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Author Topic: LDS Church Provisions for the Deaf
Da_Goat
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What are they? I spoke with a gentlemen recently that implied that the LDS church has some, but he was fairly vague.

Do they have any videos available in ASL? Like the Bible or Book of Mormon? I assume if there's a completely Deaf individual that attends a church, there would be an interpreter, but is there anything past that?

Hi Hatrack. Miss y'all bunches. [Wave]

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maui babe
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We have a deaf sister in our ward whose family interprets for her. A lot of our YW have learned ASL to help, as well.

I've been in other wards with deaf members and have seen interpreters sitting with them, but they're usually family members or returned missionaries who served ASL missions. AFAIK, other than general conference, the church does not provide paid interpretation - it's all done on a volunteer basis, just like most other church service.

Why would the deaf need a special BoM or Bible?

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Elmer's Glue
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You know deaf people can read... right?
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Eaquae Legit
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Of course, but if it's ASL, English is almost like a second language. And anyway, the LDS Church puts out videos in other languages, so why not sign?
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maui babe
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I suspect the church videos are closed captioned.
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maui babe
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Tools for disabled members

quote:
For the hearing impaired, there is all of the written literature available to anyone else, plus many videocassettes of previously made Church films with signed inserts added, numerous closed-captioned videos, a dictionary of sign language terms and phrases peculiar to the Church, a handbook for LDS interpreters and closed-captioned Church satellite broadcasts. Each session of general conference is produced with closed captions. Sessions also are signed live in the Church Office Building auditorium for those attending conference.

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Eaquae Legit
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quote:
Originally posted by maui babe:
I suspect the church videos are closed captioned.

But captions, while important, aren't in your average Deaf person's native language. It's a bit like the minor foolishness of making Montreal the missionary centre for French Canada. There's a subtle statement about cultures and who's important and who's not and whether one can be bothered to really embrace an "other."

So I think it's pretty cool, the link you have, maui babe! Thanks!

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Amka
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If there are enough deaf LDS, there can be a deaf branch or ward. If not, there is usually an interpreter.

Deaf people can read, but not all can read well and EL is right: English is not the same as ASL. I know that the Book of Mormon reader and other scripture readers (the ones with all the pictures) has sometimes been used for some of my sister's friends. I think you can also get the scriptures in ASL - video of course.

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ketchupqueen
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Videos are available on the Church music site with signed hymns and Primary songs, some of the most popular hymns and the Primary songs used for each year's Primary Presentations. I think they're beautiful. [Smile]

Each General Conference there is live streaming video of the ASL interpretation on the website as well. Sometimes I watch it because the movement helps me concentrate. [Smile]

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Cashew
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In my experience as a high school teacher who has had deaf students, ranging from profoundly deaf to ones who are able to hear reasonably well, in my classes for many years, many can read as well as hearing students, but MANY cannot, especially those deaf rom birth or early in their development. Their language acquisition in all forms can be severely limited and their literacy levels are often very low. It's a mistake to think that all being deaf means is you can't hear. There are many other effects.
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Scott R
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They also have pre-recorded versions of the temple ceremony in sign language.
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Dobbie
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quote:
Originally posted by Eaquae Legit:
It's a bit like the minor foolishness of making Montreal the missionary centre for French Canada. There's a subtle statement about cultures and who's important and who's not and whether one can be bothered to really embrace an "other."
[/QB]

Why is that foolish?
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Occasional
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It really depends on the area you are in how accessible the LDS deaf religious scene is. There are non-deaf wards that cater to the deaf, such as one I was in several years ago. All major material in the LDS Church, such as Book of Mormon and Hymns, have videos (or CDs) with people signing them.

You can visit Deaf LDS.org for more information. As you can see, they can be a self-selecting community.

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Da_Goat
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Thanks guys, this information helps a lot.

Occasional, you, as well as maui babe's link, mentioned that the BoM is being interpreted into ASL. Is that something that would be available to nonmembers once finished, the way the English BoM is available for nonmembers?

