C. J. Jones

 

"TerpTopics(TM)" "Interpreter Topics Rendered Faithfully (TM)"

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C. J. Jones

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Growing up is enough of a challenge without the added feeling of being different.  As children do, deaf and hard-of-hearing children can internalize shame as a result of being members of a minority..  

The good news is that children born in the United States today benefit immensely from lessons previously learned by parents, grandparents, society, and government.  Diversity and inclusion are buzz-words, and general awareness and acceptance of people with a variety of differences is the rule in many parts of our great country.

The bad news is that prejudice continues to live in the minds of many, and some children born today will grow up believing that because they are not typical they are less-than, defective, or to be pitied and enabled to perform at levels far below their ability (also see: learned helplessness).

Deaf and Proud

Deaf community leaders, young and old, famous and not so famous, are stepping-up to say "No" to shame, prejudice, and learned helplessness.  They are Deaf and Proud, and support others in self-acceptance and pride of achievement, self-reliance, and living to one's abilities.

The Deaf and Proud movement manifests in many ways.  Hearing aids that are colorful and fun promote aids as fashion.  Some within the Deaf community express Pride by declining the use of hearing devices altogether.  Others express Pride via the Internet and broadcast or print media.  Entertainers take Deaf and Proud on the road to encourage others toward empowerment.  All carry the message.

Image: Scenes from ASL Expo.

Interpreters

Interpreters are in a unique position as regards the Deaf and Proud movement, and have a clear role in its advancement.

While the general hearing public may have misconceptions about the abilities of deaf persons, interpreters know through experience that, in the words of I. King Jordan, "Deaf people can do anything but hear."  By encouraging and supporting self-advocacy and individual responsibility, interpreters take advantage of every opportunity to advance change in how deaf persons view themselves or are viewed by others.  

An interpreter who does for a consumer what the consumer can do for him- or herself is not supporting Deaf and Proud; rather, such an interpreter is behaving in a paternalistic manner that promotes oppression of persons who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, and is fundamentally in opposition to the Deaf and Proud spirit.

More About It

Click the ABC news logo to read the article "Deaf and Proud to Use American Sign Language:"

Image: Logo ABCNEWS

 

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This page was edited: 09/13/2009
This page has been visited Hit Counter times since:
October 2008.
TerpTopics is a trademark and service mark of TerpTopics, LLC. © 2008; 2009. All rights reserved.

TerpTopics™ is an independent entity; as such does not claim or attempt to claim, represent, or imply by any means whatsoever that it is associated with any other entity that may or may not offer services, goods, or information of interest to interpreter, Deaf, or student communities.  The opinions expressed here those of TerpTopics unless otherwise stated.  Please keep in mind that, while every effort is made to present correct, appropriate, and reasonable information that is based on our experience, anecdotal experiences of others, or developed during the general course of study and professional development, we do not represent TerpTopics as having cornered the market on wisdom (heck, no!) or experience; one reason why links to several other good and reliable resources are made available throughout this site, and we hope that earnest seekers of knowledge will take advantage of them.

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