5 Facts You Probably Don’t Know About Deaf Culture

5 Facts You Probably Don’t Know About Deaf Culture

You may or may not have a deaf person in your environment. Even if you don’t there is a high chance that you know someone who does. This speaks volumes about how large the deaf culture is. Many people consider that deaf people cannot do many things but also that they hate living without hearing. That simply isn’t true. Deaf people get offended when someone shows them pitty, and why should they? The deaf culture was formed to empower deaf people and show them that they shouldn’t feel ashamed of being who they are.

In order to break some myths about deaf culture, we have compiled a list of things that you might not have known before, and that will change the way you look at deaf people completely. 

Deaf People Do Sports, And They Do It Very Well

A number of people consider deafness to be so damaging to a person’s life that that person is unable to do pretty much anything. However, that is far from the truth. One of the things that deaf people do, and do it regularly, are sports. And pretty much any kind of sport. Sports like basketball and soccer, but also some everyday activities like roller skating and swimming. 

Being “Deaf” and Being “deaf”

You might ask how can a small “d” and big “d” change the exact same word. Well, it can. Within the deaf community there is a big difference between calling yourself “deaf” or “Deaf”. People referring to themselves as being “deaf”, with a small d, do not wish to be associated to the deaf community. They rather tend to identify themselves with people who can hear. Moreover, they address their deafness specifically as a medical issue. Of course, there are some who are slowly losing their hearing and do not consider themselves as completely def, therefore not part of that community yet. 

On the other hand, those who consider themselves as Deaf, with a big D, have a strong connection with the deaf community. They consider their deafness as an integral part of their personality, and they are likely to attend schools that are specialized for deaf people. 

Not All Deaf People Use ASL

Almost every hearing person immediately assumes that all deaf people communicate through ASL. Many deaf people use sign language, but also lip-reading and vocalization. 

Nina Matthews from Sydney , Australia, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Being Deaf Doesn’t Mean Being Mute or Being Blind

Sometimes a person can be both deaf and blind. But for a greater part of the deaf community it is really offensive that some people automatically assume they also have problems with their voice and their eyes.

Making Eye Contact Is Crucial

When communicating with a deaf person it is extremely important that you make eye contact. Otherwise, they may consider you rude and get offended.