Deafness Has Been A Negative Label. Being Deaf Is Considered

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Deafness has been a negative label. Being Deaf is considered to be a disability solely on the belief that an individual who is Deaf is not “normal” due to their hearing loss. Most individuals do not believe that there are any benefits or positives from being Deaf, nor do they believe that a Deaf individual will ever be able to live a happy and fulfilled life. However, Deaf individuals do not view themselves as disabled nor do they view their lives lacking anything, rather they view their Deafness as a gain. According to H-Dirksen Bauman and Joseph Murray, “Deaf Gain is defined as a reframing of ‘deaf’ as a form of sensory and cognitive diversity that has the potential to contribute to the greater good of humanity” (285). This is solely…show more content…
Hearing individuals can also benefit from learning a visual language, such as American Sign Language. Learning American Sign Language as a second language and becoming bilingual can help brain development as well as academic success. Laura-Ann Petitto, who is a cognitive neuroscientist, explains that, “being exposed to two languages from birth and in particular, being exposed to a signed and spoken language from birth does not cause a child to be language delayed and confused” (Petitto, 2001). Rather the brain can handle dual languages. Being bilingual can enhance cognitive development and in particular, learning sign language can increase reading and spelling scores. Petitto found from her research that “children who’ve had early exposure to sign language are actually stronger readers in English than children who are deaf and who have not had access to sign language as well as monolingual hearing English children” (Petitto, 2001). Sign language also helps individuals master spelling by fingerspelling words.
Although there are many benefits for brain development as well as benefits for academic work, American Sign Language also entails learning about the Deaf community, which can benefit hearing individuals understanding of the world. Sign Language creates a sense of belonging and trust that oral languages are not capable of achieving. When two signers

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