Category

Identity

Language Window of Opportunity

By Deaf Culture, Early ASL Acquisition, Early Intervention, Early Language Development, Identity, Information

Did you know that the first few years of life are the easiest time to learn a language? This time period is called the Window of Opportunity for language development. Since young children are able to pick up language so quickly and easily, it is vital that Deaf children have access to a visual language as early as possible.

After the age of 5, if a child has not had proper access to a language, they may never be able to become fully fluent. A lack of language can also cause problems with critical thinking skills.

Fast facts about language:

Langwind

Definitions & Identities

By Deaf Community, Deaf Culture, Identity, Information

The following is an excerpt from the National Association of the Deaf :
The Deaf and hard of hearing community is diverse. There are variations in how a person becomes Deaf or hard of hearing, level of hearing, age of onset, educational background, communication methods, and cultural identity. How people “label” or identify themselves is personal and may reflect identification with the Deaf and hard of hearing community, the degree to which they can hear, or the relative age of onset.

For example, some people identify themselves as “late-deafened,” indicating that they became deaf later in life. Other people identify themselves as “deaf-blind,” which usually indicates that they are Deaf or hard of hearing and also have some degree of vision loss. Some people believe that the term “people with hearing loss” is inclusive and efficient. However, some people who were born Deaf or hard of hearing do not think of themselves as having lost their hearing. Over the years, the most commonly accepted terms have come to be “Deaf,” and “hard of hearing.”

According to Carol Padden and Tom Humphries, in Deaf in America: Voices from a Culture (1988): we use the lowercase deaf when referring to the audiological condition of not hearing, and the uppercase Deaf when referring to a particular group of Deaf people who share a language – American Sign Language (ASL) – a culture, [and community]. The members of this group have inherited their sign language, use it as a primary means of communication among themselves, and hold a set of beliefs about themselves and their connection to the larger society. We distinguish them from, for example, those who find themselves losing their hearing because of illness, trauma or age; although these people share the condition of not hearing, they do not have access to the knowledge, beliefs, and practices that make up the culture of Deaf people.

“Hard-of-hearing” can denote a person with a mild-to-moderate hearing loss. Or it can denote a deaf person who doesn’t have/want any cultural affiliation with the Deaf community. Or both. The HOH dilemma: in some ways hearing, in some ways deaf, in others, neither. Can one be hard-of-hearing and ASL-Deaf? That’s possible, too. Can one be hard-of-hearing and function as hearing? Of course. What about being hard-of-hearing and functioning as a member of both the hearing and Deaf communities? That’s a delicate tightrope-balancing act, but it too is possible. As for the political dimension: HOH people can be allies of the Deaf community. They can choose to join or to ignore it. They can participate in the social, cultural, political, and legal life of the community along with culturally-Deaf or live their lives completely within the parameters of the “Hearing world.” But they may have a more difficult time establishing a   satisfying cultural/social identity. Deaf Life, “For Hearing People Only” (October 1997).
The term “hearing-impaired” is no longer accepted by most in the community and is not a politically correct term. The term “hearing-impaired” is viewed as negative as it focuses on what people can’t do. It establishes the standard as “hearing” and anything different as “impaired,” or substandard, hindered, or damaged. It implies that something is not as it should be and ought to be fixed if possible. Every individual is unique.

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Why is a Deaf Mentor important?

By Deaf Community, Deaf Culture, Deaf Role Models, Identity, Information

Deaf children are often born to hearing parents who have little or no understanding of Deaf culture, American Sign Language (ASL), or the challenges faced by Deaf children. A Deaf mentor can be a wonderful resource, both for the family of a Deaf child, and the Deaf child him/herself.
A Deaf mentor can share their own experiences with the family, and can provide a reassuring role model for the Deaf child. The family will be able to come to their mentor with their questions or worries, and the mentor can serve as a constant resource and source of information throughout the Deaf child’s developmental milestones. Through their relationship with, and knowledge gained from the Deaf mentor, the family will become empowered to better provide for the needs of their child.
A Deaf mentor can also provide the family with the perfect opportunity to learn, and practice their newly acquired ASL skills!

Lexi Hill’s Message to hearing Parents with Deaf Children

By ASL, Cultural & Medical Perspectives, Identity, Information No Comments

Born deaf, REL senior Lexi Hill is ranked 7th in her class & will attend Gallaudet Univ, where she received the highest scholarship available & will play basketball! She has an encouraging message for both parents & students. Read her story: http://ow.ly/A72J30nT66d #JKR #successfulstudentoutcomes

Deaf Don’t Care

By Cultural & Medical Perspectives, Deaf Culture, Identity, Information No Comments

Transcript: Conrad dancing to an internal song. Word PITY appears by his shoulder, he brushes it off. Word PATERNALISM appears at his other shoulder, he also brushes it off. Big DEAF text appears and Conrad signs it. Big I DON’T CARE text appears and Conrad signs it. Word DISORDER flies towards him and Conrad puts up a hand to deflect it. Word DIAGNOSIS flies from other side towards him and he puts up a hand to deflect it. Words HEARING IMPAIRED comes towards him and he dodges it. Conrad then deflects word IDEOLOGY. He signs don’t care towards word CURE. Conrad sweeps away word AUDISM. Conrad deflects word ISOLATION. Big DEAF? text appears and Conrad signs it. Big I’M PROUD text appears and Conrad signs it. Words DISCRIMINATION and OPPRESSION appears above his shoulders and Conrad pushes them off. He ends it with a flourish move- a hand down his face and camera pans towards him. He smiles.