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Deaf Culture, Deafness or Deaf People share your short story

What read an article or watch a short video on Deaf Culture, Deafness or Deaf People.  Share what you found interesting about the article or video and information you learned that was new to you.

41 Comments to Deaf Culture, Deafness or Deaf People share your short story:

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Rachel Keough on Friday, June 09, 2017 5:22 PM
Upon initial skimming, this article, titled "An Introduction to American Deaf Culture", seemed to simply define what deaf culture is and how it is expressed through a plethora of silent cultural platforms. However, this article introduced to me forms of self expression and communication for the deaf that I never stopped to think were utilized so tremendously. It was extremely fascinating to take into account that deaf culture exists in forms such as poetry, theatre, and cinema. As discussed in the article, just like the verbal community, the deaf community holds film festivals and theatre troupes for deaf children, along with many other events that gather the deaf community together to celebrate the deaf culture. Additionally, the article works in the frequently debated topic of whether or not deafness is pathological or cultural, due to it being generalized as a medical condition; and if cultural, it questions if it qualifies as a disability. Overall, I learned that deaf culture may be vocally silent, but is astonishingly distinguished in other forms of cultural art.
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Amanda Clark-Martin on Friday, June 09, 2017 5:43 PM
Rachel, thank you very much for highlighting this from article and pointing it out. The idea that it is both a medical condition and a culture is fascinating. It makes me think of a variety of other medical conditions I have been exposed to such as TBI (traumatic brain injury) that have their own nuances that people form a community around. This is a fascinating topic.

Nga Le on Friday, June 16, 2017 5:54 PM
@ Rachel, nice post! Reading it reminded me that being deaf is viewed as a medical condition generally. I feel that it would be nice if more individuals got exposed to the Deaf community and its culture. Personally, I would really like to go and experience the Deaf culture’s events such as a film festival, that sounds incredibly fun!

Autumn Lloyd on Friday, June 16, 2017 10:08 PM
i'm looking forward to becoming more fluent in ASL, so I can join in on the deaf community and enjoy such things as deaf the theater, films... ASL/ the deaf community as a whole proves that you don't need to speak to have a voice. SO many deaf human beings have been such an impact on society. They created their very own culture so they could do what everyone else is doing and communicate properly with each other.

Autumn Lloyd on Friday, June 16, 2017 10:14 PM
Andrew J Foster is an inspiration, wow. He carried 2 things considered to be "weaknesses" in his time period- deaf and African American. He still managed to have his life on track and become educated. His ambition carried him throughout no matter what, and throughout his entire life. It makes you remember that you have all this time and space to be great and change the world. ( response to Jen's comment )

Amanda Clark-Martin on Friday, June 09, 2017 5:35 PM
Summary: "Cinemas are letting deaf people down" by Charlie Swinbourne Many people can depend on an evening at the movies without a hitch. This is because those people can depend on the movies theatre providing them with a viewing option that works for them and can depend on the dates and times listed on the theatre’s website. However, for the deaf community that seeks subtitled screens this is not the case. The information on a movie theater’s chain is so often inaccurate that a website completely independent of the large corporate chains has been created so that people can find more accurate information. The website titled Your Local Cinema is what many deaf users rely upon for accurate dates and times. Despite this extra precaution, they are still encouraged to verify once more before heading to the theatre. Some theaters have set aside special days Sunday, Monday, and Tuesdays for subtitled screenings and this frustrates some in the community as well. A Facebook group has been created that brings attention to the fact that deaf people are living lives during the same hours as everyone else, not just Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Some members of this group feel that cinemas are afraid of losing out on sales because hearing audiences will not want to attend subtitled screenings. Now that theaters primarily use digital technology there is no reason this community, that constitutes one in seven people, is not being served more consistently. However, even assistive listening devices such as a loop are inconsistent. This ultimately leads to many in the deaf community opting to watch films at home where they have more say over their viewing experience and do not risk the disappointment of arranging a night out just to come home early. Until theatres recognize the audience they are missing out on deaf audiences have little hope for a reliable theatre going experience. Although this article is six years old, I had assumed that by 2011 technology had advanced enough that providing theatre experiences to deaf audiences was no longer an issue. I was also surprised to learn that Sunday, Monday, and Tuesdays were set aside for subtitled screenings. I agree with the community member that this is unacceptable and the deaf community should not be expected to organize their lives around Sunday, Monday, Tuesday show times. I am also surprised that as often as I have walked into an empty movie theatre that the larger chains would miss out on the opportunity for revenue. While some smaller operations may not have the capital on hand to invest in the newest technologies larger institutions do. Besides the on-hand technology, there really is no excuse for having inaccurate listings or staff scrambling and not prepared for the screenings. Being a person that studies film and the viewing experience, I am truly interested to see if this has changed since this article was written. The next time I visit a movie theatre I am going to either attend a close captioned listing or ask for a device at the counter. Works cited: Swinbourne, Charlie. "Cinemas Are Letting Deaf People down | Charlie Swinbourne." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 23 May 2011. Web. 09 June 2017.
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Jennifer Badershall on Friday, June 09, 2017 8:00 PM
Great post Amanda. This makes me wonder how much I have never noticed what the Deaf community and others in different circumstances, in general, go through that I am completely unaware of. I welcome the insight into a world I have not previously been a part as well becoming enlightened cultures true realities.

Autumn Lloyd on Friday, June 09, 2017 10:55 PM
I like this approach, and have never quite thought about the movie theaters from a deaf person's point of view. As a hearing customer I do not have a special day to go to the movies. I can't imagine how frustrating that is when a new movie comes out, or you're planning a date night. Not to mention a movie theater is a production which brings in money/business and I'm utterly surprised that they wouldn't even recognized that holding more movies with closed captions/ subtitles would bring in the deaf community, and more customers.

Jennifer Badershall on Friday, June 09, 2017 11:22 PM
After reading about Dr. Andrew Foster in our workbook, I wanted to further educate myself on his legacy. Although we all read a brief profile, there was much more about this man that is inspiring than what was presented in our workbooks. I learned that Dr. Foster’s hearing loss was from spinal meningitis and his brother Edward suffered from the same illness and lost his hearing as well. As stated in the book, he attended the Alabama School for the Negro Deaf and Blind but this institute only allotted for an education up to the 6th grade. From the ages of 23 to 25, he worked in restaurants, car factories, as well as other jobs 8 hours a night while acquiring a High School Diploma as well as an Accounting and Business Administration diploma. This man was brilliant. Dr. Foster graduated Gallaudet a year early and was the first African-American to graduate from the University. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Education, and then his Masters from Michigan State College. Later in life, he continued his education at Wayne State University and Detroit Bible College. These facts along with what we’ve learned from our book is an astonishing journey. A man with such drive and brilliance should be in all history book to show that hard work and tenacity can change the world for the better. During his lifetime, the Deaf were not looked upon as the capable individuals that they are and an African American was perceived to be less than equal. To rise above such adversity is simply a testament to his integrity. What Dr. Andrew Foster accomplished in his if life is fascinating and as I mentioned earlier, INSPIRING!!!

Nga Le on Friday, June 16, 2017 5:54 PM
Amanda’s post talked about a topic that I’ve always wondered about: how movie theatres accommodate the Deaf community. Thanks to your post I got an idea of the statistics of how many people are deaf which is 1 in 7, that’s really surprising and higher than I thought it would be. It makes me sad that with the advancing technology we can’t adjust simple things like movie theatres and be more welcoming and easy for the deaf to enjoy a movie at their leisure, subtitles are incredibly easy to have 24/7 instead of selected days.

Dominique Brooks on Friday, June 16, 2017 9:15 PM
Good Job on this post, Amanda. This article makes me wonder what Springfield movie theaters are like as far as accommodating the deaf community. Deaf people should be able to enjoy such activities without the hassle of scheduling their lives around what the movie theaters could do for them. I also find it unbelievable how the movie theaters are that selfish and worried about losing out on sales and audiences because there will be “subtitles” during the movies. You never become aware of such things happening in the world until its brought to your attention, so thanks again Amanda for sharing such a great article.

Rachel Keough on Friday, June 09, 2017 5:54 PM
In response to Amanda (the reply button is sending me to a different web page)- That is a pivotal subject that I never considered! It is amazing the day to day activities that you enjoy that others whom have conditions such as being deaf, are unable to enjoy to the same magnitude as you. I learned alot by reading your summary, primarily that there is little bending and compromise done by the cinema companies to accommodate the deaf or hard of hearing in a way that makes them feel as though they are part of a whole rather than one who must be separated from the group. It is definitely a topic that must be further investigated and subsequently reformed to include everyone in the classic enjoyment of a night out at the movies, not just those who have the privilege to hear what they are viewing. Thank you for sharing that eye opening article!
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Mahoro Shimiro on Friday, June 09, 2017 7:09 PM
I read an article by the Huffington Post titled "How the Criminal Justice System Fails the Dead Community". This article really enlightened me to the difficult position most Deaf people are put in during hostile interactions with law enforcements, and how the legal process of conviction and trial seem to work against them. Through this article, I learned that most Police officers won't even be aware of the fact that a person is Deaf at first contact, and before they are aware, or even after, they will treat them in an intrusive and sometimes violent manner. Once Deaf people are put into custody, they are often mistreated in holding, or are not given proper access to means of communication to family/friends/lawyers. The American with Disabilities Act was created to enforce equitable treatment of those in need of accommodations, but according to this article, there is still a lot to be done until deaf people are treated with basic respect and regards to their needs by the law enforcement and the justice system.
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Lexie Figueroa on Friday, June 09, 2017 10:45 PM
This is a response to Mahoro, while reading your post I really visualized what an arrest for a deaf person might feel and look like. Its really unfair and cruel the way a deaf person may be treated during an arrested just because of the fact that a police officer wouldn't take time to acknowledge how that person is trying to communicate. I agree that there is still much work to be done with the equality we all deserve no matter what language we speak.

Autumn Lloyd on Friday, June 09, 2017 10:46 PM
I read the exact article and I was stunned that their rights to communicate were completely ignored in some cases and they were often disrespected and falsely accused.

Dominique Brooks on Friday, June 09, 2017 10:57 PM
Great Job finding this article. This is actually quite interesting. It's unfortunate that deaf people have to face such mistreatment. If learning American sign language was mandatory in law enforcement training, can you imagine the difference that would have on such interactions. by me attending school for law enforcement hopefully my skills in ASL will be able to deescalated one of these situations one day.

Amanda Clark-Martin on Friday, June 16, 2017 5:31 PM
Thank you Mahoro, your summary is very relatable and thought provoking. It strikes a chord with me as I have an immediate family member with a non-visible (mental) disability that causes them to sometimes become unable to understand and display erratic behaviors. This might be quite confusing for people that don't understand and may even be misinterpreted as dangerous. Fortunately, there has always been a family member around to explain to law enforcement during interaction but I have thought many times anxiously about the possibility of that not being the case. Would this family member get proper representation and be treated fairly? While this family member's condition is extremely rare (less than 1%), I am shocked that the Deaf community, being a larger and more well known population, experiences similar anxieties and availability of resources. As a citizen, I am forced to consider the institution of law enforcement. What are my requirements for someone to be in the position of law officer? This is a position with great responsibility and has powers that not even the President has. What programs are in place and how often does training happen? What is the overall organization's attitude towards differences in people's communication and ways of being? Is the culture and attitude of the organization reinforced and supported at every level? Are law enforcement agencies getting enough funding to ensure they are operating the best they can? Where can technology help? Are law enforcement agencies receiving the best help and support possible or just what can be afforded on the current budget? These and so many more questions encourage me to become a more involved citizen.

Mahoro Shimiro on Friday, June 09, 2017 7:38 PM
This is a comment for Rachel Keough (having the same issue with reply button): Your summary sparked an interest in me to research more into these aspects of Deaf community events and activities, and incited a desire in me to develop a solid understanding of deaf culture. The debate of being deaf as a medical issue or a way of life is something I've never though of, and am now curious about. Overall, your summary was well written and displayed your clear understanding and interest with your article.
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Dominique Brooks on Friday, June 09, 2017 10:41 PM
Summary: “top model winner proves deaf is beautiful” by Lydia l. Callis. Nyle DiMarco, winning the title of American Next Top Model (ANTM) proves that anything is possible, even for a deaf man. Mr. DiMarco faced many obstacles while being on the television show, but still managed to surprise the world with his win. His main challenge was being understood because DiMarco’s language is ASL. He also struggled with communicating with other cast members which meant he was left out of the group and felt alone. DiMarco claimed being isolated helped him stay focus on what he came on the show to do, win. I, myself find that part of the article the most difficult to read. He stayed in a household with other individuals who didn’t try to communicate with him. Sadly, all it would’ve took was for one person to try and learn his language, that would’ve made such a difference. I personally know how it is to speak and hear and feel alone and isolated, so just imagine what it’s like being in DiMarcos shoes. Though DiMarco won, I believe many had the same thoughts as I do, was his win a genuine win or a way for ANTM rates/reviewing to increase. He has the looks and the body, but was that enough for the real struggles he’ll face as a model, being deaf. Even though I have my own thought as many do, I think it’s amazing that a deaf man won such a rewarding title. Nyle DiMarco talent has proved to many people being deaf doesn’t stop anything, but ones’ hearing abilities.
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Jennifer Badershall on Friday, June 16, 2017 11:01 AM
I enjoyed your article, Dominique. I felt your presentation had an element of such a personal experience that I felt attached to Nyle DiMarco while reading through your post. I could not sit back ideally while someone in my group was excluded like the other models had done. I believe that there is always a way to communicate with someone in some way or another if a small amount of effort is put forth.

Amanda Clark-Martin on Friday, June 16, 2017 4:53 PM
Dominique, thank you for posting this as I have not seen ANTM in years and was unaware of this. When reading your post I am struck by the experience Nyle DiMarco had while moving through the competition and how isolating that must have felt. Despite this obstacle, Nyle found a way to success. I also think about what an asset the modeling world might be missing out on if the field is this hard to access for deaf persons. In a field where everything is communicated visually, would an organization not want the most visually literate and artistic person possible? Artistic skills and visual literacy can be taught, but I don't think that compares in any way to the how a deaf person has learned to live in the world. To know a language visually and then to live it day in and day out is beyond any training I am aware of. This makes me think of so many fields that rely on visuals as the main mode of communication and wonder how accessible they are-what talent do they already showcase and what might they be missing out on?

Nga Le on Friday, June 16, 2017 5:53 PM
Thanks for talking about the model Nyle DiMarco, Dominique! I was meaning to look him up after Prof. King mentioned him. Reading your post makes me really upset that people had isolated and excluded him like that but it also is really inspirational considering he kept going and managed to win the award. It’s incredibly tough for people with language barriers to communicate and though DiMarco says that not being talked to helped him focus, I believe that it would upset anyone to just be treated as if they were invisible. But overall, I’m really happy and it warms my heart knowing that he was recognized for the award because he is incredibly qualified to be a model and being deaf should not keep him from the award nor is it a flaw.

