The official blog of Safari Bill (Dr. William Vicars)-- Lexicographer, protologism developer, enchiridion author, ASL evangelist, and immersion excursion guide.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

In a message dated 12/3/2008 10:34:50 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, pikachu writes:

Hi, i'm an interpreter in fresno, ca. My husband is deaf. I was reading the deaf culture lesson 1 article on your website and came across this:

"In general, the global "Deaf Community" consists of those deaf and hard of hearing people throughout the world who use sign language and share in deaf culture. Hearing family members, friends, interpreters, and others are also part of this community to the extent that they use sign language and share in the culture.

As used here in America, the term "Deaf Community" refers to Deaf and hard-of-hearing people, (along with our families, friends, and others), who use ASL and who are culturally Deaf. Being culturally Deaf means sharing the beliefs, values, traditions, moral attitudes, manners, and ways of the Deaf community."

I got to thinking about this and it made me wonder. I know that one can be physically deaf but not culturally Deaf. So does this statement from the article mean that it is possible to be physically hearing but culturally deaf?

Thank you for taking the time to read this.


Dear Pikachu,
Yes, you can be physically hearing but culturally Deaf.Consider for example the hearing children of Deaf parents.Such children grow up bicultural. Their "first" or native culture is "Deaf." Then as they watch TV, surf the net, attend public schools, and hang out with Hearing friends they acquire a second culture (Hearing) and thus they are bicultural.
--Dr. Bill