The Linguistic Decimation of the Deaf Community


[music]>>SPEAKER: Good morning, everyone.
I’m Carla I’m the program coordinator not medical institute of the science education
here at the college. I’ve had the great pleasure of working with the ASL club on campus, to bring to campus our very first deaf speaker to common hour.
Dr. Patrick Boudreault, is passionate about language and linguistics this makes sense
since he is fluent in four of them. Born deaf, to deaf parents in Canada his first
language, was Canadian sign language followed by French he learned to read and write as
a child. He became quadrilingual with the addition
of English and American sign language or ASL. Later, in his teens and, he put all of these
to good use, in his academic career. He earned a PhD in educational psychology
from the university of Manitoba and currently at Gallaudet university, still the world’s
only university specifically for deaf and half students.
He is a visiting professor with graduate studies in research there, he is a principle investigator
of the national cancer institute grant to develop interventions increasing the deaf
communities access, to linguistically appropriate and culture tally sound materials.
And he is co editor of the up coming deaf studies encyclopedia.
Dr. Boudreault strongly advocates the preservation and proliferation of deaf languages he has
witnessed the impact of them, to deaf culture and deaf identity itself, with the proliferation
of the devices such as cochlear implants and potentially impact or obviate the need for
them. What will happen to the deaf community as a result, let’s explore this issue.
Without further ado, please join me, in welcoming Dr. Patrick Boudreault to Franklin & Marshall. [applause]>>DR. BOUDREAULT:>>DR. BOUDREAULT: Pardon me, while I move
this out of the way. Perfect.
Hello everyone. Thank you so much for coming.
So honored to be here. Really, pleased to bring you all my information
to you guys today. I want to thank the staff, Robert Jenks and
the ASL club that were so willing to bring me in here today.
They put so much time and effort into preparing this day so thank you very much.
I want to start this day, with discussing a few different topics e.
Little bit challenging for me to pick which topics which I want. There are so many things
I’m passionate about. So the opportunity though, to bring a few
topics and just, begin a dialogue here, for when I’m here and when I leave, so many people
deaf people, how many people are deaf people in the audience, get a raise of hands?
That’s awesome. So today’s topic, linguistics.
America really is the leader as far as deaf access is concerned. As far as language, culture,
and thanks mostly to the ADA. That was set up in 1960, it’s been 25 years.
It’s been radical change for deaf people. As far as, educational opportunities, they
say that today is actually the best time to be a deaf person in history.
And I have to agree with them. It is just amazing to be a deaf person in
America. Thinking about linguistics what could we predict, 20 30 40 years from now. Before
we discuss all of these things, I want to show you a history time line. Maybe it will
make a little more sense of the things that have happened in regards to deaf culture.
You might notice just, so that you’re aware there’s a little bit of a time lag with the
interpreter as she gets what I’m saying and puts it out to you. That’s very normal. [laughter]
You can just take a look real quick. You see the yellow?
Hoes are very positive things. You see how the positive is intertwined with
the negative. It’s just how history goes. So early 1700s, most people, you know, wow,
they had this new language. It’s fascinating people were fascinated to
learn sign language in Europe. The deaf community grew and developed from this dark place into
this new place of language. And then, we had eugenics, the 1800s. There
was a shift, it was called social dawrism. It’s like a bell curve, they wanted to have
more of a normalization, they wanted to eradicate deafness. Alexander Graham Bell he was very
strong, involved in the community and movement. So the NAD was involved.
And they became very active in preserving the language, sign language.
And then from that, that was a huge impact on research of um, eugenics and the hela.
That’s it’s the study of genetics and chromosomes so there’s a lot of discussion about euthanasia,
research and genetics and how it impacts people and impacts our lives and science.
Let me explain the next one a little more. So I have a genetics project, that the human
genome project, that’s what I’m doing most of my research on. I’m heavily involved in
it. The human fertilization and embryological
project. That’s what we’re most interested in.
