Talk:Deaf culture

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Cochlear Implants and other things[edit]

I feel that the cochlear implant section doesn't do the controversy justice. I, myself, am hearing but I'm sure that there is a larger controversy in the deaf community. In the diversity section, I feel that it would be pretty appropriate to discuss the separate dialects throughout countries. The viewpoints from the deaf community are quite objective and allows a hearing person to understand what is happening in the Deaf community. I learned a lot from this article. CharlotteHayden (talk) 00:45, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

Deafness article[edit]

Please join in the discussion at this location. Photouploaded (talk) 16:08, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Request for assistance merging content[edit]

The second half of the Deafness article had a great deal of content related to Deaf culture. Deaf culture was originally quite short, but with the content merged in, it has grown to a substantial size. Suggestions for how best to organize the information would be appreciated. Photouploaded (talk) 16:42, 18 January 2008 (UTC)


Could someone please explain how the 'Terminology' section contradicts itself as the tag says? I don't really see a problem with it. If someone could point this out I would be happy to help correct it! •Felix• T 18:02, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

I removed the tag, and, when I have confirmed the details, I am going to be fixing the details and citations. Sculleywr (talk) 21:07, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Cultural centers[edit]

Shouldn't there be a mention of the Sanderson Community Center of the Deaf located near Salt Lake City, UT (in Taylorsville, I believe)? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Micahbrwn (talkcontribs)

Cochlear implants[edit]

I'm surprised the controversy over cochlear implants gets no mention on this page. --Scottandrewhutchins (talk) 03:32, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Thats because there is no controversy. Deafness is a handicap. Thats like saying there is a controversy over artificial limbs because it destroys amputee culture. Alyeska (talk) 22:15, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually, there is quite a bit of controversy. See 1, 2, 3, 4, and that was just in a few minutes of searching. Horselover Frost (talk) 20:36, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Obviously, Alyeska, you don't agree with the view that Deafness is a culture. There is a big difference between a cochlear implant and an artificial limb. Namely in that most people who have children with cochlear implants don't teach their children sign language or expose them to Deaf Culture or the Deaf Community. musicalmeg20 (talk) 23:39, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Obviously, Musicalmeg20, you don't agree with the view that Amputees is a culture. There is a big difference between an artificial limb and an artificial limb. Namely in that most people who have children with artificial feet don't teach their children to use a wheelchair or expose them to Amputee culture or the Amputee Community. (talk) 01:14, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

That is perhaps the most ignorant thing ive heard in quite a while. And it is the very core over the controversy. That people like yourself, deaf or otherwise, think its a bad thing to hear.

It is not. Nor should deaf people be considered inferior outside of the physical inability to hear and how that inability affects their life in a world designed for the hearing. There is no difference in the comparison of disabilities in relation to this controversy. An artificial limb is no different than artificial hearing. And what would be hilarious, if not soo disgustingly sad, is that those like yourself think its not the same. That if a group of disabled people without limbs thought it was "ruining their culture" to use limbs, or that they denied their children limbs, you would think it was "bad". Wow, now perhaps you might see why this "deaf culture" idiocy is so damn ignorant. (talk) 11:25, 23 March 2009 (UTC) Harlequin

The difference, whoever you are, is that culturally Deaf people share a language. They are partially isolated from the larger culture by the inability to hear the language used by the larger culture, and so they connect with others who share their signed language. There is also a long tradition of residential schools for the deaf, where students stay at the school for long periods of time, further emphasizing their connections to each other while further isolating them from the larger culture. Amputees have no such communication barriers, and so there is no isolated "amputee culture" to disrupt.
A disability that affects verbal communication has far greater ramifications than one that affects mobility or dexterity, when it comes to participating in society. You can disagree with Deaf people who argue against cochlear implants on cultural grounds, but it is ignorant to claim an equivalency with other non-communicative disabilities. Powers T 11:48, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Hearing is one of the 5 primary senses. It is a critical sense that is very important for survival. The modern world makes it possible to live without the ability to hear, but it is still a dangerous world. The inability to hear is a disability pure and simple. Sign language allows deaf and hearing impaired to compensate, but it does not allow them to overcome. They are still fundamentally disabled and missing one of the 5 senses. It is a handicap. Do people take pride in being blind? Do people take pride in having no sense of taste? Pride in no sense of smell? There is no Blind Culture (who do happen to have their own language). It is good to see people who can overcome their disability and succeed in life, and there is pride in that. But having pride in the disability itself is just mystifying to me. Be proud of your accomplishments and the culture that it inspires, but do not show ignorant pride in your disability, and do not insult those who overcome their disability through receiving implants. They have overcome their disability through another method and they deserve just as much respect. Alyeska (talk) 16:33, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Blind people do not have a separate language. Braille, if that's what you're thinking of, is a system of writing that can be used to transliterate English or a number of other languages. It's more of a font than a separate language -- thus why there is no "blind culture" separate from the larger culture. As I pointed out, culturally Deaf people do have a separate language, do often spend a lot of time isolated from hearing people, and therefore do have a unique culture. I happen to agree with you that criticizing implantees on such grounds is, in many ways, cruel and unnecessary, and I don't believe in the preservation of individual cultures just for the sake of preservation, but to deny that Deaf people have formed a separate subculture in numerous societies (not just the U.S.) is willful ignorance of an astounding degree. Powers T 13:36, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Subculture is not the same thing as culture. People who live in Montana have a different culture than those in New York by your same reasoning. They are separated, speak different dialects, etc. But to use the subculture as a context to berate others and as justification to selectively have deaf children is insulting. Alyeska (talk) 17:40, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Deaf is not a subculture. Deaf is its own culture. Deaf is around the world, and there are Deaf people in all countries. They share the same characteristic, being deaf. Alyeska, I don't even understand how you are allowed to be on this page. You clearly do not understand what culture is. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:405:4104:60C0:5481:423B:2D8A:859 (talk) 23:46, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
ASL is not a dialect of English. I don't know how much clearer I can be. Powers T 22:32, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't care. I don't know how much clearer I can be. Alyeska (talk) 02:39, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Considerably. It certainly seemed as if you were comparing the differences between the dialect of English spoken in Montana with the dialect spoken in New York to the differences between ASL and English. If you were not doing so, why did you bring it up? Powers T 12:42, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Culture is not dependent on a specific language. Culture comes from many areas. So does subculture. My point is that deaf people do not live in a different culture unless they came from another nation with a fundamentally different culture. What deaf people have is a subculture that can develop from their language. And something you need to consider, deaf people should also be capable of communicating in English (through written form). So deaf people are of a multilingual environment more then anything else. The uniqueness of their subculture comes from their need to communicate through gestures, and this exists with any sign language they know. So their subculture is a result of their handicap, not their language itself. Alyeska (talk) 14:42, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
It can't solely be the result of their lack of hearing. There are numerous people with normal hearing in Deaf cultures -- primarily interpreters and CODAs, whose members are fluent in sign language -- and plenty of deaf people who have no connection to Deaf culture. Also, there is more than one Deaf culture in the world, usually delimited by the sign language used. Certainly, most any Deaf culture is part of and influenced by the larger surrounding culture, but I don't see how that invalidates their concerns. Powers T 17:34, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
The culture arises from being deaf, but naturally those involved within the group also join the subculture. Like all other subculture groups work. Alyeska (talk) 05:36, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
There's much more to it than that, I'm afraid. Otherwise, as you noted above, blind people would have their own culture like deaf people, and more deaf people would be a part of the culture. Deafness is part of it, for sure -- it certainly has a huge effect on most of the cultural norms -- but it's quite simply not the only factor. The isolation of many deaf people in residential schools for the deaf, and the use of a unique language, among other things, are also factors. Powers T 12:51, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
(I think we can skip back a few indents)I am talking sub culture here. Not culture. Blind people can very well have a subculture that is connected but not directly the same as the primary culture. Deafness is the root cause. People associated with those who are deaf become associated with the subculture. There is nothing intrinsically unique about the deaf subculture outside of it being an adaption from the deafness. Peculiar quirks were adapted in the process of sign language and a semi different culture emerged. They are still part of Western Culture and within the American culture (or whatever country they are from), but adaptations from learning to speak with their hands is the primary difference in their culture. The language itself is secondary. And as such those associated with people who are deaf become part of the deaf culture. Alyeska (talk) 18:43, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia:NOR, how could that be any clearer, dammit, we don't care what YOU think, what SOURCES say is what we care about. You are not special, you are not a source. Snapdragonfly (talk) 05:24, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
This conversation was over more than six months ago. To what are you responding, exactly? Powers T 14:32, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

