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Deaf Centrism and Deaf Centricity

  • By: Genie Gertz
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

Crucial to reframing the way Deaf people are viewed in the world is the practice of Deaf centricity. Currently, perspectives on and the education of deaf people are based on a deficit construction standpoint; that is, Deaf people are coded and portrayed as “problems” in need of fixing. Signed language is viewed as substandard, a language of animals, a gestural mode, and as subpar.

Contributing to, or even creating this mindset, is the education of deaf people. Many teachers, as they study to become teachers of deaf students, are indoctrinated with this “problem” mindset. Subsequently, teacher training programs, and curriculum materials, create a pipeline centered on this indoctrination. This is then passed on to parents, colleagues, and deaf people themselves.

This deficit-thinking framework—a model based on imputation, ...

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