Essay on Defining Deaf Culture

Essay on Defining Deaf Culture

Length: 2086 words (6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Imagine if you were a proud Native-American, or Hispanic and someone said that your culture is not real, that the way you were born is just a disability, and you should change to be more like everyone else. You would probably be quite offended. That is what the Deaf community has had to deal with constantly for the past 40 years because of the social unawareness of much of the hearing community.
90% of all deaf children are born to hearing parents who never thought much about the deaf community (Bat-Chava). That is why in mainstream society, the quality of being deaf is seen as a disability rather than something to be praised. The common view of deafness is that it is simply a person who cannot hear and “is deficient in some way because he or she may not be able to communicate by ‘speaking’ or ‘hearing”, we capitalize on what a deaf person cannot do rather than what they can (“Understanding Deaf Culture”). Carla A. Halpern says:
“We as a hearing people tend to pity deaf people, or, if they succeed in a hearing world admire them for overcoming a severe handicap. We tend to look at signing as an inferior substitute for” real” communication… We applaud deaf people, such as Marlee Matlin who use their voices to show us how far they have come from the grips of their disability” (Halpern).
Though some of the hearing community might take on an unknowingly negative approach on deafness due to a lack of knowledge, for those in the deaf community, their hearing loss is not a burden or a disability, but instead an important component of their identity and culture (Sanger-Katz). Many see being deaf as a positive attribute (Sanger-Katz). The motto belonging to the deaf community is “the deaf can do anything but hear” (“Deaf, not I...

... middle of paper ...

...ication, educational methods, and cochlear implants." Infants and Young Children. 01 Apr. 2000: 77. eLibrary. Web. 08 Sep. 2011.
Sanger-Katz, Margot. "Deaf-world; Q & A; The rise of a new American culture." Boston Globe. 10 Apr. 2011.eLibrary. Web. 08 Sep. 2011.
"Sound and Fury - Deaf Culture - Deaf History Timeline." PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. n.d. Web. 08 Sept. 2011.
"The Importance of History." McKenzie Study Center. Gutenberg College. n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2011.
"Understanding Deaf Culture." Mass.Gov. Common Wealth of Massachusetts. n.d. Web. 08 Sept. 2011.
Weise, Elizabeth. "Cochlear implants can be 'magic device' if put in early enough; Kids learn speech best before age 1 1/2." USA Today. 11 Apr. 2011: D7. eLibrary. Web. 05 Sep. 2011.
"Welcome to Culture & Community." Welcome to Deaf Culture. MSM Productions, Ltd. n.d. Web. 08 Sept. 2011.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about The Deaf Community and Deaf Culture

- From antiquity, being deaf was looked upon as an undesirable and a culture which was disconnected with the rest of mainstream society. Often members of the community found themselves ostracized by members of other cultures, who viewed them with suspicion, and were thought to be possessed, or in communion, with undesirable “spirits”, particularly during the advent of the Christianity that was in practice during the Middle Ages. During this period, before the advent of Gutenberg’s metal, movable type printing press, the populace was mostly illiterate and religious texts and spiritual obligations/instructions were verbally transmitted to the people by the literate clerics of the day....   [tags: Deaf Language Community]

Term Papers
1208 words (3.5 pages)

The Deaf Community and Its Culture Essay

- During registration last semester, when I decided to take this course to see if I wanted to continue onward with ASL as my minor, I was not sure what to expect. Through my brief introduction of Deaf culture during my first sign language courses, I knew some vague details about historical events. Gallaudet had been mentioned several times within not only my workbook, but also by my professor. I could have given you a short synopsis of the oral movement that threatened to wipe ASL out as a language....   [tags: culture, norms, communication]

Term Papers
1558 words (4.5 pages)

