The purpose of this paper is to use psychosocial theories of stigma, language and prejudice to discuss the factors that contribute to the transformation of deafness from a stigma to a cultural identity. This paper is not intended to support or deny the existence and importance of a Deaf culture. Rather, it seeks to examine the question: How does deafness, which has historically been labeled as a disability, become the basis for cultural identification? The literature on deafness as disabling, versus as signifying culture, will be summarized.
Psychosocial theories about the role of stigma, language and prejudice in the formation and maintenance of personal and group identity will then be explored. These theories will be applied to the controversy on deafness as culture: the role of the stigma of disability, the use of sign-language, and prejudice against non- group members in the preservation of the Deaf culture. PARLIAMENT has recommended that Government considers awarding tenders of capital projects such as road construction to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF), which has some of the most skilled engineers in the region. The suggestion was made at the pre-Budget seminar in Victoria Falls as parliamentarians said the ZDF has competent engineers who can implement projects at lower rates than private developers thereby cutting on Government spending.