[lg policy] US: Among Twists in Budget Woes, Tensions Over Teaching the Deaf

Gareth Price gareth.price at DUKE.EDU
Thu Jul 28 01:36:10 UTC 2011

INDIANAPOLIS — Politicians have seen plenty of demonstrators outside
the Statehouse here. But the crowd that gathered last month was a bit
different from the usual shouting protesters.

Scores of deaf and hard-of-hearing children and their families
assembled to complain in American Sign Language. Parents also have
confronted new board members of the state’s school for the deaf in
pointed, awkward exchanges. And more objections are expected when the
board convenes next month for what had, until now, been ordinary
meetings on routine school matters.

At the root of the tension is a debate that stretches well beyond
Indiana: Will sign language and the nation’s separate schools for the
deaf be abandoned as more of the deaf turn to communicating, with help
from fast-evolving technology, through amplified sounds and speech?

And in the struggle to balance depleted budgets, Indiana and other
states, like Kansas, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota and West
Virginia have called for cuts on many fronts in recent years,
including for state schools for the deaf — a group of institutions
with long, rich traditions.

Full story: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/27/us/27deaf.html

Dr. Gareth Price
Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies
316 Languages Building, Box 90259
Duke University
Durham, NC 27708-0259

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