And as has already been stated, the English and true ASL (as opposed to Signed Exact English) are very different entities. English can be exceptionally difficult for those that were Deaf from birth. The Hearing start off speaking and then, when reading and writing become part of their curriculum, they hear the words in their head when seeing them on paper. The Deaf never had that advantage, so they try to visualize the sign in their head. That mental process could take a lot longer, as things such as letters are no phonetical help for them. To add to the frustration, ASL was created by French speaking people, so the syntax used is more akin to the French language than the English language. And also, ASL classifiers can be used to tell stories simply that would take paragraphs to tell in English.

Okay, so now my curiosity is piqued. I think it's great that the Church has done this for the Deaf that speak ASL. But is there anything available for the Deaf that use a different Sign Language (ex. MLS, BSL)?

PS. Pardon my ignorance, but what is a 'ward' to a Mormon? Is it smaller than a congregation?

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katharina
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A ward is a congregation. There are between 150 - 400 per ward, usually about 250.

It is called a ward because they are created according to geography. Which ward you go to usually depends on where you live, except for the special wards like deaf wards or the Spanish wards.

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scifibum
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Don't forget singles wards.

Tangent: Does anybody like singles wards? I attended one with a girlfriend about 8 years ago. Compared to the LDS ward I grew up in, everyone seemed tense. There was palpable sexual tension, unless I'm badly mistaken. It seemed to me that the concepts of church and dating pool didn't mix very well.

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DSH
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Don't you just love singles wards? Created to appease* those singles who feel they don't fit in in a "family" ward... Then complained about because they promote a 'meat market' atmosphere.


*Appease may not be the best choice of words, but it's all my head is coming up with right now.

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scholarette
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We had a university ward- which was singles and married in school with no kids. It was awesome. I kinda assumed that the married people calmed the meat market atmosphere, but still had the no kids benefit.
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katharina
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My ward is currently mixed, just because there are so many single people here. It's a family ward, but about half the adults are single. That's nice.
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Eaquae Legit
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quote:
Originally posted by Dobbie:
quote:
Originally posted by Eaquae Legit:
It's a bit like the minor foolishness of making Montreal the missionary centre for French Canada. There's a subtle statement about cultures and who's important and who's not and whether one can be bothered to really embrace an "other."

Why is that foolish? [/QB]
Montreal is the heart of Anglo Quebec. Franco-Quebecois are a touchy sort, and putting the centre in Montreal carries the implication that the church doesn't care about their "distinct society." Putting it in Quebec City, the main centre of Quebecois culture, would have shown them that the church recognises them and welcomes them. Possibly that sounds silly to an outsider, but stuff like that can really affect the public's willingness to listen. As it stands, the LDS Church is just another of those "imperialist Anglo societies that don't care".
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Magson
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
A ward is a congregation. There are between 150 - 400 per ward, usually about 250.

It is called a ward because they are created according to geography. Which ward you go to usually depends on where you live, except for the special wards like deaf wards or the Spanish wards.

And if you really want to go black tie -- they're called wards becuz cities have wards, and back in the late 1830's the City of Nauvoo had 4 wards, and the church chose to subdivide the congregations along the same boundaries, and simply specified "city ward" vs "church ward." The name then stuck, even after Nauvoo was abandoned.
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DDDaysh
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Ok - I just have to say that I'm shocked they actually have things such as "singles wards". How are singles ever supposed to become families if they're not allowed to mix???
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ketchupqueen
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They're allowed. I never chose to attend a singles ward, I attended a family ward instead. [Smile] It's not something you're forced to do, you have a choice. Many singles find that the family ward programs and activities are not as relevant to them, and prefer a place where everything is directed at single men and women rather than most of it being geared toward families with children and/or older people (depending on the area...)
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jebus202
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quote:
Originally posted by DDDaysh:
Ok - I just have to say that I'm shocked they actually have things such as "singles wards". How are singles ever supposed to become families if they're not allowed to mix???

What part of the word "singles" means same-sex only to you?
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Occasional
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I can't tell if DDD was joking or not. Well, I supposed they could be called "dating" wards, and that would be accurate enough. Not sure what DDD thinks "singles ward" means.

Ketchupqueen, I am curious why a single (who is below age 30 with no children) would want to attend a family ward if they had a choice?

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Amilia
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quote:
Originally posted by DDDaysh:
Ok - I just have to say that I'm shocked they actually have things such as "singles wards". How are singles ever supposed to become families if they're not allowed to mix???

