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Do all deaf people use sign language?
Not at all. The largest group of deaf people - the estimated 8,7000,000 people, who have lost all or part of their hearing after spoken language and a hearing identity have been established, are likely to retain their hearing identity and use of speech/lipreading/writing as their main means of communication. Their spoken language will be their first language, even if they never hear again. People who are deaf from birth or early childhood however, form the nucleus of the Deaf community, using the convention of the upper case ‘D’ in Deaf to identify themselves as culturally Deaf community members and sign language users. This is not merely a preference for sign over spoken language, but something that is both essential and greatly valued within the community.


Author: DeafSign.Com
Date Published @ DS: 25/10/2000 



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