Sara Patterson

Volunteer sign language tutor

I worked in the mainstream schools once; this was awhile back. And when I first entered it was really a shock. It was such a different world. I felt they were lacking the awareness of deaf people, of deaf culture, of how to approach someone who is deaf to socialize. That was all missing. ….. At a residential school it didn’t matter if they used the oral method because everyone was deaf, because they signed. They had a strong deaf community and the school really helped support the children who had hearing parents. Do I support mainstream? No. I mean if a deaf child grows up and is in a deaf school and they feel that they want to go in the mainstream I think that’s fine because they already established who they are with their deaf identity.

Interview Date: 
February 20, 2008