TBC News, Issue 58


from Bi-Bi: The Cure for Deaf Education by MJ Bienvenu

"The Bi-Bi philosophy is actually not new, but, because American education has historically been monolingual, it has not been in use for a very long time. We can borrow some aspects of hearing bilingual schools to use as models for educating deaf children. But, most of the schools are transitional bilingual schools where children are weened from their native language to English. The Bi-Bi philosophy of deaf education is unique because it is the first model to include biculturalism in the core philosophy. We maintain first and second languages of deaf children from pre-school all the way to high school. We have had much success in the few schools that have truly implemented it. But, we need to educate people that Bi-Bi is not just turning off your voice, not just hiring more Deaf teachers, and not just a matter of following a manual; Bi-Bi is a lengthy, sometimes painful process that we all must go through‐but the outcome of healthy and bright young Deaf adults is well worth the effort."

 from Back to Square One in from the Mailbox (name withheld upon request)

"We are back to Square One, because we thought we had resolved the interpreter issue at our agency. It all started when the previous full-time agency interpreter left, and a job vacancy announcement for a full-time interpreter was posted. It was learned, through the grapevine, that there were four applicants for the job. But, when it came time to interview the applicants, those of us on the panel interviewed only one applicant."

"Three Deaf employees worked hard for three years to establish a full-time interpreter position for the agency. It is a shame to see all that hard work go to waste. We will keep on fighting for a qualified interpreter. Even though the Deaf Task Force is not officially recognized, we continue to meet and plan courses of action. Deaf people are strong, and we are going to continue to let our agency know how we feel!"

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