Currently parents h the option of aborting their fetus based on amniocentesis

Currently parents h the option of aborting their

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answered in doctors’ offices instead of in the Nazi’s T-4 program. Currently, parents have the option of aborting their fetus based on amniocentesis results indicating deafness and many other disabilities. 88 The forces of normalization seem to be gaining ground, particularly in cases like Australia, where one researcher predicts the death of Austra- lian Sign Language (Auslan) within the next few generations due to high rates of main- streaming, cochlear implantation, and genetic testing and counseling that discourages parents from carrying deaf babies to birth. 89 With whole signing communities in danger, the stakes over medical versus cultural models of Deaf people are quite high and are being waged over the ideological terrain of normalcy, oppression, disability, identity, and culture. Being on the defensive, however, is nothing new to Deaf people. From Desloges to <i>Open Your Eyes : Deaf Studies Talking</i>, edited by H-Dirksen L. Bauman, University of Minnesota Press, 2007. ProQuest Ebook Central, . Created from washington on 2019-09-21 14:41:03. Copyright © 2007. University of Minnesota Press. All rights reserved.
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15 I N T R O D U C T I O N Veditz to the formation of Deaf Studies, Deaf people have been defending the right to use sign language, the right to intermarry, and the right not to be subjected to medical and religious cures, the right simply to be left alone. Yet, increasing numbers of parents opt for surgical cures to deafness. The argument of cultural genocide, however, often falls on deaf ears. While Deaf Studies has proven the existence of Deaf Culture, the cul- tural argument is often not enough to convince hearing doctors and parents to cease their endless search for a cure. Why should society want to keep and promote Deaf peo- ple? What good are Deaf people to society? What good are deaf children to a family? These difficult questions must now be explored if the Deaf world is to continue in the face of biopower institutions intent on the eradication of the Deaf community. In addi- tion to arguments on the grounds of cultural defense, arguments about the need for cul- tural, cognitive, and linguistic diversity need to be developed. How would the world be affected negatively by the loss of Deaf communities? What do Deaf communities teach us about epistemology, about reading the visual/tactile world, about literature, about the human capacity for language? This last question has received the majority of research attention over the last forty years as research on sign language has brought about a paradigm shift in human un- derstanding of our capacity for language — not just for deaf people but for the very na- ture of language — its origins, acquisition, and neurological basis. The following is a brief background on the role that language has played in Deaf Studies since its inception, so that readers may listen in to what Deaf Studies has been talking about for the last few decades.
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