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Contents of the Winter 2017 Issue, Volume 161, No. 5 of the Annals

e d i t o r i a l
 
505 Thoughts About a Possible Bridge From ASL to English Literacy
 
s p e c i a l  s e c t i o n  a r t i c l e s
 
509 Writing Signed Languages: What For? What Form?
Donald A. Grushkin

signed languages around the world have tended to maintain an “oral,” unwritten status. Despite the advantages of possessing a written form of their language, signed language communities typically resist and reject attempts to create such written forms. The present article addresses many of the arguments against written forms of signed languages, and presents the potential advantages of writing signed languages. Following a history of the development of writing in spoken as well as signed language populations, the effects of orthographic types upon literacy and biliteracy are explored. Attempts at writing signed languages have followed two primary paths: “alphabetic” and “iconographic.” It is argued that for greatest congruency and ease in developing biliteracy strategies in societies where an alphabetic script is used for the spoken language, signed language communities within these societies are best served by adoption of an alphabetic script for writing their signed language.

 
528 “Thinking-for-Writing”: A Prolegomenon on Writing Signed Languages
Russell S. Rosen, Maria C. Hartman, and Ye Wang

in his article in this American Annals of the Deaf special issue that also includes the present article, Grushkin argues that the writing difficulties of many deaf and hard of hearing children result primarily from the orthographic nature of the writing system; he proposes a new system based on features found in signed languages. In response, the present authors review the literature on D/HH children’s writing difficulties, outline the main percepts of and assumptions about writing signed languages, discuss “thinking-for-writing” as a process in developing writing skills, offer research designs to test the effectiveness of writing signed language systems, and provide strategies for adopting “thinking-for-writing” in education. They conclude that until empirical studies show that writing signed languages effectively reflects writers’ “thinking-for-writing,” the alphabetic orthographic system of English should still be used, and ways should be found to teach D/HH children to use English writing to.

 
537 Writing Signed Languages: What For? What Form? A Response
Donald F. Moores

in his article in an American Annals of the Deaf special issue that also includes the present article, Grushkin divides his discussion of a written sign system into three basic parts. The first presents arguments against the development of a written form of American Sign Language; the second provides a rationale for a written form of ASL; the third advances opinions of the form such a system might take. The arguments in the first part are weak and reflect the same bias that historically has been shown against ASL itself. The third section advances some ideas that should provide the basis for interesting discussions. Among these are the relationship, if any, of a written sign language to English print, the extent to which it should be alphabetic and horizontal, and its role in the current American educational system.

 
540 Why American Sign Language Gloss Must Matter
Samuel J. Supalla, Jody H. Cripps, and Andrew P. J. Byrne

responding to an article by Grushkin on how deaf children best learn to read, published, along with the present article, in an American Annals of the Deaf special issue, the authors review American Sign Language gloss. Topics include how ASL gloss enables deaf children to learn to read in their own language and simultaneously experience a transition to written English, and what gloss looks like and how it underlines deaf children’s learning and mastery of English literacy through ASL. Rebuttal of Grushkin’s argument includes data describing a deaf child’s engagement in reading aloud (entirely in ASL) with a gloss text, which occurred without the breakdown implied by Grushkin. The authors characterize Grushkin’s argument that deaf children need to learn to read through a conventional ASL writing system as limiting, asserting that ASL gloss contributes more by providing a path for learning and mastering English literacy.

 
552 Written Forms of Signed Languages: A Route to Literacy for Deaf Learners?
Connie Mayer

while there have been attempts to develop written systems for signed languages, none have been widely used or adopted. In his article in an American Annals of the Deaf special issue that also includes the present article, Grushkin makes a case not only for why, but how efforts should be renewed to develop a written signed language, suggesting that increased written-English competence will be a consequence of increased competence in written and signed American Sign Language, with literacy-related skills transferring across languages. The present author responds in terms of what is known about linguistic interdependence in spoken-language contexts and in light of the evidence base from hearing bilinguals. She argues that, given the field’s current context, no compelling rationale exists for pursuing this route to literacy for deaf learners, and that other routes are more workable from pragmatic, theoretical, and evidence-based perspectives.

 
a r t i c l e s
 
560 Investigating Black ASL: A Systematic Review
Andrea Toliver-Smith and Betholyn Gentry

the authors discuss the research of education professionals concerned with children and youth with deafblindness, presenting three theoretical frameworks and models useful for integrating technology into learning environments: (a) UDL (universal design for learning; Meyer, Rose, & Gordon, 2014), (b) SETT (student, environment, task, tools; Zabala, 2005), (c) SAMR (substitution, augmentation, modification, redefinition; Puentedura, 2014). Although the promise of technology in teaching children and youth with deafblindness is undisputed, a review of the extant research shows that little guidance is available on what technology tools may be efficacious and how these tools should be implemented. In the absence of research and in an age of rapid technological innovation, the authors suggest that all students with deafblindness will benefit if professionals use assistive and instructional technology frameworks to provide these children and youth access to and engagement in equitable learning experiences in inclusive settings.

 
571 Deaf/Hearing Research Partnerships
Ju-Lee A. Wolsey, Kim Misener Dunn, Scott W. Gentzke, Hannah A. Joharchi, M. Diane Clark, and the CSEDL Team

children who are deafblind are one of the lowest- incidence yet most diverse groups receiving services mandated by the Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act. Despite this population’s diversity, the development of communication skills is critical for all children who are deafblind, and is the foundation on which good transition planning can be built. The authors describe key research findings and other professional literature on transition planning and services guided by the quality of life principle. The role of the individualized education program and case law in transition planning is discussed. Through a person-centered approach to transition planning, a coordinated set of activities designed to support the young adult in moving from school to postschool settings and activities is identified. The authors conclude that effective transition efforts will involve extensive collaboration among school and agency professionals, families, and the young adult who is deafblind.

 
b o o k  r e v i e w
 
583 Learning About Deaf Culture: More Accessible Than Previously Thought
Yasmine R. Jassal

students who are deafblind are a unique population with unique needs for learning, communication, and environmental access. Two roles have been identified as important to their education: teacher of the deafblind and intervener. However, these roles are not officially recognized in most states. Because of this lack of recognition and the low incidence of deafblindness, it is difficult to sustain systems that prepare highly qualified personnel with advanced training and knowledge in educational strategies for children and youth who are deafblind. The authors propose a comprehensive system of personnel development (CSPD) for deafblind education. The components of this system are standards, preservice training, in- service/professional development, leadership development, research, and, finally, planning coordination, and evaluation. The authors describe elements of the model that are being implemented and provide suggestions to support the future development of a comprehensive system.

 
585 Annual Index