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From:  Barbara ODea
Date:  Thu Nov 5, 1998  4:23 pm
Subject:  Re: A general ASL question

I seem to have offended some people on this list.

I do not want to add fuel to the fire, and after this message I will
respond to people only individually, but I want to make a couple of things

My points were not at all directed to hearing parents who are struggling
to provide their Deaf children with a language base; and I hope that is
clear. These people learn as much as they can from people who know ASL and
then pass that on to their children. Those of us who have been part of
this struggle know and appreciate the enormity of the situation.

And it is not uncommon for people learning a second language (or anything
else for that matter) to share that with their children (which probably
happens to some degree anyway, whether we plan it or not).

Some responses have lead me to understand that some parents are
attempting to teach their "own" children ASL and, in fact, my earlier
posting was a response to just such a person (although I didn't know that
at the time). Obviously, what parents teach and attempt to teach their own
children is entirely their business.

My views have not changed concerning people who do not know a language
setting themselves up as "teachers" of that language. As we know, in our
society, that doesn't happen with spoken languages, but it does happen
with ASL. I had expected to get some support for this view from people on
this list.

It would be great to continue this discussion, but directed responses to
me individually rather than to the list.

Thanks, Barbara

Barbara O'Dea Voice: 871-7443
Sign Language Studies Department TTY: 871-7444
Vancouver Community College FAX: 871-7442

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