in between

[Articulating Betweenity]

Technology as (Literacy/Hearing) Tool

in between

Jane Fernandes: Tools that Give...and Take link to Deaf Graduate Student DALN Record


Technology in—and on—the hands of deaf people continues to employ and express itself in multiple ways that are impacting the literate lives of modern deaf people. The empowering explosion of communication and information technologies that place deaf and hard-of-hearing people in, at least, the same game as hearing people (though perhaps not still on a “level playing field”) can hardly be ignored.   In this clip we witness some of the technological tools and moves that have helped place deaf/hh people in a more equal conversation (and in a more equal educational and informational base) between themselves (as members of “the Deaf community”) and too, between themselves and members of the dominant Hearing world. 

As Fernandes suggests, some technologies today give back what the phone and even spoken (oral) conversation have so long taken away from deaf people, especially in professional and work-related settings.  Technologies can now mediate the success and interaction between smart deaf people circulating in a largely hearing world that is oral-aural, and print-based.  What none of these clips (or even perhaps the collection of interviews overall) demonstrate further, however, is the way in which such technologies also greatly facilitate professional and social interactions between deaf people themselves.  Perhaps the lack of any mention of the important connective work and community-building that emits from the frequencies of such technologies is due to the interviewee’s keen sense of his/her likely audience for these DALN stories—to some recognition on her part that it would be largely hearing people who would be accessing and “listening to” their stories.  Whatever her reason, her literacy narrative tends to emphasize how technologies enable her ability to be, if not “in” the hearing world, then at least “between” hearing and deaf worlds. 

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