I picked 3 key people to discuss. There’s so many important people in our history. I
picked 3 people that a huge impact on our deaf community. Ag bell he invented the telephone,
he is such a successful person. So strongly advocating for the deaf community and deaf
education, very fascinating. He is an honored member of the eugenics association.
He was heavily involved with that movement. He wrote a memoir, in 1884, writing what he
found in different concepts. Regarding normalization.
So he promoted two different approaches. Repressive measure, which means forbidding
the intermarriage of deaf people. So we would not have anymore deaf children and we had
preventative measure, which is more of a mainstream approach putting deaf individuals into mainstream
school and teaching them, oralism with other hearing people.
So the first one, repressive measure, it didn’t work out so well
[laughter] So um, preventive measure is what is continuing
on. That’s the concept that we’re sill, you know,
around us today, I’ll explain that a little bit more.
Our next person is Veditz he is deaf, graduated from Gallaudet.
And he is involved in NAD, in the project of preserving the language.
And 1913 he was the earliest person to create a film, about the language.
So that was 200 years ago very exciting that’s still, impacting the culture today.
But again, the movement of eugenics is still involved, right. Biology, being born and marriage
and it’s all intertwined. So in socialism and academic research they
realized in 1960s, ASL wasn’t a language. So William Stokoe he was hearing he was hired
at Gallaudet university he was his major English he didn’t know sign language he didn’t have
any idea of deaf culture. So he realized there was no actual standards for the language that
deaf people were using. So he was observing and he thought you know,
if there’s no standard, how can you communicate with each other?
It is so random, there’s no structure. It was just randomly thrown out there. He researched
and he found there were patterns and different structures and parts of speech in American
sign language. So you can see the complexities here, the picture is up on the screen the
handshake the movements the body language. That started a revolution and a shift.
And people, were actually beginning to accept ASL as a language.
And now, people follow the principles and the rules.
So what does this mean? If ASL is only 50 years old, and has only
been recognized as a formal language since then from an academic perspective, I mean,
200 people to finally recognize it as a language I mean, we still have such an uphill battle
today and some people are still resistant to the language and to the deaf culture.
I want to put the slides away for just a second. I mean, I’m sure you’ve all had discussions
about racism and ageism and the list can go on.
The deaf community has a word and it’s called audism.
Anyone ever heard of that word Audism show of hands. Now you know.
[laughter] It’s such an important word, how society behaves
and perceives and, interacts and tries to direct and control deaf people.
So Stoeke, who we just spoke about, he created this structure for a language and developed
this word then was developed out of it. They wanted to balance the pattern.
They wanted to balance from the pattern from hearing people to join the deaf and put an
emphasis if I say hearing I’m not speaking all hearing.
Some people say, hearing what do they mean? Hearing? Deaf person, they get what a deaf
person is, when you say hearing, what does that mean? I’m an American, I hear.
So from a deaf perspective, it is the other people in our society that we compare to the
deaf. That’s how we compare deaf and hearing. Huge impact on genetics.
In relation to deafness. This is this movement was very popular it
says that 25% of the community, out of 500 a huge in number, identified about I have
to go back the interpreter missed it. Go back. Yes.
1980 1989 they discovered there was a chromosome, a specific gene that they could identify related
specifically to deafness. Thank you. So two things happened.
so this couple decided they wanted to have a deaf people. So kind of, think of it as
a designer baby. So they wanted to use the knowledge that they
had and plan out how they could have this deaf child.
Deaf parent often wants to have a deaf child, it helps them identify with each other.
This will create a 5th generation for this family, that created a strong desire for them
to have a deaf child, who is now a freshman in college.
This is a story in the Washington post they wrote an article about this.
