In Mairian Corkers book, “Deaf and Disabled, or Deafness Disabled?” she further explores the deaf world and how the ‘normal’ society is both viewed by the deaf community and how they see us. She is able to give a real insight to this view of being portrayed as deaf and disabled as she herself is deaf.
Through out this book it is clear to see that Corker is trying to get rid of a divide that she feels is in place in the social world between deaf and disabled people towards people with hearing and no disabilities. She covers a very wide range of social problems and human rights acts that may not be giving deaf and disabled people the right equality in life. It is very clear to see that she has a very strong opinion when it comes to equality through out a very wide range of aspects in our lives that people without disabilities take for granted. In many sections of this book she mentions the discrimination that is taking place in the modern world towards disabilities.
Corker firstly looks into how in some western societies deaf and disabled people may have the misfortune to be ignored or even disguised during their lives and thus creating a struggle to identify with social groups and even themselves. She continues these identity crisis views in chapter 3 looking further into the change that is needed in the current policies towards deaf and disabled people needs to change so that they have more efficient speaking rights. She looks at how some processes have split deaf and disabled people both from each other and from understanding their relationship with the dominant culture. Discrimination in the work place is also mentioned and how there are high levels of unemployment in the deaf population due to the arrogant view that they will be ‘poor performers’ in many work places.
By using secondary research she shows that in case studies that have taken place with deaf children there is evidence that they are able to pick up change in emotion, difference in attitude and other non-verbal or visual aspects if communication.
It is clear that Corkers main point she is putting across here is the equality for deaf people in this ever increasingly isolating world for them. Although some of the views put across are a bit dated I feel that the larger majority of this book is still very relevant even in today’s world.
‘Whenever I jar up against another human being, it is useless just to tell them I am deaf. I have to hunt for ways of explaining that their method of communication thrusts me into isolation. Although my body and its clothing are in the room of life, I the person am not. My participation is stunted by their immobile lips, hands and attitudes.’