I realized that there is not enough knowledge Deaf Awareness Month and it is evident that it has not come to a head. There is more work to be done in order to make it so the Deaf community is not exploited in literature but portrayed and seen as equals to individuals who are not exhibiting the meaning of Deaf. Being exposed to early literature makes one aware that even with vast improvements in rights and advantages that Deaf people enjoy, there are still negative mentalities that have not been eliminated.
Particularly the belief held that Deaf people are in some way broken and need to either assimilate or overcome what “ails” them in order to be accepted into society or viewed as “normal”. These viewpoints are not reached alone. I’ve become more and more conscious of the fact that with the visible nature of being Deaf, it becomes too easy for many to see merely one puzzle piece that is being presented to the world, and think that shows the entire picture of who a person is. So they try to hammer interlocking edges of the puzzle into the picture of other individuals without considering that the pieces do not fit for a reason.
Humans tend to view most groups in stereotypes until they get to know some individuals within the group. Literature serves as an introduction to these Deaf people. More often than not, these introductions end in exploitation. Yet, once we start seeing a Deaf leader, begin to widen and move beyond the limits of typical. What is simultaneously hard and easy to grasp is that there is more movement to be done. The human consciousness is ready for an expansion and literature is calling for it.
We will aim for a deepened understanding of the social, economic, and political aspects of Deaf people as perceived and embodied in literature.
I believe that Deaf Awareness Month serves to do more than just encourage a politically correct vocabulary. It helps one consider the foundation of human perception that even spans to the recognition of beauty in society. Focusing only on Deaf issues, it is evident that social and economic advances go hand in hand but that the economic element of Deaf often goes to benefit those with abilities. Those portraying or capitalizing on those people who are Deaf.
Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier
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