Deaf Again

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Deaf Again by Mark Drolsbaugh:

Book Report

In Deaf Again, Mark Drolsbaugh, talks about his “fascinating journey” into the Deaf community. The best quote from the book to explain his hearing (liquid) world goes something like this by asking the reader to swim a mile in “his scuba gear”. "Imagine that you were born ... (in a) glass bubble underwater. You could watch all the fish swim and play, but you weren’t really a participant in that life ... With the help of technology, though, you could put on scuba gear and swim with the fish. However, the gear was heavy and uncomfortable, and as much as it helped you interact with the fish, you never were able to swim like them. You were different, and you knew it." Tempted to see what was up above, you were warned not to swim to the surface. After all, "Everyone knows it’s a liquid world ... Air is too thin, land is too hard. It’s a liquid world.” Born hearing to deaf, signing parents, Mark gradually lost his hearing. Despite the fact that his deaf parents preferred sign communication, Mark was raised and educated without the use of sign language. His parents and grandparents were concerned that sign might interfere with speech and restrict his educational achievement. Although Mark became increasingly hard-of-hearing, he worked hard to "pass" as a hearing person. This ambition, he later discovered, actually constricted his cognitive development and limited the depth of relationships with family and friends. During these long years, he just "didn’t know what (he) was missing." When he later learned American Sign Language (ASL), chose to mix with deaf people, and learned to perceive deafness as something special, his horizons expanded. He came to value communication and relationships above the things that seemed so important to many people, such as image, income, status, skills, religious background, or race.

Mark’s education began in an average Public school in Philadelphia. From birth to about first grade Mark...
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