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Asia, Southern: Deaf Community

  • By: Michele Friedner, E. Mara Green & Annelies Kusters
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

Southern Asia is very diverse, both within and across nations. Like hearing persons, deaf people are born into, and are members of, distinct caste, class, ethnic, and religious groups. The specific history and context of each country, not only in terms of things like Deaf education and Deaf organizations, but also broader processes like economic policy and national politics, shapes how deaf people have come together. It is therefore important to remember that experiences in relation to being deaf vary widely and that diversity and contestation exist within communities. What characterizes a Deaf community, then, is not homogeneity but the use of sign language and a shared sense of being Deaf together; which is expressed and accommodated through a variety of institutions and practices.

Southern Asia: ...
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