Interpreting American Sign Language (ASL) and its cultural history has always been a hallmark of Gallaudet University, the world’s only liberal arts university for the Deaf in Washington, DC. The importance of interpretation to the mission of the university has been demonstrates through the years, and the cadre of professors who articulate and facilitate between ASL and its spoken counterpart English today is an essential arm of higher learning.
Not too long time ago, ASL was added to the university bilingual mission statement. Our basic goals for Gallaudet University are to better understand ASL and to infuse this bilingual knowledge into various facets of higher education.
So it is quite appropriate for Gallaudet University to apply ASL to interpretation. It points to a new and growing partnership between the Deaf and interpreters and call for expanding this partnership beyond the university to the many public and private groups that interpret cultural history of the Deaf. This is crucial, because the challenges of a dynamic future of the Deaf will surely place greater demands on professional ASL interpreters. Increased knowledge about ASL-English interpretation.
There are some interpreting majors at Gallaudet who talks and signs known as SIM-COM (simultaneous communication) at the same time oppressing ASL—even talking without ASL in food courts, library, educational classrooms and the Department of Interpreting (DOI) needs to educate interpreting majors that oppressing ASL is the root of the language oppression. Faculty and students at Gallaudet University has offered the same diagnosis, and belated users of ASL themselves regularly assert that Gallaudet University administration has offended Deaf people’s dignity, pride, and honor. That is a branch of ignorance at Gallaudet.
What should we make of it? Can anyone point to a greater language hegemony whom interpreters refuse to learn the power dynamics of Audism where DOI needs to offer a full course about Audism? There is no policy about Audism in DOI. That is a fact. For a modern example of the kind of Deaf community that can be fashioned out of an exclusive reliance upon ASL, who are those people on the Gallaudet administration ostracizing Deaf people for using ASL?
Even though there is no shortage of brilliant minds in the Deaf community, Deaf people are simply oppressed by Gallaudet University—with the newly elected president, Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano that will hopefully make a huge change to reduce the human ignorance and make ASL a primary language all over Gallaudet University campus including interpreting majors or interpreters who should not talk and sign at the same time or talk without ASL is purely offensive for Deaf students on the campus.
Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier
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