School for Gifted [?] People [For people who are: deaf, blind, mute]

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danielxu85

Senior Member
Mandarin Chinese
I wonder if you could tell me the politically correct way of saying the school for the dumb, mute and blind. Would you call that a special education school or a school for gifted people?

I thought that Americans are very sensitive to words that indicate discrimination in any way. I asked many of my American friends, but they don't see to come to a conclusion on this.

Thank you very much for whatever help you can provide.
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    The traditional term was "deaf, dumb and blind," but "dumb" has its problems, being intertwined with stupid. And "gifted" has come to mean people of greater intelligence, and, really, intelligence doesn't have anything to do with those three conditions.

    In my own experience and my casual research, I don't think there is any universally acceptable phrase, so I'll just make one here: School for the Deaf, Mute and Blind. (And now I'm going to stop answering my phone and reading my mail. :D)

    Deaf and blind are accepted by deaf and blind people. And mute is much more accepted than dumb to people who either can't speak or who accompany their gestures with speech that is often so unintelligible that they choose not to speak.

    You could use School for Special Education, I suppose, but no one will know what it really is just by reading your name.

    Edit: Reading Harry's post, I can also see Special Education School for the Deaf, Mute and Blind -- if length isn't a concern.
     
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    danielxu85

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    Thanks very much Don! I just realized that I confused mute with deaf! (Blushing)

    Your suggestions are excellent as usual!

    Daniel
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    There are several schools run by states in the United States which have a name containing the words "School for the Deaf and Blind" or "Institute for the Deaf and Blind."

    The reason that neither "dumb" nor "mute" is included in these names is that both terms are generally discouraged nowadays when referring to people who are deaf. Do a Google Search for "do not use mute or deaf" to see that this is the case.

    Addition: See also the discussions of "dumb" and "mute" on this page from the FAQ of the National Association of the Deaf.
     
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    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    There are several schools run by states in the United States which have a name containing the words "School for the Deaf and Blind" or "Institute for the Deaf and Blind."
    Because muteness is generally associated with deafness, this makes perfect sense ... as well as giving you a more manageable name. Thank you.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I also think that the above suggestions are excellent and just wanted to add something: if a school was described to me as a "School for Gifted People" and I subsequently found out it was a school for deaf, dumb and blind kids, I would consider this extremely cynical and politically unacceptable. :( Particularly in view of the actual (opposite) meaning of "gifted".

    But maybe it's just me...
     

    SMiaVS

    New Member
    American English
    Particularly in view of the actual (opposite) meaning of "gifted".
    Actually, the term 'gifted' generally refers to an extraordinary ability in a particular area, not overall physical abilities or mental abilities. It is entirely possible for a deaf, blind, mute, or any other differently-abled person to be gifted. In fact, the groups are sometimes combined in educational settings. Do a Wikipedia search on the T.H. Rogers school if you need an example.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    In fact, the groups are sometimes combined in educational settings.
    I think you're reading a bit more into that than is there. There is a difference between having multiple programs at the same facility and having a combined program. :)
     

    Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    I also think that the above suggestions are excellent and just wanted to add something: if a school was described to me as a "School for Gifted People" and I subsequently found out it was a school for deaf, dumb and blind kids, I would consider this extremely cynical and politically unacceptable. :( Particularly in view of the actual (opposite) meaning of "gifted".
    I agree on the cynical but disagree on the politically unacceptable. I would not be surprised if we soon are required to use "gifted" for people who can't see, hear, speak, or perform other actions that most of our species can do. Already, we have (and it's been used in this thread) "differently abled" for those who lack abilities common to our species, even though someone who can not see, walk, etc. does not necessarily have any abilities lacking in people who can see, walk, etc. There's no universal sum of abilities so that everyone has the same amount, but the distribution varies.

    I would not refer to people who can't see, hear, or speak as "gifted," at least not yet, and I would suggest that English language learners not do so, lest they confuse the politically incorrect majority among their listeners or readers.
     

    SMiaVS

    New Member
    American English
    I think you're reading a bit more into that than is there. There is a difference between having multiple programs at the same facility and having a combined program. :)
    And I think you are reading another post altogether. I merely stated that gifted and deaf, blind or mute are not mutually exclusive, and followed that statement with an example of a school in which two groups not only coexist, but do partake in combined programs (I know people who attended the school). The deaf students are permitted to participate in the gifted program's offerings if they qualify, and all students (hearing or otherwise) are required to learn American Sign Language. In any case, that's beside the point. My point was that deaf, blind and mute individuals are not "opposite[s]" of gifted people, as "Boozer" suggested.
     

    Livie

    New Member
    english American
    Sorry, but they are not. I take offence to that by the way. I AM MUTE, BUT I SURE AM NOT DUMB!!! And might I just say I don't care if i am mute because if you ever meet a deaf, mute, blind or handicaped person then you would know that we don't look at being the way we are as a disability. There is a recent news artical that is specifically for the deaf that talks about this topic, but it is really all of us saying that we don't see ourselves as disabled. In fact might I remind everyone that have no 'disablities' that it was you that labled us 'disabled.' you stamped that lable on us without even knowing our persective of the situation. And yes there are schools for the 'disabled.' On specifiacally is Washington School for the deaf-blind-mute. IT IS NOT SPECIAL EDUCATION! But not all people go to a specialized school. I go to a public school and I comunicate through writing, music, and sign language. PLEASE don't go saying things like that. If my friends saw that you would get messages in all caps1 you never know who will see your posts!
    -LL
     
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