Members of the Deaf community in America use a different language – literally.
Not only does their language – American Sign Language (ASL) – connect them to others who are Deaf, it also serves as a membership card into a linguistic subculture of our society that not everyone is privileged to enjoy.
Debbie Clason holds a master's degree from Indiana University.
Her impressive client list includes financial institutions, real estate developers, physicians, pharmacists and nonprofit organizations.
all basic ingredients for a rich and inventive culture,” yet they argue that little to nothing has been known about Deaf culture itself (p. The first chapter features anecdotes about growing up Deaf and the popular misconceptions that surround it.
The chapter overturns a lot of conventional wisdom regarding what it “means” to be Deaf, with the authors examining false notions such as “Deaf children [not being able] to hear, thus perhaps they do not appreciate the ability of others to perceive sound” (p. The chapter effectively sets up the rest of the book, in that the authors qualify terms that society takes for granted, such as “hearing” and “talking,” and challenge popular, albeit uninformed thought.
Audism and oralism, activists maintain, degrade ASL and interfere with the Deaf person’s ability to develop speech and listening skills.
“Deaf culture is important because it allows individuals to be who they are,” O’Banion explained, “and live in a way that is unique to them.
A conversation with a middle high school teacher piqued her interest in cochlear implant surgery, even though she admits she wasn’t always keen on the idea. Meghan is aware there is controversy among certain factions of the Deaf community regarding cochlear implants and is comfortable with the choices she’s made. I like being able to hear what’s going on around me.” Some members of the Deaf community are opposed to cochlear implant surgery -- especially for infants who are born without hearing.
“Some don’t approve of CIs and that’s that,” she explained matter-of-factly. They believe every individual deserves the right to choose for themselves whether they want to remain Deaf and encourage parents to begin teaching ASL as the baby’s first language.