Sunday, February 12, 2017

My Purpose

OK -- ASL Version Here What's Jamy up to? Well, let me explain. I'm a state certified interpreter and am required a certain number of hours of continuing education to keep my certification. This year, I've been a little too lackadaisical (probably better spelled L-A-Z-Y) in my hours. Graciously I've been awarded a chance to research and write about AUDISM. (The topic was my choice.)

Why AUDISM? It's been something on my mind now for about a year. I learned about it a while ago, but was very sparked by a lecture given by an instructor at Utah Valley University. Should I call him Professor Ben Jarashow?

What is AUDISM? ugh. Seriously -- we are now in 2017 and the discrimination of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing individuals happens simply because someone thinks they are not capable because they do not speak and/or hear? My definition could change or evolve during this whole exercise, but for right now I'll rant over what I see as a grave injustice.

Small Warning... RANT
Deaf people can do anything except hear. (I'll give credit of that quote to I. King Jordan.) I know Deaf people who are computer programmers, bakers, musicians, and beauticians. (OK not all at the same time...) but my point is they are skilled, more than capable, and create. They contribute to society. They have college degrees, BA's , BS's and yes, some PHD's. I have met physicians who are Deaf and know multiple Signed Languages as well as spoken language. How's your Spanish? You only know 1 language? Most Deaf people can communicate in 2. Maybe their English isn't perfect, but try learning English without ever hearing it. It's amazing! It's all done despite an imperfect education, and other's perception that they aren't capable, simply because they don't hear.
RANT over

I'm going to learn that I'm just as guilty of AUDISM (gasp) in the 21 years of interpreting. I'm not looking forward to this... probably because I will find out the hard way... someone who is Deaf will show me. I AM looking forward to becoming a better human and a better interpreter simply because I will be much more aware of when it happens. I'll apologize now to those reading this and will work better in the future to be better at prevention.

In the meantime, I will explore through various means --youtube stories, personal interviews (identifing infomation removed) and reading. I'm inviting you to join. Go ahead and comment and share. The first thing I will work on is getting this translated into ASL as soon as I figure out how to post a video.

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