CHS Barrier Free Education Project releases Beyond Ableism and Audism: Achieving Human Rights For Deaf and Hard of Hearing Citizens
Toronto, ON (October 3, 2011) The Canadian Hearing Society (CHS) is pleased to announce the release of Beyond Ableism and Audism: Achieving Human Rights For Deaf and Hard of Hearing Citizens. The report http://www.chs.ca/beyond_audism authored by Dr. H-Dirksen L. Bauman, Professor, Deaf Studies Coordinator, Bilingual Teaching and Learning at Gallaudet University, supports the highlights and recommendations made by the Ministry of Education’s Document Realizing the Promise of Diversity: Ontario’s Equity and Inclusive Educational Strategy.
The Barrier-Free Education Project is an initiative funded by the Ministry of Education. Dr. Barbara O’Dea, Project Manager and Gary Malkowski, Special Advisor to President, Public Affairs at CHS coordinate the distribution of information to all publicly funded schools in Ontario in order to remove all systemic barriers that impede student achievement and student success for students who Deaf, or hard of hearing.
“I want to express how grateful we are for the Ontario Ministry of Education’s commitment and support for our Barrier-Free Education Project. I encourage administrators, educators, students, parents, and community partners, who provide leadership and support, to use this report as a resource,” says Chris Kenopic CHS President and CEO.
“This report will further enhance the Ministry of Education’s vision of an equitable, vibrant school system that facilitates the removal and prevention of attitudinal barriers and celebrates barrier-free education for students who are culturally Deaf, oral Deaf deafened and hard of hearing across Canada.”
The Canadian Hearing Society (CHS) was incorporated in 1940 to provide services, products and information to culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened, and hard of hearing people and to educate the hearing public. CHS is governed by a board of directors, the majority of whom are deaf, deafened, or hard of hearing. The organization is funded by government, internal revenue generation including fundraising, and the United Way.
Unique in North America, CHS offers a complete roster of essential services under one roof through 27 offices including sign language interpreting to bridge the gap between Deaf and hearing people; one-on-one language development for deaf children using play as the medium of learning; employment services; sign language instruction; speechreading training; and, the most complete range of communication devices that assist and augment communication including TTYs (text telephones), visual smoke detectors, baby monitors and alarm clocks.
Language is a powerful tool – it both shapes and is shaped by ideas, perceptions and attitudes. And it’s these very attitudes that can pose the most difficult barriers for people who are culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened, and hard of hearing.
The following terms describe people, their language of communication and self-identification. As an organization which serves these communities and educates the hearing public, we avoid using terms such as “hearing impaired” or “normal or abnormal hearing” or colloquialisms such as “falling on deaf ears.”
Culturally Deaf: This term refers to individuals who identify with and participate in the language, culture, and community of Deaf people, based on sign language. Deaf culture, indicated by a capital “D,” does not perceive hearing loss and deafness as a disability, but as the basis of a distinct cultural group. Culturally Deaf people may also use speechreading, gesturing, spoken language, and written English to communicate with people who do not sign.
Oral deaf: This term is generally used to describe individuals with a severe to profound hearing loss, with little or no residual hearing. Some deaf people use sign language such as American Sign Language (ASL) or Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ) to communicate. Others use speech to communicate, using their residual hearing and hearing aids, communication devices or cochlear implants, and lipreading or speechreading.
Deafened: This term describes individuals who grow up hearing or hard of hearing and, either suddenly or gradually, experience a profound hearing loss. Deafened adults usually use speech with visual cues such as captioning or computerized note-taking, speechreading or sign language.
Hard of Hearing: This term is generally used to describe individuals whose hearing loss ranges from mild to severe, and occasionally profound. Hard of hearing people use speech and residual hearing to communicate, supplemented by communication strategies that may include speechreading, hearing aids, sign language and communication devices. The term “person with hearing loss” is increasingly used and preferred by this constituency.