What is Deaf Culture?

Deaf Culture: Deaf and hard of hearing people are a socially active group who use their sign language. For example: They can participate in entertainment, sports, travel, worship, and deaf events. ASL students and interpreters are also part of this group that supports the Deaf Community. There are different kind of deaf events around the world such as open-caption movies, deaf clubs, local deaf community events, and etc. ASL is the 3rd most popular language used in the USA. There are over 200 sign languages used around the world today according to info from Wikipedia.
      For example if you attend a party with hearing and deaf people. How can you get a deaf people’s attention? The best way to flip the light switch off and on to get their attention. When you see a group of deaf having a conversation, it is best to sign “excuse me” & move out of the way or join the conversation. What about signing from far away? Deaf & hard of hearing use facial expressions to show something is far away. When you see interpreter services at the front row, please don’t walk back and forth in front of them that is consider rude because deaf and hard of hearing don’t want to miss any details when a interpreter interpret at present. It is best way to move out of other way to show polite and not interrupt to them.
      Currently, the Deaf Community doesn’t accept the term hearing-impaired or deaf-mute because it is inappropriate that they will feel defensive and hurt. The bible used term “mute” in the old days. Today they preferred to be called deaf or hard of hearing. Deafness means partially or wholly lacking or deprived of the sense of hearing; unable to hear. Most culturally deaf don’t wear behind the ear aids but many hard of hearing people do. Hard of hearing people do have partial hearing, but they wear aids or have other devices allowing them to hear sounds clearly. They are able to lip read and watch facial expressions to assist in their understanding of the speaker.
      According to a Department of Health and Human Services survey which stated the percentage of deaf children born in a hearing family is 93%, 7% of deaf children are born in deaf family, more than 112,000 people have cochlear implants in worldwide and 30% of the english language is visible for lip-reading.
      Anyone who is new to the Deaf Community is encouraged to study about Deaf Culture online. Most sign language students feel awkward and have inexperiences how to communicate with deaf or hard of hearing people at the deaf events. Best way is to be active, ask questions, and let the deaf and hard of hearing know that you are learning sign language. It is important to be sensitive and show respect to the Deaf Community. Deaf & hard of hearing use facial expressions and body language to communicate as part of the grammar of ASL. It is best for ASL students to learn and improve their receptive skills by attending deaf events.
      Check out the link for more info at http://www.start-american-sign-language.com/deaf-culture.html.