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Why Some are Outraged at These Amazing Videos of Deaf People Hearing for First Time

One of the most moving things you will ever see is the overwhelming joy, absolute astonishment, and emotional release of people who are suddenly cured of a physical impairment or disability.

These moments captured on video for the world to see are intimate and revealing, and they are remarkable because they allow us a window into another person’s world. Imagine what it must be like to have this transformative power that we often take for granted instantly bestowed to another person. Although we cannot truly imagine it, we find ourselves empathizing with these people and sharing their joy in being released from these disabilities.

This cute little girl receives a cochlear implant – a technology that has made amazing strides over the past few years. Her emotional reaction is unforgettable:

There was the recent compelling story of a dad who heard her daughter’s voice for the first time as she sang “Daddy, Please Come Home for Christmas” at a recital:

Toddlers can now receive the benefits of wondrous auditory brain stem technology, and the way this young man points at his daddy’s voice is priceless [go to 2:14 to see 3 year-old Grayson Clamp]:

Another beautiful moment is shared when Amy hears her sister’s voice for the first time:

What may seem incredible is that several people who have posted videos showing ‘deaf people hearing for the first time’ claim to have received comments from people taking offense at the videos, because they argue that the videos stereotype deafness as a disability.

There is a “deaf community” or “Deaf culture” they claim, and people are being closed-minded by judging deaf people as inferior to those with typical hearing function. As just one example of views on “deaf culture,” here is how it is described in the academic journal Disability Studies Quarterly:

Particularly within the past few decades, proponents of deafness as a culture have asserted that deafness is not a pathology and therefore does not need to be “fixed” (Butler, Skelton & Valentine, 2001; Dolnick, 1993; Lane, 1992, 1997; Padden & Humphries, 1988; Wilcox 1989). […] “Parent and child belong to different cultures, as they would in an adoption along racial lines,” says Dolnick, “And deaf children acquire a sense of cultural identity from their peers rather than their parents” (p. 38).

Here is the real kernel of the Deaf culture argument:

Although proponents of Deaf culture say that they are bound together by the experience of deafness, they also say that deafness does not signify a loss, but a distinctive perspective of the world (Dolnick, 1993; Padden & Humphries, 1988; Lane, 1992; Wilcox, 1989).

Some are so extreme they oppose miraculous hearing treatments on principle because they ‘discriminate’ against those deaf people who cannot benefit from them. Take for example this passage from the University of Colorado that hints of this extreme view:

From a deafness-as-defect mindset, many well-meaning hearing doctors, audiologists, and teachers work passionately to make deaf children speak; to make these children “un-deaf.” They try hearing aids, lip-reading, speech coaches, and surgical implants. In the meantime, many deaf children grow out of the crucial language acquisition phase. They become disabled by people who are anxious to make them “normal.”

Obviously, there are people who take this view to the extreme, and hate such videos that praise the deaf suddently being able to hear on the grounds that it is praising normality and mainstream culture. This should speak volumes about the type of mentality that prevails among some extremists, who would rather relegate people to a life of impairment than see some benefit while others do not.

While this particular point-of-view is rare, the notion of diversity for the sake of diversity, as an extension of the left’s identity politics, is unfortunately all-too-common. Human suffering can arise from such misguided beliefs, whether people take ideology seriously or not. What people should concentrate is improving human life on an individual basis. A belief system that stands in the way of spreading joy and enhancing human life should always be rejected.

Seeing a Kid in This Condition Makes Me Sick to My Stomach…


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