What Is Deaf Culture

What is Deaf Culture?

Written by Joanne Cripps Anita Small was in charge of the editing. What exactly is Deaf Culture, and how does one describe it? What is Deaf Culture and where can we discover it? Who makes the decision that this is a culture? What is Deaf Culture and how does it manifest itself? These are some of the questions we are frequently asked. Throughout the world, Deaf Culture serves as the beating heart of the Deaf population. Language and culture are inextricably intertwined. Both of these traditions are linked and have been passed down through generations of Deaf people.

The Deaf community is made up of culturally Deaf individuals who live in the heart of the community and who communicate using a sign language (for example, American Sign Language or Langue des Signes Quebecois) and who are proud of their heritage, history, literature, and culture.

It exists as a result of the desire to spend time with one another, as well as the desire to relax and enjoy everything while doing so.

This is how Deaf culture came into being.

  • They make certain that their language and cultural heritage are passed on to their peers and to the next generation of children and adults.
  • Language and culture are intertwined and interdependent.
  • However, in order to really absorb the language, they must be exposed to the culture that is ingrained in the language.
  • Language, values, customs, social standards, and personal identity are all components of culture (Padden, 1980).
  • Because it is visually accessible, it is highly regarded by the Deaf community as well.
  • Deaf residential schools and Deaf clubs are significant because they provide opportunities for natural social contact among deaf students.
  • (Deaf Canadians place a high value on both ASL and LSQ.) It has only been recently that there has been research into Deaf Art (2).

If we look at Deaf art, we will observe that the hands and face are emphasized, that the textures are contrasted, and that the colors are powerful (Small, 2000).

Norms are norms of conduct that apply to members of the deaf community.

The right usage of direct eye contact and suitable use of shoulder tapping are all important for Deaf individuals when it comes to obtaining someone’s attention.

Often, the individuals involved are unaware of the ways in which their cultural norms may be influencing their interactions and perceptions of one other’s intentions.

Accepting one’s Deafness while also being proud of one’s culture and heritage, as well as being a productive part of one’s society, is essential to being a member of a cultural group.

This provides excellent opportunity for the development of social skills, leadership, and a sense of self-worth.

Whenever Deaf individuals interact with others in the Deaf community, where Deaf culture is the norm, they are participating in a truly inclusive atmosphere.

While it is beneficial to include these experiences in a kid’s upbringing, it is not feasible to fully immerse a child in Deaf culture if the child is raised in a mainstreamed environment.

Deaf culture is something that is experienced on a daily basis — much like breathing.

Many consider it to be the most important vehicle for community development.

Not all children must reside in the dorm, but they must have access to the Deaf environment that the dorm provides, such as after-school events and other opportunities.

There may be Deaf or hard of hearing persons who have never been in a position where they may be enculturated — for example, those who have never been in a Deaf environment – in this group.

During their time at residential schools, students develop “shared meanings.” When attempting to communicate from distinct cultural views, it might be challenging to create a common understanding of the message.

It is important to note that Deaf kids who attend mainstream schools do not have the sense of belonging that people from the Deaf culture associate with residential schools, and their experience is significantly different from that of students who attend residential schools.

Students with hearing impairments may feel isolated even when they have access to translators, notetakers, and other specific assistive technologies.

It’s possible that some of them will feel patronized by individuals who presume they have had a bad experience or are not truly a member of Deaf Culture.

People from all walks of life are able to find common ground despite their differences (4).

Residential schools are not available in all areas.

The most frequently requested question is where mainstreamed pupils who have grown up and become adults fit within Deaf Culture.

However, this does not imply that the transition from a mainstreamed upbringing to an adult existence in the Deaf community is always straightforward.

It is critical for Deaf individuals from a variety of backgrounds to acknowledge and embrace their differences while still retaining respect for Deaf language and culture, as well as for one another.

Residential Deaf schools are at the heart of the Deaf community’s development.

Adults who are part of the mainstream can take advantage of the same opportunity.

Deaf Culture more than makes up for the lack of a Deaf school in adulthood due to the existence of Deaf culture.

It is a really pleasant way of living.

When we get involved in the Deaf community, we become valuable members of both the Deaf and the hearing communities.

Deaf Culture is, in our opinion, what it is at its core.



In September 2001, I spoke with Dr.

Correspondence with Kristin Snoddon, who lives in Toronto, Ontario.

The 11th of February, 2002 References: Carbin (1996), Deaf Heritage in Canada: A Distinctive, Diverse, and Enduring Culture, Deaf Heritage in Canada: A Distinctive, Diverse, and Enduring Culture, Deaf Heritage in Canada: A Distinctive, Diverse, and Enduring Culture, Deaf Heritage in Canada: A Distinctive, Diverse, and Enduring Culture, Deaf Heritage in Canada: A Distinctive, Diverse, and Enduring Culture, McGraw Hill Ryerson Ltd.

