Disappointment at Gallaudet

ImageDuring the Graduate School Orientation (GSO) week at Gallaudet University where I am beginning my academic journey, I participated in an activity, 25 Questions Activity, that allowed me to get acquainted with another graduate student I had not met. It was a learning fun for both of us and I wanted to blog about it.

We shared by telling each other who we are, what school we are in, and what improvement we would like to see at Gallaudet. I graduated with top honors and I am in the School of Deaf Studies/American Sign Language (ASL) Studies. My activity partner (her name withheld) is an interpreter-turned-teacher student who is very proficient in American Sign Language (ASL).

I complimented her skills in ASL because I was shocked to learn that there are many hearing graduate students who are not. She then told me she ran in an Audiologist student who has refused to acquire ASL. She asked why she came to Gallaudet, and her reply was: “Cheap!”

We discussed and agreed that Audism is prevalent in the graduate school at Gallaudet University. We attended a lecture about the university Sim-Com (simultaneous communication, meaning signing and speaking at the same time). The speaker explained that it is the university faculty that is a stronghold of this Sim-Com policy, this language bastardization.

From this GSO activity, we agreed that ASL is not a sound-oriented language. Signing and speaking at the same time means a language marginalization. Even a hearing individual sounds funny and ungrammatical when following the Sim-Com policy.

I knew, now I know, it is going to be an uphill battle if we were to accomplish the bilingualism mission at Gallaudet University. However, the first impression is lasting, and I’m disappointed.


Copyright © 2013 Jason Tozier

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