Socialization in the Deaf Community
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Deaf Culture:
Socialization in the Deaf Community

Because of the bonding among Deaf people that starts at schools of the deaf, Deaf adults gather in certain places and engage in social events involving Deaf people and hearing friends who have a certain degree of fluency in Sign Language.

Deaf church:

1. Deaf people form their own congregations where Sign Language is used in the sermon and for Bible study.

2. In the absence of an exclusive Deaf church or congregation, Deaf people go to ordinary churches, provided that there are interpreters.

3. Although Deaf churchgoers attend Deaf churches on prayers days for praying, they also use the time after church to socialize with friends and catch up on weekly happenings and events with friends.

4. Bible study classes are either held within the church premises and/or by rotating among members of the church.

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Deaf clubs:

1. Deaf people form clubs for several reasons, of which the most important one is to socialize by meeting friends after work or on weekends.

2. Parties are held in clubhouses to celebrate important happenings.

3. In-house games, e.g. cards, bridge, snooker, darts, checkers, etc., are some attractions of Deaf clubs.

4. A Deaf club is the best place for hearing people, who are learning Sign Language in formal classes, to improve their signing skills and fluency.

5. In terms of culture, deaf clubs are the next most important place to gather after Deaf schools.

Deaf sports:

1. Deaf sports are a worldwide phenomenon. There are national deaf sports bodies, e.g. Summer Games for the Deaf, affiliated to the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (CISS).

2. In team sports like soccer, rugby, netball, volleyball, cricket, etc., Deaf people prefer to use a flag (which is visual) and not a whistle (which is sound-based).

3. In athletics as well, Deaf people opt for the flag to start a sprint.

Technology:

1. Instead of the conventional telephone, Deaf people use a Tele-typewriter (TTY) on which they type a message to the receiver. The receiver reads the message and responds in the same way. The TTY signals an incoming call with a flashing light.

2. When the doorbell is pressed, a light in the house flashes differently from the one indicating an incoming call on the TTY.

3. Sound detectors (sensors) are used in babies' cots to alert mothers of crying.

4. Vibrating alarm clocks are used to wake-up.

5. Deaf people to get messages from callers also use vibrating pagers and cell phone.