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LESSONS FROM THE FIELD: AN ALLY TO THE DEAF COMMUNITY IN THE UNITED STATES Elizabeth G Finigan, MD


INTRODUCTION Who Am I?

A medical doctor from the United States. A specialist in Family Medicine. A teacher for other doctors and nurses.


HOW DO I KNOW THE DEAF COMMUNITY?

A

researcher at the National Center for Deaf Health Research A professional Advocate for the Deaf An Interpreter for the Deaf A Teacher of the Deaf


GOALS FOR THE LECTURE

What? So What? Now What?


WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? “What?”:

What is an Ally? How does a Ally behave?

“So What?”:

Implications for education, interpreting, research

“Now What”:

What can we do to work as Allies?


WHAT?


WHAT IS AN ALLY?

An Ally is someone who advocates for and supports members of a community other than their own. Allies for the Deaf respect our differences and work with deaf people to achieve mutual goals.


Allies

acknowledge we are different in some ways and alike in other ways. Allies solve problems together. Allies work together as peers toward common goals.


EXAMPLE: 

The National Center for Deaf Research in Rochester, New York has Deaf and Hearing people who work together. There were many problems and frustrations.



We formed a group of Deaf and Hearing people who worked together to investigate why we were having so many problems.


We worked for a month to interview all the people, collected data in American Sign Language and English, analyzed the data and found what problems existed.  We worked to report our results to the whole National Center for Deaf Health Research Center staff.  We then held meetings to solve the problems together. 


A QUICK REVIEW… CHANGING THE SUBJECT


ETIOLOGY OF DEAFNESS

Infections Genetics Trauma Noise

exposure Iatrogenic (the medical term for doctors don’t know)


The yellow shaded area shows the sounds of the English Language imposed upon the audiogram.

THE SPEECH BANANA


THE SPEECH BANANA Shows frequencies and amplitudes of the sounds of the English Language.  Shows the frequencies and amplitudes of some environmental noises.  Compares that with the level of hearing loss.  Note: even mild hearing loss makes it impossible to hear some sounds. 


THE “MEDICAL PERSPECTIVE”:

Deafness

is an illness or a condition. Deafness is a disability. Deafness should be cured if possible.


THE “ALLY PERSPECTIVE” Deafness means you cannot hear.  Deaf people have a communication difference.  Sign Language is a valuable, complete and expressive language.  Deaf people and hearing people are equals and peers.  Deaf people are not ‘broken’. They do not need to be fixed. 


SO WHAT? What does the perspective of ‘Ally’ Mean in Education, Interpreting and Research?


“THE DEAF WAY” 

Using the ‘natural language’ of Deaf people. Visual  Expressive  Grammar and Syntax of Sign Language  “setting up” 

Scene  Time  Action  Changing topic 


AN EXAMPLE Comparing the difference between “Signing in English” and American Sign Language with a story.


Signing the words from a book in English. I will use the grammar and structure of English and signs ‘borrowed’ from American Sign Language.


WHAT IS THE STORY?


Now I will sign the same story using American Sign Language and the concepts of: “setting up” Scene Time Characters Action


WHAT IS THE STORY?


UNDERSTANDING CHECK Questions about the signs or the English I’m using?


OUR LAST SUBJECT!


NOW WHAT?


YOUR TURN

How can the Deaf and Ally Communities work to determine: Common Goals Areas of Differences How you all may work together in Ethiopia


THANK YOU!


Lessons from the Field: An Ally to the Deaf Community in the U.S.