Tuesday, March 18, 2008

TV Shows

Check your local listings for exact times and dates of the shows.

Glitter Graphics

If you are interested, there's a "Cold Case" episode on Sunday, March 30th (on CBS).

This episode focuses on the controversy of CIs (cochlear implants) within the Deaf community. It is going to be situated in a boarding (or residental) school for the Deaf.

Another show, a Hallmark show, will air on CBS April 20 called "Sweet Nothings in My Ear" starring Marlee Matlin. It is about a deaf wife and a hearing husband. They have a son who is deaf. The husband wants him to have a CI. Disagreements between the parents ensue.

While I understand the issue of the Deaf culture's debate with the CI, I think that it's becoming more and more common to see CI users. I don't know how much they are accepted now than they were in the past. I do not believe that CIs will make the Deaf culture obsolete. Even though I am oral, I like to use signs as a back up tool. When I am having a hard time understanding someone, my oldest will fingerspell so I "get" it. A CI is not any different. It helps you to hear better, but it's not perfect. Sign language can still be something to fall back on.

I really do not agree with the rationale that children implanted with CIs should be 100% oral. My parents were told not to learn sign language. "Make them talk," was the doctor's comment. (This was in the 1960s-oralism was pretty heavy and it seems to be that way with some children with CIs.) If we learned signs, we wouldn't talk. A lot of deaf children were mainstreamed in this way. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't. I was lucky enough to be signing at school, even though I didn't sign at home. I taught my hearing sister the manual alphabet and we fingerspelled to each other. My hard-of-hearing brother and sister were mainstreamed at an earlier age than I was. They did not retain signs very well. I was mainstreamed in 8th grade so I was able to retain a lot of signs. My brother knows very little signs and my sister just completed an ASL class. Kudos to her. (Now we can sign together.)

When the hearing aids came out, they were not happy with audism/oralism.

I grew up with a small number of d/Deaf students and if I remember correctly, they've all worn hearing aids even though their hearing was much worse than mine was (at that time). We signed, some worked harder to learn speech, but our teachers were built-in interpreters. We were encouraged to use all forms of communication.

I guess you could say I was "bi-lingual" in the respect that I was oral and used signs when I was around the d/Deaf. I am not a fluent ASL signer, but I do use SEE or PSE. I can be a bit "rusty" in some signs because they've been modified in the past 20 years. If I did forget any signs, it easy for me to relearn it. Kind of like riding a bike-at least for me it is.

But is it "wrong" to be oral? To sign?

I look at it this way: A Spanish family moved into the area ten years ago. While the children grew up, they spoke Spanish within their family circle, but while attending an American school, they picked up on the English language. They learned to speak English, even though they still spoke Spanish at home. The parents of these children picked up on the English language very slowly. Some Spanish-American children end up translating for their parents.

Maybe that's not the best anology, but you get my drift. Then again, I don't want to ruffle anyone's feathers. It can be a touchy subject.

A movie to rent: I just heard about a movie called "What's Bugging Seth?". It is about a deaf man who strives to be successful despite his adversity (hearing loss). It is based on the filmmaker's (Eli Steele) life.

There have been an increasing amount of TV exposure about deafness and all I want is that it portrays the right image. There are too many stereotypes.

I've seen movies/TV shows about blindness. All I want is a more realistic account of certain diseases. Is that too much to ask?

The other day I watched a re-run of Monk. He is a germophobic investigator that solves crimes. He has a lot of hang-ups he has to deal with. He also still grieves for his late wife, Trudy.

In this episode, a woman was "cured" from RP with a corneal implant from his late wife. I was a bit amused, but at the same time not too happy to see that. A corneal implant will not cure RP. RP is involves the rods and cones of the retina. It has nothing to do with the cornea.

There's more, but I'll get off my soapbox...

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At Tue Mar 18, 10:12:00 PM , Blogger Candice said...

I'm seeing a lot more Deafness in the media and I'm concerned like you about the honesty that they portray. We use SEE2 in our household while we talk. We are total communication because that is what Rebecca's school uses as well as our church. I want to learn ASL eventually, but we need a language and effective communication first. Have you read "Deaf Like Me"? That was the first book that I read when we decided to adopt Rebecca. It really opened my eyes about oralism. Some of Rebecca's friends parents use more oralism or make comments like, "we are just using signs now - she won't need them for long though". I think it is sad and I pray those children continue to use signs and find themselves whether that be with verbal or sign language.

At Tue Mar 18, 11:18:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the exact dates of the two TV shows. Will be interesting!!!!! Molly CC Usher 2; N22 4/95 and Freedom 2/06

At Thu Mar 20, 01:04:00 AM , Blogger contemporary themes said...

I always learn so much from you. I will watch that Cold Case episode.

BTW, I love watching MONK.

At Thu Mar 20, 01:45:00 PM , Blogger Breazy said...

I will definitely try to catch Cold Case, I like that show anyway.

I have a cousin that just gave birth to her first child in January. They have just learned that the child is deaf, my cousin has been trying all this time to find out for sure because the baby wasn't responding to voice or sounds.

In my opinion I think that signing is great, I also think that being oral is great because you never know when you will need either of them. You may run into someone one day that needs signing and you will be able to understand and help.

Hope all is well!

At Thu Mar 20, 04:17:00 PM , Blogger Betts4 said...

I think an online friend of mine had a CI just last week. He told me that he didn't know that the keyboard beeped before that. I have to go check and see if it really is a CI, but I think so.

The Monk episode you are talking about made me cry. And hope. When my husband Jim died his corneas were donated and we learned that each one was used and went to a different person. So he helped two people. I watched the Monk episode thinking, maybe someday I will look at someone and just know...know that Jim is out there. Sappy, but true.

At Thu Mar 20, 07:25:00 PM , Blogger Shari said...

Candice-People just need to know that when someone is "blind", it doesn't mean "totally" blind. I am glad that I was able to sign and talk.

Molly-I have to remember them myself. LOL. I don't know how busy I'm going to get and forget to watch them.

La La-Monk is somehow endearing. You can't help but like him.

Breazy-I hope your cousin knows all the options for her baby. I believe it's helpful to be both oral and use signs. I can't catch everything and I get a lot of "forget its" and "never minds". It's nice to just sign so I am not the one working so hard to hear everything.

Betts4-I am sorry for your loss. May the memories you carry of him in your heart offer some comfort. Rest assured that those people have a part of him that helped them to see, and in a way, like you said, a part of him is living on in them.

At Sat Mar 22, 09:32:00 AM , Blogger Abbie said...

I can't wait to be watching these two shows! Thank you for the dates!

I was one of those where the school refused to teach me sign language. I had nothing to fall back on when I was left hearing nothing for seven months. If I had the school teach me, I would have been able to do something with myself!

At Sat Mar 22, 12:07:00 PM , Blogger Shari said...

Abbie-I totally understand what you mean about not getting to your full potential without all the tools (sign language, FM systems, notetakers, etc) available to you. In high school, I struggled big time. It was an adjustment.

About the TV shows, I believe you are an hour ahead of me, so check your local listings for the exact time. It might be off an hour. I'm going to check in case these hours were listed for a different time zone. :)

At Sun Mar 23, 07:19:00 PM , Blogger Michelle O'Neil said...

When I was younger I knew of a family with a deaf child and the mother never learned sign. I thought she must be cold and uncaring. It never occurred to me that the doctors at the time might have insisted she avoid learning it.

Another lesson in non-judgement. Thanks Shari!

Happy Easter.


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