I am going to try to summarize the above debate here in the talk for future visitors to this talk page. Real quickly, however, I want to make clear that I am a hearing interpreter trained at Tennessee Temple University, with no connections to Deaf friends or family prior to that time. Prior to going to college, I had never even thought about these things. Now, I have a broader view of things, a second language, and friends I would never have made without that experience. As for knowledge to why this is a controversy:

Deaf people view the cochlear implant as a threat NOT because of what it does, but when and why people are getting cochlear implants. the surgery to install an implant is extremely invasive, costly, and has risks that are avoidable when in many cases of hearing loss, it is possible to restore a percentage of hearing almost as good as a SUCCESFUL implantee. The reason I say this is that the implant surgery has shown in studies to be only 50% successful in providing hearing improvements better than hearing aids.

The second part of the controversy is that Deaf children have their choices made for them before they can even think enough to make the decision. There are some who have, later on, thrown the external portion of the implant out, because they did not like that someone drilled a hole in their head. A surgery so invasive, which in and of itself serves no life-saving purpose, should be chosen by the recipient, and not the caretakers, unless improvement of mental statust can only be brought by the installment of said device.

Now, with schools out there in EVERY state for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, with many of them having success rates higher than their own state's public school systems, it is obvious that hearing does NOT effect mental competency. Harvest Deaf Academy, a private school in Ringgold, GA, has proven that not only can they turn out educated people that are Deaf AND hearing, taught in a bi-lingual school that is run equally by Deaf and hearing teachers and equally attended by Deaf and hearing from all over the country, and in some cases, outside of the country itself (exchanged from the countries of Romania, Ireland, and other countries), but they can make them successful either in college or in a career.

The argument of Deaf people does have only one flaw, from my point of view. There are Deaf people who refuse to accept implantees as a part of the culture, stating that they have sold themself out to the "hearing community". This also is not true, because the moment you take the implant off, you are just as Deaf as any other Deaf person. in my eyes, the surgery should be given only to those that are old enough to understand all the implications and options, because education can no longer be hindered by your hearing, if you do things right.

Now, I shall take the problems of the pro-hearing argument the rest of the way apart. I already mentioned that education is not hindered by hearing or the lack thereof. I shall take this further to state that function in the community (that is, as a contributing part of the community) is not unhindered either. Deaf people now serve in many capacities, from walmart to the government. They have shown that they can not only drive, but, without the distractions we hearing people put in our lives (cell-phones, radio, kids arguing in the back seat), Deaf people tend to be safer drivers than hearing drivers. Some will bring up crossing a road as a possible hazard, but I say that it is no more dangerous for them than it is for you or me. How many times do you see a hearing person cross the road with an mp3 player or ipod in his ear. the first time you use one, you might have trouble, but the same compensation you make crossing the road with headphones on and music blasting has been being used by Deaf people since they were born.

the final issue is the people who do not understand that ASL is a language in and of itself. ASL is most certainly a language. it has a distinctive people group that uses it, a specific and distinctive syntax and grammar that is different from English, and is actually closer to that of the French language. Connected to this issue is the recognition of culture. The three markers of a specific culture are: Language (American Sign Language) boundaries (these boundaries can be either geographical or socio-political. In the case of Deaf culture, it is a socio-political boundary that separates Deaf people from hearing people.) the most important aspect of culture, however, is a shared history. Deaf people have had a vastly different history than hearing people, even within the Americas. That is what makes it a culture, not a subculture. new Yorkers and Mississipians share a common history, while hearing people and Deaf people share major differences in philosophy and history. While Hearing people have experienced melding of races and culture, among the Deaf, there was little to no racism problem. While hearing people have been able to get jobs anywhere they want and get good education in any field, it wasn't until the late 1980's that Deaf people were educated in their own language again. and it wasn't until the ADA and other acts that discrimination against them was recognized as an issue. It is obvious that we have a long way to go, and we need to work toward a society where Deaf and hearing can work side by side. that should be our goal. we should start working towards it NOW. ~Sculleywr —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:38, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

You are of course right on most aspects, although I'm not sure what your point is. =) Is there something specific in the article you'd like to address? Powers T 15:26, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Well, the special type of suppression that hearing people have used on Deaf people, a type that is different from the slavery pinioned on the African-American people in the past and yet easily as segregating. Instead of controlling them by physical means, Deaf people have been separated from the hearing populace for a long time now, dating back much farther than the aggressive means of slavery which black people only experienced for a few hundred years. Not to minimize the horridity of white man's slavery of black people, but Deaf people were and have been viewed as inferior for thousands of years prior to that. The method I am talking about is the provision of inferior or no educational materials. This includes the forced oral training pushed on them in the 1800's as well as the many hundreds of years prior to the 1700s where they weren't even thought worthy of time in the classroom. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:31, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
You are correct in saying that both deaf and black people were segregated but keep in mind that African-Americans are a part of American culture and go to the same schools as white people. There have been huge changes made so that they are included in all aspects of American culture. Deaf people should do the same. They should make an effort to become a part of regular American culture by learning to communicate with the hearing community. People who move here from other countries learn the language so that they can be a part of society instead of ignorantly refusing to be apart of our culture. I'm all for people who are deaf having a culture or clubs or whatever, but there should be an effort made to be a part of this culture as well. I think that deaf people should go to school with the hearing and be included in all parts of life. Secluding themselves will do nothing and make no progress. It is extremely important that advances are made so that deaf people can associate with hearing people. And they can deny it all they want, but it is an impairment. Not hearing does make things harder. Now, I'm not saying that they aren't as capable as a hearing person. A deaf person has the brain power to learn as much and the physical ability to play a sport the only difference is their hearing, but it is much harder with the lack of hearing. Being deaf limits their ability to hear someone calling their name on a soccer field or understand a teacher. It is a harder style of living. If there are advances to improve this, then they should not be denied just because swallowing your pride is difficult. Hearing and deaf people have the same physical ability to learn because they have the same brain power, but without hearing it's harder and the deaf person may not learn as much as a hearing person, even though they're mentally capable of it. If there is technology to improve this problem, it shouldn't, by any means, be rejected. Annakmo (talk) 23:42, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Saying that Deaf people should make an attempt to be part of the hearing culture is ignoring one major thing: Deaf people think differently! Maybe it's a weird concept, but Deaf people don't normally think the way hearing people do. They don't think in words, but in pictures. With such a huge difference in thinking patterns, there is bound to be a difference. Mainstreaming would be great, if the hearing culture didn't decide that shoving them in special education, giving them crappy uncertified interpreters (I'm talking to you, State of Tennessee), and giving them crutches by grading them on a major curve instead of giving them the grade they deserve was how to do mainstreaming. Speaking as an interpreter, mainstreaming is unfeasible to require for every Deaf child.
The major problem with the cochlear implant, and your response, is that without years of intensive and invasive procedures, the CI cannot fix deafness. When the battery dies, the child is deaf. When the outer portion is taken out, the child is deaf. I have had conversations with Deaf people in ASL about quantum physics. ASL is a fully functional language, and as such, it has the capability of adapting to any situation and can explain any thought (though a person going in deep detail about a new idea they have in the realm of quantum physics might make his interpreter's head explode). The cochlear implant my teacher has (yes, I have a Deaf teacher, get over it) isn't really any good unless she is close enough to read my lips. I have about 15 friends with CI's. Out of them, none can actually understand me unless they are looking directly at me. The CI is also limited to conductive hearing loss, only. Beyond that, it involves drilling a hole into the skull of an extremely young child. When ASL has been proven to work as a language base in children, a parent is given the choice between leaving her child open to infection. Oh, and that child won't be playing a soccer game with a CI. The doctor gives explicit instructions to not participate in sports which involve high risk of impact while wearing a CI. The child would have to take the outer portion off, and doing a header the wrong way could cause serious, and expensive, damage to the internal parts of the CI. Sculleywr (talk) 06:28, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

