Deaf, language, usage, ability and disability

edited July 29 in Epiphanies
This discussion was created from comments split from: Movement and Dance.

It seemed to me this was worthy of its own thread. I know it is in Purgatory, but I invite contributors to consider the Epiphanies guidelines when posting.

BroJames, Purgatory Host
«13

Comments

  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    kingsfold wrote: »
    Poppy wrote: »
    I suppose there are two things that interest me in dance in church. One is bringing the body into prayer. How does standing, sitting, kneeling, raising the hands, holding hands over the heart being aid prayer? Can a gesture say something or bring something that words cannot? Holding the hands as if cupping water and visualising the things you want to let go of and then turning your hands over to symbolise letting it go, putting it at the foot of the cross or handing it over can be helpful. The physical action mirrors and gives form to the prayer’s intent.

    One of the most beautiful things I think I've ever seen was a deaf priest signing the Eucharistic Prayer as he spoke it. It added a whole different dimension, almost to the point where it felt like it provided an additional harmony line to the words I was hearing. I'm wired in audio, rather than video, and generally respond much more to what I'm hearing that what I'm seeing. But that was an occasion where the movement really did add something, and I'm not sure I understand or can explain what it was that "got" me. To the point where I still remember the occasion with a level of wonder some two to three years after the event....

    Signing IS speaking. It is a language with its own grammar etc, and for many Deaf people it is their native language. That's not a metaphor - BSL for instance is not simply signed English but a wholly separate language. It's not just 'movement' and this comment gives me uncomfortable 'inspiration porn' vibes.

    I am curious about this priest as most signed languages also incorporate facial expressions into the vocabulary, so speaking English at the same time as signing BSL (for instance) is very difficult. The facial expressions and mouth movements are actually part of the signs. Signing and speaking a non-signed language simultaneously is like speaking Mandarin and Spanish simultaneously.
  • kingsfoldkingsfold Shipmate
    Pomona wrote: »
    kingsfold wrote: »
    Poppy wrote: »
    I suppose there are two things that interest me in dance in church. One is bringing the body into prayer. How does standing, sitting, kneeling, raising the hands, holding hands over the heart being aid prayer? Can a gesture say something or bring something that words cannot? Holding the hands as if cupping water and visualising the things you want to let go of and then turning your hands over to symbolise letting it go, putting it at the foot of the cross or handing it over can be helpful. The physical action mirrors and gives form to the prayer’s intent.

    One of the most beautiful things I think I've ever seen was a deaf priest signing the Eucharistic Prayer as he spoke it. It added a whole different dimension, almost to the point where it felt like it provided an additional harmony line to the words I was hearing. I'm wired in audio, rather than video, and generally respond much more to what I'm hearing that what I'm seeing. But that was an occasion where the movement really did add something, and I'm not sure I understand or can explain what it was that "got" me. To the point where I still remember the occasion with a level of wonder some two to three years after the event....

    Signing IS speaking. It is a language with its own grammar etc, and for many Deaf people it is their native language. That's not a metaphor - BSL for instance is not simply signed English but a wholly separate language. It's not just 'movement' and this comment gives me uncomfortable 'inspiration porn' vibes.

    I am curious about this priest as most signed languages also incorporate facial expressions into the vocabulary, so speaking English at the same time as signing BSL (for instance) is very difficult. The facial expressions and mouth movements are actually part of the signs. Signing and speaking a non-signed language simultaneously is like speaking Mandarin and Spanish simultaneously.

    I'm not sure what you mean by 'inspiration porn' vibes. It's not something I would ever want to do or suggest anyone else do. It was something for which I was present, which touched me, and which I found beautiful. And I'm confined by the written language into trying to express what I responded to in the signed language. Maybe that signing is its own language and it was a language I was "hearing" for the first time is perhaps as good a metaphor as any...
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    edited July 27
    I think it's because the emphasis is on your emotional response drawing out a meaning that wasn't part of the priest simply saying the Eucharistic prayer - it's like comparing a priest saying the Eucharistic prayer in French to liturgical dance. A French priest saying part of the liturgy in French isn't doing it as some kind of performance with a deep emotional meaning for the non-French-speakers. It's infusing a normal part of being Deaf with Mystical Disabled Inspiration. It's also because signed languages aren't for you in that sense - it's for communicating with other Deaf people, it's not for hearing people to be inspired by. What you 'hear' or don't is irrelevant to how Deaf people talk.

    Signing is not comparable to hand gestures in dance, even liturgical dance or something with specifically codified meanings to the gestures like bhangra. Dance may be expressing emotions and ideas, but it isn't a *language* in a literal sense like signed languages are. Access to and legal protections for signed languages are something Deaf people have to fight to have because of views like this - even positively expressed views about how Moving and Meaningful it is for hearing people mean it is not respected as a 'real language'. Nobody compares German or Hindi to liturgical dance.
  • Pomona wrote: »
    I think it's because the emphasis is on your emotional response drawing out a meaning that wasn't part of the priest simply saying the Eucharistic prayer - it's like comparing a priest saying the Eucharistic prayer in French to liturgical dance. A French priest saying part of the liturgy in French isn't doing it as some kind of performance with a deep emotional meaning for the non-French-speakers. It's infusing a normal part of being Deaf with Mystical Disabled Inspiration. It's also because signed languages aren't for you in that sense - it's for communicating with other Deaf people, it's not for hearing people to be inspired by. What you 'hear' or don't is irrelevant to how Deaf people talk.

    Signing is not comparable to hand gestures in dance, even liturgical dance or something with specifically codified meanings to the gestures like bhangra. Dance may be expressing emotions and ideas, but it isn't a *language* in a literal sense like signed languages are. Access to and legal protections for signed languages are something Deaf people have to fight to have because of views like this - even positively expressed views about how Moving and Meaningful it is for hearing people mean it is not respected as a 'real language'. Nobody compares German or Hindi to liturgical dance.

    You see, this is EXACTLY what makes watching ASL in worship seem beautiful and moving to me. It's the fact that it is a language, that it has meaning, and that meaning is actual communication and not merely some kind of emotive movement--that concrete reality makes it maybe the only way I could actually "get" movement-as-prayer.

