Blog Post #3

Before studying IDEA and more specifically the autism spectrum disorders I didn’t not realize or know how to distinguish the various disorders that fall under that category. It surprised me to find how different they really are. For example Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome are actually really distinct. Their characteristics are virtually opposite. Asperger’s is must less obvious as there’s usually an interest in social environment, little to no delay in verbal communication and cognition. There are such slight indicators whereas people with autism have a disinterest in social environment, and a delay in verbal communication. Studying not only these autism spectrum disorders but also specific learning disabilities makes me more aware and observant of social behaviors; I find myself more attentive when talking with my peers.

On a totally different note, as we discussed the rights of people with disabilities, I kept thinking of ways in today’s modern media world that these people are used as an element of humor because of their disability. I am a passionate SNL fan and I’ve seen pretty much every episode; evidently many of the skits consist of mocking the most recent events in the political and social realms. One of the most popular skits of the past season has been the opening political skit mocking Obama, but more importantly the sign language translator for deaf audiences. People laugh at the over the enthusiasm and overall actions of the translator and focus more on him or her than the President himself and SNL takes this and makes it a comedy hit on the show. I found myself feeling offended for people with deafness because to them this is the way they communicate, it’s there form of speech, and here the whole country is laughing at them solely because it may look humorous to some. Here is a snippet of the SNL skit!

An even more surprising video I found while looking for examples of these offensive SNL skits was a clip of the sign language translator at one of Nelson Mandela’s remembrance ceremonies. It turns out the translator was not even translating the spoken words correctly; he was just put there to satisfy the part but in fact he was a fake. I was just shocked that such a professional and serious ceremony would have a phony translator; I did not even think that was possible and it really upsets me that people with deafness were unable to experience such an important event. Here is the video of the false translator if you’re interested in watching!

I hope that there will be more verifications for people with this job and it will be taken more seriously. As the awareness and knowledge grows for people with disabilities I would hope that the modifications and such would be improved and taken in a more stern and important manner. 


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