Falling on Deaf Ears - Part V
By Monette Benoit
Every day, like you, I receive e-mails. Sometimes I receive a stinger. I may "see" frustration; I may address that. But there are many where I giggle. I understand we're working hard, probably too hard. Yet if this article gifts you with new information, a smile, a giggle, ending with my "memory-moment," I'll have done my job. You can embrace this technology, become embraced by a new world; one that expands each day, as we share our skills, listening to those who teach us - our consumers.
Please refer to my online articles within the CART Special Interest Area at cart.ncraonline.org for previous questions and answers.
30. "What is oral deaf? Does that mean they talk clearly, but can't hear?"
The person is deaf and does not sign. A person chooses not to use sign language. If you're new to CART, it's not "aural" deaf. While the audience giggles, reporters blush if they were not aware of the phrase beforehand.
31. "Why would they choose not to sign?"
A person with hearing loss may choose to read lips. The age at which hearing loss begins is an important factor in the choice. Some oral deaf may become deaf early in life. A parent helps with the decision, perhaps with a teacher, doctor or audiologist. Most that I know made the decision with their mother. I know a businessman who refuses to learn sign or read lips, asking others "to write it down." (He hands me his paper and pencil each time.) I asked why he didn't read lips or sign. He answered, "I don't want to." I threw my head back and laughed. Others were horrified. But I had an opportunity to engage in a wonderful, honest conversation; I learned a lot from the gentleman.
Many oral deaf make the decision early in their deafness to try to get along without sign. The Deaf worlds are very different from oral deaf: this culture of individuality and its social and professional settings often help to define the decision. Yet the majority of my oral-deaf friends do not know any sign. Since I can tease them, as they tease me, I may sign, as we chat, "turning voice-box off." Again, one's knowledge and acceptance within deaf culture will enhance and/or halt this truth in communication.
32. "I'm interested in CART. How can I learn?"
Seminars are held at state and national conventions. Visit NCRA's CART Special Interest Area at cart.NCRAonline.org. CARTWheel was organized by Gayl Hardeman to act as a guidepost for families and people with hearing challenges. The site (www.CARTWheel.cc) has grown with a group of leaders, pioneers and professionals who share information among professional members, apprentice members, and within legal, educational, religious and business arenas.
33."I have a job just waiting for me to CART. If I can learn how much to charge, the job's there, so I need you to tell me how much to charge, so I can provide this service."
Another: "I'm looking to CART/ caption on the side. I need national rates. Break it down by one-on-one or group rates - that'd be good to know, too." Each reporter needs to know the community. One CART provider often writes longer periods of time than team sign interpreters, and we may share an ASCII disk. Amounts vary, but I can pick up the phone, learning rates in any region. So should you, after learning the culture(s) in your area.
34. "Help! You need to phone me at (long distance number) tomorrow around 9 or 10. I need advice to handle clients and lots of other stuff. I attended your session on CART. My e-mail doesn't work, please call!"
Hmmm. I replied, via e-mail that "doesn't work," but was sent via e-mail: I don't know your time zone, state, full name, qualifications or enough specifics to be helpful. NCRA and CARTWheel will be informative.
35. "I'm interested in starting a CART business. Do you own one? I need to pick someone's brain!"
Please see previous 34 questions and answers.
36. "Can you provide me with all your fees, including all marketing plans?"
Gee, I don't think so.
I end here, in serious times, sharing a Deaf joke. "It's funny when you get a prank call through TTY (telephone for the Deaf) and try to figure out who the caller is by speed of typing, choice of words and English language."
Those that understand Deaf culture just smiled. If I need to explain this, it's not funny. Come, join us; you'll smile, promise.
My "filled with wonder" memory was gifted from a Big-D friend. I cherish the honesty, so pure: "Monette, you see why friendship means so much? You know how people say earthly treasures don't matter cause you can't have them in heaven? Well, I will get to also have them in heaven. I want to talk with Jesus. I think that will be one cool conversation. Hey, I will get to talk to Him verbally, and He can talk to me normal there, 'cause I will get to hear there. Yup, that will defintely be such a cool thing."
Thanks for permitting me to share moments that pause my world to sparkle with wonder at what tomorrow may bring. And I humbly ask each of you: Do you have wonder and excitement in your work? CART opens new doors and opportunities each day. Truly. And yes, you have my permission to add, delete and share my articles. One set of ears, one set of hands at a time. And I still swear learning theory was the hardest thing I ever did.
About the Author:
Monette Benoit, B.Ba., CRI, CPE, is a JCR Contributing Editor.