    I can't do "opening the hand means x" or "lifting my arms means Y". I have a hard enough time with facial expressions, let alone dance movements. They seem freaking arbitrary, and my mind goes chasing rabbits when I watch them, wondering "why is that supposed to be 'praise" or what-have-you instead of, say, 'fuck-off-and-die'? And will the next dancer use the same gesture to mean something totally different?". But ASL (and its sister languages) is a language-in-itself, it has a reality which means something whether I understand it nor not, and that is beautiful and meaningful, just as listening to (insert spoken language I don't currently speak) does. And it makes me want to learn it. And if I discover that a certain passage was "The restrooms are in the narthex to the left of the stairways", I will laugh at myself if I was fool enough to take it for something liturgical. But then, I do that with regards to Vietnamese etc. as well.

    Maybe the tl/dr version is this:

    I myself personally need to have movements nailed down, in a one-to-one correspondence with very particular meanings, in order to get any kind of meaning out of bodily prayer. I could totally see studying ASL for that purpose, among others. I could never cope with anybody leaving me a greater degree of freedom/indeterminacy in meaning of gestures. Others' mileage will certainly vary.
  • AnselminaAnselmina Shipmate
    edited July 28
    Pomona wrote: »
    I think it's because the emphasis is on your emotional response drawing out a meaning that wasn't part of the priest simply saying the Eucharistic prayer - it's like comparing a priest saying the Eucharistic prayer in French to liturgical dance. A French priest saying part of the liturgy in French isn't doing it as some kind of performance with a deep emotional meaning for the non-French-speakers. It's infusing a normal part of being Deaf with Mystical Disabled Inspiration. It's also because signed languages aren't for you in that sense - it's for communicating with other Deaf people, it's not for hearing people to be inspired by. What you 'hear' or don't is irrelevant to how Deaf people talk.

    I think you're being unfair to @kingsfold. As well as conflating unhelpfully an idea of 'mystical disabled inspiration' with speaking French! How hearing people receive their ministry might well be irrelevant to how deaf people talk; but clearly how Kingsfold 'hears' is not irrelevant to his/her experience of worship. In this case, it appears to have enhanced it.

    Ironically, it could also be reasonably argued that eliciting a less quantifiable 'emotional response drawing out a meaning that wasn't part of the priest simply saying the prayer' is often what God is and should be doing in worship, when we're trying to use all of ourselves to perceive him in the act of worship.

    I truly hope to God that when I'm celebrating the holy mysteries the people are enabled by something within them to open up to God to comprehend more than my peculiar accent pronouncing words of text off a page. If it happens that they do experience some Mystical Ulster Inspiration (Celtic 'porn' vibes could be argued as being very 'big' in worship circles) which gets them an inch or two closer to God, well and good.
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    Classical ballet is all coded messages in the movements - I've seen TV programmes about ballet with Deborah Bull chatting about the meanings of the gestures. And some of it matches the symbols used in signing. I have some Makaton from working with special needs younger children and was fascinated.

    But classical ballet is not a language in itself. BSL and other signed languages are. The comparison is not appropriate when Deaf people already have to fight so hard for their languages to be seen as 'real languages'.
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    Anselmina wrote: »
    Pomona wrote: »
    I think it's because the emphasis is on your emotional response drawing out a meaning that wasn't part of the priest simply saying the Eucharistic prayer - it's like comparing a priest saying the Eucharistic prayer in French to liturgical dance. A French priest saying part of the liturgy in French isn't doing it as some kind of performance with a deep emotional meaning for the non-French-speakers. It's infusing a normal part of being Deaf with Mystical Disabled Inspiration. It's also because signed languages aren't for you in that sense - it's for communicating with other Deaf people, it's not for hearing people to be inspired by. What you 'hear' or don't is irrelevant to how Deaf people talk.

    I think you're being unfair to @kingsfold. As well as conflating unhelpfully an idea of 'mystical disabled inspiration' with speaking French! How hearing people receive their ministry might well be irrelevant to how deaf people talk; but clearly how Kingsfold 'hears' is not irrelevant to his/her experience of worship. In this case, it appears to have enhanced it.

    Ironically, it could also be reasonably argued that eliciting a less quantifiable 'emotional response drawing out a meaning that wasn't part of the priest simply saying the prayer' is often what God is and should be doing in worship, when we're trying to use all of ourselves to perceive him in the act of worship.

    I truly hope to God that when I'm celebrating the holy mysteries the people are enabled by something within them to open up to God to comprehend more than my peculiar accent pronouncing words of text off a page. If it happens that they do experience some Mystical Ulster Inspiration (Celtic 'porn' vibes could be argued as being very 'big' in worship circles) which gets them an inch or two closer to God, well and good.

    First of all, it's Deaf, not deaf. It's also not unfair to call out 'positive' ableism as well as more obviously prejudiced ableism. I was not conflating the idea of mystical inspiration porn with speaking French, I was comparing a Deaf person using a signed language to someone speaking French, because they are both languages. Except that only one gets all this crap imbued into non-speakers experience of it, I wonder why 🙄 Deaf people aren't there to inspire hearing people.
  • Pomona wrote: »
    I was comparing a Deaf person using a signed language to someone speaking French, because they are both languages. Except that only one gets all this crap imbued into non-speakers experience of it, I wonder why 🙄 Deaf people aren't there to inspire hearing people.

    This rather reminds me of people who don't speak a Chinese language having Chinese tattooed on them, because they think it's more mystical or meaningful than something they can actually read.

    On the flip side, I'm not averse to, for example, choral chants in Greek, which I do not speak.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Pomona wrote: »
    I was comparing a Deaf person using a signed language to someone speaking French, because they are both languages. Except that only one gets all this crap imbued into non-speakers experience of it, I wonder why 🙄 Deaf people aren't there to inspire hearing people.

    This rather reminds me of people who don't speak a Chinese language having Chinese tattooed on them, because they think it's more mystical or meaningful than something they can actually read.

    On the flip side, I'm not averse to, for example, choral chants in Greek, which I do not speak.
    And there’s the whole Latin Mass (or Church Slavonic Divine Liturgy) thing.

  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Why can’t sign language have more than 1 function? I have been to the theatre when they have had signers. Not only are practical for the Deaf, but they add an extra level for the hearing. It is not easy to say why but it makes the show better
  • AnselminaAnselmina Shipmate
    Pomona wrote: »
    Anselmina wrote: »
    Pomona wrote: »
    I think it's because the emphasis is on your emotional response drawing out a meaning that wasn't part of the priest simply saying the Eucharistic prayer - it's like comparing a priest saying the Eucharistic prayer in French to liturgical dance. A French priest saying part of the liturgy in French isn't doing it as some kind of performance with a deep emotional meaning for the non-French-speakers. It's infusing a normal part of being Deaf with Mystical Disabled Inspiration. It's also because signed languages aren't for you in that sense - it's for communicating with other Deaf people, it's not for hearing people to be inspired by. What you 'hear' or don't is irrelevant to how Deaf people talk.

