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Deaf people use a videophone more often than seeing each other in person?
This is true. While the Deaf community is close knit, it is also spread nationwide. You may meet a friend at a Deaf retreat, a convention, or simply on vacation that you may not see again in person for a decade or more. Aside from how widespread the Deaf community is, there are often other factors that stop people from meeting face to face. One of the most common questions is “Can Deaf people drive a car?” The answer is a resounding YES! Often, Deaf drivers are better drivers than hearing people because they are not distracted by listening to the radio or talking on the phone. Even so, many Deaf are either unemployed or underemployed. This can be due to anything from being hindered by additional impairments to local business owners being under educated on what a deaf individual can bring to their business. Whatever the reason, lack of employment stops many Deaf from having transportation, which means they are stuck at home. There are a myriad of reasons why a Deaf person may use a V.P. more often than an in person visit, but, like everyone else, most wish that they could see their friends more often!
It is important for deaf children to have deaf role models?
This is true, and extremely important. Every child needs a role model and the closer that role model is to the advantages and limitations of the child, the more the child will identify with the role model. Another important reason for a deaf child to have a deaf role model is for language acquisition. Hearing children are surrounded by examples, both good and bad, of the English language. Deaf children are not as lucky, and must rely on Deaf adults to provide this important learning experience. Not only will they learn language, they will also learn how to identify, and many times overcome their limitations.
Most deaf people don’t go out in public because of the difficulty communicating with hearing people?
This is false. Deaf people have become very accustomed to making themselves understood. Sometimes with pen and paper, sometimes through gesture, and sometimes through the spoken word depending on the individual. However they decide to communicate, they are most certainly not staying at home!
Deaf people appreciate those who try and communicate with them in ASL?
Regardless of your skill level, any attempt to communicate in a person’s native language is appreciated. Members of the Deaf Community are especially patient with newcomers as they realize that there are limited resources for those interested to gain exposure to the language. That being said, there is always a time and a place to try out your new skill, and times when you should let the opportunity pass. A doctor’s office waiting room while the Deaf mother struggles with a toddler and a screaming infant is probably not the best time, while a local Deaf social event is a wonderful opportunity. Use your discretion and remember that as eager as you are to learn, Deaf are people first.
The Deaf Community is very unique?
Like any small niche community, this is true. Not only is the Deaf Community unique as a whole, but they are unique depending on their region as well. One community may be very focused on religion, while another on art, and still another on volunteerism. What is important to remember is that there is something to be learned, and many things to be valued in each and every community, Deaf or otherwise, and it is never a waste of time to acquaint yourself with those around you.
Deaf people should wear contrasting colors in order for people to see their signs?
Not necessarily. In general, this rule applies to an interpreter, or a Deaf individual that will be giving a presentation to a large crowd. As you can guess, it is usually easier to see signs with a solid, contrasting background when watching from a distance. Those times, however, are somewhat rare, and normal clothes are perfectly fine for everyday interactions.
How do people become deaf?
There are lots of ways that a person can become deaf, and the most common ways are illness and injury. Because neither illness nor injury has any effect on your genetic material, you can imagine that heredity is the least common way for a person to become deaf. As previously discussed, 90% of deaf children have hearing parents. The remaining 10% are deaf children that were born to deaf parents, and most are deaf due to a genetic abnormality. This being the case, there is a fair chance that they will pass their deafness on to their own children. This type of hereditary deafness is somewhat of a legacy in the Deaf Community. Those involved in multi-generational deafness are seen as a “dynasty” and regarded as superior. This hierarchy is much like the “old money” families in the South.
How do people learn American Sign Language? (From other deaf, from a book, from ASLdeafined.com)?
The easiest, and by far the best way to learn ASL is from ASLdeafined.com, of course! Learning ASL from other Deaf is also quite effective, and learning ASL from a book is possible, but much more difficult. ASL is a 3 dimensional language, and it is difficult to get a feel for the movements of the language from the pages of a book. It is also nearly impossible to start to understand someone else that is signing without seeing them physically use the language. Learning from other deaf is a wonderful way to learn, as you gain exposure to both the language, and the culture. However, in our busy day-to-day lives, ASLdeafined.com is the best of both worlds. It offers the ease and accessibility of a book, as well as the exposure and culture of language interaction.
Text messaging is a popular way to communicate among the deaf?
Text messaging is the single greatest advantage that has come to the Deaf community in recent memory. Now, with texting being so prevalent, Deaf individuals can do everything from conversing with friends and colleagues, to talking to their child’s teacher, to scheduling a doctor’s appointment. Video phone is wonderful for a long chat with a friend, or something that cannot be completed via text or in person, but is often inaccessible outside of the home. This was a distinct disadvantage to the Deaf community until the implementation and widespread use of texting. Now, members of the Deaf Community are equally as accessible as those in the Hearing Community.
The term, “Deaf and Dumb” is not acceptable?
This is true. The terms “Deaf and Dumb”, “Deaf-Mute”, or referring to someone as a “Mute” are all unacceptable by today’s standards. Most people prefer being simply “Deaf”, or depending on their hearing loss, “Hard of Hearing”. If you have a hard time remembering the correct term, simply ask yourself if you would like to be referred to as “dumb”. The answer, most likely, is no.
Tags: American Sign Language, ASL, Deaf, Deaf Community, Hearing Community, Related Blogs
Posted in ASL, Deaf Culture, Deaf Culture Quiz #9, deaf people, Deafness, sign language, socializing with deaf | Comments Off