Our Lives Our Stories: Life Experiences of Elderly Deaf People

Autor/a: PFAU, Roland; GÖRSKEL, Asli; HOSEMANN, Jana
Año: 2021
Editorial: De Gruyter Mouton
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Comunidad y cultura sorda


Sign languages are non-written languages. Given that the use of digital media and video recordings in documenting sign languages started only some 30 years ago, the life stories of Deaf elderly signers born in the 1930s-1940s have – except for a few scattered fragments in film – not been documented and are therefore under serious threat of being lost. The chapters compiled in this volume document important aspects of past and present experiences of elderly Deaf signers across Europe, as well as in Israel and the United States. Issues addressed include (i) historical events and how they were experienced by Deaf people, (ii) issues of identity and independence, (iii) aspects of language change, (iv) experiences of suppression and discrimination. The stories shared by elderly signers reveal intriguing, yet hidden, aspects of Deaf life. On the negative side, these include experiences of the Deaf in Nazi Germany and occupied countries and harsh practices in educational settings, to name a few. On the positive side, there are stories of resilience and vivid memories of school years and social and professional life. In this way, the volume contributes in a significant way to the preservation of the cultural and linguistic heritage of Deaf communities and sheds light on lesser known aspects against an otherwise familiar background.