Accommodating Deaf People in the Learning Environment.
This article looks at deaf people in learning environment and how they socialize with other human beings. In simpler terms, it studies deaf people inregular academic settings and tries to understand how it affects the victim and their immediate environment. Deafness was long recognized as a form of disability but has been lately perceived by its "victims" as a unique culture. For a long time in many societies, the deaf has had numerous social challenges hindering some privileges such as learning. Not much has been done to promote and improve facilities that can improve a deaf person's day-to day social lives.
Therefore, the deaf people society and activists have staged a resistance against integrating the deaf into normal educational environments and social settings, citing that they are a unique ethnicity. According to a group of people with a condition, deafness is not a disability. This reveals in the works of linguists Carol Padden and Tom Humphries, who wrote that "The term disabled describe those who are blind or physically handicapped, not Deaf people." In the statement, the upper case "D" signifies that deafness is not a health condition, rather, a unique aspect defining a group of persons sharing a common ethnicity. The issue of the deaf society identifying themselves as a sub-ethnic group has had effects on their educational and social interactions. The deaf certainly want to be affiliated with their equals as it is easier to associate socially and academically.
These people despise the idea of helping them improve their hearing capacities as it denies them the freedom of their naturalism. For instance, the president of the National Association of the Deaf, Roslyn Rosen, is deaf with deaf children and deaf parents. She strongly disagrees with the idea of improving her hearing by saying through an interpreter, "I am happy with who I am, and I don't want to be fixed."
Such a strong statement shows Roslyn feels that hearing technologies would deprive her of the freedom to relate to other people freely and form a barrier between her and people like her. Therefore, when the deaf identify themselves as of unique ethnicity, it becomes quite difficult to assimilate them into normal academic and social settings. In other words, the deaf community is proposing that the major population learn sign language to ease communication.
Relating to the Academic Environment.
Learning usually involves direct social interactions with people, things, and the immediate environment. The activity of learning is quite inseparable with socialization. During the early days, the deaf couldn't even get access to elementary education as they were mostly isolated in solitary confinements. Back then, deafness was deemed as difficult and disastrous. The first attempts to educate deaf children can be traced back to the 16th century. Since then, there have been significant developments, especially when a team of experts from the French Academy of Sciences was commissioned to assess the reasoning capacities of deaf persons during the 18th century.
Many times, the deaf have been accepted to public institutions, with the intension of getting them to introduce and accustom them used to normal language—which can be rather tiresome to them and other individuals who would like to socialize with them. Indeed, this situation could be disturbing to both parties since deafness is a unique condition. However, it can be easy for the deaf to learn ASL and other sign languages, though it is challenging and monotonous to normal students. Furthermore, it is hard for the deaf to pronounce words that they have never heard. The study by the French Academy of Science also examined whether deaf persons were able to reason.
This significant study threw off the notion that the deaf are ignorant. It also cited a lack of specialists who could voluntarily help people with such conditions. Hellen Keller also notes from her personal experiences that "Deafness is a greater hardship than blindness." She further explains that "blindness cuts off people from things," while "deafness cuts people off from people," a much worse situation. On the other hand, Samuel Johnson further states by his research that deaf people are considered to be in "isolation in a kind of permanent solitary," a prison considered inevitable.
Regardless, this situation is now better because of factors as the introduction of ASL, which has made tremendous changes in the past few years, similarly other types of sign language other than ASL that are easier to master as in the case of parent to child. Nevertheless, the most used method in teaching the deaf is referred to as 'total communication,' which has rendered contact between the student and teacher even more effective. This was invented in the '70s, introducing an era of oralism, which was the same era in which singing was prohibited in a bid to teach the deaf child to speak and lip-read. Still, Oralisim is in use but mainly by the hard-to-hear students and rarely by the deaf ones.
The General Arguments of Deafness as a Culture
Today, the question of whether deafness is a culture or an impaired condition is a debate, which has elicited emotional sentiments. However, in earlier times, it was associated with disabilities such as blindness and even mental challenges (Rosen, 2007). So far, the overall view of deafness has changed and is considered a unique culture rather than a disability. The proponents of the deaf culture have emphasized that deafness is not a disability, and therefore, it needs not to be fixed (Kaplan, 2020). They further argue that deafness is not a disability, as most people often assume it to be. Thus, from this perception, anyone who is considered unable to hear, is a sure member of an exclusive culture rich in heritage, which isolates them from normal non-deaf members of the community.
According to Dolink's article on "Deafness as a culture," he explains, "parent and children belong to the distinctive cultures." Further, an argument has been put forward on the description of deaf culture expressing that deaf people behave alike, show similarity in their beliefs, and practice similar language. Equally, culture has been described as "a set of learned behaviors of a group of people who have their language, values, rules for behaviors, and traditions" (Padden and Humphries, 1988). However, according to (Butler, Skelton & Valentine, 2001), further contends, "The views of deafness as culture holds that children and adults who cannot hear are isolated from the mainstream because communication with hearing individuals will always be laborious.”
Thus, this analysis assessed the deaf learners in the mainstream,and establish that their relationships with the non-deaf learners was hardly lessened by the existing communication impediments.
Similarly, the research establishes that deaf learners are the greatest component to socialize with one another instead of non-deaf learners, which has been associated with sorted language and cultures (Foster and Brown, 1988).
The General argument of Deafness as an Impairment.
Deafness, in most cases, is referred to as an impairment caused by dysfunctions of the eardrum, which brings about an inability to hear. Thus, this leads to poor communication, which has directed major challenges as the deaf rarely responds to environmental cues. Similarly, it is hard for them to respond to words they have never heard. Nevertheless, technological tools, i.e., such as hearing aids, listening devices, cochlear implants, and so on, are mainly for assisting the deaf in speaking and others for visualizing other people's speech.
Though, people argue on the concept of deafness as a culture, arguing that we live in several communities within which we must maneuver (Rosen, 2007). Consequently, deaf people must learn to function as the other members of the family and community at large.
Learning usually involves direct social interactions with people, things, and the immediate environment. The activity of learning is quite inseparable with socialization. That explains why the educational system must develop better ways to accommodate the deaf into the learning environment. In the meantime, the deaf must be respected and viewed as a capable group to encourage a friendly learning environment. They like to be viewed as perfectly normal and not impaired in any way.