The Executive Director’s Pulse – Fall 2021
In a recent interview, I was asked, “In a perfect world, what product would make life easier for a deaf person?” I immediately latched onto a concept rather than a product. A concept to break down ill-informed social constructs about persons who are Deaf. I explained how I wish for a world where American Sign Language is readily accepted as a form of communication and a bona fide language; a world where society is more inclusive of us.
When I envision a world that’s shifted to accommodate and include the deaf community, it looks like this: daycares in every city that hire at least one deaf teacher, churches that allow for deaf ministries no matter how small the deaf congregation may be, every school equipped with Deaf teachers to lead Deaf culture and ASL classes, and so much more. While I am grateful for technology, I think we need to stop spending so much time and money on finding the perfect product to force deaf people into the current social structure.
When people outside the deaf community visit Deaf Action Center for the first time, they are often shocked by how we work and function. We operate within the mentality that we are successful because we use ASL, that deaf people can do anything when systemic barriers are removed, and this is the type of thinking that allows us to be creative, dynamic, and successful. It’ll take more spaces like this, more people being willing to challenge the existing social constructs, for deaf and hard of hearing individuals to truly thrive in all areas of life. It’s not about a product, it’s about a mindset.
Thank you for reading DAC’s community newsletter and being willing to stretch your mindset about what a truly accessible society looks like. As always, myself and my team are here to discuss with you ways we can make DFW a more equitable place for the deaf community.