A Daft Scots Lass left a comment in one of my posts last week, asking the following questions:
"Whats the most interesting conversation you have ever evesdropped on? Knowing that you lip read and not everyone being aware of it, have you ever come across and interesting situation that made you surprised or made you laugh? I'm sure you have some interesting stories to tell."
"Is there such a thing as a singles bar for sign languagers? If so, have you ever been to one and whats it like? Is everyone signing all over the place?"
"Do you prefer to sign with a fellow deaf person or do you prefer to lip read?"
"Whats your most favourite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon?"
"Whats your most challenging part of being a daddy?"
Since ADSL's first two questions contain sub-questions, I'll answer them in "ADSL's questions, pt 2" (and pt 3) later on in the immediate future, I will answer question #3 which is "Do you prefer to sign with a fellow deaf person or do you prefer to lip read?"
Having attended my deaf school's reunion Saturday night, I got to experience both (signing with deaf people and lipreading each other) at once in one sitting. My deaf school emphasized strongly on oral education - signing was forbidden in the classrooms. We had to learn how to lipread the teachers. When we were done with our deaf school, we were ready for the world without ever acquiring any signing skill.
I had not seen some of my classmates for 30 years and it was rather disconcerting to me when I talked with some of them and seeing their eyes go blank when I tried to use sign language to help with the communication. One classmate was barely able to comprehend fingerspelling...and nothing else other than a sign here and there. Two of my classmates started conversing with each other, without any signing - just lipreading and gesturing.
I got bored with them after few minutes and I sought out others who could sign. I know it sounded bad...as if I was being a jerk or selfish. They were talking about NASCAR and driving/racing tactics. I have nothing against that, just not my cup of tea. I simply used that as my excuse to leave.
So it's obvious that I'd rather sign with a fellow deaf person than to lipread. Out of the 21 students in my graduating class, 14 attended the reunion (including me). Maybe half of that are at least competent in sign language communication. 30 years since graduation and only one could communicate with me in sign language fluently.
A letter to my family and friends
3 days ago