CSI & “What Would You Do About It?”

CSI’s show on 3 February and “What Would You Do About It?” on 4 February are too close for comfort because it is a rarity to see two episodes covering deaf issues/stories two days in a row and not only that, Super Bowl on 6 February promises to be 100% caption. I certainly hope it is not a one time hype.

CSI always amuses and educates. When it first started, I was a bit disappointed that the camera would cut out the hands signing, just because it was being captioned. As it progressed throughout the show, the camera widened to proper viewing of signers. It is a pretty average story but amusing because of how the people would interact and with Sara’s marriage to Grissom and having her mother in law being deaf. It is also encouraging that someone marrying into a family which has a deaf member, like Sara who is willing to learn to sign so she can communicate with her mother-in-law to the best of her ability. What also impresses me is how the characters are able to switch between languages when an interpreter is present. I also like the fact that the interpreter is not in the picture the entire time.

Some people mentioned that they didn’t like how the criminals are portrayed in the storyline. Reality is that, we have people defrauding the system, all because the system continues to support and encourage dependency rather than ‘booting’ them on the street and let nature (not society) take its course. Fraud is typical, a natural aspect of human (or animal) behavior, it just goes deeper when it comes to a system that a certain percentage of population uses because of their “social difference”. We, deaf or hoh people, often don’t like how we are portrayed on shows and movies as well, so the shoes are on the other foot.

Now I did DVR the “What Would You Do About It” February 4th episode about 2 NTID (National Technical Institute of the Deaf/Rochester, NY) trying to apply for a job. At first the idea of replacing the actual workers with actors wasn’t my taste of tea but the concept behind it is valid. So I watched it on ABC, of course the episode is not 100% captioned (despite Congress passing two laws mandating caption for internet based shows/movies in 2010). It did have some caption for certain aspects and signing was clear so I could get what was going on and tell you the truth, it was a common occurrence, no matter when, where or why for people with disabilities to be rejected for the “inability” to the job.

Overall it was a good show, I liked the backstage comments and the like but what made my day was this: people who actually said on public TV that one should not discriminate, take the application and here’s the killer – “put it on the back of the application “not a fit”” and “don’t call them.” What contradicted the comments was “Handicapped people they have more rights than anyone in this world”. Thank goodness that the people’s faces was blurred out, either she’d be fired or jumped on the street.

Now the question lies with all of us, “what would we do about it?” Whew…..

Links:

What Would You Do?:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJcAymTu-CE
http://deafness.about.com/b/2011/02/04/if-human-resources-folks-act-that-way.htm

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