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How The Deaf Communicate In A Hearing World

2578 words - 11 pages

Imagine what life would be like with the inability to hear. Try to envision watching television without sound or watching an inaudible movie. There is a silence that has way of making the busiest scenes seem still. Now try to imagine a lively area filled with lots of laughter, roaring music, and a handful of birds chirping away. That imagery paints a scene of the plain difference between a hearing world and a deaf one. One world is capable of hearing and the other involves no incoming source of sound whatsoever. Understanding how deaf culture and how the hard of hearing work and live is important in order to comprehend the reasons behind why they do the certain things they do such as stare at others for a long period of time or the reason why they perceive situations that they are placed in. In the world of the deaf, one who has been labeled with the term “deaf” has little to no meaning. It is simply interpreted as one who is unable to hear (Jay). Labeling a person as to being deaf contains much more meaning than that alone. Deaf people have lives, just as hearing ones do, and the beauty in it is that the people are able to experience life in a completely different way; they are able to learn how to live it in a unique way that would be considered uncommon compared to that of hearing people, but it does not mean that their lives are any different in terms of capability. The deaf are able to do the same kinds of experiments as the hearing, but the only difference is that the deaf cannot hear. People today argue whether or not being deaf is the equivalent to being handicapped; while some feel this way, people of Deaf culture do not believe that their inability to hear is considered as being that of handicapped. Through hard work and dedication, the deaf are most certainly capable of communicating in this hearing world and even succeeding far in life in a multitude of ways through communication.
Deafness made quite the occurrence long ago in the past. Because being deaf meant resulting in the loss of hearing, others fell ignorant and began to ostracize the deaf (Spencer and Marschark). They did not know how to react to the deaf that is until Plato, a Greek philosopher, wrote on the account of sign language in Ancient Greece which then resulted in a spark in the interests of other philosophers, writers, and artists (Mirzoeff). On the other hand, Aristotle, another Greek philosopher, who has been known as one who first recorded a claim about the deaf, theorized that people were only able to learn languages if the spoken language was heard implying that deaf people were unable to learn effectively or at all and may as well be uneducated (Jay). It is important to know and realize that the cause of deafness was not just because of genetics, but because of diseases which then resulted in the side effect of hearing loss (Mirzoeff). Meningitis, measles, or mumps were common diseases that would cause the loss of hearing back in the early modern period...

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