Deaf many people, such as image, income, status,
Deaf Again by Mark Drolsbaugh: Book Report In Deaf Again, Mark Drolsbaugh, talks about his “fascinating journey” into the Deaf community.
The best quote from the book to explain his hearing (liquid) world goes something like this by asking the reader to swim a mile in “his scuba gear”. “Imagine that you were born ..
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. (in a) glass bubble underwater. You could watch all the fish swim and play, but you weren’t really a participant in that life … With the help of technology, though, you could put on scuba gear and swim with the fish.However, the gear was heavy and uncomfortable, and as much as it helped you interact with the fish, you never were able to swim like them.
You were different, and you knew it. ” Tempted to see what was up above, you were warned not to swim to the surface. After all, “Everyone knows it’s a liquid world .
.. Air is too thin, land is too hard. It’s a liquid world. ” Born hearing to deaf, signing parents, Mark gradually lost his hearing.
Despite the fact that his deaf parents preferred sign communication, Mark was raised and educated without the use of sign language.His parents and grandparents were concerned that sign might interfere with speech and restrict his educational achievement. Although Mark became increasingly hard-of-hearing, he worked hard to “pass” as a hearing person. This ambition, he later discovered, actually constricted his cognitive development and limited the depth of relationships with family and friends. During these long years, he just “didn’t know what (he) was missing. ” When he later learned American Sign Language (ASL), chose to mix with deaf people, and learned to perceive deafness as something special, his horizons expanded.He came to value communication and relationships above the things that seemed so important to many people, such as image, income, status, skills, religious background, or race.
Mark’s education began in an average Public school in Philadelphia. From birth to about first grade Mark had perfectly normal hearing. Once he began second grade he began to struggle with everyday classroom activities. His Hearing Grandparents enroll him into a small private school with much smaller classes so he could get individual attention. He soon started to become more comfortable there and learn lessons in friendship that were “worth a million bucks.
Marks next steps in education took him to Germantown Friends School. It had similar teaching styles as his 2nd – 6th grade school but it was high school – a setting that would be more challenging. Almost all GFS graduates go on the greater academic achievements. Mark accomplished the impossible and became the first Deaf student to ever graduate from GFS. He had survived the mainstream school, but he defiantly needed help along the way. He had sign language interpreter, assistive listening devices, and always was told to always sit near the front of the class.Even with some help he got frustrated, the response of teachers in a mainstream school would be along the lines of you should sit up front, you should wear your hearing aids, you should pay attention and other maddening “you shoulds.
” There were also people who erroneously assumed that because Mark could speak clearly, he must also be able to hear clearly. It drove him up the wall. Later in his education he learned to stand up for himself. “If you have to fight for your rights, you shouldn’t have to fight alone. ” To contrast, residential Deaf schools understood the needs of Deaf and “heard of hearing” students.It wasn’t always that way though.
Mark’s father attended to Deaf school and they pushed the oral philosophy. It was said, “in order to be successful, all Deaf people must speak. ” Sign language was forbidden for the same reason the doctors had told Mark’s grandparents not to let him use is.
He discusses how the argument is still hotly debated today. “Oralism has worked for deaf some children, and it has ruined the lives of others. It’s a very controversial topic. ” I think Mark found his identity when he was finally able to “thrive as an authentic Deaf person” when he entered Gallaudet University in 1989.He met his wife, Melanie, there, too. After earning his B. A.
in Psychology and an M. A. in School Counseling and Guidance, he returned to his roots at PSD as a school counselor, he’s had a longstanding connection with the school he wasn’t allowed to attend. Although, it wasn’t one event that sparked his “identity” as a deaf person, his entire journey into adulthood and even beyond, created that. With any medical device that alters a person, it comes to no surprise when it is hotly debated. Mark does a great job at explaining his perspective of cochlear implants; he starts by addressing claims.
As for some claims that culturally Deaf people discourage parents from choosing cochlear implants, he believes its just another attempt at creating a division between the hearing world and the culturally Deaf people who have so much to offer. Yes, he states, there are wide ranges of people in the Deaf community with varying opinions about the implant. But really, it’s not an issue of “do not do implants. ” It’s an issue of ASL awareness. Everyone’s welcome in the Deaf world. And it’s never too late to join, as Deaf Again shows.Mark himself does not want a cochlear implant.
He is very comfortable with his Deaf identity, as is. As I read this book, I have learned a number of purposes that the author was pressing towards his intended audience. Readers who are deaf, those who have a hard time hearing, the ones who are able to hear, and to the people who live among them. I myself do not know anyone personally that is Deaf or have ever, before this year, communicated with a Deaf person. After reading Deaf Again, I believe I will be much more prepared if I am blessed with a Deaf child, later in life.
I need to be loving and supportive. Provide them with a communications system that is effective for them. Enroll them in a good school with full accessibility and be consistently involved there and at home. Provide them with successful Deaf role models and always keep the highest expectations for him or her. I have learned that members of the Deaf community only want one simple thing, and that is to be understood. To truly know and understand the culturally Deaf world – or anything in the world for that matter, you have to experience its essence.