Brenda Dawe, NAD IV interpreter and ASL instructor

by Brenda Dawe


(Michigan)

One important thing to know about Deaf culture is that no matter how long, nor how close a hearing person is involved with the Deaf, he/she will always be an “Inside-outsider.” Many mainstreamed deaf people who later find their way to the cultural community circle feel the same way. It’s all about that shared life experience. My Deaf husband (45 years) is my best friend, but there are times when I would take a back seat to his peer connections. I’ve learned in some instances not to make him choose.

Webmaster comments:

Brenda, thank you for mentioning this. I do think this is something that is important to know about Deaf culture and the Deaf community. I’ve kind of kept from mentioning it, though, because I thought it might scare some ASL students out of involving themselves with the Deaf community.

I just want all ASL students to know that Deaf people do not “look down” on you for wanting to be involved. The only expectation that you can’t have is that you will be considered “one of them.” Normally only people born into the Deaf community are seen that way. It is, like Brenda said, about a shared life experience. That is what the Deaf culture and community thrive on. 🙂

Comments for Brenda Dawe, NAD IV interpreter and ASL instructor

May 12, 2010

Common Bond Acknowledged

by: Anonymous


Thank you, Brenda. I am glad you posted this. I have a niece who was born deaf into a hearing family, and I have had similar experiences with her. Over the years, I have learned not to be so sensitive and take things personally. I now realize there is a common bond shared, and it would be wrong for me to expect I should be part of that bond just because I am family.