Before this surge, deaf education in American schools, for well over 200 years, had gone by the hearing world's dogma: oral communication, based on print-centered literacy, had always been strongly insisted upon, and manual, visual communication discouraged (if it was allowed at all).
Because of this source of cultural identity, one of the first questions Deaf people ask upon meeting each other is where they went to school and who their teachers were.
Paul in their book Language and Deafness (1984), "a child is considered deaf if hearing impairment is so great, even with good amplification, that vision becomes the child's main link to the world and main channel of communication." This is a general and relatively vague definition.
One way this issue is currently addressed is through the use of interpreters who help facilitate communication between a hearing professional and Deaf person....
However, only ½ of all spoken sounds can be translated into American Sign Language (Ridgeway 2009), which makes it difficult for the deaf to communicate without using sign language.
Deaf people mostly are regarded as individuals who cannot hear due to their lacking auditory capability. They have specific deficiencies in hearing system and cannot communicate either by hearing or speaking. Deaf people are different from other peoples of society forming separate social groups, speak own language, mostly attend different universities, have own magazines, and special sports events including Olympics. With the help of modern developments in deaf language, deaf people can communicate with more ease and express their viewpoint comfortably. Therefore, they are satisfied with their lifestyle, how they spend their days, eventually leading a happy life. However, they are isolated from hearing cultures, in everyday life, in hotels, restaurants, banks, etc. In other words, their culture is different from others and distinctive from the cultural values exhibited by the hearing people.
As a hearing ally, therefore, I feel I have an obligation to follow the suggestions of deaf adults and work for both the use of American Sign Language and a positive portrayal of Deaf culture in the classroom.
Language is one of the most critical aspects of most cultures, and one which sets deafness aside from other "defects", such as blindness, physical disability, or illness.
I had always been curious about sign language, but had no idea that it would lead me into a completely new world--into a culture which has survived profound oppression, discrimination, and tragedy.
Traditionally, deaf people were taught through different oral methods focusing on developing speaking skills of deaf people. This approach was later on replaced by modern views that require developing communication abilities in infants long before they are able to speak. They are taught deaf language known as sign language from childhood to communicate easily when they are grown. Throughout the world, distinctive yet exclusive language has been developed for the deaf people to become a part of common culture. (Padden, 2003)
(WHO 2008) Deafness can be the result of many different causes such as otitis media (middle ear infections), hereditary disorders, genetic mutations at birth, prenatal exposure to certain diseases such as meningitis, and trauma to the eardrum or auditory nerves....
Refreshingly diverse viewpoints, anchored in primary research by a new generation of scholars, examine the key role of self-empowerment in Deaf History and make essential reading.— John Vickrey Van Cleve, co-author of "A Place of Their Own: Creating the Deaf Community in America"
Similar to any other cultural or linguistic group, deaf people share common values and communicate in their own sign language. Deaf people, nowadays, are found at every level of public or private level within communities and successful as other hearing people. The second language of deaf people is English with sign language as the first one. However, due to a general attitude, deaf people are isolated and have formed minority groups living in their own culture, speaking their own language, communicating through their own way.
It is pertinent to mention that deafness is more than just a medical condition, rather it is a way of life with own language, traditions, behavior, and overall distinctive culture. Due to biased attitude of hearing people, deaf community has developed distrust because they are viewed as disable or sick people needing medication. Similar to other groups, deaf community also has a feeling of self-respect or self-esteem. In other words members of deaf culture share a common sense of pride. They strive to remove their inability of not speaking or hearing with the help of sign language. Deaf language, therefore, is playing a vital role in formation and support of deaf culture uniting deaf people in one community.