To be honest, I can’t really choose a favourite person from Deaf history since I am just now learning and getting involved with ASL. I can only say that I admire and respect all those who have helped bring knowledge and acknowledgment to deaf people’s culture and need for recognition.
Oppression of any one group is never positive. In my opinion, anyone who stands up to it and fights against it, whether by actions, personal life experiences or research, shows strength, determination and have all taken a part in breaking down walls, building bridges and making history.
Things I’ve learned just by visiting this site have impressed upon me how different deaf people’s ‘world’ is and how they really DO have their own culture. Just reading through “do’s and dont’s”, necessary facial expressions, how sentences are signed grammatically, makes clear that only knowing how to sign is not enough.
As a world traveler and a person who already speaks 4 different languages, I can say that when we visit another foreign country, or learn another speaking language, certain ‘rules’ for etiquette go with that and in order to understand that new culture and integrate with the people, we must learn them. I’ve now realized that this also applies to the world of ASL and deaf people. It only enhances my interest and desire to learn! 🙂
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