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Old 01-24-2004, 06:12 PM   #13
One who seeks
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One who seeks is a jewel in the rough
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Smoke Eater is on target! The language of the Deaf is totally different than the language of the hearing.

Several years ago I worked in a large state agency. I had several deaf co-workers. Very few people in this office of about 150 people even knew the alphabet. Communication was done with notes, which of course the deaf did not fully understand. This was not acceptable to me. I learned sign langauge fairly well by "talking" with my hearing impaired co-workers everyday. Soon, everyone thought I could be the "interpreter." However, I was slow and had to spell many words.

I found it interesting that an older deaf co-worker wrote her notes very similiarily to a hearing person. Her notes were much easier to understand. She had not been taught ASL. The younger folk who had been taught ASL did not write in the same fashion and their notes were difficult to understand.

My husband has a deaf cousin, and not even her mother knows sign language. She reads lips. The first time this cousin met me at a family reunion, she was thrilled to have someone to actually communicate with. Broke my heart.

In my opinion, deaf people posses their own language and culture. Unless a person takes the time to really get to know someone who cannot hear, that person can't really understand the world of the deaf.
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