  • is based in Toronto, Ontario.
  • A Quiet Journey: Understanding the Rights of Deaf Children, published by Ginger Press in Ontario in 2000, is an excellent resource.
  • Parents and teachers’ guide to accompanying the American Sign Language and English Literature videotape series, published by CCSD in Ontario.
  • Gilliam and Easterbrooks (1997), Educating Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: Residential Life, American Sign Language, and Deaf Culture.
  • 1997).
  • A.
  • Knopf, Inc., New York, published Lane’s novel, The Mask of Benevolence, in 1992.
  • MAPizzacalla and Cripps (1995), Conflict Resolution Program for the Culturally Deaf, New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Canadian author and visual artist Roots (1999) published The Politics of Visual Language with Carleton University Press in Ottawa.

Van Cleve, John Vickrey (1993), Deaf History Unveiled: Interpretations from the New Scholarship, Gallaudet University Press, Washington, D.C. Van Cleve, John Vickrey (1993), Deaf History Unveiled: Interpretations from the New Scholarship

American Deaf Culture

Clerc Center»Info to Go»Deaf Culture»Clerc Center»Info to Go»Deaf Culture» Deaf Culture in the United States Culture and language are intertwined, with the traits of culture reflected in the language. In addition to studying about the culture of Deaf people, it is also important to learn about their language. The American Sign Language (ASL) is used by deaf individuals to communicate with one another and with hearing persons who are familiar with the language. ASL (American Sign Language) is a visual/gestural language that does not include a vocal component.

  • It varies from a communication code that is intended to directly replicate the English language.
  • In other nations, there are signed languages as well (e.g., Italian Sign Language, Chinese Sign Language, Swedish Sign Language).
  • Dr.
  • During a 1913 old movie, George W.
  • As deaf people, we hope that we would all cherish and protect our beautiful sign language, which we believe to be the best gift God has given to us.” The following are examples of Deaf culture’s ideals, habits, and traditions:
  • The promotion of an environment that encourages vision as the primary sense used for communication at school, at home, and in the community, because vision provides individuals who are deaf access to information about the world as well as the independence to drive and travel, to work, and to participate in every aspect of society. Considering deaf children to be the future of deaf people and Deaf culture is important. Therefore, deaf culture supports the use of American Sign Language (ASL) in addition to any other communication modes that the kid may have. Deaf children who are deaf should get support for bilingual ASL/English education so that they are proficient in both languages. Including special standards of conduct in communication in addition to the traditional principles of turn taking is becoming more common. For example, during a discussion, it is anticipated that both parties maintain constant eye contact and visual concentration. Moreover, throughout a discussion, a person who uses sign language has the right to speak until he or she offers a visual indication (pauses, facial expressions, etc.) that he or she is finished
  • There are many different traditions that contribute to the preservation of Deaf culture. Some of these traditions include films and folklore
  • Literature
  • Sports
  • Poetry
  • Celebrations
  • Clubs and organizations
  • Theaters
  • And school reunions. Deaf culture also contains some of its own “music,” poetry, and dancing, amongst other things. For example, the inclusion of novel tactics for grabbing someone’s attention, such as:
  • If a person is not inside the line of sight, gently touching him or her on the shoulder will suffice. If the individual is within visual range, you can wave, or you can flip a light switch a few times to get the attention of a large group of people in a room to pay attention to you.

Additional Resources

The History of the Deaf Performing Arts Network Seen Through Deaf Eyes


The American Society for Deaf Children, the National Association of the Deaf, and the World Federation of the Deaf are just a few of the organizations that exist. The creation of this webpage was made possible by federal money. The publication of this information does not indicate endorsement or recognition of the findings, conclusions, or recommendations contained herein by the United States Department of Education. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex (including gender), national origin, religion, age, hearing status (including whether or not a person has a hearing loss), disability (including covered veteran status), marital status, personal appearance (including sexual orientation), family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, source of income (including where a person works or lives), place of business or residence, pregnancy, childbirth, or any other unlawful basis.

American Deaf Culture

Despite the fact that some individuals regard being deaf or hard of hearing to be a physical distinction, many others consider it to be a matter of cultural or linguistic identification. Carol Padden and Tom Humphries’ book, Deaf in America: Voices from a Culture, describes how people who are deaf live in America. We use the lowercase deaf to refer to the audiological condition of being deaf, and the uppercase Deaf to refer to a specific community of deaf people who share a language – American Sign Language (ASL) – and a culture.

