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The Issues in Deaf Education Impact the Latinxs D/deaf Students

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The marginalized communities experience the challenges in the U.S.— systemically, socially, mentally, and physically. A closer scope in the marginalized communities, among the Latinx d/Deaf people experience oppression in the U.S. school that impacts their identities and languages. The education in U.S. are running by the white, temporary abled-bodied hearing people in the past. The U.S. school subjects are designed by white, temporary abled-bodied hearing people. Which means the U.S. school subjects are not able to benefit the Latinx d/Deaf student. Many of the Latinx d/Deaf who victimized by the language deprivation. Thus, the white, temporary abled-bodied hearing people who took over the positions in the Deaf Education curriculum to design the education curriculum wasn’t successful in supporting the student of color through learning in education, languages, embrace the identifies. For instance, Deaf education curriculum did fail at collaborating well with the Latinx families to maintain the languages at both home and school to support the Latinx deaf students to develop self-concept. Many Deaf people of color include Latinx d/Deaf people are victims of the failed Deaf education. For purpose of this paper using the term, Latinx instead of Hispanic. To explain about the “x” in ‘Latinx’, in Spanish, considered a neutral gender. The ‘x’ does not imply a specific gender — for instance in noun for ‘Latino’ ends with “o” means masculine or the ‘Latina’ ends with “a” means feminine’ (Gonzalez, 2019). Latinx is a Spanish term which considered the natives who born in North, Central and South America who speaks Spanish. Often people argued that should be Hispanic only. In a theory, Latinx is an appropriate term to use to inclusive all the Spanish speaking members in North, Central, and South America. The easiest way to understand the difference between ‘Latinx’ and “Hispanic” is, as Ortiz Pérez puts it: ‘Latinx is an ethnic and cultural category, whereas Hispanic is a linguistic division. Brazilians are Latinxs but they are not Hispanic. Spaniards are not Latinxs but they are Hispanic.’ (Gonzalez, 2019). Latina or Latino can be encouraged for a Spanish speaking member who desire identities themselves as a Latina or a Latino, Latinx is a way develop a cohesive postcolonial identity. In the respective manner for using the appropriate term for ‘deaf’, I will use Deaf and deaf as in d/Deaf. To discuss whether to capitalized “D” or not in ‘deaf’ term will be always up to the controversy discussion. This paper will be about the oppression in linguism, motivated in learning, relationship among families and school, language barriers, self-concept on identity which did impact the populations of d/Deaf Latinx students who are victimized by a system that did not always benefit their education.

According to National Deaf Center website shows the data difference between hearing and deaf people receive the high education degree. The hearing people in age of 25-34 received ninety-one point four percent while deaf receive high school diploma/GED are eighty-six percent. A closer scope in Latinx population among the hearing Latinx receive high school diploma/ GED is seventy-one point four percent while Latinx d/Deaf receive high school diploma/GED is slightly lower than hearing Latinx which is sixty-seven point four percent. Meanwhile receive the high school degree, in the data shows the different degree to reach. To reach PH, J.D or M.D for the hearing Latinx population is under than point five percent while Latinx d/Deaf receive PH, J.D or M.D is under than point four percent. The major difference between with the white hearing and deaf in PH, J.D or M.D is one point four percent while deaf white receives PH, J.D or M.D is point seven percent. Two problems about this statistic did contain the term, “Hispanic”. The truth opinion, this need to be changed to have a better detailed data to separate the term “Latinx” and “Hispanic” to create a better data to understand better. Not just the terms but also put “PH, J.D or M.D” section is too board, it would be nice to upgrade the data into separate sections for PH, J.D and M.D to acknowledge the better accuracy percent. In the U.S. may be monolinguistic but English was never officiated, among the U.S. citizens still did expect to have everyone in the U.S. speaks English only. That did consider as in the linguism overlapped with the racism biased in the education curriculum. Therefore in either residential or mainstream program for the deaf children are forced to learn ASL and English. As Bennet explains that “ the social inequality is explained as a function of the undoubtedly very real unintended misunderstandings that can result when people from different cultural and communicative traditions are thrown together and forced by the macro social structure to interact in such complex ‘gatekeeping’ situations as classrooms, job interviews, social service settings, etc (1988)”. The individual Latinx deaf students has the varies of the different backgrounds in education and languages which impact by the social construction in the education. Often Latinx deaf students brushed their own heritage/native sign language away in order to be forced by the macro social structure in the classroom which did not help them to be able communicate at home with the Spanish speaking family which creates language barrier.

