I have two children, the younger of whom is Deaf. Though some Deaf people consider themselves disabled, still others do not and instead consider themselves part of a cultural minority. My husband and I (both hearing) are working hard to learn American Sign Language and integrate ourselves into the Deaf community. Through our son we are connected to a local school for the Deaf, and herein lies the issue.
Recently I came home to find that a nearby church had sewn quilts for all of the children at the school. A sweet gesture … but my older son, who is hearing, has never come home from child care with more than some fun art projects. The school wants us to take pictures of our children with these quilts to send along to the church, but I really balk at this—I’m worried my children are being used as “inspiration porn.” I’d much rather these churchgoers spent the time to volunteer at the school or learn ASL instead of making quilts and asking for photos demonstrating their charity. Am I being overly sensitive?