More akin to keeping New Orleans a "chocolate city", then?
The Howard University analogy I made earlier sort of works, I think -- it's now zero (ZERO!) percent Caucasian, and I think a lot of people would feel a loss if it became say 50% Caucasian. But even then, there are other universities that black people can go to where there is a critical mass, while very few such choices (and really only one other choice in terms of the surrounding community) for Deaf people.
The low number of the total population and the importance of communication make Deaf people a really unique group that way.
Talking about that - question. Twice now I've seen references to white people vs. people of colour somehow also linking in to the oppositions at/over Gallaudet. How's that work, do you know that?
That's kind of confusing me, too. There are sub-groups within the Deaf community like within the more general hearing culture -- Black Deaf Advocates, etc. I think this might be one of the laundry list of grievances -- the attempt to justify the generalized "this stinks" attitude -- rather than having any real meat to it.
I found this:
Some have asked why the Gallaudet Affirmative Action officer did not participate in or witness committee and Board deliberations. It is our experience that such officers generally do not participate in search deliberations unless named to the committee in a representative capacity, which was not the case here.
As you know, Academic Search Consultation Service was hired by Gallaudet University because of our expertise in searches for higher education presidencies. We have been in business for 30 years, and in that time have conducted 580 presidential searches for institutions throughout the country including co-educational colleges and universities and seminaries, and historically black, Hispanic-serving, and women's colleges. We are confident that the Presidential Search Committee at Gallaudet followed both the law and the best practices for recruitment and hiring of a new president.
(More interesting stuff on her blog.)
Other question. I sometimes take on a (fake) colloquial English here, but some of the people posting on that blog - apparently Gallaudet students and alumni - their English seems to simply be pretty bad. I suppose thats because English is sort of a second language for them? Kind of like how Dutch is a second language to Moroccan immigrant(s') kids? Still, it's university they're in; and the Moroccans who get to university in Holland don't make such mistakes anymore, let alone so many.
Is learning English for a deaf person much harder than for a non-native, but hearing speaker?
Oof. Tough question to answer. Or, I got my master's degree studying that question. ;-)
Language pathways are forged when people are quite young. The cut-off isn't as definite as had long been thought, but the bulk of it still does in fact happen (ugh, forget exact age, 6 is what I'll say but I won't swear to it). These pathways need to be forged to achieve fluency in ANY language. As in, if someone is fluent in Moroccan, he or she has the language pathways that are necessary to learn a second language, and become fluent in that language.
However, lots of deaf kids are not able to achieve fluency in ANY language in the critical period. While universal infant hearing screening is changing this somewhat (not as definitively as hoped), a very common scenario has been that parents don't realize a child is deaf until he or she fails to start talking. Then tests are done, then various types of medical intervention is discussed, and then maybe -- at say 3 or 4 -- a child starts to be exposed to ASL. Starts.
A whole lot of hugely important language acquisition time has already passed.
Even then, the parents probably are not fluent in ASL themselves (90% of deaf kids have hearing parents), and even if ASL exposure starts, it's limited.
That's if ASL exposure starts at all. Often parents will put their kids in oral schools, put cochlear impants in them, etc., in an attempt to make them as "hearing" as possible. Sometimes this works. Often it doesn't. And when it doesn't, you have a child who has never developed the critical language pathways, and will never become truly fluent/ proficient in ANY language.
Meanwhile, deaf children who have Deaf parents and are exposed to ASL from birth are often able to learn English and become fluent in it, more parallel to how Moroccans would learn Dutch.