logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
Tennis
Holiday/Seasonal Cooking
Crafts for Kids
Computer Careers
Mexican Food
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Yoga


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g Deafness Site

BellaOnline's Deafness Editor

g

Perception of Deaf and Dumb


As a child I travelled to school by bus and at the stop before we alighted there was a Deaf School. Naturally many of these children also caught the same bus. I would see them laughing, waving their hands around, mouthing words or speaking with guttural sound and intonation. Fascinated as I was in watching them, and having no understanding of deafness, the perception I formed was that these children were mentally deficient, simply because they couldnít talk like me and my friends.

It didnít help that in the city there was (and still is) a building labelled ĎThe Deaf and Dumb Societyí. I didnít understand the childrenís hand gestures and didnít realise this was communication in sign language. I didnít have any understanding about how language is learned and didnít know that without hearing it is almost impossible to learn to speak. In my youthful ignorance I simply thought that since these children were different this meant they were stupid.

Research into the terms ĎDeaf and Dumbí and ĎDeaf-muteí show that while they were used historically, they are socially unacceptable because of the negative connotations. Deaf people are generally just that Ė Deaf. The reason they use hand signals (sign language) is to communicate without speech. The reason they may not always speak as a typical hearing person is because they canít hear it. Anyone, assuming their vocal cords are not damaged, even the Deaf, can learn to speak any language but that doesnít mean it is always easy. By example, the only reason a French child doesnít speak English is because heís never heard it and the only reason my child doesnít speak French is because he hasnít heard it. And so too, the only reason the Deaf do not speak in the typical fashion for their nationality is because they havenít heard it. Learning to speak naturally is incredibly difficult without speech feedback but this doesnít make them Ďdumbí, stupid or sub-intelligent.

Many people, me included, who went deaf later in life, find that deafness characteristics creep into their speech simply because they cannot clearly hear what they are saying. Over time their speech sounds change. (Do you have an older deaf relative who yells? This is because they canít hear the level of their own voice and canít moderate the volume.)

When I saw the Deaf children I somehow knew they belonged to the Deaf Community and the label ĎDeaf and Dumbí seemed appropriate thinking it meant ĎDeaf and Stupidí or mentally deficient. As a young girl I didnít understand that in this case the word ĎDumbí actually meant ĎMuteí or unable to speak. Itís this kind of miscommunication which caused much of the alienation of the Deaf from the hearing world.
Add Perception+of+Deaf+and+Dumb to Twitter Add Perception+of+Deaf+and+Dumb to Facebook Add Perception+of+Deaf+and+Dumb to MySpace Add Perception+of+Deaf+and+Dumb to Del.icio.us Digg Perception+of+Deaf+and+Dumb Add Perception+of+Deaf+and+Dumb to Yahoo My Web Add Perception+of+Deaf+and+Dumb to Google Bookmarks Add Perception+of+Deaf+and+Dumb to Stumbleupon Add Perception+of+Deaf+and+Dumb to Reddit




RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Deafness Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2015 by Felicity Bleckly. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Felicity Bleckly. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Felicity Bleckly for details.

g


g features
Hearing in background noise

What we say about our hearing loss

Tips for music with a Cochlear Implant

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2015 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor