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The Deaf Way

Perspectives from the International Conference on Deaf Culture

Carol J. Erting, Robert C. Johnson, Dorothy L. Smith, and Bruce D. Snider, Editors

Publication Year: 1994

The Deaf Way documents the vast scholarly and artistic endeavors that took place in July 1989 when more than 6,000 deaf people from around the world met at Gallaudet University to celebrate Deaf culture. More than 150 articles by world-renowned experts examine every aspect of Deaf life in societies across the globe. This outstanding volume is divided into ten distinct sections: Deaf Culture Around the World, Deaf History, The Study of Sign Language in Society, Diversity in the Deaf Community, Deaf Clubs and Sports, The Deaf Child in the Family, Education, Deaf/Hearing Interaction, Deaf People and the Arts, and Deaf People and Human Rights Issues.

Published by: Gallaudet University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii-xv

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pp. xvii-xix

Nearly five years have passed since over 6,000 people from practically every corner of the world converged upon Washington, D.C. the week of July 9-14, 1989, at Gallaudet University and the Omni Shoreham Hotel. And still today, in 1994, the memories linger on. The Silent News, a leading national monthly publication for deaf people, devoted their entire September 1989 issue to The Deaf Way, replete with pictures and stories and ...

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pp. xxi-xxii

However, the first word of thanks must go to all of the people at Gallaudet University who caught the vision and worked so hard to make it a reality. We also thank all of the presenters who shared their stories at The Deaf Way and then agreed to allow us to include them in this book. Many of the presenters overcame great obstacles to make their contribution. Putting the conference together was an expensive undertaking and we could not ...

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pp. xxiii-xxxi

These patterns of behavior, attitudes, beliefs, and values have been referred to in American Sign Language as "DEAF TEND (THEIRS)"2 and in English as the "Deaf world," the "Deaf community," or, more recently "Deaf culture." It has taken much longer for those who do not interact with Deaf people on a regular basis to see and to begin to understand that there are, indeed, vibrant, intricately structured, and richly ...

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The Deaf Way: Touchstone 1989!

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pp. xxxiii-xxxv

Welcome, also, to the satellite audience who will be sharing our discussions and our festival activities throughout the week. We are making history together. We are adding to the rich heritage of Deaf culture throughout the world. Last night we began our celebration of deaf talent, and today we will look at ourselves carefully to see how far we have come. We will set agendas for ...

PART ONE: Deaf Cultures Around the World

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Editor's Introduction

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pp. 2-4

It is primarily a view from the inside-in anthropological terms, an emic perspective- created to inform others, both deaf and hearing, about Deaf life as these authors experienced it in their own countries, in 1989. The papers derive their meaning not only from within, but also from the juxtaposition of each with the others, just as lives lived in communities are made richer and more meaningful ...

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Deaf Culture: Finding It and Nurturing It

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pp. 5-15

Most of my illustrations will be from the Western World (especially Britain), so I hope you will think of your own examples and make notes of where your experiences differ. In my view, it is ultimately by comparing our various experiences that we will begin to build a clear picture of what deaf culture is. Third World countries especially will have a big role to play in the development of a composite picture of deaf ...

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Reflections of Deaf Culture in Deaf Humor

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pp. 16-23

It has been eleven years since I first met Guy. At that time, neither of us was fluent in the other's language, so working together for six weeks gave us the opportunity to share and learn from each other. I picked up some LSF (French Sign Language) from him; he learned some ASL from me. But, most importantly, we exchanged the wit and sarcasm unique to both our cultures. ...

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Deaf Humor and Culture

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pp. 24-30

First, let us consider where evidence of humor among deaf people can be found. In France, it is quite unusual to see deaf children spontaneously sharing humor in school. It is only when there are adult deaf people in these schools that small deaf children can start using sign language, communicating effectively, and thus learning to use humor. When adult deaf people laugh, a deaf child can ...

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Deaf Culture, Tacit Culture, and Ethnic Relations

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pp. 31-39

While I could not in any way be considered knowledgeable in the subtleties and innuendos of Deaf culture, I have a long familiarity with being different and struggling to make myself understood in a low context word culture in which verbal symbols are more important than the more subtle ...

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The Development of Deaf Identity

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pp. 40-43

Identity is a very complicated concept, and most sign languages have signs for different aspects of it. For example, the sign for "identifying with a group" is often an emphasized form of JOIN. Many of the terms Deaf people in Australia use to describe themselves and others are about identity rather than about ...

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Deaf Identity: An American Perspective

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pp. 44-48

A certain degree of hearing loss is generally one, but it has been recognized for at least twenty years that linguistic competence in American Sign Language (ASL) is an equally important factor in the Deaf communities of the United States. More recently, cultural competence in Deaf culture has been added to this list of critical elements. Before a definitive list can be ...

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Developing and Defining an Identity: Deaf Children of Deaf and Hearing Parents

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pp. 49-54

Previous studies have shown that deaf children are often ambivalent about their own identities, perhaps because they have received inadequate or conflicting information from their families or other caregivers about deafness and the deaf community and its cultural values (Benderly, 1980; Erting, 1982; Washabaugh, 1981). Today, however, it is more likely that deaf children of deaf parents will ...

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Empowering Deaf People Through Folklore and Storytelling

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pp. 55-60

As we see it, the deaf community includes a wide range of people, including not only people who grow up deaf, but also late deafened people, hard of hearing people, hearing children of deaf parents, and other groups. When defined in this broad way, the deaf community includes many people who do not share the characteristics of the small cultural group we are focusing on in this paper. We are looking primarily at ...

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Deaf Thai Culture in Siam: The Land of Smiles

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pp. 61-64

In the old days, Thailand had thousands of elephants, and the elephant was so revered that even our national flag showed the figure of a white elephant on a background of red. The appearance of the flag has changed over the years, however. The first change was to a flag with five stripes of three colors-red for the nation, white for religion, and royal blue for the monarchy—but ...

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The Deaf Japanese and Their Self-Identity

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pp. 65-68

Oralism has been the main instructional method used with deaf students for almost sixty years, and as a result, deaf Japanese usually feel uneasy about presenting themselves to society as deaf persons. The deaf culture fostered by older deaf adults who were educated using sign language is not being shared with the younger deaf people, whose ...

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Nepal: A Paradise for the Deaf?

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pp. 69-74

Nepal is divided into three distinct geographical areas. The mountainous region in the north, called the Himalayas, contains eight of the ten tallest mountains in the world. The middle region is called the Middle Hills and the Valleys, and the southern part, which is mainly agricultural, is called the Terai. ...

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Deaf Culture in Pakistan

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pp. 75-77

Respect for elders is essential, and the younger generation does not have as many rights or as much freedom as they do in Western countries. The masses, in general, experience feelings of inferiority, and deaf people, especially, are considered outsiders with very few opportunities to prove their abilities or establish their identity. ...

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The Role of Educational Systems and Deaf Culture in the Development of Sign Language in South Africa

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pp. 78-84

There is no uniform sign language in South Africa like that found in the United States, Great Britain, or Australia. Instead, there are many different sign language systems that have developed among South African ethnic groups during the past 100 years. For example, there are two groups of White people, two groups of Colored, and one group of Indian South African, each of which may use English and/ ...