    I think you're being unfair to @kingsfold. As well as conflating unhelpfully an idea of 'mystical disabled inspiration' with speaking French! How hearing people receive their ministry might well be irrelevant to how deaf people talk; but clearly how Kingsfold 'hears' is not irrelevant to his/her experience of worship. In this case, it appears to have enhanced it.

    Ironically, it could also be reasonably argued that eliciting a less quantifiable 'emotional response drawing out a meaning that wasn't part of the priest simply saying the prayer' is often what God is and should be doing in worship, when we're trying to use all of ourselves to perceive him in the act of worship.

    I truly hope to God that when I'm celebrating the holy mysteries the people are enabled by something within them to open up to God to comprehend more than my peculiar accent pronouncing words of text off a page. If it happens that they do experience some Mystical Ulster Inspiration (Celtic 'porn' vibes could be argued as being very 'big' in worship circles) which gets them an inch or two closer to God, well and good.

    First of all, it's Deaf, not deaf. It's also not unfair to call out 'positive' ableism as well as more obviously prejudiced ableism. I was not conflating the idea of mystical inspiration porn with speaking French, I was comparing a Deaf person using a signed language to someone speaking French, because they are both languages. Except that only one gets all this crap imbued into non-speakers experience of it, I wonder why 🙄 Deaf people aren't there to inspire hearing people.

    First of all I was unaware that the word 'deaf' was capitalised when used in conjunction with 'people'. I shall go buy my hairshirt now and flog myself senseless for being such a nasty example of humanity.

    If what you are wanting to say is people shouldn't romanticise their experience of a Deaf person's ministry in a solely patronising way, by all means make that point. At the moment, however, it sounds as if you are saying that if a hearing person has an enhanced experience of worship because of the delivery of the Deaf person involved, that experience should be labelled 'crap'. I think if God wants to use Deaf people to inspire hearing people that's between him and those others.
  • AnselminaAnselmina Shipmate
    Hugal wrote: »
    Why can’t sign language have more than 1 function? I have been to the theatre when they have had signers. Not only are practical for the Deaf, but they add an extra level for the hearing. It is not easy to say why but it makes the show better

    Yeah. I once attended an opera with a Deaf friend I was at college with, where there was a signer. It was a very positive experience, though no doubt I'll find out in a moment why I was simply being positively 'ableist' and that really my experience was 'crap' and I shouldn't have been enjoying my evening out with my friend.
  • Anselmina wrote: »
    Pomona wrote: »
    Anselmina wrote: »
    Pomona wrote: »
    I think it's because the emphasis is on your emotional response drawing out a meaning that wasn't part of the priest simply saying the Eucharistic prayer - it's like comparing a priest saying the Eucharistic prayer in French to liturgical dance. A French priest saying part of the liturgy in French isn't doing it as some kind of performance with a deep emotional meaning for the non-French-speakers. It's infusing a normal part of being Deaf with Mystical Disabled Inspiration. It's also because signed languages aren't for you in that sense - it's for communicating with other Deaf people, it's not for hearing people to be inspired by. What you 'hear' or don't is irrelevant to how Deaf people talk.

    I think you're being unfair to @kingsfold. As well as conflating unhelpfully an idea of 'mystical disabled inspiration' with speaking French! How hearing people receive their ministry might well be irrelevant to how deaf people talk; but clearly how Kingsfold 'hears' is not irrelevant to his/her experience of worship. In this case, it appears to have enhanced it.

    Ironically, it could also be reasonably argued that eliciting a less quantifiable 'emotional response drawing out a meaning that wasn't part of the priest simply saying the prayer' is often what God is and should be doing in worship, when we're trying to use all of ourselves to perceive him in the act of worship.

    I truly hope to God that when I'm celebrating the holy mysteries the people are enabled by something within them to open up to God to comprehend more than my peculiar accent pronouncing words of text off a page. If it happens that they do experience some Mystical Ulster Inspiration (Celtic 'porn' vibes could be argued as being very 'big' in worship circles) which gets them an inch or two closer to God, well and good.

    First of all, it's Deaf, not deaf. It's also not unfair to call out 'positive' ableism as well as more obviously prejudiced ableism. I was not conflating the idea of mystical inspiration porn with speaking French, I was comparing a Deaf person using a signed language to someone speaking French, because they are both languages. Except that only one gets all this crap imbued into non-speakers experience of it, I wonder why 🙄 Deaf people aren't there to inspire hearing people.

    First of all I was unaware that the word 'deaf' was capitalised when used in conjunction with 'people'. I shall go buy my hairshirt now and flog myself senseless for being such a nasty example of humanity.
    <snip>

    Slightly tangential, perhaps, but who sez that deaf has to be capitalised? And what other adjectives do we need to capitalise, in order not to offend?

  • There's a discussion about Deaf or deaf here (link to signhealth.org). It's a specific use referring to the Deaf community, those who have been deaf throughout their lives and are part of that community, which operates using sign language. However, there are other deaf people who have become deaf later in life (so present in most church communities) or have been born into hearing families, who are not part of that community, and it is usual to reference the loss of hearing as being deaf, also usually lower case, so the use is a bit esoteric.
  • There's a discussion about Deaf or deaf here (link to signhealth.org). It's a specific use referring to the Deaf community, those who have been deaf throughout their lives and are part of that community, which operates using sign language. However, there are other deaf people who have become deaf later in life (so present in most church communities) or have been born into hearing families, who are not part of that community, and it is usual to reference the loss of hearing as being deaf, also usually lower case, so the use is a bit esoteric.

    @Curiosity killed

    Thank you! As you say, a bit esoteric, so I don't really see why we should be ticked off about it.
    :disappointed:
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    edited July 29
    There's a discussion about Deaf or deaf here (link to signhealth.org). It's a specific use referring to the Deaf community, those who have been deaf throughout their lives and are part of that community, which operates using sign language. However, there are other deaf people who have become deaf later in life (so present in most church communities) or have been born into hearing families, who are not part of that community, and it is usual to reference the loss of hearing as being deaf, also usually lower case, so the use is a bit esoteric.

