Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More Deaf Community Thoughts

Here's a picture of our new family friend Brett.  He's our great new Deaf Mentor.  Brett taught us a couple of other new things about the Deaf Community that I wanted to share.  First of all, the capitalization of Deaf is important.  The community views Deaf in the same way people view being American.  It's a proper noun that denotes more than just whether a person can hear or not, but membership in a society of people that have their own culture, language and so on.  That's something I'm still working to understand.  Most folks aren't aware of Deaf Culture unless they have a family member or other loved one who is a part of it.  It's a very new perspective.

The other thing Brett stressed with us last class is that the Deaf are not "impaired" and so the term "hearing impaired" isn't an appropriate descriptor of their culture.  While they can't hear, it doesn't affect their ability to understand, communicate and function in society.  That was also new to me but it makes perfect sense.  I had used that term "hearing impaired" in my post last week, but I've since edited it just to make sure no offense is given.

No comments: