Title

Deafness as a Culture Not an Illness.

Conference Strand

Identity Formation

Abstract

Historically the deaf population has been viewed through medical lens as a handicap and deficiency that requires something to be fixed through hearing aids or cochlear implants. However, this is not the majority view of the Deaf-World. The presenter will demonstrate how through a cultural lens, deafness is de-pathologized and embraced as a culture that is marked by differences and not limitations.

Description

Research states about 2-3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears. Those born with profound hearing loss or deafness are seen as biologically disabled and pathologized. However many members of the Deaf-World do not see themselves as biologically deformed or having a disability but rather they see themselves as a subculture and ethnic group within the Hearing-World culture. The Deaf-World has developed a distinct cultural identity based on several factors, which include but are not limited to: history, language, cultural norms, values, kinship, knowledge, and arts. Research shows that deaf individuals experience minority stress because they are part of a cultural minority and discriminated against due to being viewed as having a disability (Peters, 2007). The 2014 American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics Standard E.5.C., state that, “Counselors recognize historical and social prejudices in the misdiagnosis and pathologizing of certain individuals and groups and strive to become aware of and address such biases in themselves or others.” Thus it is imperative as counselors to learn how to counsel this group from a multicultural lens that honors their culture rather than seeing them as group who is stressed from a biological pathology, as well as learn how to better advocate for the deaf population. Through the objectives of this presentation the participants will be able to

  1. Recognize our ethical obligation to be culturally competent toward the depathologized view of the Deaf-World.
  2. Provide examples of best practices when counseling a deaf client.
  3. Advocate for and learn more about the Deaf-World.

This presentation adheres to the theme of the conference through demonstrating of how to change the historical response of the deaf population to a more culturally informed response.

Evidence

Lane, H., Pillard, R., Hedberg, U. (2011). Ethnicity, Ethics, and the Deaf-World. Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada, 27(2), 1-13.

Peters, S.W. (2007). Cultural awareness-enhancing counselor understanding, sensitivity, and effectiveness with clients who are deaf. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 35, 182-190.

Williams, R.E. (2005). Research support and International Affairs. Retrieved March 24, 2016 from: https://research.gallaudet.edu/Demographics/deaf-US.php

Wright, G.W., & Reese, J.R. (2015). Strengthening cultural sensitivity and mental health counseling for deaf clients. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development. 43, 275-287.

Format

Individual Presentations

Biographical Sketch

Kathleen is a Georgia Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and National Certified Counselor (NCC) as well as a doctoral student at Mercer University in Atlanta. She currently works in an integrative private practice treating various mental health disorders. Her research interests include the practicality of neuropsychology and mindfulness in counseling as well as pedagogy in counselor education.

Location

Room 217

Start Date

2-17-2017 4:00 PM

End Date

2-17-2017 5:15 PM

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Feb 17th, 4:00 PM Feb 17th, 5:15 PM

Deafness as a Culture Not an Illness.

Room 217

Historically the deaf population has been viewed through medical lens as a handicap and deficiency that requires something to be fixed through hearing aids or cochlear implants. However, this is not the majority view of the Deaf-World. The presenter will demonstrate how through a cultural lens, deafness is de-pathologized and embraced as a culture that is marked by differences and not limitations.