The Deaf Community and Deaf Culture

1208 Words5 Pages
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. Thus, the deaf were believed to have no access to “Fides ex auditu,” which was the primary way, and often thought to be the only way; one could reach spiritual fulfillment and salvation. (Lane, 1984)
In the United States today, approximately 4500 children are born deaf each year, and numerous other individuals suffer injuries or illnesses that can cause partial or total loss of hearing, making them the largest “disability” segment in the country. Although, those in the medical field focus solely on the medical aspects of hearing loss and deafness, members of the deaf community find this unwarranted focus limiting and restrictive; because of its failure to adequately delineate the sociological aspects and implications of the deaf and their culture. Present day members of deaf culture reject classifications such as “deaf mute” or “deaf and dumb”, as marginalizing them because of their allusions to a presumed disability. (Edwards, 2012, p. 26-30)
This struggle against marginalization is one of the principal elements that bind their sense of community, ...

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