Think CSUN: A Bill of Rights for Deaf Children
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Think CSUN: A Bill of Rights for Deaf Children

October 21, 2019

(Sound of a light bulb rolling across the
floor, with music playing in the background) Yeah, “-isms” are everywhere. Sexism, racism, or ageism. Or discrimination against people who are disabled; they call that ability-ism. Discrimination against people who don’t hear; we call that audism. That’s everywhere. And again, when you become friends with a
person, or you work together with them, then the resistance
decreases. Deaf babies are born with all of the capabilities,
the potential in life, if they have full access to information, communication,
family language, especially language. The United Nations has a convention on human
rights, for people with disabilities. And it includes the right to sign language
for all. We want them to grow up bilingual, meaning sign language plus reading and writing
at a grade level. It’s important also for society for the emotional development of the children, to have contact with other people like themselves, deaf people, who are adults, or with other deaf babies and children. Because children learn from each other. So, I would really like to see more and more
inclusive school programs. But at the same time, you have to think of what the deaf child needs. The deaf child should have a bill of rights. Educational rights. That includes teachers who can communicate
in that child’s language, include critical mass of others, sign language users or deaf children. Hearing children are okay, but what’s great
about being hearing? Maybe 80% of what they learn is through
everyday interactions with other people, with other children. So, full inclusion includes that. (music)

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