This video is the second part of the Understanding Deafhood presentation series at the NAD conference last June. Understanding Deafhood: Our Language, a 12-minute video will discuss four things: 1) What the “Deaf” term means to different populations 2) Deafhood Dimensions, 3) Deafhood Journey and Process, and 4) Choices Deaf individuals make. Again, it was very challenging to trim the video down from 90 minutes to 12 minutes but I am confident the eye-opening segment will spur further discussion. Thank you for your interest in learning more about Deafhood!
I just wanted to let you know that a shipment of the Deafhood book just arrived at DawnSign Press. I’ll be getting my own copy tomorrow!Reply
joey & ella mae, GREAT job as always!Reply
I like the second part best so far. Well presented, Ella Mae Lentz! I literally felt like I was in a Live workshop with you for 90 minutes, but no, I was at home. Your presentation was informative and concise. You are definitely born to the stage and there are not many like you out there today. We gotta pay real good attention to you. We need to share your views with others. Thanks- Penny 🙂Reply
Very good video! I like how Ella Mae Lentz explained the Deafhood concept. I look forward to the next video!
Joey – good job!
Ella Mae – very good lecturer!
Ella Mae can come to St. Louis and be audism buster! =^)
Amazing! I knew about the deafhood concept for a long time but it didn’t have a name until now. I truly appreciated the efforts and passion you (Ella Mae and colleagues) have poured into this to make this a very authentic and solid view for us, the Deaf to see. Like Laurent Clerc, who wrote in his diary, witnessed the history from day one to the last day before his death in America, seeing the changes in the Deaf Community and how concerned he was at the near end (regarding the hearing oppression and distorted views causing the Deaf to be ripped apart and molded into “hearie” due to Milan Conference and AGBell). He wanted the Deaf to realize how unique and wonderful they are and to cherish it. This is exactly what we need today and for our future Deaf as well. We cannot afford to lose this determined and inspired feelings anymore, not when the Deaf is now at the forked path, to hold everything that’s defined as Deaf together! We need to watch this video and discuss with each other from time to time to remind ourselves why we’re here on this Earth. Amen!Reply
Is Ella misleading us? what is definition between deafhood and deafness? Ella asked audience to choose path of both…how? deafhood is akind of groupie and deafness ia akind of medical vocabulary… She want us to be deaf prowess, then we should close deaf school and go to public school and stop handouts from US gov’t or state, no more VR or ADA or SSI… To me ,Ella is in dreamland or fanasty… anyway it is ok with me… I am doing fine and enjoy hearing world that I can not able to find in deafdom even I am DoD.Reply
What’s the difference between “deafhood” and “Deaf”?Reply
Felt like I was there!
Thanks for spreading the “gospel!”
I was not at the NAD convention so maybe you already did it but I could make a suggestion that we could take a look at other disabiility community e.g. midgets, blind or cerebal palsy because they tend to label themselves as one word instead of dividing into many different organizations depending on their degree of disability. Is that possible? This way, we would understand deafhood more better because it is scaring many deafies that they may have to give up their VR/SSI/disability checks when it is not true, it is simply just how we “see ourselves” in the community.Reply
I didnt get chance to attend to NAD. It was wonderful that you, Joey came with ASL blog with as much as you can put. Making the video 12 mintues from 90 mintues is never easy! And it has covered very well.
I wish it can covered more. Workshop and lecture happening in Northern California will be even better. I hope that will happen soon. So the people who missed or want to hear it again can get the chance to sit and listen, put us in thinking! DEAFHOOD was a wonderful word showing what we have been feeling since we born or become deaf.
Many thanks for doing that hard work and exposure that with best ability of ASL blog!
Also many thanks to Ella Mae Lentz and collagues who has been working on the lecture and make it a great way to spread LOUD and CLEAR!Reply
Want to follow up on my previous comment.
I want to applaud their efforts (DE, GG, Ella and Joey) and their energy to inspire us to be closer and work together to achieve a common goal: to make this world a better place.
Loved how this blog is designed and implemented!
I’m very much concerned about what “Deafhood” means to other parties such as social welfare, medicial professionals.
The word, “Deaf” is already defined differently by those different groups.
Can the word, “Deafhood” make itself universal to others unlike “Deaf”?
I have no problems with the concept/expereince/journey of the “Deafhood”, but I do have a problem with the naked word, “Deafhood”.
I don’t see any blacks using the word, “Blackhood”. Or gays using this term, “Gayhood”?
I’m afraid that the general public will think and automatically group “Deafhood” in the same category as “ghetto”, “the hood”, or some kind of miliant groups.
I believe it’s not smart to use the word, “Deafhood” because the hearing people and the medicial community will take advantage of parents of Deaf children’s fears and *FRAME* the debate to their advantage. It’s so easy and effortless to place “Deafhood” in the same category of “ghetto”, “hood”, “brotherhood”, “sisterhood” similiar to “gangs” which are negative.
We always fought the three words since the dawn of Deaf people and our culture.
“I CAN SPEAK (OR HEAR).”
Three powerful words were and are always used by the so-called oppressors to demolish/reduce/frame our lively debate about our rights to our culture and language.
How can the word itself, “Deafhood”, not the concept but the word itself stripped off of its meaning, help us in the long run? We already struggled to change the general public’s bad habit of using the misleaded word, “hearing impaired” to the proper “Deaf”.
