I Get it, I do. You are excited. You or someone you love is hearing for the first time ever and you want to capture the moment and share it. Think about this for a second though, how refreshing would it be for a young deaf or hard of hearing person to see someone like them learning American Sign Language aka ASL for the very first time? Not everyone wants or finds a need for a cochlear implant. I think there needs to be more of that and more understanding of this community from everyone.
See, I know a little about this community. My friend from high school has two deaf parents and had to learn ASL at an incredibly young age in order to communicate with her parents. I cannot get over how fast she can sign. She now is a teacher at a school for deaf and hard of hearing students. I think there needs to be some more diversity in the world we live in today, where deaf/hard of hearing people and hearing people can learn from each other and see other things from both worlds; to create more diversity in our communities.
Am I saying that posting these videos are bad? No everyone can do what they want, but what I suggest is instead of posting these videos of how amazing you think it is for someone to be hearing for the first time, we should be posting someone learning American sign language for the first time. To me that seems so necessary for the young kids that don’t have a cochlear implant. Not everyone that’s hard of hearing or deaf wants to experience that because they are just fine with not hearing and just using ASL and there is nothing wrong with that.
I personally believe that if we as a society viewed ASL as amazing and special as those hearing videos we would value ASL and just how important and valuable to this community it is. We could show the hard of hearing deaf community that we as a society not only see you, but we are actually listening to you. Not just when we want to see it in a video to get that happy feeling, but we truly understand and respect how you choose to hear or not.
So, to those people that post those hearing for the first-time videos; think about what you’re saying to those that don’t choose to get a cochlear implant. You’re pretty much saying to those people; we value hearing people more than you. I am sure this is not your intention but it’s happening far too often. we want to live in a world with inclusion, not exclusion. So, think before you post or even watch one of these videos.