The Deaf Community
Imagine if you could never experience the sound of your favorite song on the radio. Or you could never hear the voice of a family member wishing you happy birthday. Since these situations are typical we may take them for granted. But these every day scenarios will never be part of a deaf person's life. "One out of thousand infants will be born deaf every year," (Deaf Understanding). Most people don't realize the giant impact of the deaf in our society. Deaf persons can be any race, gender and position in society. They can be scientists, doctors, or many other professions. Since the occurrence of deafness is so high in our society we all must learn how to communicate affectivity with the deaf community.
There are many approaches a person may take to familiarize themselves with deaf society. Most people that are of hearing belong to one of two following categories. The pathological approach to interact with the deaf is to focus on their disability and try to correct it by using medical approaches. This approach is usually practiced by doctors. Many disagree with the pathological approach because they would rather be categorized by the senses they were given and not the senses they lack. Sometimes individuals view deaf people as being abnormal and must be "fixed." The truth is since the deaf can't hear they learn how to use there other senses in ways the hearing can't imagine.
The second view is the cultural approach when interacting with deaf society. This point of view classifies the deaf as a group of individuals that share a common language. "In fact, American sign language is the third most used language in the United States," (Sign Genius). Another way the cultural view classifies the deaf is as a group of individuals that relate to the world by visualization. There are many names used to describe individuals who are deaf. "According to the National Association of the Deaf, individuals who can't hear would rather be called either deaf or hard of hearing," (Deaf Net). The term hearing-impaired are sometimes offensive to deaf individuals because it focuses on what they aren't able to do. It is important to understand if you agree with either pathological or cultural views so you can communicate with the deaf community affectively.
Another reason why everyone should be respectful and patient with the deaf community is because they might join it one day. In some cases individuals may lose their sense of hearing due to accidents or medical conditions. Also, individuals may one day be faced with having a child who is deaf. "93 percent of deaf children are born into hearing families and only 7 percent are born into deaf families," (NAD). These statistics prove that no one is exempt to the possibility of having a child who is deaf. Therefore, we must all be helpful, respectful and patient. We should never exclude anyone due to their differences.
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