Raising Deaf Culture Awareness

Six months ago I was contacted by Kingston Unitarian Fellowship (KUF) through Susan Young, parent of a Deaf adult, to provide a presentation to raise their awareness of Deaf Culture and that occurred today. KUF is for all those in the Kingston area who support Unitarian Universalist principles to join together in a caring community for the spiritual and personal growth, in a welcoming environment where all are respected and diversity is celebrated, as they strive to make their world a better place through their actions. I was honoured to be present and educate their group. KUF provided an interpreter for me to express myself without barrier.

I spoke of the diverse Deaf community, and how our culture is about the way we have set social beliefs, behaviours, art, literacy traditions, history, values and shared situations of communities those are influenced by deafness and which use American Sign Language (ASL) as the main means of communication. Our Deaf identity can be compared to members of ethnic communities, “We have a language; we have a culture.” I also spoke of how we re-frame the notion of hearing loss to Deaf gain. One benefit that always bring laughter, I don’t have to hear my husband snore at night!

Thank you KUF for having me and the lovely flowers with the card. I appreciate all the questions asked, I’m glad I can share my knowledge and insight with all of you. It was great to see people were eager to understand the work still needed to recognize the culture of the Deaf community, especially our sign languages.

I provide a Deaf perspective and ASL presentations and how to accommodate Deaf people in a work environment, if you wish to learn more, contact me at info@leahriddell.com or through two of organizations I’m part of.