ridiculist: Deaf People Can’t Read or Write

Posted by: Staff Writer on July 10, 2013

What do the names Kisor, Briscoe and Desloges have in common? First, all of them are published authors. Second, all of them are deaf or hard of hearing.

There are many known writers, poets, and bloggers around the world who happen to be deaf – some of them write about their experiences living with deafness, and many of them prefer to write about topics ranging from dragons to time travelers. As a Deaf writer, I often meet other deaf people who are or aspire to become writers. Many of them do have acquisition of the English language down well and write exceptionally.

Trying to claim that all deaf people do not read and write is simply not true. If you were ever to visit Gallaudet’s English department you might witness a deaf literature major performing a monologue of Bukowski’s Bluebird done completely in American Sign Language. Walk down to the library and you’ll find two signing students discussing in depth with each other analyzing the symbols used in the novel of The Great Gatsby.

English is a second language for many of us – and like another language you have to learn in school sometimes it’s easy or it’s difficult to learn.  It doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for deaf people to learn to read and write. Growing up in a family household that held great regard in being an avid reader – I was strongly influenced to read many classics found on my mother’s bookshelf. For many of us, it’s a matter of exposure and preference to become a strong reader and/or writer.

What about deaf and hard of hearing people who do not exercise the left side of their brain, the skill of language and creativity? The Deaf brain functions the same as a hearing person’s – some excel at writing and painting while others think like a mathematician and are very logical. Not all deaf people are designed the same.

Interested in following some Deaf or hard of hearing writers? Many great examples of deaf writers and bloggers can be found here: www.deafecho.com, www.deafread.com and www.limpingchicken.com (UK’s independent deaf news and blogs).

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Check the websites out above to see for yourself - hearing loss has nothing to do with the ability to read or write.

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