The deaf community’s view was they felt proud they felt it was a really good decision, in
it the deaf community that made a lot of sense. If you want to have a baby, you want them
to be part of the deaf community as well. Often in deaf culture, someone will say you
have a child, is it deaf or hearing? It’s always sort of a problem, they say oh he is
deaf or hearing. They’re kind of like oh, bummer
[laughter] It’s odd I guess.
Nevertheless but, you have to remember the cultural perspective how our society, was
built and developed there’s a view of hearing culture, and there’s a disability I’m sorry,
the hearing viewed as a disability and the deaf view it as an identity.
So we have to decide where the human rights boundary is as far as deafness is concerned.
Request we just decide? Hey I want to have a deaf child?
I mean, can we just decide, many things can impact that decision.
And I see a lot of heads shaking no you just can’t decide you can have a deaf baby if you
want to. There’s a lot of different challenges involved, in our society, because of audism.
A lot of barriers. A lot of barriers put up by hearing people. So should we have the freedom
of choice as far as a deaf baby or hearing baby in reproduction? You know, then what
is next? You’ll want a child with blue eyes. So you know, of course, blue eyes is not going
to change a person’s life, but nevertheless, I mean, maybe someone will say blue eyed people
will have a better opportunity to get a job, whose to say, in China, for example, right
they want to plan to have boy babies they prefer boy babies over girl babies. So that
you can see the dynamic and the imbalance that it you know, they cherish men more than
women you see the dynamic I’m going for. So this couple in 2007, they did a blog they
told a story about the DNA testing and the results and, the blood samples and, all the
things that were involved in this decision. This is this is incredible.
I mean, the blood samples and the data they collected it is just, it was amazing.
You know, many of you here, you are in college you’re doing research, collecting data, doing
interviews, family you know, interview about families and people get really excited to
be involved in these data collections and, studies about genetics.
But you know, you have to stop to think you know after these studies are over what happens
to the data, what happens to you will a the sample these took, is it possible they could
use that data against me? And use it to further their own agenda, what is their agenda? You
know, when they use it, my blood sample, will they use my information against me.
You start talking to people. You know, people are giving talking about DNA and people are
giving samples and, some DNA samples they keep and they freeze them and they can use
them in the future use them again and again and again.
That’s why this discussion today, as far as linguistics and the decimation, with medical
technical, biological, all those different aspects and perspectives you need to have
as far as linguistics. You know, you don’t really know what to expect
in 10 20 years trying to look ahead predict what is going to happen when we have no idea
to expect, if you’re giving blood today maybe you know, you should stop to think twice think
about what your challenges are and what your rights are.
That’s where my deaf genetics project comes into play, start that had in 2006 I can go
into a little more detail little later let’s finish up with the slide.
So in 2007, this blood sample happened and 2008, in the UK, another article, that you
can take a look at. I feel like a little bit like the identity
movement almost like take two you know. You know here we have the 21st century I thought
this problem had been done you know. It’s over.
People have accepted it and moved on, but it’s sort of, history repeating itself.
And why is it different? Because we talk about diseases or problems? People say it’s a cost
to the society, we have to deal with the problem that we have.
So, again, suppose the world we built a suppose we built a world around sound.
Or around sight. How do you plan? What does the system look like, as far as technology?
Does that mean, we’ll have problems? Or issues?
Think about people who need wheelchairs. I remember, you know, when I was much younger
you know, riding my bike and to get up on the curb was a really big deal.
Now, they have the ramps for the handicap to make it easier to get up on the curb. It’s
a simple will concept. But it’s how we frame our world and what we cherish and what we
want to preserve and the decision we make. And what our actual priorities are.
Those little individual things make up a whole. So because of this, this couple, in the UK,
they used this, actually as an example as a case study they found that, they didn’t
want more deaf children they wanted to eradicate deafness, they did not want to allow deaf
children to be born. That was the same back with AGB, trying to prevent deafness.
So this is really not different it’s the same concept.
