Writing A deaf main Character

Ember-Rose

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I am a hearing person; however, I am taking ASL, and my teacher has been introducing us to the Deaf Culture and I want to celebrate it in one of the ways that I can. I understand I should likely not write about something I don't know but I want to know it which is why I am writing about it. Any assistance you can provide whether it is critiques on how to write a deaf character, tips, or anything at all I will gladly accept. Thank you
 

n.bex

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Firstly, don't limit yourself on who you can or cannot write about, I feel like this limits great writers as an unspoken rule or something. I am a screenwriter and I wrote the Script The Deaf Girl, and I was very very new to being deaf at the time. I didn't have all the answers, or even knew how to be in a deaf world. I will tell you...there is a bit of a divide in the deaf community, as Late Deaf ( someone who has become deaf to injury, progressed hearing loss to total, and deaf due to illness but was once hearing) and someone who was born deaf is culturally deaf. Many that are culturally deaf have had to face the many adversities of being deaf in a hearing world and the demands / speculations / and attitudes of disregard or peer bullying from the hearing community. As opposed to people who have experienced hearing and have gone deaf after the fact. That divide can sometimes be a shun within the deaf on deaf community.

When writing my character Nola, I referenced all the experiences I had as a Late Deaf person and the trials I faced on both sides of the spectrum. I would suggest immersing yourself in deaf culture starting with a small group of peers and formulate some good questions on their experiences. This will help evolve a character that is both relatable to all Deaf types as inclusivity is very important for a well rounded character. I read a book called " Life after Deaf" that was a really good account on coping with some of the trials, both mental and physical aspects.

I hope this helps and if you want to converse more, feel free to message me. :)

Bex
 
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