Oralism vs. Manualism

4 April 2015
Pros & cons of teaching deaf children to speak vs. signing. Discusses schooling, role of parents, communication effectiveness and level of hearing.

The argument over whether a deaf or hard of hearing child should learn to speak, learn to sign, or both is an old one. There are two main groups of people who argue for each side. A large portion of the adult deaf community feels that being deaf is a separate culture from the hearing and speaking world and that all deaf and hearing impaired children should be brought up as persons who do not need to speak orally. There are some parents and educators who also feel this way. The other side contains deaf people who have been taught to speak, some parents, and some educators who feel that being able to communicate readily with the mainstream oral community adds to a child’s options and experiences.
There are organizations which promote both philosophies.
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