Deaf people often refer to themselves as being part of a culture, a member of the deaf community, the deaf culture. To some extent then, being deaf, just like being a part of any other culture, defines a person. While normally, disability shouldn't define a person, I'm finding that my deafness does exactly that. It has changed my behaviour, my communication, my feelings, my routines, and even to some extent my values and beliefs. It has certainly changed my view of the world and how I function in it.
My deafness allows me to do things that hearing people can't, sleep through loud snoring for example, and stops me from doing things hearing people can, use the telephone for example. It dictates what job I have (call centre operator could be a bit tricky), how I communicate with people (get ready to repeat yourself people!), how I parent my kids (they have to wait until we are in a quiet environment to talk),and also my attitudes (sounds mean but I'm over people complaining about minor stuff wrong with them - how about we trade? Didn't think so). I've become very quiet in large groups, but I'm obnoxiously loud in other situations.
My deafness is starting to define who I am and I can fully understand why deafness becomes a culture. It's a whole other world, both good and bad, but a whole other world. x