Rachel Keough on Friday, June 16, 2017 10:25 PM
In response to Dominique's post on June 9th- That is simply incredible. For one to rise above what an enormous majority of the hearing population classifies as a disability, and achieve such a prestigious goal is fabulous. If I was in his situation, I would have been incredibly discouraged by the lack of yearning to learn how to communicate with him by other contestants that I would honestly have packed my bags and headed home. As far as ratings for the show being a sizable chunk of the reason why he won, I'd like to believe that it would not be a determining factor in his victory. Unfortunately, the world we live in is not perfect and it is highly plausible that Mr. Nyle DiMarco won due to the boost in ratings that would result in that circumstance.

Autumn Lloyd on Friday, June 09, 2017 10:45 PM
I stumbled upon an article discussing the inhumane treatment the deaf community in the Criminal Justice System. While reading, I was so shocked that a large majority of deaf people are denied an interpreter during legal processes. The initial feeling of deaf individuals who get pulled over is automatic fright, not only that police officer's are intimidating but, their is a language barrier. Not speaking the same language as someone, can make any transaction difficult - in this case it can cause false accusation, ignoring the rights of deaf citizens, miscommunication... Most police officers are not educated in basic ASL, or even introduced how to communicate to the best of your ability with a deaf individual. In this excerpt, a system called "HEARD" created by Talia A. Lewis was introduced. This organization helps bring equality and rights to those who are deaf. Police officers often fail to oblige or forget that communication falls under the disability law. By law, police officers are required to assign you an interpreter and do not receive punishment when they ignore deaf people's rights. According to the "Disability Rights California Studies " only 6 hours out of a total of 664 are dedicated to dealing with disabled people. Some police officers have often gone as far to yell at the deaf, telling them to read their lips. In the article this line really caught my eye "to deny an interpreter is to deny equal access", because the thought of someone being silenced in a sticky situation such as this makes me uneasy. I think of it as a police officer denying access to an attorney- which is also illegal. It's their right to communicate with you, and to know what's occurring at all times. Discrimination is often popular in jails as well since all criminals but deaf criminals can talk to their friends and family. Only 6 out of thousands of prisons offer video chatting. The constant inappropriate treatment towards the deaf in the Criminal Justice System that I read up on in this article were all so uncalled for and unfair.
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Nga Le on Friday, June 09, 2017 11:02 PM
This is in response to Autumn's post. Wow? I know that there is still so much injustice that exists towards individuals with disabilities but reading about that really breaks my heart. It is really difficult and irritating to not be able to communicate and understand one another from language barriers so simply being denied the right to have an interpreter who makes that process more easy is just downright horrible. Most definitely our Criminal Justice System needs to be reformed to be fair, for the Deaf and for any other disabilities that causes an individual to be disrespected. It's nice to know that there are prisons and systems that are kind enough to strive for the right thing such as offering video chatting, I wish more prisons did the same thing.

Jennifer Badershall on Friday, June 16, 2017 11:27 AM
I think it's great to get multiple views on a subject as with Mahoro's and your post, Autumn. Although I am a big advocate of law enforcement, that's not to say I don't believe they should be held accountable for their negative behaviors. I realize Police have quite a bit of knowledge on rights, laws, and sensitivity training that is required of them and know it's a lot but adding more training to ensure the rights of the Deaf are not infringed upon are as equally important. Isn't that the point of most of the education for their job in the first place. Law enforcement are still people and do make mistakes so creating awareness of what it must be like for a Deaf person who could be confused about what's going on or in need to communicate is vital. Unfortunately, as in all walks of life, there are individuals in this field who are just ignorant and would rather be jerks (to put it nicely). I feel learning some basic signs is not too much to ask in order to prevent violations of basic human rights as well as treating someone fairly.

Rachel Keough on Friday, June 16, 2017 9:51 PM
In response to Autumn's post on June 9th- That is a very interesting topic! I did not know that law enforcement treated deaf people so horribly. In present day, punishing law enforcement officers is such a highly charged conversation that if one were to take into account incidences with the deaf that have occurred with police, the debate might be taken further than it already has been. It is absolutely heart wrenching to know that this activity still goes on, but also quite enlightening knowing that there are some people that realized these flaws and created a video chatting system. Now the fight will be to regulate that system into not just 6, but ALL prisons. Hopefully one day that will become a reality.

