Deaf and Hard of Hearing Canada
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Deaf and Hard of Hearing Cultural   (<- click Back home)

Deaf and hard of hearing culture is composed of people who consider deafness to be a difference in human experience, rather than a disability. When used in the cultural sense, the word deaf is very often capitalized in writing, and referred to as "big D Deaf".  

Big D Deaf communities do not automatically include all those who are clinically or legally deaf, nor do they exclude every hearing person. According to Charlotte Baker-Shenk and Carol Padden, a person is Deaf if he or she "identifies him/herself as a member of the Deaf community, and other members accept that person as a part of the community." Deaf culture may include those who attended deaf schools, children of deaf parents, and some sign language interpreters.  

The primary languages of those who identify themselves as Deaf are signed. Deaf communities also often possess social and cultural norms that are distinct from those of surrounding hearing communities.  

Deaf Culture vs. Medicalization