08 December 2011

Redeafined: Rethinking what society has to say about Deafness

It's a symptom typical of uneven power dynamics that those in the majority have the ability to make decisions affecting the minority, without the minority's chance to speak.  In the case of the debate over deaf education and cochlear implantation, Deaf people's opinions are often undervalued or not available at all, leaving discriminatory or altogether incorrect material to become the singular source of information for parents, educators, politicians and society at large.

My name is Sara; I'm an writing instructor at Columbia University, and I started Redeafined because as a Deaf person I've become increasingly concerned about the one-sided information provided to parents of deaf and hard-of-hearing children upon delivery of the news that their child is deaf: that he or she is sick, that he is broken, that he is unable, that he will not be able achieve academic or social successes without being surgically altered.

The above statements are both frightening and completely false.  It is my hope that this site will be a hub of material from multiple sources, writers and viewpoints, and provide both accurate information as well as a place to highlight perspective of real life experiences of d/Deaf people today.  

Communication methods, educational placements, and surgeries are important decisions for any child and family; if you are amidst making these decisions for your child, please consider the information available here and elsewhere before making the choices that are crucial to his or her development and quality of life.

Additionally, please do not hesitate to message or email if you have any specific questions or topic requests. 

Thanks!


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