You might be interested:  How Is The Study Of Culture Different For Sociologists Than For Anthropologists

Therefore, in contrast to the majority of cultures, the vast majority of individuals within the Deaf community do not become members of the group at birth.

When it comes to communicating, American Sign Language (ASL) is the most popular method.

From Padden and Humphries: “Deaf Culture is a striking testament to both the fundamental needs of human beings and the tremendous potential of human beings,” they write: Generations of Deaf signers have fashioned a signed language that is rich enough to be used for poetry and narrative as a result of their quest for human language and communication.

Despite indirect and shaky lines of transmission, as well as years of shifting social situations, the culture of Deaf people has survived.

Why is Deaf Culture important to parents?

When we find out that our child is deaf or hard of hearing, we usually receive the news from hearing healthcare experts. Most of the time, they are quite talented and educated about the diagnosis process, and maybe the medical procedures that a parent would want to consider. However, that medical practitioner may have very rudimentary understanding or training regarding Deaf Culture, and he or she may not recognize or appreciate the option of utilizing sign language or engaging in the Deaf Community as alternatives.

  • Attempting to comprehend Deaf Culture may be a significant step forward in demonstrating respect for a culture with a long and illustrious history.
  • A residential school, learning sign language after having been taught orally, or attending Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.
  • At some time, your child may experience difficulties with his or her own identity.
  • You may, on the other hand, elect not to use sign language or to attend Deaf activities.
  • Your youngster may one day ask why you made the decisions that you took in the past.
  • If you actively include your kid in Deaf social events or schools, you will come into touch with members of the Deaf Community whether or not you are actively involved.
  • For parents, the phrases “hard of hearing” and “deaf” might be difficult to understand.
  • This may represent their affiliation with the deaf and hard of hearing community, the degree to which they are able to hear, or the age at which they were first affected.
  • Alternatively, some people define themselves as “deaf-blind,” which typically denotes that they are deaf or hard of hearing in addition to having some degree of vision loss.
  • Some persons who were born deaf or hard of hearing, on the other hand, do not consider themselves to have permanently lost their hearing.
  • The phrases “deaf” or “hard of hearing” are more acceptable than “deaf and hard of hearing.” Aspects of Deaf Culture are also significant in that many of the decisions we make as parents are done so from a Deaf point of view.

When assessing your options for your kid, it is vital to understand how certain members of the Deaf Community regard that decision so that you are prepared for the reactions you may meet later on in the process.

Benefits of the Deaf Community

There are several advantages to becoming a member of the Deaf Community. These may include the following:

  • Improved self-esteem
  • A sense of pride in one’s heritage
  • Respect for and usage of sign language
  • An emphasis on one’s own strengths
  • Acceptance by the community
  • Fellowship

There are several Deaf religions, political parties, and social groups to choose from. Having knowledge of, or involvement in, activities sponsored by such groups can offer your kid with opportunities to learn from native signers, adult mentorship, and the sense of belonging that comes from being around by people who are similar to him or herself. Simply by virtue of the fact that they use them on a regular basis, many members of the Deaf Community are well versed on modern technology and equipment that might be useful in everyday life.

Every youngster desires to know that they are not alone.

The search for persons who are willing to give their wonderful gift of life experience in order to build their child’s self-esteem is highly encouraged by the National Association of Social Workers.

Learn Stories, Traits, Attitudes, and Other Aspects of Deaf Culture

In the deaf community, the phrase “deaf culture” is frequently heard. The term “deaf culture” refers to the distinctive traits that distinguish the deaf and hard of hearing community from the general population. It may be seen in a variety of mediums, including art, literature, and social situations, among others. Images courtesy of AndreyPopov / Getty Images

What Is Deaf Culture?

It is necessary to first grasp the notion of culture in general before we can describe deaf culture specifically. In most cases, the term “culture” is used to define the patterns, characteristics, products, attitudes, and intellectual or creative activity connected with a given people. According to this description, the deaf community have a distinct culture that is distinct from the general population. Athletes who are deaf or hard of hearing create plays, novels, artwork, publications, and films that are aimed for deaf or hard of hearing audiences.

A living, developing, and changing phenomenon, American deaf culture is evolving as new activities are formed and the amount of intellectual work produced rises throughout the country.

Deaf Cultural Arts

Anyone might effortlessly include deaf-themed artwork into their complete home décor scheme. It is easy to find artwork including American sign language (ASL) and deafness themes, thanks to the efforts of retailers that specialize in items for and by deaf and hard of hearing artists. A large number of deaf artists also have their own websites. Exhibits by deaf artists, including painters, photographers, sculptors, and others, may be seen in galleries and museums around the country. While some artists include a hearing loss theme into their work, others do not, and you may not even be aware that they are deaf or hard of hearing.

