Social Change and Disabilities, Research Paper Example
Words: 3349Research Paper
Disability models such as the medical model and social model have been established to address issues affecting children and infants who are Deaf/ deaf. The difference in models of disability is that the medical model focuses on impairments, while the social model provides a remedy through changing interactions among the members of society. According to the World Federation of the Deaf (2020), there are about 70 million people who are deaf, and around 300 sign languages have been developed around the globe. Most children have not acquired a first language due to brain plasticity changes in the early childhood years. Accessibility of language at the early ages of birth enables children to develop speech as they develop. The essence of disability models is that they have enabled individuals to note realities and experiences undergone by the disabled. The deaf (individuals with little/no functional hearing) and Deaf (individuals who are medically deaf) are different from how they identify themselves. CAD (2015) says that individuals who identify themselves as culturally Deaf consider themselves as not having disabilities. Canadian statistics reveal that about 350000 Canadians are Deaf/deaf, and there are 3.14 million people who find it hard to hear. Sign language promotion is an example of speech-exclusive approaches as per the Accessibility Canada Act to enforce language for Deaf infants and children. Cognitive activities in an infant rely on subsequent development after birth, and cognitive activities’ poor development affects literacy, memory organization, and manipulation of numbers.
Disability studies examine and theorize social, cultural, and economic factors that affect the disabled. According to the medical model, disability is regarded as a physical occurrence that can be corrected. The biomedical approach focuses on an individual’s health based on biological factors that lead to impairments. On the other hand, the social model sees disability as a social problem encompassed by a complex collection of conditions (Deaf Culture Centre, 2017). Advocates for the disabled rights are promoting a social model whereby disability is not considered a good or bad trait.
Cochlear implants that deaf children are provided with have resulted in language development, but the success rate has been highly variable. According to Calton (1990), the schools for the deaf and dumb have been institutionalized to foster language development programs for children born deaf. Institutions are stimulating and developing the culture and identity of deaf children by fostering language. The American School for the Deaf (ASD) is believed to have been the cause of ASL’s establishment. Institutionalization of ASL indicates that there have been efforts to publicly available education for Deaf children (Humphries et al., 2016).
Also, deinstitutionalization policies during the 1970s brought radical changes to the type of care provided to the disabled. According to Carbin & Smith, Deaf Culture (2013), there was a need for constant treatment and provision of care to individuals, resulting in localization of care. The primary causes arose from societal and scientific changes that affected the social structures in society. For example, the deaf and Deaf individuals in asylums were moved to federally funded centers to monitor their wellbeing. Another cause for the establishment of deinstitutionalization policies is the society accepted individuals with mental issues. Still, varying levels of care were provided to disabled individuals after deinstitutionalization. The treatment culture observed in Canada changed, and a new culture was developed whereby children born Deaf and dumb are recognized in society (Carbin & Smith, Deaf Culture, 2013).
According to Clark Marschark & Karchmer (2001), the Gallaudet University is rich in history, and “The Deaf President Now (DPN)” greatly impacted movements for helping the disabled. The DPN was pivotal in establishing civil rights for individuals born Deaf. Indeed, the Deaf movements resulted in the institutionalization of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The other demands of the DPN were the selection of a president who was Deaf and the inclusion of a 51% majority of the Deaf on the board. Gallaudet University’s board was disbanded, and the university announced that a Deaf person had been elected as the seventh president in the institution. The student protest at Gallaudet University enabled the administration to meet their demands. There was the Deaf’s discrimination when the university’s board selected a hearing candidate despite the availability of two candidates who were Deaf (Clark Marschark & Karchmer, 2001).
Knoors & Marschark (2014) assert that challenges in communication patterns have hindered effective language acquisition in children born Deaf. The availability of medical models has drawn criticism from the Deaf community, which has accessed language. The views of those who have enhanced their language capabilities are that deafness is considered an impairment and flaw. This has hindered efforts to establish programs aimed at benefitting the Deaf. The issues about the essence of sign language to Deaf children have been debatable due to widespread misinformation about the implications of sign language to Deaf children (Batterbury, Paddy Ladd & Gulliver, 2007). For instance, the success rate of sign language has been low due to families’ advice that they should not expose their children to sign language. Individuals’ absolute ideological positions have pressured parents and jeopardized language development processes in deaf children.
The history of the institutionalization of schools provides insights into the contributions of special education to the wellbeing of the disabled. According to Lenart (2020), the linguistic derivation of the deaf has resulted in a higher rate of illiteracy among the deaf. Sign day schools have been established to provide education to students with hearing impairments. The first schools to emerge were institutionalized and strictly regimented. The initial approaches that benefitted the deaf include the institutionalization of oralism in the school’s curriculum (Lenart, 2020). The establishment of programs that focused on speech and lip-reading skills emancipated deaf children from language and social shackles. Systems of communication became advanced, and educators critically confronted ideas by pursuing different avenues aimed at the establishment of language development among deaf people (Lenart, 2020).
