History Of Deaf Eyes

Submitted By phone7
Words: 3205
Pages: 13

THROUGH DEAF EYES explores nearly 200 years of Deaf life in the United States. The film presents shared experiences of family life, education, work, and community connections from the perspective of deaf individuals. It is a window on a world that many people do not know exists - with fascinating history, memorable characters, and thoughtprovoking issues. The core of the film is the larger history of deaf life in the United States, a story of conflicts, prejudice, and affirmation that reaches the heart of what it means to be human. It is an American story.
THROUGH DEAF EYES does not approach the topic of deaf history from the perspective of sentimentality or of overcoming the inability to hear, nor does it deny the physical reality of being deaf. The documentary takes a straightforward look at life for people who are part of the cultural-linguistic group who use American Sign Language and often define themselves as “Deaf” — with a capital, and cultural, “D” — and deaf people who, for a variety of reasons, do not identify with the Deaf cultural community. The history often shows that intersections between deaf and
Deaf people are many and that oppression and discrimination are common experiences.
The film is full of surprises and stories that often reflect unusual experiences. These puzzling events in the lives of
Deaf people demonstrate a complex relationship with the hearing society. Outstanding themes, underscored through these stories and worthy of discussion, include:

The broad sweep of U. S. history intersecting the experiences of Deaf people.

Deaf education’s evolution.

The enduring linguistic debate on how to education deaf children.

The creation and expansion of the Deaf cultural community.

Technology’s role in promoting significant social change for deaf people.

Deaf leadership and activism.

Deaf / deaf self-identity.

This guide accompanies the film and supports facilitators as they engage community members, students and others interested in the documentary in dialogue about the issues highlighted in THROUGH DEAF EYES.


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Facilitator Guidelines

Before convening a group, view the documentary in its entirety. Become familiar with this guide, which provides discussion questions, tips on how to negotiate controversial issues, and supplemental information and resources to further discussion.

The film is two hours in length. Decide whether participants should watch the entire film or film segments individually or as a group. (If you are presenting clips, select those that are appropriate for your audience.)
A group viewing of the entire film will require at least four hours in order to allow for thoughtful discussion time. If participants watch the film individually, they can then attend a post viewing session that allows for sufficient discussion. (Session lengths will vary depending on group composition and the your familiarity with participants.) Regardless of the viewing and discussion formats, provide participants with reading and supplemental materials that familiarize them with the film’s content, issues, and topics

Smaller groups of five to eight members are ideal. You can divide a large group into two smaller ones, each with a different facilitator.

In hosting a screening/discussion, consider the conflicting perspectives on language use and identity.
Beyond linguistic and educational experiences, be mindful of the Deaf community’s diversity. Deaf people come from all corners of the country and while common deaf experiences unite, differing histories, understandings, and desires in the Deaf community also exist.

Moderate discussion where appropriate, but do not try to control the flow of dialogue or defend the film.
Pay careful attention to the individual making comments, and assist them in clarifying statements if needed. For example, restate the perspective and ask others to paraphrase their thoughts. If