The Instigator
untitled_entity
Pro (for)
Winning
10 Points
The Contender
Octavian
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

Gallaudet University for the deaf is not beneficial to the deaf.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
untitled_entity
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/29/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,362 times Debate No: 8827
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (18)
Votes (3)

 

untitled_entity

Pro

I would like this debate to be a fast one. By this, I mean I'd prefer it if my opponent stayed online to complete the debate.

Gallaudet University - http://en.wikipedia.org...
Beneficial - 1 : conferring benefits : conducive to personal or social well-being [1]
Deaf - lacking or deficient in the sense of hearing

I believe that Gallaudet University for the deaf is not beneficial to the deaf.

Due to the fact Gallaudet specifically accommodates the deaf to the fullest extent, many hearing impaired students are isolated into this deaf - only community. Unfortunately, this world is not completely deaf. Over 28 million people in America have some sort of hearing loss [3]. Though this is a large number, most of America is not hearing impaired. As a result, it is unreasonable to believe that the "real world" would accommodate these students the way they have been accommodated at Gallaudet. So in reality, Gallaudet does a disservice to the hearing impaired community as they are furthering their experience with the deaf community, not with the real world.

Sources:
[1] - http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[2] - http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[3] - http://www.docstoc.com...
Octavian

Con

Thank you to my opponent for starting this debate.

Now, based off your definition of the word beneficial, Gallaudet University is entirely beneficial to the deaf in many ways. Gallaudet University confers many benefits upon the deaf by providing them with an environment to learn skills that they would otherwise have trouble learning in a normal university because of their impairment. The deaf require a special learning environment to learn to their fullest ability, and without this they are comparable to an English speaking class with no experience of other languages being shipped off to a Norwegian school (just a random example) where they don't speak English, or vice versa.

Besides conferring benefit through learning to the deaf and hearing impaired, it also gives them personal benefits through giving the deaf self-esteem through learning and accomplishing things. It also makes them form opinions about the world around them and how it works. Finally, going Gallaudet University also gives the deaf/hearing impaired social well-being by letting them get to know other deaf people and build long term relationships, just like all college students.

Finally, with new skills and personal and social well-being deaf/hearing impaired people are better prepared to enter as you call it "the real world," but isn't it also true that their world is just as real as ours? I sense discrimination in your statement.
Debate Round No. 1
untitled_entity

Pro

A) Gallaudet University isolates the deaf and prohibits them from finding definitive methods to cope with a hearing world. I will elaborate on my first point. Isolating hearing impaired people does not benefit them in any way shape or form. However, educators believe it does, and I disagree. As someone who is pretty hearing impaired (Profound loss in my right ear, moderately severe in my left), the hearing impaired are treated exponentially different than those with other challenges or "disabilities". After being discriminated against for years, they teach us not to be such a "silent" minority. However, what most of these educators do not realize is that it is them doing it to us. From that first grade speech class, to that high school preferential seating card it has been happening at the hands of those who supposedly know what is best for us. Gallaudet University advocates patience and dedication and unfortunately, the real world doesn't offer that [4].

B) Integration of the hearing and deaf community happens way too late at Gallaudet University. What I mean by this is that when one applies to Gallaudet University, the undergraduate admissions programs generally only accept those with severe hearing loss, as a result many moderately hearing impaired students who may need just as much help as the profoundly deaf are pushed to the wayside. In addition to this, Gallaudet allows hearing students to apply for the graduate program. The rationale for this is so that hearing people can major in ASL or Hearing and Speech at a university that is supposedly centered on an ASL/English curriculum. Though Gallaudet promotes that it is a bilingual university, this bilingualism only happens in the graduate program, a full four years after someone enters the school.

C) Deaf people are already pretty fluent in sign language by the time they get to college - age depending on what age their hearing impairment started. However, most hearing impaired people are at different levels speech wise. Depending on the onset of loss a hearing impaired person could speak at level that a toddler would whereas someone else, by way of cochlear implant or severe studying could adapt a voice. As someone who was not born deaf, the frustrations of speech barriers and impediments are constant and tedious. If Gallaudet were to focus more on speech then it might possibly benefit the community more.

