In this ASL vlog, Raychelle introduces the Deaf Animal Row blog and discusses the parallels between the deaf community and deaf animals, and how our indifference can lead to the demise of the deaf community.
English transcription of Raychelle’s vlog by Katherine. The bold is Katherine’s addition to Raychelle’s English transcription of her vlog.
Hello! Welcome to our Deaf Animal Row blog/vlog. It is for deaf animals, who are on deathrow, across the United States. Many of deaf animals are put to sleep due to their inability to hear as a result of people’s ignorance. Often when deaf animals are born -- dogs, cats, ferrets or any other deaf animal -- some people are uncertain how to deal with deaf animals because they are used to aural/oral approach of raising and training an animal. In addition, some people view deaf animals as second class to hearing animals, unfortunately, and feel deaf animals are better off euthanized. Because of their lack of awareness of or exposure to the importance of gestural/visual based approach, deaf animals are set up to fail.
Here’s the definition for each label:
DEATHROW -- A limited time in a shelter before it is put to sleep. No time can be wasted.
RESCUE -- An organization or individual(s) that helps pull out an animal, who is in danger of being put to sleep, from the kill shelter and is safe while trying to look for a foster home or a permanent home.
FOSTER -- An individual offers her/his home to take care of the animal temporarily until adoption.
ADOPT -- An animal found a permanent home.
These labels are how it works with animals. Sometimes it goes from rescue to adopt, skipping foster or from deathrow to adoption. This website uses these labels, including euthanasia. Euthansia happens when no one adopts or rescues the deaf animal from the shelter and it is when the deaf animal will be put to sleep.
Some of you are concerned about how one can get a deaf animal that is not within your area. For example, you are from California and there’s one in Georgia you want to consider, but it is impossible to adopt or foster this deaf animal. Do not fret, there will be some people willing to volunteer their time to help transport the deaf animal from one place to another. This is common in the animal rescue world across the nation, so do not give up and work closely with them. I encourage you to think about it and seek assistance to get a deaf animal from one place to you. It can be worked out if you set your mind to it.
Now, if any one of you have something to share, be it article, stories, information, resources, your experience having a deaf animal, videos, anything you can think of that relates to deaf animals, do not hesitate to send us an email at:
I want you to know that having deaf animals in our lives is wonderful and they are no different than hearing animals except that it is our job to accommodate to their needs. We rely on lights, vibration, use of eyes, touching, etc. It is really amazing. How we, as deaf people, function in ways that differs from our hearing counterparts parallel to that of deaf animals vs. hearing animals.
Someone from the Deaf community mentioned that deaf animals are different and they’re not one of us or part of the Deaf community. I question that and want to discuss a bit about that. Deaf animals and people’s accommodations and experiences are similar when it comes to oppression and how they’re viewed by the hearing society. Deaf animals and deaf people both rely on gesutral and visual communication. We need to be receptive to the fact that deaf animals rely on visual accommodations rather than sound based approach in order to be on par with hearing animals. Deaf animals are indeed members of the Deaf community and are not to be excluded. Who are we to complain about exclusion by hearing society when we impose the same treatment on the very deaf animals?
Last point, do you remember the last time when www.deafread.com posted someone’s blog or vlog one month or two months ago about this poem by Lilly Benedict Crisman? See her ASL and English versions below: