Friday, July 2, 2010

What's Really Going On With Our Country???

"Save Our Deaf School" e-distribution recently sent out the enclosed article which intentionally titled "Pennsylvania House Education Committee approves bill to give auditory-oral preschool "approved" status--Bill has not yet become law". This article also appeared in the Health/Science newspaper section.

How ironic for the 50th bi-annual "National Association of the Deaf" (NAD) conference will be in the Keystone State at the same time as the Pennsylvania state legislature resorted to the eerie similar of the Milan Conference scenario!

The deaf printing instructor via Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (Philadelphia) wrote "An Ass and Horses" fable story under veiled response to the PSD's changing tune to the educational philosophy of educating the deaf students from the manualism to the oralism after the Milan Conference in 1880's.

The short story featured an ass (donkey) wandered into the mighty horses and brayed at them. Horses responded in neighs as acting more superior beings than an ass hirself. Horses told an ass that s/he ought to learn how to neigh (speak their own language). An ass practiced and managed to master the "neigh" sounds. An ass proudly walked to the presence of horses, but s/he stumbled into the braying sounds until finally neighed. Horses responded "That is very good of you, but you are not still one of us".

The current Pennsylvania state legislature claimed that the proposed means are to save a lot of $$$$. Really? Don't the state legislators read "Forbidden Signs: Campaign Against Sign Language" by Douglas Baylon what the manualism saved more state funding than the oralism.

From Baylon's book, the oral educational settings usually hired more teachers and speech specialists than the manualism due to just one teacher signed to the large number of students. The oral schools had to hire the speech therapist and teacher and bought the costly auditory equipments. The manualism just need the presence of sign language without any cost.

Here is an article -

ASLize yours,

Robert L. Mason (RLM)