National Deaf History Month is observed annually from mid-March to mid-April (March 13 to April 15). Because misconceptions about the Deaf community remain, National Deaf History Month serves as an opportunity to address common Deaf culture misconceptions.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders, about two to three out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears; and approximately 15% of American adults (37.5 million) aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing. Still, many are misinformed about people that are deaf and/or hard-of-hearing.
Debunking Common Deaf Culture Misconceptions
A video posted to the YouTube Channel of the Iowa School of the Deaf has racked up close to 46,000 views. The Iowa School of the Deaf is a preK-12+ educational setting focused on the academic success of students who are deaf and/or hard-of-hearing. And, thanks to this lighthearted video, they’ve sort of become a disability myth buster!
Featuring staff members that identify as deaf, the 19-minute video clip casually discusses questions surrounding common Deaf culture misconceptions. Some myths and questions pondered include: Are all deaf people… fluent in American Sign Language (ASL)? Able to read lips? Capable of driving? Hearing-abled when wearing hearing-aids? Able to enjoy music? Adept at verbal communication? And so on…
Because the video balances humor with sincerity, viewers are both entertained and educated. WATCH HERE
Facts About Deaf History
Did you know… ?
- The American School for the Deaf, the first public school of its kind, opened in Hartford, Connecticut in 1817.
- In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln signed a charter to establish Gallaudet University, the first college for the deaf. Gallaudet University is still revered for its inclusive education.
- The first celebration of National Deaf History Month occurred in 1997. [What took so long?!]
- The term deaf is the most all-inclusive choice, according to The National Deaf Center, as it includes people who may identify as deaf, deafblind, deafdisabled, hard-of-hearing, late-deafened and hearing impaired.
- Language is ever-changing. “Deaf” (uppercase spelling) is used when referring to the Deaf community; whereas “deaf” (lowercase spelling) is applicable when referring to the condition.