Bi-Bi: A Better Way to Educate the Deaf

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In America we have adopted an auditory-speech, which is a mono-linguistic focus on the spoken and written forms of the majority (English here) language, approach to educating our deaf children. We adopted this methodology for teaching the deaf because of the Milan Conference held in 1880. This conference was an excuse for those in favor of oralism to gain the support they needed to outlaw the use of signed language in education. Their plot succeeded; the conference decided that signed language was inferior to spoken languages and was not capable of allowing the kind of learning necessary (Lane, Hoffmeister, and Bahan 61). From this stemmed many of the false beliefs about signed language. Such as signed language will make the signer…show more content…
The implant helps quite a deal with hearing ability but it does not enable the implanted to hear everything that is going on and it is very difficult for them to filter our background noises. As mentioned earlier the use of an oral only education severely limits the education of the deaf child. These parents are rarely informed that there are other alternatives. They are almost never told about the use of ASL in educating their child. This perspective help by audiologists and speech pathologists lingers from the Milan Conference but many countries have taken another path, in fact it is only the US and Canada that have professionals that are still struggling to accept signed language as a beneficial tool (Lane, Hoffmeister, and Bahan 335-366). In the Netherlands in order to qualify for a cochlear implant the family is required to learn signed language and the government has instituted programs to help with this endeavor (Knooks 268). Bi-bi is teaching deaf children signed language and then using that to teach them the majority spoken language as well as teaching them both deaf and hearing cultures. Using signed language has been proven to aid in the learning of spoken language and literacy (Andrews and Rusher 408). The student is able to “piggy back” what they are learning in the spoken language with what they know from the signed language (Andrews and Rusher 408). Because the student has learned a

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