If you keep up with the political happenings around the country, especially those points that will affect the Deaf and Hard of Hearing population, you might already know about Indiana’s House Bill #1367. If you are not familiar with this, you can read it at:
The main point of this bill is to remove the current outreach center at the Indiana School of the Deaf and replace it with a new one. This simply does not make any sense. For one, the school already has a center that is well-serving its community. There’s no information to the contrary. There’s also no reason financially or otherwise to fire all of those workers and start anew. However, when you take a look at the group that pushing this bill, you might understand better what’s going on.
I did some reading of material both SUPPORTING this bill and of the OPPOSED group and I can whole-heartedly say that I feel this bill should be OPPOSED. The most interesting fact I found was that the main supporter for this bill is Hear Indiana. If you visit their site, you will first see that they are a chapter of the Alexander Graham Bell Association, which is a staunch proponent of oralism. They believe in the No-Signing “rule,” and vehemently push for cochlear implants in babies and young children, oralism and audism. See my blogs about AG Bell “He Ain’t As Great As They Think He Is,”
and Oralism “You Say Oralism Isn’t Perfect? Right On,Brother!”
for more of my comments on those two issues.
Hear Indiana’s Mission Statement, which they proudly post, is, on all three parts, for the use of “spoken language” for all Deaf and Hard of people. They are opposed to teaching them the use of their native language, American Sign Language. They are adamant about the use of “spoken language,” as if that were THE answer for all Deaf and Hard of Hearing people out there. No one can say what is best for ALL. In fact, there IS no “best for all.” Everyone is different. However, this group does not see it that way.
The fact of the matter is that Hear Indiana wants the current outreach center at the Indiana School of the Deaf replaced so that they can push oralism into the school and community. That’s how I feel, anyway. And it’s wrong. And we, as a people who are, know, and/or care about the Deaf and Hard of Hearing population, need to oppose this bill. Most importantly, we need to make our feelings heard now, before they vote on the amended bill.
You can do this easily, by clicking on the below link and sending an email or emails to the Indiana Legislators stating your opposition to HB 1367.http://www.in.gov/cgi-bin/legislative/contact/contact.pl