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In this paper we examine issues concerning the acquisition of word meanings from context by deaf readers. Theories and research with hearing readers suggest several reader, text, and task factors which may influence this acquisition process, although a similar research base with deaf readers is lacking. It is our view that a variety of important questions remain unanswered concerning deaf readers' meaning acquisitions. This paper reviews relevant findings from recent investigations of how individuals use context in deriving word meanings. It details several exemplary studies and draws implications for future inquiry.