Despite the current promotion of bilingual approaches to Deaf education, the reality for most Deaf community members has been late learning of their primary language and incomplete learning of the spoken and written language of the society in which they live. Parents, teachers and hearing people in general, offer relatively poor models of language for Deaf young people. The first part of this paper considers the research which highlights this rather bleak picture. Despite this poor start, it is commonly believed that members of the Deaf community live full and active lives - often separately from hearing people, even when geographically they live alongside those hearing people. In the Deaf People in the Community Lifestyle Study, for the first time, we have actually collected data from Deaf people about their way of life, the issues which arise and how they cope with them on a daily basis. Such information is important, firstly to Deaf people as a matter of identity and self-realisation and secondly to hearing service providers as a means of understanding the impact which they have on the Deaf community. These findings are an aid to our understanding of Deaf people's way of life in Britain in the 21st century.
|Translated title of the contribution||Living and Learning Bilingually - Deaf Experiences and Possibilities|
|Pages (from-to)||75 - 90|
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2005|