I only have one problem with Deafhood, You cannot find a simple summary of what it means, even in a sentence or a few paragraphs. If we cannot define “Deafhood” in a simple and clear sentence, we are in trouble.Reply
It is like as if I were at the workshop, wow! Good job and I totally understand the point of the Deafhood. It does make sense and it would be so great if Ella Mae came to the MO statewide interpreter conference and educate everyone. 🙂Reply
AWESOME! 🙂 Keep up with the great work! You have all of my support!! And, I enjoy this journey of our Deafhood.Reply
Very beautiful site, it is so soothing to my eyes!
Use my url to read my comments about Deafhood and discussion in this forum.
Bests, Anne MarieReply
To response to Rene’s question (# 8) What is the difference between Deaf and Deafhood?
Here’s my interpretation.
Deaf: Visual learner; a person who uses sign language; a state of being and our identity;
Deafhood is a way of thinking and attitude towards being Deaf that celebrates it, that seeks the positive reason why we are on earth, what our contribution to world and to each other, to cherish all that the other Deaf people before us have created as Deaf beings for us to use and appreciate. Sees injustice against Deaf people and forces us to rethink our system and behaviors, etc. Lastly, it is a journey towards Deaf identity, a process understanding of who we are.Reply
Comments? I should not make any but since what I saw this videos and Joey’s ASL Vlog that got me impressed enough to say wow and was very appericated that and since there are on half way on videos about deafhood I am looking forward for next and future videos to watch.. it do helps me thinking better but I see some comments have some negitive repouses but would like to tell these ppl thank you for sharing thier opinions that help to have better views of ” Pros and Cons ” also to remember these videos are here for the reasons all I saw are positive because that took great efforts to made these video to be presented to “feed your thinking tank” to make better person out of yourself, thank you very much for allowed me to watching your (Joey) ASL vlog become one of my favorite! way to go! Congrata!Reply
Joey, thanks for explaining both words. I realized I need to be more specific in what I was trying to say. See my second comment.
Why don’t we all pitch in and create a “Deafhood” page in Wikipedia? To explain what it is and what it is not.
I already created a page:
IÂ willÂ respond to your second comment – it took me more time to think to answer your questions.Â That\’s something we should do – ask challenging questions – thanks Rene!Â Â
About Deafhood page in Wikipedia – that\’s great idea – thanks!!Reply
Rene – I sorta agree with you about what the word
Deafhood might seem like to the general public. I
don\’t think it gives it a ghetto image, but it\’s
possible it could be twisted into something negative.
For what it\’s worth, I don\’t think the public would
think of us as militants, despite what the audists
might like you to think.
They do think that deafness is terrible though, so
that\’s obviously not a good thing. This is really
nothing new, and of course it\’s always up to us change
their perception for it. That takes a lot of time.
It would be the same with Deafhood, I think. It\’s
really up to the deaf people to remain positive about
it, and have right attitude about their deafhood.
Eventually the word should end up with the right
meaning, and it will give the general public a hint
that there\’s really a culture (which I think they have
hard time believing that it exists).
I think it\’s a great word. When I first saw it, itReply
instantly gave me an image of our deafness as a way of
life. I read the book (it\’s very boring btw) and while
I disagree with some of Paddy\’s views (mainly his use
of the word colonialism to describe the issues related
to audism), I still like the idea of Deafhood. It\’s a
great concept, and adds this dimension of being
introspective and honest about your deaf life and how
it shapes you and others, and how it evolves your
My viewpoint of Crab Theory has it that it is audists who put deaf crabs into buckets and oppress them. One of deaf crabs leaps over after he is recognised as an audist’s
protÃ©gÃ©; hence, known as “deaf audist.”
The same is true about black people. For
example, a white master puts black people
in a crab basket. Should the master find
one of the blacks as his protÃ©gÃ©, he will
help the (black) crab get out of the
bucket. For example, State Secretary
Condoleezza Rice was helped to get out
of the crab bucket by the Bush family’s
friend, George Schultz, former state
secretary who later became a member of
Stanford University where Miss Rice later
joined. Again, the same is true with
Justice Clarence Thomas whom President George Bush 41 heled get out of the crab
bucket. General Colin Powell, for
another, got help from the aforementioned
president. Back to square one, if a
teacher in a residential school for the
deaf recognises a deaf student as a
potential oralist, he will help train him as
his protÃ©gÃ©. The student would end up becoming a deaf audist. That deaf
audist helps the audist debunk the
American Sign Language as a
communication mode of the deaf.
Any sociologist would tell you
that Crab Theory is real and very much
alive in some countries in the four corners
of the globe. In other words, if you
claim that Crab Theory is completely
mythological or non-existent, then you
must say that audism is equally mythological
and non-existent. I could be entirely wrong.
Jean Boutcher, Deaf and DumbReply
🙂 YAH YAH!!!, That s what I was thinking from the start after I realized I learned from Social work courses in the past that I didn’t like it at all. It was tough tasks for me to deal with and disagree with their systems in this society.Reply
This is what and how it s exactly what I want. Finally somebody got it for our Deaf communities in this society. Many thanks for your greatest support for all of us and our basic needs. I just dont know what to say more now that makes me so thrilled to see things happens to make a good difference for every Deaf individuals. Many Many Thanks! hugz, my friends of the Deaf community 🙂 Blessing you all.