Trying to use it’s a new approach by biology how to how to manipulate DNA and, screen things
and, do things according to your own plan. So there are they want to do a screening in
vitro, to make sure there’s no problems abnormalities for the baby, no threat to their life.
No threat of cancer, a lot of different thing they want to make sure, this he want to keep
that baby healthy. I can understand that.
But as far as, you know, they want to get rid they want to include deafness and get
rid of deafness as well. Deaf people are like what does that mean? They want to get rid
of this disabled group or what they consider a disabled group, but a group we consider
a culture. So we have power to decide in our own community.
Should we consider that like a genocide kind of thing where you start through you know,
a certain you start at a level and then you, you know, you it seems like abortion thing,
going back to the petre dish and picking which ones you want to keep and the ones you want
to discard. Where’s the boundary, where is the line. It’s really a huge debate.
Basically I feel like deaf people as a whole they don’t need they feel like hearing people
are superior race. So it’s this it history repeating itself.
It’s this cycle will, all over again. I think now is just a little bit more overt
than it used to be or that it was back then. They developed, they found science they were
able to understand more clearly. Now it’s a little bit more overt.
So this is what I’m involved in. This is my project.
It’s to have hearing and deaf people. With this is involved with the national institute
of health. And we discussed what to do, how to understand
the community, the interests the gene testing. The chromosomes, the influence it has, the
deaf identity and their perspective. We try to figure out what all this means and what
the impact is on the community. I mean, it’s really an important question. What does it
actually mean for deaf people. So I ask the DNA sample that we collect the
DNA samples. What do we do with those? How do we control this sample that we have?
The research question is, identify the positives. CG26 the chromosome 26, do they, this does
the sample have it or not have it? We want to have this discussion.
And the results will, they will tell us the impact it will have and the effect on the
well being of this culture. But for us, DNA is not important.
I mean, can you freeze it and use it again for research?
So we’re going back and forth. We’re discussing this with excuse me. I’m going to clarify
real quick. They’re collecting this data they’re having this conversation with their, the people
that they’re potentially having in their research. And then, they’re discussing what do we do
with your sample when it’s over? Do we keep it or freeze it, we’re having the discussion
back and forth with these people wand making sure we’re clear.
So then we agree, we’re going to use the sample, one time that’s it.
It costs $600 per test, $600,000 per test, collect from 270 samples.
That seriously is a lot of money. So making these decisions, you know, it was a big decision
to plan not to use it again. The deaf community said oh, okay.
We trust this study. I feel like, our goals are the same. It’s
very clear. It’s well planned out. So yes we’re going
to go ahead and trust your research. So there’s two graphs.
Two different models. You see here in the yellow, the deaf community
is actually involved. That’s the hearing perspective. On the right in the green is more of a deaf
perspective and the deaf are more involved. So we’re collecting all this data, getting
results. And initially, the deaf community was involved
and they thought you know, how can we get the deaf community involved?
So the team decided to have more of a general approach and, include some deaf studies.
The deaf community was directly involved. I’m a member of this community.
I do the research as well. So I have a direct connection.
I kind of wear two hats if you will. So how do I moderate this and also be part
of the community at the same time? I actually have a vested interest in this.
At the same time you know, you have to understand the science of it all.
So there’s a lot of research, from a medical perspective they didn’t include the deaf as
well. Two different worlds overlapping one another but not involving each other. We had
a team of 20 people, from all over, deaf studies counselors, we had deaf hard of hearing. So
we’re having more published we’re developing more articles and whatnot and developing this
as our project. So the research continues we notice a few
different things. We have a deaf community view and how they
perceive it. Deaf community would be a little more resistant.
They feel history of eugenics and at the same time they’re motivated to be involved because
deaf people you know, they will often say to each other, you’re from a deaf family,
how many people are deaf, first, second or third generation? That’s always a little bit
fascinating it’s like a commonality between them.
Children deaf it’s always a big discussion it’s fascinating when it’s several generation
of deaf. People will meet and you say you have deaf parents I will say yes.
