Society has for a long time condemned deaf people and categorized deafness as the worse form of disability leading to its lack of research and hence resources in college-level education. The trend is, however, changing as the deaf embrace their culture and technology support the deaf with equipment and devices to aid their living. Deaf culture is gaining popularity and acceptance within the deaf community and the general community as well.
According to Lim (2013), deaf people have been the most stereotyped and lowly disregarded amongst all the disabilities. There has been an existing disconnect between deaf people and the rest of the society leading to dissociation with deaf people. The deaf has been regarded differently even in the education sector and especially on learning sign language as they are believed not to understand and hence difficult to teach.
Even with the discrimination by the rest of the society, the deaf people have never given up and on the contrary have come together to form their own culture seeking to associate with their kind who understand what they are going through and how much they have accomplished (Rappazzo, 2013). It is for this reason that they have been seeking to adopt children who are deaf as well as lesbian couples seeking deaf donors in order to increase their chance of getting a deaf baby and issue which has raised controversy as Bauman, (2004) explains in his article.
The culture of the deaf which many do not seem to understand is defined through their language, their customs, heritage, their art and above all their family. Contrary to what is said or what people think, the deaf has their own language of communication and they use it to express their feelings and ideas similar to any other language. These elements help to bring them together and strengthen their belief system and hope (Ricci, 2013).
Their resilience and hope have in the recent past paid dues as technology has been favoring them. There has been the development of technological aid to make their living better and easier. Some of the technological developments include flashing lights and text phones. Other than technological changes, there have been changes in their social welfare as well as educational changes all of which have led to deaf people being professionals and offered disability funds as well as be exempted from taxes (Ladd, 2003).
Lane, (2002) explains how deafness is defined differently in different cultures and societies and hence ends up with different meanings. The definitions of deafness are sociologically constructed and this leads to the question of whether deafness is a disability or not. In order to consider deafness a disability, a clear and concise definition that is agreed upon by a majority of the cultures must be sought and the most common form to identify it as by defining it as a lack of ability to hear compared to the majority of the population.
Even though deafness is a disability as any other disability in the sense that the deaf people lack the hearing ability, it has not hindered them from being almost equal to the other able human beings. They are able to carry out their duties be they professional or social duties such as parenting similar to the other people. Their acceptance of their condition, coming together and forming their own culture which strengths them as well as being rational and optimistic in life without letting others bring them down has largely contributed to their success as seen above in the various literature documents and articles reviewed.
Bauman, D. (2004). “Designing Deaf Babies and the Question of Disability.” Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, vol. 10 (3), pp. 311-315.
Ladd, P. (2003). Understanding deaf culture: in search of the deaf hood. Michigan: University of Michigan.
Lane, H. (2002). “Do Deaf People Have a Disability?” Sign Language Studies, vol. 2 (4), pp. 277-290.
Lim, L. (2013). “Killing My Deafness.” In Holcomb, T. Introduction to American Deaf Culture. New York: OUP USA.
Rappazzo, M. (2013). “Celebrating Deaf Culture.” In Holcomb, T. Introduction to American Deaf Culture. New York: OUP USA.
Ricci, R. (2013). “Born to See.” In Holcomb, T. Introduction to American Deaf Culture. New York: OUP USA.