Look for art exhibits at local deaf community groups and schools that are open to the public. The Dyer Arts Center at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, New York, is home to some great pieces of deaf art that are on show on a regular basis.

Deaf Theatre

Deaf theater organizations have been developing and producing plays that feature deafness and sign language on the stage for many years. It is possible to find professional deaf theater organizations that perform for both deaf and hearing audiences. Deaf West is one of the most well-known deaf theatrical groups in the world. It was because of their success with the staging of “Big River” that it was eventually brought to Broadway. This show included actors who were both deaf and hearing. Additionally, there are some amateur and children’s theater groups that cater particularly to deaf individuals.

Books on Deafness

Authors and publishers of deaf and hard of hearing books about sign language and deafness include a variety of deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Several of these have been included as obligatory reading in deaf studies programs.

Deaf Cinema

Individuals who are deaf have created films and organized their own film festivals. These events are frequently centered on a celebration of deaf culture and serve as a wonderful opportunity for the deaf community to get together. In reality, American Sign Language (ASL) was the first recorded language in cinema, predating spoken films by a decade in 1902.

Poems on Deafness

Films made by deaf persons have been shown at film festivals throughout the world. A lot of the time, these events are centered around celebrating deaf culture, and they serve as a wonderful opportunity for the community to come together. It is true that ASL was the first documented language in cinema, predating spoken films, when it was first recorded in 1902!

Sign Language

Sign language is the part of deaf culture that is most closely associated with the condition of deafness. Sign language proficiency is highest among deaf and hard of hearing persons who are native signers (that is, who grew up with sign language). Each country has its own system of sign communication. Even within a same country, there are many sign language dialects.

Deaf Social Life

Socialization occurs in a variety of ways in the deaf community. The meeting in a restaurant is a particularly common method of communication. This type of gathering has taken on a variety of titles, including “ASL dinner,” “signing supper,” and “silent supper,” among others. Another popular social vehicle is “deaf coffee,” which is a get-together in a coffee shop to talk about anything and everything. Online dating sites specifically for the deaf population are available, and some of them are mentioned in signals of love.

Perspectives on Deaf Culture

The deaf community engages in a variety of socialization activities. A meeting in a restaurant is a particularly common method of communication. This type of gathering has taken on many other titles, including “ASL dinner,” “signing supper,” and “silent supper,” among others.

‘Deaf coffee,’ which is a social gathering that takes place at a coffee shop to talk, is another popular social vehicle. On-line dating sites for the deaf population are available, with some of them being covered in Signs of Love (see below).

Deaf Community Definition

What is the ‘Deaf Community,’ and why is it important? Baker and Padden (1978:4) present what is perhaps the most simple and practical working definition available today: This group of deaf and hard-of-hearing persons is comprised of those individuals who speak a similar language, have shared experiences and beliefs, and have a common style of engaging with one another and with hearing people. Extracted from Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood by Paddy Ladd. – There is a problem in this nation, and not only in the United States of America, that many of you are not aware of; it exists.

  1. You’ll be pleasantly pleased!
  2. This is understandable.
  3. You may have observed that there are students from other colleges present as well as your own.
  4. I’d like to ask you a question: Is this the proper method of learning and experiencing the common language and culture of the DEAF community?
  5. The problem is as follows: A group of Deaf people must be present; not just one or two individuals, and not a group of primarily hearing people or ASL students are acceptable alternatives to meeting with them.
  6. S/he currently resides in the United States and is enrolled at either a major university or a small town college.
  7. he/she bombards her/him with numerous questions about her/his culture and background Based on the knowledge gathered from this ONE individual, the student returns home and produces a thesis about the Aztec people, which he or she submits in and obtains a dreadful ‘F’ grade.

The respected professor responded by saying, “A single individual cannot be held responsible for everyone.

S/he visited homes in the Aztec homeland and socialized with the locals.

I turned it in and earned an honorable ‘A’ for it.

She came to the realization that she needed to ‘be’ with the individuals she was truly learning about in order to comprehend the whole circle of their existence.

You must first comprehend who the ASL/Deaf community is and that they do, in fact, exist as a separate community from the general public.

This is the method through which you may learn the language of the Deaf. If you’ve never been in a group of individuals you don’t know before, it could be a little intimidating. However, it is a necessary stage in your ASL learning process.

Understanding Deaf Culture

There are two opposing viewpoints about deafness and Deaf people. The “medical/pathological” model is the first of these and is the most commonly encountered. Deaf people are regarded as inadequate in some manner by those who accept this viewpoint since they are unable to communicate effectively through “speaking” and “hearing.” This perspective of view is primarily concerned with what a deaf person is unable to accomplish – hear – and ignores the numerous good characteristics and qualities that persons who are Deaf possess.

You might be interested:  What Is Hookup Culture

When compared to the “cultural model,” which is pushed by Deaf people themselves, advocates and professionals working within the Deaf community, the opposing position is more empathetic and accepting of differences.

An often-used, yet simple, argument by Deaf advocates is that because Deaf people can communicate easily and fluently amongst one another using American Sign Language, their communicative abilities are not diminished at all; rather, they are perceived to be diminished by “hearing” standards of receiving and expressing information audibly.

Early advocates of deaf education advocated what has come to be known as the “oral approach,” which essentially concentrated on teaching deaf children to talk and to utilize speech-reading to grasp what was being spoken to them throughout the first half of the twentieth century.

All efforts were directed at making Deaf children as “hearing” as possible, regardless of the repercussions for both the Deaf kid and his or her family members.

Parenting magazines and experts encourage hearing parents of hearing children to develop some form of sign language with their infant so that communication can be established before speech is developed, eloquently making the point that the mode of communication is fairly irrelevant as long a communication exists – a finding that is in stark contrast to the central tenets of the “oral method,” which stressed the overriding importance of spoken and audibly received communication and emphasized the importance of visual communication.

American Sign Language, like other spoken languages, plays a crucial part in understanding the culture of the people who use it to communicate, and it is no exception.

Far from being a simple visual translation of English, American Sign Language is in reality a distinct language in its own right, and it is legally recognized as such by many governmental and educational organizations as being on par with any other foreign language in terms of formal recognition.

  1. It was the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) that created Gestuno, a universal sign language that operates under the auspices of the United Nations Organization and is composed of national state and country Associations of the Deaf.
  2. Deaf Culture shows itself both in the language (American Sign Language) and in the social standards of the Deaf community as a whole, which differ significantly from those of the “hearing” society in important ways.
  3. ASL interpreters and Video Relay Services, for example, allow Deaf individuals to communicate in their native visual language rather than being forced to use English-text-based communication methodologies.
  4. Currently, Deaf individuals can be found contributing to the success of our nation’s governments, public and private businesses, and community organizations at every level.
  5. It is interesting for anyone who are interested in learning more about Deaf Culture to look into the background of the 1988 “Deaf President Now” campaign, which was founded by Deaf activists.
  6. Students at Gallaudet University are deaf.
  7. The university was taken over by deaf students and their sympathizers, who sealed the gates and barricaded themselves in.
  8. I.
  9. I.
  10. This event received extensive media attention on major networks across the world, and it continues to be regarded as the Deaf community’s most important civil rights victory to this day.

In addition to outstanding photos and video documentation of this event, you can get more information about the event at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Centerwebsite at Gallaudet University.

Understanding the Deaf Culture and the Deaf World

Deaf people, while being a linguistic minority, share a similar experience of life, which is reflected in Deaf cultural expressions. This encompasses the ideas, attitudes, history, conventions, values, literary traditions, and artistic expressions that Deaf people have in common with others. Deaf culture is at the center of Deaf communities all around the world, and it is particularly prevalent in the United States. Deaf communities are cultural groups that share a shared sign language and a common ancestry with one another.

It is a personal choice to identify with the Deaf community, and it is frequently chosen regardless of an individual’s hearing condition.

There are many different types of Deaf individuals in the world.

A person is considered to be a member of the Deaf community if he or she self-identifies as a member of the Deaf community and if other members accept that person as a member of the Deaf community Very frequently, this acceptability is significantly associated with the ability to communicate effectively in a signed language.

  • Visual Language and Visual Learning are two terms that are used to refer to visual communication and learning. A collection of tip sheets, research briefs, webcasts, tutorials, and fast Web connections may be found in the Parent Toolkit- VL2 Parent Resources database. Parents may use the Toolbox Online linksTM to find relevant groupings of web resources that have been gathered as easily accessible core points of information for them. Articles from Hands and Voices- Hands and Voices has a large collection of articles on a variety of issues that are relevant to comprehending the Deaf World and Deaf Culture.

Deaf Culture

Culture is defined by the way we conduct ourselves as well as the ideas and values we cherish. Deaf communities have a number of particular cultural elements, some of which are shared by deaf communities around the world. The following are characteristics of Deaf culture:


In the Deaf culture and community, sign language is at the heart of everything, and it is the single most uniting element. Auslan is the name given to the language spoken by the deaf people in Australia (Australian Sign Language). Anyone who does not respect Auslan will be unlikely to feel at ease in the Deaf community or to be welcomed by it in any way. It is not essential to be completely proficient in Auslan; rather, acknowledgment of Auslan as a legitimate language in its own right and respect for it are required.