    @Curiosity killed

    Thank you! As you say, a bit esoteric, so I don't really see why we should be ticked off about it.
    :disappointed:

    Deaf is the use most used by people using signed language, so is the appropriate use. It represents that the Deaf community is a community with their own languages and culture. It's just a mark of respect for that. It's also Deaf in most journalistic style guides and government documents - it's really not esoteric, it's the norm now. It's also not true that only those who have been Deaf from birth or have Deaf parents identify as such. The issue is hearing parents purposely keeping Deaf children from their own culture (which is why the use of cochlear implants in children is very controversial within the Deaf community).
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    Anselmina wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    Why can’t sign language have more than 1 function? I have been to the theatre when they have had signers. Not only are practical for the Deaf, but they add an extra level for the hearing. It is not easy to say why but it makes the show better

    Yeah. I once attended an opera with a Deaf friend I was at college with, where there was a signer. It was a very positive experience, though no doubt I'll find out in a moment why I was simply being positively 'ableist' and that really my experience was 'crap' and I shouldn't have been enjoying my evening out with my friend.

    Putting ableist in scare quotes seems to suggest that you don't think it's a real thing. It's not appropriate to make a discussion of ableism about your hurt feelings or suggesting that confronting such an issue is forcing you to wear a hair shirt. In reality, society is ableist and all abled people benefit from ableism. Acting like being called out for ableism is as bad as or worse than experiencing it is like suggesting that people pointing out racism are the real racists. Disabled people should be able to point out instances of ableism even when they're well-intentioned without the person getting huffy and making it about them and their feelings - it's not about you.

    Inspiration porn is objectifying disabled people for the benefit of abled people. It's a term with an actual meaning, coined by disabled activist Stella Young in a TED talk. For Deaf people it most often consists of videos of Deaf children getting cochlear implants and hearing for the first time - implying that Deafness is something to be overcome by the help of hearing people (seriously, Deaf people *hate* those videos). With signed languages, they exist so that Deaf and other nonverbal disabled people can communicate with each other. They are a normal language like French or Spanish and the existence of them is not inherently more fascinating, inspirational, or magical. The problem is the objectification and exoticising of something that is normal for Deaf people, and imbuing it with a meaning it doesn't actually have. It's OK to enjoy Deaf culture! It's enjoyable in its own right without it relating to hearing people specifically. The issue is comparing it to something that it isn't (dance) as a way of extracting more meaning for you as a hearing person. Suggesting that harmful things are OK because God can still work through them dismisses the harm that ableism and audism (discrimination against Deaf and HOH [hard of hearing] people more specifically as a subtype of ableism) causes and erases the work of activists.
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    There's a discussion about Deaf or deaf here (link to signhealth.org). It's a specific use referring to the Deaf community, those who have been deaf throughout their lives and are part of that community, which operates using sign language. However, there are other deaf people who have become deaf later in life (so present in most church communities) or have been born into hearing families, who are not part of that community, and it is usual to reference the loss of hearing as being deaf, also usually lower case, so the use is a bit esoteric.

    Age-related hearing loss usually does not cause complete hearing loss - unlike for the blind community where most people can see *something* even if it's just shapes or light/dark (so most blind people don't have total blindness), congenital Deafness or total hearing loss due to an accident etc, partial hearing loss is considered different to total Deafness. Hard of hearing is considered more appropriate than deaf for such cases, as complete hearing loss is common enough for it to be a very different experience.

    I should point out that I'm both disabled and have also worked in a trained volunteer capacity within Deaf and disabled communities. I'm reminded quite starkly of the conversation on here regarding safeguarding and best practice - if you can agree to follow one instance of best practice, why is following another (using the preferred terminology of Deaf and disabled people) seen as too difficult or unnecessary?
  • Safeguarding is enshrined in law. Using capital letters to refer to groups of people is not (AFAIK).

    How are we supposed to know when to use capitals, and when not to use them?

    As I have already asked, which other groups of people should be capitalised? I can't walk more than a few yards, and then only painfully, and with the help of a stick. Am I lame, or should I be labelled Lame?

    I don't like labels...but YMMV.
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    Safeguarding is enshrined in law. Using capital letters to refer to groups of people is not (AFAIK).

    How are we supposed to know when to use capitals, and when not to use them?

    As I have already asked, which other groups of people should be capitalised? I can't walk more than a few yards, and then only painfully, and with the help of a stick. Am I lame, or should I be labelled Lame?

    I don't like labels...but YMMV.

    It's not about using capital letters, it's about using terminology to describe a group of people *that they prefer*. It's not being decreed from On High but Deaf people as a community wanting to be referred to as Deaf rather than deaf. Best practice isn't only defined by legal requirements, using disability terms that disabled people themselves prefer has been part of that for a long time. In your example, 'lame' is usually considered to be a slur by disabled people but disabled people have increasingly been reclaiming 'crip' along the lines of LGBTQ+ people reclaiming 'queer', eg #CripTheVote, the film Crip Camp, the music genre cripcore etc. This is happening because this is a term disabled people are using to describe and represent themselves - it's not a label given by others but self-identification. It's about empowerment and self-actualisation.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited July 29
    Yes, that's all very well, but how are we supposed to know about all this, if we're not part of (say) the Deaf community?

    I'm disabled (I have a Blue Badge!), but I've never heard of the current usage of the term *Crip* (or *crip*).

    I don't find the word *lame* pejorative at all, just descriptive (and, in fact, Biblical).
  • HeavenlyannieHeavenlyannie Shipmate
    edited July 29
    Many of us who are disabled on this board might think that words are important but intent is more so. As someone who is disabled, teaches disability theory and is currently researching how disabled people might be empowered, I would rather have a society where people are caring towards disabled people but get words wrong than one where people are judged on the mistakes they innocently make. Yes, language is important, but we need to also encourage our allies. An affirmatory model of disability is more positive and builds community than focusing on barriers.
  • Pomona wrote: »
    There's a discussion about Deaf or deaf here (link to signhealth.org). It's a specific use referring to the Deaf community, those who have been deaf throughout their lives and are part of that community, which operates using sign language. However, there are other deaf people who have become deaf later in life (so present in most church communities) or have been born into hearing families, who are not part of that community, and it is usual to reference the loss of hearing as being deaf, also usually lower case, so the use is a bit esoteric.

