Simply put, it won't work.
JPR said it well in one of my blog about this very same subject:
I shake my head at the ideology that Dr. Donald Grushkin exhibits. It is his business to think whatever he wants (the First Amendment is intact, last time I checked) but the ideology will not be helpful at all. It fails to recognize the pluralism and the huge diversity in the deaf population as you described. It is offensive to many deaf people who do not identify themselves as members of the Deaf culture when the proponents of the ideology insist that they must be Deaf. Have the proponents learned anything from the history? The U.S. attempted to impose the idea of Melting Pot on the immigrants but it did not succeed. Instead, the immigrants still retained their identities that they acquired from their native countries or cultures. Saying that all deaf people are Deaf is like trying to impose Melting Pot on them. It is not going to work, as you said.
Indeed. it won't work because people have their own identities and how they are comfortable with it. You cannot force an ideology on other deaf and hard of hearing people's own identities in the name of collectivism and unity.
I have to wonder why some people are promoting the ideology of applying the cultural identity of Deaf to all deaf people in spite of the reality. Is it because they want to build the Deaf Ethnos? Is it because they fear that the technology of cochlear implant and medical technologies are changing the landscape of the Deaf culture? Is it because they want to build Deaf Utopia where unity and single identity (read: collectivism) are required? I will wait and see what true colors they are showing over the time.I explained in response to JPR's comment that a "Deaf utopia" doesn't exist in the sense of "deaf and hard of hearing utopia" when taken on with the new meaning and definition of "Deaf."
Is Gallaudet University is an utopian example? In what way? Socially? Technologically? hierarchically? It may be an ideal place to go for a variety of reasons but the problem is you have deaf and hh people at Gallaudet University that make up 95 to 97% of the campus population. That kind of tight social fitting cannot be done at that level once you leave the gates of Gallaudet University. You become 0.2% (0.002) of the total population in the United States. The only way to achieve something close to that of Gallaudet University if you live in large enough cities (e.g. Rochester, NY; and perhaps in some surrounding communities of Washington D.C., etc) that have large clusters of culturally deaf people in their area. That's not utopia, neither is Gallaudet University's example. Rather it's an example of isolationism by mixing with your own kind and very little to do with hearing people.
All black universities are not examples of an utopian campus. Ideal perhaps but not utopian because they've become isolated with their "own kinds." An utopian society would be more liken where members are able interact with each other across culturally and linguistically. For that to happen technology will be key in helping bridge that communication gap where it becomes 2nd nature to communicate with anyone regardless of mode of communication or language used. (In reality) we'll be more likely to segregrate ourselves withn our "own kinds" than to mix and interact with those not of "our kinds." Just our basic human nature that we do this. Nothing utopian about it no matter how much fantasy you can throw it to other people.So, the "reDeafination" use of "Deaf" will not confuse the message, the meaning and definition as established by Humphries and Padden back in 1988. We have deaf and hard of hearing communities, not a Deaf community because a Deaf community means a culturally deaf community and not of those who are hard of hearing who are fine with speaking and listening, oral users, S.E.E. users, CUED speech users, deaf AGBell members, and anybody with a hearing loss who isn't a culturally deaf person. I can imagine the utter ridiculousness in trying to convince a person who has a high frequency hearing loss but has mild hearing loss ("late deafened") that he is a Deaf person.
No. It won't work. Still kind of incredible that people are willing to shove some three decades of the definition brought forth by Humphries and Padden in 1988 (as seen proudly in NAD's explaination) down the drain. If they weren't dead already they'd be rolling in their graves.