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Deaf Lifestyle - Oralism Versus Manualism

Isolating Deaf youngsters from the Deaf community might not be in their best interests in the United Kingdom.

States of the art hearing aids and cochlear implants might not translate to mainstream achievements.

Born into a hearing family and brought up in mainstream education, neither my parents or the teachers for the deaf, had any knowledge of the local Deaf community. In fact, in the same way that my ‘teacher for the deaf’ discouraged me from learning sign language, in many respects I was also advised not to have anything to do with the Deaf community.

Being strong willed and recognising that I was different to other children in the school (lots of them made sure I knew that), I went on to make my own mind up about what was best for me, my decisions differing markedly from what the ‘teacher of the deaf’ and social worker for the deaf, had suggested was in my best interest. Right or wrong, they were my decisions, and my life has been enriched by being involved in a wide range of Deaf community groups and activities ever since.

Because of my links to and involvement in the Deaf community, I have developed my own identity in life, I have friends who understand the issues I face every day, who support me, and I have people who share the passion I have for reaching a stage when society concentrates on what we can do, rather than the simple fact we cannot hear and might not be able to talk.

Being a part of the Deaf community, I learned all about Deaf sport and Deaf activities, and getting involved has meant that I have travelled all over the United Kingdom and internationally to take part in sport. Through these travels I have learned about Deaf life in other countries and had the chance to meet people who greet me as a long lost friend when we meet up again.

It’s not all chocolates and roses of course, as people face a wide range of issues and Deaf Club or a Deaf social event is a good place to seek help and advice about how to tackle that. Overwhelmingly though, having a Deaf identity and being a part of a Deaf community has been a huge positive in my life, adding great value, and helping me make sense of many of the problems and barriers I experience in my life. I knew and still know today, that those problems and barriers are not personal attacks on me... Read The Full Story.

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Deaf Lifestyle - Oralism Versus Manualism
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