Deaf culture is an important aspect of the Deaf community. It is an element that shows the wealth of history and tradition that surrounds the community. The Deaf people pride themselves on their unique history which is filled with lifetimes of art, traditions, folklore, humour and sports. However the most prominent feature of Deaf culture is language.
Sign language is the true language of the Deaf community and resulted in the tight knit community that exist today. Although the community are seen as a linguistic minority, the community shares their language with the wider majority. There are many groups and individuals that use sign language such as
- Sign language interpreters
- People who work and socialise with the Deaf people in the community or in mainstream society
- Children of Deaf parents/ parents of Deaf children
- Deaf people that identify with Deaf culture
- Family members of Deaf people
As you can see, Sign Language is used by a large and varying range of people. The Deaf community have a rich sense of community spirit which has lead to the many established organisations, clubs and schools.
- School: St Joseph’s and St Mary’s
- National organisations: Irish Deaf Society, Deaf Sports Ireland, DeafHear and the Centre for Deaf Studies, etc
- International organisations: World Federation of the Deaf, European Union of the Deaf and Deaflymics, etc
- Deaf Clubs: Deaf Village Ireland which holds social events, sports, religious ceremonies, dramas, etc