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Deaf Family: The Holcomb Family of Five Generations

VIDEO: [CC] - The Holcomb Family: Five generations of one family.

Leala Holcomb created a personal historical documentary on her 5-generation Deaf family's experiences in Deaf education for the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention conference in 2013.

Leala Holcomb learned from her parents and grandparents that American Sign Language-English bilingualism is not an old approach to educating Deaf children. Why? Sign language was banned from all classrooms until 1970s. In contrast, the listening and spoken language approach has always been enforced as the primary and sole mode of communication in Deaf education, including the signing schools, for at least over a hundred years. Signing schools only meant Deaf kids were able to sign during recess and dorm.

Very fascinating video on the history of Deaf education and debunks the false narrative that sign language in Deaf education is "old" and spoken language is "new" while the opposite is true.

In the end of the video, her 5-year-old nephew talks about his experiences receiving education in languages that are fully accessible to him without any frustrations and struggles gives her hope that they are going in the right direction by giving all Deaf children whole through American Sign Language and English (in all modalities).

Disclaimer: Leala Holcomb recognize that including educational degrees in their introduction violates Deaf culture norms. Due to the classist and elitist nature of the EHDI conference, Holcomb felt the need to include this background information in order to show sign language was not detrimental to their academic success which is contradictory to the mainstream ideology and perspective.

Holcomb also want to point out that their white privilege has afforded us and continue to give their opportunities many other People of Color Deaf people did not have and still do not have in our educational system.

The narratives shared in the video demonstrate White, mostly professional-class, Sighted, some Abled multi-generational Deaf experiences.

Trigger Warnings: Audism, phonocentricism, and cultural abuse through both psychological and physical means. Source

Related Leala Holcomb's Vlogs:
Unconscious Racism, Cultural Appropriation, & Dreadlocks
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