Introduction Five hundred thousand Americans identify themselves as culturally Deaf. At the heart of this American cultural group is its defining language, American Sign Language. Further examination reveals a rich history of art, politics, geographic clustering, traditions, and social structures and mores. A particularly unique characteristic of the Deaf culture ... Editorial
Editorial  |   July 01, 2003
Introduction
Author Notes
  • Scott J. BallyGuest Editor
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Editorial
Editorial   |   July 01, 2003
Introduction
Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, July 2003, Vol. 9, 2-3. doi:10.1044/cds9.1.2
Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, July 2003, Vol. 9, 2-3. doi:10.1044/cds9.1.2
Five hundred thousand Americans identify themselves as culturally Deaf. At the heart of this American cultural group is its defining language, American Sign Language. Further examination reveals a rich history of art, politics, geographic clustering, traditions, and social structures and mores. A particularly unique characteristic of the Deaf culture is that most members do not share their cultural heritage or language with either their parents or children. Statistics reflect that approximately 90% of Deaf individuals have hearing parents and will have hearing children. Sociological studies suggest that a majority of hearing parents make decisions for their children that place them in oral programs and emphasize the use of residual hearing and the development of oral/aural communication. Such decisions are fostered by legislation, which supports inclusion rather than institutionalization. At the same time, although the real incidence of hearing loss in the United States is increasing, the absolute numbers of children born deaf or who are deafened pre-lingually is decreasing because of better maternal care, early child care, and the decrease and eradication of etiologies which cause deafness. Yet, the Deaf culture in America survives and may be stronger for the challenges it faces.
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