I don’t really know why they ask, but it’s it’s something that they do it’s a typical
question in deaf culture. It’s something they really value in the deaf
community. It’s an identity in itself, the language,
the cult you’re. It’s an entire identity. So that’s why I’m involved with this research.
Because I see the value in it. If we’re right, and we ask the right questions,
and we have the right agenda, without hurting people. It’s very important to look back at
the history and evaluate ourselves and make sure they all coincide.
So few more slides I’ll shift a little bit to human rights and language rights.
Remember I mentioned the ADA back in the beginning? That was, set up in 1990.
That provided services such as you see over here, the CART and the interpreter services.
The services themselves are great. But they don’t necessarily protect and value
the language and culture of deafness. I don’t know if they didn’t have the ADA I’m
not sure that our culture and our language would be preserved.
It’s not a written language you understand. So now 25 years later since this ADA is enacted,
what does it all mean? So the UN, united nations, the CRPD, I’ll
show you this. So summarize this UNCRPD.
So they did this with 150 countries all over the world. The US was not involved.
Because obviously we have the ADA. So politically eh, we could not be. This is really powerful.
This is one of the first articles with strong language and emphasis on linguistics and identity
and culture. They didn’t use vague language or vague words.
They were very direct. There’s articles, 3 out of 30, that I wanted to explain a little
more in detail. This is really powerful.
There’s such an emphasis on sign language. It’s written right there.
Includes all languages, period. Could have left it at that and put all languages
and end the sentence. They made an emphasis to include sign language.
And they also said we must promote that language. And it could have just said, recognize it,
and end it there. But they also added promote it and preserve
it. And use it.
It’s their right. And they had the point of view that, people
see it as a disability. But then you have to remember it is also seen as a cultural
identity. And I wanted to overlap those two. Before
they were very separate. Really, doing a lot of studies and, with those
studies we found out those two kind of overlap. So understand the CRPD was not just a sample.
It was developed, as something to show other countries so they could evaluate their own
performance or either follow along, realize where they were lacking.
I think, America didn’t have an official language. English is not our official language.
we happen to use it a lot. A lot more Spanish speaking.
But Spanish is not our spoken formal language either.
There’s another paragraph I want to put up here.
For UNESCO there’s more of a suggestion and sample, CRPD is for of an enforcement.
I love the biodiversity. Does it limit to plants people, are people art of nature as
well? Are they organic? That means we’re using our brain well it has
many, many meanings I love that word. And language is part of the product.
The product of our diverse humanity. Without people you don’t have language. Everything
is revolving around nature. So UNESCO noticed it and they noticed the
deaf community had culture and language but they were separate. But there was a strong
connection and over lap. It says here safeguarding.
I’m going to talk about the linguistic heritage of that, what does it mean? Medical and technological
and but I want to talk about how we fix ourselves. To make ourselves better and better and better.
Some say that deafness is a bi product of not poor planning. You find something here
that means make sure it doesn’t hurt anyone or
so the bi product of research is finding a
meaning, planning, thinking about different issues. And then, the spin off of you get
the results and things spin off of it, how to make yourself better, for example let’s
go with heart disease. And we’ll use Viagra as a example
[laughter] Great you study heart disease, you get all
the research and as a spin off you end up with Viagra, this is what I mean, studying
one thing and in turn, finding many things. So they discuss stem cell research, different
cells inside of the ears and they find many people in the U.S. with the degenerative hearing,
millions of people they want to have research and have studies.
They wanted to have that experience of using a spoken language so they were interested
in the research, and willing to be in the research.
But they’re also a there’s a big concern of eradicating with the deafness. The people
in the deaf culture don’t want it eradicated. For example, there’s many parents they have
a baby it’s born deaf and it’s like, you know, they’re going to the doctor and they’re like
you know, what do you do? What do we do? How do we make this child have a better life?
How do we fix it? They suggest a cochlear implant. That is a medical perspective to
fix, they want to fix and change things. So before they had the PGD and the UK, they
did the screening, for deafness the screening has become way more advanced. So we could
you know, the parents could make decisions. You know, imagine a parent finds out the baby
is deaf, yeah, we don’t want that, we don’t want that baby.
And then they didn’t question that, you know. For the deaf perspective that’s different
for us they feel, they would be happy to have a deaf baby. The perspectives are different.
The deaf perspective is they want the heritage passed down and that’s they’re proud of that.
So there’s kind of an ethical line and where are we going to go? Where does the line cross?
So I wanted to now jump into ASL how ASL plays out in the U.S. It’s very popular and what
do I mean by that? People are starting more and more, to be fascinated
with it, they want to learn the sign language. I am going to show statistics these are the
most recent statistics from the MLA. This is the language report they do these
studies all over the U.S. and they have it has different languages and in the areas where
they’re most used. So I’m going to show you the statistics.
Notice Spanish is first ironically. So you can see the green. You see the increase.
It continues to go up. 109,570 students took the class.
What does that mean? That means more diversity. More people are
accepting of it. More language diversity. More appreciation
of the language. They appreciate the differences in modalities,
hearing and visual, that the the different experiences that entails. The sensory perceptions.
And they find we can use different ways to communicate.
We can use our eyes to communicate. There’s scientific evidence and medical, cognitive,
everything is involved in this. We can apply that to who we are as human beings.
Who uses the language? We use language to understand more about ourselves.
This is college level also. I mean how many interpreters are in the U.S.?
Around 30,000. How many parents? How many students have actually
taken and finished learning ASL? 100,000, it just grows and grows and grows. The deaf
community like myself, use ASL. There’s 230,000 roughly. It’s still a strong number it’s a
good number. But if you look primarily at first language,
native users and second language users that’s becoming a cross over right now.
That’s why I said in the beginning this is actually the best time to be a deaf person.
You know, you don’t know what to expect in 20 30 years how technology advances, science
advances. What could possibly happen. First language users will be less and less.
And a lot more people who have learned sign language as second language users.
Who is responsible for it though? You know, people should be motivated, right.
They continue to learn and have these discussions. I want to show you one picture, it’s one of
my friends she is an artist. It’s amazing it’s very powerful.
You know, signing they want to teach their babies to sign, hearing babies it’s been a
thing, a popular thing. Helps them to communicate better, make them
less frustrated. I think through for autism as well they use
it as a communication skill for children with autism to help them communicate better.
So in the future, does this mean, that we’re passing you know the ADA right now is taking
care of deaf people as far as services are concerned. In the future we have to think
about the rights as well. And science plays a huge role in our deaf community.
So just to summarize I’m really hoping that this will kind of start to spark a dialogue
among you guys here and even after in your classrooms, to take a step back and think
about the dialogues as far as the community and becoming involved in the community. Appreciating
the language and how that language is part of bio diversity and, what that actually means.
Thank you so much. [applause]>>SPEAKER: I’m assuming we’re going to go
ahead and do a round of questioning? Carla, do you want to you’re welcome if you
have a question, to come up to the microphone feel free
>>AUDIENCE MEMBER: As usual we hope the students will ask the first questions.>>AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi.
My name is Tyler I’m a senior here and in my opinion one of the biggest problems with
society today is people prefer to hear themselves talk opposed to listen to other people talk
to them. [laughter]
So um, what fascinates me about ASL if we’re going to hear someone speak to you, you have
to be looking at them. And watching them closely. And, in order for someone to listen to you
speak to them, you have to they have to be listening to you making you know looking at
you. So I guess my question for you then is, do
you think the world would be a better place if everyone spoke ASL? [laughter] [applause]>>DR. BOUDREAULT: Many people start the discussions
and research, based upon gestures and communication. I’ve seen that, Tyler you were asking the
question, you were using your gestures using facial expression and b body language that’s
part of the language that actually makes your message more important.