[Smile] That's actually the whole point of singles wards: to get us out of the singles ward and into the family ward. I disagree with the notion that they were created because singles feel alienated in family wards. I also find the complaint that they are meat markets to be very funny. Of course they are meat markets! That is what they are supposed to be!

ETA:
quote:
Originally posted by Occasional:
Ketchupqueen, I am curious why a single (who is below age 30 with no children) would want to attend a family ward if they had a choice?

Older people in the ward are more relaxed and confident. Relief Society and Sunday School are a lot more fun when people are not afraid to make comments.
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ketchupqueen
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1. I was not interested in the guys that attended singles wards in my area. I did go to singles dances, firesides, etc.-- but I didn't want to mix with them quite that constantly.

2. It was a 5 minute drive to church in the family ward, and a 30 minute drive to church in the singles ward, and I didn't have a car.

3. I didn't like the particular singles ward that was closest and didn't want to attend one further away. They just weren't my "type" of ward. The guys but also the gals.

4. I have always enjoyed the company of women older than myself. I really liked being in a ward where we ranged from 18 all the way up to 89 in the Relief Society, and all had different challenges due to different life stages, but all supported and loved each other anyway. I did hang out with the singles in my family ward, but also enjoyed sitting with the great-grandmothers sometimes and listening to their stories, and my best friend from that ward was almost old enough to be my mother. I liked being freed from the confines of age in making my friends, just as I always have. [Smile]

5. I ended up meeting someone online anyway. I'm obviously anti-social. [Wink]

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Hobbes
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quote:
Does anybody like singles wards?
*Meekly raises hand* I do. I like the environment, I like the people, and though I do like associating with people older than me and with different experiences (i.e. family wards) I also really like having a chance to spend time with people in my same/similar life position. I also find it much easier to make friends there. Or maybe that's not true, but friends I can do things with outside of Church. I just went for a fun trip with some hiking today with some people from my singles ward and I just don't believe that would've happened with anyone in a family ward.

Maybe it's just me, or the wards I've been in but I've never felt that "meat market" atmosphere. Certainly there is some showing off from each side and since it's a ward brought together by the fact that no one is married (remembering that the majority of those in the LDS Church either want to be, or want to want to be) so it comes up. I've just never really felt like that feeling has dominated my ability to be spiritually uplifted each week. The teachers are normally quite talented, the talks are good and ... no crying babies. [Cool]

quote:
Magson:

And if you really want to go black tie -- they're called wards becuz cities have wards, and back in the late 1830's the City of Nauvoo had 4 wards, and the church chose to subdivide the congregations along the same boundaries, and simply specified "city ward" vs "church ward." The name then stuck, even after Nauvoo was abandoned.

That's awesome, I'm going to start sharing that!

Hobbes [Smile]

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Dogbreath
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Hey there Da_Goat! Fancy seeing you here in a place like this...
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Amilia
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quote:
Originally posted by Hobbes:
Maybe it's just me, or the wards I've been in but I've never felt that "meat market" atmosphere. Certainly there is some showing off from each side and since it's a ward brought together by the fact that no one is married (remembering that the majority of those in the LDS Church either want to be, or want to want to be) so it comes up. I've just never really felt like that feeling has dominated my ability to be spiritually uplifted each week. The teachers are normally quite talented, the talks are good and ... no crying babies. [Cool]

I agree in that I never felt like the meat market side of things invaded the meetings. Your description matches my experiences there. When I call it a meat market, I am refering to the 3-4 activities a week specifically designed to bring singles together socially. And, IMHO, if it weren't to provide the structure for those activities, there would be no reason for singles wards. (I also love singles wards)
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advice for robots
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The singles ward is that rare organization dedicated to its own destruction.

I appreciated the singles wards I was in during college. Yes, one of the main goals was to bring people together and provide every opportunity to meet your future spouse (and then leave the ward, hence the destruction part). But in those wards I had tons more friends who shared my beliefs and who were in pretty much the same boat I was in. I wouldn't have had that to the same extent in a family ward. We had a built-in support network for all the many problems we faced during our college years, from girl troubles to academic setbacks to financial woes and more. There was more understanding and empathy. I'd never had that before I came to BYU. None of my friends in high school were LDS, and while I developed some close friendships, I didn't have anyone who shared my religious beliefs. Once the culture shock of Provo and BYU wore off, I was really happy to make some LDS friends.