The comprehensive input is a type of language whereby listeners can understand words and structures despite the inability to understand all words and structures—the difference between comprehensive input and learning to support arises from fluency. For instance, the deaf learn how to complete target skill correctly, but fluency in a language that is acquired cannot be accurate (Woodcock & Pole, 2007). The aim of learning to support is to improve accuracy in a particular language. The vast majority of infants born with a learning impairment are raised in families with little expertise in handling deaf children’s needs. The parents are in a fragile or mourning condition, and this affects the child’s language development. The availability of hearing technology facilitates language development in the deaf with an underdeveloped language history (Bess, Dodd-Murphy & Parker, 1998). Auditory-oral language requires an individual to be keen on learning and noticing sound to attach meaning.
The social model of disability postulated that the full interaction of individuals in society could reverse disabilities. Management of problems requires a social action as compared with the medical model, which focuses on care through a medical examination. Also, the collective responsibility of society can reverse disability as per the social model. This means that disability is a cultural and ideological issue, and that is why a massive social change is required. From this perspective, the social model indicates that equality is a major concern raised in human rights that need to be addressed by societies. On the other hand, the medical model adjusts individual behaviors during the provision of care. This behavioral change is considered as the most effective care offered in healthcare. The principal response to disability is to modify and reform policies aimed at the improvement of care offered to the disabled.
Assessment of the cognitive capabilities of deaf people has been poorly conducted, and this is why the emotional processing of information in the deaf is misunderstood. The reason is that verbal ability obtained from language development has not been utilized to improve deaf people’s emotional knowledge. Emotional intelligence is built from an individual’s ability to perceive emotions. Most individuals believe that cochlear implants have not offered accessible language to the deaf. The reason is that the hearing aid provided to deaf children does not enable them to acquire spoken language. The child might develop past the critical period of developing language because implants linguistically deprive children. Personal harm and societal harm are raised when deaf individuals are deprived of language. Implants are a speech-only approach since language development in infants proceeds without explicit training (Bess, Dodd-Murphy & Parker, 1998).
According to Bavelier et al., (1998), the birth of the American Sign Language (ASL) has generated predominant visual languages used by Deaf people. Signal language availability to all Deaf children has improved cognitive abilities in language development. The Deaf form a unique group with different demands, and the Deaf people’s culture forms the basis of their identity in society. For instance, traditions, norms, and values have been expressed after the establishment of the ASL. According to Kantor (1982), the Deaf community supports the common ideas and goals necessary for providing essential services to the Deaf. Indeed, communication through sign language employs complex activities that are performed in an individual’s brain. Compared with the deaf who use spoken language, the Deaf has to develop cognitive abilities, master signs, and meanings. The Deaf lack a solid foundation in any language and lack fluency in communication, and this is why sign language is developed through the learning process (Brooks, Singleton & Meltzoff, 2019).
The Langue des Signes Québécoise (LSQ) is another predominant visual language used by the Deaf. Deaf heritage and LSQ literature are examples of things that are valued most by the Deaf. Often, individuals are unaware of how norms affect interactions and perceptions of others. Culturally Deaf people are guided using rules, and they observe etiquette while seeking attention. For instance, the availability of LSQ has facilitated polite negotiations and leave-takings. This is an indication that norms observed in Deaf communities have influenced behaviors by setting practices that are universally accepted. For instance, the integral behaviors observed among the Deaf include the appropriate use of shoulder tapping while seeking attention. Identity is a key component, and the LSQ has enabled the deaf to accept their culture and heritage and promote their beliefs.
Nevertheless, the Deaf has different abilities that enable them to process emotional stimuli differently. According to Kantor (1982), the interpretation of information is through an individual’s senses, even though it can occur from knowledge and expectations, which leads to emotional perception. For instance, schema-driven processing encompasses an individual’s mental capacity in exploring and understanding stimuli. An individual has the capability of perceiving stimuli past the information that the individual accesses. For instance, learning to make assumptions arises from mental processes taking place in an individual. The evidence provided from experiences enables an individual to understand the emotional world. The accurate perception and processing of information are through the schema-driven approach. Deaf people differently perceive emotions and information when compared with other individuals. Individuals with hearing capabilities process information using iconic and echoic sense organs, but Deaf people lack well-developed echoic organs (Lyons & Gulliver, 2015).