    @Curiosity killed

    Thank you! As you say, a bit esoteric, so I don't really see why we should be ticked off about it.
    :disappointed:

    Deaf is the use most used by people using signed language, so is the appropriate use. It represents that the Deaf community is a community with their own languages and culture. It's just a mark of respect for that. It's also Deaf in most journalistic style guides and government documents - it's really not esoteric, it's the norm now. It's also not true that only those who have been Deaf from birth or have Deaf parents identify as such. The issue is hearing parents purposely keeping Deaf children from their own culture (which is why the use of cochlear implants in children is very controversial within the Deaf community).
    I was paraphrasing the article I linked to, which was where the differences between the two uses of Deaf and deaf came from - because I was aware of the use of Deaf to indicate the Deaf community, but wasn't sure where exactly the line was drawn between the two uses. @Pomona, are you really correcting a charity that works in supporting the Deaf community? Because that's what Sign Health is.
  • HelenEvaHelenEva Shipmate
    edited July 29
    There was a similar discussion to this on a previous thread about OCD that I freely admit I tangent-ed off into being about autism. I set out three attitudes to the experience of disability that I've observed:

    1) For some (like me) it's important that others acknowledge that my disability is a problem to me and that I'm not just "special", "different" or "have a superpower".
    2) For others, the social model is more important - the "disability" is not a problem the person themselves has - it's a problem society has created for them. The person is not in fact "disabled", but put at a disadvantage by the majority in society. Some like to be thought of as "a different kind of normal" or "special" or "differently abled".

    3) I've noticed particularly parents of disabled people trying argue that the child's "disability" is not a disability - presumably to prove that their child is of equal worth to everyone else. I would prefer to say that the disability exists, that the problems the person experiences exist, but that has no impact on their worth. I distrust the inference that one has to call oneself "different" rather than "disabled" to bolster one's worth. I don't think it's the same as 2) above, as 2) is how the person themself defines themselves, and 3) is how their loved ones define them.

    I have only general knowledge of deaf/Deaf, but I imagine that for those who use lower case deaf, the lack of ability to hear is a problem, but does not affect their worth as a person. I imagine (and @Pomona may have to correct me) that Deaf people are a sub culture of equal worth to any other, and that the lack of ability to hear is not regarded as a problem (and definitely doesn't affect their worth). I would loosely link deaf to my category 1) and Deaf to my category 2), but as I say that may not be right.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited July 29
    I’d love sign language to be taught at all schools. Even a smattering would be useful - greetings etc.

    My last but two Guide Dog puppy went to a profoundly deaf and visually impaired young woman. He’s dual trained as a Guide Dog and a Hearing Dog. I’m incredibly proud of him.

    I’m very lucky to still be in touch with her. She can see enough (tunnel vision) to be able to use sign language, but she can’t speak at all.

    She works and her office is very accessible for her - big screen computers etc. Her guide dog takes her to work on the train every day. She has a PA who translates sign language for her. She can use social media etc using Apple’s accessibility tools.

    I use a pad of paper and black felt pen to communicate with her when her PA isn’t around.

    She describes herself as deaf - why change the word? She’s not blind because she has some vision, she’s visually impaired.



    On another subject, I’m disabled just now. My hands aren’t working. I’m on the waiting list for an operation on my spine - I’m seeing the neurosurgeon again in a week. Hopefully the op will fix it.

    I have two learning disabilities and have had no trouble using coping strategies and asking for help when I need it.

    But this physical disability - I hate asking for help. I try all ways imaginable before giving in and asking.

    Maybe because my brain has been differently wired all my life and it’s just ‘me’. This physical disability is a very recent thing so maybe adjusting is bound to be difficult. Today I was looking online for very short haircuts as I can’t hold a hairdryer. In the hot weather I let it dry naturally but now it’s cold! My husband said ‘I’ll dry your hair’ but I hate the idea. Not sure why.
  • It's "hearing impaired" or "hearing loss" mostly where I live. Deaf connotes for me not able to hear at all. I'd call this profound or complete hearing loss. In the modern world of messaging, capitalization of specific words isn't really important. I've severe hearing loss for part of the normal speech spectrum.

    Do any of you speak dog or horse? Which isn't a spoken language, it is non-verbal communication and with well-known animals, quite intuitive. It's called whispering if the aim is to control an animal "horse whispering", though like parenting, some people want to control and others may want to facilitate.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    I speak dog pretty well. :mrgreen:
  • Marvin the MartianMarvin the Martian Admin Emeritus
    Pomona wrote: »
    I was not conflating the idea of mystical inspiration porn with speaking French, I was comparing a Deaf person using a signed language to someone speaking French, because they are both languages. Except that only one gets all this crap imbued into non-speakers experience of it, I wonder why 🙄 Deaf people aren't there to inspire hearing people.

    Actually, one of the more mystically inspiring experiences I've had at church was when the reading for Pentecost one year was read simultaneously in every language spoken by members of the congregation (which for the record included both BSL and French). Was I wrong to find that inspiring because none of those languages exist in order to inspire me, or was it only the BSL part that I should have remained unmoved by?

    I've also been to a service that was done partly in English and partly in Welsh, the latter part of which I found strangely uplifting. Was I wrong to feel that way about what was, after all, just an alternative language and not some kind of performance with a deep emotional meaning for the non-Welsh-speakers?

    (I've also been to a service that was entirely in Eesti Keel, but I didn't get any particular spiritual inspiration from it so I guess I wasn't doing anything wrong that time)
  • One of the reasons I have problems with the social model of disability is that I find it very negative; it is about the barriers that society puts up, it assumes that everything is about power and that society is in conflict with disabled people. But this is not the experience of many disabled people. Yes, there are barriers; my visually impaired twin was refused a place at college because of his disability so I know full well the impact of this. But he was also brought up in a loving household and has a community of friends and colleagues. The social model has been great for bringing change in society but it has become outdated, imo. It is 50 years old, after all.
    Modern disability theorists, such as Tom Shakespeare, are moving away from the dichotomy of the social model of disability which is very 'them versus us' and 'impairment versus disability' and instead moving to a critical realist approach that recognises that people are disabled by society and their bodies; disability isn't just a social construct. I use the affirmation model of disability in my work, it is a positive identity approach which sees disabled people as valued, worthwhile members of society and acknowledges the role of impairment in disability. It celebrates difference and values all people.
    I recommend the work of Swain and French for more about the affirmation model of disability, Tom Shakespeare for an exploration of debates on disability theory.
  • HelenEvaHelenEva Shipmate
    I recommend the work of Swain and French for more about the affirmation model of disability, Tom Shakespeare for an exploration of debates on disability theory.

