Scott Community College in Iowa has been called out for cultural appropriation of American Sign Language by Dirk Hillard, president of the Quad-Cities Deaf Club.
Hillard wrote in protest:
"It has come to our attention that Scott Community College is offering American Sign Language (ASL) classes...taught by hearing teachers. This is concerning because hearing people are being hired for these positions instead of deaf instructors, which is oppressive and discriminatory."
Deaf culture, or the behaviors and customs of the American Deaf (with a capital D), has become increasingly controversial as new technologies emerge to help deaf people hear. The widespread use of cochlear implants is a shockingly divisive issue for the Deaf, who view themselves as not disabled, but using a different form of communication.
Hillard highlighted this sentiment, saying "ASL is the language of the deaf community and only exists because of deaf people. It is cultural appropriation to use the language of the deaf community to make money for your institution without including deaf people in the instruction and provision of those classes."
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