Deaf Community Definition of "d/Deaf" Essay

- The phrases deaf-mute, deaf and dumb are outdated and no longer acceptable. The majority of deaf individuals have the ability to speak, but choose not to use their voices. It is difficult for them to learn speech when they cannot hear sound, and they simply feel uncomfortable speaking. When we define "deaf", the parameters of the definition should be determined. The audiological definition can be used -- that is, one that focuses on the cause and severity of the hearing loss and whether or not hearing can be used for communication purposes....   [tags: deaf, mute, sign language]

Term Papers
1809 words (5.2 pages)

Essay on Deaf Culture

- Deaf Culture In mainstream American society, we tend to approach deafness as a defect. Helen Keller is alleged to have said, "Blindness cuts people off from things; deafness cuts people off from people." ( This seems a very accurate description of what Keller's world must have been. We as hearing people tend to pity deaf people, or, if they succeed in the hearing world, admire them for overcoming a severe handicap. We tend to look at signing as an inferior substitute for "real" communication....   [tags: Deaf Sign Language Cultural Essays]

Term Papers
1566 words (4.5 pages)

Deaf Americans: Community and Culture Essay example

- An average of 90% of all babies born deaf or with some type of hearing loss are born to hearing parents. Deafness can be caused by a variety of things both genetic and environmental. Upon learning their child is deaf, most hearing families try to find ways to fix what they feel is a defect. However, deaf families rejoice in their child's deafness because now they have another person to strengthen the deaf community and carry on the American Deaf culture. There are approximately 35 million people in the United States who are considered deaf or hard of hearing (Culture and Empowerment in the Deaf Community)....   [tags: deafness, hearing loss, genetics]

Term Papers
1414 words (4 pages)

Deaf Culture History Essay

- 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....   [tags: Disabilities]

Term Papers
2098 words (6 pages)

Essay on Deaf Again by Mark Drolsbaugh

-       After reading Deaf Again I learned a lot of new things about Deaf culture and was drawn in by the story of Mark Drolsbaugh. "The hardest fight a man has to fight is to live in a world where every single day someone is trying to make you someone you do not want to be" e.e cummings. I was brought into the book immediately from this quote and realized how difficult it must have been for Mark to find his identity. He was trying to hang on to his hearing in fear of going deaf as if there was something wrong or not proper with being deaf....   [tags: Deaf Again, Mark Drolsbaugh]

Term Papers
717 words (2 pages)

Deaf Again by Mark Drolsbaugh Essay

- The book, Deaf Again, written by Mark Drolsbaugh, is an autobiography telling his life story which starts with a young boy growing up who goes through the process of losing his hearing and then, as he gets older, he struggles with trying to fit in as a normal child. When Mark was very young, he could hear fairly well then gradually he went hard of hearing until he eventually went completely deaf. Even though he had two deaf parents, the doctors advised speech therapy and hearing aids because they did not understand Deaf Culture and they thought that Mark would be a lot happier if he could hang on to his hearing persona....   [tags: Deaf Again Book Review Analysis]

Term Papers
1466 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on Deaf Education Technology

- Deaf Education Technology Technology has advanced our school systems and provides many new and helpful products into the classrooms. Technology has also provided specialized products for students that are hearing impaired. There is no lack of opportunities for the deaf and hard of hearing in the school system. There are many ways to innovate the way they learn. Children learn best through a visual mode. Providing an environment where the child can learn things through the use of their sense of vision is very important....   [tags: Educating Deaf children Essays]

Term Papers
2207 words (6.3 pages)

Deaf Culture Essay

- Deaf Culture I may not be considered part of the hearing culture due to my severe to profound hearing loss, but some people might be surprised to hear that I am not considered a part of the Deaf culture. A majority of the Deaf culture is very critical of those who assimilate with hearing people and accept hearing culture as their majority culture. I believe that every hearing impaired and deaf person is an individual and needs to do what is best for them instead of being worried about following the rules of the Deaf culture....   [tags: Hearing Loss Essays]

Term Papers
1568 words (4.5 pages)