In Adventures of a Deaf-Mute, Deaf New Englander William B. Swett recounts his adventures in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in the late 1860s. Given to us in short, energetic episodes, Swett tells daring stories of narrow escapes from death and other perilous experiences during his time as a handyman and guide at the Profile House, a hotel named for the nearby Old Man of the Mountain rock formation. A popular destination, the hotel attracted myriad guests, and Swett’s tales of rugged endurance are accompanied by keen observations of the people he meets.
Confident in his identity as a Deaf “mute,” he notes with wry humor the varied perceptions of deafness that he encounters. As a signing Deaf person from a prominent multigenerational Deaf family, he counters negative stereotypes with generosity and a smart wit. He takes pride in his physical abilities, which he showcases through various stunts and arduous treks in the wilderness. However, Swett’s writing also reveals a deep awareness of the fragility and precariousness of life. This is a portrait of a man testing his physical and emotional limits, written from the vantage point of someone who is no longer a young man but is still very much in the prime of his life.
This collection also includes “Mr. Swett and His Diorama,” an article from 1859 in which Swett describes his miniature recreation of the Battle of Lexington, as well as Manual Alphabets, a pamphlet published in 1875 on the history of manual alphabets that includes short biographies of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc, two pioneers of Deaf education in the United States. The work is accompanied by a new introduction that offers a reflection on Swett’s life and the time in which he lived.
The Deaf Mute Howls
Albert Ballin Gallaudet University Press, 1998 Library of Congress HV1624.B35A3 1998 | Dewey Decimal 362.42092
The First Volume in the Gallaudet Classics in Deaf Studies Series
"Albert Ballin's greatest ambition was that The Deaf Mute Howls would transform education for deaf children and more, the relations between deaf and hearing people everywhere. While his primary concern was to improve the lot of the deaf person "shunned and isolated as a useless member of society," his ambitions were larger yet. He sought to make sign language universally known among both hearing and deaf. He believed that would be the great "Remedy," as he called it, for the ills that afflicted deaf people in the world, and would vastly enrich the lives of hearing people as well."
--From the Introduction by Douglas Baynton, author, Forbidden Signs
Originally published in 1930, The Deaf Mute Howls flew in the face of the accepted practice of teaching deaf children to speak and read lips while prohibiting the use of sign language. The sharp observations in Albert Ballin's remarkable book detail his experiences (and those of others) at a late 19th-century residential school for deaf students and his frustrations as an adult seeking acceptance in the majority hearing society.
The Deaf Mute Howls charts the ambiguous attitudes of deaf people toward themselves at this time. Ballin himself makes matter-of-fact use of terms now considered disparaging, such as "deaf-mute," and he frequently rues the "atrophying" of the parts of his brain necessary for language acquisition. At the same time, he rails against the loss of opportunity for deaf people, and he commandingly shifts the burden of blame to hearing people unwilling to learn the "Universal Sign Language," his solution to the communication problems of society. From his lively encounters with Alexander Graham Bell (whose desire to close residential schools he surprisingly supports), to his enthrallment with the film industry, Ballin's highly readable book offers an appealing look at the deaf world during his richly colored lifetime.
Albert Ballin, born in 1867, attended a residential school for the deaf until he was sixteen. Thereafter, he worked as a fine artist, a lithographer, and also as an actor in silent-era films. He died in 1933.
Discovering Sign Language
Laura Greene Gallaudet University Press, 1981 Library of Congress HV2476.G73 1988 | Dewey Decimal 419
Children learn about different kinds of hearing loss, different sign systems, and the evolution of sign language in other countries, sign language games, and "How the Seasons Came to Be," a story in sign.
French Deaf culture is regarded as a major influence on the formation of other Deaf cultures around the world, notably American Deaf culture. In Elements of French Deaf Heritage, Ulf Hedberg and Harlan Lane document the development of Deaf culture in France by way of Deaf schools, Deaf associations, private and professional networks, publishing, and the arts. This highly visual work captures these forces from the late 18th century through the end of the 19th century, when cultural formation began to shift to cultural maintenance. Encyclopedic in scope, this examination of the evolution of Deaf ethnicity in France aims to disseminate an extensive amount of archival information, now available for the first time in the English language.