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Culture-Based Concepts and Social Life of Disabled Persons in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of the Deaf

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pp. 85-93

It is only within this wider perspective that the development of deaf culture as a genuine expression of the deaf community is a realistic possibility. To consider deaf culture within the framework of a holistic concept of culture will prevent the isolation and self-marginalization of the deaf community from its wider social environment. Such a view will also prevent the ...

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Transmitting Cultural Values Within the Burundi Deaf Community

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pp. 94-96

Within the family circle, the child is exposed to and can imitate a variety of roles as demonstrated by his parents, by other adults in his community, and by the peers with whom he associates. Various cultural norms exist that enable this informal, family-oriented education to prepare children for their future life as adults. In hearing families, parents use tales, songs, and poetry to instruct their children. Thus, ...

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Deaf Culture in Ghana

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pp. 97-101

Until formal education for deaf children was introduced in Ghana, deaf people were scattered all over the country, without any possibility of meeting each other and thus establishing their own culture and community. In Ghana, culture is transmitted orally from the elders to the children, especially among those who cannot read and write. Unfortunately, deaf people in Ghana lack this ...

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Sign Language and the Concept of Deafness in a Traditional Yucatec Mayan Village

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pp. 102-109

Both deaf authors (Flournoy, 1856; Veditz, 1913; Jacobs, 1974) and researchers (Becker, 1986; Carmel, 1976; Erting, 1978; Croneberg, 1976; Groce, 1980; Higgins, 1980; Johnson and Erting, 1989; Lane, 1984; Lou, 1988; Markowicz and Woodward, 1978; Meadow, 1972; Padden and Markowicz, 1975; Padden and Humphries, 1988; Padden, 1980; Schein, 1968; ...

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The Developing Deaf Community in the Dominican Republic

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pp. 110-113

In the Dominican Republic there was no national system of deaf education until 1967, when the first national school was established. Since then, education has varied in quality as governments and the internal politics of the school itself have changed. There are now about 800 students in the national school and its thirteen satellite classes around the country. ...

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The Deaf Social Life in Brazil

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pp. 114-116

With the help of the Brazilian government, he founded the National Institute for the Deaf and Dumb in Rio de Janeiro, with the aim of developing cultural and educational activities. The Institute opened on September 26, 1857. Many deaf people attended the school, and the use of sign language increased in the country. Yet the problems of the deaf Brazilians using that language also increased ...

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The Origin of the Deaf Community in Brazil

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pp. 117-118

The first seven students were deaf orphans who boarded at the school. Over time deaf people from other states were accepted, and the student body began to grow. The founding of the National Institute marked the beginning of the Brazilian deaf community and eventually led to the creation of deaf associations. ...

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The Ecuadorian Deaf Community

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pp. 119-130

Aside from a few references in school records and in the records of the adult deaf associations, resources for developing the history of Ecuadorian deaf people are limited to surveys and interviews with deaf individuals. In fact, this paper represents the first attempt at a written history of deaf people in Ecuador. The majority of information contained here has been extracted from deaf ...

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The Social Situation of the Deaf in Austria as Seen by a Deaf Woman

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pp. 131-134

According to a detailed census in 1986, 6 percent of the population is born deaf or hard of hearing, or experiences some Significant hearing loss during their lives. In spite of these figures, it is very hard to find accurate information on Austria's deaf people. As general secretary of the Austrian Society for the Deaf for more than four years, I know from personal experience that the Federation of Societies for the Deaf has had ...

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The Deaf Community in Czechoslovakia

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pp. 135-136

After the Milan Congress in 1880, however, a significant change occurred in our country. As happened all over the world, hearing teachers spread the oral method through the schools for deaf students. Although the deaf teachers fought this trend, they were slowly but surely removed from the schools. As a result, the oral method became the only method used in Czech schools after 1930: It was said that the use of ...

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The Deaf Community in Soviet Estonia

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pp. 137-141

For centuries, Estonia has been in the sphere of interest of greater neighboring powers, primarily owing to its geographical position on the south coast of the Baltic Sea. At different times, Estonia has been ruled by German, Swedish, Danish, Polish, and Russian kingdoms, and was an independent state from 1918 to 1940. In 1940, Estonia was incorporated into and for ...

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Where the Deaf in Ireland Stand Today

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pp. 142-147

Today, the 18,000 deaf and hard of hearing people in Ireland are awakening to their needs and making great progress. This awakening began in 1981 as a result of the United Nations-sponsored Year of the Disabled. Many deaf groups have since been formed, and they are working to improve life for all Irish deaf people. Through our connections with the European Community Regional Secretariat ...

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The Deaf Community of Quebec

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pp. 148-154

In Canada, which is an immense country, two official languages are used: English and French. French is used by only 25 percent of the Canadian population, and the majority of this group is concentrated in a single province, Quebec. This situation inevitably influences the minority we represent- the deaf population. Like all deaf people in the world, we have a right to exist. We know that our sign ...

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The Development of Australia's Deaf Community in the Twentieth Century

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pp. 155-158

After I was introduced to deaf people in my city, I was inspired to meet other members of the deaf community across Australia and abroad. Imagine, then, the frustration experienced by deaf people living in Australia before the twentieth century, when there was no formal deaf community. The fragmentation of the deaf community at that time thwarted many attempts made by deaf people to ...

PART TWO: Deaf History

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Editor's Introduction

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pp. 160-161

Until deaf people were first brought together in significant numbers for the purpose of education, there was little note taken of their groups and no means for Deaf people themselves to preserve knowledge of their daily lives. Some literate cultures left a record of the legal status of and popular attitudes toward deaf individuals, but only with the advent of large-scale education of deaf students ...

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The Deaf Population During the French Revolution

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pp. 162-166

First, the Revolution fostered a heady brew of ideas and opinions. From the heart of the common folk, to genteel drawing rooms, to the National Assembly, diverse questions were raised, particularly the question of power: Who has retained power? On what basis can we evaluate his legitimacy? These ideas could not help influencing deaf people, who also were caught up in the furor and excitement of the times. ...

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The Revolutionary Ideal and the Deaf Community in France, 1792-1795

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pp. 167-171

As France celebrates the bicentennial of the French Revolution, and historians assess its impact on the lives of French citizens at the end of the eighteenth century, this paper will focus on the popular phase of the Revolution, 1792-1795, and use selected archival documents to evaluate what benefits, if any, deaf people drew from the revolutionary period. Hidden from "traditional" history because of social stereotyping and economic ...

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The French Deaf Movement After the Milan Congress

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pp. 172-175

I wish I could follow the example of the 1889 Congress and review the succeeding one hundred years (1889-1989), but there is such a vast, dispersed, and incomplete literature on this last century that I have chosen to limit my presentation to the thirty years in France from 1889 to 1919. This proves, in fact, to have been a very interesting period for deaf people in France, and one abounding with ...

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Signs of Eloquence: Selections from Deaf American Public Addresses

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pp. 176-185

McClure was reflecting on the progress Deaf people had made since the founding of the first school for Deaf students in the United States. Deaf Americans have not always had schools or been able to hold jobs or own property, and in many ways the lives of Deaf people in our country used to be bleak. Today, however, almost every state has schools for Deaf students; Deaf people are employed in ...