I think from now on, you all should try to focus on using your body language how that
affects your message. You can communicate in a lot of different
ways.>>AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi, I’m Emily I’m Italian
I talk with my hands a lot. So yeah. I was really moved by the word when you said
Audism, the past year I’ve been, really passionate about racial injustices I’ve been trying my
best to play my part as a white person, in trying to correct that. We’re trying to be
a positive part of that, against the negativity that is happening. So as someone who is hearing,
um, what can we do? What can we do to support because we’re all
humans and this is everyone is part of the world that we live in. So how can I, how can
I appropriately like push for the cause. Where I’m not like over stepping my privilege that
I know that I have.>>DR. BOUDREAULT: Yeah. I understand that
question. One person made a comment, it was from Howard
university. University near Gallaudet. We had a panel one person said, cultural competence
quote on quote means understanding other person’s culture and the other person said you know
what? That’s not the right word. You should use cultural humility it’s a better
word. I took a step back I thought wow I really appreciated that perspective.
People are never going to be culture tally competent. You’re not in the person’s life
or shoes. It’s not equal. But to have culture humility and empathy, you coming today is
actually the first step you know and being willing to have a dialogue and opening this
dialogue. Um, reading more about it, bringing more people
to class and having the inclusion discussions, meeting with people and working with people.
Feeling more comfortable with deaf people you know, people meeting someone who is deaf
and they feel this uncomfortableness, you’re around them. That’s another good way for you
to get involved.>>AUDIENCE MEMBER: My name is Jay I’m a professor
computer science here. I want to ask a question based on a story
about myself. About 25 years ago, about the time that the
ADA came in, I was taking ASL courses here in Lancaster County.
At the same time, another company in Wilmington, gave an offer with the words being signed.
And so I invited my ASL teacher, to come with me to Wilmington to see this opera.
Now comes my mistake. I also asked another hearing person to come
to Wilmington. And when my ASL instructor heard that, she
said I won’t go with you. What did I do wrong?
I asked another hearing person and then the ASL instructor would not go.
What did I do wrong?>>DR. BOUDREAULT:
[laughter] I mean, there’s many reasons I suppose. I
don’t know the exact answer. Your teacher I’m assuming the ASL teacher
is deaf, is that the correct assumption>>AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes.
>>DR. BOUDREAULT: I guess, going to an opera it’s a little bit ironic in and off itself.>>AUDIENCE MEMBER: You see I love opera.
[laughter] And I love language.
And these were both together.>>DR. BOUDREAULT: Language is all about the
pattern. And music as well has a pattern. But language
also has a pattern. I mean, you know you like science and the meaning behind science and
linguistics has science they’re compatible. There’s all different modalities, I’m not
sure what happened with your friend and your teacher.>>AUDIENCE MEMBER: I’m a surgeon so you’ll
pardon me if I take this conversation in a different direction.
[laughter] What happens to an ASL dependent deaf person
who sustained a hand injury or even loose’s few fingers? How do they use the richness
of ASL?>>DR. BOUDREAULT: I guess, depends on how
many digits are lost. [laughter]
1, 2, 3, 4 you know, if they loose a limb. [laughter]
I mean you see a lot of people asking, how would they communicate if they lost their
limbs, I’ve seen someone, that they lost their hand to diabetes.
And they still managed to communicate. Remember I talked about you know, language
itself is not just your fingers. We have this discussion it’s facial expressions gestures,
body language, many different ways to shape and shift the language. And definitely more
of a challenge you can’t deny it. But we have different ways to communicate.>>AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you.
>>DR. BOUDREAULT: Maybe I’m not the best person to answer that a question, maybe a
person who has that disability, missing digits would be the appropriate person.>>AUDIENCE MEMBER: So in reference to audism,
the Gallaudet study with hearing and deaf mixed together they had a discussion.
