In Deaf Peddler: Confessions of an Inside Man, Dennis Buck unveils the ins and outs of exploiting his "disability" to earn easy money by practicing a unique form of panhandling. Dennis peddled for 11 years despite holding a degree in computer science and receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). He details the day-to-day life of a deaf peddler, including where to make the most money in the least time (airports with their constant transient clientele, malls on weekends, and fast food restaurants) and how he organized his rounds using a spreadsheet program. Deaf Peddler also provides a historical perspective on deaf peddling as a way for under-educated deaf people to make a living when jobs were hard to find, wages were low, and Social Security did not exist. But many in the Deaf community deplored this activity, and the National Association of the Deaf campaigned to discourage this behavior that reinforced deaf stereotypes. Buck abandoned peddling himself for this reason, but he points out that deaf peddling survives today, often in the highly exploitative form of rings of deaf workers completely controlled by oppressive deaf and hearing overseers. Deaf Peddler presents in engaging fashion a little-known cultural phenomenon that offers a revealing turn on the general issue of panhandling in our society today.
About Dennis S. Buck
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Published July 3, 2000
by Gallaudet University Press.
Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences.