Please Note: This is entirely my opinion and may not reflect others who are Deafblind.
There was a recent court case where a Deafblind man, Paul McGann, demanded that Cinemark Theaters provide him with a Tactile Interpreter so he can attend "Gone Girl".
Now I'm wondering how this would work.....
There'll be two interpreters to take turns - not just the dialogue, but screen actions, descriptions of people, places and so on and so forth.
Some of you have seen Captioning - print descriptions of every sound happening:
[dog barks in distance]
[paper rustling on desk]
Then there's audio description for people with vision loss - describing nonverbal happenings on screen, scenery, etc:
Now a Tactile interpreter would have to do BOTH these jobs and the two switch turns (usually every 20 - 30 minutes).
It's just my opinion that this guy is asking for a lot and expecting a lot.
Maybe he can't get access to TASL for movies at home, so he goes after the "big guy" with the money? I don't know his reasoning and I don't care.
I'm sorry, but just be like many other Deaf and Deafblind person who don't want, or can't access, the standard captioning service at the theater and wait for it to come out on DVD and watch it at home.
Pretty soon there'll be technology for Captioning to Braille for television watching available, and then probably adapted for movie theaters as well.
Now I'm all for equal accessibility and everything, but right now, this Deafblind woman is baffled and bothered by this lawsuit. In the current state of things it is an "undue burden" on the owner of that particular theater - not the Parent Company. Sure, the lawsuit names Cinemark, but they'lll just pass it off onto the small business owner of the Pennsylvania theater. If they don't pass it off and absorb the costs themselves, and other DB folks request it - the costs are going to be passed off to the consumers. Moviegoers already pay a ridiculous amount to get into a movie, how would they feel with another price hike?
So, have patience grasshopper.....technology will improve to where we all can enjoy movies without any waiting, without any requests, without any barriers.
The contest closed last Friday and there was one entry so it's a winner by default!
I'll be busy renovating the site with some upgrades and the new logo and relaunch everything on July 1st!
It will be Confessions of a Deafblind Mother's 4 year Anniversary as it's own Domain site!
It would help greatly if you, my loyal readers and fans, could tell me what you'd like to see happen. What do YOU want to know or see?
Video is Spoken, ASL & Subtitled (Click CC)
Here's the News story!
There's a new movie out now called "Me Before You" with the tagline - "A girl in a small town forms an unlikely bond with a recently-paralyzed man she's taking care of".
Just that tagline alone irked me. Just great, another "oh poor disabled person needs taking care of" crap.
Then of course I had to read more about it. It's based on Jojo Moyes novel of the same name and is basically a "love story" between a wealthy former playboy, Will, who becomes involved with a small town girl, Lou.
Fine, I don't like romances in the first place, but what got my hackles up was that Will has been quadriplegic since a road accident several years earlier and had decided he wanted to kill himself.
Are you shitting me?!? More deception that disabled people's lives are worthless? The movie studio tried promoting the movie with a hashtag #LiveBoldly which backfired because as one person commented "the hashtag only applied to the able-bodied at the cost of a disabled man's life". (As Lou was able to live well after Will died and left a lot of money to her).
So you can imagine the backlash among the disabled community. They started a hashtag #MeBeforeAbleism
It's hard enough dealing with people every day that doubt or belittle your abilities and you have Hollywood perpetrating it even more.
So knock off the bullshit Hollywood!! I don't need your patronizing and false portrayal of me as a disabled person for your inspiration porn!
I'm Deafblind and I am a wife, mother of two teenagers and work from home and guess what? I'm HAPPY!
So for you moviegoers - skip this movie and tell Hollywood that this crap needs to stop!
I saw an article a friend shared on Facebook:
"Nyle DiMarco’s Activism Is Dangerous For The Deaf Community"
This author is deaf in a hearing family and was mainstreamed in public school and can speak "the predominant language of this country". Well y'all know that's my upbringing too, I'm the only deaf (or deafblind if you want to get specific) in my family, I grew up oral and mainstreamed and didn't learn ASL until I was 12 years old. (You can read my Letter to Parents of Deaf Children for more details.)
This article irked me in so many ways...
Let me break it down into bits to respond to:
Someone who only uses ASL, like Nyle, can’t interact with society without help from others.
Whoa! Really? Are we that dysfunctional? There are other means of communication, pen and paper, texting, snapping a picture of the menu and showing the server, and so on and on. I know plenty of Deaf people who use ASL that can speak, but prefer not to.
I’m reminded of my deafness every second of every day.
Really? Because I don't give my Deafness a second thought. Like you said, "my deafness is one part of who I am", my deafblindness is a part of who I am, but I don't dwell on it and I'm not "reminded" of it. Sure I struggle to understand and lipread or interact with the hearing world, but I don't go "oh gee I'm deaf", "it's so hard being deaf", or "I wish I was hearing".
Deaf Culture extremists will respond to this essay in full force; they’re well-known for their intimidation and manipulation tactics
I could say the same for the Alexander Graham Bell Foundation and it's members, which by the way, Ms. Goldstein is a Board Member of AGB. So I can pretty much state her views are biased and in support of her organization. I've heard countless stories of intimidation and manipulation by AGB on Deaf families and individuals and they're not open-minded as they state they are. (Again read my Letter for more details).
We're deaf in different ways, and that should be Ok
Yes we are, there's the deaf (small d) and the Deaf (Capital D). Oral deaf vs. ASL Deaf. We've been at odds for a very long time and probably won't end any time soon.
Yet Ms. Goldstein doesn't want to celebrate the Deaf difference and instead belittle Nyle's accomplishment, just like her organization AGB has done all along.
