Into the World of Hearing
Hearing is not always the case.
Some hearing people believe that people who are deaf would like to hear if they could. This is not necessarily true. Some deaf people implanted. American Sign Language is the third most widely used language in the United States.93 percent of deaf children are born into hearing families; only 7 percent are born into deaf families. Educational performance of students who are Deaf/ Hard of Hearing remains poor. The average reading comprehension of 18-year-old students was reported at just below 4th grade on the SAT9. The average age of identification of hearing loss in infants is two and one-half to three years of age, well past the critical period for speech and language development. Culture results from a group of people coming together to form a community around shared experiences, common interest, shared norms of behavior, and shard survival techniques. Such as groups as the deaf, seek each other out for social interaction and emotional support. How a person labels themselves in terms of their hearing loss is personal and may reflect identification with the deaf community or merely how their hearing loss affects their ability to communicate. It is estimated that 1.6 million people in South Africa use Sign Language as a first language. Of these 600 000 are profoundly deaf and 1 million are extremely hard of hearing.

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do seek medical treatment for their hearing loss.
Some receive cochlear implants. But, many deaf people have no desire to be hearing. However, few hearing people realize that there is a deaf culture that is unique from the hearing culture. Deaf people find being deaf very positive, because they don t have noise s to bother them. Worldwide, more than 112,000 people have cochlear implants. In the U.S., some 23,000 adults and 15,500 children and youth have been

Deaf Culture
A man named Thomas Gallaudet suffered from poor health through-out his life, and discovered the world of deaf when he met young Alice Cogswell. Alice was a deaf child with no language. Through interacting with Alice, he discovered teaching. On a trip to Europe he met, and brought back Laurent Clerc, a deaf teacher, and he helped him open a American school for deaf in Connecticut. Thomas Gallaudet life was short, but he left a legacy of educated deaf people at Gallaudet University. Gallaudet University It is a federally chartered university for education of the deaf,

Deaf Culture
and hard of hearing, located in Washington D.C. It was the first school for the advanced education of the deaf and hard of hearing in the world, and is still the world's only university in which all programs and services are specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students. Hearing students are admitted to the graduate school, and a small number, known as hearing undergraduate students are admitted as undergraduates each year. The university was named after Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, a notable figure in the advancement of deaf education. Gallaudet University is a bilingual community in which American Sign Language and English exist side-by-side. While there are no specific ASL requirements for undergraduate admission, many graduate programs have sign language proficiency requirements. To understand Deaf culture, it is helpful to consider the concept of culture in general. Culture is commonly defined as the values, traditions, norms, customs, arts, history, folklore, and institutions that a group of people, who are unified by race, ethnicity, language, nationality, or religion, share. In essence, it is the way of life shared by the members of a group. As with any culture, Deaf culture is learned and passed down from generation to generation. Most cultures are passed down within families. However, because 90 percent of Deaf people are born to hearing parents, only a small per-

Inside the Facts
centage of Deaf people learn their culture from their family.

As a result, most Deaf people learn their culture through interactions with their peers and other Deaf people often in Deaf schools and other community institutions. For many Deaf people, developing a Deaf identity is the result of a process. Recently, many Deaf people have begun to refer to this process as "Deaf hood." According to Paddy Ladd, who coined the term, Deaf hood is "the process of defining the existential state of Deaf "being-in-theworld." Deaf hood is not seen as a finite state but as a process by which Deaf individuals come to actualize their Deaf identity, positing that those individuals construct that identity around several differently ordered sets of priorities and principles, which are affected by various factors such as nation, era and class." Just like everyone we have many values, collectivism is one of the main values of the Deaf culture. Deaf people place a
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The norm of deaf culture
high degree of value on sharing information and resources. Learning is seen as a cooperative and shared process that helps to overcome the limited access to various facets of society that Deaf people experience because of cultural and communication barriers. Open communication and gathering with other Deaf people are essential as well. Vision is also a value, as Deaf people rely on it for communication. Most Deaf people gain the vast majority of their information through their eyes and they connect with people and things visually. For example, they see lights to indicate phone calls and doorbells, interpreters to translate information to and from English and ASL, and captioning to access television and movies. Stories about Deaf people, poetry, arts, and literature play an important role as well. As in any culture, they serve to pass down history, wisdom, and values. This is particularly important to Deaf people, many of whom do not Deaf parents or other means to access it.

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