Deaf people's narratives

Members of CoP, facilitated by John Walker; 26th January 2010 (35 people)

By John Walker

This evening involved a series of interviews with narratives from the community. Narratives were shown from Hamish Rosie, John Lilley, Farah Yusuf, Sam Caiels and Gavin Lilley. One of them, John, has given his permission to include it on the website.


Viewing someone's narrative had a significant impact on this Community of Practice. It spurred some members to reflect and share their stories too. They are narratives of expectations, hopes, challenges and self-realisation.

Discussions were mostly around the topics of schooling, relationships, job prospects, friendship and community. The act of viewing a narrative inspires empathy and solidarity, whilst giving inspiration and expectation.

The different narratives brings together three different groups from different educational eras. The pure oral method phase, the signed systems phase and the current sign bilingual phase; each have reacted differently. It should be taken into account that those who have experience a particular phase would be of a different age to others. People from the pure oral method phase took joy in their memories in the Deaf community and the fun they had together; it is reflected with endearment. People from the signed systems phase reflected on the experience of confusion and uncertainty with their language and identity; they reminisce on the identity crisis and the discovery of their Deafhood. People from the sign bilingual phase showed more anger and frustration that the world is not moving fast enough; they are desperate to bring draconian attitudes and systems into modern times. Each viewed the Deaf community and the host society in different ways.

Narratives from John Lilley

Interviewer, Lulu Friedli; Editor, Jerry Laurence.

This page was added on 22/04/2010.

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