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The History of Sign Language in Italian Education of the Deaf

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pp. 186-193

Sign language is both accepted and rejected by Italian society. Today, many deaf people affirm that sign language should be used in schools because it plays a vital role in permitting young people to pursue their academic programs. This stance is widely discussed in Italian circles, even though a great many deaf individuals retain the conviction that school should teach students to learn how to speak. ...

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Written and Unwritten History of a Residential School for the Deaf in Rome, Italy

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pp. 194-202

Residential schools are places where deaf people, especially in the past, spent many years of their childhood and adolescence, far away from their families; where many of them had their first opportunity to meet other deaf people; where they learned sign language and received an education; and where they began friendships and relationships that would last their entire lives. In Rome there were, and still are, many schools for deaf students, each with ...

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Three Nineteenth-Century Spanish Teachers of the Deaf

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pp. 203-207

Spain was no stranger to the teaching of deaf children, for it was there that such teaching originated. In antiquity and during the Middle Ages, it had been "common knowledge" that deaf people were uneducable, and this belief went largely unchallenged until the mid-sixteenth century, when Pedro Ponce de León, a Benedictine monk, first taught the deaf sons and daughters of the Spanish nobility. During the ...

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Events in the History of Deaf Education in Puerto Rico

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pp. 208-211

The events have been grouped by decades, starting at the beginning of the twentieth century. A gap in available information seems to indicate that little work was done in educating deaf people in Puerto Rico prior to this time. It is not possible to determine precisely when widespread deafness first showed up on the island of Puerto Rico. However, based on historical records, it can best be traced ...

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Historical Phases of Deaf Culture in Denmark

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pp. 212-219

When such solutions are organized and practiced for a long time, social habits develop, and these allow us to identify a culture. It is important to see culture from a practical viewpoint; only then can a given culture be understood and accepted. When a culture-and in the case of the deaf community, a subculture or minority ...

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The Oralistic Tradition and Written History: Deaf People in German-Speaking Countries

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pp. 220-225

Every plausible history needs a subject with which the reader can identify. In Lane's book, this role is filled by the deaf community itself. His narrative gains excitement from the dramatic fight of the deaf minority in France and the United States for linguistic, cultural, and social autonomy during the nineteenth century. Even after the Milan Congress of 1880 halted-for a time-the growth of deaf ...

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Lessons Learned from the Connecticut Asylum

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pp. 226-230

Known today as the American School for the Deaf (ASD), it was the first permanent residential school for deaf students established in the western world. Earlier efforts had been made to educate deaf people, but they were private endeavors, restricted to a select group of deaf children and adults. In contrast, the Connecticut state school, founded as part ...

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Judaism and Deafness: A Humanistic Heritage

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pp. 231-238

In addition, this paper will present evidence- both direct and circumstantial-of the existence of education for deaf people in Jewish society throughout the ages. Research for this paper involved examining such sources as the Bible, the Talmud, the Mishnah, the Responsa, and literature containing judicial rulings, including the Halacha and the Psika. These ...

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The History of Deaf Education in Greece

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pp. 239-249

But the history of deaf education must be examined, in a broader sense, through the whole history of deaf people. The existence of deaf people in ancient Greece and society's attitudes toward deafness are known mainly through the works of the Greek philosophers and writers of that period. Around 385 B.C. Plato was writing about the sign language ...

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Building a Silent Colony: Life and Work in the Deaf Community of Akron, Ohio from 1910 Through 1950

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pp. 250-259

This paper traces the development of a factory-based work force and deaf community in Akron, Ohio from 1910 through 1950. In that period, deaf men and women migrated to Akron, where they built what local observers described as the nation's largest "silent colony." In 1916, officials in the Firestone and Goodyear Corporations, encouraged by a ...

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Deaf People and the World of Work: A Case Study of Deaf Printers in Washington, D.C.

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pp. 260-267

Deaf workers have more frequently been found in jobs emphasizing skilled, semiskilled, or unskilled manual labor-blue collar jobs (see, e.g., Martens, 1937; Best, 1943; Lunde and Bigman, 1959; Schein and Delk, 1974; Schein and Delk, 1978; Christiansen, 1982; Barnartt and Christiansen, 1985; Christiansen and Barnartt, 1987; Schein, 1989). Among the hundreds of different blue collar jobs ...

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Education of the Deaf in Nigeria: An Historical Perspective

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pp. 268-274

But today, thanks to both missionary and government efforts, Nigeria has forty-three schools with deaf students enrolled. All use sign language and share the philosophy of Total Communication. Postsecondary educational opportunities also are beginning to open up to deaf individuals. The earliest efforts to establish schools for deaf students—beginning in 1958 and continuing until 1975—were made primarily by various missionaries and humanitarians. ...

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The History of Deaf Education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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pp. 275-282

Not until King Abdulaziz unified the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932 did education for any of its citizens become a reality. King Abdulaziz entrusted the responsibility of education to one of his sons, the present King Fahd, who established schools all over the country and offered scholarships for study abroad. ...

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The Deaf Archive: Our History, Our Future

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pp. 283-284

Education about our history can help us to understand what struggles and ordeals our Deaf forefathers went through and to appreciate all they did to improve our lives. It is also important to understand the lives of those people and their perspectives to gain a better understanding of the society we live in today and the present situation for Deaf people. ...

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Deaf Folklife Film Collection Project

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pp. 285-290

I believe that such film materials are uniquely valuable to the scientific investigation of minority group lifestyles and useful in the genesis, development, and demonstration of ideas promoting greater general interest and understanding of deaf folklife and literature. However, the uses noted above would require a systematic organization, such as a film ...

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Reaching the Deaf Community for Literacy

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pp. 291-294

I felt intimidated by the fact that I didn't know anything about teaching people to read and write-as a librarian I'd never been involved in programs addressing literacy. That word, "literacy," bothered me. It seemed like a word that only people such as teachers of remedial reading could discuss with any authority. Then I realized that in the course of my involvement with the Deaf community, I ...

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A Cultural and Historical Perspective on Genetics and Deafness

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pp. 295-301

We know today that in the United States the majority of individuals who are deaf at birth or shortly thereafter have a genetic cause of deafness. Genetics is the study of how physical traits or characteristics are passed from parents to children. An understanding of how genetic traits are inherited in families has existed only since the early 1900s. At that time, the work of an Austrian monk, Gregor Mendel, was ...

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Were Your Ancestors Deaf?

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pp. 302-304

Will your offspring carry this same gene? What should you and your family expect? Questions such as these can sometimes be answered through genealogy. Genealogy is one of the most popular hobbies in America. Searching for one's past is a basic urge because it can answer our primal need for identification ...

Image Plates

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PART THREE: The Study of Sign Language in Society

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Editor's Introduction

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pp. 306-308

The papers show how greater knowledge of sign languages challenges the prejudices that still prevail in many countries against sign languages and the people who use them. Several authors describe how basic research into the properties of sign languages has led to a range of efforts to promote increased acceptance and use of sign languages in society. The first two papers, by Brita Bergman and Lars Wallin (Sweden) describe the ...

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The Study of Sign Language in Society: Part One

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pp. 309-317

To our knowledge, Sweden leads the world in official recognition of the sign language used by the deaf community. We are proud to have been invited to The Deaf Way Conference and to have the opportunity to inform you about recent developments in Sweden. The paper that follows this one, written by Mr. Lars Wallin, will present a description of the successful fight for full recognition of Swedish Sign Language led by the ...

