Big D Deaf

315 Words2 Pages
"Big D Deaf" vs. "little d deaf"... In response to the question about "Big D Deaf" vs. "little d deaf"...the use of one or the other is an illustration of how one looks at definition of deafness. little d deaf is the general society view of deafness as a disability - it is based more on the audiological definition of deafness as the loss of hearing, and deaf people as being those unable to hear. little d deaf is seeing deafness as something a person has - a "condition" that they must strive to overcome. Big D Deaf is the view of deafness adopted by those who consider themselves culturally deaf, and thus members of the Deaf Community. These individuals do not see themselves as being disabled, but as living in a rich, vibrant community that has its own language, its own social norms, its own history, its own identity...its own pulse. To be Deaf is to see deafness not as something I have, but as something I ***AM***. It's as integral to my whole persona as is my being female, being Irish, being middle-aged, or being social services administrator. Inclusion in this culture is not necessarily based on hearing loss. There are hearing individuals who could be considered members as well...the hearing children of Deaf parents (who are often known as CODAs - Child Of Deaf Adults), other family members, interpreters, teachers of the Deaf, etc. There are people with profound deafness who do not consider themselves members of the Deaf Community, and persons who are merely hard of hearing who despite the fact they might actually hear much better than many of their peers, still consider themselves Deaf. To call yourself Deaf is to acknowledge the concept of Deafhood - the process by which one comes to understand and accept the deeper nuances of deafness and how they impact our
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