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    Thursday, May 11, 2006

    Is Deaf University President Not 'Deaf Enough'?

    Article here:

    Their protests don't sound like those on any other college campus, because many students at Gallaudet University, the nation's preeminent college for deaf and hearing-disabled students, have trouble speaking. But their message is nonetheless loud and clear: They oppose the board of trustees' unanimous selection for a new university president, the current provost Jane Fernandes. ...

    Fernandes, who is hearing impaired, is able to speak and didn't learn sign language until the age of 23. She did not attend Gallaudet, and earned a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Iowa. She also has a husband and children who have no hearing problems.

    On this campus, where debates focus on whether there are enough college employees who are deaf or whether sign language is emphasized enough over reading lips, Fernandes says some do not consider her to be "deaf enough. "

    "There does remain a core group that I consider more like absolutists who want a 100 percent deaf world," Fernandes said. "They are an important part of Gallaudet University — they will always be an important part of this university."

    The outgoing president supports her, but acknowledges the debate at hand. "People do think that it's better if your whole family is deaf and if everyone signs only," instead of learning to read lips, said I. King Jordan.


    I have no clue whether or not the article is fair. Well, I guess my clue is that it's from ABC News, the people who brought us "What Women Want: Men Who Want Kids" and other journalistic gems. But anyway, I think the debate is interesting and is one of which I am throughly ignorant. It does kind of remind me of the Walter White situation.

    Do any of my readers know more about this?

    Oh, one more thing: if your name is I. King Jordan, whatever the "I" stands for can't be too bad. I mean, that's weird.

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