the deaf/hoh. Sign language Interpreters might not be certified and that can be a problem.

Then you have the whole family communication problem, they are not picking up English by hearing/listening so they are cut off from that world. Plus, you might have families from different backgrounds from countries that might speak other languages and may not know English well. Most parents may not any idea how to communicate or educate the deaf and some might still have old fashioned values like the deaf/disabilities are not honored.

You may also be dealing with indivduals who have learning disabilities such as ADD or other such disabilities that may complicate things as well.

Plus children may have not have started their education till very late so this will reduce their lack of understanding. MIssing this important window of learning.

There is a push of getting deaf children to learn ASL when they are young so they can be successful adults later on. If you check out Nyles and his campaign for pushing ASL.
https://nyledimarcofoundation.com/testimonial/language-equality-acquisition-for-deaf-kids-lead-k/

Maybe if you learn more about Deaf culture you will see the problems and understand why this happen. I'm not surprise to hear about that and it seems to be common. You just happen to get it all in one spot and its the results of possible poor education and lack of parent education. Again this is all my own thoughts and what I have experienced.

Also in Deaf culture they are more blunt so they will be very open about their life so that results in hearing everything you might think it's rude. Deaf rely on communication in American Sign Language in order to express or seek out advice. Hearing are more likely to be subtle and not share that much information.

Do contact individuals that are experienced in educating the Deaf and you might get some answers. Such as the local State Deaf School and maybe the local advocate center that provides support from everything interpreting, jobs, help with law, housing and deaf events.
https://www.nad.org/members/organizational-affiliates/

Anyways, this is the best I can answer and that hopefully you're helping some individuals get on track but some despite the education or information you provide some will not understand and just like hearing people will always keep in this unending cycle of mistakes. Then there's nothing you can do but move on to the next individual. And hope that we will provide better education for deaf children in the future.

All the best, Annie
 

fuwious

New Member
Thank you for your reply, Annie.

One thing I don't understand is how does learning ASL enable deaf children to become successful adults. How does knowing a language almost nobody else in the country uses benefit them?

Of course I agree that there are extreme disadvantages preventing profoundly deaf children learning English, but surely it is more beneficial in the long run?

Oh, and don't be sorry for me, Annie. I love working with the deaf and I believe the deaf love working with me. I am a friend to the deaf.
 

deerheart12

Member
Here's an interesting article -

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/talking-apes/201507/can-you-read-language-you-can-t-hear

I was picking up your frustration in handling all these cases. Anyways, you stated:

"One thing I don't understand is how does learning ASL enable deaf children to become successful adults. How does knowing a language almost nobody else in the country uses benefit them?"

You do have a point there. I have noticed that in reading some Deaf history book.
The Language of Light : A History of Silent Voices by Gerald Shea. Teaching a deaf child whose primary way of learning is through their eyes is not going to understand or pick up English well. However, if deaf individuals and community get together and communicate in ASL along with the parents if they are willing that is, it will be sucessful. Teach English through American Sign Language, I see many smart Deaf folks have a great life, traveling the world, and communicting with people wonderfully all because they have early access to education. Again each families and individuals will have their preferences. Some may be much more into the oral/speaking lipreading. Whereas in the Deaf community a strong deaf stong with specilized teachers and mentors they provide a much better inclusive environment. Indivduals who don't have this kind of information access from parents, teachers and environment are going to have a much lower education level.

Do you know that American Sign Language is not English? It is not a language that is exact English. It is their own language with its grammar and does not follow the English order its more direct and simple. It doesn't include It, is, a , that or ing. So of course, many deafs are going to be confuse and need to rely on ASL interpreters or information like ASL videos. I remember many students from my deaf high school take tests from signed videos in order to pass the test.

So yes this is a hot topic, you can research more about the education for the deaf. American Sign Language or speech? Teach them both? I would also say that many may have gone to mainstream schools that may not have very good Deaf/HOH teachers OR were simple put with hearing classmates and literally got no education.

You also need to consider how old these indivduals are; the education for deaf from 20, 30, 40 years ago is very different compare to today.
 
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