Deaf Oppression

The Deaf community, the Signing Community, is one that is very diverse. The world around us has been oppressing our community, but we d/Deaf people also have our own form of oppression I am Deaf. I identify myself as Hard of Hearing. I went to a Deaf institute. I went to mainstream school. I had both experiences. My grandmother and I are the only d/Deaf person in our family. I am from a hearing family. I learned American Sign Language later in life. I am from a Deaf family. We the Deaf Signing community are united. See all those different identities. You are now about to see different stories that shows oppression. I was a new signer and I really wanted to improve my signing skills. I went ahead and joined a student organization. When I joined I realized that all of them were very skilled at signing. I was eager to learn. I told them was still learning. More than one time I asked for them to slow down and repeat themselves. I decided to drop out, it was so disappointing. Everyday at the cafeteria the same thing happens. I see most of the football players seating together, all of them talking none of them signing. I see them talk and laugh and I want to know what is going on. I ask do you mind do you mind signing so that I have access, and the answer I get is it’s none of your business. That answer says a lot. It says that they don’t care as much about the our community. I identify as Hard of Hearing, I also am a student on campus. One day I was working for Open house on campus with a teacher of mine. That teacher knew that I could hear and talk well enough to be understood by non-signing individuals. Every time hearing parents, or hard of hearing students who cannot sign came, they would be referred to me. I realized there was no consideration given for my identity. My hearing status, me identifying as a Hard of Hearing person was being interpreted as you can interpret. I felt used. What was being done to me was not ok. That teacher was oppressing my identity on campus. I didn’t want to talk on campus, I didn’t want for people to know I could talk on campus. That teacher didn’t even ask, just assumed I was fine with what was happening. I felt like it was unfair. See all of those stories, they are quite powerful. Next time you see a new signer say hi! We should support each other, educate each other. Together we are a lot stronger. Letting you know, when you hear of oppression happening, you see bullying. Do something! Intervene, don’t just let it happen. We, the Deaf Community, the Signing community, are united. (Voiced and Signed)

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