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The Study of Sign Language in Society: Part Two

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pp. 318-330

Life as a deaf person has become very good there, and I do not exaggerate if I say that Sweden has become a model society for deaf people in many countries all over the world. The decision as to whether this is true or not is yours to make after I have told you about our deaf community-what we have achieved, and how we got there. ...

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A Sign Language Dictionary

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pp. 331-334

Someone even managed to set up an interview with the granddaughter of the scholar who edited the original Oxford English Dictionary. Yes, a dictionary made headline news. With all that is going on in the world these days, you may wonder why all that fuss about a word book? Why spend expensive broadcasting time on something that ...

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Issues in Preparing and Presenting a Dictionary of New Zealand Signs

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pp. 335-341

My quest was initially unsuccessful on all three accounts. I was advised that there was no New Zealand Sign Language. After some probing, however, I obtained photocopies of fifty illustrated signs used by deaf children and adults in Auckland, prepared by a teacher of deaf students there. This same teacher was the representative to the Australian Sign Language Development Committee, and that group's dictionary of ...

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The Development of a Dictionary of Namibian Sign Language

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pp. 342-346

The United Nations Commission on Namibia is funding our program. Our aim is to learn how to analyze our own sign language, to improve our English, and to receive leadership training. Later we will discuss how and why we are analyzing our sign language. To do this, we are working with Ruth Morgan, a linguist at Gallaudet. ...

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Taiwan Natural Sign Language Research Work

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pp. 347-349

Therefore, on September 18, 1977, the Deaf College Student and Alumni Association was organized in Taipei, Taiwan. I was elected first president of the association. Together with a few other deaf people, I began to devote my time to an effort that would change the lives of many deaf people in Taiwan. Through the association, we began to unite ...

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A Dictionary Process for Documenting and Sharing Signs Used by Skilled Signers

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pp. 350-355

This paper describes the Technical Signs Project (TSP), a "dictionary" type project that occurred at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in the United States for documenting and sharing these naturally developed signs. This description includes an overview of the natural sign development process (NSDP) and the relationship of this natural process ...

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When Is ASL?

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pp. 356-364

In this paper, we will describe one aspect of an ongoing study of the linguistic outcome of contact between people in the American deaf community who are bilingual. The ultimate goal of the project is to provide a linguistic description of the signing that results from the contact between ASL and English and that exhibits features of both languages. It has been claimed (Woodward, 1973; Woodward ...

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The Impact of ASL Research on the American Deaf Community

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pp. 365-368

The new and ever-expanding body of knowledge demonstrating that ASL is a separate language with its own grammatical rules-rules not derived from English-has changed how Deaf people, both as individuals and as members of a group, perceive themselves and their social environment. ASL is now a driving force behind the emergence of the Deaf community as a visible and vibrant minority group. ...

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Presenting the Television Program, "It's My Hands' Turn to Speak"

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pp. 369-372

When the program first began, deaf people reacted immediately and very strongly in a negative way. For them, showing their language on television was a threat. They believed that hearing people would get to know LSF and could ridicule them more easily. Also, they preferred to stay invisible to protect themselves. Initially, that reaction made me feel very guilty. I felt that I was betraying the Deaf ...

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Sign Language Varieties in British Television: An Historical Perspective

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pp. 373-378

Because there was, and still is, no written form of the language, all publications for the Deaf community are in English. Schools for deaf students had not taught classes using BSL since the beginning of the century, although covert signing between pupils in residential schools ...

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Estonian Sign Language Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

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pp. 379-381

The population is 1.5 million, 60 percent of whom are indigenous Estonians. The number of deaf people is over 1,400, and 20 percent of them were born deaf. It is estimated that 10,000 people directly and continuously interact with deaf people, although the number of people who use and understand Estonian Sign ...

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An Overview of Current Sign Language Projects in Switzerland

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pp. 382-387

The first point, which is obvious but has important consequences, is that Switzerland is a very small country. In terms of land, Switzerland is approximately the size of Vermont and New Hampshire together. The total population of all of Switzerland is about half that of New York City. The second point to keep in mind is that, in some regards, there is no "Switzerland." ...

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Sign Language Research in Germany

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pp. 388-393

In the area of special education, four universities in western Germany offer academic studies for teachers at schools for deaf students and others working in deaf education: Cologne, Hamburg, Heidelberg, and Munich. In the German Democratic Republic (GDR), there are a few places as well, and what I report here for western Germany seems to apply in an even more pronounced way to the GDR. ...

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The Center for German Sign Language in Hamburg: Deaf People Doing Research on Their Language with Video and Computers

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pp. 394-398

Until 1975, scientific research in Germany was not in the least interested in manual signs or sign language. This attitude was quite different from the situation in America and many other countries. In Germany, sign language existed in secret within the deaf community. In 1975 Dr. Siegmund Prillwitz, a psycholinguist at the University of Hamburg ...

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German Words in German Sign Language: Do They Tell Us Something New About Sign Languages?

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pp. 399-409

With Prof. Dr. Helmut Richter acting as our supervisor, we have been involved in sign language research since 1986. At the beginning of 1989, our team was significantly enlarged and now includes two native Signers of GSL, Gunter Puttrich-Reignard and Sabine Fries. Joanna Martin, a hearing American keenly interested in sign language and the deaf ...

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Sign Language and Deaf Culture in Italy

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pp. 410-415

However, I am still far from this goal because of the large number of Italian signs. Originally, my purpose was to prepare a dictionary of sign language, but it seems to me now that the planned dictionary could become, rather, an encyclopedia, which would take years of work and research. Currently, my three collaborators and I have already begun research on the ...

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Name Signs in Swedish Sign Language: Their Formation and Use

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pp. 416-424

That project, called "Documentation of Old and Regional Signs and the History of the Deaf," was financed by the Swedish National Association of the Deaf and its Department of Sign Language. The objective was to document old and regional signs by videotaping interviews with deaf senior citizens, who were asked to relate memories of their childhood, school ...

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Training Deaf People as British Sign Language Tutors

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pp. 425-431

One aim of the project was to produce a teaching manual for BSL tutors. A number of meetings and workshops were held during the development of the manual and after its publication, under the direction of Mrs. Dorothy Miles, the Deaf artist and leader who coordinated the project. The manual's publication, along with sign language research projects at Moray ...

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Teaching Across Modalities: BSL for Hearing People

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pp. 432-436

However, when students met Deaf people outside the classroom, they usually found it very difficult to communicate with them. It was even suggested that this was because some Deaf people signed in an "ungrammatical" way! Most Deaf people, in turn, found it difficult to communicate with most of the hearing people who had attended such sign classes. As a consequence, conversations, when they did occur, were ...

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Teaching Sign Language Communication and Interpretation

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pp. 437-440

The purpose of my paper is to give a short presentation about the teaching of DSL as a foreign language at the college and university level of education in Denmark. We have a one-year, full-time sign language training program offered to hearing students who want to become sign language interpreters. We also have a new one-year, full-time training program for sign language interpreters. This second program is focused ...

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Educational Methods for Teaching Sign Language

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pp. 441-445

During the ALSF's years of operation, several people have influenced my teaching style, including Gil Eastman, a deaf American, and deaf Frenchmen Guy Bouchauveau (my brother) and Jean-Claude Poulain. These individuals taught me specific educational uses of C.N.V. (nonverbal communication) skills. I also worked with Bill Moody, another American, and with several deaf individuals in research on grammar and on ...

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pp. 446-453

It seems ironic that as we celebrate the bicentennial of the death of the Abbé de l'Epée, founder of education for deaf students in France, we are only now beginning to train sign language interpreters. Yet such is the case. France is trailing considerably behind many other countries in matters related both to the education of deaf students ...

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From One to Many and from Many to One: A Comparative Analysis of ASL and the English Lexicon

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pp. 454-460

An ASL sign, for example, may require several English words to capture its meaning (sometimes referred to as a multimeaning sign). An English word may also require several ASL signs to convey its meaning accurately. There may even be cases where English words do not adequately convey the meaning of an ASL sign and vice versa. ...

PART FOUR: Diversity in the Deaf Community

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Editor's Introduction

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pp. 462-463

Hearing people, by contrast, seldom identify so strongly with each other simply on the basis of shared experiences resulting from hearing. Nevertheless, it would be misleading to suggest that differences among Deaf people are disregarded within Deaf communities. The papers in this section-almost entirely from the United States-suggest that a range of attitudes, sometimes including ...

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Multiple Minorities: Communities Within the Deaf Community

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pp. 464-469

Deaf people constitute a numerical and cultural minority in terms of their participation within the dominant hearing culture. But minorities and minority communities exist within the deaf community itself as well. This paper will discuss the issues and experiences of the members of some of these multiple minorities and explore how they interact with both the deaf community and the hearing majority. The purpose of this ...

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How Long Must We Wait?

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pp. 470-473

Where do black deaf people fit in? We are not included in the larger white hearing community. We are often not accepted by the white deaf community. We are often ignored and hidden in the black community. And just as the deaf community can be split into different subgroups, the black deaf community can be divided into prelingually deafened vs. adventitiously deafened, professional vs. grassroots, oral vs. ...

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Sociolinguistic Aspects of the Black Deaf Community

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pp. 474-482

At least three issues surface as a result of this "double immersion." One issue concerns the actual reality of a black deaf community, as distinct from both the black community and the deaf community. A second issue concerns identity: Given the immersion in both black and deaf cultures, the question is whether the individual's identity is primarily as a member of the black community, the deaf community, or the black ...

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Deaf Gay Men's Culture

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pp. 483-485

To my knowledge, there is nothing in the research literature on the subject of Deaf gay culture. There is a similar shortage of research on the cultures of deaf Blacks, deaf women, and deaf Christians. It is hoped that this paper will spark other studies of subcultures within the deaf community. The terms "homosexual" and "gay" have different meanings, although there may be only a faint line drawn between them. "Homosexuality" is a label for sexual behavior ...

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Cultural Implications of Treating the Hearing-Impaired Substance Abuser

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pp. 486-492

It is a documented fact that Deaf people have their own culture, their own standards of behavior, and their own language. If substance-abuse professionals understand Deaf people as a culturally different group and respect that difference, the treatment they provide will be more appropriate, more beneficial, and will yield higher rates of success. As with any culture, there are individual characteristics and anomalies among ...

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The Social Life of Deaf People in Rural Communities: Implications for Community Colleges

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pp. 493-495

Community colleges located in strategic areas throughout a state, including extension centers located in remote rural areas, can facilitate social interaction among deaf people. Additionally, community colleges, well known for their ability to be creative, innovative, and flexible, are an ideal vehicle for delivery of services to the isolated rural deaf population. Centralia College is a rural community college with a student population of 3,500 located in southwestern Washington. The college has been attempting to bring isolated ...

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Deaf-Blindness: An Emerging Culture?

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pp. 496-503

Recognition of the existence of a deaf culture has been an important factor in the recognition that deaf people are bona fide members of society. While no one would argue that it is a good thing to be deaf, recognition of the deaf culture encourages deaf people to accept their deafness as a fact of life and to feel pride in their accomplishments and in those of other deaf people. ...

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The Special Challenge of Late-Deafened Adults: Another Deaf Way

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pp. 504-512

Physically, the deafened individual is deaf; the hearing mechanism is nonfunctional for the purposes of conversational speech, with or without hearing aids or other amplification. Culturally, this same individual is hearing; his or her language, thoughts, memories, and dreams are born of a distinctly hearing ...

PART FIVE: Deaf Clubs and Sports

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Editor's Introduction

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pp. 514-515

Each evening, after the intense intellectual discussions of the Conference were finished, this tent became the setting of social interaction, entertainment, and generally festive activity by Deaf Way participants. Here they could make new friends in a socially agreeable place, often extending the scope of their friendships to include Deaf people from other lands, many or most of whom used different ...

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The Stockholm Deaf Club: A Case Study

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pp. 516-521

Their international organizations (World Federation of the Deaf, Comite International des Sports des Sourds, International Committee on Silent Chess) are among the oldest in the world. This network suggests that cooperation among deaf people is well developed. The structure of organizations of deaf persons and deaf culture in different ...

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Silent Club: An Ethnographic Study of Folklore Among the Deaf

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pp. 522-527

These clubs provide more than just a place for Deaf people to socialize. The club is where they look for adult guidance in their youth, where they can obtain employment information and advice, where they may meet their future spouses (85 percent of deaf people marry other deaf people (Schein and Delk, 1974)), or where a Deaf stranger ...

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The Origin, Development, and Working Activities of Madosa V.Z.W.

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pp. 528-531

Its founding members and their successors have seen the society grow through turbulent times and change from a purely social gathering place for young people to an organization that includes athletic events and other activities of interest to a wider range of individuals. This paper will give a brief outline of the history of our organization. ...

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Clubs for Deaf People in India

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pp. 532-534

They are a natural outgrowth of a social and linguistic minority's desire to get together. In smaller towns where there are no formal groups or clubs, deaf people still get together for various activities. We recently conducted a survey to gather information about the social and cultural life of deaf people in India. This was the first known effort to document information ...

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The Deaf Union of Guipúzcoa

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pp. 535-537

The Deaf Union promotes cultural, recreational, and social activities and provides a gathering place for deaf people. The Union is a private, nonprofit organization belonging to its deaf members and is supported by various public institutions and through membership fees. At present, there are 160 members ranging in age from eighteen to eighty, but the ...

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The Role of "Silent Sports" in Italian Deaf Culture

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pp. 538-541

We conducted structured interviews with more than thirty men and women from all over Italy to help us assess the value of organized sports in the Deaf community. Our questions dealt with the signs used to name and describe sports activities, attitudes and perceptions about Deaf sports, and the relative popularity of Deaf sports today as compared with past years. ...

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Sports, Deafness, and the Family

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pp. 542-544

But limited information about the sports opportunities for deaf individuals and certain perspectives about deafness held by individual families and society at large may create obstacles that limit a deaf youth's access to the benefits derived from involvement in sports. If children with a variety of physical differences (so-called disabilities) were lined ...

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Mainstreaming-A New Concept for Recreation and Leisure in the Deaf Community ...

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pp. 545-548

The most common experiences in the deaf community until this time were activities- such as parties, card games, and other small and medium-sized group events—with only deaf participants. The purposes of WRAD were to take the deaf participants out of the restrictive recreational and leisure activities of the past, to enlarge the scope of recreational, social, and other leisure activities in the deaf community, to educate the ...

