In a publication by Padden and Humphries (2006), Inside Deaf Culture, the authors discuss how the idea of a Deaf culture came to be. They proclaim that this culture had its beginnings in deaf schools for children who often experienced isolation in their families and abusive acts from members of families and other members of society. These schools were a welcomed relief for these children who began to be more productive and engaging among themselves. As a result, deaf individuals began to interact more with the hearing population, and they began to form organizations where they consistently interacted with one another.
School is one of the major ways that deaf people tend to come in contact with one another. This changed the lives of deaf individuals in a variety of ways, particularly when it comes to the use of a common language.One of several things that distinguishes a deal culture is that individuals who are deaf utilize an alternate language known as American Sign Language (ASL) that enables deaf individuals to communicate with one another. In addition, it brings deaf people together as a community where they are able to create their own beliefs and values that will help to determine how to develop a quality of life that best accommodates the need of deaf people. As a result of their commitment, deaf people have been able to separate themselves as a culture by deemphasizing the word Deaf and attempting to change the current views held by those who aren’t deaf. Furthermore, the deaf culture does not encourage the use of the word disabled because this word implies that there is something wrong with them. They do not believe that being deaf is necessarily a disability because other than the lack of hearing, they are able to be fully functional as hearing individuals. Deaf supporter, Eileen O’Bannon stated that: When you are Deaf, you see the world in a different way. You communicate differently. You seek out others who are Deaf because they understand you. You don’t believe you have a disability ” and you don’t want to be fixed.There are deaf activists who talk about “Deaf gain” which is a form of communication for deaf individuals who are capable of using language. The thought is that the hearing impaired have progressively important and deliberate association since they can’t hear. Furthermore, the Deaf culture believes mainstream hearing America puts too much emphasis on the spoken word. They maintain ASL is a complete language, even though they don’t produce words with their mouths and voices. This is why they do not desire to be categorized as being disabled. O’Bannon further explains that, Deaf culture is important because it allows individuals to be who they are and live in a way that is unique to them. There’s more to a person than whether or not they can hear, so don’t just focus on their ears. A Deaf culture is a significant part of the deaf community because it enables deaf individuals to establish their own identity and live a life that appeals to them. According to Bill Vicars’ of American Sign Language University an online curriculum resource center stated that: “Deaf culture consists of the norms, beliefs, values, and mores shared by members of the Deaf community. We believe that it is fine to be Deaf. If given the chance to become hearing, most of us would choose to remain Deaf. We tend to congregate around the kitchen table rather than the living room sofa because the lighting is better in the kitchen. Our good-byes take nearly forever, and our hello’s often consist of serious hugs. When two of us meet for the first time we tend to exchange detailed biographies and describe our social circles in considerable depth.” This statement conveys the true feelings of those who are a member of the Deaf culture who have every intent of living life on their own terms. When this is the case, it is reasonable to say that doubtlessly, a Deaf culture exists. In a Deaf culture, there are several scholarly practices and recognitions that shape the qualities and standards of deaf individuals dependent on their mutual or regular encounters. It is not unusual for Individuals to be grouped into comparable foundations, dialects, and beneficial encounters as themselves. During the 1800s, in America amid the influx of migration, most major urban communities had regions where foreigners from a similar nation would live and work, turning into a subculture inside the city. Today, a comparative society continues to exist in urban communities composed of a larger population of deaf individuals. These individuals aren’t united by nationality, but more so by their inability to hear. When an individual is either born or later becomes deaf, the clinical term for their condition is deaf with a lowercase d. At the point when Deaf is utilized with a capital D, it alludes to the subculture of those whose character is to a great extent formed by their common language and encounters of being deaf in a world filled with people who can hear. The Deaf culture does not really incorporate all who are hard of hearing, however incorporates all who are united through their language, their qualities and convictions, and even the manner in which they act. This could likewise incorporate hearing individuals. Regularly communication through the use of interpreters and the offspring of hard of hearing guardians are a piece of the way of life too. Maybe the most significant part of Deaf culture is the language. Most hard of hearing Americans utilize American Sign Language. To the uninitiated, it can look absolutely incoherent; however in actuality, it is a wonderful articulation of the English language, rich with its own history, verse, and even vernaculars. In various pieces of the nation, linguistic structures and even the manner in which the sign is given can change, similarly as a southern drawl is recognized from the twang of a Bostonian. Consequently, deaf individuals are in opposition of developments like cochlear implants that would eradicate their current situation, in which, they feel comfortable. Individuals from the Deaf culture don’t consider themselves to be impaired, and dislike any segregation or surmising