Science vs. Culture: Do the Deaf need sign language? Essay

538 WordsNov 10, 20083 Pages
Science vs. Culture: Do the Deaf need sign language? We are a world of highly advanced technology, one that continuously pursues an ideal lifestyle and perhaps, in some ways, the perfect human being. So, when the definition of normality comes into question, we often look at minority differences as flaws, specifically the “affliction” of being deaf. Is being Deaf truly a major blemish on the face of today’s society? As the Deaf population has grown in the last few decades, they have emerged as a new-era culture; changing not only the perception of Deaf people, but the power of language as well both in speaking and signing. In the words of George Veditz, creator of NAD films, “as long as we have Deaf people on earth, we will have signs.” Similar to other controversial and often times prejudiced differences (Gays, African Americans, Blind) Deafness isn’t just going to disappear one day and be forever forgotten. The majority of the population sees a future with curable options and not as a general unbiased equality with tolerance. The Deaf interpret this as a threat, an additional rejection to the years of isolation and misunderstanding they have suffered. It’s like saying, you’re deaf there must be something wrong with you. However, Deaf culture argues that there is beauty in being deaf. Deafness creates jobs for our failing economy, silent films for individual interpretation, and sign language, the language of visual imagery. If America prides itself on being the melting pot of several anomalous peoples, why prevent diversity solely because technology has offered us other options? Though the concept of technology is fascinating, we are constantly updating older versions to embrace the new and improved. In that way it is very unlike culture whose knowledge and traditions can never be outdated. The cochlear implant for example, is a surgical implant

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