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Editorial SCHOLARLY JOURNALS Scholarly journals are facing an uphill fight for survival. For example, in medicine only two of 28 journals having subscriptions of over 70,000 are scholarly, in the sense that they publish original material including research that is refereed by an Editorial Board of professional peers. The other journals, sometimes called "throw aways," are publications distributed to physicians by advertisers at no cost. Obviously this has frightening implications. It means that what doctors read is largely determined by advertisers . Even with the scholarly medical journals which have survived, most are limited in the number of pages of articles they can publish to a percentage of the number of pages of advertising they can sell. The American Annals of the Deaf, the oldest of scholarly educational publications in the United States, faces the same kind of fight for survival as medical publications have been battling. Even though the number of Annals subscribers has increased despite fewer members in sponsoring organizations and the generally depressed economy, costs of publication and distribution exceed income. About half of these publication costs are used to print the Directory issue. The Directory provides an important service to the profession, but an expensive one. The intent is not to unduly burden readers with the Annals' problems, but to keep the profession informed of the status of things. It would be tragic if publication in the field of deafness reached the same level as in medicine, namely that major professional journals were totally beholden to advertisers for support and survival. BACKLASH The Washington Post, other widely circulated newspapers, and several television magazines and documentaries are starting to raise questions about money spent on handicapped people. The major areas of editorial concern have been implementation costs and effectiveness of PL 94-142 and the expenses involved in architectural and public transportation modifications required by Section 504. Interpreting costs for deaf people have also been a focus of controversy. It might be smart for "consumer" groups of disabled persons and the professionals serving them to anticipate further backlash of this type and come forth with their own legislative modifications and interpretations. To wait for others to do this, then try to react to their proposals is an error. The resolution on PL 94-142 developed by Professor Roz Rosen and Tracy Harris, with input from others, which is sponsored by the Council for Exceptional Children is an example of a positive "act first" approach which is far more likely to be effective than the more typical tendency to react after others have taken the initiative. PSYCHOLINGUISTS AND COMMUNICATION Some of the recent major advances in educating deaf children have come from psycholinguists . Their primary interest is the study of the development of languages in individuals and in cultures, not the education of deaf children. However, Stokoe and Bellugi's pioneering work on American Sign Language (ASL) has spawned an active bright group of scholars who are raising tough theoretical issues. One is that ASL should be formally taught as a language to young deaf children and their parents. This position , first voiced over a decade ago by Lou Fant based on his intuitive-clinical experience, has recently been given some theoreticalempirical support by psycholinguistic research. Another area of contribution has been their analyses of various "artificial" sign systems such as Paget-Gorman, Seeing Essential English , Cued Speech, and Signed Swedish. Psycholinguists raise profound questions about how these systems handle irregularity in verbs, the basic rationale of using sound as a criteria for a silent language of signs, the violations of expressive (motor) and receptive (perceptual) ease involved in the hand positions and movements demanded of the systems, the lack of intonation, etc. These are not esoteric linguistic points. They are fundamental issues in the teaching of language and reading to deaf students. Among other questions these psycholinguists are raising, some relate to the problems involved in signing and speaking in synchronization . Their research shows that many teachers and interpreters who honestly think they are using total communication actually leave out many key signs. A.A.D. I August 1980 527 Editorial Currently there is a great need for the psycholinguists studying sign language to relate their findings...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-0375
Print ISSN
0002-726X
Pages
pp. 527-528
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-22
Open Access
No
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