Gallaudet University Press

12:11 Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Life as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Person

A Former Professor Shares His Experience with the “Many Different Ways of Being Deaf and Hard of Hearing”

Reflections: My Life in the Deaf and Hearing Worlds “grew out of my personal experiences as an academic sociologist and as a lifelong hard of hearing and deaf person,” explains John B. Christiansen, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Gallaudet University. “I have spent more than thirty years as a card-carrying member of the former and more than sixty years as part of the latter.”

In Reflections, Christiansen writes of growing up hard of hearing, his decision to get a cochlear implant, and his perspective on the 2006 protest at Gallaudet University. “I’m a ‘both/and’ person when it comes to being deaf and hard of hearing, not an ‘either/or’ person. That is, I’ve had experiences with a relatively mild to moderate, high-frequency hearing loss, experiences with more severe hearing loss, and experiences with profound deafness. Over the years, I’ve used no hearing aids, one hearing aid, two hearing aids, and, at present, a cochlear implant.” When discussing why he included his insight on the 2006 protest, Christiansen says “it is an interesting and fascinating event that warrants description and explanation. Although the conflict occurred at Gallaudet University, many of the issues raised during the protest resonate far beyond the gates of the campus. In addition, the 2006 protest in some ways represents a continuation of the story of one person’s never-ending navigation among many of the conflicts and challenges discussed or alluded to in the first two chapters: deaf versus hard of hearing versus hearing, American Sign Language (ASL) versus English versus bilingualism, and ‘deaf enough’ versus ‘not deaf enough.’”

Read a portion of part one, Baseball, Toothbrush, Hot Dog, Airplane: Life as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Person, and reserve your copy of Reflections: My Life in the Deaf and Hearing Worlds. By using your exclusive subscriber discount, you will receive 20% off the regular price. When ordering online, type “NOV2010” in the box labeled “use promo code” next to the checkout button. You may also reserve a copy by mail.

International Perspectives on Sign Language Interpreter Education received an outstanding review in Interpreting, International Journal of Research and Practice in Interpreting: “This international collection of contributions offers readers the opportunity to make a comparison of  SL [sign language] interpreter education across the world, often in multilingual spoken and signed contexts. The reading of this volume is recommended not just to SLI [sign language interpreter] trainers and researchers, deaf or hearing, but also to representatives of governmental educational institutions. It allows us to learn about realities different or similar to our own, by sharing experiences and offering ideas. As Liz Scott Gibson points out in the Foreword, this volume ‘will fill an enormous void’: the need for information and resources in relation to SL interpreter education at an international level.” In International Perspectives on Sign Language Interpreter Education, volume four in the Interpreter Education series, more than 30 international interpreter training experts provide insights on how sign language interpreter training has developed in their nations, and how they have dealt with the difficulties that they encountered. Read a paper from this collection, and order your copy of International Perspectives on Sign Language Interpreter Education now.

Sign Languages in Contact, the 13th volume in the Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities series, describes various accounts of contact between sign languages worldwide to further understand structural and social factors of this linguistic component. The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education recently recognized guest editor David Quinto-Pozos’s efforts, stating: “This volume of the Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities series focuses on contact between signed languages and its effects, including creation, borrowing, and attrition. In the introduction, Quinto-Pozos reviews research on contact between signed and spoken languages which results in contact signing, code switching, fingerspelling, and mouthing of spoken words and contact between signed languages which can also produce interference, that is, use of handshapes or nonmanuals from one signed language when producing another. In sum, this collection of articles addresses common outcomes of language contact but with effects unique to manual communication. Order Sign Languages in Contact today!

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