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American Sign Language

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The Silent Society: Being Deaf

Deafhood and Epistemology When considering the epistemology of deafness, one must consider the history of how deafness has evolved. The history of deafness comes from the ignorance of those who could not understand how people who had a disability were different from them. It was easier to place these types of “folks” in intuitions and not deal with their needs. Understanding the deaf community comes through understanding the culture and the history that allows the deaf to have a “voice” and provide them with the necessary services that make the deaf more human. Through mental health, hearing assessments, and trauma, there is an understanding that even though they may not live in the hearing world, there are still apart of society. How they function as a community is important, as they too have a voice. Deafhood is described as “static”, not a medical condition; however, it is a process-a struggle that is endured by every child, adult, and family to explain themselves, and each other their own existence within their world (Hauser, O’Hearn, Steider, &Thew, 2010). Epistemology can be defined as the philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, methods, and limits to human knowledge. When dealing with deaf epistemology, there are many facets to which it can be understood and misunderstood.
The authors discuss the visual learning process that a Deaf child goes through by being raised by either a Deaf parent or a hearing parent. A child that is raised by a Deaf parent can connect visually to their surroundings due to the parent being knowledgeable of the importance of visual communication. These context clues allow the deaf child to become aware of their surroundings and the expectations that are needed. The authors call this type of communication Visual Reality. Visual reality is a learned skill that is normally…...

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