Thursday, April 3, 2008

Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Amish Culture

Orthodox Amish culture do not allow hearing aids since they are considered "technology" and technology isn't permitted in Amish culture. Non-orthodox Amish and Mennonite people have cross-overed to the other side to live among the people who use technology. People often confuse the Amish and Mennonites that they think there's no difference between the two. Even though, their beliefs are very similar however the way that they express them, how they are in lifestyle and culture are different. Majority of the Mennonites dress like the rest of us, drive cars and have electricity in their homes along with ranges, washers and dryers and other appliances. On the other hand, the Amish are very strict about their clothing and don't drive cars or have electricity in their homes.

I wear hearing-aids and living in a technology world. If I was an Amish, I probably would not know what its like to be around with other deaf people in this world who are outside the Amish culture. What would it be like for deaf Amish individuals to live in an isolated like that? I have never met a deaf Amish person however, I came close to some. I believe that there are only three deaf Mennonite churches in the United States which are located in Lancaster, Penn, in New York and in Orville, Ohio, which is near Canton. Many years ago, I was a guest speaker at Orville's church where I have met several nice Mennoite families and church members. I was pleased to be a guest speaker there. It was quite an experience. Mennoite churches are like most Christian churches and they are basically Anabaptist believers which believe in peace and often called peace makers. They believe in non-resistance. I have been involved in a Anabaptist denomination for almost 20 years and I found Anabaptist do believe much of the Reformed Theologies except what separates their doctrines (i.e. Baptism, etc). Culture-wise, depending on Amish tribe and families. Some are really strict and some are not. Nation from the greek word "Ethnos". Strongs defines Ethnos as a multitude (whether of men or of beasts) associated or living together as a company, troop, swarm. A multitude of individuals of the same nature or genus the human family a tribe, nation, people group (Culture). One thing I have learned when I was in the Anabaptist denomination, preferences aren't necessarily a doctrine issue, but can become serious when people in the church can't get along with each other because of their preferences. There are many Christian cultures because there are Christians who will follow their conscience, feelings, beliefs and personal worship preferences. In important example is that Orthodox churches including Anabaptist denominations encourage their women do cover their heads when they enter into church.


Jean Boutcher said...

Amish (and Mennonite) people are
the people that make Vice President Gore happy. They say that technology is amongst the resources that cause the global
warming. Therefore, Amish people
reject cochlear implant, hearing
aids, zippger, metal buttons,
except for equipments used for farming, cooking, etc.

Deb Ann said...

This is interesting about Amish culture. Thanks for sharing :)

Karen Mayes said...

Wow that is interesting!

I know a friend from Rochester, NY, who spent a week with one Amish family in Pennsylvania two years ago for her research paper. The Amish family had three children and two of them were deaf. One died from the accident (hit by a horse-driven carriage) as a toddler. The Amish community in PA would send the deaf children to a nearby school where the other deaf children attended to learn the basics of education and as soon as they approach teens, they would leave school. That is all I know, from what my friend explained to me.

Deaf Pixie said...

Right, I knew two of silbing of Mennonite at deaf school. Her grandparents also deaf and not sure about graduated at OSD, Oregon School for the Deaf. I knew one of family went to OSD. Their parent sent them to OSD when their mother use ASL because of her parents are deaf generation.

Now, he became teacher for more than 20 years and now retired .. By the way he show us Amish.Very interesting. Amish doesn t allow any photograpy. They are related to their family.

he say Mennonite allow to use motor and other things as computer, Amish people use their homemade stuff as log house, etc. Very interested!!

Anonymous said...

I'm researching this topic for an Intro to Deaf Community class and have recently interviewed an ASL interpreter in Lancaster County, PA. She reported the the Amish will, for a late-deafened person, raise funds for CI and therapy.

Will post more after I finish my research paper.

Gilder, hearing ASL student
San Antonio, TX, USA

bobby said...

i have a question where are there some deaf amsih that are in need to learn sign language to communicate with thier families i did hear some now are trying to learn how to communicate who dont know sign language. and where they are located i am in north carolina and hearing impaired myself, i am curious i think amish are pretty different from us i find it very interesting