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Interview:  Bridgit Bonheyo

Interviewee: Bridgit Bonheyo
Interviewer:  William Vicars
Date: 12/7/00 6:01:10 PM Central Standard Time

In a message dated 12/7/00 1:02:13 PM Central Standard Time, Bbonheyo writes:

1. What changes have you noticed in value systems of members of the Deaf Community over time? 
(eg. Deaf Clubs, mainstream vs. Deaf schools, cochlear implants, etc)

Deaf clubs are not as popular as it used to be. CI are becoming popular. More and more Deaf members are open-minded toward hard of hearing people by allowing them to be part of the hard core deaf community. They are also more willing to work with hearing people than before.

2. What differences do you notice in the social interaction of a Deaf group as compared to a Hearing group?

 There are so many things that are different between them.... topics of their conversation, physical setting when engaging in a conversation, places where they meet to social , how they dress at a casual or formal event and how they introduce their friends.

3. What cultural conflicts or misunderstandings can arise from these differences? 

4. How do issues of power and oppression play out in the dynamics within and between Deaf and Hearing Communities? 

Both ways, there are times that I have seen a deaf person grabbing every opportunity to humiliate or oppress a hearing member within our community- this is probably due to years of anger or brainwashing that hearing people are bad. As for hearing people treating us different, it is often due to lack of education or information they have about us. It is so easy to stereotype minorities.

5. Are you satisfied with the opportunities your school experience gave you for developing your self-identity and belonging to a community? If not, why? 

Yes, I'm satisfied.

6. What changes would you like to see in educational programs for Deaf children related use of ASL and the study of Deaf Culture? 

I feel it is very important that the Deaf school offers ASL courses for the students as well as including information on hearing culture. For a child to breeze through both worlds, they need to be educated about two cultures, not just the deaf culture itself.


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