Cultural Differences In Deaf Culture

Good Essays
The medical view challenges fundamental cultural values of the Deaf culture by undermining the importance of establishing a Deaf identity. Since its priority is to cure “Deafness” using medical interventions, young Deaf infants often do not often have a say in the auditory recovery treatments that will ultimately define their ways of life. Doctors and scientists alike are trained to think of ways to return the body to its most natural, fully equipped state and the inability to process auditory information is alarming because it deviates from their definition of a normal, healthy human being. Although the intentions of those in the medical field are not necessary maleficent, but the way in which they explain options to parents with a Deaf child…show more content…
Accommodations such as closed captioning, FM systems, and flashing light enabled Deaf individuals to navigate around the Hearing world more easily, but nevertheless, the social view fails to recognize that there are definite cultural differences between the Deaf and Hearing communities and forced assimilation often leads to linguistic and cultural barriers. From a social perspective, it seems like embracing the Deaf cultural identity is somewhat undesirable because it hinders one to have a “full citizenship” in the society where the majority resides. It is important to note that efforts being put forth to include Deaf individuals into mainstream culture can actually isolate them from their own culture. Cultures are there to be respected and learned about, not for coercion and forced assimilation. Mainstreaming Deaf children into the Hearing ways of life not only prevents Deaf children from learning their own ways of life, but also introduces identity conflicts. It forces them to choose sides and ultimately stray far from their own Deaf identities in the process. Having Deaf students attending an all-Hearing school might increase their knowledge of how to mingle with Hearing students, but does not help them learn as much versus when they are in a Deaf school surrounded by…show more content…
Today, there are still many audists advocating against the use of Sign Language and pressuring Deaf children to take up English as their first language. However, Sign Language is not just a method of communication for Deaf people, in a way, it represents a great part of their identity and sense of belonging. Making sure that Deaf people have complete access to Sign Language from birth to adulthood is essential in the Deaf education system. It minimizes linguistic confusion between ASL and English because the student would have already developed a strong foundation in Sign Language before learning English. In order to establish its strong presence and increase awareness, Sign Language has to be used more frequently by a greater number of people. Ridding the Deaf education system of Sign Language is like removing English from the dominant education system. Sign Language should be fully incorporated into the academic life of Deaf students to ensure that they feel most natural when communicating and this in return, will promote a healthy social and personal
Get Access