Letter to the Editor: ASL and Deaf Culture Club

Dear Editor,

We are writing to offer some clarifications to The Cable article written by Alyssa Luukkonen, which appeared on Friday, Nov. 17.

To begin, we as a club appreciate that you took the time to inform the student body of Ed Chevy’s performance on Friday, Nov. 10. Thank you for helping spread awareness of Deaf culture to our college community. As members of a Benedictine community, we feel we are obligated to educate others when there is a lack of understanding of other cultures, in this case, Deaf culture.

The article used the term “hearing impaired” to describe Deaf individuals. This term is considered offensive to the Deaf community, as it implies that there is something inherently wrong with being Deaf or hard of hearing. Most members of the community prefer to be called Deaf or hard of hearing.

We would also like to address the difference between “deaf” and Deaf. Deaf, with a capital D, refers to the individual and recognizes his/her identity as a Deaf person. However, “deaf” with a lowercase d refers to the inability to hear. Members of the Deaf community, like Ed, use the term Deaf, as it encompasses their entire identity rather than just their hearing abilities.

Finally, the article referred to Ed’s performance as “dance routines” where he was “mouthing the lyrics.” To clarify this statement, Ed was using American Sign Language, a true language, to interpret the songs for the audience. A large part of the language utilizes facial expressions, which includes mouth movements called mouth morphemes. It may have seemed to the untrained eye that Ed was mouthing the lyrics, however Ed was performing in his native language of ASL.

We hope the above facts offer some clarity to the statements made by Ms. Luukkonen from her previous article about Ed Chevy.

Again, we appreciate the recognition of this event, and welcome further articles about events held by the ASL and Deaf Culture Club in the future. If any clarification is needed in the future, please do not hesitate to reach out to our club at aslclub@css.edu and advisor, Monica Marciniak.

Thank You

Deaf Culture and American Sign Language Club