According to A Place for Mom (2019), the child-parent relationship influences communication patterns between a child and the parents. The primary influence is on aspects of a child’s development, such as language development. An available method that infants born with hearing impairments utilize in communication is through touch and maintaining eye contact. Most deaf children are brought up by parents without hearing disabilities, and this has generated attention to the child’s development process. Lack of familiarity in the ways of interacting with children has resulted in techniques that parents to deaf infants utilize in communicating with infants. For example, touch for purpose is used in gaining attention from the child. This strategy has remained crucial in communicating ideas and interacting with the deaf child. Individuals are immersed in a world of language from the time they are born. An essential aspect of a child’s development process is infant-directed speech (IDS) that improves language development in deaf children (Woll, 2019).
Also, the applicability of IDS after childbirth enables the child to learn faster due to the cognitive ability to capture aspects necessary for language development. In the case of deaf parents, they modify language through repetition. The expressions that deaf parents use to enable the language development process (Canadian Hearing Services, 2020). This is similar to communication between hearing mothers and deaf infants, whereby distinct pauses are made between speech segments. Parental behaviors, for example, responsiveness, creates a bond that communicates ideas between the parent and infant, resulting in language development (Canadian Hearing Services, 2015).
Lack of advanced echoic organs limits the Deaf people’s capability of developing language and understanding new concepts. The iconic-emotional input in Deaf people is different, and evidence suggests that the disparity in understanding concepts between the Deaf and hearing people arise from the neural circuits (Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, 2016). For instance, Deaf people identify other factors apart from facial expressions to process information due to hearing impairment. The increased emotional perception of Deaf people enables them to understand the emergence of emotional emergence differently as compared with the hearing people. The desired emotional state is focused on by the Deaf children and neglect reasons for the occurrence of emotions. The disparity in iconic perception is an indication that the Deaf people process emotional stimuli differently when compared with the hearing people. The Deaf cannot access meaningful emotional information because they have a deficit in emotional perception ability (EPA) (Woll, 2019).
The challenges in communication patterns that affect the Deaf arise from the inability of states to communicate the nature of SLPs to larger audiences. According to Braganza (2016), the cultural knowledge of the Deaf is limited due to the absence of an academic audience that pioneers for the existence of rights and policies that protects the Sign Language Peoples (SLPs). Individuals’ perceptions are based on traditional mappings on disability and illness. This has been the major cause of the perceptions that the SLPs cannot improve society’s production process. The disabled remain marginalized, and this necessitated Deaf people to rise and fight for legal protections. According to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario (2007), Bill 213 allowed for the inclusion of sign language in the judiciary, learning, and the Legislature.
Different patterns of oppression and life experiences have affected the wellbeing of the Sign Language Peoples (SLPs). The hegemonic discursive system used in contemporary society has been administered through the social model of disability (Canadian Association of the Deaf – Association des Sourds du Canada, 2020). This has raised an alarm that Deaf people’s rights and issues of culture-linguistic dynamics have not been addressed. Social policies are being approached at the expense of the Deaf people’s rights, and this is why there is advancement in the use of visual and sign language interaction. The SLPs’ communities and languages have been affected by the ongoing oppression that results from the misapplication of the disability paradigm. Constraints and expansionary principles have resulted in the absence of an international sign language that Deaf people can easily understand. Despite the lack of an international sign language, the Deaf has a unique ability to communicate with other individuals located in international borders (Canadian Association of the Deaf – Association des Sourds du Canada, 2015). This has enabled the SLPs to develop a global entity to oppose sociopolitical changes that have adversely impacted the wellbeing of Deaf people.
In conclusion, the core concepts in language development are the establishment of effective communication strategies. For instance, ASL and LSQ are visual languages that have been created to help individuals with hearing disabilities. The three models of disability, such as medical, social, and cultural, aim to promote the wellbeing of the disabled; however, each model has a different postulate and provides different approaches when dealing with the disabled. According to Allen et al., (2013), possessing little skill among the majority of hearing parents with Deaf children has impacted sign language use effectiveness. Early communication has vast implications in language development. Cochlear implants’ availability has increased the language development process of the deaf (Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, 2016). Children develop behavioral and cognitive strategies by acquiring and maintaining attention to communicated concepts. Institutionalization resulted in the establishment of institutions where Deaf children could be familiarized with visual languages such as ASL and LSQ. For instance, an infant-directed sign is necessary for language development. According to the Accessibility Canada Act, Deaf children have a right to access sign language. Deaf mothers are culturally enlightened of modes in which they can interact with infants (A Place for Mom, 2019). Deinstitutionalization during the 1970s-1980s paved in a new wave for the establishment of rights and legal status of the Deaf and deaf. Thus, the presence of relevant information to parents eliminates linguistic deprivation by stressing the significance of language development during childbirth.
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