    May I get titles please? This all sounds encouraging and I might like to read more.
  • Anselmina wrote: »
    First of all I was unaware that the word 'deaf' was capitalised when used in conjunction with 'people'.

    "Deaf" and "deaf" are different. It's basically the same difference as calling people "Black people" or "black people". A deaf person is a person who can't hear. A Deaf person implies membership and participation in Deaf culture. At least to me.

    I use Black and black at different times, depending on what meaning I intend.
    Pomona wrote: »
    The issue is hearing parents purposely keeping Deaf children from their own culture (which is why the use of cochlear implants in children is very controversial within the Deaf community).

    This statement is chock full of assertions and assumptions.

    The Deaf opinion, as you present it here, is that a child who is born unable to hear is automatically a member of "Deaf culture". It's the viewpoint that considers being Deaf as a difference, rather than a disability. Your child is Deaf, so you should support them in their Deaf life, just like you should support your child who is gay, for example.

    That's an assertion. It's not more than that.

    The opposite extreme is to consider deafness as a problem to be corrected. Your child has scoliosis. Should you try to correct it, or should you support them in their twisted life? Do you offer orthodontics to a child whose teeth don't fit their jaw?

    The challenge is that cochlear implants are not a perfect correction. The degree to which children who are given cochlear implants experience a "normal" hearing environment varies. So then for me, the hypothetical question "what choice do I make for my deaf child" is a bit of a crapshoot. In the best case, a child with cochlear implants will be able to hear well, and can play a full part in general hearing society. I will assert that that is a much better outcome than having the child essentially restricted to only Deaf society. But if the implants don't work out so well, and the child doesn't develop much ability to hear with them, you could reasonably argue that the child would have been better off immersed in Deaf society from the start.

  • HelenEva wrote: »

    May I get titles please? This all sounds encouraging and I might like to read more.
    The article in front of me is John Swain and Sally French (2000) Towards the Affirmation model of disability Disability and Society !5:4, 569-582. I have one of their edited book 'Disability on Equal Terms'. I have Tom Shakespeare's 'Disability Rights and Wrongs' but a search on the internet for him usually brings up his debates with people who support the social model (you can actually follow his discussion through from his conversion from the social model which he contributed to books about).
    I'll pm you.
  • HelenEvaHelenEva Shipmate
    HelenEva wrote: »

    May I get titles please? This all sounds encouraging and I might like to read more.
    The article in front of me is John Swain and Sally French (2000) Towards the Affirmation model of disability Disability and Society !5:4, 569-582. I have one of their edited book 'Disability on Equal Terms'. I have Tom Shakespeare's 'Disability Rights and Wrongs' but a search on the internet for him usually brings up his debates with people who support the social model (you can actually follow his discussion through from his conversion from the social model which he contributed to books about).
    I'll pm you.

    Thank you! I've just ordered Tom Shakespeare's Disability: The Basics from a local bookshop as a starter.
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    The thing that has worried me about the implant discussion is the situation of a non-hearing child born into a hearing family with no contacts in the Deaf community. Learning sign for their parents, fluent enough to enable them to take a full part with the Deaf would be very difficult. The child will need to learn language, some language, as early as a hearing child for them to have the brain structure to process it. I've never seen this discussed.
  • Issues of disability come under the "where issues and identity significantly overlap" umbrella, so I'm moving this thread to Epiphanies. It shouldn't change much as @BroJames has already asked that Epiphanies guidelines be considered.

    Alan
    Ship of Fools Admin
  • @Penny S - cochlear implants can only be recommended in certain forms of deafness, they don't actually work if there is any damage to the auditory nerve, for example.

    The surgery to fit a cochlear implant can create more problems than the implants solve, such as loss of any residual hearing, meningitis, infections - list of pros and cons of using them here at the FDA.gov site (link) and can result in very little improvement in hearing levels. To be effective the implants have to be inserted while the brain is still used to hearing or very young in children.

    There are issues with hearing parents insisting on surgery to cure their children:
    • there are many cases where surgery is not going to improve matters to any extent,
    • if suitable, the amount of improvement in hearing a cochlear implant can attain can be minimal
    • inserting the implant requires all the additional risks of surgery on the brain
    • when implanted the child then has to have a lot of hearing skills building to interpret the stimuli the brain is now receiving.

    Why do you think that parents can't learn sign language? It has long been recommended that families with young children communicate in Makaton with their babies to aid communication as the signing is easier to understand when stressed - link to Makaton courses. Also, many families with hearing impaired children build their own family signs to communicate, and the children then have to relearn the correct signs when taught.
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    Many of us who are disabled on this board might think that words are important but intent is more so. As someone who is disabled, teaches disability theory and is currently researching how disabled people might be empowered, I would rather have a society where people are caring towards disabled people but get words wrong than one where people are judged on the mistakes they innocently make. Yes, language is important, but we need to also encourage our allies. An affirmatory model of disability is more positive and builds community than focusing on barriers.

    But that also requires allies (or 'allies') to accept disabled expertise in these issues and not act with outrage at the suggestion that they may have got something wrong. I was perfectly polite in pointing out that Deaf is preferred to deaf and that viewing signed languages as akin to interpretive dance came across as inspiration porn. Yet, this suggestion was treated with a lot of hostility even by so-called 'allies'. That isn't the behaviour of allies, it's not positive intent *or* using the right words. Allies have a responsibility to educate themselves and not rely on disabled people's labour - there is plenty of information out there. If a Black person corrected me on something regarding anti-Blackness I wouldn't spend my time arguing with them about it and still think that I got to call myself an ally.

