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Deafened People

Deafened People: Adjustment and Support

Copyright Date: 2000
Pages: 224
  • Book Info
    Deafened People
    Book Description:

    It is estimated that there are currently 1.9 million deafened adults living in North America?people who could once hear but have become. An invaluable guide to self-help techniques of proven value to deafened people.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7374-8
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  4. Part One: Adjustment

    • Chapter 1 About Late Deafness
      (pp. 3-33)

      Although it has been over twenty years since the last major census of the deaf, the best estimate we have is that 75 per cent of deaf adults became deaf after the age of nineteen.¹ Most people in the deaf community probably donʹt think of late-deafened people as the majority. Services provided to ʹthe deafʹ are directed overwhelmingly at people who became deaf at birth or in early childhood. Funding and subsidies for ʹdeafʹ organizations go overwhelmingly to that segment. When you think of access to services for ʹdeafʹ people, you think of sign language interpreting. And you think of...

    • Chapter 2 Adjustment to Deafness
      (pp. 34-64)

      As they appear both in biographies and in academic literature reviews, descriptions of acquired deafness are a virtual thesaurus for the word ʹcatastropheʹ: thunderbolt, shattering, calamitous, disastrous, traumatic, devastating. The focus is usually on the utter enormity of the impediment, if not its absolute insurmountability. These descriptions are designed to convince the reader that the condition, though invisible, is not insignificant. But there is a paradox here: the descriptions are based on reports of survivors, so evidently the catastrophe is surmountable after all. Rather than describing how people have survived ten or twenty years beyond, these resources focus on the...

    • Chapter 3 Effect on Relationships
      (pp. 65-89)

      As was the case in the previous chapter, much of this chapterʹs discussion of the effects of deafness on relationships refers to Goffmanʹs work on stigma. The discussion of passing, disclosing, covering, and relations with other deaf people often needs only to paraphrase the principles thoroughly described by Goffman.

      Several of the common responses to deaf people from family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers resemble those made to many other stigmatized groups.¹ One is the well-meaning inquiry into the etiology or management of the condition; another is admiring remarks about deaf people, or sympathy with their ʹplight.ʹ People try to demonstrate...

    • Chapter 4 Professional Help
      (pp. 90-140)

      The first form of help deafened people usually encounter is professional help. Before they meet peers to avail themselves of peer help, and before they learn how to practise self-help, they consult with practitioners in a variety of professions. Professionals may be equipped with a fair background in dealing with hard-of-hearing people and/or the people who are called the Deaf Culture, and unsure which of this is applicable to a deafened client. If the client is your first and only deafened client, or you see only isolated cases, you will have little basis for evaluating how normal his problems and...

  5. Part Two: Support

    • Chapter 5 Peer Help
      (pp. 143-160)

      Peer help is the territory between professional help and self-help, where organized group activities other than self-help enable deafened people to meet and learn from one another. In the peer help environment, deafened people themselves – not professionals – take charge. Because peers have the same experience, being deafened, they can provide insights that a hearing person with extensive professional training may not have. But it is a little like comparing the birdʹs-eye view with the bugʹs-eye view: the birds donʹt really know what it is like down there on the ground, for the bugs who are unable to fly....

    • Chapter 6 Self-Help
      (pp. 161-172)

      There are a variety of ways to define ʹself-help.ʹ In our definition, self-help meanswe each help ourselves, as and when we are ready.Other people may use the term to describe a grassroots program of fundraising,¹ or boosterism in support of professional services or research, or having other deaf people instead of professionals providing advice about coping and management of deafness. In our experience, the self-help work that deafened people most need is within themselves.

      If we are each helping ourselves, why do we even need a group? Groups offer many benefits for people working through challenges like becoming...

    • Chapter 7 Self-Help Leaderʹs Preparation
      (pp. 173-182)

      The leader is not a social worker or psychologist or other professional. This is a self-help support group, and the leader is one member of the group who is willing to take on the extra responsibility of leading the group, keeping order, and organizing the sessions. The self-help group leader should – foremost – be a member of the group.

      The leader needs to:

      Be a member of the group

      Publicize the meeting dates or series registration date

      Arrange for communication access (transcription)

      Determine the time and place of meetings

      Make contacts for referrals in case members need professional help...

    • Chapter 8 Self-Help Rules
      (pp. 183-194)

      The magic of self-help comes from the rules. The rules may seem to limit what can be said in the self-help sessions; the paradox is that they enable people to say more by creating an atmosphere of safety. The secret for lasting success in self-help is to be diplomatically dogmatic and to resist the temptation to tamper with the rules. This chapter provides both the rhyme and the reason for the rules you need to follow to get the most out of self-help.

      All members should know the rules and the reasons for them. Some rules may seem unnatural, but...

    • Chapter 9 Self-Help Session Procedure
      (pp. 195-205)

      Each session should follow a predictable sequence that helps build the atmosphere of trust and safety and enables people to get in touch with their feelings after a day (not to mention the past two weeks) of wrestling with aggravations in the outside world. Following this simple sequence will help you lead an effective self-help session, whether it is a single open session or one in a series of sessions.

      (Before starting, check that everyone is wearing a name tag and provide them to those who are not.)

      Start on time (and end on time, too). Get their attention (flashing...

    • Chapter 10 Helping Handwriting
      (pp. 206-218)

      Sign language is not the only thing people can do with their hands to alleviate the suffering they experience when they become deaf. While not a substitute for self-help, writing or ʹjournalingʹ can provide benefits as well. Many deafened people, including us, have found it healing to write of their experiences, fears, frustrations, and successes. Ours have appeared in many sidebars throughout this book. In this final chapter, we offer some individual writing exercises to supplement self-help in the adjustment process.

      Journal writing is a contemporary practice with old origins. It can be a means to preserve history or develop...

  6. Notes
    (pp. 219-228)
  7. References
    (pp. 229-234)
  8. Index
    (pp. 235-248)