Well, Jesus H. Christ. A home-schooled Baptist has conversations with deaf people involving quantum physics. LOL. Wonders never cease. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:27, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

I thought that I'd participate in this discussion, if only to give another perspective. I'm an interpreter with over 30 years of experience both in the field and as a signer. I, like the contributor above, had no exposure to Deaf people and ASL before college, but at this point, I've been signing so long, I've gained an almost-native fluency in ASL. I'm also an experienced WP editor, but haven't contributed to Deafness articles, even though you could call me an expert, because I don't have access to the sources and materials necessary.

This is the kind of debate that has gone on for over 100 years, not about the CI of course, but about Deafness as a culture and ASL as a language. To be honest, it's obvious that the anti-culture proponents aren't educated about the subject. Deaf culture exists because Deaf people were forced to be isolated from the mainstream hearing culture because their hearing loss prevented them from freely associating with them, so they developed a separate language and culture in order to communicate and associate with each other. These days, with the ADA and other freedoms, Deaf people don't have to be isolated from hearing people as much, but Deaf culture survives, despite the CI, due to its strength and resilience. This kind of thing has gone on for centuries, my friends, and the CI or mainstream education or anything else won't kill off Deaf culture and ASL. And believe me, there have been many attempts throughout history.

There are two facts, and no amount of debate on this talk page will change it: Deaf culture is real and ASL is a language. Consequently, this article should reflect that. Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 07:20, 10 November 2013 (UTC)


I'm curious about one of the bullet points in the Norms of American Deaf Culture section. Admitedly, I haven't had a lot of exposure to the culture, as it seems to be dying a slow death in my area, but the point about discussing music being rude seems a bit off to me. Is there a citation to back this up, or does this seem to be the case in other areas that I just am not aware of? Again, if I'm just ignorant, please educate me :) Deafgeek (talk) 19:34, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

I can see how discussing something which Deaf people can't access would be rude. Whether there's a citation for that or not I'm not sure. I haven't ever done it and had a Deaf person be offended, so I can't even speak from personal experience - but it seems reasonable.  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 20:30, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
This is insane, as is the phenomenon of deaf parents screening their embryoes to ensure a deaf child. Deafness is a serious handicap, and those parents should be jailed if they try to do such a horrible thing. How could you take the beauty of music away from your child? Or is it just that they are scared that their children will have rich experiences that they cannot even imagine??Ndriley97 (talk) 18:27, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
Anyone who thinks deaf people don't listen to music doesn't know very many deaf people.  :P Powers T 13:56, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Man... I'm not deaf yet (less than 20% impairment but will fail before I'm 40 based on family history), and even if I was 100% deaf I would never identify with this 'culture' crapola, but I do know the joy of being able to 'feel' my music. Gliktch (talk) 00:31, 30 August 2009 (UTC) Wow, I like this discussion. I don't know which side to sway to, both sides are strong to me —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:44, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

Ndriley97: As to "the phenomenon of deaf parents screening their embryoes [sic] to ensure a deaf child"... I suppose from a radically pro-choice perspective, it makes some sense. In some areas of the world, many people are already seeking screens for embryos to ensure certain hair or eye colors or one gender over the other. I read an article recently about an epidemic in England of abortions of babies with clubfoot - a minor birth defect usually corrected by wearing braces for up to four years and sometimes surgery - and cleft lip (or harelip) - another very minor defect usually corrected by a simple surgery. While not exactly the same thing as screening embryos prior to implantation (I assume this is what you meant), it doesn't seem too surprising to me, given the climbing rate of culturally-accepted abortions for minor defects like cleft lip, as mentioned above. If Deaf culture sees deafness as just another characteristic, not a defect, why shouldn't they screen embryos for deaf trait the same as people screen them (or desire to screen them) for hair and eye color or gender? Then again, I'm pro-life, so I heartily agree with you that screening embryos for deaf trait with the intention of killing the hearing ones is despicable, the same as I believe screening embryos with the intention of killing the deaf ones is morally wrong. Melofshanoah (talk) 23:33, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Melofshanoah

Spanish language references[edit]

I removed these from the English article because they aren't useful here, but they might be in the Spanish version if someone has the expertise to place them.

  • Gascón Ricao, A. y J.G. Storch de Gracia y Asensio (2004) Historia de la educación de los sordos en España y su influencia en Europa y América. Madrid : Editorial universitaria Ramón Areces, Colección "Por más señas".
  • Herrera, V. Habilidad lingüística y fracaso lector en los estudiantes sordos.[1]
  • Storch de Gracia y Asensio, J.G. (coord.)(2005), Estatuto jurídico de las lenguas de señas en el Derecho español (Aproximaciones), Madrid, Editorial universitaria Ramón Areces, Colección "Por más Señas, La Llave"
  • Storch de Gracia y Asensio, J.G. (2005), "Las teorías de Harlan Lane sobre la identidad sorda. Oscuras remembranzas del nazismo en estado puro", accessible at Voces en el Silencio.
  • Storch de Gracia y Asensio, J.G. (2005), "Comunidad, identidad y derechos humanos y lingüísticos", Communication at the II Congreso Nacional de Lengua de Signos Española, Valladolid University (Spain), september of 2005 (accessible at Centro Hervás y Panduro).
  • Storch de Gracia y Asensio, J.G. (2006), "Derecho a la información y discapacidad (Una reflexión aplicada a los lenguajes de los sordos)", en Revista General de Información y Documentación [Madrid-España], vol. 16, núm. 1, pp. 75-103 (accessible at Centro Hervás y Panduro).