And they have come to the agreement they can’t solve audism.
So they have they realized that, hearing and deaf, they could still understand audism,
they can engage in these conversations?>>DR. BOUDREAULT: Gallaudet is still working
on this study, in regard to audism they’re not sure if it can be solved a lot of issues,
revolving around audism. Something that is very difficult to capture
and study and, you know, is it is it something that is vague elusive? Or is it overt?
Popular example of it is, I had a chat with a young deaf person a college student we were
discussing the deaf experience and, them being deaf in a hearing family, what that was like
to grow up, how they communicated and many families, you know, they have well meaning.
And, they have a good heart and they will try to gesture and learn to sign it’s very
superficial. It’s very they call home signs. And they feel like, the deaf person feels
like, they’re lost. And that, you see that message again and again
and again where your hearing family does not strive to communicate skillfully, with their
deaf child. And that that was a huge impact on me.
Does that mean it was their intention you know, to superficially communicate with their
child? Not necessarily. I think that’s where audism comes into play.
You know, some are obvious things like you know, work discrimination and not hiring deaf
person, that’s very overt. But the more vague way of looking at it is you know, what the
intention is behind it. Is there empathy?
It’s the same thing as racism and ageism, we still discuss these things at length. You
know, there’s race issues. We have had those since, forever.
There’s been different movements, but you know, we still struggle with it. So I think
it’s just an ongoing process.>>AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi I’m a sophomore. So
you grew with up Quebecian sign language and you’ve learned American sign language are
there similarities like between, roots of words or general motions or are they different
because of how they speak the language?>>DR. BOUDREAULT: ASL and Quebecian, it’s
called LSF it’s easier to separate it. They it developed more in North America and
it its own changes. Canada was, the English speaking use ASL.
There’s a different variety. Just like here we have the dialect, sign language has a different
dialect as people you know, shifted where they lived at, you know, depending upon their
schools, their environments, their back grounds and politics whatnot.
That would dictate, how the language would change and the dialect would shift. I would
say maybe 40% is shared. I don’t know the exact percentage. I would go with 40%.
Um, there’s you know, between AS, will and maybe sign language that would be further
away that might be completely opposite. But the languages that English speaking and French
speaking close together and moved further apart would be a little bit closer.
Um, and in 1987, the American school for the deaf, in Harvard, there was a big language
shift there.>>AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hello.
You see a lot of discussion about diversity and popular culture and I’m wondering, I could
not call to mind a portrayal of the deaf community the use of ASL of the popular culture I’m
wondering if you see that as a problem? Or whether that’s important?>>DR. BOUDREAULT: Popular culture you mean
like TV shows, is that what you mean?>>AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes.
>>DR. BOUDREAULT: Yeah I think, it’s been supportive. I think it’s cool. I think it’s
interesting to see the increase. I don’t know if there’s so much of a negative, um, I guess
it’s how it’s portrayed that would depend, that would how the deaf community would see
it. Is I guess depending upon how it would be portrayed. I lived in LA for a lot of years
I’ve seen a lot, I’ve seen more than you could imagine you know, so it’s just depends on
how it’s portrayed and how it’s come across. I think it’s I think it’s much better now,
better than you know, maybe 50 60 years ago. It is something for people to look at you
know, to embrace deaf culture. Now you have to have actors. Then you have a situation
of a hearing person playing a deaf actor, that may be a different situation, that’s
what I mean by how it’s portrayed. It’s kind of a white person playing a black personally
not appropriate. So deaf people have that point of view on the hearing person playing
a deaf person. So I mean, you have to think about, which
is more important I guess ethics or having the language exposure. That’s a huge discussion
as well. That’s a huge debate. Someone wrote a book about Hollywood and they
did an analysis of how deaf were portrayed in Hollywood if you’re interested in that,
I could give you that information. [music] [session concluded]

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