They are unlikely to receive a warm welcome into the community if they do not have this.


In every culture, it is quite crucial to have values that are comparable to one another. Some of the shared ideals in Deaf culture are as follows:

  • Auslan deserves to be respected. As previously said, this is a fundamental value. Deafness is considered normal. Being Deaf is a natural state of being for Deaf individuals who are raised in a Deaf culture. It is a normal aspect of their daily lives and contributes to their sense of self. Expressions of grief or regret for a person’s deafness might be seen as a lack of acceptance of who they are as a result of their disability. Generally speaking, deaf persons do not consider themselves to be crippled or impaired, and they object to being referred to as “hearing impaired.” “Normal Deaf individuals,” rather than “those with limited hearing,” are what they consider themselves to be. The impairment they are experiencing is a result of the preconceptions and limitations that hearing society places in their path of development. “In a room full of Deaf people, it is the hearing person who cannot sign who is incapacitated,” says one source, which may be the best explanation for this point of view. Deaf individuals are also less interested in “cure” for deafness than the general public. They place a high emphasis on their identity as Deaf people and do not see the need in becoming someone else
  • Deaf infants are highly prized. When it comes to hearing individuals, having a hearing baby is something to be happy about, not something to be sad about. Deaf people place a high importance on their offspring, regardless of whether they are deaf or hearing. They also recognize the importance of other people’s deaf newborns and welcome them into their society.

There are certain behaviors that are considered disrespectful in Deaf culture yet are totally acceptable in hearing society, and vice versa, depending on the culture. Here are a few illustrations:

  • Make direct eye contact. The importance of eye contact cannot be overstated. Hearing individuals frequently converse with one another while making little or no eye contact
  • But, in Deaf culture, avoiding eye contact is considered impolite and disrespectful. The act of looking away when someone is signing to you is strictly prohibited
  • Touch Even if you do not know someone well, it is appropriate to touch them in order to capture their attention in Deaf culture. There are, nevertheless, certain guidelines for when and how to touch. A small touch on the arm or shoulder is permissible
  • However, a heavy touch is not. Physical proximity is defined as the distance between two points. A discussion between two hearing persons is most typically held in close proximity to one another, sometimes even side by side. A sign language interpreter should sit or stand widely apart, preferably facing each other, so that they can comfortably observe each other’s “signing space.” Although this physical distance may look hostile to hearing people, Deaf individuals generally find it uncomfortable when trying to interact with someone who are physically close to them. Directness The amount of directness that is considered acceptable in different cultures varies significantly. According to Deaf individuals, hearing people appear to state things in an indirect and circumstantial manner when they should be direct. Deaf persons may come out as harsh or abrupt from the perspective of hearing individuals. Those are the kinds of cultural differences that need to be acknowledged and addressed. thumping on tables or the ground. When deaf people want to get each other’s attention, they frequently pound on tables or floors in the same manner as hearing people scream out a person’s name or yell. Despite the fact that this behavior appears confrontational to hearing people, it is not in Deaf culture

Some traditions are widespread among members of the Deaf community. They are as follows:

  • What is your name? When Deaf individuals meet for the first time, or when they introduce themselves to one another, they will frequently provide more personal information than a hearing person would. It is customary for them to offer their first and last names since, in a small town, there is a greater likelihood that this may lead to information about their family or community ties. Especially essential if they come from a family that has had multiple generations of Deaf people in it
  • Such families are considered to be at the heart of the Deaf community and should be encouraged to participate. They will frequently provide additional information about their affiliations with certain areas, athletic or cultural organizations, or the school they attended, among other things. For those who cannot provide any of these distinguishing qualities, or for those who are deaf but have no connection to Deaf people, you will most likely be asked questions regarding your relationship with Deaf people. If you are accepted as “Deaf,” this basic information will help you determine where you “fit” in the community – or, to put it bluntly as is typically the Deaf way, whether or not you are acceptably “Deaf.” The protracted farewell When Deaf individuals are leaving a gathering of friends (and Deaf people who are members of the Deaf community tend to have a large number of friends), they take far longer to say goodbye than most hearing people would. Finding one’s friends and discussing when they intend to meet up again is customary throughout the process of saying farewell. The fact that there are so many people to say goodbye to and so many future preparations (whether vague or definite) to make means that it takes a long time before the individual really departs.
Technology/material things

Do you mind telling me about yourself? Hearing and Deaf persons will frequently share more personal information with one another when they meet for the first time or when they introduce themselves to one another. Since they live in a small community, they always use their first and last names since there is a greater likelihood that this may lead to information about their family or community ties. This can be especially crucial if they come from a family that has been deaf for several generations; such families are considered to be at the heart of the Deaf community.

