It often comes as a surprise to people that many individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing refer to themselves as being members of the Deaf community and ascribe to Deaf culture. These individuals view themselves as a unique cultural and linguistic minority who use sign language as their primary language. The characteristics of Deaf culture are formed out of many shared life experiences rooted in a visual world designed for communication ease. This document introduces the Deaf community and why it is important for disability service professionals.
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