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Many Latinxs families encourage their children to know English and Spanish to have the better life in U.S. However when comes to the Latinx d/Deaf children, often the hearing Latinx parents aren’t sure what to do because there wasn’t insufficient resources to provide the better resources to support their needs in communicate with the Latinx d/Deaf children. The Latinx deaf students did feel frustrated with the communication barrier sets at home and also at the school. At the school, many professions in the Deaf Education curriculum did not encourage the Latinx d/Deaf students to take the Spanish class. The U.S. teachers towards their attitude toward to their native language more hostility than at home where the Latinx d/Deaf students feel comfortable to use home language. This create the conflict among the Latinx d/Deaf expierence language barriers at home while struggle maintain the dominant language which is ASL and written/spoken English at school. This considered as in an assimilation method where the Latinx d/Deaf wasn’t encouraged to maintain to use their native languages. It was insisted to use the dominant languages which are both ASL and English (spoken or written) only at school. Call (2010) explains about an older but interesting research from 1960s shows multilingual supports cognitive growth, such as with the bilingual students who speaks in Tzeltal/Tzotzil and Spanish. The bilingual students score the higher reading comprehension of the Spanish language than their monolingual Spanish speaking peers. This shows that bilingual children who learn two language at the same length of the time become flexible at learning speech structures at early age. Spanish-English bilingual education has been around for many years—while ASL-English bilingual bicultural program has been in existences. However, there is a conflict in the Deaf Education program that shows who is in the authority which is the white, hearing, and teachers. The conflict that Latinx d/Deaf have language barriers at home and struggle. The concept in the deaf education program should be encouraged deaf children of color to maintain all the languages that is used at home, and at school. The Latinx d/Deaf students in the mainstream program who were trilingual in English, ASL, and Spanish, they are able to do code switcher at specific times and in certain environment. According to research, they admitted they did not feel well in English and or Spanish although they viewed both languages as important to use. They did feel confident in ASL because it is a natural language when it comes to their hearing loss. (Herzig, 2019).

Familialism also called ‘familism’, or familismo in Spanish, is one key Latinx value. (Page,1993) which means a strong value to place familial needs above individual needs. The Latinx family have support and loyalty is basic expectations to include extended family. Many professions in Deaf Education program failed to cooperative with the Latinx parents to involve their d/Deaf children’s education because they did have biased against Latinx families as ‘uneducated’. According to an article, the researcher unpacked their privileges in order to realize their biases about the Latinx families has been bunked by a data. Bennet selected a unique participant to share to discuss about the deaf Latino child, Carlos, is difficult to handle in the classroom according to the Individual education Plan (IEP). Carlos’s mother Blanca points out about the inaccurate statements in IEP. According to Bennet to realize that Blanca is Latina who can speaks in Spanish but have high education background which is a privilege to ensure to fight for her son to navigate a better education. Unfortunately, according to the data, Blanca did desire to be sure in IEP to forbid sign language Carlos to not learn sign language which is considered language deprivation. It is important to have public or private school to cooperate with the foreign families to develop relationship together to provide the better resources for the deaf children to develop cognitive language success in education. The parents and professional might have alternative views and expectations for the Latinx deaf children. For instance, in Latinx culture, the Latinx parents view teacher as the authority figure. In the U.S. education system, teachers expect a partnership with parents. Many professionals such as teachers or superintendent in the deaf education field did lack the knowledge about Latinx culture, the unique needs of the children and their families may not meet. Spanish speaking and signing families may not have access to many programs that could improve early intervention and educational experiences for their deaf children. (Torres, 2015).

While assimilating the Latinx d/Deaf children’s education in the white hearing designed classroom where they only speak and write in English, also ASL. Many public school and residential school did not encourage the indigenous to maintain using the Naive sign languages. (source about new Mexico article-)Many Latinx students did find struggle in identify to their heritage because their native sign language wasn’t used anymore but insisted to use ASL to interact other deaf students. Their sign style become similar to white deaf children. According to the article, Understanding the Language Experiences and Motivations of Deaf Adolescent Latino Struggling Readers, a perspective from a researcher, Krasher, stated the Latinx students are more comfortable to expressing themselves in their heritage language because they weren’t self-conscious about the grammar or word choice they used. In Classroom and teachers’ attitude toward the students’ heritage language can either positive or negative. This shows lack of Latinx d/Deaf role model to look up. This is difficult for the Latinx d/Deaf students to stay motivated and success in education. According to Gallauet University task force report in 1996 about the population of deaf Latinx. Less than seven percent of deaf and hard of hearing students at California University, Northridge (CSUN). About eight percent at Gallduat University although in 2012 increased to thirteen percent. At National Technical Institute for the Deaf are about eleven point eight percent in 2011 then increase eleven point seven percent in 2012 (Torres, 2019). This is critical understanding about the Latinx d/Deaf students’ attitudes and experiences in the classroom related to their language that impact their self-concept.(hergiz). Many Latinx d/Deaf students have hard time to priotize their identify first, Latinx or Deaf. According to the interview process in Ethnic Identity: Deaf Mexicans, a direct question “’Which group (Hispanic or Deaf) would you say that you identify most strongly with?’. Four out of five participants answered Deaf while the fifth participant answered “Hispanic”. Again with this article, the author Jean Page was strongly suggested to use term, “Hispanic” instead of Latinos which I disagreed but because the article was in 1993. The most controversy discussion about new term, Latinx with “x” in the end of ‘Latin’. was the most recently. The point in the interview with the Latinx d/Deaf students shows the qualification reclaim the identity is clearly shows there wasn’t very much of cultural cooperative from the school and teachers ensure to maintain the students’ other identifies in the loop instead brush them away. The reason the Latinx d/Deaf students brushed their ethical identifies when comes to the deaf community because of sign language environmental. So with that, when Latinx d/Deaf people interact the white Deaf people means they have to put the code switch from Barrios sign language (JOEL) to white American sign language in order to statised the social needs.

To improve the future deaf education curriculum should require to hire the d/Deaf people of color to fill the voids to be represetive for the d/Deaf children of color to continues the inspiration to success in the education. the oppression in linguism, motivated in learning, relationship among families and school, language barriers, self-concept on identity which did impact the populations of d/Deaf Latinx students who are victimized by a system that did not always benefit their education.


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