Nga Le on Friday, June 09, 2017 10:50 PM
The article I read was titled “A hearing son in deaf family: 'I'd rather be deaf'” on CNN. This article really opened my eyes to how insensitive some people could be towards Deaf people and their culture, as the son, Kaleb, is often made to answer questions such as, "Do you ever wish your family could hear, like you?" The article addresses how individuals that are outside of the Deaf community finds things wrong with being deaf when there is really nothing wrong, a Deaf person can do anything a hearing person could do. The passage also taught me that there existed a surgical procedure where a doctor is able to implant hearing devices in a deaf child’s ear; this is called ‘cochlear implants’ and it is essentially a tiny microphone that is implanted behind the ear in an attempt to regain partial hearing for a child. Cochlear implants is a highly controversial topic because it is a decision that the parents make for their child where the child has no say in it. The Deaf community takes pride in who they are and cochlear implants are disrespectful to Deaf culture in the fact that it asserts that being deaf is bad and that something should be done to ‘fix it’.
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Jennifer Badershall on Friday, June 16, 2017 11:53 AM
Nga, I've been aware of the cochlear implant for quite some time. When I first learned of it many years when I was much younger and naive, I thought it was a great breakthrough and how much better life would be for a Deaf individual. I have since come to an understanding of that the community has a special bond, not in spite of, but because of their Deafness. I find myself wishing for such a bond with a community. I once saw and I quote " not hearing loss but a Deaf gain" which although came from a sitcom was very inspiring. I know see the cochlear implant as a wonderful thing if that is what the individual wants. If it is not something they want that is great too. I believe it is not someone else right to force their own ideals and opinions on someone else. One must do what is best for themselves. I do see a point in some saying the child has not a choice if the parents decide for the implant when they are young but I do however want to point out, as a mother of two daughters myself, parents just try to do what's best for their children. We are not given a manual with our tiny little humans and can only do our best with the knowledge at the given time. If a hearing person is not connected to the Deaf community and hasn't an idea of the education on the absolute full capableness of the Deaf, they may think it is the option they must take to provide for the child. Just as you referenced the quote mentioned in out first class, " A Deaf person can do anything a hearing person can do, except hear" is something society not connected or touched by the Deaf community may not be aware of. I hope this is something ratified and an understanding is fully realized by all.

Amanda Clark-Martin on Friday, June 16, 2017 3:42 PM
Thank you for posting this Nga, I too read this compelling article and watched the video segment that went along with it. Often, I have wondered about the community's view on technology like the cochlear implants. In the video the son commented that he knew technology was available and had enjoyed wearing a hearing aid at one point but, "they were not considered cool" by classmates at school so he quit wearing it. I think this raises very interesting questions about communities in general and how they are structured. What constitutes a member belonging and how is that defined? If someone could elect reverse and choose to no longer hear, would they be no longer considered part of their current community (hearing, friends, school, etc)? How much of the biological construction of a person makes up their belonging or is it more based upon a set of shared values and behaviors? How much hearing would a person have to have before they are no longer considered a Deaf community member? Or would it not matter because it is based upon sharing a common experience or values? Where does our identity exist-in the present, past, or both? All very interesting questions to consider.

Rachel Keough on Friday, June 16, 2017 10:06 PM
In response to Nga's post on June 9th- That is a very disheartening story about the young boy whom is the only hearing person in his family. I remember seeing a video quite a while back about a similar circumstance where the reporter made the statement that she (it was a girl that was the only hearing one in this case) probably wishes on a daily basis that at least one of her family members could hear her. So insensitive! It is strange to me that some people don't take a moment to think how a disability isn't a curse, that having a flaw that prevents one from doing just one activity that a completely healthy person can doesn't mean they are entirely dysfunctional and incapable of doing absolutely anything on their own. I also enjoyed your article's description as well as your perspective on the cochlear implant. Being a person who ultimately wants to work her way into the medical field, I never considered a device such as the cochlear implant to be controversial. I really only viewed it as a miracle invention that has the potential to drastically and only positively change an individual's life. But after reading and contemplating what you said, I have built on my perspective of the implant to incorporate the belief that deafness is not something that must be fixed, which I already had before but never applied it to my beliefs on the cochlear implant. Thank you for sharing!

