Reasonable men adapt to the world around them; unreasonable men make the world adapt to them. The world is changed by unreasonable men. ~Edwin Louis Cole
What makes us remarkably human is the capacity for language. As someone who has studied, discussed or expounded issues regarding biology and anthropology among the sciences, it is amazing how social pressures can "justify" the inability for human adaptation in environments that are not "normal" for them. The quote above is a good example of how adaptation can take place or not.
Deaf people do have a disability - a loss of sound receptive function; however, being human, fundamentally so, adaptation takes place. A language and culture that scares the "normal" people. We are most likely the only group of 'disabled' people who have a language and culture. We break the concept that disability is a limiting condition experienced by humans.
We do understand that we do have a disability. This feature is just one tiny, small piece of our make up as a human being. We are more than what we are labeled to be.
Note the significance of -human being-, it is the same, exact same principle of being one that gave us a language and culture we continue to fight for everyday. Adaptation is unlimited (it can be good or bad; however, most of the time it's good). It is humans that limit adaptation often than not.
Our language and culture was not given to us. Language and culture, all of them, are not 'given'. They are learned, shared and consistently in motion; hence, 'living language'.
We made American Sign Language and Deaf Culture ours. Yes, we made it OURS because of biological-social adaptation and cognitive (brain) pathways that allowed us to reach this milestone in human history.
We are humans, just like everyone else.
Life clearly does more than adapt to the Earth. It changes the Earth to its own purposes. Evolution is a tightly coupled dance, with life and the material environment as partners. From the dance emerges the entity Gaia. ~James Lovelock
To Be Whole
Currently I am an ASL teacher at a local college and at an high school. I received my Masters in Sign Language Education from Gallaudet University. At home, I am an activist within the community, Northwest Indiana. My son is in first grade and my daughter goes to E.C.L.I.P.S.E. ASL Preschool. Change begins with you and change is effective with a team.