Saturday, April 16, 2005

Hearing People Wants To Be Deaf

When I was 10, my sister, Hedy, had a best friend who is hearing. I'll never forget her name. Her name is Sharon. Sharon learned ASL in matter of weeks, I'm not kidding. Sharon was totally into it. True biz, in 3 months, she could pass as Deaf person. Her facial expression was on the same par with Deaf children's rapid use of facial expression.

Sharon was upset that Hedy had to go to deaf school and stay in the dormitory for weeks, just like me. Sharon asked her parents if she could transfer to VSDB from the public school. Her parents said, "Only if you are deaf."

Hedy panicked and told me that Sharon had been trying to make herself deaf by trying to do stuff to her ears for days. Hedy just found out about it.

At that time, I was bewildered and thought it was crazy. An isolated incident, perhaps. But Sharon told me in ASL that she really wanted to be Deaf, she does not want to be hearing. She wants to be Deaf, honest! Mom thought she was nuts. I found it amusing. So does my Drandma.

Years later, the Internet came. We are able to exchange lots of information about practically everything, really. I stumbled upon a yahoogroup called "Deaf Wannabe" -- I was intrigued and joined the list. I became a lurker, I did not attack. It is not my position to do so -- but there are some Deaf persons that comes in and attack, they got banned so fast.

On that group, there are lots of information exchanging with each other on how to get hearing aids, on how to act like Deaf, on how to destroy your sounds ... but what really made me set back is that the majority of correspondents are from the United Kingdom!

I wonder why. I'm so glad that the BBC's See Hear is tackling this topic this week. I wish we have See Hear here in the United States.

Since the United Kingdom is not capitalistic society, it has a huge advantage -- it requires the equal broadcast for everyone else -- including Deaf people in the United Kingdom. So they set up the newsmagazine program every week called "See Hear", it is an equivalent to NBC's Dateline.

See Hear was not the original program by the BBC, in fact, it evolved from the first one that was broadcasted in 1950s. This, there and that -- See Hear became the permanent weekly newsmagazine on BBC since 1981. That is 24 years in the making. The majority of BBC's See Hear production team consists of Deaf persons. I know because I was there. Will ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX follow that pattern? Never in a million years.

For more information on See Hear, you may go to this website. You might learn how to fingerspell in British Sign Language for "SEE HEAR". Enjoy.


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