PART SIX: The Deaf Child in the Family

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Editor's Introduction

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pp. 550-551

Members of the medical community, whom hearing parents tend to regard as authorities on deafness, are more often than not unable to give parents positive advice concerning the possibilities for their deaf child, except in the area of hearing amplification. The likelihood that deaf children-isolated from people ...

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Bringing Up Our Children to Be Bilingual and Bicultural

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pp. 552-561

In this paper I will consider the question of bringing up deaf children bilingually and biculturally. If we truly celebrate deafness, I cannot imagine any families, hearing or deaf, bringing up deaf children any other way. A good deal has been written about the grief that hearing parents experience when they discover that their child is deaf. Much of this "grief," however, is a result of the ...

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Sign Language Acquisition Among Deaf Children with Deaf Parents

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pp. 562-567

I will attempt to illustrate my points with photographs taken from a videotape of my deaf daughter Sophie learning sign language at home. These images may help make my point more clearly than if I simply try to explain things from a theoretical point of view. The first part of the videotape was made when Sophie was fourteen months old, communicating with her ...

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The Early Intervention Program for Deaf Children: A Bilingual Experience

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pp. 568-573

We operate under the Integral Assistance for the Deaf Child Program and have been working to implement a better model for educating young children with hearing loss. In the specific area of deafness, we attempt to detect the problem as early as possible. Our program is divided into five areas: detection, education, family, community, and research. ...

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The Deaf Child in Burundi Society

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pp. 574-580

Burundi is a country of high plateaus broken up into narrow, extended hills, each bearing its own name. Family groups occupy these hills; there are no villages per se, just residents dispersed about the hills. This way of life constitutes a major inconvenience for deaf people, who live solitary lives within their families. They do not have many opportunities to meet each other, which does not encourage the birth and expansion of ...

PART SEVEN: Education

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Editor's Introduction

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pp. 582-583

Denison was one of only six delegates who voted for the continued use of sign language (Van Cleve and Crouch, 1989). As was implied by Gallaudet University's president, I. King Jordan, in his keynote address, The Deaf Way was seen by many participants as an opportunity to reassert a Deaf perspective and to begin to restore to Deaf people some of the power lost more than a century earlier in Milan. Several of the papers in this ...

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Equality in Educational Opportunities: The Deaf Version

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pp. 584-592

The language the child brings to the classroom is usually the same as that of the teacher. These two conditions of basic language competence and use of common language, prerequisites for an effective learning environment, are presumed to apply to most children in the United States. For children corning from linguistic-minority homes, only the ...

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A Brief Overview of "Unlocking the Curriculum"

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pp. 593-598

First, we've all regarded deaf education as a closed system. Parents of deaf children, deaf people themselves, and professionals in linguistics and psychology have written about the inadequacies of deaf education, but have been relatively powerless in terms of having any real influence. Then, almost exactly sixteen months ago, deaf people rose up and took control of Gallaudet University, the premier deaf institution in the world. ...

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The Language Arts Curriculum in Programs for Deaf Children

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pp. 599-604

Deaf children of hearing parents also have gained access to the deaf community at some point in their lives, primarily through residential schools (Padden and Humphries, 1988). Nevertheless, the notion that deaf children are indeed linguistically and culturally unique in ways comparable to hearing minority children is still met with a great deal of resistance in educational circles (Lane, 1984; Reagan, 1985). ...

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Trends in the Progress Toward Bilingual Education for Deaf Children in Denmark

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pp. 605-614

The bilingualism we find in the deaf community will always be different from the bilingualism we may find among hearing people, owing to deaf people's inevitable handicap of not being able to hear, lipread, or even speak the majority culture's language with a great degree of fluency. So, however idealistic we might be when setting up the goals for the bilingual education of deaf children, we will-in order to respect the identity of any deaf ...

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Improving Sign Language Skills of Hearing Teachers: A Swedish Experiment

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pp. 615-620

We would like to think we're winning the battle for more instructional use of sign language. If we look at the situation globally, many, if not most, schools for the deaf now use some sort of signing in the classroom. And in some countries more skilled deaf signers are now finding professional roles in deaf classrooms, as teachers, ...

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A Deaf Teacher and a Hearing Researcher Collaborating: From ASL to English in a Kindergarten Classroom

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pp. 621-626

They have just spent their morning in "playroom choices," with each child working with a variety of developmental learning materials, followed by "snack time," a period in which conversation is encouraged and initiated by both students and teacher. This conversation time is quite a feat, because this is the first year the class has been together. All of the children are prelingually deaf and have severe to profound hearing ...

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Classroom Turn-Taking Mechanism: Effective Strategies for Using Eye Gaze as a Regulator

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pp. 627-632

The teacher, as the current speaker, selects a student as the next speaker, but when the student finishes, the turn to speak automatically returns to the teacher. This turn-taking strategy differs from that in everyday conversation, in which the speaker self-selects and the next speaker "takes the floor" at the end of a turn. There are certain turn-taking signals, known as regulators, that are regularly used ...

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The Use of Interactive Videodisc Technology for Bilingual Instruction in American Sign Language and English

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pp. 633-637

Given that many deaf children are competent in American Sign Language (ASL), we sought to use this language competence as a part of their education about English. Although there have been advocates for the greater use of ASL in the eduction of deaf children (Barnum, 1984; Johnson, Liddell, and Erting, 1989; Kannapell, 1974; Strong, 1980), few concrete proposals have ...

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Effectiveness of Psychodrama and Sociodrama Among Young Deaf and Hard of Hearing Secondary School Students at Nyborgskolen, Denmark

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pp. 638-641

The hypothesis of this study is that following psychodrama, there would be a decrease of the individual student's social isolation in the classroom, and the development of a better self-image and increased self-esteem. The effectiveness of the psychodrama would be measured through the use of psychological tests. Psychodrama is an action therapy method devised by Jacob L. Moreno in Vienna ...

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What Deaf High School Seniors Tell Us About Their Social Networks

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pp. 642-649

Many deaf people are not born into Deaf families; therefore, the community is the mechanism through which deaf people learn about Deaf culture. With the increased federal commitment in the United States to mainstreaming during the 1970s (which continues today), many Deaf adults are concerned about the integration of deaf youth into the Deaf community (Becker, 1980; Padden and Humphries, 1988). ...

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A Deaf Studies Curriculum for High School Teachers

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pp. 650-655

It is known that American Sign Language (ASL) has been accepted as a legitimate, separate language from English. Our rich deaf heritage has been accepted as well. Deaf awareness programs have brought many positive responses from hearing people all over the world, and an increasing number of hearing people are taking sign language classes in order to communicate effectively with deaf people. ...

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Adult Education in the Deaf Community: The Australian Deaf Heritage

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pp. 656-658

Using "Deaf" as a proper noun is an important part of the identity of Deaf people, for whom the term "disabled" fits uncomfortably. If you have a group of deaf people communicating fluently in sign, and one hearing person, who is not, then who is disabled? It depends on your perspective. For Deaf people, the issue is clear. Belonging to "The Deaf Community" and using ...

PART EIGHT: Deaf Hearing Interaction

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Editor's Introduction

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pp. 660-661

The statistical rarity of profound, childhood deafness (occurring in fewer than one in a thousand people) no doubt helps to perpetuate this problem. Unless family members are deaf or deafness is related to professional concerns, hearing people seldom feel motivated to learn sign language or to try to understand Deaf culture. Unfortunately ...