You might be interested:  Why Is Culture Important In The Workplace

For those who cannot provide any of these distinguishing features, or for those who are deaf but have no connection with Deaf people, you will very certainly be asked questions regarding your relationship with Deaf people.

Finding one’s friends and discussing when they intend to meet up again is customary at the end of the day while saying farewell.


Deaf people are extremely proud of their cultural history, which includes the following elements:

  • Stories of Deaf people’s resistance to persecution (e.g., in Nazi Germany)
  • Attempts to “cure” or “deafen” them (e.g., the early 19th century French doctor Jean-Marc Itard’s bizarre cures on the pupils of the deaf school in Paris
  • And today’s cochlear implant)
  • And the suppression of sign language by hearing people are all covered. Sign language is covered in more detail in the following sections:

All of these things, as well as many more, offer Deaf people a feeling of their position in history – they have a unique place in the story of the world that no one else can share with them. It is also important to note that Deaf people who grow up separated from the Deaf community and subsequently discover it also discover this feeling of historical identification and belonging, which is quite essential to them. In truth, this frequent feeling of being isolated from the Deaf community has been a part of Deaf history for thousands of years.

Art and humour

There is a lot of interest in Deaf theatrical organizations in Deaf communities. However, there are other amateur theatrical organizations in Australia, such the Australian Theatre of the Deaf, which is well-known. Deaf artists sometimes have a distinctively “Deaf” style, as seen by the use of Deaf iconography such as hands and signs, among other things. Deaf filmmaking is growing increasingly popular among members of the Deaf community.

Deaf individuals tell jokes about their own lives as well as about the lives of hearing people. Comedy evenings are frequently held in deaf communities, when individuals tell jokes, tell hilarious tales, and narrate actual life events.

Why do Deaf people have a different culture?

People’s self-identity, that is, their experiences and thoughts about themselves and their position in the world, plays a role in the development of cultures. Bringing together people who have had similar experiences and who have similar identities is a natural progression. Cultures gain strength when they are passed down from generation to generation and as they are supplemented with historical information. Visual communication is the primary mode of engagement for deaf individuals with other people and with the environment around them.

Numerous people appear to assume that by separating Deaf people from one another, the development of a Deaf cultural identity will be hindered.

Surprisingly, the feeling of isolation from the Deaf community and from Deaf culture becomes for many Deaf individuals one of the most often shared experiences in the community and as a result one of the reasons that bind the community together.

A bilingual, bicultural people

Deaf persons who are members of the Deaf community are bilingual and bicultural in their approach to life. To varied degrees of fluency, they communicate in Auslan with members of the Deaf community and in English with members of the hearing community The hearing individuals in the hearing community and the deaf people in the deaf community are in varied degrees of contact and collaboration with each other. Despite the fact that they frequently face discrimination, prejudice, and misunderstanding in the hearing society, and that they lead active and satisfying social, sports, and cultural lives in the Deaf culture, they continue to be considered members of both communities.

donated the information, which has been reproduced with their permission.

Hands & Voices : Communication Considerations

Individuals who are deaf and who are members of the Deaf community are bilingual and bicultural in their communication. To varied degrees of fluency, they communicate in Auslan with members of the deaf community and in English with members of the hearing community The hearing people in the hearing community and the deaf people in the deaf community coexist and collaborate to differing degrees. In spite of the fact that they frequently encounter discrimination, prejudice, and misunderstanding in the hearing society while leading active and satisfying social lives in the Deaf culture, they continue to be recognized as members of both cultures.

returns you to the starting point It is with permission that we republish information given by Deaf Australia. Disclaimer: The material on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional counsel from a qualified source.

What everyparent and professional should know

The ability to communicate effectively is an important factor to consider. Deaf children who have deaf parents have access to both American Sign Language (ASL) and English. Families that are deaf are predominantly multilingual, and members of the deaf community place a great importance on education. Deaf people and educators have historically participated in a heated discussion about the method of education, and English and American Sign Language (ASL) are frequently portrayed as mutually incompatible concepts in the Deaf community.

  • According to the deaf cultural perspective, communication access expands when several chances are offered at the same time.
  • For example, a profoundly deaf kid can be bilingual in both American Sign Language (ASL) and written English, whereas a youngster with some auditory access can be bilingual in both spoken and written English and American Sign Language (ASL).
  • Instead, families should actively seek out communication opportunities in ASL and English, as well as other modes of communication that are engaging, educational, and beneficial to their child’s overall development.
  • This environment is made possible by tools such as video phones with access to video relay services (VRS), cell phones or pagers with data plans for sending and receiving emails and text messages, light flashers connected to doorbells and phones, and closed captioning on television.
  • For more than two decades, cochlear implants (CI) have been at the center of Deaf cultural conversations and debates.
  • For starters, cochlear implants are a result of a medical philosophical model that considers deafness as a disability that may be treated by surgery.
  • Even though this is perceived to be an indirect challenge to the Deaf cultural paradigm, adherents of Deaf culture acknowledge and welcome the diverse nature of the Deaf community.
  • In the lives of all deaf children – even those who use cochlear implant technology – ASL and Deaf culture may and should continue to play a significant role as a chance for cultural enrichment and self-identification, regardless of their hearing status.