--Distinguisher (talk) 22:03, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Removed external links[edit]

I removed a number of external links from the article with the following rationales.

The following site duplicates the functionality of Wikipedia, but is full of spam:

Already included in the 'deafness' article and not directly related to cultural Deafness:

Poorly maintained:

--Distinguisher (talk) 15:14, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Removed new 'Language Barriers' essay contributed by Anahdz0717[edit]

Since a lot of work appears to have gone into this contribution, I think it's only polite to say something here about why I removed it.

1. It contains a number of factual errors (e.g., "BSL it has in own supported language or slang ... called the SSE, which stands for Sign Supported English.").

2. It's inadequately referenced. Many of the references that have been included are broken links.

3. It's poorly phrased, uses incorrect terminology (e.g., 'glossary' rather than 'vocabulary') and is mostly ungrammatical English.

4. It's not properly integrated with the existing content of the article.

5. Much of the content is inappropriate to include in an article about Deaf culture (e.g., "There are a set of rules for using language, called grammar."). --Distinguisher (talk) 12:16, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Deafness and Genetics[edit]

I just edited this page after seeing the undocumented claim that: "The causes of deafness are rarely heritable". I added a citation needed to that statement. I bring this up after reading the following article: [2] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:25, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

The statement about heritability was made in the context of accounting for why deaf children rarely acquire Deaf culture from their own families, so the heritability of age-related deafness isn't directly relevant to the argument. For the sake of accuracy, I adjusted the statement so that it applies only to children and adolescents, which is all that is necessary to account for why the culture isn't acquired from family, and which is supported by the existing reference.--Distinguisher (talk) 22:31, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Merge with article on deafness[edit]

I'm surprised that this article exists with no section for "Critiques of the Concept". Just because language is a carrier of cultures, doesn't mean that every linguistic group is also equivalent to a cultural group; doesn't logically follow. Deaf Culture has been erected on the notion that because they use their own language, ASL or local variants, they are THEREFORE a separate culture. I would suggest however, that a deaf Iranian has more in common with other Iranians, than he/she does with deaf Finns, and vice versa. The whole notion of deaf culture reeks of political expediency and opportunism. Just because a group is disabled and therefore deserving of sympathy and assistance, doesn't mean the rest of us have to swallow a politically charged notion that has no basis in either fact or logic. This whole page reminds me of the constant squabbles from various nationalistic groups that one still sees infesting Wikipedia.

What this means is that this page should be a sub-section of a larger page on deafness, ie, controversy over existence of deaf culture. To give it this separate page is to ratify the notion without ever really examining if it has substance. (talk) 19:55, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

With due respect, you don't know what you're talking about. Yes, it's true that not every linguistic group is equivalent to a cultural group. It's also true that deaf people often have more in common culturally with their hearing countrymen than with foreign deaf people. But Deaf culture exists, most prominently as a subculture of the broader United States culture, but other deaf cultures exist in other countries as well, and they share many elements and overlap with each other somewhat. These basic facts are not in dispute by sociologists, but rather, it seems, only by people who drop by to comment on this talk page. Powers T 01:22, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Blind people have their own writing system called Braille. Does that mean that they are a culture? Braille symbols do not resemble English letters. One has to understand the Braille symbols in order to be able to read it. (talk) 19:00, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
Braille is not a language, but a code for a language. It is no more of a language than our English alphabet is a language in and of itself. ASL, on the other hand, is its own language, in vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and idiomatic usage.

To bolster the case for the existence of a Deaf culture is the fact that Deaf people do not embrace the individualistic qualities of the hearing majority, but tend toward a collectivist society. This is the reason that a Deaf person gives a person a sign name, which is a sign that one has been accepted by the Deaf Community. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:31, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

Disability template[edit]

Template:Disability was recently added to the article. I'm seeking opinions about whether it should remain, in that many members of Deaf culture object to the term "disability" to describe themselves. If it were any other article, such as Deafness, I would have fewer concerns. I think for this article, however, use of the template may reflect an insensitivity to the culture. Thanks for your comments. Cresix (talk) 01:29, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Obviously, Deaf culture is not, itself, a disability. But deafness is (it's the inability to hear; no matter how much deaf people prefer it that way, it remains so), and the development of a unique and vibrant culture around a disability is relevant to the larger topic of disabilities. That said, I can see how some might find it off-putting, especially since there's no good way to contextualize the template. Powers T 01:40, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
I strongly disagree with Powers. It is not primarily the issue of an absence of a human faculty, but rather is the primarily an issue of the presence of a positive faculty. In this case, culturally Deaf people are visual beings who use natural, visual languages. There is nothing disabling in this primary aspect. Since concepts and conceptualization is always done based on primaries, then it is perfectly sensible for culturally Deaf people to want to be regarded as not being disabled.Clercfan (talk) 22:04, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Powers. That is all I will say, given that I do not generally get involved in identity-politics-oriented discussions. Pending a collectively-sanctiond consensus, you at this article should do whatever you deem best. Kikodawgzzz (talk) 02:04, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
I would think an article that discusses what is not a disability falls within the topic of disabilities as much as an article that discusses what is one. From that point of view, the template seems appropriate, but it may not be interpreted that way by everyone.--Distinguisher (talk) 09:55, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

The problem here is that no matter what hearing people say, many members of the Deaf community don't consider "not being able to hear" a disability. It's a construct those outside their culture, namely, hearing people, place upon them. I don't think that just because someone slapped a template that declares the Deaf "disabled" it should remain. I also think that since many Deaf don't consider themselves "disabled", it should be removed. The problem with templates is that they categorize the often uncategorizable. (Infoboxes often do the same thing, which is why I hate them, too.) I understand their purposes, so that similar articles can be grouped together, but in this case, I don't think categorization is more important than the afore-mentioned identity politics. I'm sure that a politically-active member of the Deaf community would say that here we hearing people go, trying to make them more "hearing"--again. Christine (talk) 11:52, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Category:Deafness is in Category:Disability, and for good reason. I know that deaf (and especially Deaf) people don't like being defined by what they can't do, but there's no other way to define deafness except by lack of hearing. Even in the popular phrase, "Deaf people can do anything -- except hear", there's the admission of an inability to do something. It's the only defining characteristic, and there's no way around it. (Deaf culture, on the other hand, can be defined without reference to hearing, but deafness as a state cannot. I've seen attempts, but they aren't pretty.) Powers T 18:35, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, we can debate this all day, and this isn't the place to do so. Personally, I think it's a presumptuous debate for hearing people to have. Regarding the template, however, it may help to know that the editor who added it, User:Kikodawgzzz, is the template's creator, so he definitely has an agenda. He has also been blocked for editwarring. He's what my mother would've called "a troublemaker", so keep that in mind. For that reason, and because this article has done fine without the template in the past, I vote to remove it. Christine (talk) 19:59, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't see him as a troublemaker. He was blocked once for 3RR, a common mistake and one for which he apologized. The discussions on his talk page make clear that he acknowledges the Social model of disability -- which is, ironically enough, a topic to which the above discussion regarding deafness and disability is very very relevant. Powers T 22:56, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Back to a comment by LtPowers. I agree with most of what you say. However, I would like to reframe your comment "there's no other way to define deafness except by lack of hearing". Medically that is true. What I think the sticking point for people in Deaf culture is that deafness does not have to be defined as a disability. This objection to characterizing a sensory deficit as a disability is not restricted to Deaf culture, BTW. The National Federation of the Blind states that blindness, with proper training, can be reduced to a "nuisance", not a disability. I don't mean to split hairs, but I think these nuances of meanings of words are important to minority groups. I appreciate all the comments here. Feel free to invite others who have an interest to contribute. Cresix (talk) 23:57, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

