linguicism – send a letter to the editor in support of the article “An Interesting Paradox”

sample letter below

http://www.youtube.com/user/pdurr#p/a/u/0/MnsLN08LdDE

vlog explaining that the editor of Exceptional Family has received criticism from oral/aural only supporters for running an article by Dr. J. Freeman King about the value and importance of allowing Deaf babies and infants to sign. The vlog encourages people to send letters of support to the editor for running this article.

you can send your letters to:
Aviva Engel, Editor, Exceptional Family
editor @ exceptionalfamily.ca

Sample email:

Greetings Editor Engel:

I regret to learn that you have received criticism for running the article “An Interesting Paradox: Sign Language for Children who Hear and Speech for Children who are Deaf” (Spring 2010) in Exceptional Family by Dr. J. Freeman King. Many people have been puzzled by why it is ok and encouraged to teach Hearing children to sign while Deaf children are denied this fully accessible and natural language.

The article is very important and the negative emails you are receiving about it are the result of linguisim (the belief that one language is superior to another) and audism (the believef that to Hear and Speak is superior to being Deaf).

Dr. Jim Cummins of Canada has written on this subject and you might desire to contact him for more information on the bilingual / bicultural rights of Deaf infants and children in Canada. Tove Skutnabb-Kangas has written about this crisis on an international level as well.

Cummins, Jim, and Danesi, Marcel, Heritage languages : the development and denial of Canada’s linguistic resources / Jim Cummins, Marcel Danesi Our Schools/Our Selves Education Foundation : Garamond Press, Toronto : 1990

Thank you for running this important article.

Sincerely,

______________________

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. handeyes
    Mar 28, 2010 @ 18:46:43

    Hi Terry

    thanks for doing this – did u send it to the editor’s email address?

    editor @ exceptionalfamily.ca (note remove the spaces before and after the @ symbol – just there in this blog and comment to stop trolling spam functions from lifting her email and hitting her with junk or virsus)

    thank you for sending this

    peace

    patti

  2. editor@exceptionalfamily.ca
    Mar 28, 2010 @ 18:54:11

    Aviva Engel, Editor, Exceptional Family
    editor @ exceptionalfamily.ca
    Sample email:
    Greetings Editor Engel:
    I regret to learn that you have received criticism for running the article “An Interesting Paradox: Sign Language for Children who Hear and Speech for Children who are Deaf” (Spring 2010) in Exceptional Family by Dr. J. Freeman King. Many people have been puzzled by why it is ok and encouraged to teach Hearing children to sign while Deaf children are denied this fully accessible and natural language.
    The article is very important and the negative emails you are receiving about it are the result of linguisim (the belief that one language is superior to another) and audism (the believe that to Hear and Speak is superior to being Deaf).
    Dr. Jim Cummins of Canada has written on this subject and you might desire to contact him for more information on the bilingual / bicultural rights of Deaf infants and children in Canada. Tove Skutnabb-Kangas has written about this crisis on an international level as well.
    Cummins, Jim, and Danesi, Marcel, Heritage languages : the development and denial of Canada’s linguistic resources / Jim Cummins, Marcel Danesi Our Schools/Our Selves Education Foundation : Garamond Press, Toronto : 1990
    Thank you for running this important article.
    Sincerely,
    Terry Dockter

  3. Don G.
    Mar 28, 2010 @ 21:31:05

    Thanks for the alert on this, Patti! Here is a copy of my letter to the editor:

    Dear Editor:

    I read the article “An Interesting Paradox”, and I found Dr. Freeman’s points and conclusions to be entirely correct. It is indeed paradoxical that our society promotes complete and unfettered access to language and communication for Hearing babies, while Deaf babies are held back from that very same linguistic birthright through a denial of access to language through visual means. I applaud you and your magazine for publishing this article.

    It is my understanding that you are now receiving a flood of letters writing in opposition to Dr. Freeman’s article. This is regrettable, as this has the potential for future articles in support of visually accessible language for Deaf children being rejected out of fear of a similar backlash from the very lobby that works so hard to perpetuate the denial of linguistic access for Deaf children. As you may know, there is a substantial body of research which points to the benefits of bilingualism, early linguistic exposure, and language rights for minority groups, embodied by such luminaries as Dr. Jim Cummins of Canada and Tove Skutnabb-Kangas of Sweden.

    I hope that your magazine will continue to publish more work along these lines, and to take research propounding auditory-only approaches for Deaf children with the smallest grain of salt possible.

    Donald A. Grushkin, Ph.D.
    California State University – Sacramento.

  4. handeyes
    Mar 28, 2010 @ 21:40:04

    hey don

    thank u for posting it here as well as sending to the Exceptional Family editor

    Much peace

    patti

  5. handeyes
    Mar 28, 2010 @ 22:59:50

    Reprinted here with permission of the author:

    Arvina,
    First I want to commend you for including Dr. Freeman King’s article in your magazine, Exceptional Family. This issue is a huge concern among Deaf people around the world and hearing parents like myself who have Deaf children. So many Deaf children today are being denied access to their natural visual language, in the US and Canada, that being American Sign Language. And the irony is that hearing babies with hearing parents and hearing students in public schools and universities have plenty of opportunities to learn ASL. Research documents that ASL does not hinder a Deaf child’s ability to learn English in written or spoken form. My own daughter is evidence that a bilingual approach, ASL and English, is a very successful approach to becoming fluent in both languages. She graduated top in her class in college.
    Today, Deaf children have many opportunities but without fluency in language their opportunities are diminished. The information that parents receive from “first contacts” makes a huge impact on parents’ decisions. From my own experience, this information should come from Deaf professionals who have the life experiences to guide parents through those early decisions. Unfortunately, the majority of “first contacts” are hearing professionals that cannot see the world “visually” like our Deaf children do. Until this changes, Deaf children will continue to struggle cognitively, academically, socially, and emotionally. Isn’t it time that we allow Deaf professionals into our Deaf children’ lives, our families’ lives, into early intervention programs, and into our educational institutions?

