Although it may not yet be widely recognized, Deaf Culture possesses all the elements of a rich culture. Shaped by sign language and a strong group affiliation, deaf cultures have existed in almost every country of the world for hundreds of years. Often hidden from the gaze of outsiders, deaf people continue to pass on their values, traditions, folklore, and most importantly their sign languages to succeeding generations of deaf children. Because deaf people are often not viewed as members of a "foreign" culture, misunderstandings between them and their "hearing" associates due to differences in language, time orientation, communication style, group loyalties, and information sharing are common.
Cultural Detective Deaf Culture explains many features shared by deaf cultures worldwide and provides tips on how to interact with deaf neighbors and co-workers in a spirit of mutual respect.
Cultural Detective Deaf Culture contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- One of Us:
A Deaf couple reacts indignantly to suggestions offered during a pre-natal checkup.
- Too Much Information:
A Deaf and a hearing co-worker have a less-than-rewarding conversation in the lunchroom.
- Talk is Cheap; Understanding is Priceless:
A Deaf patient has communication difficulties with her cardiologist.
- Meeting with the Supervisor, A:
A well-intentioned, hearing supervisor is disappointed in a meeting with one of his Deaf employees.
- College Class:
A hearing professor discounts a Deaf student's requests.
- Face Time in the Workplace:
Frustrations arise when Deaf employees socialize after company-wide meetings.
Extra! Cultural Detective Deaf Culture includes an overview of sign language around the world, acquisition of Deaf culture, and diversity within the culture. It also includes a list of "Tips for Communicating with Deaf People," including techniques for using a sign language interpreter.