"Disability" is a medical term, as is "deafness". They have other senses, but we can't ignore the medical senses because some culturally Deaf people don't like to think about it that way. We're not about to create a Template:Nuisances. I guess the problem is that some people think "disability" means "there are tasks you can't do and so you need to be dependent on other people", when really all it means is "you can't hear" (or see, or walk, or what have you). Obviously people would object to the former sense, but I don't know of anyone who uses the word that way in modern times. Powers T 01:21, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, I disagree, at least in part. "Disability" is used in medicine, as well as other professions, but it is not specifically a medical term. It has acquired broader connotations, just as terms such as "deaf and dumb" and "deaf-mute" (once considered acceptable terms) acquired connotations that became offensive to those who were described by them. The meanings of words change as they become a part of the larger culture. You're right; "disability" has come to mean "things you can't do". I think that's why those in Deaf culture have rejected the term (as well as other disability groups). Some of this may be considered semantic quibbling, but I think for this article it goes well beyond that. The Deafness article can be considered an article about the "medical disability". My feeling is that this article focuses more on the issues beyond the physical problems with hearing. I'm not necessarily saying that members of Deaf culture should determine the content of this article (that would never work on Wikipedia anyway). But I think in an article about the culture, consideration of their perspectives is more important than in other articles. BTW, you're right Template:Nuisances would never work. I think Deaf culture feels that, when it comes to deafness, "disability" doesn't work either. Thanks. Cresix (talk) 01:48, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Adding to what Cresix has said, remember that you don't necessarily have to not be able to hear to be a member of the Deaf community. CODAs, parents of Deaf children, and some interpreters are members of the culture as well. When I was an interpreter, my ability to hear was more of a disability, even though I was a better signer than many Deaf folks, but due to the generosity of other members, I was a part of the Deaf community. In other words, most Deaf people didn't hold my hearingness against me. Christine (talk) 03:39, 8 September 2010 (UTC)m
Yes, I know. I've mentioned those very factors before on this page. But this page is in Category:Deafness, which is in Category:Disability. Personally, I hate the euphemism treadmill, but if there were another acceptable term that groups together blindness, deafness, anosmia, inability to walk, etc., I'd be willing to use it. But as far as I can see, there isn't. This page is not here for the convenience of Deaf people, it's here for the convenience of our readers, and removing a navigation template that those readers may find useful is a disservice. Powers T 13:53, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
To be honest, in this instance, I care very little for "the convenience of our readers". If someone is going to want to find out about Deaf culture, this article's categorization isn't going to matter all that much. This article is about a group of people who find it offensive to be characterized in this way. If any of those other groups were opposed to some Category or Template being slapped on an article about them, I'd go along with what they'd want as well. Of course, I say this not as an active editor of this article, but as an "expert". (Yes, I know, I should contribute, but it's been a few years since I've been active in the Deaf community and I no longer have access to the research materials it deserves.) Personally, I understand this article being placed in the disability category; what I'm opposed to is the big, colorful template. It didn't need it before a few days ago; why even keep it if we know it's offensive to the very group this article is about? Christine (talk) 20:02, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

I'm not fond of the "eumphemism treadmill" either, but it's a fact of life that we must deal with. I think it's much easier for those outside of Deaf culture to complain that it's inconvenient to have to deal with changing meanings of words than it is for members of Deaf culture to live through the consequences of words that carry a negative meaning that they might not have had 50 years ago. If there had been an internet and a Wikipedia back then, we'd be having this same discussion about "deaf and dumb" and "deaf-mute" (or for that matter, racially related words that are not widely acceptable today). As for "if there were another acceptable term", my reaction is, why does there have to be a term? Deaf people are deaf. Their hearing sense is not the same as that of people who are not considered deaf. If deaf people do not want another term to describe them, why do we need another term? I realize the medical field uses the term, but the medical field also once used the words "moron" and "imbecile" to describe levels of mental retardation; try using those words in a professional setting today.
All of that having been said, I acknowledge that this article is not written for the convenience of Deaf people. I do feel some agreement with Christine, however, that having that huge "disability" logo slapped at the top of a page concerning people who find the term offensive is problematic. I don't know if there is a "best" solution. But in the tradition of Wikipedia, I started this discussion to see if any sort of consensus develops. Thanks. Cresix (talk) 23:17, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

I think it's important to remember that we're not categorizing members of Deaf culture as being "disabled" by using this template. It's merely a navigational device. We use them to provide a concise set of links to related topics in a more usable format than a simple "See also" list. Articles like mainstreaming, ableism, social model of disability, and congenital disorder are very useful links to have on this article, and putting them in a navigation template is a convenient and friendly way to present them to the reader. If there is a better heading for the template than "Disability", that should certainly be discussed, but I can't think of one off hand. Powers T 02:06, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

I understand that those of us writing on this talk page aren't necessarily categorizing. But as has been said, this article isn't written for Deaf people, nor is it written for us. To the naive reader, one of the first things they see is the word "disability". I think this may be a case in which first impressions are overwhelming. To that naive reader, I think the message is "Deaf culture = Disability". I feel certain that would be more than a little offensive to the Deaf community. As I've said, I don't know that there is a "good" solution, but I definitely think we have a serious problem. Cresix (talk) 02:21, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

What Cresix said. I agree, this is serious. Is this something we should take to arbitration then? Having never done that, I'll leave it to you guys to make the next step if we decide to do so. Christine (talk) 03:35, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure we are so at odds with each other that formal arbitration is necessary at this time, although we certainly don't seem to have much of a consensus either. (Anyone can seek dispute resolution, however, so I'm not saying you have no right to seek any solution you see fit, Christine.) I'm no expert in these matters, either, although I have been involved in some disputes much more heated than this one. I think the first step is to conclude the consensus process as much as possible. If that doesn't resolve the matter, then the procedures suggested by WP:DISPUTE might be appropriate. Perhaps the next step is a straw poll in which we each express a clear "Keep" or "Remove" opinion regarding the template. Consensus is not governed by majority vote, but sometimes a voting process can crystalize opinions. Accordingly, I'll go ahead set up the straw poll below if there are no objections. Again, if you know of other editors with an interest in deafness, please encourage them to express opinions. BTW, if you wish to add additional discussion, I think here (above the straw poll) is the appropriate place, not mixed in with the straw poll. Thanks. Cresix (talk) 03:53, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

I don't think we're dealing with a 'euphemism treadmill' in this case. The Deaf community don't just object to the term disability, but to any term that presents deafness as a pathological condition. They view the term impairment the same way for instance, not because impaired has taken on derogatory connotations like retarded, moron and so forth, but because they either don't believe deafness to be an impairment or would prefer this not be the focus of their identity.--Distinguisher (talk) 13:47, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Well, folks, it's been a few weeks and it looks like the consensus is that we remove the template. In the interest of boldness, I'm going to go ahead and do that now. If anyone has problems with that, we can discuss it further here. Christine (talk) 19:53, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Dont delete this template. NO Deafness is NOT a disability, BUT having this form up for discussion can help IGNORANT PEOPLE LIKE POWERS to realize the true meaning for this template. NOT TO SAY DEAFNESS IS, but to have a discussion on the topic. Deafness is not a disability, if it is, then every one is disabled at some time. What about when we have ear plugs in, we can hear the people around us, are we disabled. When were sleeping and we cant, consciously hear, are we disabled then? NO so seriously grow up Powers. get a life! Spamuel<3 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:16, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Straw poll[edit]

Should we Keep or Remove the disability template?

