Deaf Awareness: Week 5

Celebrating the last week of September with some artworks, videos, and a poem that exemplifies our unique culture and the beauty of American Sign Language! Enjoy!

Artworks

 

Aslives 21      Baird Art

Deaf Identity

 Matt Daigle 2

 

ASL Storytelling:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music Video:

 

 

 

 

 

Poem:

You Have to be Deaf to Understand by Willard J. Madsen (written in 1971)

 What is it like to "hear" a hand?

 You have to be deaf to understand.

What is it like to be a small child,

 In a school, in a room void of sound -

 With a teacher who talks and talks and talks;

 and then when she does come around to you,

 She expects you to know what she's said?

 

Or the teacher thinks that to make you smart,

 You must first learn how to talk with your voice;

 So mumbo-jumbo with hands on your face

 For hours and hours without patience or end,

 Until out comes a faint resembling sound?

 You have to be deaf to understand.

 

What is it like to be curious?

 To thirst for knowledge you can call your own,

 With an inner desire that's set on fire -

 And you ask a brother, sister, or friend

 Who looks in answer and says, "Never mind"?

 You have to be deaf to understand.

 

What is it like in a corner to stand,

 Though there's nothing you've done really wrong,

 Other than try to make use of your hands

 To a silent peer to communicate

 A thought that comes to your mind all at once?

 You have to be deaf to understand.

 

What is it like to be shouted at

 When one thinks that will help you hear;

 Or misundertand the words of a friend

 Who is trying to make a joke clear,

 And you don't get the point because he's failed?

 You have to be deaf to understand.

 

What is it like to be laughed in the face

 When you try to repeat what is said;

 Just to make sure that you've understood,

 And you find that the words were misread -

 And you want to cry out, "Please help me, friend"?

 You have to be deaf to understand.

 

What is it like to have to depend

 Upon one who can hear to phone a friend;

 Or place a call to a business firm

 And be forced to share what's personal, and

 Then find that your message wasn't made clear?

 You have to be deaf to understand.

 

What is it like to be deaf and alone

 In the company of those who can hear -

 And you only guess as you go along,

 For no one's there with a helping hand,

 As you try to keep up with words or song?

 You have to be deaf to understand.

 

What is it like on the road of life?

 To meet with a stranger who opens his mouth -

 And speaks out a line at a rapid pace;

 And you can't understand the look in his face

 Because it is new and you're lost in the race?

 You have to be deaf to understand.

 

What is it like to comprehend

 Some nimble fingers that paint the scene,

 And make you smile and feel serene

 With the "spoken word" of the moving hand

 that makes you part of the world at large?

 You have to be deaf to understand.

 

What is it like to "hear" a hand?

 Yes, you have to be deaf to understand.