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EDITORIAL A DEAF MINORITY A segment of the deaf population, those who are deaf-blind, are gradually building a viable adult self-help organization. The American Association of the Deaf-Blind, under President Rod MacDonald, has recently established a national headquarters, their annual conventions are increasingly well attended, and they have started some political activism. These are positive steps. For years the deafblind have faced rejection from the deaf, from the blind, and from the general population. Never has this rejection been of an active hostile nature. Rather, it has been in the form of avoidance and indifference. With overwhelming mobility and communication problems to face, deaf-blind people historically have been relatively unable to help themselves. Helen Keller's national stature was of value for a time, but she actually did far more for blind people than for those who shared her lack of sight and hearing. The American Foundation for the Blind, the organization for which Helen Keller's advocacy was so valuable, is now repaying this kindness through its recent financial assistance to the American Association of the Deaf-Blind. The person most responsible for the surge of the deaf-blind is Rod MacDonald. President MacDonald has the intelligence, perceptiveness , and leadership qualities to do for deafblind people what the late Fred Schreiber did for deaf people; i.e., he is capable of building the American Association of the Deaf-Blind from a token organization into a meaningful national force for deaf-blind people just as Fred Schreiber made the National Association of the Deaf the power it was at the time of his death a few years ago. We in deafness soemtimes forget that 3% to 10% of deaf people are also legally blind. Our responsibilities extend to these individuals as equally as they do to those whose disability is deafness alone. NEWS NOTES Britain lost, through death, two courageous leaders in the field of deafness. One, Dr. Eric Greenway, had the bravery to take a public stand on behalf of Total Communication in Britain at a time when it jeopardized his entire career and left him almost alone to face unbelievable hostility. Dr. Greenway was one of a minutiae of mankind with the true courage of conviction. Deaf Britons owe him immense gratitude. Molly Sheavyn is Britain's second loss. Ms. Sheavyn was a deaf woman who went through a British oral-only education to then become a major spokesperson for Total Communication as an adult. For a deaf person to do this in Britain at that time was highly unusual and it became an especially traumatic experience for Ms. Sheavyn. However, she strived with dignity, no trace of hostility, and a deep sense of responsibility to fellow deaf citizens. Generations of deaf children and adults in Britain will lead better lives due to the courage of these two educators. Few of these beneficiaries will ever know who their benefactors were. * * * Residential treatment facilities for deaf children in the United States have been essentially non-existent for years. Hillside Children's Center in Rochester, New York has recently established a milestone by opening its program to deaf youth. McCay Vernon, PhD Editor A.A.D. / July 1985 201 ...


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