When I discussed the best cell phone service for deaf or hard of hearing people I mentioned that my brother was deaf (yes, I know Sign Language). So, whenever I hear something about deaf life or culture I have more than a general interest. So, thanks to Kay Bell of Don’t Mess with Taxes for pointing out that the IRS now has a YouTube Page made for the deaf!
The IRS ASL YouTube Page has 7 short videos covering:
- Making Work Pay Tax Credit
- General Recovery Message
- Unemployment Compensation
- Vehicle Tax Deduction
- Credit Repair Education
- Home Energy Credit
- First time Home Buyer
Why Should the IRS Produce More Videos to help the Deaf Culture Understand Tax Changes?
Lets say you are in the group that believe that tax information should be open to every language than you should understand that American Sign Language is a language. American Sign Language as defined by Wikipedia
ASL is a natural language as proved to the satisfaction of the linguistic community by William Stokoe, and contains phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax and pragmatics just like spoken languages. It is a manual language or visual language, meaning that the information is expressed not with combinations of sounds but with combinations of handshapes, palm orientations, movements of the hands, arms and body, location in relation to the body, and facial expressions. While spoken languages are produced by the vocal cords only, and can thus be easily written in linear patterns, ASL uses the hands, head and body, with constantly changing movements and orientations. Like other natural sign languages, it is “three dimensional” in this sense.ASL is used natively and predominantly by the Deaf and hard-of-hearing of the United States and Canada.
Now, lets say you are one of those people that believe English should be our only language well then these videos are an attempt to help those that may need a little help. Would you deny a brail instructions of a tax form to a blind person? I certainly would hope not. This is just another way to express English.
Why is providing Tax Information to Deaf People Important?
My wife often refers to me as an emotional waste land, a person who doesn’t get emotional, a guy who never reacts. But wow, I will tell you right now I lost it…I mean LOST it watching the Documentary, Hear and Now. Hear and Now is about 2 educated deaf parents and their adventure in obtaining a cochlear implant (their hearing child created the documentary). Here is a trailer:
The Deaf Community is not dumb, but very often misunderstood, and that is the reason the IRS should help them out! When was the last time ANYONE read tax instructions and couldn’t use a little help? Now add in a communication barrier based solely on nature.
If you know anyone that knows anyone that is deaf, take it upon yourself to forward this post to them. If I can help even one deaf person understand the craziness that are the tax code changes which took place in the past year, then this past year of blogging would be worth it.