I debated about this post. It is very recent and personnel but since today is an important day for all people who have benefited from the ADA I just felt it was something I should post. I have edited out some details to protect people.
My son over the years has enjoyed the right to interpreters, a free and appropriate education and I hate to admit it cutting to the front of the line at Disneyland. About the cutting in line, please note I do not support that because he is deaf and perfectly able to wait like everyone else but he thinks it is grand.
Over the last twelve years I have also had to fight for his rights. Some fights I win and some I loose. My most recent stand was indirectly for my son and the jury is out on whether or not I won.
I posted earlier about my private preschool hiring a deaf teacher. It was a shock and I was so excited. The school seemed to support me interpreting for her at meetings and the parents loved how much their kids took off with the ASL. She was raised oral but only took the job because someone on staff could sign. It was my work place nirvana.
This is a long story so I will cut to the chase. We ended the year all very happy. I had a couple of weeks vacation and was scheduled to return full time for the summer program. The deaf teacher was to work during the break helping out around the school.
Somehow between the time I left for break and the time I was suppose to start things went wrong.
I was called to a meeting. I was told not to interpret for our deaf teacher. I was told she needed to learn to communicate with the rest of the staff using her oral skills. I was confused. I stated that she got exhausted after hours of speech reading. I was told she had been doing it all her life and it was good fo her. I stated that it was easy for me to interpret. I was told she needed to learn.
I was then told not to voice off sign with the children or the teacher. They were concerned people would think we are a "special needs" school. I stated that the parents loved the dual language environment. I was told the children would be confused when the went off to kindergarten and their teacher didn't use or care about ASL. I was told the children would most likely never meet or see a deaf person in their life. I stated the benefits of second language learning at a young age and the benefits of ASL for hearing children. I stated it was not a point if they met deaf people later in life.
There is much more to this story. Things that are so shocking to me but I will not share. I am just amazed when I realize people I spend a great deal of time with really want people like my son to take the role of disabled.
Again long story short. I texted the deaf teacher. We compared notes. She was told she was lucky to have parents who forced her to speak even though it caused her great pain which she had expressed to them. "You need to be grateful to your parents". She was told it bothered them when we signed. They thought she was grateful to get a job even though we both told them she was grateful to have someone at work who could sign. Again there is more....
We both quit.
I was later blamed for this. How could I do this to them. Not once was it mentioned what they did to us. A a parent of a Deaf child I had no choice.