Desma Hunt's Diaries – No 2

I had such a lovely morning. I attended my son’s school assembly. Usually I just go and smile like the other parents. It just doesn’t do to not be part of the crowd. You know how it is. You look secretly around you at what the other parents are doing. You see them chuckle so you chuckle with them. You chuckle, make eye contact and then shake or nod your head depending on what the others are doing. Occasionally you place your fingers gently on your lips and look adoringly at the children as they make their announcements.  I always feel a tad guilty pretending to be one of the hearies. Hiding being deaf is vaguely insulting but it’s better than looking like a miserable cow.

But today they had an interpreter! My goodness don’t those little kiddies come up with some wonderful stories. The school my son goes to have a unit for Deaf kids but until today they had never provided an interpreter. Usually it is just a teacher of the deaf passing on snippets of information to the kids. But not today, the interpreter gave me full information and for the first time I knew what was going on at the assembly. For once my lips actually quivered with real emotion because I actually understood what my boy was saying up on stage. Seven goals he scored, and didn’t he just let everyone know!

But the best part was the National Anthem. I sang it with full and florid lip movements, all thanks to the interpreter.  “OOOOZZZTRALLIIIIA let us REJOICE ….”, I mouthed in time with the interpreter. I might sing in the shower but no way was I going to let the crowd suffer my singing.  I was involved… It was lovely!

I’m Desma Hunt. I’m Deaf and I love it!

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7 thoughts on “Desma Hunt's Diaries – No 2

  1. How many deaf parents out there don’t have access to assemblies, school performances, special events etc? Its important you fight for the opportunity to have the same access as other people. Don’t sit back.. Ask for access and lobby.

  2. When my youngest daughter was taking viola lessons, her teacher invited me to see the class play their instruments. I arrived and found all the front seats full, so stood at the side. My daughter was at the rear of the stage, so only her bow was visible sawing away in the air. No interpreter, after all it was only music! Sigh, teachers just don’t get it.

  3. Yep…at the end of year school concert I asked for interpreters. I was told by a teacher of the deaf who runs the deaf facility that I wasn’t missing out on anything. All the kids mumbled and sang so badly even the hearing parents couldn’t understand them. Hence I didn’t need intepreters.
    Luckily the principal overruled this decision. Teachers definitely don’t understand, especially those who profess to have an understanding of deafness!

  4. Little bit harsh Tone.

    My experience is that a lot of hearing people do get it – Usually the ones you least expect to.

    At my sons school, he is hearing but the school has a deaf unit, the teachers of the deaf there are forever finding excuses to not spend money on interpreting.

    What usually happens to get anything to do with interpreting approved like school performances, assemblies etc, we ask the principle of the entire school rather than the coordinator of the Deaf unit.

    The principle, who is not a teacher of the Deaf and does get it, approves it. More often than not she has to overturn decicions to not provide interpreters or direct the Coordinator of the Deaf Unit to release funding for interpreting.

    Logically the Coordinator should get it but doesn’t, especially after 30 years in the biz. It is almost like she is in the job to control deaf rather than create access.

    The principle with no backgroud in deafness does get it and provides access. You would expect she would not but she does.

    Bizarre I know, but there you have it.

  5. Coming to the business end of the school year there are several things happening at the school that I as a parent want access to. My son’s grade 6 graduation ceremony and the end of year school performance. For the deaf students, they still need support at assemblies, excursions and the performance. It’s a never ending process. I let off steam a lot too Tony!

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