Discrimination Against the Deaf Culture

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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 an online transcript,“Through Deaf Eyes” (Weta and Florentine films/Hott productions Inc., 2007) there are thirty-five million Americans that are hard of hearing. Out of the thirty-five million an estimated 300,000 people are completely deaf. There are ninety percent of deaf people who have hearing parents (Halpern, C., 1996). 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” (Weta and Florentine films/Hott productions Inc., 2007). 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 (Weta and Florentine films/Hott productions Inc., 2007).

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 a historian at the University of Iowa, Doug Baynton, 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” (Baynton, D., 2007).


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Gallaudet University. (1997). Public relations Gallaudet University: The beginnings. Gallaudet University, 1-17. Retrieved from http://pr.gallaudet.edu/

Halpern, C. (1996). Halpern: Listening in on deaf culture. University of Colorado Journals, 1-6. (Original work published 1995). Retrieved from http://www.colorado.edu/

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/

(Weta and Florentine films/Hott productions Inc. (2007). Film transcript: Through Deaf Eyes. PBS, 1- 69. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/

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