From the seventeenth century to the early years of the twentieth, the population of Martha’s Vineyard manifested an extremely high rate of profound hereditary deafness. In stark contrast to the experience of most deaf people in our own society, the Vineyarders who were born deaf were so thoroughly integrated into the daily life of the community that they were not seen—and did not see themselves—as handicapped or as a group apart. Deaf people were included in all aspects of life, such as town politics, jobs, church affairs, and social life. How was this possible? On the Vineyard, hearing and deaf islanders alike grew up speaking sign language. This unique sociolinguistic adaptation meant that the usual barriers to communication between the hearing and the deaf, which so isolate many deaf people today, did not exist.
Gesture and Thought
David McNeill University of Chicago Press, 2005 Library of Congress P117.M359 2005
Gesturing is such an integral yet unconscious part of communication that we are mostly oblivious to it. But if you observe anyone in conversation, you are likely to see his or her fingers, hands, and arms in some form of spontaneous motion. Why? David McNeill, a pioneer in the ongoing study of the relationship between gesture and language, set about answering this question over twenty-five years ago. In Gesture and Thought he brings together years of this research, arguing that gesturing, an act which has been popularly understood as an accessory to speech, is actually a dialectical component of language. Gesture and Thought expands on McNeill’s acclaimed classic Hand and Mind. While that earlier work demonstrated what gestures reveal about thought, here gestures are shown to be active participants in both speaking and thinking. Expanding on an approach introduced by Lev Vygotsky in the 1930s, McNeill posits that gestures are key ingredients in an “imagery-language dialectic” that fuels both speech and thought. Gestures are both the “imagery” and components of “language.” The smallest element of this dialectic is the “growth point,” a snapshot of an utterance at its beginning psychological stage. Utilizing several innovative experiments he created and administered with subjects spanning several different age, gender, and language groups, McNeill shows how growth points organize themselves into utterances and extend to discourse at the moment of speaking.
An ambitious project in the ongoing study of the relationship of human communication and thought, Gesture and Thought is a work of such consequence that it will influence all subsequent theory on the subject.
The recent explosion of sociocultural, linguistic, and historical research on signed languages throughout the world has culminated in Many Ways to Be Deaf, an unmatched collection of in-depth articles about linguistic diversity in Deaf communities on five continents. Twenty-four international scholars have contributed their findings from studying Deaf communities in Japan, Thailand, Viet Nam, Taiwan, Russia, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain, Ireland, Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil, Nicaragua, and the United States. Sixteen chapters consider the various antecedents of each country’s native signed language, taking into account the historical background of their development and also the effects of foreign influences and changes in philosophies by the larger, dominant hearing societies.
The remarkable range of topics covered in Many Ways to Be Deaf will fascinate readers, from the evolution of British fingerspelling traced back to the 17th century; the comparison of Swiss German Sign Language with Rhaeto-Romansch, another Swiss minority language; the analysis of seven signed languages described in Thailand and how they differ in relation to their distance from isolated Deaf communities to Bangkok and other urban centers; to the vaulting development of a nascent sign language in Nicaragua, and much more. The diversity of background and training among the contributors to Many Ways to Be Deaf distinguishes it as a genuine and unique multicultural examination of the myriad manifestations of being Deaf in a diverse world.
The Third Volume in the Interpreter Education Series
The latest addition to the Interpreter Education series expands the tools available to instructors with six new, vital chapters on new curricula and creative teaching methods. Series editor Cynthia B. Roy leads the way by calling for the use of a discourse-oriented curriculum for educating interpreters. In the following chapter, Claudia Angelelli outlines the bottom-line principles for teaching effective health-care interpreting, postulating a model that depends upon the development of skills in six critical areas: cognitive-processing, interpersonal, linguistics, professional, setting-specific, and sociocultural. Risa Shaw, Steven D. Collins, and Melanie Metzger collaborate on describing the process for establishing a bachelor of arts program in interpreting at Gallaudet University distinct from the already existent masters program.
In the fourth chapter, Doug Bowen-Bailey describes how to apply theories of discourse-based interpreter education in specific contexts by producing customized videos. Jemina Napier blends three techniques for instructing signed language interpreters in Australia: synthesizing sign and spoken language interpreting curricula; integrating various interpreting concepts into a theoretical framework; and combining online and face-to-face instruction. Finally, Helen Slatyer delineates the use of an action research methodology to establish a curriculum for teaching ad hoc interpreters of languages used by small population segments in Australia.
