Battle of Sign Bilingualism – Part 1.
DISCLAIMER: Everything Harry Potter belongs to JK Rowling.
September 11, 1880.
The Second International Congress on Education of the Deaf had finally come to a close, yet everyone was waiting on Voldemort to deliver his closing remarks. What he was to say next would change Deaf education and the Deaf community forever.
Voldemort stood tall and proud on the stage with educators looking at him in awe. He cleared his throat.
“Gentlemen and ladies, I am proud of what has transpired out of this Congress. We have become better educators and we aspire to make our deaf and dumb students become normal and inclusive of our society. Sign language should not be used. Sign language should be banned from schools and homes. Sign language will make deaf people dumber. If we want our deaf and dumb students to flourish and become full members of our society, we have to teach them to speak. Oralism is the only method that will succeed. Are you in?”
It was unanimously voted. Oralism was going to be used with deaf students. Sign language would be banned from now on.
A small group of sign language users were at the Congress. They felt defeated. They knew sign language was the best in interests of deaf children. They were going to fight back…somehow.
Voldemort smiled, knowing he had won. Oralism was going to take over. He hated sign language and he thought it was completely stupid waving hands around making nonsense.
The Congress concluded and educators began the process of shifting from sign language to oralism in schools all over the world.
The fight for sign language to become recognised and accepted had begun.
April 15, 2015.
The Battle of Sign Bilingualism had begun. It was finally time for the Deaf community to shine after being oppressed for more than a century.
Voldemort was still in power, although he had slowly been losing said power due to more and more educators and people accepting sign language in education, at home and within the wider community. A number of countries legally recognised sign language in an attempt to take Voldemort and the Sign Eaters down for once and all.
It was high time for change, and for us to take a giant step for Deafkind.
In the midst of the battle looming outside the grounds of Hogwarts, a large army of sign language users was formed within the castle.
I was chosen to lead the army. Initially, I did not want to lead. Safe to say, I was incredibly nervous. I did not want to disappoint everyone.
I was staring at our group and they were staring back at me, expecting me to do something. I was at a loss. Professor McGonagall came up to me and reassured me, “You can do this. I believe in you. They believe in you.”
I felt better and I was incredibly grateful for the guidance of Professor McGonagall. She may be a stern woman, but she always meant well and she was a huge supporter of sign language and bilingualism.
I smiled at her.
I told everyone to follow me. We walked up to Voldemort and his army. He was smirking.
“You reckon you can win this? Oralism WILL win.”
I looked back at my group and they all gave me encouraging looks. Then I looked at Voldemort and said:
“No. Sign bilingualism is OUR human right. We’re going to fight hard and we’ll win hard.”
To be continued…