Response to Comments

In my response to the commentaries made about my article, I observe that the commentators find no obvious errors with my estimates of the size of the signing deaf community. However, most of them are not as pessimistic as I am partly because of the position they take on a number of issues. Namely, the supposed uniqueness of Australia in its treatment of deaf people and deafness; the relevancy of different types of signers to the fate of signed languages; the inevitability or reversibility of declining numbers; the ethics of reproductive technology; and, finally, the responsibilities of linguists vis-à-vis the communities they work with. In my response, I show how we differently interpret these issues and argue for my perspective on them.