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Issues in deafness: an analysis of the existing literature pertaining to issues of the cultural-linguistic definition of deaf culture.

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posted on 2021-05-22, 17:43 authored by Lorelle Polano
"Ask yourself, "What would it be like to be deaf?" When hearing people are asked to consider deafness, they most likely try to imagine themselves in a world of silence. As a first-year undergraduate, I was part of a discussion with several of my friends in which we were asked to decide, given only the options of being deaf or being blind, which we found to be the lesser tragedy. I announced that given only those two fates, I would choose blindness for myself. To never hearing music, the voices of my loved ones, to be deprived of the ability to speak, to carry on a simple discussion as we were having then, was simply unbearable to me. Such a decision was made based on my limited capacity to conceive and imagine such an existence as a world of silence. It is people such as this, who little consider deafness and only then in the intermittent moments when it is absolutely necessary, who are bestowed the power to enact policy and decide practice for the deaf. It is not in fact the deaf themselves who, though infinitely better suited to understand and interpret their own experiences and needs into policy and practice, are permitted to do so. As will be explained throughout this essay, there are specific reasons for the position of deaf people in Western society which manifest themselves politically, economically, and culturally."--Page 1.



Master of Arts


Communication and Culture

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type