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Experiences of a Deaf Mother and Preschool Teacher

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pp. 662-664

I experienced parent guidance twelve years ago. Perhaps you will wonder if it is necessary to give parent guidance to deaf parents of deaf children: Deaf people know everything about deafness. We know what it is like to be deaf. We master sign language, and we don't have any communication problems. You can compare deaf parents and their deaf children with hearing parents and their hearing children; neither group needs ...

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The Deaf Community: Why This Difficult Relationship with the Hearing?

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pp. 665-668

Within the culture of the hearing, being able to hear is critical. Hearing people establish their social world and become a part of that world on the basis of a hearing norm. Deaf children develop differently. they base their behavior on their own perception of things. When attending class at a very early age, hearing children already possess a language, an oral language, the hearing language, acquired through language immersion. ...

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A Professional Deaf Educator in Spite of the System

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pp. 669-673

Parents of deaf children are also waking up and demanding the use of signing in the schools, which are obliged to adapt to the trend. Large city schools have no trouble locating deaf individuals to recruit for these positions because deaf communities are fairly widespread there. In the particular average-size mountain ...

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Hearing-Deaf Relations

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pp. 674-676

I started out as a carpenter. I made various kinds of furniture and tables. Many deaf people like me have worked in manual trades, as painters, dressmakers, or printers. It was personally meaningful to me to be a workman and to be able to create a product. I could see the result of my work; thus I was worth something. There was something positive in me, and that belief helped give me confidence. ...

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Sign Terminology for Sex and Death in Venezuelan Deaf and Hearing Cultures : A Preliminary Study of Pragmatic Interference

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pp. 677-683

It is pragmatically ill-formed in light of Venezuelan culture and, I dare say, in light of most mainstream western cultures. For the second statement of person A to be appropriate, A and B should have known each other for a considerable length of time, in which case A would already know the marital status of B. On the other hand, if A and B do not know each other well, as shown by the first question, then the subject of lovers ...

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Unconscious Discrimination

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pp. 684-686

The disability has given us our own language, which has also spawned a separate community and culture. We have survived and enjoyed full lives within our own society. We are able to interact to some degree with the general community in order to have our needs served, whether they be familial, social, recreational, or related to employment or health. ...

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The Impact of Rehabilitation Philosophies on the Deaf Client

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pp. 687-693

Within a short time after the implementation of the Act, disabled people throughout the country began receiving more consistent services as states developed their programs as a result of federal rules and regulations tied to funding. Although rehabilitation has been around since 1920 under various names in the government bureaucracy, such as the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Rehabilitation Services Administration ...

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Promoting the Interests of Deaf People

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pp. 694-697

First, we must know and remember our history, and look to it as a source of strength. Second, we must make our identity increasingly clear by discovering and maximizing our own special abilities. Third, we must enhance our consciousness, knowledge of our situation, and determination to assume responsibility and take needed action. Deaf people are fortunate today to be protected by such national and international ...

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Deaf Awareness Programs in South Africa

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pp. 698-701

Over the years, there has been a subtle shift among educators of disabled children from placing emphasis on the disability itself to focusing on the child, who happens to have a disability. This attitude personalizes the problem and emphasizes the ability of the person rather than the disability. There was a realization that handicapped people are individuals in their own right and do not all act or react in the same way. ...

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Deaf Awareness Program: A Suggestion

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pp. 702-705

As the head of the only Tamil school for the deaf in Sri Lanka for the past fifteen years, I have been troubled by the fact that deaf children are first brought to school long after the admission age of five. Some parents have even brought children who are in their teens. Of the 138 children admitted during the past five years, the average age of admission has been 8.4 years. The ages of the children admitted in these five years ...

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Sharing Experiences: Deafness Awareness Programs in Australia

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pp. 706-712

Last year the State Library of New South Wales, where I work, hosted a Deafness Expo in the library as part of Deafness Awareness Week. During this very successful day, one of our deaf helpers, Kevin, was approached by one of the library's regular patrons. Kevin was deep in conversation with another visitor when the patron approached him from behind and asked him a question. Completely unaware that he was being ...

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ASL Is Finally Accepted as a Foreign Language in High Schools!

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pp. 713-718

American Sign Language (ASL) is at least 200 years old and is one of the most commonly used languages in the country. Only during the past twenty years, however, have linguists officially "discovered" ASL as a true language with its own grammatical rules, which are very different from those of English. This is a major breakthrough for deaf people all over the country. ...

Image Plates

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PART NINE: Deaf People and the Arts

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Editor's Introduction

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pp. 720-721

These words continue to be invoked all over the world as a challenge to negative assumptions about deaf people's abilities. In many areas of human endeavor-such as in the arts-only ignorance of Deaf people's accomplishments could account for the persistence of such negative beliefs. In the performing and visual arts, especially, it ...

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Misconceptions of Deaf Culture in the Media and the Arts

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pp. 722-725

The life of a deaf person is obviously different from that of a hearing person in the respect that deaf people depend on visual stimuli and have a common visual language. These facts lead to practices and customs that are unique to the deaf community, such as using flashing lights as doorbells, using text-telephones, ...

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The Challenge to Deaf People in the Arts Today

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pp. 726-730

In the twentieth century, Swedish people are striving for equality and fair participation in the culture of their society. In the spring of 1974, the Swedish Parliament established cultural-political goals that indicate that cultural policy will be shaped with more regard for the experiences of disadvantaged groups, such as handicapped people. ...

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How Does Hollywood See Us, and How Do We See Hollywood?

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pp. 731-735

The international deaf community has recently undergone great political and cultural changes. Nineteen eighty-eight was an historic year in the struggle for deaf rights, thanks to the spectacular Gallaudet uprising, which finally brought deaf awareness into the public consciousness worldwide. ...

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Hollywood Through Deaf Eyes: A Panel Discussion

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pp. 736-745

When I was a student at Gallaudet, there was no degree offered in theater. A career for a deaf person in theater was unheard of. I was lost. My friends told me that a degree in Library Science would be the best choice for a deaf woman because then I could follow my deaf husband anywhere he got a job. I could work in the town library. Well, I graduated with my degree in Library Science but didn't have a husband to follow. ...

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Theater of the Deaf in Australia

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pp. 746-750

I think it is important to give a little background on the development of Deaf theater in Australia. I have seen old photographs and films of what were called concerts. Unlike concerts in America, a concert in Australia is not necessarily musical, but can be comprised of skits, poetry, dance and music-what in America is usually called a variety show. These records of Deaf concerts from the 1930s and 1940s show pretty ...

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What Is a Deaf Performing Arts Experience?

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pp. 751-761

Over the past fifteen years, American critics of the performing arts have awarded their highest honors to theater, television, and film programs in sign language. In 1977, the National Theatre of the Deaf received a Special Tony Award. Children of a Lesser God won three 1980 Tony Awards: Best Non-Musical ...

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Deaf People in the Arts: One Man's Struggles and Accomplishments

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pp. 762-769

My parents say that this illness did not appear to affect me greatly, but after some time they noticed that I had become distracted and that my vocabulary had stopped growing. In the first years of life, children acquire new words daily; in time, this permits them to hold conversations. I, however, continued to use only the few ...

