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Thread: A town for the deaf

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    A town for the deaf

    Though this might be interesting to some. . .

    "Standing in an empty field along a wind-swept highway, Marvin T. Miller, who is deaf, envisions the town he wants to create here: a place built around American Sign Language, where teachers in the new school will sign, the town council will hold its debates in sign language and restaurant workers will be required to know how to sign orders."


    "Planners, architects and future residents from various states and other countries are gathering at a camp center in South Dakota on Monday and through the week to draw detailed blueprints for the town, which could accommodate at least 2,500 people."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/21/na...rtner=homepage

    The 'town' itself also has a website: http://www.laurentsd.com/index.html

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Hceux's avatar
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    What a coincidence. In less than an hour, I will be attending a lecture presented by Dr. Carol Padden, who is apparently an internationally renowned scholar for her research on issues of language structure, culture and language, and reading development in relation to American Sign Language and the D/deaf populations. I wonder if she will mention anything about Laurent, S.D.

    Anyways, I'll share whatever she has to say after I return from this lecture, okay?

    In the meantime, I have to ponder the ability of Laurent to overcome the seemingly blatant separation between the hearing world and the Deaf world and the lack of inclusion of those who are hard of hearing.

    I'm a bit disappointed that the New York Times article didn't mention a thing about the Deaf culture or the Deaf community or even the fact why Deaf itself is capitalized (which isn't done in this article). There is a real struggle in those who are involved with the D/deaf populations to determine how to balance the expectations of the Deaf community with the dominanting presence of the hearing world in today's society.

    I wonder if ASL (short of American Sign Language) is only mode of communications in this town, then will hearing parents and families of D/deaf children will want to give up speaking for signing at all times. I wonder if Laurent will welcome those hearing population who wish to incorporate both signing and speaking as speaking isn't currently advocated by the fierceist advocates of the Deaf culture.

    In addition, can Laurent attract all the people who are willing to communicate in solely ASL and with the necessary talents that are needed in a small community (i.e. a planner of all trades, a representative for the municipal/county government, a dentist of all trades, a doctor of all trades, a lawyer of all trades, etc.)

    I'm actually curious to see what you Cyburbians think of this proposal.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    People that often feel disconnected from main stream society band together. That's true regardless of the disconnect. Over 70% of the men and women on my Friday night bowling league are deaf or have diminished hearing. They are in this league for the acceptance it has. I can see this going bigger scael to ta community level of accetpance as well.

    Other disconnected groups have been forming their own comunities for generations, whether it be ethnicity (Chinatown) or sexual orientation (Provincetown).

    I say, more power to 'em, if thats the life they want.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    I could see it being a kind of haven or oasis, where deaf people could go to be 'normal' -- even if they just visit.

    Often, someone joins a gifted list to address the educational and other needs of their kids but find themselves finally understanding a lifetime of pain and loneliness. Giftedness tends to run in families and the social and emotional needs of giftedness are a big topic of conversation on some of these lists. The parents who join the list often find deep friendships first time in their lives. It is often very healing and empowering -- they stop feeling like freaks and they stop being profoundly lonely. Someone once described it as like "finally meeting others from the same planet". Some parents attend the same conferences or send their kids to the same summer camps every year to maintain long-distance friendships.

    Given those observations in the gifted community -- where there are a lot of socially awkward people who have been ostracized at one time or another for being a "geek" -- I think a small town for the deaf community could be a wonderful thing: empowering, healing, and freeing, in much the same way that finding a gifted community so often is for gifted individuals.

  5. #5

    Interesting....

    At the risk of sounding totally absurd and unsympathetic to the plight of those without hearing, I think that's just a bad idea overall. It's one thing to be called names at the Planning Counter because you have a resident who doesn't like the City's recent Comprehensive Plan amendment, but when you get signed at angrily, that's just downright wrong.

    What's next? A town for the folks who suffer from Turrets? (sp?)
    Forechecking is overrated.

  6. #6
    For me, this is interesting and challenging project to design a place for deaf people. Almost all fo the programs that architects and landscape architects will prepare for deaf should not be the same as normal people. I wanna see what it's gonna look like...
    Universe is not wide enough to be planned.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    St. Augustine has a nice size population of deaf people due to the Florida D and B school being there. We had a few staff members who know ASL and had to act as our interpreters for a bit. It was interesting telling people about planning in sign language.