  • Remove - Although I have mixed feelings, for the reasons I have described above, I think for this particular article the template should be removed. This is not an opinion about use of the template in any other article. Cresix (talk) 03:53, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Remove - My feelings about this have been made clear in the discussion above. I don't think the template is necessary, and it is a misleading and inaccurate categorization of both the subject and the group of people this article attempts to describe. Christine (talk) 11:44, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Keep. The formation of a unique culture around the language and social norms of people with a disability is very notable to the larger topic. This is a standard navigation template that is very neutral in presentation. Powers T 12:08, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Remove - Though I can see why it would make sense for the Disablity template to go on pages like Deafness which describes the condition, I don't think it fits for a page regarding Deaf Culture. After all, there are many hearing members of the community who would not be considered disabled by the traditional definition. Deafgeek (talk) 14:57, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Remove - Late in the game, but I prefer to see 'disability' categorically-tagged ONLY to anything medical-related or sparingly throughout articles pointed to by Deaf studies journals; nothing else. --Egberts (talk) 21:49, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Remove - Also late in the game, but the fact is that many members of Deaf Culture have full hearing capability, CODAs as one example. A culture is a culture. No culture is a disability. Qaz (talk) 04:57, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
The template was removed a long time ago, but the argument for using it would be that this article falls within the topic by contributing to the discussion about what is and isn't a disability. It doesn't have to be interpreted to mean that deafness is a disability (or that Deaf culture is). It appears that everyone who voted 'remove' assumed it has to mean that. I would be happy about including the template if it were smaller because I think it would be useful for anyone wanting to follow up on those issues, but it is quite large, so risks being overly prominent.--Distinguisher (talk) 15:15, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
It seems a hard sell to me to try to say that the template could be here because Deaf culture is a good example of what is not a disability. Do you think most people would get that message from that template being attached to this article? Qaz (talk) 21:09, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I see Distinguisher's point, but I must agree with Qaz that having a disability template virtually jump off the page as soon as a naive reader opens the article makes it doubtful that the reader will conclude that "Disability" is something that deafness is not. First impressions, to the unaware, can be overwhelming. Remember, the article is written for general readership, not people who understand the finer points about "disability". Cresix (talk) 23:02, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Remove - Deafness is only a disabled condition in hearing culture. In Deaf culture, Deaf people are not disabled. Culturally Deaf people don't identify as disabled either. Andrea Carter (at your service | my good deeds) 10:29, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Neutrality dispute and citation style banners[edit]

The article has a banner stating that "the neutrality of this article is disputed", but there is no discussion of any such dispute here on the talk page. If no one objects, I will remove this banner in two weeks from now.

There is also a banner about the citation style being unclear without any discussion to be found here on the talk page. It may have been self-evident what this banner referred to at the time it was created, but in my opinion, the citations are now on a par with other Wikipedia articles. If no one objects, I will also remove this banner in two weeks from now. --Distinguisher (talk) 05:21, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

I agree with your concerns. Since the banners have been up a long time with no discussion, I went ahead and removed them. If someone wants to make a case on this talk page they can be restored. Cresix (talk) 17:56, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
I've also rm an offensive tag template. I see no reason to take this kind of oblique action to denigrate the topic of this article. Please do not apply random tags; thank you. — Xiongtalk* 08:40, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

I think there is a neutrality problem with this article. There isn't any discussion of how alienating extreme wings of deaf culture can be for individuals who do want to make use of cochlear implants and other technological advances. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:45, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

This page has some severe neutrality problems and systemic bias. The page ought not to promote nor detract from deaf culture but tell the facts as they are. I am aware of how culturally sensitive the issues are here and how some would prefer a pro-deaf-only perspective, but Wikipedia is not the place for that; of course, a pro-hearing-only perspective is not warranted either. --Therealelizacat (talk) 07:56, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

@Therealelizacat: Could you point out specifics of "severe neutrality problems and systemic bias" and clarification on where the article might "promote" deaf culture or a "pro-deaf-only perspective"? Thanks. Sundayclose (talk) 16:37, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

External Links[edit]

One of the links is to a site in Ukrainian, which is not much use to the English wikipedia.

Another one of the links refers to the 9 million deaf people in the UK. This sounds wrong, as there are only ~60million in the UK. (talk) 01:04, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

The most likely source would be this: "Almost 9 million people in the UK, 1 in 7 of the population, suffer from deafness or experience significant hearing difficulty" - taken from Hearing in Adults, Professor Adrian Davis (Whurr, 1995). More information at Medical Research Council: "Hearing screen for newborns" 0zero9nine (talk) 16:31, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

Deaf parents[edit]

The article currently states:

Although up to fifty percent of deafness has genetic causes, fewer than five percent of deaf people have a Deaf parent…

I believe this should read:

Although up to fifty percent of deafness has genetic causes, fewer than five percent of deaf people have a deaf parent…

Surely the statistic is relevant to whether the parent is deaf (i.e., has deafness) rather than whether the parent is part of the Deaf community? I doubt that being a member of a community affects the likelihood on one's children being deaf. sroc 💬 07:20, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Yes, and the cited source agrees with your interpretation and your fix to lowercase. Some other cases are trickier. In "found that 87 percent of black Deaf people polled identified with their Black culture first", it seems logical that they would mean lowercase deaf; but the cited source uses uppercase; should we? Dicklyon (talk) 22:49, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Indeed. The capitalised Deaf implies that it is 87% of black deaf people who associate with Deaf culture (excluding anyone who does not associate at all with Deaf culture). It also raises the question, if they associate more with Black culture than Deaf culture, wouldn't it be "Black Deaf people" rather than "black Deaf people"? It raises all sorts of issues with deciding which cultures warrant capitalisation and ensuring consistent, appropriate use. sroc 💬 00:49, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Capitalization of "Deaf"[edit]

I don't think current project-wide consensus supports the capitalization of terms like "Deaf". I understand that it's capitalized here because it's referring to a community and culture—Wikipedia generally just doesn't seem to do that (cf. "gay culture", for instance). The most relevant section I see in WP's MOS (and please correct me if I missed a better one) is WP:DOCTCAPS, which deals with the capitalization of concepts that people may identify with. It says not to capitalize unless the term derives from a proper name (unless I'm mistaken, the term "deaf" as used here derives from a medical condition and not a proper name). If this has changed, or if in fact the MOS does not address this matter, it would probably be best to amend that so we could give other communities the same treatment—WT:MOS would be a good place to start. If not, the word should be treated like any other and not be capitalized except at the beginnings of sentences and such.

