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Feeling Isolated in the Mainstream

Page history last edited by Jennifer Lowe 14 years, 10 months ago

Gina Olivia the author of Alone in the Mainstream: A Deaf Womnan Remembers Public School (2004) shared an excerpt in the Sign Lanugage Studies 7(2). 


Towards the end of the exercpt she shares the following thoughts with the reader:

     "During my twenties, I spent all my free time catching up on the social life that I missed during my K-12 years. I did not seek out any of those "residential school folks" (as I thought of them) simply because I had plenty of friends who had been solitaires like me. Having grown up in the midst of undecipherable conversation, why would I subject myself to more of such? No, I chose to interact with those who were most like me and with whom I could easily converse regardless of how many people were involved and how much background noise was present" (p. 217).

     "The most important message of this chapter is that Deaf and hard of hearing children everywhere deserve to be exposed to both worlds (the Deaf world and the hearing world) from the time they are very young. When adults around them do not protray the Deaf world in a favorable light, the result can be ongoing isolation for the children as they grow to adulthood" (p. 217).


These quotes are powerful and think that they help the hearing world take a peek into the Deaf world for a brief moment. I think that the author brings up a very importnat point in this chapter.  Are we isolating children by pushing for them into inclusion or mainstream settings so that they can interact with hearing peers when they might be missing out on socialization with deaf peers?  This is just a thought to ponder. There is no one size fits all program for all deaf and hard of hearing students, but I do think that we should listen to the voices of the children and respect their wishes (within reason of course).



Olivia, G. A. (2007). A selection from alone in the mainstream: A Deaf woman remembers public school. Sign Language Studies, 7(2), 212-219.


     Posted by: Jennifer Lowe on July 4, 2009


HOME                                       Educational Issues of the Deaf: Feeling Isolated int eh Mainstream

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