    Tami Hossler
    Hearing Parent
    Ft. Myers, FL

  6. handeyes
    Mar 29, 2010 @ 00:14:36

    reprinted with permission from the author

    Dear Editor,

    Thank you very much for including this important article by Dr. J. Freeman King in your magazine. As you may or may not know, the Deaf population in America has been plagued for the last century by a philosophy of audism. Prior to the 1950’s, Deaf people thrived in the workplace and in their own communities when educated by Deaf teachers in their native language. Very sadly, though, the number of Deaf teachers which was once 40% has dwindled to less than 5 %. This fact, coupled with the “second wave” of audism by proponents of cochlear implantation (which, by the way, research has shown to be ineffective on average amongst young prelingually Deaf children), makes it more obvious why our schools have graduated thousands of Deaf students who are not proficient in either language and who are not able to be productive members of an unaccepting society.

    These same graduates are now on the move to fight for future generations of Deaf children because they believe these children and their native ASL should be valued, promoted and utilized in Deaf education once again. I hope that you will pursue interviews and writings from members of this culture which is very much alive.

    Sincerely,

    Deborah S. Myers

  7. Gunars
    Mar 29, 2010 @ 01:18:33

    When you spoke about Quebec and French Language. When Canada governemt made a law for English and French languages in each information like labels for foods,pop etc and ticket or book for federal govt but We live in Central Canada so we dont speak French so we can use ASL and english only not all for canada in french except quebec then small area like francophone

  8. handeyes
    Mar 29, 2010 @ 02:05:23

    Gunars –

    I mentioned that the publication comes out of Montreal, Quebec and perhaps because of past issues with recognizing French Canadians and Francophone the publication was more aware of bilingual rights etc. I also mentioned LSQ again because of the publication coming out of Quebec

    If ASL part of babies and infants early language intervention in your area?

    Peace

    Patti

  9. Gunars
    Mar 29, 2010 @ 03:08:32

    yeah , patty some deaf children use asl on video in Deafhood workshop recent and hearing ppl was surprised to see them and deaf family taught deaf babies asl as i think i heard about usa things

  10. handeyes
    Mar 29, 2010 @ 16:33:09

    Gunars
    thanks for the info – if u have a link to the workshop video – id love to see it

    peace

    patti

  11. handeyes
    Mar 29, 2010 @ 16:33:48

    re-printed with permission

    Arvina Engel, Editor

    Exceptional Family

    8160 Royden Road
    Town of Mount Royal, Quebec
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada H4P 2T2

    A prominent Frenchman, Victor Hugo, once wrote, “”What matters deafness of the ear, when the mind hears? The one true deafness, the incurable deafness, is that of the mind.”

    A movement which initiated in British Columbia in 2009 became a global effort amongst Deaf citizens to request and obtain an apology from the International Congress on Education of the Deaf (ICED) which will convene in Vancouver in July 2010. Negotiations are underway with the goal to enhance the Deaf citizens’ opportunities not only to improve their own employability but also to compel a shift in the public mindset about Deaf citizens. Both the Canadian Association of the Deaf and the World Federation of the Deaf have joined the movement.

    A far-too-common characteristic of the mindset pertains to the far-fetched lipreading ability of Deaf citizens, e.g., “Can you read my lips?” The general public continues to fail to understand that only 25% of English sounds can be readily lipread. Also, without the benefit of natural auditory feedback, it is virtually impossible for an average but intelligent Deaf person to speak flawlessly. Cochlear implants are by no means a provision for natural auditory feedback. For these and far more reasons, the sign language becomes a natural and genuinely human tool for the Deaf youngsters to communicate and to use as a basis of acquisition of many other languages, including English. Deaf children are inherently bi-lingual. Failure to nurture this natural bilingual ability is to starve and deprive one Deaf child of even one language in our society. Sadly, it has been evidenced on a far too many occasions in the Deaf communities around the world.

    The Milan Resolutions of 1880 passed by international educators, mostly French and Italian teachers, have for most of the past 130 years caused the huge and unpardonable decline in the quality of education of the deaf around the world, thus causing horrifying decline in economic opportunities for generations after generations of Deaf graduates. These resolutions are a single event targeted by a vast majority of Deaf citizens around the world as the basis for the extradition of apology from the ICED. The newly ratified U.N. Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities shall be utilized to promote the adjustment of the public mindset to a more enabling one, thus giving a licence to the Deaf citizens to participate fully in our economy as equal partners.

    To criticize the outstanding article by Dr. Freeman King’s article is to authenticate Victor Hugo’s quotation.

    Sincerely,

    Wayne Sinclair, Coordinator

    B.C. Deaf Community’s ICED Committee

    March 25, 2010

  12. DeafPoet2
    Mar 30, 2010 @ 15:27:30

    Hi Patti

    Great vlog and needs our support with this article…I’m unable to find the article that you mentioned…I found the website but unable to find and read that article. Can you send us a link for us to read the article? Which month/quarterly was it published? I’d like to print it out if possible, so I can read the whole thing and share with others, if possible.

    Thanks Patti

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