Deaf Heart

Bottesini

Old Deaf Ranter
Premium Member
I think it's about oppression of Deaf , so a lot of people are not going to understand, and another fight may break out?

I'll just be hiding in a corner until it's all over. :wave:
 

Crickets

New Member
http://www.streetleverage.com/2013/02/sign-language-interpreters-and-the-quest-for-a-deaf-heart/

what do you think of the word:

Deaf Heart?

I know most of you who are either CI Users, deaf oral or late deaf but some of you may know ASL.

I read the article and I found it a bit fascinating, but probably not for the reason you might think :hmm:... After reading it, I realized that, even though I've been hoh my whole life and may eventually become deaf, and have several other hoh people in my family (so I grew up with at least some cultural sensitivity regarding deaf and hoh issues), I probably won't ever be able to understand some of the aspects of Deaf culture.

I'm almost 50 years old and have never met a deaf person. I never learned ASL. Every couple of years, I try to re-learn the signs for the letters of the alphabet, but within a couple of days there are always a few letters I've already forgotten. The only people I've ever seen using ASL have been on tv during press conferences/political speeches or sometimes in tv shows or in movies. Even if I were to go completely deaf tomorrow, I don't think I'll ever learn ASL, because I don't know anyone else who's fluent in it so it's not going to be of much use to me to learn it now.

I don't think I'm that unusual as a hoh person in terms of my experiences, though. From what I've read, most deaf people are late-deafened, which means they became deaf after being able to hear for several years, learning how to speak, communicating through talking, knowing what music is and experiencing a wide spectrum of other sounds. Even though I've never met anyone who's deaf, I've known many other hoh people, both those who wear hearing aids and those who don't - which isn't at all strange considering statistics say that about 1/6 of people will become hoh.

What this means is that the majority of people who are deaf haven't always been deaf, and didn't grow up experiencing or even aware of "Deaf culture." Most deaf people grew up part of the hearing world, and that is their culture, and the percentage of deaf people who are and have been actively part of the Deaf community/Deaf culture is a small portion of all deaf people. That doesn't mean that Deaf culture/community isn't vitally important to those who have been part of it for so long. I don't mean to seem like I'm saying negative things about it. It just means there's probably a lot of hoh/deaf people (like me) out there who aren't going to understand the significance of concepts like "Deaf Heart."

I guess what I found fascinating is that I'm starting to realize that most people who are deaf may never be able to completely comprehend or appreciate "Deaf culture" as it is understood and experienced by those who grew up with it. The majority of deaf people aren't part of Deaf culture, and articles like this one and others like it don't really speak to their experiences or issues as late-deafened people.
 

Bebonang

Active Member
Deaf Heart - Our national interpreter organization, RID, has long been characterized as needing a Deaf heart. Recently, changes have been made to move RID to a more Deaf-centered perspective on the field of interpretation.

If the interpreters can understand our plight of needing interpreters to help us understand what hearing people said and not to have empower over us as if we are still children to them. We are adults and we just can not hear or not be able to understand what they said. We depended on ASL or any other sign language interpreters but not empower us. If the interpreters can learn and understand our Deaf perspectives, then that would make both our lives easier a little bit.

That is why it is important to go to the Deaf classes to learn about our Deaf Culture while learning how to sign fingerspell and ASL. Without the Deaf class, how are you able to understand Deaf Culture and our Deaf perspectives?
 

Crickets

New Member
Deaf Heart - Our national interpreter organization, RID, has long been characterized as needing a Deaf heart. Recently, changes have been made to move RID to a more Deaf-centered perspective on the field of interpretation.

If the interpreters can understand our plight of needing interpreters to help us understand what hearing people said and not to have empower over us as if we are still children to them. We are adults and we just can not hear or not be able to understand what they said. We depended on ASL or any other sign language interpreters but not empower us. If the interpreters can learn and understand our Deaf perspectives, then that would make both our lives easier a little bit.

