Deaf Culture Essay

Other definitions are based on the degree of hearing loss in terms of decibels (d B) ranging from mild to profound hearing loss.

34), which is tantamount to silencing an entire culture.

Padden and Humphries use this story as a cautionary tale for Americans, contending the American deaf community could be silenced in the same way if similar reforms came through.

Interestingly, the authors admit that “Deaf people have a history, albeit an uneasy one, of alignment with other disabled groups” (p. This chapter, more than the previous two, succeeds in exploring two distinct worlds: Deaf and Hearing, and demonstrating how a culture’s self-identity is cultivated.

The author’s criticism of conventional wisdom charges society with making Deafness an issue of class and ability, not an element of culture.

Deaf culture reflects on these stories to see how far they have come, emerging as a socially distinct group.

Sadly, the chapter notes that other countries, including Germany and France, experienced reforms that “snatched [sign language] from their schools” (p.If nothing else, the stories also serve to paint an alarming portrait—the dismantling of an entire culture—to people who are not Deaf.“A Different Center,” the third chapter, distinguishes between the terms “Hearing,” “Hard-of-Hearing,” and “Deaf.” The authors claim that all three have very “‘backward definitions’” (p.41), which stem from the label “Deaf.” They posit that the definitions should come from “Hearing” instead, shifting the paradigm so that it is inclusive of everyone; in other words, it would start with the majority instead of marginalizing the minority.The authors claim that these labels hurt the Deaf community in that they imply lesser status.As it turns out, there are similar stories—across the world—of Deaf communities coming together through language.In fact, the authors point out that the stories are “active ways of affirming basic beliefs of the group” (p. The stories are vital to the communities, as they point toward the past as well as informing the present.There are many issues involved with raising a deaf child.Mental health issues are an important area to take into consideration when making decisions for and about a deaf child.The authors first dispel the story of Epée inventing French Sign Language, but use the story to show how the story itself has been galvanized into an important touchstone for French Deaf people, symbolizing a shift from Deaf people’s isolation to the rise of a real community.In this case, the community is more important than the truth behind the language’s development.


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