Sunday, 25 September 2016

Amanda: What Deaf means to me...


Hey everyone! So, I wanted to talk about something I've been thinking a lot about recently and that is the word "DEAF." Now I grew up in hearing culture. I grew up with hearing family, hearing friends, going to a mainstream school and I didn't have access to signing. 

I didn'thave access to Deaf people and...So, growing up for me that word "DEAF" scared me, because for me, before, that meant that I was going to lose my hearing. That meant that I was going to lose access to oral communication. That meant I might lose my family and my friends.

That was scary for me. It was really scary. And it wasn't until after I became physically deaf that I started searching for people like me and I started searching for a better way to communicate. 

And I found that in Deaf culture, in sign language, in the Deaf
community. Now that i am a proud Deaf woman that word death means something so different to me. So, I wanted to share
with you what word "DEAF" means to me now. Now the word "DEAF" means strength. 

It means having the strength to accept yourself for who you really are. It also means support; having the support of the Deaf community. Having people around me that understand what i go through every single day, all of my struggles. They understand me, they really understand. It also means communication, because now I have this beautiful language that I can always understand I don't have have to struggle with and I have access to communication through new technology like VOIP and oh captioned phones. 

Different things that help me communicate better. It also, lastly, means intelligence. Why? Because deaf people; we have to be able to think creatively. We have to be able to think outside the box so that we can create new solutions to problems that we have, that don't depend on hearing, and that takes intelligence. So, this is what my new meaning of the word "DEAF" is. What does "DEAF" mean to you?

ATR:  If you aren't using the previous access methods then how are you now communicating ?  You are interpreter dependent instead ? How are you now communicating to friends who aren't deaf you grew up with ?  or have you ditched them for new signing ones ? Have you opted out of your previous social situation entirely ?

The situation which we see above is often held up as a cultural promo, but really is not a true reflection of how most who grew up deaf but didn't integrate with the deaf community manage later on.  For most there is no 'way back' to a culture you were never part of from day one anyway. Mostly the issues are about personal abilities to cope.  Once you can manage those there is no ID struggle to worry about.

Deafened do not have ID issues, they are, what they are.

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