Understanding Deaf Culture

2498 WordsJul 11, 201810 Pages
Deaf people are often seen incorrectly. According to a legend, a Greek mythical character named Procrustes, invited tired travelers to rest at his home. Procrustes gave out special accommodations that fit everyone, regardless of the guests’ size. When the guest was shorter than the bed Procrustes owned, Procrustes would stretch the guest’s body to fit and when the guest’s legs were longer than the bed, Procrustes would chop off their legs so they would fit the bed. Aimee K. Whyte and Douglas A. Guiffrida explained the way deaf people are viewed: “Deaf people are often stretched or cut short to assimilate with the majority culture…Deaf people struggle against a procrustean system of hearing and speech and continually experience…show more content…
In desperation, the weekend before she was required to get up in front of class and recite a poem, the student went to her mom and asked for help. While her mom could not read the poem either, her mom always had a good idea. Her mom grabbed the girl’s sister to help translate and with the sister’s help, her mother begged their neighbor to help them. The neighbor quickly agreed to help, explaining this poem was her favorite. She knew storytelling was an important part of learning in the Deaf culture. It was also the best way for the girl to learn. Rita Colasent, the author of The Power of True Expression explained the next part of the story as follows, “We [the mother and her two daughters] were able to take what we were learning [about the poem] and match it to our feelings, our own experiences, and our own insights as the message of ‘the Raven’ unraveled before our very eyes” (Colasent 1996: 378)! The girl later explained how she was not only telling the story; she also took on the role of the speaker. The girl’s teacher and fellow students were truly amazed at the performance. Her teacher was very impressed. This is one example of how storytelling is effective when learning in this culture. Deaf people have many important values that must be shown instead of being told. There are critical differences between hearing and Deaf people. Deaf people find power in working together, whereas hearing people find power in working alone without depending on
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