Mask Of Benevolence - Disabling the Deaf Community

A Flash Presentation made in 2003 on the Book about the history of American Sign Language (ASL).

By Richard Hilton
The Book is called Mask Of Benevolence - Disabling the Deaf Community
The origonal Flash Animation from 2003 has been converted to a youtube video for more modern compatibility:







Text from the video:

There are approximately 1.5 to 2 million people who use ASL as their primary language, Making it our nation's most prevalent indigenous Language.Yet it has no offical recognition in the federal government.Deaf History, like many minority groups, is a history of oppression.Family DogSusan DuporDeaf people are often forbidden to use their own language Pathology Susan DuporInstead they are forced to learn a language they will never be able to speak.

Time Line

"The problem is not that the students do not hear; the problem is that the hearing world does not listen." -Jesse Jackson

After a week of protesting, the council gave in to the student's demands, and Dr. I. King Jordan became Gallaudet's first deaf president. The deaf children who do best in school are the fortunate 10% who learned ASL as a native language from their deaf parents.These native speakers of ASL outperform their deaf classmates from hearing homes in most subjects including reading and writing English.

Did you go to oral school? Yes, in New York What did you do there?It was awful. Signing was against the rules The Teacher forced me to speak over and overIf I refused, the teacher would become angry! The teacher lacks signing skillsHow did you understand what was said? It was hard. I had to read lips and guess.If I was wrong, the children would tease me. Did the teacher ever help you? Well, Sometimes the teacher would criticize me. Everyday he would tell me to practice and study alotReading lips isn't easy. Signing is better.I agree. Everyday after school, the children would......go back to signing to eachother.

"What many Americans, hearing and Deaf, yearn for but have not been able to achieve is a relationship of equals in which different is simply different, neither better nor worse."