Facts about the Deaf and Deaf Culture Part 2

A collection of facts and information about the Deaf and Deaf culture.

Facts about the Deaf

* The deaf can talk to each other by a special telephone. The portable, battery-powered Manual Communication Module looks like a small typewriter. Its message is printed electronically. The MCM costs about $600 and weighs about 6 lb. It can be attached to any phone and even used in a phone booth.

* There are three categories of deafness: the congenital deaf (born deaf), adventitiously deaf (became deaf through accident or illness), and hard of hearing.

* Sign language classes are popping up everywhere because more people are helping the deaf.

* When you first start using sign language, you really feel awkward. If a word has no sign, you spell it. There are two different kinds of sign language. Signing Exact English (SEE) is taught to young children because the signing is in complete sentences. The shorter "real deaf language" is American Sign Language (ASL or ameslan). It's a picturesque language.

* Sign language can also be used as a "secret code."

* The estimated number of formal signs is 1,500-2,000.

* Sign language is the third-largest foreign language in the U.S., out-ranked only by Spanish and Italian.

* The World Federation of the Deaf at Gallaudet College in Washington, D.C., developed GESTUNO, the International Sign Language.

* Presidents Ford and Carter used the "I love you" sign in the 1976 presidential campaign.

* There are 13.8 million hearing-impaired people in the U.S. Of those, 1.8 million are deaf.

* Annually, 3,500 people are born very profoundly deaf.

* Today 22 states require competent interpreters for deaf clients in court.

* Some deaf people have a special light-bulb doorbell that alerts them to callers.

* I know of some successful deaf-hearing marriages. Marriage demands 100% from each other all the time.

* Spiritus surdus is "deaf pride" in Latin.

* The best deaf high school senior is two to three years behind a hearing one.

* A typical deaf adult is one who attended a residential school for the deaf; works at a skilled trade but earns less; attends a deaf club regularly; reads English on a fifth grade level; writes English on a third or fourth grade level; and associates socially with deaf people.

* The average deaf person is an avid movie watcher. There is a captioned film loan service for the deaf.

* Cobras can't hear the snake charmers.

* The snake, the turtle, the housefly, and the starfish are all deaf.

* Juliette Low, founder of the Girl Scouts of America, was deaf.

* We have four deaf lawyers in the U.S., and the first deaf doctor lives in San Francisco.

* Some deaf people "love" music!

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