Deafhood: a concept stressing possibilities, not deficits

Autor/a: LADD, Paddy
Año: 2005
Editorial: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, nº 33 (2005)
Tipo de código: DOI
Código: 10.1080/140349505100
Soporte: Digital


Comunidad y cultura sorda


Born-deaf, sign-language-using people have for the past two centuries been placed within a succession of externally constructed models, notably the traditional ``medical'' or pathological model. This perceives them primarily as biologically deficient beings in need of cures or charity in order to be successfully assimilated into society. This paper proposes that the concept of colonialism is the one that most appropriately describes the ``existential'' reality of deaf communities, and offers instead a deaf-constructed model. Utilizing recent confirmation of the existence of bona-fide feaf cultures, it highlights the extent to which these communities have resisted such models, maintaining their own beliefs concerning their validity and quality of their existence, and what they offer to non-deaf societies. This ``vulnerability as strength'' is manifested through the concept of deafhood, which is presented as the first move towards a formal narrative of decolonizing and liberatory possibilities.