California University of Pennsylvania
CMD 350: Sign Language & Braille I
September 27, 2011
The Cultures and Subcultures of the Deaf and Deaf-Blind.
Deaf culture describes the social beliefs, behaviors, art, literary traditions, history, values and shared institutions of communities that are affected by deafness and which use sign languages as the main means of communication (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deaf_culture). Much is the same when describing the social cultures of the deaf-blind communities. They come from different social, vocational and educational backgrounds. They have many jobs and roles: teachers, professors, counselors, homemakers, agency directors, business executives, government workers, and others. Some have their own businesses. Others are students, and still others are retired (http://www.aadb.org/FAQ/faq_DeafBlindness.html#do). While there are many traits and beliefs that are similar to many other cultures and communities, there are also many characteristics and practices that make the deaf and deaf-blind cultures and communities unique. As with many other cultures, the deaf and deaf-blind also face biasness and prejudices, this unfortunate behavior against these minorities is referred to as audism. First and foremost, the greatest differences of the deaf and deaf-blind culture, from most other cultures, are the unique methods of communication and language, which the deaf and deaf-blind utilize. Deaf and deaf-blind people use many different ways to communicate. They use sign language (adapted to fit their visual field), tactile sign language, tracking, tactile fingerspelling, print on palm, tadoma, Braille, speech, and speech reading, to name a few. The communication methods vary from individual to individual, depending on the causes and severity of their combined hearing and/or vision loss, their background, and their education...