Experienced ASL instructor Leann Sebrey champions two-way sign communication between parents and their infants who are just months old as a way to bond more closely and reduce frustration, while also maximizing the children’s intelligence and emotional quotients.
Sebrey’s book The Parents’ Guide to Baby Signs: Early Communication with Your Infant lays out an easy, step-by-step process that will instill confidence in parents who have never signed before. She begins by explaining why ASL is best for all children, both deaf and hearing. Sebrey also recognizes the different ways young children learn, encouraging parents and caregivers to sign with infants at all times as a natural part of their interaction. She reveals the first indications of when a baby is ready to communicate, and includes a list of signs to provide parents with a good starting point. Sebrey discusses the moments when infants are most receptive to learn signs and outlines numerous practical techniques with plenty of helpful hints to speed the process. She describes the pleasure of seeing a baby’s first sign, and tells parents how to interpret baby signs, including what to do when a baby uses the wrong signs. Full of easy-to-grasp illustrations of child and family-oriented signs, The Parents’ Guide to Baby Signs is the best how-to book for parents, caregivers, and educators to teach early communication to infant.
Winner of the 2013 Sonya Rudikoff Award for best first book in Victorian Studies
Short-listed for the 2013 British Society for Literature and Science Book Prize.
Reading Victorian Deafness is the first book to address the crucial role that deaf people, and their unique language of signs, played in Victorian culture. Drawing on a range of works, from fiction by Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, to poetry by deaf poets and life writing by deaf memoirists Harriet Martineau and John Kitto, to scientific treatises by Alexander Graham Bell and Francis Galton, Reading Victorian Deafness argues that deaf people’s language use was a public, influential, and contentious issue in Victorian Britain.
The Victorians understood signed languages in multiple, and often contradictory, ways: they were objects of fascination and revulsion, were of scientific import and literary interest, and were considered both a unique mode of human communication and a vestige of a bestial heritage. Over the course of the nineteenth century, deaf people were increasingly stripped of their linguistic and cultural rights by a widespread pedagogical and cultural movement known as “oralism,” comprising mainly hearing educators, physicians, and parents.
Engaging with a group of human beings who used signs instead of speech challenged the Victorian understanding of humans as “the speaking animal” and the widespread understanding of “language” as a product of the voice. It is here that Reading Victorian Deafness offers substantial contributions to the fields of Victorian studies and disability studies. This book expands current scholarly conversations around orality, textuality, and sound while demonstrating how understandings of disability contributed to Victorian constructions of normalcy. Reading Victorian Deafness argues that deaf people were used as material test subjects for the Victorian process of understanding human language and, by extension, the definition of the human.
Increased interaction between sign language communities and the mainstream societies in which they function is creating the potential for greater equality of opportunity for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. In this volume, renowned scholars and policy makers from around the world present innovative and groundbreaking perspectives on the relationships among sign language, sustainable development, and equal opportunities.
The contributors to this volume offer creative and open-minded explorations of the construct of sustainability that are informed by their work with deaf individuals, deaf communities, families of deaf children, and other stakeholders. Sign Language, Sustainable Development, and Equal Opportunities describes sustainability in relation to:
· identity, resilience, and well-being
· participatory citizenship
· historical perspectives on sign language use in educational contexts
· sign language learning and teaching
· human rights and inclusive education
· literate thought and literacy
· the sign language factor and the development of sign language communities in sub-Saharan Africa
· sign language legislation
These changing communities’ understanding of what is required to become sustainable—in areas such as full participation and citizenship in society, economic well-being, access to quality education, and cultural and linguistic identity—is also taking new forms. This work contributes to the paradigm shifts regarding deaf emancipation and deaf education taking place around the world.
Here’s a fun, interactive way to teach youngsters ages 1- 4 basic American Sign Language signs. Where Is Baby? A Lift-the-Flap Sign Language Book features 12 basic questions in ASL with English translations. Little ones can find the answer for each question by lifting the flap on the opposite page to reveal a charming, full-color illustration. The questions and answers engage children with everyday subjects of high interest to them: Where is the airplane, train, bug, cat, elephant, shoe, pizza, Mama, Daddy, sister, and of course, Baby.
By introducing young children to sign language, Where Is Baby? can help them strengthen their vocabulary, grammar, and other language skills while also allowing them to communicate their needs and feelings at an earlier age. This sturdy book offers an enjoyable, instructive way for parents, teachers, and other caregivers to begin reading and signing together with children at a wonderful age for learning.