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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractMinority language people are sometimes simplistically viewed as lacking the language of the majority, and Deaf people are simplistically viewed as lacking hearing, thus ignoring the sociocultural realities of both groups. It is only in the last two decades that attempts have been made to articulate a Deaf ideology that considers deafness as a sociocultural characteristic rather than a defect. This dissertation asserts that there are three different types of ideologies that have co-existed since the beginning of time, and that influence deaf education even today: (1) Deafness as a terminal trait: this is defined as the type of ideology that places deaf individuals on a track that leads to a dead end. (2) Deafness as a limiting trait: This ideology views the deaf as handicapped people with limited possibilities for attaining the highest possible intellectual goals; and (3) Deafness as a socio-cultural trait: This ideology views deaf people as having their own language and culture who can fully develop their intellectual capacity through their natural language and culture and the language and culture of the hearing society in which they live, thus becoming bilingual and bicultural. This dissertation will answer the following question: How have these ideologies shaped deaf education in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, and Venezuela, in the areas of (a) language use; (b) educational trends; and (c) societal aims for the deaf population? The results of this research can help Latin American educators to re-evaluate deaf educational systems in use today, and educators of the deaf around the world. The Deaf in Hispanic America are witnessing the evolution of national paradigms as their languages are recognized as official in Venezuela, Uruguay, Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Cuba. Governments are taking legal action to recognize and to accept other forms of communication, such as sign language for the Deaf and Braille for the blind in Ecuador. The remaining countries do not recognize their sign language as official. Educators are implementing programs different approaches, such as oralism, Total Communication, and bilingual education, and integrating Deaf students into regular classes.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading and Culture