One thing I have certainly learned this semester is that no matter how interested you are in learning about or helping to facilitate better services for an information community it can be nearly impossible to break into that inner circle.
Week after week I have sent out emails and Facebook messages to various members of the deaf community explaining who I am and why I am contacting them. I have received limited, if any, response. My latest attempts were to gain first hand information about the use of emerging technologies within the community. I received not a single reply.
During my undergraduate career, as I worked on my Deaf Studies certificate, I did not meet with quite the same resistance. At the time, however, I was directly connected to a couple of members of the deaf community. This apparently made more of a difference than I could have possibly realized. I have come to the conclusion that in order to pursue my interest in providing better information services to this community I will have to again become personally involved. Fortunately, I do have a few ideas (though still a little fuzzy) of how I might do this. So far I have had to rely on the research others. While very interesting and informative, I hope to eventually be able to add my own research and broaden the scope of the available information.
Through various searches and much reading, I have found what I would not have doubted to be true. Deaf culture and the D/deaf community widely use various forms of technology.
These images show only a fraction of the ways that the D/deaf community uses emerging technologies to advance their community and to share information. The very nature of the deaf experience lends itself to the embracing of technology and the opportunities that it opens up.
In the future I hope to be able to speak more fully to this idea and to apply that information in my future work as an information professional in whatever capacity I may find myself.