I hope I didn't miss some section of guidance that supports this capitalization; please let me know if I did. And if the guidance we do have is outdated or insufficient, please update it. Thanks. —Frungi (talk) 10:33, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

I got tired of the ambiguity of the overall issue with just focusing on this one part of it, so I started an RfC at the MOS: Capitalization of adjectives for groups. —Frungi (talk) 23:15, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Since no consensus is evident for Wikipedia capitalizing “Deaf” either at the RfC Talk:Deafness#Capitalization of the word deaf or at the MOS discussion WT:MOS#Capitalization of the word Deaf, and capitalization doesn’t seem that prevalent outside of deaf culture itself (which WP is—see WP:SSF), this article should not capitalize it. Unless a consensus emerges, I shall be taking care of that in the near future if no one else does. And if someone beats me to it: please make sure that the meaning is still clear, rather than just doing a search-and-replace. —Frungi (talk) 19:55, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Did it. —Frungi (talk) 05:40, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
This is an article about Deaf Culture. Not about hearing views of Deaf Culture. I will be undoing that edit because It is an important distinction between those with hearing loss (deaf) and those with cultural involvement in the Deaf Community. This has precedent in the following books:
Signing the Body Poetic, by Dirksen Bauman, Heidi Rose, Jennifer Nelson, William Stokoe, W.J.T. Mitchell
Culture notes in Learning American Sign Language, by Tom Humphries and Carol Padden — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sculleywr (talkcontribs) 02:55, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
This is a special feature of the Deaf Community, and for the sake of being polite, we should follow the Deaf Culture's norms when referring to the Deaf culture — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sculleywr (talkcontribs) 02:56, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Capitalizing is customary for cultures, even if they don't derive from a place. Technically, Jewish comes from Judea but we don't use Jewish to refer to people from Judea and yet we still capitalize. Like Deaf culture, Jewish culture is a culture with many different cultures within it and it is an integral part of a person's identity. While something like hair color or baldness is a part of a person's identity, it isn't as important as Deafness or Judaism. Andrea Carter (at your service | my good deeds) 06:26, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
Just wanted to add my support for capital-D Deaf culture. Lower-case d 'deafness' is a medical condition as others have noted, but medical conditions do not make for a culture, there are other requirements for that. That's why there is no such thing as 'Diabetes culture' or 'Blind culture' despite the massive, shared experiences. (Those involved in either one understand why and why not; a search for "blind culture" is revealing in how many of the search results ask whether blind culture exists or not, or deny its existence point-blank, or are about deaf-blind culture instead, or about a Culture Club track whose title ends with 'Blind'.) A similar search for "deaf culture", besides having many more results, is about Deaf culture, not about questioning its existence. (Further: a search for "does deaf culture exist" has only 11 results, mostly about how and why or where it exists.)
Deaf culture exists for the same reasons that any culture exists, language being a central (but not sole) issue both for the coherence of in-group members who speak a common language and share common experiences, but who live interspersed among a larger majority group from whom they are nevertheless more or less isolated, partly for linguistic reasons. (The internet age has somewhat modified the lack of culture among those with shared medical conditions, as forums now exist for suffers of innumerable syndromes and maladies and one could argue that these are shared in-groups which coalesce and interact virtually around shared experience, develop their own language or jargon, and around which cultures are beginning to form, but that's a sociology Ph.D. thesis for someone else to work on.)
For those not involved in Deaf culture, the distinction with other "medically-defined" groups is perhaps hard to see. It's not that a diagnosis of deafness = Deaf culture—not at all; culture does not come from a medical condition, period. There are deaf children (a very tiny minority, but they exist) who are able to excel in lip-reading and speech[dc Note 1] at a level sufficient to interact in society using spoken English (or whatever the majority language happens to be) and who therefore do not learn sign language, or if they do, choose not to congregate in situations where they could use it. They never become part of Deaf culture, thus they are deaf children, later deaf adults, who are not 'Deaf' in that sense. I hope this bit of insight into Deaf culture may be helpful to some. Mathglot (talk) 22:26, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
This is an old discussion, but for the sake of consensus when this issue comes up again, I'll add my support for capitalizing Deaf for Deaf culture. The issue is a no-brainer for anyone with some knowledge of Deaf culture. As for the "consensus" mentioned above, the discussion at MOS is hardly an overwhelming consensus, and of course consensus can change, as seems to be the case here. Sundayclose (talk) 22:54, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
Just ran across a reference[dc Note 2] that explains pretty much what we've been saying. Mathglot (talk) 07:53, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
References for Capitalization of Deaf[edit]
  1. ^ I'm well aware that the whole question of so-called "oral education" of deaf children is one that is extremely fraught and politicized and has been for 135 years; I'm not trying to get into that debate here, I'm merely trying to explain why Deaf culture exists in part by showing why merely being deaf is not the same as being part of Deaf culture, in the way that oralists are not.
  2. ^ Baglieri, Susan; Shapiro, Arthur (2012). "3 Language, Labels, and Identity". Disability Studies and the Inclusive Classroom: Critical Practices for Creating Least Restrictive Attitudes. Routledge. p. 50. ISBN 978-0-415-99372-2. Retrieved 9 November 2015. Some members of the deaf community believe that people born without hearing should be described as Deaf with a capital d and those who lose their hearing in later life are deaf with a lower case d (Hogan, 2003:106). The use of Deaf with a capital D also relates to a cultural view of deafness defined by the shared use of American Sign Language (ASL). Being Deaf means to share in a history and community that unite ppeople who use ASL. Being Deaf is a cultural identity; being deaf is a description of a degree of hearing. 

Who is Anna Mindess?[edit]

The article mentions Anna Mindess without context as if the reader is expected to know who she is, but her name can’t even be wikilinked. Who is she, and why does it matter what she writes? —Frungi (talk) 07:02, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Well, I’ve removed her name from the first attribution, and introduced her as an “educator and ASL interpreter” in the second, rather than just having the bare name that implies familiarity with its relevance. Please consider altering my edits if you’re familiar with her. —Frungi (talk) 21:33, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
I would object if she had her own article that could be wiki-linked. Until that happens I for one will support your edits. I'd also like to thank you for taking the bull by the horns so to speak, with regard to revising this Deaf culture article. Upon reflection I concede that the capitalization issue is too ambiguous to be resolved at present, and until that happens the default style should remain, as per your edits, purely for existing policy/consistency reasons. -- Jodon | Talk 22:57, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Anna Mindess is an author who wrote Reading Between the Signs, a book on the bicultural-bilingual method of interpreting. Her book discusses how interpreters have to be familiar not only with Deaf Culture in general, but specific Deaf Cultures that they might come across and cross-cultural standards for Deaf people in two or more minority groups. IT gives an in-depth view of Deaf people from American, Black, Mexican, Chinese, and Native American roots. I didn't see the reference, but it's a good source, if properly cited and quoted. Sculleywr (talk) 23:49, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

First person presentation[edit]

This interesting RfC concerns how to refer to people who aren't deaf. It's phrased as if the choice is binary (deaf/not deaf), but WhatamIdoing makes the valid point that in some contexts it's actually a trinary choice (deaf/hard of hearing/not deaf). From the evidence presented here, it's clear that the sources are inconsistent about this, and editors don't really agree either. Therefore, there is no consensus to designate one standard term for people who are not deaf.—S Marshall T/C 00:48, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

While it appears that there is consensus on this page to use the term "deaf person" as many deaf people consider being deaf one of the most important aspects of their being.