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De'VIA (Deaf View /Image Art)

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pp. 770-772

These artists have often discussed whether or not there is such a thing as "Deaf Art" as a separate genre or school of thought. Although formal workshops were held from time to time to discuss this concept, all were short in duration, and none reached any formal conclusions. A little over a month before ...

PART TEN: Deaf People and Human Rights Issues

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Editor's Introduction

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pp. 772-773

The human rights violations most frequently experienced by deaf people include language deprivation, educational impoverishment, and various forms of cultural and social oppression. Ironically, these violations may often be inflicted by individuals who believe they are serving deaf people's best interests. As Mary Malzkuhn (United States) puts ...

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Human Rights and the Deaf

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pp. 776-779

Yet most legally binding international human rights norms (and this is the fairly narrow definition that I will employ in this paper) are little more than two decades old. This relatively short history explains some of the limitations that activists find frustrating as they attempt to implement international human ...

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The Human Rights of the Deaf

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pp. 780-785

After being told that my dormitory mates and 1 could not go to a movie because we went "too often" (every Saturday certainly did not seem too often to us), I was sufficiently provoked to lead a strike at the school. This sense of outrage over injustices of any kind has remained with me all ...

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Deafness and the Political Agenda

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pp. 786-787

The Centre actively seeks social policy options and strategies for social change-essential ingredients for further socioeconomic progress and improvement in the quality of life for the people of our member countries. We have undertaken these activities jointly with our social partners, universities such as Gallaudet. The Centre also monitors and promotes awareness of and support ...

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Discrimination Against Deaf People in Bangladesh

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pp. 788-790

In most countries, deaf people are deprived of their political rights and consigned to a subhuman existence. This is especially true for the deaf people of Bangladesh, where deaf people are uneducated, unemployed, and isolated from the rest of society. Most deaf people in Bangladesh live in poverty, and even those few who are financially secure ...

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The Vocational Distribution of Deaf People in Greece

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pp. 791-793

membership lists of deaf organizations in the cities of Athens, Patras, and Thessaloniki, and the town of Serres. These 300 deaf people were then asked to complete a questionnaire about their vocational status. Of the 300, 148 agreed to respond to the questionnaire. Some of the nonparticipants expressed fear of losing their jobs if they were to answer the questionnaire. The data ...

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The Oppression of Deaf People as Cultural Minorities in Developing Countries

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pp. 794-799

Colonial governments adopted oralism after the 1880 International Congress of Teachers of the Deaf in Milan, where a majority of the delegates voted in favor of the oral method for teaching deaf students. History shows that, even after independence, deaf people have been the least known and least cared for among handicapped people. Most associations of deaf people ...

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Better Education for Deaf People in French-Speaking Africa

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pp. 800-803

We stand poised at a critical juncture. The Deaf Way conference takes place during the United Nations Decade of the Disabled Person, which has already witnessed the accession of a deaf person to the presidency of Gallaudet University. The chairman of the Board of Trustees of this important institution, Mr. Philip Bravin, is also deaf. The powerful nonviolent revolution in the history of deaf people that occurred in March, ...

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The Problem of the Peruvian Deaf Person

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pp. 804-810

Since the advent of my incurable deafness, at the age of twelve, my mind and my life have become closely bound to my deaf friends, my wife (deaf since birth), and the entire Peruvian deaf community. All of my work has been developed in response to what I have perceived as an urgent mandate from the deaf community in Peru. This community's heritage has been transmitted from ...

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Are Deaf Children "Allowed" Signing?

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pp. 811-816

In Recife (population 2 million), the capital of the state of Pernambuco in northeast Brazil, two very different worlds coexist: that of the Deaf community, in which Deaf people use Brazilian Sign Language (LIBRAS); and that of the parents, teachers, and therapists of "hearing irnpaired"2 children, who try to teach these children to speak. These two worlds are now corning into contact. ...

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The Mano a Mano Project

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pp. 817-825

The ultimate goals of this project are to preserve the values of Ecuadorian deaf adults, improve their standard of living, and make their abilities and capacities known to the hearing community. The purpose of this paper is to describe the ideas, goals, and objectives of the Mano a Mano Project as they were developed in 1982, to report on the program's activities, achievements, and obstacles, ...

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Deaf People's Civil Rights to Information

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pp. 826-828

However, because the average reading age of a profoundly deaf person leaving school is eight and a half years-functionally illiterate-much of the printed information was not getting through to the London deaf community. Deaf people did not fully understand the written information and therefore were not claiming the benefits to which they were entitled from the Department of Health or other social service agencies. ...

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Deaf President Now

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pp. 829-837

In its 124-year history, Gallaudet University had been served by six presidents, all of them hearing. As the Gallaudet Board of Trustees considered candidates to replace the outgoing president, support grew in the University and the deaf community for the appointment of a deaf person. Indeed, because a number of qualified deaf people were among the final candidates, many expected that Gallaudet would soon have its first deaf ...

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Deaf Studies Before and After the Revolution

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pp. 838-845

There are those who say, "You cannot 'celebrate' deafness-you can only regret it." Let them come here and learn. There are those who measure deafness only in terms of loss, not in terms of gain. Let them come here and learn. Here they will find art, not audiograms; language, not laryngology; culture and communication. Let them come here and learn. There are those who say, "It's a hearing world." Let them come here ...

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Rehabilitation or Oppression? Options for the Humanization of the Deaf

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pp. 846-853

During the late 1950s and early 1960s, thousands of infants with deformed or missing limbs were born to mothers who had taken the tranquilizer Thalidomide during the early stages of their pregnancies. These children have grown into adults with their own opinions of the "rehabilitation" process they went through during their early years. ...

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Political Activism in the Deaf Community: An Exploratory Study of Deaf Leaders in Rochester, New York

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pp. 854-859

There are approximately 50,000 deaf and hard of hearing people in the area, one of the highest per capita populations of deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States. Two major educational institutions and numerous organizations of deaf and hard of hearing people have served the educational, social, and civic needs of the community's citizens for many years. These institutions and organizations also foster ...

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Don't Stand There-Run!

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pp. 860-862

As we know, politics is a hectic way of life and yet it is an essential part of our government. Unfortunately, few deaf people become interested and get involved in politics. It is a fact that in the last few years, more and more deaf people are beginning to get involved, but not to the point of holding a public office. What made me decide to run for local office? I have had a passion for politics ever ...


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Global Perspectives on The Deaf Way

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pp. 864-865

I gave my presentation the curious title, "Woodstock, Poland, and The Deaf Way." I used the presentation to talk about The Deaf Way, which had only happened a month before. I tried to describe The Deaf Way for those who hadn't been there, to reflect on its meaning, and to place it in some kind of context. In trying to ...

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More Than Memories: The Deaf Way Sparks Worldwide Change for Deaf People

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pp. 866-870

They came together to share information about their language, culture, and history through both scholarly presentations and artistic expression. During the week-long occasion, participants attended presentations of more than 500 scholarly papers in meeting rooms and auditoriums in the Omni Shoreham Hotel in downtown Washington. Each evening, artistic events were ...


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pp. 871-890


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pp. 891-907

E-ISBN-13: 9781563682032
E-ISBN-10: 1563682036
Print-ISBN-13: 9781563680267
Print-ISBN-10: 1563680262

Page Count: 950
Illustrations: 1 table, 8 figures, 50 photos
Publication Year: 1994