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A question

Can anyone out there explain to me in clear, simple terms why deaf people need charity? Why exactly? This is not a joke question; I truly do want to know.

The Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary describes charity as:

A system of giving money, food or help free to those who are in need because they are ill, poor or homeless, or any organization which is established to provide money or help in this way.

Does this apply to deaf people? If so, why?

(OK, the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary does not know everything - nobody does - but we could use that definition just to help us to think about it. If we follow that 'rule', why do deaf people who are not ill, poor or homeless need charity?)



Comments (15)

Example: My hearing children know lunch costs money in their
school. They try to bring money and pay for lunch. They learn

Deaf Schools: Lunch is free! No money to bring. No burdens.
Age 5 through 18, it is all free! Go to College sometimes is

Mainstream schools: Maybe people help them and they do
not "hear" others groan, struggle with responsibility, etc.

Now when deaf become adult and life get hard, they look back
to younger days. Some do not realize they need work hard,
discipline, be responsible... it is tougher for them. It is hard,
so they want charity, free-things, pity-me...

Many parents and the education system do not help but
reinforce them to be dependent rather than independent.

Few slightly silly thoughts:

Deaf people need charity because charitable people need someone to make them feel like they're more powerful than someone else?

Deaf people need charity because someone's got to pay for interpreters?

Actually that definition wouldn't apply to anyone who was disabled by anything other than ill-health, would it? Oh dear, it's just made me think that instead of saying someone's Deaf, I should say it's that their ears are poorly.

Good one, Bob. Why bother spoon-feeding them when they are perfectly capable of feeding themselves if we equip them. Deaf people should be educated differently and less patronisingly. I left Deaf school with knowledge of how to get money off the benefits systems but sadly not knowing how to budget. £18.50 per week in 1987 was like manna from heavens! Unfortunately came crashing to Earth 6 months later, being on YTS with £27 per week and a car to run. Something things are best learnt the hard way :-)

My comment does not incorporate all deaf folks, just the ones that do get this "charity", specifically SSI, SSDI, terps, free this n' that. This is the US and State governments acknowledging that the deaf have been oppressed, especially within the labor forces so; therefore, this "charity" in the above mentioned forms is kinda like war reparations.

In 2005, I got invited to BINGO sponsored by the International Lions Club. It was for all the Deaf on Maui in Hawai'i. As a newcomer, I jumped on the opportunity to meet other Deaf people on the island. Upon my arrival there, I was given two bags full of food. I was like WHY? Why not! All prizes throughout BINGO were food. Free food. Special prizes included toilet papers and paper towels. WHY? Why not! I saw Deaf people with happy faces. WHY? WHY? WHY? I kept on asking.... I never received the right answer, so I'm afraid I have no answer here.

They (The Public Charity Commission) – note I said public and they do not talk with us!
"To alleviate the poor and the suffering" is one term I find annoying
They will be amending this but when and how?!!
I have to say all voluntary organisations is having to go down that route to get funding otherwise they don’t get it. It is a catch 22 situation.

One need to get over the “charity” farce into a "right" issue is one where we need to collectively get our message across. In the deaf world this fails because of our internal political fraction. Hearies takes advantages of this. You only have to look at UKCOD to see the changes there now taking place working with Parliament - usually able led.

We are still placed at a disadvantage to be playing as equal in society so right do need to be in place to give us an advantage but we too have to work and earn it and we are too complacent, full of apathy and selfish.

DT: charity and SSI, SSDI, terps, etc. are different things. See the above post for the definition of charity. I encourage you to look up the definition of SSI, SSDI, terps, etc. I'm sure you're smart enough to figure it out.

So why do deaf people need charity? Some deaf people are truly poor, ill, or homeless. Some deaf people are just lazy and ask for charity, just as there are many hearing people who do the same thing. Some organizations are established to help deaf people afford terps, TTYs, find jobs despite a lack of education, etc. Does that answer your question?

Thanks for all your answers to my question! So the answer (so far) is "deaf people don't need charity"?? If not, then why do we have so many of them?!

In my opinion, not only do we not need charity, but charity is oppressive.

Deaf people deserve better than to be made charity cases, made beggars dependent on good will and pity. We deserve equal rights! Charity frustrates that, its a cheap apology for the real deal.

And worse, charity is not about empowering us but disenfranchising us. Doug Alker used a good analogy - RNID just throw little fish at us, keeping us dependent, instead of teaching us how to fish. I, as a MEMBER, cannot even talk to the trustees yet! Let's hope that the new administration start to put this right.

p.s. that 'anonymous' was me, forgot to fill in the form, sorry :)

What bob vizzini say is not true! I have deaf child and his deaf school charge for lunch that is the same as hearing school so he is mistake. I think he is confused over boarding school that meals there are free that is right and same with hearing boarding schools like Eton - I check there and their school meals are free (pay by parents or scholarship)
So check fact before blog!

Sent previous reply without check on topic - very sorry about it but still right for bob!
I note different attitude for deaf business in UK as opposed to here in USA - when I was visiting there I was told about deaf business not right to do BSL training as it belong to deaf community and deaf charity lose money to deaf businesses. I said that maybe businesses offer better quality and materials than charity but deaf in UK looked at me like I am crazy or off my nut! Here in USA it is accepted that deaf businesses are encouraged. Maybe you UK deaf need adopt same attitude and maybe charity will go bust through inefficiencies when faced to competition from deaf businesses?

Brian Guy has hit the nail on the head there. I think the best way to challenge the paternalistic attitudes towards the Deaf community in the UK is to set up more Deaf businesses and steal the funding deaf charities rely on.

A prime example of this happening is Dering Employment Services, which has been successful in obtaining contracts nationwide from under the nose of the RNId. Another example is Neal Communication Agency, a Deaf-led company providing interpreting services.

If we could do what Dering has done for employment services for the services that the Deaf community needs, such as legal services, youth, sport, deaf clubs etc., then deaf charities would be forced out of business.

I am deaf with a diploma in Hvac and Refrigeration and a diploma in Autocad. I am still unemployed. The minute companies find out that I have a hearing problem, my application is denied.
You hearing people out there, you think it is easy for us. Well, let me tell you, we don't want to be charity cases, we want to work but we rarely get the chance to prove ourselves. RNID does not have one deaf person working for them. Stop saying that we are lazy. For as long as I can remember, it has been an uphill struggle trying to understand and lipread hearing people as they don't co-operate as they think we are stupid.

My wife and I established a charity to raise money to purchase a Mopix system (closed captioning system for deaf people + descriptive audio for blind people) for a movie theater in our neighborhood.

While I agree that deaf people don't NEED charity, I think that if charities like ours were not created, deaf and blind people get excluded from events and opportunities. Hearies don't even think about how many obstacles deaf people experience every day, so unless someone creates a charity or something to make them aware, they don't even realize there is a problem (with society -- not with deaf people) that needs to be fixed.

I TOTALLY disagree that all charities serve to oppress. It depends entirely on the charity and its purpose. Can charities be oppressive? Yes. Are all charities inherently oppressive? Absolutely not.

Ours certainly is not intended to oppress. It's intended to equalize something that's not fair. Mopix systems cost a lot of money (about $12,000 per theater screen), so theater businesses cannot afford to pay for them 100% alone. So, our charity helps the theater company pay for this. Our goal is just to make new movies available to deaf and blind people. I don't see how that's oppressive. I certainly hope our local deaf community doesn't see it like that, otherwise all our hard work was wasted.

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