On to my opponent's arguments :

"The deaf require a special learning..."
-> Deaf people can do everything but hear, can you provide a statistic where deaf people perform better in these environments? As a matter of fact, deaf people prefer regular public education over special treatment. [5]

"it also gives them personal benefits..."
-> How so? There is no life skills course at Gallaudet, there is no, "This is what life is like in the hearing world 101" the best way to learn these skills is by adapting to the hearing community. I would also like to mention, that social well - being is not necessarily promoted at an all deaf school. There is a lot of resentment in the deaf community towards other members of the deaf community; for example, there are many deaf people who have a problem with those who use cochlear implants. In addition to this, deaf - hearing relationships have double to even triple the divorce rates of hearing - hearing relationships. There is nothing more crushing than having all these friends at "deaf school" and then having none in the real world.

In conclusion, Gallaudet is not beneficial to the deaf. It does not promote bilingualism and in addition does not allow for hearing - deaf interaction to occur until it is much too late. The deaf do not wish to be treated preferentially, just equally, which does not happen at GU.

For the sake of the hearing impaired, vote Pro.
I thank my opponent for this debate, and wouldn't mind discussing this further.

Sources:
[4] - http://www.gallaudet.edu...
[5] - http://www.talentknowsnolimi...
Octavian

Con

Firstly, I would like to dispel how you claim deaf people are like aliens to our society. They can interact with other people just like everyone else and I have seen deaf people everywhere in society. Deaf schools provide good environments for learning for the deaf/hearing impaired and give them good opportunities to succeed in the world.

Also, you claim that gong to universities like Gallaudet isolate the deaf students from the "real world" (which I take to mean as the hearing world), but what it does is teach the skills all hearing people learn in a matter that is catered to the deaf, all they are doing is preparing the students to take careers in the so called "real world." And as the deaf are not forced to attend universities like Gallaudet they can choose to attend a normal university where they would not learn as easily and not be prepared as well to enter the career world.

You said, that deaf people prefer public education over special treatment, well if that is the case they are not forced to go to schools for the deaf, they can attend a normal university if they like. And Gallaudet University provides the same options as most of the other colleges/universities in the United States. For example, their major and minor list is quite extensive and advanced: Accounting, American Sign Language, Art History, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Chemistry: Chemical Technology Specialization, Communication Studies, Computer Information Systems, Computer Science, Criminology, Deaf Studies, Digital Media, Economics, Education, English, Family and Child Studies, Finance, Foreign Languages, French, Government, Government: International Concentration, Graphic Design, History, Interpretation, Mathematics, Philosophy, Photography, Physical Education, Psychology, Recreation & Leisure Studies, Self-Directed Major, Social Work, Sociology, Spanish, Studio Art, Theatre Arts: Educational Drama, Theatre Arts: Production/Performance (Source: http://www.gallaudet.edu...) Besides giving education in many different topics ranging from Spanish to Photography to Chemistry and beyond, the university also offers courses that specialize for the deaf, such has American Sign Language and Deaf Studies.

As for deaf people liking public education more, based off some accounts of deaf veterans of public and deaf schools on the internet it seems that the social and learning environments were better at deaf schools than at public schools. (Sources: http://deafsims.blogspot.com..., http://deafness.about.com...)

Finally, by building social ties with other deaf people and building self-esteem and knowledge through learning deaf students make great progress as learners and as human beings. Although my opponent says that there are no life skills classes at Gallaudet University, students learn life skills as they progress through the learning system there over time from the academic and non-academic sides of schools like Gallaudet University.

In conclusion, based off the definition of beneficial, Gallaudet University and other schools like it confer benefits that provide academic, social, and personal growth that is particularly catered to deaf people. For my opponent not being able to prove that Gallaudet University does not provide benefits for the deaf, please vote con.

Thank you to untitled_entity for starting this interesting debate.
Debate Round No. 2
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Darri 7 years ago
Darri
Truly a touching story but I tend to not look at unique cases and concentrate on the whole. My experiences have taught me to hate the implants (naive? Perhaps) and this is why:

In late December 2007, if I recall correctly, Denmark pushed forth a new law making all newborn deaf children obligated to get a cochlear implant and banning their parents from speaking sign language to them; Thinking that sign language might prevent the children from progress. I hardly think that I will have to debate on the importance of sign language in the deaf community but the implants have been a strong sign of ignorance, on part of the hearing people, in the deaf world. They are the solution to an imaginary problem.

