This essay explaines how deaf people used to be classified as mentally retarded, disscusses why people are deaf and how society has changed towards deaf people.
Not Mentally Challenged
Until the Middle Ages, the 1600 century and up to the 1800s, deaf people, (now defined as hearing impaired), where not integrated into the society. The lack of knowledge about a deaf person's capability, caused families to keep the handicapped person locked up in the house, hide them from friends and the rest of the society. Reasons where embarrassment, shame and denial.
Unable to articulate, deaf people actually became handicapped because they were excluded from normal living. They neither had the opportunity to learn how to read and write, nor how to use their vocal cords (voice). As a result, they were placed in a mute nonexistent world, where they just vegetated in a state of being.
Thanks to scientists and researchers, the society has become educated, and therefore, came to the realization, that there are different reasons why people are deaf.
Deafness can be caused by several criteria.
People are born deaf, or inherited the condition. Deafness also can also be caused by illness or accident. Deafness means the person is not able to hear, and it does not affect the person's intellectual capacity or ability to learn. A person, who sustains a hearing loss early in life, however may lack the language stimulation, and this will only affect the speed of learning.
Nowadays, deaf people are recognized as intelligent human beings. No longer hidden and locked away, they are accepted as valuable family members, and integrated into our society. Hearing impaired people are now able to receive an education like learning sign language, lip reading, how to use their voices, and how to read and write.