Yet, despite him saying he wants to use his celebrity for good, he’s dividing instead of bridging
Have you not seen the celebrations around the world? The Deaf community and even the deaf community (those not part of AGB mind you) have been cheering for Nyle for a long time now.
We, Deaf, will not hide in the shadows anymore and are proud, damn proud of Nyle DiMarco. We are showing the general public (aka the hearing world), that the Deaf can do whatever we want!
There was a huge uproar on Social Media over the weekend among the Deaf Community.
You might be familiar with Nyle DiMarco, the Deaf winner of "America's Next Top Model" and currently competing on "Dancing With The Stars".
The Deaf Community has been strongly supportive of him and his successes and are proud of him representing Deaf Culture and ASL.
Recently the Washington Post featured an article on him and his Foundation that aims at improving Deaf infants’ access to sign language education. Nyle got an invitation to the White House's Correspondents' Dinner where he plans to promote his principles of improving Deaf children's lives.
Great story and great goals eh?
Well....The Alexander Graham bell Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing got wind of it and just HAD to post a rebuttal article called "Dispelling Myths about Deafness"
Sure they "applaud" Nyles' accomplishments, but turn around and criticize pretty much everything the Deaf Community cherishes - American Sign Language.
Here's some excerpts that has the Deaf Community enraged:
"[ASL] use is declining."
I'm not going to go on about why the Deaf Community is hurt and offended, you can read all about it all across social media - #ASLStrong #AGBell #AGBellLies, from NAD, from Gaulladet and various other blogging sites.
To me this article basically states that ASL is NOT viable and is a waste of time. Oralism is the way to go and will make your child "a successful part of hearing culture".
*Raises hand* Uh?? I beg to differ.
I was born deaf to hearing parents, one of the 95% AGBell quoted. Of course doctors back then pushed the misconceived notion (but one that AGBell still advocates and pushes) that I never be taught sign language as "she'll never learn to speak". I was fitted with hearing aids and then had years and years of speech and aural therapy, some fun ones initiated by my folks, some not so fun oones from the school system.
So, speech therapy from 2 years old until I was about 15 years old, my speech should be pretty damn good by now? Sure, people tell me I that speak "very well", But I still wonder why no one can understand my freakin' name when I introduce myself?? They hear "T C" "Radee", "CeeCee" "ChiChi". I've given up and have to say "It's Tracy....like Spencer Tracy" (or Tracy Morgan if you're too young to know who's the first).
I've also had aural therapy those years too, with powerful Phonic Ear hearing aids, listening to words and sounds over and over again and repeating them. I excelled at this, BUT all that work does NOT imitate "real life". No one in their right mind has one word sentences like "popcorn", "cowboy", "hot dog", "baseball" in a conversation!
I was mainstreamed in public school where there were other deaf or hard of hearing students and I had a few friends, but I was isolated and alone in the hearing classroom because there were no other deaf students my age. I suffered intense bullying from the other hearing kids. I was never part of any hearing kid's birthday party, outing or did after school activities. I holed up in my room with my pile of library books and shut the rest of the world out. I then begged my parents to start High School at the Deaf Institute because "they're the same as me".
I got a Cochlear Implant at 35 years old, I've been tested to have a "mild hearing loss". I can hear and identify a lot of environmental sounds, I've been tested for speech discrimination at about 70 - 80% in the booth. Which again I think is unrealistic because it's a completely quiet environment with a one word list or very simple sentences. It does not imitate reality at all. In the real world, my speech discrimination is pretty much 0%. I cannot understand you unless I'm facing you to lipread, and in a bright, quiet room.
If I'm one-on-one with a Hearing person I can manage pretty well, talking, lipreading and understanding. But, throw in a second person or a group, a noisy dark restaurant, noisy car, traffic, mall noise, or any other real-world situations and I'm lost.
I've been out of the work force since 2005, with sporadic work before that mainly due to headhunters' inability to look past my disabilities.
So is that being "a successful part of hearing culture"? I don't think so.
Now let's flip the coin...
I went to a Deaf Institute for High School. I slowly learned ASL through those years. I attended Madonna University which has a strong support services system for Deaf students with plenty of interpreters and notetakers and the like. I had a lot of Deaf friends and attended social events. I could be in a noisy bar with a group of Deaf people signing and still understand what was going on.
After University I joined a Deaf Club, where I was a member for over 15 years until I moved away. I held various positions on their Board of Directors. I was also on the Deaf Dart League and was part of several Provincial and National Deaf Dart Tournament teams.
I have a hearing husband and have 2 hearing kids who are teenagers now. They know how to sign, the kids have been signing since they were 8 months old. Because of ASL at an early age, they were way ahead in their speech, language and reading levels than their peers throughout their school years.
Nowadays when I go to doctor's appointments, meetings, and such, I prefer to use a ASL interpreter.. Mainly because I feel comfortable and more at ease with Sign Language than dealing with the stress of misunderstandings, impatient and frustrated people, the headache and eyestrain of having to listen and lipread.
I'm now a freelance writer, and currently in the process of a job interview to be an ASL tutor.
Now, I'm not going to criticize your choice for your child, that's a very personal and private matter.
I just wanted to show you the two sides - Oralism vs. ASL, that AGBell is not revealing to you.
Be willing to look past the "inspiration porn" of cochlear implant activations and AGBell's Youtube videos of "successful" kids and seek out the dark side, there are videos out there to watch that counteract AGBell's stance.
Look for #WhyISign on Facebook filled with stories from hearing parents, hearing grandparents, deaf people, and deaf children showing why they chose ASL.
No ASL is not in decline and will always be around as long as there are Deaf people.
What it means to be Deaf has not changed for the thousands and thousands of us who are.
So, that's my story, I'm open to any questions you may have, just send me an e-mail.
"One finds limits by pushing them" ~ Herbert Simon