So let me rephrase my last comment. I stand against the implants as a mandatory solution leading towards a deaf free future. It threatens the deaf community in Europe; A place not nearly as advanced (deaf wise) as America.

My sources come from my father who reserves a seat in the WDF (World Deaf Federation). I tend to be rash when it concerns deaf people and I did not think out my previous statement.
Posted by Profmad72 7 years ago
Profmad72
Hi Darri,

Why do you say cochlear implants go against the fundamentals of a deaf community? Let me tell you another story. I have another deaf friend, late-deafened, and the mother of a hearing teenage boy. Have you ever raised kids into their teens? I have and I will tell you it is hard enough when you have all physical, emotional, and mental facilities intact. Granted, cochlear implants will not help all deaf people. But my friend got one because she felt it was her duty as a responsible parent to at least try it. Now she can call her son and he can call her. She can also hear when things start getting out of hand when he has friends over -- these are all things she could not do before. Now, this is not saying that you should get a cochlear implant, not at all. My question to you is, why is it wrong for her? Why would you then exclude her from the deaf community? Same thing with my partner -- as described previously, here he was, newly deafened, totally traumatized, emotionally ravaged after almost dying with the virus that deafened him, and this table full of rude and insensitive deaf community members would not allow him to join them? Sorry to be so blunt, but I do not understand nor have any respect for the "Deaf Community," a term which does not include all deaf people.
Posted by Darri 7 years ago
Darri
I for one am absolutely against the implants. They go against the very fundamenals of a strong deaf community.
Posted by untitled_entity 7 years ago
untitled_entity
Yeah. There's a lot of resentment of the deaf from their own community, as I'm sure you know with the whole cochlear implant thing etc.
Posted by Profmad72 7 years ago
Profmad72
Oh, not at all. Quite to the contrary, in fact. I am in support of your view and felt this example of what happened to my partner was also in support of your argument that Gallaudet is not beneficial to deaf people. In fact, this incident so horrified me that it, along with other facts, not the least of which are issues regarding accreditation, make me question its very viability.
Posted by untitled_entity 7 years ago
untitled_entity
I apologize if my arguments offended you, I am also rather hearing impaired and know what its like to be ostracized by my peers.
Posted by Profmad72 7 years ago
Profmad72
Fascinating debate on a topic that gets my blood moving. I am not deaf. My partner of 5 years is. In fact, he is late deafened, having contracted an unknown virus at the age of 23, leaving him with a profound hearing loss. He is now 55. He is also a professor at another deaf institute of higher learning and I've accompanied him to many events there and am therefore on the periphery of Deaf culture. To the point -- when he became deaf, he was sent to Gallaudet for an intensive sign class. He tells me that shortly after he arrived, he was in the cafeteria with a tray full of food trying to find a place to sit. He came upon a table full of young folks about his age and asked them if he could sit with them. They said no.

I cannot even imagine the callousness and insensitivity of such an act. I would suspect his hearing aid immediately pre-judged him and therefore he was ostracized as not being deaf enough. In my mind, such behavior is certainly not an indication of Deaf students attempting to assimilate into the hearing world. I can only assume this behavior is condoned by Gallaudet.
Posted by untitled_entity 7 years ago
untitled_entity
I thank my opponent for this debate, however, I feel for my purposes (which is as a hearing impaired person) Gallaudet would probably not be the best fit for me. However, it would probably work for other people.
Posted by Octavian 7 years ago
Octavian
Well thanks for your support anyway. This is a very interesting issue and it was interesting to debate with my opponent on it.
Posted by Darri 7 years ago
Darri
Either way it won't matter because my vote will not register. To register I need to put in my phone number which I would gladly do if only my phone company was an option from the drop down list.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
untitled_entityOctavianTied
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Vote Placed by untitled_entity 7 years ago
untitled_entity
untitled_entityOctavianTied
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Vote Placed by patsox834 7 years ago
patsox834
untitled_entityOctavianTied
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