Deaf Culture

Amber Hawkes, News Editor

Throughout the world there are so many communities and cultures. Among them there is the deaf community, a not commonly recognized community within all cultures and ethnic backgrounds. The deaf community in Utah specifically is quite small compared to other communities in the area. Have you ever imagined what it’d be like to be deaf? Hearing loss is very common among the senior society but hearing loss can happen at or before birth including anytime there after. 


What most people don’t know is that deaf people have their own community and culture. This comes with different sets of customs, traditions, language, and interactions. Traditions in Deaf Culture include  films, folklore, literature, athletics, poetry, celebrations, clubs, organizations, and theaters. Deaf culture also has some of its own music and dance. A few deaf actors and actresses include Marlee Matlin a deaf activist and author, Millicent Simmonds a 16 year old actress most popularly known for A Quiet Place, and Nyle DiMarco an american model and deaf activist.

When interacting with a deaf person there are customs in interactions with the community. When trying to get a deaf person’s attention the polite way when they are not in vision line is to tap them on the shoulder. When speaking to a deaf person without the use of sign language you’re supposed to talk at normal speed without exaggerating one’s speech.


In some cases a deaf person may have the chance to get a cochlear implant depending on their type of hearing loss. Cochlear implants are devices implanted in the brain that can produce electrical hearing. However, this process isn’t easy and can cause infections in the brain. Not only can infections be caused and you can continuously get them throughout your life but there is a chance that the device won’t work. People with cochlear implants describe how they feel like they aren’t deaf but they also aren’t hearing and there’s a struggle to find a community where they feel they belong.


Often schools for the deaf are combined with schools for the blind and have a small community base with little funding. California’s School for the Deaf also known as CSD which has grades K-12, and is one of the largest deaf schools is the country. Gallaudet University is the biggest deaf college in Washington D.C.. Followed by National Technical Institute for the Deaf in New York. 


The deaf community is not often recognized and there should be more awareness of the community. As well as a general idea of how to interact with a deaf person when one doesn’t know sign language. The more attention that is brought to the community, the better we can intercommunicate among communities and become more unified as a society. Publicity as well as being taught in schools can help spread awareness of the community.