This week, I decided to learn about deaf culture instead of learning a few new signs. I just felt that I should be able to educate myself about deaf culture instead of just learning ASL as a ‘cute’ project. I feel that it would almost be cultural appropriation of me to not learn about the culture.
The first website that I went to was by Healthy Hearing and it was called “The importance of Deaf Culture.” What I gathered from this website was that communication doesn’t always have to be verbal. I really enjoyed this quote because when we as humans think of communication we tend to think of language and orally talking to each other. At least this was what I thought. I realize that deaf culture is entirely its own community in its own amazing way. I think what some people don’t realize is that some people are happy being deaf.
Another really interesting thing I learned is that ASL is not the same throughout multiple countries or regions. Lots of people think that ASL is just hand gestures and English but it’s really not. Like different countries, there are different languages and this is the same for ASL. Sign language also has different grammar, accents, rhythms, word order, and rules for pronunciation.
The second website that I went to was called Start ASL- Deaf Culture.
In this website, I found some of the important values of deaf culture. There were language, speech, socializing, and literature. All of these concepts are considered very important in deaf culture.
What I really took from these two websites was that people of the deaf culture don’t want others to think of them as having a disability.
Here are some facts about deaf culture that you may not know:
- 9 out of 10 infants are born to hearing parents.
- Sign language is different between countries and regions.
- Deaf people listen with their eyes.
- Not speaking is highly valued in deaf culture.
- The term “hard or hearing” is considered negatively in deaf culture.