These regulations offer the government with assistance in the creation of accessible education and accessible settings for all students. Families with Deaf children can benefit from these materials, which will enable them to lobby for more possibilities for their children.

What issues areat the forefront?

Creation of a home environment that is linguistically accessible to deaf children has been and continues to be at the forefront of this subject for decades. Hearing parents are increasingly utilizing American Sign Language (ASL) to develop early communication with their hearing infants in today’s culture in America. This revolution in BabySignshas come as a result of hearing parents’ wish to be able to communicate with their hearing children before they are able to talk for themselves. Researchers have discovered that providing children with early exposure to language increases their intellect as they develop (see Acredolo and Goodwyn’s longitudinal research, which may be found at babysigns.com, which is linked below).

  1. Access to a visual language at any age gives the possibility to communicate with all members of the home who are involved in the conversation.
  2. A common concern among hearing parents is that the Deafcommunity would “take” their kid, or that the deaf child will become “lost” in Deaf culture in some way.
  3. In reality, hearing family members who join the Deaf community can actually deepen the relationships that exist between themselves and their deaf kid (see Figure 1).
  4. There are a plethora of opportunities available for family members who want to learn American Sign Language (ASL).
  5. This transition away from medical theories of deafness, which portray deafness as an illness or as associated with incapacity or malfunction, constitutes a significant step forward in deaf culture.
  6. The Deaf are marginalized as a result of this strategy.
  7. If you have never experienced music, spoken word, or sound, you cannot regret the loss of these things.
  8. In order for parents and professionals to be effective, they must first comprehend the differences between medical and cultural viewpoints on deafness.

However, in contrast to the prevalent images of deafness, which place a heavy emphasis on the ears and use terms such as “hearing loss” or “hearing impairment,” the cultural perspective provides a deaf child with access to a social network and a history that reflect their own unique strengths and abilities.

Deaf children are given the sense that there is something fundamentally wrong with them when they are taught using the medical paradigm.

The cultural model recognizes and celebrates the incredible and astounding variances that exist throughout all of humankind, as well as the individuality that everyone of us possesses.

Suggested Reading

  • Inside DeafCulture, by Carol A. Padden and Tom L. Humphries
  • Inside DeafCulture, by Carol A. Padden and Tom L. Humphries
  • A Journey Into the Deaf-World, by Harlan Lane, Robert Hoffmeister, and Ben Bahan
  • A Journey Into the Deaf-World, by Harlan Lane, Robert Hoffmeister, and Ben Bahan
  • Roy K. Holcomb’s Deaf Culture: Our Way is a book about deaf culture. Keys to Raising a Deaf Child, by Virginia Frazier-Maiwald and Lenore M. Williams
  • Keys to Raising a Deaf Child, by Virginia Frazier-Maiwald and Lenore M. Williams
  • Paul Ogden’s The Silent Garden: Raising Your Deaf Child is a must-read.


The Benedictine Sisters of BethSonnenstrahl Dr. Benedict, a Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Gallaudet University, received her Ph.D. in Education from Gallaudet University in 2003, with a focus in Early Communication and Family Involvement. Her professional interests include family engagement in schools with deaf and hard of hearing children, early childhood education, advocacy for deaf and hard of hearing children, early communication, and collaborations between deaf and hearing professionals.

She also served as a member of the Health and Human Services Constituent Expert Working Group on Effective Interventions for Infants and Young Children with Hearing Loss, which was sponsored by the United States Office on Disability.

She is a regular presenter at conferences, schools, and family groups at both the national and international levels.

Benedict’s published works include papers and chapters in various volumes on the subject of early communication development.

Benedict is the wife of A.

Her family is a frequent participant in research initiatives that examine the development of communication and reading skills in children.

She is deaf herself.

The CODA Jannelle grew up in Iowa with her two Deaf parents and two brothers as her role model.

In this series from HandsVoices, families and the professionals who work with them can learn about communication considerations from A to ZTM.

We’ve enlisted the help of some of the most knowledgeable people in the industry to provide their perspectives on the many different elements that go into communication modes, tactics, and the many other variables that go into making an informed decision.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *