ASL-1102-04 (ASL II)
March 2, 2015
ASL I-B: Differences between deaf and Deaf
Many people do not realize that there is a difference in regards to being deaf and being Deaf in American Deaf Culture. In fact, there is a big difference between the two, which may seem to mean the same thing, but they are actually not that close to each other in what they mean. They both refer to a different group of people that have different levels of hearing and the culture in which they belong to as well.
The small “d”, or (deaf) refers to “a person’s audiologically ability to hear.” (Berke 1) Audiologically means the study of hearing. People with the small “d” do not associate with other members of the deaf community. Their goal is to identify themselves with the hearing people. Unlike people with the big “D”, people that have the small “d” regard their hearing loss only in Medical terms, instead of culturally. In addition to that, the small “d” is written when talking about hearing loss.
A person who might be considered and believed to be small “d” because they have a total and complete hearing loss. They must depend on sign language in order to communicate. An example of an individual who may use the small “d” deaf is totally deaf and uses American Sign Language and cannot read lips. Also, this person could be married to a hearing person. That would make them not associate with other deaf people. They would not be surrounded entirely in the deaf culture.
On the other hand, the big “D”, or (Deaf) contain all the people who are culturally Deaf, as opposed to physical. They can be both physical and culturally as well. They were born into a Deaf community and their first natural language was signed language. In addition to that, these people also have a strong Deaf identity and distinctiveness. People who are Deaf more than likely attended schools for the Deaf during their life. In writing, the big D Deaf is used when referring to different aspects of the entire Deaf culture.
An example of Deaf is when a person is totally deaf. That individual “can read lips and communicate orally” (Berke 1). They are more than likely married to another orally deaf person and hangs out with mainly other deaf people. Sometimes, this group of people rejects the idea of using sign language. Even though because of that, they