Although the majority of hard of hearing and deaf persons speak and prefer Auditory Oral (AO) communication (known as the Speaking Deaf Community) there is also a strong and active portion of our community who rely on and prefer to communicate visually (the Signing Deaf Community). The majority of the Signing Deaf Community prefers to use ASL (American Sign Language). There are other communication methods including Cued Speech, SEE (Signed Exact English), TC (total communication), and LSL (Listening and Spoken Language).
The Deaf Communitiy (TDC) banded together because many local, national and international organizations of the deaf and hard of hearing claim to represent ALL deaf people when they blatantly don't. So, we decided to take the name back! The truth is that no one speaks for the whole community. If we were to base the title “The Deaf Community” on the basis of the communication method used by the majority of deaf people, we would have to state that the deaf community prefers spoken communication.
Our goal is not to promote spoken communication or signed communication or any other form of communication, but to provide a rational alternative voice based upon what people are choosing and research.
People who think that ALL deaf people should speak and hear with technology are wrong. People who think that ALL deaf people should sign and be part of Deaf Culture are also wrong. This is a personal choice that each individual and family makes for themselves and this choice should be supported and honored. Regardless of your deaf language preference or choice, we The Deaf Community need to ensure that equal access is provided while parental rights are respected.
Groups of volunteers in multiple states are fighting every day for legislation to gain equal education access and rights for oral deaf education while other groups from segments of our own deaf community are pushing them down and working against them behind closed doors. This has to stop. It's time to work together, not against.
We have observed backlash from the Signing Deaf Community against the Speaking Deaf Community in the last few years. Most states in the U.S. allocate the majority of resources for deaf people to the Signing Deaf Community. The resources are not equal among the community and often the youngest of our community suffer and are denied access to options. So while some of our own leadership prefer to sign, we have to work together with the speaking community too.
Over time and extreme militant manifestation, the "deaf community" has come to be represented as people who share the culture and commonality of ASL. Anyone else is an outsider. Any other communication method, especially speaking (voice on), is often shunned and not considered part of the culture.... or our community. This has to stop too.
With technological advances such as the growing popularity of cochlear implants, signing deaf militants have taken to bullying, public attacks, public cyber threats and thuggish tactics to silence the other deaf communication options and proponents of the Speaking Deaf Community.
We will not put up with Deaf bullies on this site. We define Deaf bullies as people who try and force their choices on the entire community. We define bullies as those who attack and belittle children or parents. We define Deaf bullies as organizations that attempt to usurp everyone’s voices through aggression and a refusal to engage in civil discourse in a respectful manner. We define bullies as groups and individuals that attack proponents of either the Signing or Speaking Deaf Communities in a negative way by engaging in mudslinging, intimidation, and slander.
We will use this platform to endorse activities, programs, individuals, and legislation which foster opportunity and growth for the whole community. This does not imply that we do not respect individuals and organizations that are devoted to championing a specific communication modality, but we will not allow a single point of view to “speak” for all of us.
Graph taken from 2011 United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report.
For the full report, please visit our "resources" page.
If there is something going on in your state that merits support, we will write a letter of support and list your activity, event, opportunity, or legislation here on our website.
Who we DON’T accept: