Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Re: Mishka...Deaf Culture-Deaf Community??

In Mishka's post Against ASL and Deaf Culture, Karen Mayes Says:

I really don’t have a problem with ASL (we use it predominately at home) and Deaf Culture. In fact, it is fun and comfortable, but I am not 100% involved due to having two children mainstreamed in public schools and my husband working at a hearing company. I just go on my life, not thinking about Deaf Culture, etc, just like most of people just living. Deaf culture is really part of Deaf community, nothing more, as well as oral deaf people, CI deaf people, Cued Speaking deaf, late deafened, etc, just being part of Deaf community.
It all comes down to finding one’s comfort zone and one’s journey to find a sense of belonging.

It's taken me a year, but I now understand the difference between Deaf Culture and Deaf Community....I think.

Can you have liberal views regarding CIs, oral methodologies and cued speech if you are a part of Deaf Culture??

Is Deaf Culture the radical, anti-anyone-who-doesn't-use-ASL branch of the Deaf Community?

If I make a statement that the Deaf Community is becoming more open-minded towards the CI Community, is that true or false?

PS. I gave a presentation on Saturday to a group of Speech Therapists at a Cochlear Implant Course, and I asked Jordan to help me by making a video. After about ten attempts we finally got one right...(okay, we are in the bathroom-no damn light in my house!)
Fly Attack
La Mosca

Take Two:

Finally...(In Italian)


Stephen said...

Jo....I'm laughing out loud (truly lol)....hysterically! Can u please translate the 21 seconds? And get the boy a haircut! LuvUdad
PS: Nice new glasses!

Anonymous said...

Jordon is a cutie, talks well, although I don't understand Italian! :)

To your first question, yes you can have liberal view of all that and still be part of a deaf culture, I'm one example and there's many more out there too.

No, deaf culture does not mean that: Anti-anyone who does not use ASL. That is totally false! But you'll find that group within deaf culture.

And, yes, the deaf culture is becoming more and more open minded about C.I. In fact, there are deaf people part of deaf culture with C.I.

I was born into deaf culture, was part of it. But, I also had my own life outside of deaf culture as well, my parents, although both deaf, saw the benefits of having my siblings and I to be all that we can be. Many deaf families do not shelter their kids from the real world.

The radicals seems to be coming more from those who have hearing parents and/or from those who have been immersed in an oral program with horrible results.

See, Jodi, years ago, many parents want their kids to speak..but, how do you teach a deaf child to speak when a deaf child does not have any hearing at all, nada! Kind of stupid, if you ask me. But, with C.I., the opportunity is there. Look at Jordan, he's great! Imagine him totally deaf and trying to teach him speak without C.I., he'd be angry. :)

And THAT is my perspective based on MY life and MY view of the deaf world as I know it...


Anonymous said...

My gawd! Jordan is doing very well. Good job for raising him well! Thanks to the technology.

There is always be a part of deaf culture.

Think about the Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA) and its chapters, the National Cued Speech Association (NCSA) and its chapters and National Association for the Deaf (NAD) and its chapters.

There are much more deaf/hearing loss non-profit organizations that can help to make them to get together.

As for the 9 to 5 job, many of them are working in the hearing companies and have family to run.

It does not mean that the deaf culture will always be the same kind of the culture.

You might missed LaRonda Zupp's v/blog about the ALDA she experienced meeting greatly with the hearing loss people she never accustomed.

here it is:

Hope it helps.

White Ghost

Anonymous said...


LOL, that Italian just rolls off Jordan's tongue lickety-split. Unfortunately cannot run the second vlog. So I'll miss that part, but that fly...somebody get that flyswatter!

Well, I grew up oral deaf. Not a piece of cake, but I did it. I was not a part of Deaf culture. Not then, not now, even though I know some ASL. But I'm here to say the deaf community is much more than just Deaf Culture. I've met many wonderful v/bloggers who are immersed in Deaf culture but who also know that the deaf community is a much larger world today than it was yesterday. And to that, I say Amen!


Dianrez said...

Imagine Deaf Culture to be like the larger American society. It encompasses all kinds of people with all kinds of beliefs and backgrounds. The common features are use of English and a love for their home country.

Within this society is a very small group that could be called the Mayflower-descendant, John Bircher-type people that consider themselves the only true Americans.

Many think the American society in its great melting pot also includes those who do not speak English and do not consider themselves Americans, but live there regardless. Others with a desire to define it more carefully will exclude those and call them foreigners, temporary residents, embassy families, etc.

So it is with Deaf culture. The common features are a general acceptance of ASL and a love for that society united by ASL. Outside of that, we are diverse in what we consider characteristics of Deaf Culture.