that they are impeded. They have a physiological contrast, yet don’t see that as anything negative or that ought to be changed. To them it would be the same than being brought into the world with blue eyes as opposed to darker. This uplifting disposition towards being deaf and the significance of gesture based communication as a gadget for social solidarity are maybe the most recognizable social conviction of the Deaf culture. Nonetheless, believing that there is only one Deaf culture group would be an error. There is as much diversity variety among the Deaf as there are among other groups of individuals.. They hold different religious and political convictions, are engaged in an assortment of professions, and have customary lives in which they parent and uphold their daily obligations similarly as every other person does. There are deaf religious associations, several types of groups having a variety of goals and initiatives, and schools for the deaf. Since most deaf children having parents who can hear, Deaf culture is frequently learned in school where children are in the presence of other children with the same condition. Because of its disparities in language, the Deaf culture has created a variety of rules of etiquette in order to effectively manage their individual lives, as well as the lives of others. For instance, they have rules for hindering or leaving a discussion and regularly appear to be obtuse to other hearing people. It is additionally regular for them to be early for events so they are in the position to see the interpreter. They engage in effective communication practices with one another in order to keep each other educated about issues related to them. This is one of the ways that they are able to maintain the level of solidarity they love. Culture and language interlace, with language reflecting attributes of culture. Finding out about the way of life of Deaf individuals is additionally finding out about their language. Hard of hearing individuals utilize American Sign Language (ASL) to speak with one another and with hearing individuals who know the language. ASL is a visual/gestural language that has no vocal part. ASL is a finished, linguistically complex language. It contrasts from a correspondence code intended to speak to English straightforwardly. ASL is certainly not a widespread language, be that as it may. There are marked dialects in different nations (e.g., Italian Sign Language, Chinese Sign Language, Swedish Sign Language). American Deaf culture depend on the utilization of ASL and distinguishing proof and solidarity with other individuals who are Deaf. A Deaf sociolinguist, Dr. Barbara Kannapel, built up a meaning of the American Deaf culture that incorporates a lot of educated practices of deaf individuals who have their very own language (ASL), qualities, principles, and conventions. In 1913, George W. Veditz, leader of the National Association of the Deaf, reflected in an old motion picture the feeling of personality ASL gives Deaf people when he stated, “As long as we have deaf people on Earth, we will have signs, and as long as we have our films, we can preserve our beautiful sign language in its original purity. It is our hope that we all will love and guard our beautiful sign language as the noblest gift God has given to deaf people.”According to the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center,the values, behaviors, and traditions of Deaf culture include:Promoting an environment that supports vision as the primary sense used for communication at school, in the home, and in the community, as vision offers individuals who are deaf access to information about the world and the independence to drive, travel, work, and participate in every aspect of society.Valuing children who are deaf as the future of deaf people and Deaf culture. Deaf culture therefore encourages the use of ASL, in addition to any other communication modalities the child may have.Support for bilingual ASL/English education of children who are deaf so they are competent in both languages.Inclusion of specific rules of behavior in communication in addition to the conventional rules of turn taking. For example, consistent eye contact and visual attention during a conversation is expected. In addition, a person using sign language has the floor during a conversation until he or she provides a visual indicator (pause, facial expression, etc.) that he or she is finished.Perpetuation of Deaf culture through a variety of traditions, including films, folklore, literature, athletics, poetry, celebrations, clubs, organizations, theaters, and school reunions. Deaf culture also includes some of its own “music” and poetry as well as dance.Inclusion of unique strategies for gaining a person’s attention, such as: gently tapping a person on the shoulder if he or she is not within the line of sight,waving if the person is within the line of sight, orflicking a light switch a few times to gain the attention of a group of people in a room.By the time the term culture became associated with the deaf population, this population has already made an enormous transformation like other group. By this time, deaf individuals had become more productive and became more prevalent in a variety of professions where they may have been previously overlooked. The word culture gave deaf people a new form of identification that rescued them from the lack of a common form of identification as a specific population of a larger culture. This transformation was instrumental in changing the old ways, in which, deaf people were portrayed and defined by the hearing population. As sign language became more accepted and recognized as a legitimate language, deaf people gained a new sense of pride and vindication. What had previously been hidden, had finally come to light and received as a positive development among the deaf population. As a result, previous emphasis placed on the differences between the deaf and the hearing had diminished as more focus began to be placed on their likenesses.Padden, C., & Humphries, T. (2006).Inside Deaf Culture. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.208 pages.