IM this article to a friend!

July 26, 2004

Hearing the problems of a deaf world

From: Ottumwa Courier, IA - Jul 26, 2004

By:MARK NEWMAN , Courier staff writer

OTTUMWA - The instructors and students could barely communicate - I understood less than half of what was going on. The "Deaf Deaf World" class was aggravating me; I recommend it to everyone.

From the time we entered the basement of the Ottumwa Public Library Friday, two dozen "hearing" participants were not allowed to speak - for three hours.

Students could use the sign language alphabet, which was on a sheet we carried around. Or, more commonly, we could act things out; if you try it at home, you'll see headache was pretty easy. So was nausea.

I found that out when I went to see Bill Kautzky at the "Hospital" station for role playing.

Try acting out a more difficult sentence I was assigned: I've been to see my doctor, he gave me a prescription but the medication wasn't helping.

And this receptionist's questions were awful.

I couldn't understand how a deaf person could do it without carrying a giant notebook and a pen. But we were told that was to be used only as a "last resort."

"Nurse" Kautzky made a questioning sleeping motion. Was he asking if I was feeling tired, or whether I've been sleeping OK?

Turns out it was neither.

For more of the story, see the July 24 Courier.

©Ottumwa Courier 2004