so we got a little examination of the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention EHDI system going on here at the People of the Eye place
We took a peek at the “I” in EHDI and came to the conclusion that ASL is not a main feature in the intervention SYSTEM and doesnt appear to be FUNDED at all by the Center for Disease Control and EHDI (I’m still hoping im wrong and someone will bring me some good news here. I did find the National Institute of Health (NIH) did fund Drs. Acredolo and Goodwyn’s research on the benefits of baby signs for Hearing babies
boo and crud cuz re: the lack of funding for ASL intervention for Deaf babies and their families as there is PLENTY of research out there showing that ASL+English is a pretty dandy equalizer for literacy
we even have some brain studies to help us see how the Deaf brain works and folks it does NOT take a brain scientist or surgeon to understand that if you give babies a language they can fully understand they:
1. will gobble that language up
2. will be able to learn other languages
3. and that making babies work for their words is not fair
yet what is the NUMBER one language (or if we use their euphemism talk ‘communication option’) that is ROUTINELY denied to Deaf babies and their families???? drum rolllllllllll please….
TA DA – American Sign Language as in ASL – as in a real bona fide LANGUAGE
Yep ASL has been denied, stomped on, regulated to the dorm rooms, summer camps, on the sly and fly here and there but RARELY ever formally taught and utilized in any Deaf education environment hmmmm
still happening folks despite four international documents saying NOT cool – the denying of a fully natural language is not cool but still they do do
aint that odd? At a time when Hearing babies are gobbling it up and Hearing college students cant get enuf of ASL and its used in outer space and lady gaga is learning it well its just hmmmmm
paradoxical that the DEAF babies are being denied it – see Amy Cohen Efron’s Greatest Irony video re: AVT. That video is a CLASSIC and woke up many many many people to the IRONY of the AVT push for Deaf babies coinciding with the Baby Sign push for Hearing babies. hmmm COINCIDENCE you say? Maureen Klusza gave a visual representation to this irony in her well circulated cartoon of the The Greatest Irony.
I got some theories as to why so many systems are hard at work at denying Deaf babies ASL but lets move on to reviewing da “D” so we can get to the “H” in EHDI
In the previous entry’s examination of the “D” of Detection we learned it is pathological / medical model based and biased and all AUDIOLOGY based and biased – you got the OAE test in the hospital to determine Passed or Failed/Referred and then you have the audiologist visit for the ABR test (with or without sedation) and you usually have some doom and gloom and sad puppy dog face from the “technicians” “specialists” “professionals” as they deliver the sorrowful news. “Your baby has failed the Hearing test” This has even been done to Deaf parents who are like – “Deaf? no problem – i got 2 others like that at home. Now if my newborn had “passed” and was Hearing – well that would be different and might require a bit of adjustment but still no biggy.”
But instead most Deaf and Hearing parents are hit with a multitude condolescences and brochures all promoting the systems’ FIXation with FIXing the baby.
So that is what the Detection of the “defection” is all about – how do we know this well because the Center for Disease Control also promotes the Detection of the “defective” gene – yep even before they are created they are being tagged and tracked.
and thus we see just how EARLY they really mean in the E of EHDI
and now we come to the “H” of it. H is for Hearing. surprise, surprise? NOT.
H – can you hear me now?
So if you take a wee thing before it is even a thing or even wee or once its born and you create an entire UNIVERSAL system that is framed around determining if the newborn is HEARING or not so that you can consign deafness to history and you can remove the scourge from the earth – what do you think the chances are that anyone is gonna make it out of that system with a HEALTHY sense of self or a HEALTHY sense of their child’s well-being.
If you are constantly to be measured by what you are NOT- well the deck is kinda stacked from the get go.
And so we see how the system has always been designed to try to make the babes that hear-not – becoming as close to hearing as possible.
why? well cuz its a hearing world after all. never mind that Deaf folks have a language that they are passionate about, never mind that they enjoy and employ and expand a language that is more powerful than the sun in many ways because it can do things that NO spoken language can do and just cuz it is dang handy and dandy and just cuz NO language should be hunted to the ends of the earth and banished from the eyes, hands and hearts of their people (and yes i am aware, sadly, too sadly, that many spoken languages have vanished from this planet because all their speakers went with it or its people were punished and ostracized for using their mother tongues that the people assimilated and the language poofed)
so i say unto we, the people – ie fellow human beings on this planet, it is NOT right how the Deaf gene and Deaf infants have been put into this homogeneous systems to detect and intervene them into makint them less Deaf ie more Hearing because not only does this endanger the language and the culture – it also lops upon the child and the family an inordinate burden and it often severes the bond between child and parent.
If the EHDI push for testing was to get ASL+English into the life of a newborn as soon as possible, we could say it was justifiable but that is NOT how the system is playing out. The EHDI system is completely set up to push the medical / pathological model. the H should be the largest letter in the EHDI so we could all clearly see what is going on but follow the money and you will see who stands to benefit from this whole PUSH. the Hearing industry, academies, foundations, organizations, schools and programs and meanwhile…. where are they all when the program, approach, teacher, device, cochlear implant etc FAIL. Sometimes they fail cold (quietly – just stop working and disappear) sometimes they fail hot (loudly and painfully and have to be removed). All the folks i know who have CI totally appreciate having ASL and most of the folks i have met who have CI that do not know ASL – wish they did.
Brighter than the sun folks. EHDI can keep pushing the H but eventually most of the babies grow up and begin gobbling up – ASL
so suppose instead of
Early Hearing Detection & Intervention
EHDI stood for
Early Healthy Deaf Identification (EHDI)
the frame then would be to seek and find the Deaf babies to ensure they have a HEALTHY dose of a fully natural and accessible language right off the bat just like all babies do and also a sense of acceptance and identity as a Deaf person cuz that is what they are.
Here, here for …
Early Healthy Deaf Identification
We getting there folks – time to push things forward