Deaf Pride

Deaf Pride

Length: 752 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
On many occasions, I have been asked to explain this phenomenon which is known as Deaf Pride. After all, people ask, how could someone possibly be proud of what appears to be nothing more than a disability? On top of that, deafness is a disability which affects communication... it can put an invisible wall between hearing and deaf people. So what's there to be proud of?
If you had asked me this question many years ago, I would have been hard-pressed to come up with an answer. Deaf Pride? What Deaf Pride?
What about all those times in mainstream school when I had to give up and simply say "I don't know" because I couldn't understand the teacher?
What about all those times I was made fun of?
What about all those times when I was put in an audiologist's booth like a guinea pig?
What about all those times a speech teacher squeezed my mouth and said, "C'mon, can you say BA-BA-BA?"

Certainly nothing to be proud of. In fact, as a youngster I was downright embarrassed. That is, I was embarrassed until I got a chance to join Deaf culture. I may have joined it late, after years of unsuccessfully trying to be a hearing person, but the old cliche' is true: better late than never. Meeting other deaf peers like myself, sharing similar stories of oppression and ridicule, swapping humorous anecdotes, learning ASL, and seeing other deaf adults succeed has completely changed my attitude.

I am no longer ashamed of my deafness, I am proud of it. I am proud of who I am, proud of what I've overcome, and proud of my culture. Yes, I recognize there is a Deaf culture.

Some people may be groaning, "oh no, not that old culture vs. pathology argument." Sure, I acknowledge that there are many people out there, even deaf people, who insist that deafness is nothing more than an annoying disability. As my past would indicate, that can certainly be true. On the other hand, there are also people out there who adamantly insist that there is a Deaf culture, that deafness is not a handicap at all (swearing by the popular motto that "deaf people can do anything... except hear"). You can choose whatever side of the argument you want, but I prefer to take somewhat of a middle stance. My own definition is that:
*deafness is a disability which is so unique, its very nature causes a culture to emerge from it.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Deaf Pride." 27 Feb 2020

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Deaf Eyes : Deaf Essay

- The movie through Deaf Eyes is a video describing deaf history in America and its humble start and all the challenges deaf people faced during history. In the beginning, deaf people had no real formal language until Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc started the first deaf school. With Gallaudet paving the way to try to teach deaf people sign language, deaf schools started to crop up all over the country. As time went on they would be decriminalized even by the government who would prevent them from working in the government....   [tags: Deaf culture, Hearing impairment, Sign language]

Research Papers
1030 words (2.9 pages)

Deaf Again By Mark Drolsbaugh Essay examples

- Deaf Again Essay Deaf Again by Mark Drolsbaugh is an autobiographical piece through which the author relays key aspects and themes in Deaf culture through his own experiences. The progression of the book can be described by his experiences going through the educational system. This can further be divided into two categories: his experiences in the hearing world and in the Deaf world. Although born into a deaf family, Mark Drolsbaugh was not prelingually deaf. As a result, when he lost his hearing, he was coerced to remain in the hearing world....   [tags: Deaf culture, Hearing impairment, Deafness]

Research Papers
1697 words (4.8 pages)

Essay on What Is Deaf Culture?

- What is Deaf Culture. It is approximated that there are nearly 1,000,000 deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States. This spans across all races, genders, socioeconomic standings, and age groups. Deaf people have long been marginalized and pitied by the hearing majority. Years of oppression and disregard have given life to an entire culture happening within a dominate hearing ideology. This culture questions the meaning of disability and pushes back against the assumptions of superiority that are often innate to the majority group....   [tags: Sign language, Deaf culture, Hearing impairment]

Research Papers
911 words (2.6 pages)

My Experiences At Deaf Nation Expo Essay

- I will be writing about my experiences at Deaf Nation Expo in Chicago, Illinois that I attended on the date of November 7th, 2015. I have to say that it was really overwhelming, even as a deaf person, because it was actually my first time experiencing deaf people signing everywhere, the real deaf world. It was hard to not look at them and see what they 're saying, because I 've been living in the hearing world my whole life where I 'm used to people just talking and barely moving their hands and arms....   [tags: Hearing impairment, Deaf culture, Sign language]

Research Papers
706 words (2 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]

Research Papers
717 words (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]

Research Papers
1566 words (4.5 pages)

Deaf Movement at Gallaudet University: Deaf President Now Essay

- ... "Deaf Awareness," "Deaf Power," and "Deaf Pride" were now slogans often emblazoned on the shirts of the students at Gallaudet. Before this surge, deaf education in American schools, for well over 200 years, had gone by the hearing world's dogma: oral communication, based on print-centered literacy, had always been strongly insisted upon, and manual, visual communication discouraged (if it was allowed at all). The reasoning was that if deaf people were to function and communicate, they must do so as if they can hear; if they can't get along in the hearing world, they can't get along at all, and knowing the dominant (hearing) culture's language, doing well with its literacy, is the key to...   [tags: american sign language, social grammar]

Research Papers
1335 words (3.8 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]

Research Papers
1414 words (4 pages)

Essay on Defining Deaf Culture

- 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)....   [tags: Culture ]

Research Papers
2086 words (6 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]

Research Papers
1568 words (4.5 pages)

Related Searches

Participation in this culture is voluntary (I enlisted in 1989).

Being a part of this culture has given me a sense of pride. I am no longer alone. I share a language, ASL, with many other people in the Deaf community. I share a history of struggle which is well-documented; not only are stories related to growing up deaf passed along within the Deaf community, but there are countless books as well (my personal favorite is Jack Gannon's Deaf Heritage). I enjoy ASL poetry and Deaf puns/jokes which cannot be translated into written English; they are unique in that they can only be understood within the framework of ASL. I enjoy attending plays and community events which focus on many Deaf issues. I also share many of the mannerisms of other Deaf people: the "deaf applause" cheer, a repertoire of visual expressions and signs which relay concepts far quicker than mere words ever could, a tendency to be more physically-oriented (i.e. tapping my foot, tapping someone's shoulder, blinking lights, etc, to get someone's attention), and so on.

Last but not least, I bask in pride when I see Deaf people becoming more and more successful in the world. There are those who insist that Deaf culture "shelters" Deaf people from the real world (a frequent argument seen on the internet), but from my perspective, it strengthens us and enables us to make the most of both worlds. More and more Deaf people are getting advanced degrees and becoming doctors, lawyers, administrators, and (ahem) authors. It is a feeling of pride and support which pushes us on. In my case, it was seeing the successful outcome of the Deaf President Now movement which spurred me on to transfer to Gallaudet University and set my goals higher than I ever did before. So yes, as far as I'm concerned, there is such a thing as Deaf Pride. It exists for me, and it's the spark which changed my life. As one would say in ASL, "Deaf Pride, Pah!"

Return to