ziggy wrote:...The use of forums/electronic text is not the most effective forum for the majority of deaf people to be understood.
This confuses me. Why does the loss or lack of hearing make reading and writing more difficult? Is it the learning process that is more difficult?
Short answer: yes, extremely.
Long answer: have at it.
Glad you asked. I will try and paint you a picture. Please keep asking questions, I may not be on the same page as you but my intentions are to try and bridge the gap here.
There is something about the early effect of sensory deprivation. It delays the maturation of a brain. This becomes an educational consequence of failed communication as there is a struggle to convey ideas and feelings into English.
Reading/Writing becomes delayed due to the lack of communication access. Language in the purest form is seperate from English. English has its own rules for grammar, punctuation and sentence order. Limited exposure to English stunts the ability to grow. The average kid with no hearing loss will hear about 10,000 words a day with incidential learning exposure. The average deaf kid will maybe "see" 500-2,000 words a day, often repetitive. There is no substitute for natural learning but how does a Deaf kid learn when schools and parents are unable to communicate 100% ? Lipreading is a skill. Imagine 1000 rated lipreaders. How did they get there? By learning English first. Now those juniors, they gotta learn English first before they can become 1000 rated.
For deafness, there are several different communication options, just as there are throwing styles. The majority of us are visual learners. We are receptive and expressive when it comes to use of handshapes, body languages, and placement (think mimes). If we are able to identify hearing loss early, there is a chance for amplification with hearing aids. However, amplification does not induce clarity. Think watching a foreign movie with no subtitles. Imagine watching Disc Golf videos on mute. Try to pick up what the pros are teaching you, grip, throwing, putting, and so forth with only what you see and cannot hear. For those who are lucky enough to get access to communication early as possible, there is a better chance of reading and writing.
So in a perfect world, we would be exposed to a language rich educational experience with the right to communicate with each other, exchange ieas and thoughts. The problem is the majority of the Deaf have few or no language skills. They live in a bubble with limited communication access and social isolation which leads to a higher rate of academic failure. Even I, as an educated college major, still have difficulty dealing with the grammar police. I generally understand the essentials and offer my thoughts with the hope that I am able to help people understand the problem through writing.
There are quite a few factors that may increase or decrease your chance for communication. 90% of those factors involve other people becoming educated and bridging the gap. (i.e. people becoming culturally sensitive, learning how to sign, and making accomodations accessible such as turning on the closed captioning on television when a Deaf person enters the room) - The earlier we can provide effective communication opportunities, the better our chances of learning English.
There is also the case of Autism. For some reason, autism and deafness are tied into the same department. I have seen research state that up to 40% of the Deaf population have additional disabilities with Autism being the most common. I am still skeptical, holding out hope, for something for more reliable in measuring the data.
With the rise of technology, foreign languages can easily bridge the gap by turning on auto-translate for discussion forums and share. But there is no technology to translate a visual language that cannot be textually transcribed word for word. To do so requires youtube and a willingness to add subtitles and try and translate into English.
Does this help?