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Deaf Culture Study Guide (version 4)  Also see: Deaf Culture Study Guide (version 1)

A Deaf School is a state-run residential education institution for individuals who are Deaf.

A Video Relay Service is a service that provides communication assistants or interpreters to facilitate Hearing people calling Deaf people, and vice versa.

Alexander Graham Bell is held in low esteem by many in the Deaf community because of his efforts to promote oralism.

American Sign Language is most closely related to French Sign Language.

American Sign Language is the language of choice of culturally Deaf people in America, parts of Canada, and many (but certainly not all) other areas in the world.

An appropriate way to get the attention of a room full of Deaf people is to flick the light switch a couple of times. (In general you should NOT try to make a loud noise nor run around like a chicken with its head cut off with your hands up. It is more classy to just flick the lights a couple times and then point at the person needing the room's attention.)

Betty G. Miller and Chuck Baird were famous Deaf artists.

Bilingual/bicultural (BiBi) is the state or philosophy of embracing two languages and cultures?

British Sign Language (BSL) is used in England and other areas of the world. One of its distinguishing features is that it uses a two-handed manual alphabet.

Carpal Tunnel is a common syndrome that affects many interpreters and Deaf people and causes numbness and/or pain in the wrists.

Classifiers (or "depictive verbs") are signs that are used to represent general categories of things or can be used to describe the size and shape of an object (or person). These signs can be used to represent the object itself, or the way the object moves or interacts with other objects (or people). Another definition is: "A set of handshapes that represent classes of things that share similar characteristics."

Culturally Deaf people in the United States tend to prefer to use American Sign Language as their primary means of communication.

Culturally Deaf people in the United States tend to value "group achievement" or "collective achievement" more than individual achievement.

Deaf communities unusual among cultural groups because most members of Deaf communities did not acquire their cultural identity from their parents.

Deaf people tend to show up early to lectures or large events to get a good seat for visual clarity.

Deaf people value architecture that allows for visual communication such as good lighting, minimal visual obstructions, automatic sliding glass doors, safe walkways, and similar characteristics.

Deaf President Now (DPN) was a protest that took place the week of March 6, 1988 at Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. and became an international Deaf movement.

D-PAN (Deaf Professional Arts Network) is an organization dedicated to promoting professional development and access to the entertainment, visual and media arts fields for individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

Gallaudet is highly esteemed liberal arts university in Washington D.C. for Deaf and hard-of hearing students.

Historically, Deaf Culture has been transmitted via Deaf Schools (Residential Schools for the Deaf) and -- prior to the 1960's -- Deaf Clubs.

There are generally considered to be over 200 signed languages throughout the world (sources vary on the exact amount but the point is there are hundreds of signed languages).

If you arrive early or late to a Deaf meeting it is customary (common) to provide details or an explanation of why you are early or late.

In 1966 R. Orin Cornett at Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. developed Cued Speech which is a visual communication method that uses eight handshapes in four different positions along with the natural mouth movements that occur during speech.

In regard to childbearing, Culturally Deaf couples tend to hope for a deaf baby.

In the 1940's and 1950's Deaf people tended to gather in Deaf Clubs. Deaf Club membership and participation starting rapidly declining around the 1960's.

In the Deaf Community it is common to use the acronym VP to refer to a "video phone." Video phones are a type of visual phone system used by many Deaf people that let us see and be seen by the person on the other end of the call. These replaced Teletypes (TTYs). In turn VP's are being replaced by video communication apps on phones.

In the Deaf community we refer to a typical public school as a Hearing School.

It is okay to gently tap a person (who isn't looking at you) on the shoulder to get their attention.

Laurent Clerc was a Deaf man was born south of Lyons, France, in 1785. He helped establish the first American school for the Deaf.

Oral and/or Oralism are terms that refer to a philosophy of encouraging (forcing) Deaf to speak and read lips rather than use sign language.

Oralism is an approach to education that poses a threat to the continued existence of Deaf Culture since oralism

People who feel that being Deaf is about language and connection to other Deaf people subscribe to the "cultural model" or view of thinking about what it means to be Deaf.

Probably less than five percent of Deaf people have at least one Deaf parent. (Some say 10% but that is an old statistic.) The point is that not very many Deaf people have Deaf parents.

Signing and voicing at the same time is called simcom (simultaneous communication)?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is the name of a government program that provides regular paychecks to help some low-income or aged people (including some Deaf people) pay for basic living expenses.

Suppose you need to walk between two Deaf people who are having a conversation, you should typically walk through without stopping (as long as there is no other convenient way around the conversation).

Talking without signing in the presence of Deaf people (if you know how to sign) is considered rude in the Deaf Community.

Text or subtitles that are embedded in a video signal which can be displayed or removed on demand are called "Closed Captions (CC). " Subtitles that you cannot remove are called either "subtitles" or "captions" or "open-captioned."

That which defines a person as a member of the Deaf Community is NOT the degree of hearing loss but rather it is the individual's choice to identify oneself as a member of the community, embrace Deaf Culture, and acceptance (generally) by other members of the Deaf Community.

The "Americans with Disabilities Act" (ADA) law or "act" was originally passed in 1990 and has had a profound beneficial impact on the lives of Deaf people.

The "Deaf President Now" protest event took place at Gallaudet University?

The acronym CODA stands for "Child of Deaf Adult" and generally refers to the hearing children of Deaf parents.

The American Sign Language Teachers Association (ASLTA) is a national organization that is dedicated specifically to the improvement and expansion of the teaching of ASL and Deaf Studies.

The American Society for Deaf Children is an organization, set up in 1967, that focuses on providing support, encouragement, and information to families raising children who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

The phrase "Hearing Impaired" is considered "politically correct" by many Hearing people but is considered inappropriate and/or offensive by many culturally Deaf people.

The Second International Congress on Education of the Deaf met in 1880 in Milan and (Hearing educators) voted to embrace oral education and remove sign language from the classroom.

The term "Hearing" is used in the Deaf Community to refer to "non-Deaf" people who embrace the culture of people who can hear.

The world's oldest Deaf advocacy organization is the National Association of the Deaf (NAD).

Vocational Rehabilitation is a government agency that helps provide training and employment assistance to many disabled individuals (including Deaf people).

While watching another person sign it is appropriate to focus on the signer's face. Try to catch the signing peripherally while generally keeping your attention on the signer's face.



Notes:  If you have time, and want to understand Deaf Culture better, see: Deaf Culture


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