To better appreciate what Deaf culture is, let's go to an opposing view and take a look at what Deaf culture is not. There are those who insist there is no such thing as Deaf culture. Some people will argue that deafness is nothing more than a disability, a disability that must be fixed. Getting this disability "fixed" may involve repeated visits to an audiologist, getting fitted for hearing aids, attending numerous speech therapy sessions, or even undergoing surgery to get a cochlear implant. This is what's called the pathological approach to deafness. It focuses on what's wrong--the inability to hear--and utilizes numerous technological and therapeutic strategies to solve the problem. The success of this approach varies from individual to individual. For many hard of hearing or late-deafened people, technology may be a welcomed addition that allows them to continue functioning in the world of their choice. "Deafness is a disability that is so unique, its very nature causes a culture to emerge from it. Participation in this culture is voluntary."
There have been numerous Deaf publications over the years, such as Silent News, DeafNation, SIGNews, Deaf Life, and more. There are also catalogs chock full of books written by Deaf authors covering a wide range of topics. Some of these books include fascinating accounts of Deaf history and folklore. We've been blessed with numerous Deaf performing artists such as Clayton Valli, Patrick Graybill, Bernard Bragg, Mary Beth Miller, Freda Norman, Gil Eastman, Peter Cook, C.J. Jones, Nathie Marbury, Evelyn Zola, The Wild Zappers, Rathskellar, and many more.
In hearing culture, it is rude to stare. However, in Deaf culture, staring is necessary. If you break eye contact while a person is signing to you, you are incredibly rude. That's like plugging your ears when someone is speaking to you. In hearing culture, facial expression is very limited. If you move your face or body a lot while you are talking, you can be seen...
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