I’ve been doing a lot of musing recently. Earlier in the week, I mused on the definition of deafness and what impact this might have. I’ve also been musing on the deaf awareness of deaf children.
My musing was triggered by an NDCS weekend where I had a very enjoyable time with a bunch of young deaf cheeky little monkeys / rascals (delete as appropriate). At the fringes, I spent some time observing how the deaf children interacted with each other, and I was struck by how often basic deaf awareness rules were forgotten – like facing each other when talking. Children will obviously forget the rules when they’re having fun, but it still struck me as slightly ironic that deaf children might be some of the worse offenders when it comes to deaf awareness.
90% of deaf babies are born to hearing families with no experience of deafness, and around 85% of deaf children attend mainstream schools – so a fairly large portion of deaf children may rarely meet other deaf children until they go to something like a NDCS weekend.
I think it’s often a useful learning experience for the deaf rascals to meet other deaf rascals for precisely this reason – to learn more about who they are and how to communicate with each other. But it did make me wonder if more needs to be done to educate deaf children about deafness? And if so, how best to do this?
What do you think? As always, good to hear your thoughts.