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Multiple Avenues for Deaf People
The companion to Signs and Voices: Deaf Culture, Identity, Language, and Arts, this volume presents an accomplished group of contributors who address the major technological, institutional, and societal advances in access for deaf people, as well as the remaining hurdles. Part One: Assistive Technologies begins with Maggie Casteel’s description of the latest innovative hearing assistive technology. Al Sonnenstrahl discusses his career as a deaf engineer who segued into advocating for equal access in telecommunications. Robert C. O’Reilly, Amanda J. Mangiardi, and H. Timothy Bunnell outline the process of cochlear implantation in children.
The Impact on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students
For years, school reform efforts targeted either students in regular education or those with special needs, but not both. As a result of the No Child Left Behind legislation (NCLB) and its focus on accountability, administrators established policies that would integrate the needs of students who previously were served under separate frameworks. Using the NCLB structure as a starting point, Stephanie W. Cawthon’s new book Accountability-Based Reforms: The Impact on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students discusses key assumptions behind accountability reforms. She specifically examines how elements of these reforms affect students who are deaf or hard of hearing, their teachers, and their families. Cawthon begins by providing a brief introduction to the deaf education context, offering detailed information on student demographics, settings, and academic outcomes for deaf students. She then outlines the evolution of accountability-based education reforms, following with a chapter on content standards, assessment accommodations, accountability as sanctions, and students with disabilities. The remaining chapters in Accountability-Based Reforms closely examine educational professionals, accountability, and students who are deaf or hard of hearing; school choice policies and parents; and deaf education and measures of success. Each chapter presents an overview of an important component of accountability reform, available research, and how it has been implemented in the United States. These chapters also offer recommendations for future action by educators, parents, researchers, and education policymakers.
Analyzing Syntax and Semantics features the Personalized System of Instruction (PSI) approach. This method uses student performance objectives, practice, feedback, individualization of pace, and repeatable testing as instructional strategies.
The Story of a Mother and Her Deaf Daughter
When, in 1968, 19-year-old Tressa Bowers took her baby daughter to an expert on deaf children, he pronounced that Alandra was “stone deaf,” she most likely would never be able to talk, and she probably would not get much of an education because of her communication limitations. Tressa refused to accept this stark assessment of Alandra’s prospects. Instead, she began the arduous process of starting her daughter’s education. Economic need forced Tressa to move several times, and as a result, she and Alandra experienced a variety of learning environments: a pure oralist approach, which discouraged signing; Total Communication, in which the teachers spoke and signed simultaneously; a residential school for deaf children, where Signed English was employed; and a mainstream public school that relied upon interpreters. Changes at home added more demands, from Tressa’s divorce to her remarriage, her long work hours, and the ongoing challenge of complete communication within their family. Through it all, Tressa and Alandra never lost sight of their love for each other, and their affection rippled through the entire family. Today, Tressa can triumphantly point to her confident, educated daughter and also speak with pride of her wonderful relationship with her deaf grandchildren. Alandra’s Lilacs is a marvelous story about the resiliency and achievements of determined, loving people no matter what their circumstances might be.
Vol. 125 (1980) through current issue
For 150 years, the American Annals of the Deaf, has been a professional journal dedicated to quality in education and in related services for children and adults who are deaf and hard of hearing. The Annals publishes articles about deaf education and recent research into trends and issues in the field of deafness.
A Model Parent-Child Program
The usual definition of the term “literacy”generally corresponds with mastering the reading and writing of a spoken language. This narrow scope often engenders unsubstantiated claims that print literacy alone leads to, among other so-called higher-order thinking skills, logical and rational thinking and the abstract use of language. Thus, the importance of literacy for deaf children in American Sign Language (ASL) is marginalized, asserts author Kristin Snoddon in her new book American Sign Language and Early Literacy: A Model Parent-Child Program. As a contrast, Snoddon describes conducting an ethnographic, action study of the ASL Parent-Child Mother Goose program, provided by a Deaf service agency in Ontario, Canada to teach ASL literacy to deaf children. According to current scholarship, literacy is achieved through primary discourse shared with parents and other intimates, which establishes a child’s initial sense of identity, culture, and vernacular language. Secondary discourse derives from outside agents and interaction, such as expanding an individual’s literacy to other languages. Snoddon writes that the focus of the ASL Parent-Child Mother Goose program is on teaching ASL through rhymes and stories and some facets of the culture of Deaf ASL users. This focus enabled hearing parents to impart first-language acquisition and socialization to their deaf children in a more natural primary discourse as if the parents were Deaf themselves. At the same time, hearing parents experienced secondary discourses through their exposure to ASL and Deaf culture. Snoddon also comments on current infant hearing screening and early intervention and the gaps in these services. She discusses gatekeeper individuals and institutions that restrict access to ASL for young Deaf children and their families. Finally, she reports on public resources for supporting ASL literacy and the implications of her findings regarding the benefits of early ASL literacy programming for Deaf children and their families.
A Beginner's Guide
Beginning signers now can improve their recognition of the most commonly used signs with this easy-to-follow handbook based upon the revolutionary dictionary. The American Sign Language Handshape Starter illustrates 800 of the most frequently used signs, arranging them by the 40 standard handshapes used in American Sign Language (ASL). Carefully chosen for their common use, the signs also have been organized by day-to-day topics, including food, travel, family, sports, clothing, school terms, time, nature and animals, and many others from everyday conversation.
A Mother, Her Daughter, and their Stories
“Thirty-seven years ago, I vowed to write a truthful book about raising a deaf child.” Rebecca Willman Gernon followed through on her promise with her deaf daughter Amy Willman in this extraordinary new narrative. Many stories have been told about a parent’s struggle to help her deaf child succeed in a mostly hearing world. Amy Signs marks a signature departure in that both Rebecca and Amy relate their perspectives on their journey together. When she learns of 11-month-old Amy’s deafness in 1969, Rebecca fully expresses her anguish, and traces all of the difficulties she endured in trying to find the right educational environment for Amy. The sacrifices of the rest of her family weighed heavily on her, also. When she resolved to place four-year-old Amy in Nebraska’s residential school for deaf students, the emotional toll seemed too much to bear. Amy’s view acts as the perfect counterpoint. Interwoven with her mother’s story, Amy’s account confirms that signing served her best. She summarizes life in boarding school as “laughter and homesickness.” She laughed with all of her deaf friends, though felt homesick at times. Amy thanks her mother for the gift of sign, asserting that a mainstream education would never have led her to earn a master’s degree and later teach ASL at the University of Nebraska. Amy Signs is a positive albeit cautionary tale for parents of deaf children today whose only choice is a mainstreamed education.