    Being an ally is also something that's *earned* - abled people aren't automatically allies, they have to put the work in too. Working for disabled liberation is about what you do towards that. They have to show that they're worthy of being gifted by disabled people's trust first.
  • HeavenlyannieHeavenlyannie Shipmate
    edited July 29
    Affirmation is about valuing people and I think all people should be valued, whoever they are and whether they are disabled or not. This idea of them and us is one of the things I disagree with about the social model of disability. I am a member of the mental health community and the disabled community, but I am also a member of society. I accept people for who they are and certainly don’t need to demand that others ‘earn’ anything. Besides, how do we know who is able and who is not? What about those with hidden disabilities who choose not to share? What about those with hidden vulnerabilities? We cannot see inside people’s hearts and souls.
    I don’t like this talk about other people having to be worthy. Who gets to decide who is worthy? Disabled people have often been thought ‘unworthy’ by society and it is not language that I, as a disabled person, am comfortable using about others. It does not liberate me to talk about others in such a negative way and it is very much not how I work towards empowering other people. My research area is in proactive motivational support with disabled students.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Many, many, many years ago--about the time the dinosaurs were still around--we had a deaf student in the dorm at our seminary so many of us learned ASL as a way to communicate with him. Some of us got to the point that we were qualified to be interpreters in a court of law. I did not go all the way to that level. I just wanted to be about to converse with my dormmate. Of course, the years have robbed me of the skills I did have. If you don't use it, you lose it. But one of the things that I remember context was everything. Certain signs could have different meanings if not taken in context. One sign done one way could mean making a hamburger. Same sign with a smother twist could mean peace. that type of stuff.

    Then many American parents have started teaching their infants signs which helps with preverbal communication.I think it is good for young children to lean ASL It helps with the communication wiring of the brain. The problem is as children to become more verbal, the signing is not re-enforced as much. If you are teaching your children ASL/BSL or whatever sign language is prevalent in your area, please continue to teach it at home and encourage it in the schools.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    I have also found Tom Shakespeare's Disability Rights and Wrongs to be an excellent exploration of disability, attitudes, and the strengths and limitations of the social model. He also contributed to a very good FutureLearn course on disability.

    A thought about the impact of sign language. I signed up for an online BSL course, taught by a Deaf woman, and joined the FB group, and we talked about all sorts, and the Deaf people were very upfront about what could be seen as offensive/unhelpful/inaccessible/etc. A few people talked about the extra dimension that sign language can bring, for instance, when someone signs a song, and the teacher agreed. For myself, an autistic person, the very clear emotional facial expressions are really helpful - yes, they are not intended to help autistic people, but they do help me to process language and communication on a deeper, more emotional level. Also, something else discussed was that Deaf people don't really do subtleties in communication - they are much more direct and to the point. This was something the teacher talked about, and also what a Deaf FB friend of mine has posted about, and something I've also read about, more academically - it is because of the way Deaf communication is. Indirect communication can be unhelpful. And this aspect is really helpful for me too, because I also find direct communication much more accessible.

    The teacher and other Deaf people in the FB group were fine and encouraging with talking about this sort of thing - the way that sign language differs from spoken languages (yes, I know that it is a form of speaking, but using the hands and eyes is of course very different from using voice and ears, and therefore the way the language is structured and expressed and processed is different too). So of course people who aren't used to it may well experience it on an emotionally different level from how they experience their own language. And why shouldn't some elements of it be helpful for other people with certain brain differences, in the same way that languages like Italian are helpful for people with dyslexia, because of how phonetic they are. Language is communication, and communication can be a deeply personal, deeply emotional, deeply human thing, and different languages can speak to us in different ways.

    What we were told a lot about, in terms of being accessible and avoiding being inadvertently ableist, was to make our written English Deaf-friendly, as English is a second language for many Deaf people. And this was about word order, but also about being very direct and to the point.
  • kingsfoldkingsfold Shipmate
    Pomona wrote: »
    ..... that viewing signed languages as akin to interpretive dance came across as inspiration porn.

    As the one who first mentioned signing, I was responding to Poppy's point about bringing the body into prayer. Not comparing it to dance - if you read it that way, I did not communicate clearly, but you read something that was not meant. If signing a prayer is not using the body in prayer, what is it?
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Pomona wrote: »
    ... It's also Deaf in most journalistic style guides and government documents - it's really not esoteric, it's the norm now. ...
    @Pomona' it clearly isn't. Your pointing this out has obviously been news to several of those posting on this thread.

    The habit of some people to take offence and reprimand the rest of the world for not knowing, guessing or being aware of how they - or in this case they claim other people - would like to be addressed foments what are now called culture wars, and the condemnation implied by the use of the term woke. Bristling rather than explaining these things tactfully and sympathetically is something that encourages the prejudices of the 'wrong' side on these issues. It plays into their hands and gives them grounds for their self-justification.

  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    The reason I have doubts about hearing people learning the sort of fluency needed to expose a baby is simply that monoglot adults find it difficult to learn any new language. And a baby needs to grow up with the whole language going on around it, not just the reduced vocabulary aimed it it,
    I once read a Scientific American article about sign, which raised a number of questions. There was (and is, but without the Deaf now) a village in Kent called Egerton. Many of the people there were Deaf and used a version of sign language. People from the village were used as informers by such people as Pepys because of the secrecy of their communications. A lot of the people emigrated to America, and formed a community on one of the east coast islands (not sure if it was Martha's Vineyard). In that community everyone, including the hearing, used sign. People had chats via telescope from their back doors. It was totally inclusive.
    Sadly that fluency and community was lost when the Deaf children were taken to mainland schools and taught ASL which was developed without reference to what already existed - they could not communicate when they went home. But I have thought, since reading that, that it is a pity we can't have societies like that.
  • SignallerSignaller Shipmate
    Pomona wrote: »
    I was perfectly polite in pointing out that Deaf is preferred to deaf and that viewing signed languages as akin to interpretive dance came across as inspiration porn.

    You said
    First of all, it's Deaf, not deaf. It's also not unfair to call out 'positive' ableism as well as more obviously prejudiced ableism.

    That didn't come across, to me at least, as being polite. Maybe it's a generational thing.

  • Enoch wrote: »
    Pomona wrote: »
    ... It's also Deaf in most journalistic style guides and government documents - it's really not esoteric, it's the norm now. ...
    @Pomona' it clearly isn't. Your pointing this out has obviously been news to several of those posting on this thread.

    The habit of some people to take offence and reprimand the rest of the world for not knowing, guessing or being aware of how they - or in this case they claim other people - would like to be addressed foments what are now called culture wars, and the condemnation implied by the use of the term woke. Bristling rather than explaining these things tactfully and sympathetically is something that encourages the prejudices of the 'wrong' side on these issues. It plays into their hands and gives them grounds for their self-justification.

    This.

