This view gives hegemony between deafness and deafhood. While deafness is a medical condition, deafhood represents a continuous struggle by deaf people to explain their existence to the world (Hauser 2010, p. 486). Deafhood, in this case, is interpreted as a process rather than an end that characterizes the perception of deafness. In this view, the world should recognize deaf people as normal but different. In describing normal, the term recognizes deaf people as individuals capable of emotions and rationality just as other hearing people do (Ladd 2003, p. 176). In describing different, however, the term recognizes deaf people as individuals facing different challenges from hearing people. The medical definition of deaf people has characterized them as strange and helpless people who demand help from the hearing people. This means the society typified the deaf as people who are less capable of surviving in an ordinary world. In essence, deaf people are just normal people whose language system differs from the hearing people ((Ladd 2005, p. 13).
Oralism and audism, therefore, are great challenges for deaf people in defining themselves to the world. The society symbolically participates in eugenics in order to define a distinct way in which every person should define oneself. This occurs as the society highlights the traits it considers as positive and the traits it considers as negative (Ladd 2003, p. 18). In a physical sense, the society invests in activities such as genetic engineering, genocide, and selective breeding as a means of identifying the part of the population it deems fit for life. Oralism is an educational philosophy that focuses on the development of speech and listening skills (Ladd 2005, p. 13). This philosophy constrains the individuality of deaf people by claiming that if everyone is taught reading through lips and auditory input, they eventually attain ...Show more