rejoinder to ‘Kids Rule’ on my ‘Hall of Shame’ 10

I am struggling to relate this intemperate comment to what I said in ‘Hall Of Shame’ 10. Unless someone can persuade me that any of my statements there are out of order in any way, I don’t see any need to modify or withdraw my comments or to refrain from further comments on these issues. As I hope is clear, I am wholly respectful and sympathetic with respect to deaf people or anyone else with any kind of disability (naturally, I have my own shortcomings and hope that others will treat me too with respect and sympathy), and I am positive about any efforts made by deaf people to improve their situation. But this does not imply that I must accept EVERY proposal along these lines as helpful.

In any case, the one point of criticism of Ladd which I included was, as stated , originally advanced by Dale Mellor (himself deaf), not by me; I merely cited and endorsed it. But I DO endorse it. Young children (deaf or not) are not well equipped to make life-changing decisions, and it is by no means obvious that the desire of some deaf parents to impose avoidable deafness upon their children should be respected, still less applauded. (If an ADULT who has a choice wishes to remain deaf, that is of course their decision; they must live with the consequences.)

The most unfortunate deaf and non-speaking person referred to by ‘Kids Rule’ represents an extreme case, and people who need or wish to interact with such a person do probably need to become proficient at signing. But the fact remains that the non-deaf public at large are unlikely to learn signing, and such a person will need interpreters (who should be made as widely available as possible) in many situations. (If a cochlear implant would not work or help in such a case, naturally there would be no point in insisting on the operation in that specific case.)

Addendum: there is of course now a very welcome option to view signing (in various languages) on many TV shows.

Mark

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