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Chapter 3 of Thomas K Holcomb’s Introduction to American Deaf Culture examines the populations that are encompassed within Deaf culture and the Deaf community, as well as the labels associated with these populations. Holcomb begins the chapter by explaining that being “hearing impaired” or deaf is not the same as being Deaf. The term “deaf” refers specifically to physical hearing loss, while the term “Deaf” refers to an individual who uses ASL, identifies as a member of Deaf culture, and is an active member of the Deaf community (pg 38). Holcomb goes on to explore the relationship between Deaf people and their hearing family members using Dr. Jerome Schein’s 90% formula. This formula explains that over 90% of deaf people have hearing parents, and 90% of those parents have no experience with deaf people. Deaf people also have a 90% chance of birthing hearing children. Of the hearing parents who have deaf children, 90% cannot effectively communicate with their deaf children... read more

For as long as humans have existed, Deaf people have existed. For as long as humans have existed, there has been prejudice against those who cannot hear. In the past 4 years, my understanding of this audism has been immeasurably expanded. I have come to realize that even today audism continues to thrive in America. This audism is evident in the minds of average American citizens. This audism is evident in the very cultural implications of American society. This audism is evident within the Deaf community. This audism is evident in the obsession of the American populace to attain “normalcy”. Within the first two sentences of Harlan Lane’s Do Deaf People Have a Disability? he introduces the startling concept that many people see deafness as a disability as “common sense” (2002, pg. 356). My first thought was that deafness equating to disability was neither a common nor sensible idea. As I continued to read, I began to consider how fully enveloped I am within the Deaf community... read more

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