Culture results from a group of people coming together to form a community around shared experience and common interests. Such groups as the deaf, seek each other out for social interaction and emotional support. The word deaf is defined as without the faculty of hearing or having impaired. As you read this paper you will understand it is much more.
The connection to Deaf Culture among the American deaf community is American Sign Language. This community shares a similar sense of pride in their culture and language. There exists a rich heritage and pride in the ability to overcome adversity as individuals and as a group.
Residential sign language schools help to enhance the learning ability of Deaf Culture and Language. Children here are able to communicate in a language understood by each and every individual. It is important for deaf children to be encouraged to further their education and to learn that deafness does not mean you cannot grow up to be successful and happy. This is not to say that mainstream education is bad for deaf children but the child would benefit greatly by interacting with other deaf children.
Because there is a deaf community with its own language and Culture, there is a cultural frame in which to be deaf is not to be disabled. Quite the opposite, it is an asset in Deaf Culture to be deaf in conduct, intellect, and fluency in ASL. Deafness is not a disability but rather a different way of being. However, it must be noted that not all members of the deaf community share the same values of those deaf who back up the Deaf Culture.
It is also important to point out that not all deaf people know ASL. Some have learned to read lips and others were not always deaf, therefore, they never chose to learn the language. In the same way there are many hearing people in the deaf community, such as children of deaf parents that are hearing but the first language that they learn is actually ASL.
Many People mistakenly believe that ASL is English made known through signs. ASL is comparable in complexity to spoken languages but is not a form of English. It has its own distinct grammatical structure, which must be mastered in the same way as the grammar of any other language. ASL differs from spoken language in that it is visual language rather than auditory language and is composed of precise handshapes, movements, and facial expressions.
Culture results from a group of people coming together to form a community around shared experience and common interests. The Deaf Culture is much more than a simple definition.