YouTube Video: Deafhood the Journey

Check out this gem of stop-motion animation by Paul Ososki:

I’ve never seen anything like this before: a video where ASL, as used by the story narrator, becomes a deuteragonist in a two-and-a-half-dimensional animated setting.

The video’s message is clear. ASL is what enables the character to scale the various obstacles in his path. Taking the video’s title in consideration, this animation becomes an argument for the use of ASL by Deaf people; only through ASL can the Deaf person be set free.

But the video’s title brings up another interesting question. Does ASL = Deafhood? If we look at Ladd’s definition, Deafhood represents the dialogue and process of each Deaf person as they explain their identity to themselves and to the world. A journey, rather than a destination. ASL is a potential component of that journey.

So, can Deafhood occur with the absence of ASL (or any of the world’s other sign languages)? It’s certainly conceivable in the realm of theoretical possibilites, but the probability is near nil. Which is, of course, the video’s point. Deafhood requires ASL.

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