For those who missed the show, NPR has provided the transcript, free of charge. I highly recommend taking a look at it. It's a fascinating interview about a fascinating subject. I don't think most people are aware of the richness, diversity, and the long history of deaf culture, and I think that's a shame.
The millions of Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing form a unique community, a culture, they say, shaped by their shared experience and their shared language. ASL, American Sign Language, is currently the second most taught language on college campuses. A major Broadway play using deaf and hearing actors is touring the country. At the same time, deaf culture is both changed and challenged by technology. There are plenty of divisions and arguments within deaf culture, but the deaf and hard of hearing share another universal trait--the incomprehension of the hearing world around them that sees their condition as a disability, as a handicap. For those who live without sound, that absence is the starting point of an identity.For a while, back when I lived in Rochester, NY, I was somewhat involved (although, as an outsider, it was more of a peripheral involvement) in the very strong deaf culture that exists in that city. The knowledge that I gained has greatly benefitted my life, and I truly value all of the experiences and friendships I gained through that involvement.
While not everyone will be able to get involved with the deaf culture, I do believe it would be highly valuable to everyone to learn at least a bit about it.