A glimpse into death culture

Fiona Smith, Sidwell Friends '15

"You wouldn't know that I can't hear by looking at what I can do." (Published: 2015)

The Deaf community is a vibrant entity of individuals with capabilities of every kind; it is a culture in its own right, complete with a unique and complex language. Deaf individuals (who underscore their cultural identity by capitalizing the “D’) focus on what they can do--what they love doing--and ignore the stereo- types often assigned to them.​

ASL, or sign for short, is the official language used by many in the Deaf community. It is not simply ‘English with signs’; it is a full and equally expressive language. While the signs themselves correspond to English words, the grammar is uniquely constructed, exemplifying the richness of the culture it conveys.