Deaf Culture History Essay

Deaf Culture History Essay

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The deaf community does not see their hearing impairment as a disability but as a culture which includes a history of discrimination, racial prejudice, and segregation. According to PBS home video “Through Deaf Eyes,” there are thirty-five million Americans that are hard of hearing (Hott, Garey & et al., 2007) . Out of the thirty-five million an estimated 300,000 people are completely deaf. There are over ninety percent of deaf people who have hearing parents. Also, most deaf parents have hearing children. With this being the exemplification, deaf people communicate on a more intimate and significant level with hearing people all their lives. “Deaf people can be found in every ethnic group, every region, and every economic class.” The deaf culture and hard of hearing have plenty of arguments and divisions with living in a hearing world without sound however, that absence will be a starting point of an identity within their culture as well as the hearing culture.
In today's times, it is possible for a deaf family to characterize themselves as an all American family. For many centuries hearing people classified deafness as a horrendous misfortune. As reported by Doug Baynton (Historian at the University of Iowa), in the early 1800's most of the deaf people in America lived in segregated rural areas from one another, and with little communication with the people around them. “They also had a limited understanding of what they could do – of their own possibilities. People with deaf children really had no idea of what their children could achieve.”
There were very few Americans that looked beyond the stereotype, for the possibilities of deaf people being educated. In 1817, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet (a Connecticut clergyman) opened...


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...fness in disguise: Timeline of hearing devices and early Deaf education [Fact sheet]. Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO: Author
Gallaudet University. (1997). Public relations Gallaudet University: The beginnings. Gallaudet University, 1-17. Retrieved from http://pr.gallaudet.edu/
Hott, L. A. (Producer), Garey, D. (Director), & et al. (2007). PBS home video: Through deaf eyes [DVD]. United States: PBS Television.
Nakamura, K. (2008). Deaf resource library: About American sign language. Deaf resource library, 6- 6. Retrieved from http://www.deaflibrary.org/
National Institute of Health. (2011). National Institute on Deafness and other communication disorders: Improving the lives of people who have communication disorders. National Institute on Deafness and other communication disorders,2-2. Retrieved from http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/

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