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Sign Language Studies

American Annals of the Deaf

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Through Deaf Eyes: A Photographic History of an American Community

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includes a variety of traditional language arts, such as narratives on traditional themes, jokes and puns, games, and distinctive naming practices. Performance art includes poetry and plays composed in ASL. These genres follow conventions analogous to, but distinct from, those of spoken languages. ASL poetry, for example, is based upon visual rather than aural patterns. This literature has been recorded on film, videotape, and digital media dating back to 1902.

Deaf culture has also been expressed in an astonishing array of social, political, and economic organizations. The

 

National Association of the Deaf, founded in 1880, currently has active member affiliates in every state. Local clubs have long served as regular meeting places and social centers. The National Fraternal Society of the Deaf was founded in 1901 to provide insurance to deaf people, and over the years it has expanded its operations to become involved in legislative, civic, and social activities. Since 1945, the American Athletic Association of the Deaf has organized sporting events on a national level, as well as American participation in what is now known as the Deafolympics. Dozens of newspapers and magazines written by and for deaf people, with titles such as the Silent


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