Esse livro chegou às minhas mãos depois de viajar muito! O Gilberto Ferreira comprou no Líbano, mandou entregar nos Estados Unidos, trouxe pro Rio de Janeiro e entregou pro Lu, que me levou até Porto Alegre – depois, ainda levei pra ler em Capão da Canoa. Livrinho viajado, hein? A tradução do título, em bom português, é ‘uma criança sacrificada para a cultura surda’. Acho que os defensores ferrenhos da segregação, das escolas especiais, da língua de sinais e do estilo de vida que prega uma vida em função da surdez precisam ler página por página com muita atenção. É o depoimento de um adulto que, quando criança, foi mandado para uma escola especial para surdos, obrigado a se comunicar através da língua de sinais (ele era oralizado) e teve coragem de contar pro mundo todas as nuances ‘secretas’ dessa experiência. Não vou me atrever a traduzir, mas abaixo divido com vocês algumas passagens que me marcaram.
‘The primary objective of this book is to promote awareness in the mainstream hearing society of the culturally deaf world, as well as those living in it, of its unspoken shortcomings. Most notably, and most disappointing, is the failure of the culture to produce citizens who are, by and large, contributors to society. I feel that a deaf person can be a contributor to society at a level equal to the rest of the hearing society. Without residential deaf schools, the deaf culture as it exists today would be profoundly different, and this is what the leaders of the deaf culture fear’.
‘While the residential school for the deaf excels at breeding a deaf culture, it seems to fail at preparing a deaf person to live in the mainstream hearing world. Large numbers of deaf adults are under educated, often unwilling, or simply unable to cope with life outside the deaf culture after leaving the segregated nature of s residential deaf school.’
‘Parents should cast a cautious eye towards anyone wanting to sacrifice a deaf child towards preserving a culture.’
‘I speak from the experience of being educated by the culturally deaf favored method of education. Published non-biased views of the culturally deaf world by the people who live the culturally deaf life is almost non-existent. Few are in a position to get their views published. Material published on the deaf culture, by the culturally deaf, is often biased towards a continual existence of the culture. By being employed, or having their filed of expertise dependent on a deaf culture, the writers are not likely to put their jobs and livelihood in jeopardy. It’s disturbing to me because too many people (hearing or deaf) are exposed to these biased views on the deaf culture.’
‘The culturally dead often capitalize the “d” in deaf to identify the person as being culturally deaf and as a sign of respect for them. Lower case is used to describe the non-culturally deaf. This is not standard english protocol and I see no need to deviate from it. Aside from confusing readers in the hearing society, it is a subtle method of persuasion, one of the existence of a deaf culture.’
‘For most readers, as concerned citizens in our society, for virtually every aspect of the deaf culture is subsidized by our tax dollars.’
‘On top of all that, I was dealing with a sense of abandonment for being sent here. I felt I was being punished for not hearing better when I was in the public school. Perhaps I was a bit spoiled. At the public school my teachers were always asking me if I understood what was going on. I had special speech classes and teachers concerned of my education. I never felt left out or mystified at what was happening to me. But here at this deaf school, I was just another deaf kid. No speech classes anymore. Nobody cared.’
‘The deaf culture argues ASL is a language onto itself and it is all that is needed for a deaf person to be fulfilling in life. However, english is the language one has to learn to be a contributor to our society. It is unreasonable for the deaf culture to expect everyone to learn sign language.’
‘Early in my Senior year, I made up my mind that I was not going to Gallaudet University. It is in essence, the continuation of this deaf school life. This time I had control of my fate and I intended to reverse the educational direction that was made for me. I was also aware that I would be making the ultimate insult to the deaf community. Failure of the deaf school experience to convert me to the deaf culture’s way of life.’
‘Again, as I was to find out much later, the deaf culture does not take a liking to someone who wants to ‘rock the boat’. The resistance to change is very strong in the deaf community and the fact I seriously did not want to go to Gallaudet was a rejection of their way of life and was unacceptable to them.Apparently, I preferred the confrontation than to play along with their little game. By that time, the deaf community had exposed itself to me in full circle and pieces started to fall together of a community scrambling to preserve itself and I was used to achieve that agenda’
‘In the deaf community today, there is an unwritten rule against publicly criticizing the deaf community. This seems to be due to the fact there is no appealing alternative lifestyle to turn to. With no place else to go, members of the deaf community are not likely to cause any kind of trouble that might alienate the leaders of the deaf community.’
‘The culturally deaf often feel because they are deaf, they should be on the side of receiving ‘handouts’, not be in the position of giving it to other people who are not deaf.’
‘The learders of the deaf community have continually challenged the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the device (cochlear implant). Proclaiming a deaf child has a ‘right’ to be who they are, they are assrting for non-treatment of a disability on behalf al ‘all’ deaf children’.
”We are not disabled’, ‘deafness does not need to be cured, it’s our birthright’. Many leaders of the deaf community proclaim of this ‘different way of being’ as a natural right of the deaf. This rhetoric is seen constantly to reinforce an image of an existence of a deaf ‘culture’. However, when ‘disability-related’ benefits are available, these same people are quick to harvest the benefit monies. The classification ‘disabled’ is never questioned when our government hands out taxpayer dollars to support deaf people.’