That is why it is important to go to the Deaf classes to learn about our Deaf Culture while learning how to sign fingerspell and ASL. Without the Deaf class, how are you able to understand Deaf Culture and our Deaf perspectives?

I understand that it would be extremely important for interpreters - for ANY language - to be able to understand the culture and perspectives of ANY group they were interpreting for. Cultural sensitivity in general is great, and I'm all in favor of ASL interpreters being advocates for Deaf people. I get that Deaf people don't want to be treated like children and don't want interpreters to behave in a condescending manner.

However - and again, maybe it's because I didn't grow up knowing about Deaf culture - the "Deaf Heart" article made me feel uncomfortable and while the idea behind it is well-intentioned, it came across as a bit patronizing/condescending to me. That may seem odd, because I realize that one of the purposes of "Deaf Heart" is so that interpreters won't appear patronizing to Deaf people. But if you substitute some other cultural/language-speaking group for Deaf people, maybe you'll see what I mean. Or maybe not; I don't know. I'm not an interpreter, so I don't pretend to know what's helpful to them in doing their job well.

But if I read an article where interpreters were talking about interpreting for Chinese, Russian, French, or any Native American people, and they used "Native American Heart" or "Russian Heart," etc., to me that would sound patronizing or insulting, and assuming that if the interpreters spend a lot of time trying to understand that group they'll have the "Heart" of that group, or be "one" with them. Maybe I get embarrassed by the use of what I believe are sometimes overly touchy-feely terms that describe difficult or sensitive topics.

I don't know - if the use of slogans like "Deaf Heart" helps interpreters to remember to be culturally aware, learn as much as possible about Deaf culture, not act patronizing towards Deaf people, be advocates for them, etc. (basically, to do their jobs well), then that's a good thing. But it seems a bit "cutesy" and arrogant to me (I don't know if I'm being clear about what I mean, so I apologize if I'm not or if I'm offending anyone). Anyway, if Deaf people aren't bothered by the "Deaf Heart" concept, and they feel that it's helpful to have their interpreters use it, then that's what's most important.
 

drphil

Active Member
On the face of it-strange that ASL interpreters have to be reminded of the concept "deaf heart".

Oddly enough-this is the first time I ever read of the "term-deaf heart".

What will I learn from Alldeaf.com next?
 
Last edited:

Frisky Feline

Well-Known Member
I am still unsure about it because I see some others have good points. I ll have more time to talk with those people about it. At first I thought it's a good thing but now I see others point out the define about that term. I appreciate your time to share and your thoughts. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.
 

Otherwise

Member
I know enough about this topic to know that I don't know enough about this topic.

If that makes any sense.:confused:


I'm interested to hear what other people have to say, though.
 

DeafDucky

Well-Known Member
Is "deaf heart" secret known only to select deaf "miltants" insiders?
I doubt it.

I vaguely remember seeing 'deaf-heart' or something similar long ago.

As a reference point I grew up 'oral', attended Gallaudet and regard myself as deaf even though at the moment much of my interactions is with the hearing world (and I am so happy to have VRS to help lessen my frustrations).
 

Bebonang

Active Member
I agree with Truddy Suggs.

I have been banging my head on why are hearing people, young and old, want to use online ASL class instead of Deaf ASL class which provide Deaf Culture?

All they want is to learn ASL and not learn about Deaf Culture. Yeah, I have noticed that they are so excited about meeting and trying to use ASL with Deaf people, even looking for a Deaf boyfriend or Deaf girlfriend. But they do not respect Deaf people for who they are and to not change them to be like hearing people.

This make me sad that they don't get it what I am talking about them getting the wrong idea about d/Deaf and Hard Of Hearing. It does burden us with their concept of what they thought deafness is and thought there might be a cure for us to be hearing.

We just can not change that just to please hearing people especially hearing parents and siblings. :(
 
Top