  8. #8
    Member Nor Cal Planner Girl's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone
    I could see it being a kind of haven or oasis, where deaf people could go to be 'normal' -- even if they just visit.

    Often, someone joins a gifted list to address the educational and other needs of their kids but find themselves finally understanding a lifetime of pain and loneliness. Giftedness tends to run in families and the social and emotional needs of giftedness are a big topic of conversation on some of these lists. The parents who join the list often find deep friendships first time in their lives. It is often very healing and empowering -- they stop feeling like freaks and they stop being profoundly lonely. Someone once described it as like "finally meeting others from the same planet". Some parents attend the same conferences or send their kids to the same summer camps every year to maintain long-distance friendships.

    Given those observations in the gifted community -- where there are a lot of socially awkward people who have been ostracized at one time or another for being a "geek" -- I think a small town for the deaf community could be a wonderful thing: empowering, healing, and freeing, in much the same way that finding a gifted community so often is for gifted individuals.
    I wonder if this is also true for Cyburbians

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Nor Cal Planner Girl
    I wonder if this is also true for Cyburbians
    Um, could you elaborate? I would be happy to answer that if the question were more clear.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Mee
    For me, this is interesting and challenging project to design a place for deaf people. Almost all fo the programs that architects and landscape architects will prepare for deaf should not be the same as normal people. I wanna see what it's gonna look like...
    I agree with Mee in that I think it would be very interesting for a design standpoint. . .

    I also think any time someone builds a community from scratch it could be very interesting. . .but I wonder about the economy of a crossroads in South Dakota. . .

  11. #11
    Member Nor Cal Planner Girl's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone
    Um, could you elaborate? I would be happy to answer that if the question were more clear.
    I was really just kidding

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Hceux's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CCMNUT39
    What's next? A town for the folks who suffer from Turrets? (sp?)
    Actually, I just heard in passing that there is a community somewhere in Quebec that consists mostly of people with Tourette's Syndrome.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Hceux's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone
    I could see it being a kind of haven or oasis, where deaf people could go to be 'normal' -- even if they just visit.
    Whether or not Laurent, S.D., becomes an oasis (maybe a frigid one considering its barren location), I am a bit skeptical of the easy slippery slope for the community to convert from being one based on people who sign ASL to being a community that advocates and only practices the Deaf culture.

  14. #14
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    A novel idea.

    We could have towns for the Deaf.
    We could have towns for the Blind.
    We could have towns for the Gay.
    We could have towns for the Black.
    We could have towns for the Hispanic.
    We could have towns for the Asian.
    We could have towns for the Republicans.
    They could all be seperate and equal.

    Regardless of intentions, it's segregation.





    Quote Originally posted by planner?
    Though this might be interesting to some. . .

    "Standing in an empty field along a wind-swept highway, Marvin T. Miller, who is deaf, envisions the town he wants to create here: a place built around American Sign Language, where teachers in the new school will sign, the town council will hold its debates in sign language and restaurant workers will be required to know how to sign orders."


    "Planners, architects and future residents from various states and other countries are gathering at a camp center in South Dakota on Monday and through the week to draw detailed blueprints for the town, which could accommodate at least 2,500 people."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/21/na...rtner=homepage

    The 'town' itself also has a website: http://www.laurentsd.com/index.html

  15. #15
    Cyburbian ablarc's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mark Moseley
    A novel idea.

    We could have towns for the Deaf.
    We could have towns for the Blind.
    We could have towns for the Gay.
    We could have towns for the Black.
    We could have towns for the Hispanic.
    We could have towns for the Asian.
    We could have towns for the Republicans.
    They could all be seperate and equal.

    Regardless of intentions, it's segregation.
    Some we've had for a while: towns for Native Americans, towns for semi-retired hippies, towns for the rich, towns for retirees, towns for natalists, towns for rednecks...

    In the Medieval guild economy of free cities: towns for weavers, towns for potters, towns for steelmakers, towns for armorers...

    Greek city-states: towns for intellectual democrats, goose-stepping militarists, licentious hedonists. Oh, and I forgot: lesbians (how did they keep the population up?)

    .
    Last edited by ablarc; 03 Apr 2005 at 12:51 PM.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
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    It reminds me of the english-only towns that the soviet union created for spies.

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