Category Archives: Deafness in mainstream culture

Deaf Superheroes and the Power of Diversity

There are many types of superpower– ranging from super strength to mind control. With such a wealth of fictional capabilities available, why should Superheroes be limited by their ability to hear? Deaf people can do everything hearing people can do, they just might do it in a different way… This includes fighting super-villains! Recently, Marvel… Continue Reading

Deafness is Not One Size Fits All

The pediatrician just informed you that your child is profoundly deaf. What is deafness like? How does deafness impact a person’s life? What will you do now? Your answers to these questions will depend on personal experience. If you have connections to Deaf culture, you may feel very differently than someone who has never had… Continue Reading

Can Digital Devices Replace Interpreters?

While walking the streets of New York, nearly every person I see is staring down at a screen, fully engaged with digital devices. Through technology, our world has become incredibly connected; yet disconnected at the same time. There is comfort in being able to communicate without regard to time or distance but, somehow all this… Continue Reading

Inclusion For All

New York City has so many incredible Summer street festivals, art exhibits, and cultural events to enjoy. Now, imagine how many shows you would go to if you had to contact the event organizers weeks in advance, explain that you need special accommodations, and possibly even explain how to secure those resources. This is the… Continue Reading

ASL Goes Viral

Last week, Jimmy Kimmel hosted a “sign language rap battle” where two interpreters and deaf entertainer named Jo Rose Benfield each delivered their live interpretation of a Wiz Khalifa song. The video has nearly a million views on YouTube and was featured on many prominent sites across the web– further proving that pop culture is ready to embrace deaf… Continue Reading

Deaf Culture in Hollywood

Think about the last five movies you saw. Were there any deaf individuals in them? When was the last time you saw a deaf weather person delivering the forecast? It is estimated that nearly 20% of Americans live with some form of hearing loss, yet deaf and hard of hearing society members remain oppressed by… Continue Reading

Music Without Sound

On December 28, Madison Square Garden was a sea of colorful tie-dye, flashing LED lights, and smiling faces. The crowd energy in the sold out venue reached a frenzy when the house lights went down, and rock band Phish took the stage. As Phish pulsated the building with their signature jams, their renowned lighting director… Continue Reading

Breaking Barriers

When black seamstress Rosa Parks controversially refused to give up her bus seat, she provided a new face to the burgeoning civil rights movement. When 24 year old Helen Keller became the first deaf-blind individual to earn a college degree, she rewrote the narrative about disability inAmerica. Sometimes, on this big planet of 7 billion… Continue Reading

What is Foreign About ASL?

In schools across the country, American Sign Language is offered as a foreign language. Why is a language which is used by around 500,000 native U.S. citizens taught as foreign? Great question. When we take a look at the prejudices facing Deaf culture, I think this is a good place to start. When ASL gets… Continue Reading

Deaf During Disaster

In 2003, a Russian boarding school for deaf students caught fire in the middle of the night. In the old building, there were no flashing alarm lights or vibrating beds to awaken the students. There were no emergency precautions in place at all. Instead, 28 young boys lost their lives to the blaze, while teachers… Continue Reading