We are members of other groups and join in these with varying degrees of ease. Ultimately, there is a preference for other Deaf people when relaxing and socializing.

Kudos to your boy! He'll charm the birds out of the trees!

Valerie said...

I am so far behind in my blogging and posting that I will never catch up! Oh well - my thoughts - too busy for this. As a deaf individual who wears bilateral CIs and lives and works in a hearing world, not sure if there is a place within the Deaf community for me. Not that I wouldn't love to learn ASL or use it within my home and friends, I don't care for this debate of what is better. Any culture or community that gives restrictions for membership - learn (embrace) ASL or you can't be part of it, is not for me. I want to be accepted based on ME. My deafness should not be the only reason, my humor, my desire for change, my frienships, and my dedication to life should be the reasons - not just learn it or else. I take the or else - a wonderful group or deaf and hearing friends and family who my life shine.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Unknown said...

Ann C, White Ghost, and Candy- Thank you for your comments, you said what I would have expected each of you to say. I'd like to know what Aiden or Jean would say. Hmm. Just curious.
Dianrez-Excellent analogy, makes it clearer for me to grasp.
Valerie-where the hell have you been, girl?? I've missed you...Although I see you popping up on Deafvillage. Hope you are having a good school year so far.
Dad, I can't upload the damn videos to cc them, my computer has to be reformatted-so ANNOYED! OMG, that was so funny, Jordan cracked up after watching them again. I almost peed in my pants making the videos.

Karen Mayes said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

I thought huh no, now why the spotlight on me when I saw my name on your blog posting and then I realized it was a reference to my comment on one of your postings :o)

The commenters pretty much said similiar to what I said... we do have our roles in the deaf culutre/deaf community (as well as Jewish/African/Amish/etc. communities) The communities are many and they influence everyone's thinking process and so forth.

I'd say that the deaf culture is more accepting of CIs since more and more deaf families have CIs.

Take care... ;o)

Unknown said..., also because I believe someone insinuated you were a "mole." That kind of confused me...any ideas? Lotta paranoia in this world. Hugs...I'm dreaming of cranberry sauce...Jodi

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!! Jordan is adorable :) hugs

Karen Mayes said...

Jodi, it is a misunderstanding, nothing more.

Dream on of cranberry sauce ;o)... doesn't Italy have some kind of Thanksgiving?

Valerie said...


Been sick with double ear infections. I also had a scare with my mammograms(still have the bruises from the second visit) and now I have anemia. I have a few months of b12 shots. So I am trying to get my health in order and stay out of the Thanksgiving food(lost 15 pounds being sick).

love ya,

mishkazena said...

The Deaf culture is evolving to an extent it had never done in the past. For the first time, cochlear implants are heavily used among deaf children and babies, with a range of success still in controversy to this day. Adults, including those from the Deaf Culture are also getting these devices. The boundaries are now getting blurry, with more overlapping between the groups than before.

The younger generation, not knowing any difference, are used to the growing diversity of the Deaf Culture. However, some of the older generation are still holding to the old values.

I think this changing paradigm is creating new conflicts, with a new split emerging between the culturally Deaf people... the radicals and the moderates.

mishkazena said...

Correction: not radicals. The better word would be traditionals

Unknown said...

Hi Val! I'm sorry to hear about all of that...15 lbs. is good, though-trying to find the good in all that chaos...I hope you clear up everything fast.
Mishka, I think that was a good summary and I definitely think traditionalists is a good word choice. Happy Thanksgiving, Jodi

diane said...


Jordan's vlog makes me want to learn Italian. And oh my gosh what a CUTIE he is...I fear for you during his teen years. He's got heartbreaker written all over him.

diane m

MM said...

Culture is just a title really isn't it ? so many have sign knowledge and have such varied upbringings and education, it encompasses everyone who is deaf really, even those with fair hearing via an aid aspire to it now....

Culture suggests large groupings of similar minded people using the same communications and having the same lifestyles, this is increasingly not the case. Clubs have been decimated, only 5% of deaf children are in specific 'Deaf' schools, so finding a 'community' to match the 'culture' is pretty hard.

You may see 5 or maybe 10 people signing then assume 'culture' until you get a breakdown of the people involved...

Many deaf are working within the hearing environment as access improves too, mobile texting has decimated a lot of face-to-face meetings, and undermined the clubs where they used to meet up. You meet your friends, and don't perhaps meet other deaf....

The more we read of culture the more it seems an academic pursuit by some, as averse to a living thing, what USED to be, not what is now. Deaf culture may well be read about in dusty books, once the deaf integrate and gain full access to the mainstream.