A subculture full of smiles and energy, the ASL club is a group with a vision of breaking barriers between Deaf people and Hearing people. Just like any other culture, Deaf culture has its own language, beliefs and traditions. However, though they are often misunderstood and seen as an inferior group, the Deaf culture displays and creates its pride through its art also known as De’VIA, its language ASL and its tight knitted community.
Stepping into a room filled with both students who were deaf and others who were not, I was instantly met with smiles and hugs. While most people sat cross legged in a circle on the floor, the warm and amiable atmosphere imitated how Deaf culture is founded on a collective mindset and not on a separated one. As I interacted with the students in the club, I found whether it be through hugs and hand holding, the Deaf students were more prone to expressing themselves through physical actions, as compared to Hearing students who found it as a violation of personal space. I also discovered art to be a common interest among the Deaf community. When asked the reason why, one girl commented that when people glance at her art “they do not see my inabilities” but rather she can share her passions “freely and without judgement”. Intrigued by her answer, I researched Deaf culture art and found the style of art called De’VIA (an abbreviation for Deaf View/Image Art). De’VIA is a genre established explicitly for and by the Deaf community by which they project their emotions and experiences to each other and the outer community (Lane).
De’VIA art can be divided into two categories: resistive and affirmative (Hauser). The form of Resistive art generally aims to capture the injustice and suppression of Deaf...
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...ems as children born into a Deaf family exert a positive influence on the school readiness and learning of deaf children. Yet, more than ninety percent of Deaf children are born to Hearing parents that have no experience with how Deaf people learn and live (Quick Statistics). This is why having a place, such as the ASL club, for the Deaf community to interact and socialize is so important because it creates a second home for the Deaf people at Biola University. Deaf people are proud of their background and abilities and they fight against common trials such as stigmas and stereotypes just like any other minority culture. Thus, the ASL club strives to get more people involved with Deaf culture so they may change the perceptions and misconceptions of the Deaf community and transform paper thin perspectives into a 3D understanding of the Deaf community as a culture.
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