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Deaf nationalism

Sign language is officially recognised as a minority language in its own right. And some deaf people have begun to think of themselves as forming a fully fledged "nation." They accuse hearing-aid makers and ear surgeons of trying to exterminate the deaf. But is deaf nationalism actually viable?

By prospect   March 2005

I always enjoy being part of an audience waiting for the curtain to go up on an evening’s entertainment. But here at the Eden Court Theatre in Inverness, it is rather different. The show is already a few minutes late, but people are still standing around in the aisles, hailing long-lost friends from one side of the theatre to the other and rattling off their news. And yet it is also curiously peaceful. Apart from a couple of lusty babies cooing and chuckling to each other, and occasional bursts of laughter, the theatre is quite silent.

With the exception of…

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