Tweens -- not what you are thinking...
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|Sat, 05-12-2007 - 11:45pm|
We all know the popular term, "tweens," which refers to kids who are not quite teenagers, but not quite little kids. Anyway, I was at a meeting and a colleague of mine referred to herself as "hard-of-deaf." She then explained that she does well listening and speechreading in intimate settings, but uses a sign language interpreter for large groups, lectures, etc. She then noted that many of our students are similar (or will be similar as adults) and I thought, "This woman is a genius!" Without getting into philosophical debates about which communication mode should be used with whom and all of that, if we really step back and look at our students (your kids) served in programs for students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, not many are either deaf or hard-of-hearing (the two extremes), but land smack dab in the middle, hence her phrase, "hard-of-deaf." Of course, this led to me thinking about the term "tweens," which is used for those in-between ages. And, when I think about it even further, it is even more prevalent in the blind/visually impaired population. Society, it seems, would rather see things in black or white when the best fit is often a shade of gray. I just wanted to share my epiphany with you all. Of the three days I spent at that particular conference, I think that learning about the concept of "hard-of-deaf" was the most lasting and important lesson I learned.