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Colombia Report

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The Deaf population in the United States is composed both of individuals Deaf since early childhood and individuals who lost their hearing later in life. The "Deaf Community", a heterogeneous mix of people from all walks of life, represents every socio-economic and racial category. However, this group of people consider themselves "a community" because they are bound by a common culture, history, heritage and, most importantly, a common language. This language, which forms the foundation of the Deaf Community, is known as American Sign Language (ASL). ASL is a beautiful and expressive visual language that holds the Deaf Community together. (Lake)
Unfortunately, deaf/Hard of hearing people have long been victims of discrimination. Lacking a “voice”, hearing people have assumed that Deaf people are incapable, and have made decisions for Deaf people on their behalf. Even today the attitude toward Deaf people is that they are incapable of accomplishing anything including their own dreams. This message of incapability is sinking into the heads of many Deaf children and adults. Deaf people as a group are underemployed or unemployed period. Many community based services are unwilling to make accommodations to meet the needs of this unique population. Being deaf means that you can’t hear the conversations in supermarkets, in banks, at the post office, at work, at school, etc. All of these which hearing people take for granted. This means that a deaf person is often found in situations where they can’t follow what is being said and are often confused, scared, and isolated. The attitudes of hearing people toward Deaf people tend to pervade deaf/HOH people’s relationships with their family, educational environment, employers, and fellow co-workers. Some examples are, accepting lower expectations of themselves based on perceptions of hearing people, and lacking confidence as a result of being raised in an overprotective environment, or having things done for them.
When it comes to education, deaf/HOH people are also discriminated against. Unfortunately, residential schools for the deaf are often sorely deficient in actual education. The teachers rarely use ASL or teach Deaf history and in most places are not required to. The administrations are often made up of hearing people who are still...

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...imination that goes on is to start raising awareness of the deaf community. There are some very easy things that you can do to learn about the deaf culture. One very easy way is to attend a deaf awareness event. Many amusement parks such as Paramount Kings Dominion in Virginia and Six Flags hold deaf awareness days. There are also many baseball teams that hold deaf awareness nights at the ballpark. Many schools, programs, and organizations for the deaf also hold annual deaf awareness events or festivals. These are some very easy ways to learn about the deaf culture and have fun at the same time. Another way is to join or volunteer to an organization. There are many deaf groups and organizations that are in need of volunteers to get involved and help with the deaf community. As I said before, we are lacking interpreters and people to interact with the Deaf and we can start to improve that area by having more people get involved and learn about the deaf community.
In conclusion, deafness is a disability of communication. Given equal opportunities to communicate at home, in school, and at work, the Deaf individual can and will succeed and make a positive impact on the community.