People with normal hearing do not see the fact that they can hear as one of the most important aspect of their being and thus "person with normal hearing" or "person with hearing" is better than "hearing person" Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 18:37, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Whether a phrase is preferred by an in-group is not the reason we use it. "deaf person" and "hearing person" are both in widespread use. Let's be consistent.
Use of "normal" in this context, and in many others, presents deafness as abnormal and is therefore a failure to maintain a neutral point of view. Muffinator (talk) 18:50, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
"Person with hearing" should address that. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 18:54, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Do you have a reference for the accepted or widespread use of "person with hearing"? Muffinator (talk) 19:25, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Hello. LegoBot summoned me. Here's one source: The New York Times. Here's another from the Los Angeles Times. However, here's the opposite from the NYT and LAT. So who knows. It seems as though there's no real consensus on which to use. Personally, I'm OK with either. I'm sorry that my contribution doesn't really move the RFC forward toward any consensus. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 07:40, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Jmh649. "Hearing person" sounds awkward. "Person" should come first. Jackmcbarn (talk) 03:43, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
I think that "hearing person" is fine. As long as it is clear and concise, it works. Adding "normal" or other changes is less consise. Piguy101 (talk) 00:21, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
I see no compelling reason to mutilate ordinary English grammar; the usual "adjective noun" word order (hearing person) is usable to describe people who are not deaf or Deaf. People-first language is the preferred formulation in a disability rights context to describe someone who has a disability. The argument does not, imho, extend to describing someone who does not have a disability. Deaf culture (the subject of this article) in fact rejects the person first construct anyway (as well as the idea that being Deaf is a disability per se), so that's a further reason not to use person first to refer to non-Deaf people. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 16:27, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
"Person with normal hearing" excludes people who have significant hearing loss; "people with hearing" both sounds odd and lumps in people who have significant hearing loss, which may not be appropriate for the sentence. There are three relevant levels of hearing: typical, HOH, and Deaf. You need multiple phrases depending on what you're talking about. You might use "person with typical hearing" for the first and "hearing person" for statements that include people with typical hearing and with some hearing loss. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:27, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
I would favor "person with normal hearing" as it clearly distinguishes this group from anybody with a hearing handicap. The argument "Use of "normal" in this context, and in many others, presents deafness as abnormal and is therefore a failure to maintain a neutral point of view", in my mind is a nonstarter. Nobody suggested to use "normal person", just "person with normal hearing". And - like it or not - HOH or deaf is not "the norm". That's not negative, nor a POV, just a statement of fact. W\|/haledad (Talk to me) 19:47, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
  • The article deals primarily, if not exclusively, with issues pertaining to people who are deaf; I therefore believe that, when we mention people who are not deaf, we should stress the fact that they're not deaf rather than the fact that they can hear. I really need that username (talk) 21:00, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Proposed merge with Deaf culture movement[edit]

While I am involved, I'm iar and being bold since this discussion seems to have grown rather stale. I'm closing this as no consensus for a merger and have moved the page in question to Deaf rights movement since that's what the article intends to cover and what I and others in the discussion seem to think is a better title. If after some more work there, it doesn't seem to cover substantially different topics, feel free to open another merge proposal. Wugapodes (talk) 14:26, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Two articles about essentially ths same topic, but written from different perspectives. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 20:07, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

  • Comment I have been thinking about a merge as well ever since the page was renamed from "Deaf civil rights movement" to "Deaf culture movement", but I'm not quite sure how I feel yet so I'm just going to give some background.
I disagree that it is a pov-fork. The article was originally entitled "Deaf civil rights movement" which I think could have been a good topic and have unique coverage beyond Deaf culture. Here is the original discussion at WT:DEAF. I think that Deaf civil rights movement or Deaf rights movement is a legitimate hole in our coverage, as such a topic would cover not just aspects Deaf culture, but of the struggle for and development of rights and services such as closed captioning, VRS, interpreters, etc. However, as it stands as Deaf culture movement I don't think that there could be any significant expansion to the article that wouldn't be overlapping with this article.
So I agree something needs to change, I'm just not sure of whether I support moving Deaf culture movement to Deaf rights movement or merging it here. I'll give it some more thought and would love to see other's perspectives on it. Wugapodes (talk) 21:09, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Also, I notified the author, Clr324, and the user who moved the page into main space, SurdusVII of this discussion. Wugapodes (talk) 23:41, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
As I told Wugapodes, the article was not intended to be moved into main space so quickly (actually I did want it to be in namespace quickly but with review first) It was supposed to gain comments which would lead to editing and thus a final, approved product then moved to main space. Ms. Andrea Carter here (at your service) 00:58, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
Hello everyone, I agree to move the item in civil rights movement for deaf.. --SURDUSVII 19:02, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment I am unclear on what the "Deaf culture movement" is intended to focus on which isn't covered already by either Deaf culture or a Deaf civil rights movement (which apparently doesn't exist anymore). There is also a Deaf history article, but it doesn't cover anything like the history of civil rights progress for Deaf people. I guess I'm just confused about why the title change was made in the first place. The Bearded One (talk) 15:36, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

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Culture argument deconstructs itself[edit]

One of the sections says: There is not one deaf culture. If that is true, then logically, given that there are many, then there can be no singular deaf culture. What you have are people who are deaf, who live in a variety of cultures around the globe. Therefore, there is no deaf culture. There's also the whole problem, which I don't see addressed here, of whether or not a language is the whole carrier of a culture, which would seem to be the argument of those who believe that there is a deaf culture. We use ASL, or some local equivalent, therefore, having a language, we are also an ethnicity. Dubious, to say the least, and no argument here is made on its behalf, so a lot of this is a purely asserted case, with not much to back it up.Theonemacduff (talk) 02:38, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

You've made a weak and at times nonsensical argument that seems to reflect your personal opinions rather than facts. There can be cultures within other cultures. There is no one black culture in the USA, but that doesn't mean there is no black culture. Similarly there can be variations within Deaf culture, and Deaf people can be a part of other cultures in addition to Deaf culture. And Deaf culture is not restricted to language differences. Did you actually read the article, particularly "Characteristics of Deaf culture"? What does "a purely asserted case" mean??? Does it mean that you don't understand it or that you don't believe the sourced information that is provided in the article? If you want to challenge any of the sources, please do so, but your personal opinions that are not backed up by reliable sources have no place here. Sundayclose (talk) 17:03, 18 August 2016 (UTC)


This is poorly written and feels like an advertorial or a seventh graders paper on the Deaf. Maybe some medical balance? (talk) 02:49, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

This is not a medical article. For the medical aspects of deafness, see Hearing loss. This article is about a culture, and isn't related to medicine any more than (as an example) Latin American or African American culture relates to the human body. As for it being "advertorial or a seventh graders paper", although it's certainly not perfect, I disagree with your assessment. It needs better sourcing, but that isn't necessarily a POV issue. Can you be specific about the weaknesses? Sundayclose (talk) 03:04, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
I removed the NPOV template. Following removal criteria were met: 2. It is not clear what the neutrality issue is, and no satisfactory explanation has been given; and 3. In the absence of any discussion, or if the discussion has become dormant. – McDutchie (talk) 15:29, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

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