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scholarette
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My problem with the singles wards was that almost every conversation with the young men went like this. "Hi my name is blah, what's yours? What's your major? Oh, biochem, you must be smart. Well, I um, have to, um, um go over there (and hit on a different chick who was an education major)." And then there were the lessons from the bishopric, "Men, you need to be willing to ask the girls out, marriage is important and if you have served your mission, then you are never too young. And girls, you just stay righteous and eventually one of those young men will do his duty and ask you out."
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katharina
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I went to singles wards for a long time and at times enjoyed them very much - especially in college. They are wonderful for aiding in socializing.

I started going to a family ward before I had to because, well, my singles ward was small, I didn't want to date any of the guys, and my best friend moved out of the ward so it wasn't nearly as fun.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
My problem with the singles wards was that almost every conversation with the young men went like this. "Hi my name is blah, what's yours? What's your major? Oh, biochem, you must be smart. Well, I um, have to, um, um go over there (and hit on a different chick who was an education major)." And then there were the lessons from the bishopric, "Men, you need to be willing to ask the girls out, marriage is important and if you have served your mission, then you are never too young. And girls, you just stay righteous and eventually one of those young men will do his duty and ask you out."

I doubt any of them would be too young. Too immature or too inexperienced maybe, but your physical age by 21 isn't as likely a factor to me.

Also if you'd been to a singles ward I attended and told me you were a biochem major I would have had oogles to talk to you about. It was the child development majors that usually bothered me. When Tiffany told me she had a degree in massage therapy that wasn't a big on switch for me, but then again it wasn't a deal breaker either, nor should it have been.

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scholarette
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I think many of the men there were way too immature, as evidenced by the fact that my major was such a turnoff. I also heard one guy using his GRE scores as a pick up line- I wasn't sure what disgusted me worse: that he tried it or that it worked. And the girls got in huge fights over trying to win the guys interest. The guys also said that if the girls wanted a date with them, then she should bake him cookies. Because that lets them know your interested and more importantly a good cook. Whereas I believed in a more proactive approach to dating- I actually asked my now husband out when I decided I was interested in him.
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katharina
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I don't want to have to bake cookies OR be the one to get it together to ask him out.

Man, I HATED dating in Utah, and this thread is reminding me why. Being around guys who are that entitled is infuriating. I'd rather be single than have someone express interest in me by saying "You may now bake me cookies."

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scifibum
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Of course, feeling like you shouldn't have to get it together to ask someone out is also a slightly entitled point of view. [Wink]

It's good to know some people like singles wards. Thanks Hatrack for setting my mind at ease on a topic of no immediate personal import. [Big Grin]

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katharina
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In my experience, a guy who is too shy or too insecure or too lazy to bother asking me out isn't someone I am attracted to anyway.
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advice for robots
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I wasn’t hunk enough to ever have felt a sense of entitlement in my singles ward. There were guys that had that sense, though, that’s for sure. Some of them may still be single because they are still waiting for the perfect woman to fall at their feet. Some of the women had that sense as well. They weren’t immune to that.

I tried to date a few women in the wards I was in, but none of that worked too well. But I made good friends with many of them through all the various activities we had. Things usually worked out the smoothest when no one was particularly interested in being romantically involved.

I get the feeling things would be quite different in a singles ward not connected to a university with many LDS students in it, or one not connected to any university or not populated with mainly college-age men and women.

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scholarette
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
In my experience, a guy who is too shy or too insecure or too lazy to bother asking me out isn't someone I am attracted to anyway.

I don't think any of those were reasons why my husband didn't ask me out first. At the time, he was interested in another girl and was not really thinking about me in that way. When I asked him out, after talking to me for a few hours, he realized we were much more compatible then he had realized when we were just hanging out in a big group.
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BlackBlade
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While I was dating I was much more interested in the girls attending my classes at university. As far as church sanctioned programs went, the girls attending institute were much more well rounded IMO.

I had a fantastic time in institute, as far as I have seen, the best and brightest in the church were in attendance there. I went to the Utah Valley University Institute for those interested.

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