In a Hearing World
Directed and Edited by Joel Checkley and Produced by Belinda Ensor for Museums Australia (Victoria), 2015.Contributors
Museums Australia (Victoria)
Reproduction of this content for public purposes must be approved by Museums Australia (Victoria).Copyright
Museums Australia (Victoria)
The interaction between the deaf community and the hearing world bears the weight of historic limitations and preconceptions. What does it mean to be deaf in a hearing world?
This film explores education, employment and the concept of disability through the experiences of two deaf individuals.
1. By Bjorn Knetsch from The Netherlands (2009_01_20_2352Uploaded by tabercil)
[CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
2. I, Ydomusch [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons.
3. By Zipfer (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
[In a Hearing World]
I think about ninety per cent of deaf people are born to hearing families which means that when they come into the world their parents are not aware of Auslan.
They’re in shock, they don’t know what to do. They didn’t expect to have a deaf child.
And then the parents decide to go down the medical model or path of trying to get them to speak and use Cochlear implants.
Sometimes they, the medical professional will disregard Auslan and actually not encourage people to use Auslan because they feel like it won’t help them. But the thing is with a cochlear implant, it will help you hear a bit better, but you’ll always be deaf, for example, when you take the cochlear implant off, you can’t hear anymore.
Education is certainly a vital area for our community and still, you know it’s nowhere near what we’d like it to be and deaf children who attend school without interpreting support does occur, or if they have an interpreter, they’re more likely to be a communications support person. They’re not actually qualified or um, have enough skills and experience.
Some schools are amazing and are in the, in the area where the person lives and others, the quality is just dreadful.
And so that means that the child at that age, it’s so critical they receive the most appropriate information education throughout their language development. It’s an important phase and they don’t actually receive the appropri, appropriate quality of support and communication. So later on down the track it means that issues arise in their life because of the education or lack of education that occurred earlier on.
I think what we need to communicate better is the benefits of employing deaf people within the workplace. We have a lot of skilled and qualified deaf people, but they face all these barriers in employment because people think it’s too expensive to employ a deaf person.
The employment sector is growing, you know, people looking for apprenticeships, for traineeships, but I think there’s, there’s not enough being done for deaf people. They’re not being included, in fact they’re being excluded.
We do have government programs such as the Employment Assistance Fund that exists that provides funding for interpreting services, equipment and modifications, but the funding is only capped at $6,000 so perhaps within the first couple of months deaf people will use that, and the rest of the year the manager of the organisation has to cover the costs.
So the, the boss needs to determine or the employer needs to determine whether this meeting coming up is important for the deaf person there, because they have to ration how many meetings are interpreted. But, it’s important that the deaf person has access to all of these interactions with the company.
Thinking about deaf people and their productivity, I mean, obviously we would say that we’re more productive than people who can hear and speak because they work in isolation and focus more on their work and their attention to detail is certainly outweighed by, by their disabilities, so can focus on what they can actually do.
There are some people who, you know, say ‘okay, alright, we’ll give it a go’ with deaf people and they realise how great they are as employees
Working amongst a cohort of people who have hearing means that you miss out on the different levels of diversity. So person can bring in a lot of humour, new language, different ways of communication that would certainly benefit a lot of people and a lot of people could actually learn from us.
For a lot of reasons we do need to label, label ourselves as being disabled in order to receive funding from government or fire support services, but within the community we’ve never really see ourselves as being disabled it’s more when we attend the mainstream community that there are barriers that are put in place. Barriers to information or communication, whether you get on a plane or a train, if you’re going to the bank, there’s barriers we face around communication issues. But the question is whether we’re disabled or society is disabling us.
Deaf people need a lot of different things in terms of access compared to hearing people.
We’re often the invisible disability if you like because you never know when you walk past a deaf person on the street unless you would try to talk to a person or the person actually raises their hands to sign to communicate.
So, really it doesn’t matter about how they’re labelled as deaf people, but more importantly the respect. For example, um, some people will say you’re hearing impaired and I always say ‘no I’m deaf’. I’m not hearing impaired. Hearing impaired is just such a, such a negative kind of slant on it. I’m deaf, I’m proud to be deaf.
In a Hearing World
Hidden from Sight
In a Seeing World
The Laughter of the Tribe
Eyes on Access
Sign Language Alphabet Chart
Flinders Street Deaf Club
Muir and Abraham at Flinders Street Deaf Club
Blackburn Lake Park
Jolimont Square Garden Party
Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind Chief Librarian
Demonstration of Assistive Technology
Braille Playboy Magazine
Story education resources
Education A Sensory Experience Education Kit - Deaf Perspectives
Created by Way Back When Consulting Historians, this education resource links to relevant learning outcomes in the year 9 Australian History Curriculum. It utilises a range of primary sources including images, video and essays; interviews with members of the Deaf community; inquiry and research-based activities; and assignment tasks and an assessment rubric.
Education A Sensory Experience Education Kit - Blind Perspectives
Created by Way Back When Consulting Historians, this education resource links to relevant learning outcomes in the year 9 Australian History Curriculum. It utilises a range of primary sources including images, video and essays; interviews with people who are blind or have low vision; inquiry and research-based activities; and assignment tasks and an assessment rubric.