Recommended Reading for May 3, 2010

“My Deaf Family” (And My Hearing Life)

Once I started kindergarten, I stopped signing, like I had been in the hearing impaired program and I started living completely in the hearing world. The choice was mine. It was instinctual. With all due respect to the Deaf community, my six year-old self knew I had to learn how to “pass” as hearing in order to survive in this world. It hasn’t been easy and I have often felt like I haven’t belonged in either world, the hearing or the Deaf. I am not completely hearing and I don’t sign any more.

But I made my choice and I lived with it. There’s a lot I haven’t heard, a lot I’ve missed out on. When I go to weddings or parties, I hear almost nothing. Everything becomes white noise. I usually don’t hear things over a loudspeaker, especially if there’s background noise. (Dear airlines, subway operators and any other crowded places, this means you.) Auditoriums and convention centers usually have horrible acoustics, with a million places for microphone sound waves to bounce all over the place.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one already

Change is generational is academic for “wait for people to die” because the assumption is there is no other way, and I’m pretty sure there are statistics to back this up and therefore it must be true.

To codify, to embrace, the idea that it’s easier to die than change says a lot, and none of it comforting, about how little potential we see in ourselves, how rigid we think we are, trapped in some kind of evolutionary psychology/sociological hell where progress is dependent on those who know perfectly well that all they have to do is be loud enough, rigid enough, difficult enough that they can hold up movement simply by standing still, because the casualties will never be their own.

No Country for Strangers

I will not say: no foreigners allowed. That is a rather horrible thing to say considering an overwhelming tendency here to welcome foreigners with open arms and bend over backwards for them, at the cost of discriminating against our fellow Filipinos. It is a statement that assumes we have the power to say such a thing and enforce such a rule when we, well, don’t. “No foreigners allowed” is a fantasy — a short-sighted, narrow-minded, twisted fantasy, but a fantasy nonetheless.

Instead I will say: this is no country for strangers. This is not a people that can be known by observation alone, without the risk of actual engagement. This is no land where you can set yourself apart and then delude yourself with claims that comprehension naturally comes with high-minded goals and noble intentions to enlighten a system whose only fundamental flaw is ignorance of your ways. This is not a place that needs more foreigners coming in to visit, then taking away with them their misconceptions and their privileged judgments — because we have been misrepresented enough, not just in the international community but also amongst ourselves, and false categorizations and claims about who we are and where we came from and where we should go are unneeded and shouldn’t be welcomed.

For your tool kit! Contacting Organizations about Inaccessible Websites

Steps to help you report websites with accessibility problems are described on this page:

  • Identify key contacts
  • Describe the problem
  • Follow-up as needed

Additional tips include:

  • Consider what approach will get the results you want
  • Keep records of all communications for possible follow-up
  • Encourage others to also provide feedback to the organization
  • Use the sample emails provided below

Find of the Day:

Until lo and behold, my eyes drifted downward from the video. And there below, was a tab saying “transcript.”

So, if you like using video content for news-related items, I’d say this is a site to check out. Because this, right here, is a hell of a lot more than major news orgs can usually be bothered to do.

Women’s Media Center is looking for writers.

2 thoughts on “Recommended Reading for May 3, 2010

  1. The first link doesn’t work for me – I just get an error page that it doesn’t exist, and the toplevel domain appears to be parked.

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