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Leisure and cohesion, 1945-1995
Author: Martin Atherton

Discourses on the social and cultural aspects of deafness emphasise the vital role played by deaf clubs in nurturing and maintaining deaf communities. Despite this, there has been virtually no previous research into the social and leisure activities provided for deaf people by the deaf clubs or the specific nature of deaf communal leisure. This book, based on an extensive longitudinal study of British deaf clubs between 1945 and 1995, presents the first detailed analysis of the social lives of deaf people in the UK.

British Deaf News was the major deaf newspaper throughout the 20th century, with deaf clubs reporting their activities and those of their members in each issue, providing a vital information and dissemination service for the geographical isolated pockets of deaf people across the country. Contributors shared information that was of interest to other deaf people and thus provide contemporary historians with extensive insights into the lived deaf experience that is not available from any other written source. The book outlines the volume and variety of leisure activities deaf people engaged in and discusses the vital role this played in maintaining and sustaining the sense of shared experiences and outlooks that are represented by the term ‘deaf community’. The book sets this discussion within a wider analysis of the role of leisure and sport in wider society, to emphasise both the similarities and the unique aspects of the social lives of one of Britain’s least understood minority groups.

More than just passing the time
Martin Atherton

9 Leisure in the deaf community: more than just passing the time When I set out on this research, I was seeking to answer some basic questions about deaf people, their community and the ways they interacted with each other. I knew this interaction was largely based in the network of deaf clubs to be found around the country but there was little evidence of what these communal activities involved or what importance deaf people placed upon them, other than some vague generalisations. I believe I have now found the answers to the questions I posed myself, in that I

in Deafness, community and culture in Britain
Martin Atherton

2 Defining the Deaf community anD Deaf culture in Britain Public perceptions of deafness and deaf people have been (and remain) heavily influenced by medical views that promote the opinion that deaf people suffer from a condition that needs to be cured. This pathological perception of deaf people, reinforced by official acknowledgement of deafness as a disability, is indeed shared by many deaf people. It must be accepted that the majority of deaf people would prefer not to be so and view it is as a debilitating factor in their daily lives. However, for a small

in Deafness, community and culture in Britain
Martin Atherton

important to investigate how shared leisure and sport can help to maintain communities, and to relate these concepts to the activities of the deaf community. As has already been established, communities can be established through a number of shared factors, such as social, geographic, relational and political connections.1 Feelings of community may result from shared residence or alternatively through shared characteristics; both elements need not be shared in order to form a community. A sense of community identity can develop simply by living in a particular area

in Deafness, community and culture in Britain
Martin Atherton

3 The developmenT of deaf clubs in briTain The deaf community could not have come into existence without shared locations where socially isolated deaf people could gather and develop relationships based on common experiences and characteristics. As the previous chapter illustrated, deaf clubs have long been seen as the hub of deaf community life but little has been previously known about how or why they emerged other than that these deaf clubs arose from a number of local voluntary organisations set up to assist deaf people in their daily lives. In this chapter

in Deafness, community and culture in Britain
Abstract only
A window on the deaf world
Martin Atherton

allowed deaf people to keep abreast of events outside their own club by disseminating news across the British deaf community. Along with its immediate predecessor British Deaf Times, BDN provided the primary source of information about deaf people’s social lives for this book. The titles included news on all aspects of deaf people’s lives, and large sections of each issue were devoted to passing on information relating to the social activities of the various deaf clubs and their members from across the United Kingdom. Because of this, BDN provides a wealth of

in Deafness, community and culture in Britain
Martin Atherton

popularity of each can be assessed: Table 4 The popularity of leisure activities of deaf club members Dances and parties (16%) Anniversaries and presentations (8%) Societies and courses (4%) Practical demonstrations and talks (5%) OAP events (5%) Cards (2%) Fundraising events (15%) Church and religious events (12%) Community events (4%) Trips and holidays (24%) Youth and children events (2%) 126 deafness, CoMMuniTY and CulTure in BriTain Of the 1,643 events reported, 402 were trips, visits or holidays, representing 24 per cent of the total number of events reported

in Deafness, community and culture in Britain
Martin Atherton

members engaged in, both as individuals and collectively. As this chapter will show, deaf clubs were found across Great Britain and they provided and organised a variety of leisure and sporting events for their members. In addition, deaf clubs served as the preferred location for family gatherings and celebrations in which the wider deaf community, as represented by the clubs’ members, were welcome and willing participants. What follows is a brief overview of deaf leisure, based on the reports published in British Deaf News. It is not possible to reconstruct an

in Deafness, community and culture in Britain
Psychogenetic counselling at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, 1955–1969
Marion Andrea Schmidt

project had explorative, applied, and collaborative dimensions. It resulted from a level of cooperation between the NYSPI and the New York State deaf community that was unusual for its time. On the explorative level, the NYSPI staff aimed to learn about the New York state deaf population and establish a baseline for what, in the first place, constituted mental health and illness in deaf people. When Kallmann and his colleagues began working with deaf patients and community members, they knew little about deafness. Rather than measuring deaf people by standards

in Eradicating deafness?
Collaborating for culturally sensitive counselling, 1970–1990
Marion Andrea Schmidt

a medical-genetic community, which considered deafness a pathology to be cured and prevented, and the Deaf community, which considered deafness the distinguishing trait of their community. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, they became involved in the emerging Usher syndrome community, conducted research on genetics and rubella, and developed ASL signs for genetic counselling. These projects culminated in the establishment of a Genetic Services Center at Gallaudet in 1984. Referring to deaf people’s minority rights and cultural identity, the centre operated within an

in Eradicating deafness?