American Sign Language Essay Research Paper In

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American Sign Language Essay, Research Paper In learning about the deaf culture I have taken on a new understanding about the people it includes. Through readings and the lessons, I have learned that being deaf has both its hardships and its blessings. The beauty of the language alone makes one want to learn all that he or she can about it. In this paper I will discuss the beauty of the language and the misconceptions the hearing world has about deafness. The deaf culture has often been labeled as the deaf- and- dumb culture. This is not only an insulting term it is also very inaccurate. Deaf people are just as intelligent as hearing people. In the early 1800’s when ASL was first brought about in the United States Being deaf was considered shameful and defective. The first

school for the deaf was called “The American Asylum for the instruction of the Deaf and Dumb” ; in those days this was an acceptable term to use. There are many other terms that are unacceptable to the deaf, such as : deaf-mute, mute, hearing handicapped, disabled, dummie etc.. Even in today’s day and age some people still use these terms. Another common assumption of the hearing is that all deaf people can or should read lips, this is not so- lip reading is very difficult to master. Verbalization is also expected from the deaf by the hearing, this is also very difficult for the deaf because most deaf people have never heard their own voice and cannot know if their intonation, pitch and volume are used correctly. Another misconception about the deaf is that different from

the hearing, most hearing people mean well, but speak to the deaf as if they are mentally challenged, this is why a deaf person may walk away or give a disapproving look. The hearing world often believes that all deaf people are deaf from birth, this is not always the case. A childhood illness could have affected the persons hearing, adult deafness also occurs, this is the most difficult for the person to deal with in some cases depression sets in and suicide becomes the result. An adult that goes deaf feels they can lose alot; friends, a job, a marriage. I have watched three movies about the deaf culture, each has helped me to understand the Deaf World a little better. The first movie I watched was “Mr. Holland’s Opus”, which was about a musician whose son was born deaf.

This was very upsetting to the musician because his son would never be able to hear the music that was so important to him. As a result father and son drifted and never really had the connection that a father and son should have until the father realized that his son wasn’t so different after all. I could relate to this movie because the one thing I think deaf people are missing out on is the beauty of music. Music is such an important part of my life that I would dread to have a life without it. The movie “Love is Never Silent ” consisted of a hearing child left alone with deaf parents when her younger hearing brother dies. This movie shows how she was her parents sole link to the hearing world. It also showed how her parents were looked at by the hearing world and how

they looked at the hearing world. They had a certain distrust for the hearing. The daughter was ashamed to have deaf parents and to sign in front of hearing people because she didn’t want to be different. Her parents had control over her life and she would nit allow herself a life because of them. The mother and daughter wind up resenting each other and fighting. In the end the mother realizes that the way they clung to her was wrong and an understanding was reached and love was once again flowing between them. This showed what kind of hardships deaf people face not only in the outside world but inside themselves. The movie “A Bridge to Silence” was about the opposite- a deaf child with hearing parents. The mother blamed herself for her daughters deafness due to a case of