According to Wikipedia, Deaf culture describes the social beliefs, behaviors, art, literary traditions, history, values and shared institutions of deaf people who use a sign language. When used in this cultural sense, the word deaf is
often capitalized in writing and referred to as "big D Deaf" in American Sign Language or spoken English. Culturally
Deaf people tend to view deafness as a difference in human experience rather than a disability.
People who are culturally Deaf are audiologically deaf or hard of hearing, use a sign language and identify
themselves with the larger cultural group. Deaf culture thus does not automatically include all people who are deaf or
have a hearing loss. Like most cultures, the exact boundaries of Deaf culture are contested. For example, perennial
questions arise as to where hearing people who have Deaf parents and sign fluently fit in.
The phrase "Deaf community" is more inclusive and is often used to include hearing people who sign. According to
Anna Mindess, "it is not the extent of hearing loss that defines a member of the Deaf community but the individual's
own sense of identity and resultant actions." (1) As with all social groups that a person chooses to belong to, a person
is a member of the Deaf community if he or she "identifies him/herself as a member of the Deaf community and other
members accept that person as a part of the community." (2)
Mindess, Anna (2006). Reading Between the Signs: Intercultural Communication for Sign Language Interpreters. ISBN
Baker, Charlotte; Carol Padden (1978). American Sign Language: A Look at Its Story, Structure and Community.