Lexie Figueroa on Friday, June 09, 2017 10:54 PM
While reading this article "What is Deaf Culture?", I learned so much about deaf culture that I never knew before. It made me realize how beautiful deaf culture really is. I'm so amazed that we can communicate with our hands just as much as we communicate in English. I also read about how people perceive deafness as an illness and they just look on how to "cure" the "illness". Learning about this makes me want to educate many people that feel that way about deaf culture and tell them how many deaf people, if given the chance to be hearing would deny that offer. There are so many deaf events, clubs, and social gatherings that everyone is welcome to and I feel many people should take time to educate themselves on a culture they know really nothing about.
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Anonymous on Friday, June 09, 2017 11:47 PM

Dominique Brooks on Friday, June 16, 2017 6:48 PM
Thank you, Lexie, for sharing this. I totally agree with you when you say, "people should take time and educate themselves on a culture" especially deaf culture. you would think because there are many people who are deaf that they would take the time to do so, but by reading this article and your post, that's not the case. before taking this course, I've always believe ASL was a beautiful language. I did not know much about it ASL but I knew enough to know this was something I wanted to further my education in. Thanks again, for sharing this it really gave me the opportunity to expand my knowledge even more.

Autumn Lloyd on Friday, June 16, 2017 9:50 PM
In so many situations involving disability, people search for a cure. Most close minded individuals want an easy fix/short cut when there is a problem, rather than trying to get involved, do their research or be understanding. I've previously watched Switched at Birth-a T.V show with a deaf main character. When a rich family met Daphne for the first time, they offered for her to get a surgery or try hearing aids. They would rather "fix the problem" than learn some basic ASL to talk to Daphne. I'm more and more amazed on how inconsiderate people can be.

Dominique Brooks on Friday, June 16, 2017 8:09 PM
This comment is for Jennifer. thank you for embracing us with your knowledge of Andrew Foster. I’m glad you wanted to know more about him after reading about him that one time. He seemed to be such an amazing well accomplished man with many successes. To think a man can be that accomplished with all the obstacles he had to face being deaf is/should be appreciated in the deaf community. I think what amazes me even more is he’s an African American man who did such things. Like you said, INSPIRING!
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Rachel Keough on Friday, June 16, 2017 9:39 PM
After the first class of the ASL 101 class, I began to wonder about other sign languages. This curiosity led me to straight to google, which turned up an article on entitled "The Life and Death of Martha's Vineyard Sign Language". As detailed in the article, Martha's Vineyard was once a "thriving deaf community" with a seemingly inherent system of sign language. The distinctive form of sign began when a deaf man, Jonathan Lambert immigrated to Martha's Vineyard to the minute town of Chilmark, eventually genetically passing his deafness down to his children. Being such a small and also secluded town, the deafness became widespread, therefore signing was a language "considered a life skill" and "Children picked it up from their parents; no records indicate that it was ever taught in schools.". Later on in the passage the author goes onto explain how regional sign languages are picked up and brought to new locations around the world, subsequently evolving any previously present sign languages. This whole article astonished me at how sign language and the deaf community has transformed and thrived for hundreds and hundreds of years. Even the hearing used to utilize the language, a major point illustrated in the article. Before reading this article, I was unaware that sign languages draw such large parallels between hearing languages; that just like English or Latin, American Sign Language, French Sign Language, or any other sign language has evolved and morphed into a modern version of a centrally spoken ancient language. It was truly an epiphany inducing, educational article that woke me up to just how vast sign language and the way the deaf community communicates is!
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