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Deaf culture

BSL Communication Deafness and your identity

Deaf culture

BSL Communication Deafness and your identity

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What is Deaf culture?

Wherever you go in the world, you’ll often find a group of deaf people that meet up and enjoy time together. Some deaf people feel part of a community because of their similar and shared experiences. This community might be small, but it has a strong identity and members often refer to themselves as ‘Deaf’ with a capital D.

What is the Deaf community?

This community of deaf people like to use sign language to communicate, and many members know each other from schools, clubs or events they have been to. They’ll also get each others’ attention without using their voice or making a noise – by tapping instead of shouting, or waving hands instead of clapping. 

About 5–10% of deaf children have deaf parents, and leaders in the Deaf community often have other deaf members in their families – but all deaf people are welcome. You’ll also find hearing people who enjoy Deaf culture and love sign language. They might be interpreters, friends or sometimes hearing children of deaf parents.

And don’t be surprised to see ‘sign names’ used a lot. These signs are created and used instead of names in Deaf culture. They might describe how someone looks – such as ‘Tall-long-hair’ or ‘Thin-glasses’ – or show something about their interests.

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