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Deaf History: Antiquity

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

Disability today is no longer seen as solely the biological condition of a person, but as a complex result of biological, social, political, cultural, and environmental positions. In other words, it is not determined by a person’s physical impairments or limitations; rather, it is the social consequences or effects of that disability. One of the core focuses of Deaf history is illuminating the struggle, throughout the centuries, to overcome discrimination by the hearing world and to open access to better opportunities for deaf people. Some of the discrimination in ancient cultures was cultural and societal, and some of it was codified into law. Meanings attached to disability and the deaf have varied not only among cultures but even within each culture. Cultural attitudes have a ...

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