    I still haven't received an answer to my earlier question as to which other groups of people should have their description capitalised by others, although, of course, they're entitled to call themselves whatever they wish.
  • AnselminaAnselmina Shipmate
    I'm aware that my own exposure to Deaf people and Deaf culture is very limited. Therefore my knowledge of what is the norm for them and theirs is bound to be limited. I'm quite sure there are norms in my life and culture that would be very non-normal to Pomona. Hence my defensive response in being reprimanded for not knowing something. It would have been helpful if Pomona had made some attempt at explaining why it's Deaf not deaf. But she didn't. It was a statement of 'this is what it is - full stop'.

    I appreciate Pomona's apparent knowledge and experience of this and her desire to forward a better understanding of what she's posting about. However, if one starts off by setting the bar well above people's head, that they need to be an example of perfect compliance to one's principles, then be prepared for a long, lonely and frustrating haul. I can't say how many times I've had the 'oh, it was wonderful seeing a woman celebrate communion, so much more moving/meaningful whatever' conversations, itching to come back with 'I hope it was wonderful for much more than that!' I know what the person is trying to do. They're trying to be an ally to the cause. But I, who am used to being a woman, tend not to think - even now - how strange or revelatory it can be for some people to experience my ministry, such as it is because it's coming from a woman. So I'm polite and appreciative and we initiate a conversation where we learn and grow from that point. What I don't do is come back at them with accusations of inspiration porn, and how unwelcome and ineffective their attempt at support has been. I also don't tell them that their positive experience of God in worship, as they see it, is invalid, or a sign of their inability to understand what they should already be familiar with.

    Similarly, the introduction of the phrase 'inspiration porn' off the back of a poster recounting a positive worship experience they had with a Deaf worship leader was, in my view, completely out of left field. I appreciate that later on there was an attempt to explain it, but the tone was basically 'how could you not know this?' Personally, I still don't see a connection with Pomona's harsh criticism and Kingsfold's relation of his/her experience. Kingsfold said s/he had found a particularly unique experience in worship quite moving and Pomona's response was basically, 'well, you shouldn't have, it's not allowed. End of.'

    I fully appreciate that sometimes our motives, even when serving good ends, are not good or are flawed, patronising or based on faulty assumptions. But there was nothing in what Kingsfold wrote that deserved the response s/he got. Just my opinion.

    I should clarify, too, that putting 'ableist' in quote marks was directly as a quote - not a scare quote - from Pomona's post. That is, it was a word she had used in her previous post and I was quoting it, referencing back to it. And, rightly or wrongly, I was disagreeing with her use of the word ableist in that specific context, additionally imagining that I would be considered ableist in having enjoyed what was primarily an event run for the Deaf community. I know ableism exists and that it is largely regarded (but not always and in every context) as a negative. So I don't contest the principles of what Pomona is saying, or even what she's trying to do here on this thread, just her application of them in this particular instance.

    As it happened I went to college, over twenty years ago now, with a person who had been profoundly deaf from birth. All our college lectures had a sign interpreter. Perhaps I'd better hold back on how this was experienced by the rest of the student body! On a few occasions when she attended lectures outside and no signer was available, I accompanied her to take notes. I got to know her quite well. She had some tough times with us, no doubt because of our well-meaning intentions but inevitable ignorance; and she was very patient and gracious in joining her journey through college to ours. The use of cochlear implants was beginning to be popular round about then. My friend was quite decidedly against them for herself and worried about what their wider use might mean for the Deaf Community. She felt it was part of her ministry to help people understand Deaf people as people in toto, which included accepting their ministry, and appreciating what it might offer in its own unique presentation and forms. Possibly there are things we talked about (for she was an expert lip-reader, too, which is how she got on with us) or were contained in our disability awareness courses that defined terms and nomenclature etc that I have forgotten. But deaf with a capital D as being a norm is new to me, and certainly no offence was intended.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    Anselmina wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    Why can’t sign language have more than 1 function? I have been to the theatre when they have had signers. Not only are practical for the Deaf, but they add an extra level for the hearing. It is not easy to say why but it makes the show better

    Yeah. I once attended an opera with a Deaf friend I was at college with, where there was a signer. It was a very positive experience, though no doubt I'll find out in a moment why I was simply being positively 'ableist' and that really my experience was 'crap' and I shouldn't have been enjoying my evening out with my friend.

    I watch lots of foreign films with subtitles, rather than dubbed versions...
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    edited July 30
    Pomona wrote: »
    Many of us who are disabled on this board might think that words are important but intent is more so. As someone who is disabled, teaches disability theory and is currently researching how disabled people might be empowered, I would rather have a society where people are caring towards disabled people but get words wrong than one where people are judged on the mistakes they innocently make. Yes, language is important, but we need to also encourage our allies. An affirmatory model of disability is more positive and builds community than focusing on barriers.

    But that also requires allies (or 'allies') to accept disabled expertise in these issues and not act with outrage at the suggestion that they may have got something wrong. I was perfectly polite in pointing out that Deaf is preferred to deaf and that viewing signed languages as akin to interpretive dance came across as inspiration porn. Yet, this suggestion was treated with a lot of hostility even by so-called 'allies'. That isn't the behaviour of allies, it's not positive intent *or* using the right words. Allies have a responsibility to educate themselves and not rely on disabled people's labour - there is plenty of information out there. If a Black person corrected me on something regarding anti-Blackness I wouldn't spend my time arguing with them about it and still think that I got to call myself an ally.

    Being an ally is also something that's *earned* - abled people aren't automatically allies, they have to put the work in too. Working for disabled liberation is about what you do towards that. They have to show that they're worthy of being gifted by disabled people's trust first.

    Add me to the list of people who think that you weren't at all polite about pointing out the difference between "Deaf" and "deaf".

    Now please explain to me why you write "Deafness" rather than "deafness", because it seems entirely inconsistent with the previously offered explanation and with other material I can find online on this exact point. If we're talking about the condition of not hearing, that's a description of a condition rather than of a person, so I don't see why you would capitalise it any more than I would capitalise my Tinnitus or my Myopia.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    The capitalization refers to a culture much in the same way that we capitalize English and French.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    edited July 30
    Caissa wrote: »
    The capitalization refers to a culture much in the same way that we capitalize English and French.

    Yes I know, but talking about "congenital Deafness"... have you ever described someone as congenitally French? I doubt it.

    Surely it should be "congenital deafness" because it's talking about the audiological condition, not the culture. That would be in line with every resource I can find.
Sign In or Register to comment.