William Stokoe

April 19, 2018
Category: Submitted Posts

By: Sydnie (05/22/17)

My favorite person from Deaf History is William Stokoe. I liked that he made an effort in proving the significance and importance of Sign Language. Forcing deaf people to learn to communicate through speech and lip reading I feel is doing them a disservice. I realize it was possible for them to do it but not natural. It, to me, is like asking a fish to climb a tree. Forcing someone who is unique to be the same as everyone else has never proved to work. Deaf people need to keep their uniqueness by communicating in the best way for them. I liked that he supported that they had a separate language and that he proved that it was an actual language. I am glad he won the battle. Also, now it allows us in the hearing community to learn another unique language and experience that kind of communication! I also like the use of sign language as it allows deaf people to express themselves in a way that they might not have been able to through Oralism practices. It gives them a sense of meaning and personality. It is also, in my opinion, a better way to communicate with other deaf people. Because neither of them can hear it might be harder to communicate just through lip reading. It may be harder for them to understand one another than it would be for them to talk to someone who is hearing who has spoken their whole lives and can hear themselves speak and form the lip movements more perfectly and more readable to the deaf. I liked William Stokoe because he, although he was hearing, stood up for the deaf people and proved that Sign Language was an actual language and the right way to go! Allowing them to be them, express themselves in the best way they can! I didn’t like the Oralism as it forced the deaf people into communicating in a way that they didn’t necessarily prefer to communicate. No one should be forced to do something they don’t want to do. That is why we have the gift of agency, the freedom to choose. That should not be something that gets taken away from us, deaf or not. I like that he stood up for that right. I like that we have the use of Sign Language now. I like its unique language and way of communicating. It allows you to communicate in a completely new way, allowing you to use other parts of your senses in a different way. Kind of a fun challenge! I imagine a verbal deaf person would be pretty monotone. They might not understand or know how to express through voice, whereas Sign Language allows them to be very expressive. Yes, Oralism would give them the best of both worlds, though all in all I think Sign Language is best because it keeps them unique with their own language. William Stokoe stood up for them, that’s why I like him!