What is a deaf person?


White logo on blue background depicting a crossed ear.

When we hear that a person is deaf the first thing we think is that is something wrong with his ear. Certainly it is, but the problem is that we normally don’t know if we are talking about a “deaf person “or a “Deaf Person”. Each one express a different point of view.

The first one refers to a medic perspective, it is, a human being with some kind hearing of problem that must be repair.the second one is a little bit more complicated and is related to the linguistic.

Every language (oral or visual-gestural) describes a reality that shapes a culture. For example, the Spanish of Spain has a different term for each of the wheels of a car, while the Arabic of Morocco;Since in ancient Morocco they did not use the same carts as in Spain. So language and culture are closely related. This is also happend with sign languages. From a linguistic perspective anyone using sign language and have deaf identity can be a Deaf Person (even if he/she hear perfectly).

Deaf identity is an old concept that is taking its importance now due to the existing global current that wants to give prominence to minorities. A person with deaf identity (and therefore considered Deaf Person) is one that has sign language as their first language, living in community with other deaf people and knowing the culture surrounding the language of signs. This does not imply not hearing, the child of a deaf couple can be listener and also to have a Deaf identity, he can also be a Deaf Person too. (Written in capital letters to distinguish it from the “deaf” medical perspective.)

 

Photo source:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/af/Deafness_and_hard_of_hearing_symbol.png/220px-Deafness_and_hard_of_hearing_symbol.png

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