Deaf Culture

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Deaf Culture in America

CAPSTONE PROJECT
By Heather Velez
Liberal Arts Capstone
LIB-495-OL010
Dr. David Weischadle
April 19,2013

Abstract
The purpose of this research paper is to answer the major question, what is Deaf culture? There are three sub-questions that will assist in answering the major question: (1) What constitutes Deaf culture? (2) How has American Sign Language impacted the Deaf community? (3) What are the major issues that are being addressed in Deaf culture today? With these questions answer, it will give a better understanding as to what Deaf culture is and that it is indeed a culture. The methodology of my research is based off of internet, books, and a survey. My methodology of this paper is clear and simple. It was hard to find a lot of credible sources that should be used in this paper. A survey of one question to the general public in order to prove a point and purpose of this paper. Gallaudet University website has amazing sources to use and also helped guide in choosing the right books/websites to do the research. In this paper there will be a lot of different terms that will confuse the readers. I will take the time now to go over a few of the terms that will be used in this paper. * ASL (American Sign Language)

* Deafhood (Deaf Culture, Deaf pride)
* ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)
* Bi-Bi (Bilingual-Bicultural)
* CODA (Child of Deaf Adult(s))
* NAD (National Association of the Deaf)

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With my research I have found a lot of interesting discoveries. Not only were the books and internet research but with the survey I conducted of one simple question, what is Deaf culture? After asking this question to 50 people I have received some interesting answers that were very surprising. This research has taught me a lot of interesting concepts and issues that are being faced today in the Deaf communities.

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Table of Contents
Introduction …………………………………………………………. 1
Literature Review …………………………………………………..… 3
Methodology ………………………………………………………….. 7
Results ……………………………………………………………….... 9
Summary ……………………………………………………………… 16
Discussion of Results .………………………………………………….20Work Citied …………………………………………………………….21

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Introduction
In this paper I will be discussing Deaf culture in America. The word culture is always interesting and has always been debated on. When people think of Deaf culture they only think of the language that is shared among the Deaf communities. Just like other cultures, Deaf culture is more than just a language shared among others. Deaf culture has been debated on in such that it isn’t a culture and it’s still being debated on today (Padden and Humphries). This paper is intended to educate others about Deaf culture and how it is most defiantly a culture. Most people have not heard of Deaf culture and let alone have met someone Deaf. I hope that this paper will educate those who are unaware of Deaf culture and become more accepting. Deafness is known to be abnormal in the business world. Business professionals tend to miss read the Deaf communities because of their lack of speech and hearing loss. A lot of Deaf people in general are looked at as someone with a learning disability or might of psychological problems. In a professional setting things are done differently between the “Hearing Culture” and the Deaf culture. In Deaf culture it is alright to turn off and on the lights to get everyone’s attention in a room; this is not okay for a hearing professional (signmedia).

There is a huge gap in knowledge among the general public on Deaf culture (Padden and Humphries). The way Deaf people act in their daily lives may confuse others. Because the general public might think the way Deaf people act is taboo; they think Deaf people have learning, psychological disabilities because it is not normal for

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them. A lot of people don’t understand how Deaf people have a...
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