Taking note of what grassroots in the UK is saying in regards to culture. This question triggered responses that are worth a read.
#1 A question for all my deaf family and friends... What does deaf culture mean to you? I want to talk to my deaf pupils about deaf culture but with advances in technology and medicine plus the closure of many deaf schools and more deaf children in mainstream schools, has deaf culture changed? If yes, what is deaf culture in 2020? I would love to know what it means to you. Thanks😊"
#2 "I doubt deaf culture has much meaning to deaf people as such about their daily lives, people tend to always associate sign with culture but it is more about communication these days and where sign actually can benefit the deaf, of course, advancements in alleviation has changed the access scene a lot, a deaf club or school, is not the only place we can go now."
#3 "We are mostly concerned with access, inclusion and support, learning about Milan in 1880 or America's Martha's Vineyard, seems an irrelevance apart from the fact that sign-based culture folded when the first bus out appeared to break the isolation, but deaf have ignored that point. Little wonder there is a hard-core of deaf people who fear options."
#4 "Wales has no deaf schools, and the UK is losing more and more year on year, deaf clubs are virtually confined to city areas and non-extant anywhere else. This suggests mainstreaming and more interaction for the deaf is succeeding in offering the deaf more choices, rather than harking on about the glorious deaf school past (Which deaf had no choice with anyway, and were closed because they failed to educate the deaf), we look to the future."
#5 "There is some frustration the cultural focus is downgrading the need and desire to go forward. It's a luxury only the city deaf can afford really where 20% of all signers live. Of course, those who most support the culture gig are the ones making money from it, via deaf 'arts', 'access advisors', or by opening questionable 'cultural centres for the deaf' that are little more than expensive areas to learn BSL or a way for some deaf clubs to raise funds etc who include a smattering of deaf 'history', mostly cut and pasted from online USA sites, but rather liberal with accuracy when defining what a signing culture actually is in UK terms. Primarily it is a constant over-focus on the old deaf school/club systems and the 'good old days'."
#6 "At grass root level the struggle for more access and inclusion goes on regardless, we want to be like everyone else and don't see a future in some sort of Glorious isolation where the only people we know are other deaf and the ability to converse or be included with hearing people is viewed with reluctance or some sort of 'threat' (Mostly for whom it is too late anyway to adjust). There are areas who see this as negative but we see inclusion as a real positive."
#7 Given less than point two per cent of everyone deaf has any deaf history, I fail to see where culture enters the argument, we need perspective, importantly, to stop playing at being martyrs and get with it."