I woke up from a bad dream last night. I dreamt that I was watching television. Bolt had just run like lightening and secured the 200m sprint. In my dream he ran it it in 3.4 seconds. Dreams are like that you know. He had celebrated by shaking his thang as only a Jamaican can do and it cut to an Ad .. A community services announcement.
The Ad had a child, boy or girl I cannot recall. The child was signing on the screen. Looking rather sad. The dialogue went something like this:
” This is how i used to communicate” (Signing in stilted Auslan)
There was then a flash, fire works and inspiring music. (Weirdly enough in my dreams i am never deaf)
Then in a loud and beautiful voice the child speaks:
“Now there is a better way! – Donate to us and make sure all kids speak like me!”
I woke up in horror. It was just a dream. Things like that just did not happen in the real world and then I remembered. My dream, although in dream state and slightly exagarrated, had actually happened. The emails on my computer were sad proof of that. The dream resulted directly from reading them.
I fear being sued so I cannot name the organisation, but an organisation somewhere in Australia has actually put an Ad on television that mirrors my dream, albeit without the special effects – thank god! But it is true, someone has had the gall to create an advertisement to raise money for an organisation that suggests that signing is ann undignified way to communicate, a lesser means of existing. The Ad suggests that if you donate money we can do away with sign language forever – “Speech is the future, give your money to us to make this possible.” (Authors words – not those of the Ad)
Now I have not seen the Ad, I am only going on what I have been told. But if the Ad mirrors what my emails have told me then the creators and the organisation that allowed it to go to air need to bow their head in shame. I showed the emails to my wife, she was utterly speechless.
When will this sort of garbage stop. When will professionals acknowledge the beauty the worth and benefits of sign language. When will they look at the research and acknowledge that sign language actually assists the acquisition of speech and does not hinder it. And more importantly when will they accept and stop oppressing people who are Deaf and who exist in perfect harmony with our society.
Deaf people from the state where this Ad is being shown, if the Ad is as bad as it sounds, PLEASE, PLEASE complain for all you are worth. This Ad is a step back to the dark ages, MIlan has raised its ugly head. Stop the world now please, I want to get off!