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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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Worker, Deaf Life, and Silent News, have existed within the Deaf community over the past century and a half.

These more formal expressions of culture are only the tip of the iceberg. Cultural expression is manifested most importantly in the decisions and actions of everyday life. Deaf cultural norms dictate the rules for the sharing of information, how to politely begin and take turns during a conversation, and appropriate etiquette for social gatherings. When deaf people marry other deaf people (which they do over 90 percent of the time), that, too, is an expression of cultural values. The transmission of cultural knowledge between generations, which has gone on remarkably effectively in spite of tremendous obstacles, is both the necessary precondition for, as well as the mark of, an enduring culture.

 

ORAL COMMUNICATION

Lipreading, like sculpting or painting, is an art.
                             —Bonnie Tucker, The Feel of Silence

Deaf people have always communicated by oral means to one extent or another, either exclusively or in addition to sign language. People who lose their hearing in adulthood


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