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13:1 Friday, January 21, 2011

Ethical Decision-Making

A New Study Takes a Hard Look at the Education of Deaf Children

“Why ethics?” asks Kathee Mangan Christensen in her introduction to Ethical Considerations in Educating Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. She answers, “Simply because little attention has been given to accountability in educational decision-making up to this point. This collection requires the readers to step back from their ‘professional personae,’ take a hard look at what is happening in the education of deaf children, and address the following questions: What social footprint is being left for those that follow us? What is being done effectively in our field? Where are the gaps? Are we, as professionals, maintaining high ethical standards? At the end of the day, what is being accomplished that makes us proud?”

Ethical Considerations sets the stage for a situation ethics approach to the concept of decision-making by considering the decisions that must be made in three crucial areas in a child’s education—parental choices, educational services, and interpreting. Part One--Parental Decisions begins with an inside look at a state residential school for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. In Chapter 2 Mathew Call explores the threefold condition of triplicity, which, in this case, means life in three cultures (American Deaf culture, mainstream culture of the United States, and Latino/Chicano culture) and use of three languages (American Sign Language, English, and Spanish). In Chapter 3 Katrin Neumann presents state-of-the-art findings on the issue of cochlear implantation in young children who are deaf.

Chapter 4 opens Part Two--Educational Decisions by laying the foundation for an honest discussion on the most apparent ethical challenges present in decision making in the field of education of the deaf. In Chapter 5 Wendy Harbour expands the concept of partnership to include categories other than deaf or hard of hearing. Chapter 6 evokes thoughts of civil rights law and other laws that prohibit discrimination against historically underrepresented groups.

The final section, Part Three--Interpreting Decisions, opens with Chapter 8, which paints a broad-brush view of the overall situation of educational interpreters in various settings. In Chapter 9 Melissa Smith places the reader directly into a mainstream science lesson in a public school classroom. Chapter 10 concludes the book with a justification of the benefits of a “both/and” approach to the education of students who are deaf.

Read more about this innovative study in Christensen’s introduction, and reserve your copy of Ethical Considerations in Educating Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. By using your exclusive subscriber discount, you will receive 20% off the regular price. For online reservations, type “JAN2011” in the box labeled “use promo code” next to the checkout button, or reserve your copy by mail.


The new, second edition of Psychotherapy with Deaf Clients from Diverse Groups elicited the following review from Reference and Research Book News: “In this update of the groundbreaking 1999 edition, [Irene W.] Leigh and contributors to 14 chapters further advance the trend away from equating deafness with pathology and the need for therapists to be just as culturally literate in working with culturally-identified Deaf clients as with those from other minority communities. Following chapters on ethical and consumer dimensions of psychotherapy with/by deaf people, new chapters discuss diverse interventions with these deaf populations: African Americans, Asian Americans, American Indians, Latinos, college students, the elderly, and recipients of cochlear implants. Others address issues in treating hearing children of deaf parents, and the deaf who are also gay/transgender, deaf-blind, survivors of sexual assault, chemically-dependent, or in dialectical behavior therapy.” Delve further into deaf mental health by reading “Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Deaf Clients: Cultural and Linguistic Modifications for Outpatient Mental Health Settings,” and order the completely revised and updated second edition of Psychotherapy with Deaf Clients from Diverse Groups.


Interpreting in Multilingual, Multicultural Contexts, the seventh volume in the Studies in Interpretation series, features 19 chapters that probe the complex nature of interpreted interaction involving Deaf and hearing people of diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds around the world. In its December 2010 issue, CHOICE magazine stated: “[Rachel Locker] McKee and [Jeffrey] Davis are both sign-language linguists/interpreter trainers, and here they introduce the reader to the work of 17 other linguists and trainers, who document their field studies in the U.S., New Zealand, Australia, the Netherlands, Mexico, and Brazil. The volume provides a fascinating look at the complex linguistic and sociocultural issues surrounding trilingual and four-language interpreting for Deaf and hearing persons in sign-language environments across diverse cultures. The volume also addresses specialty topics, e.g., the challenges of providing due process while interpreting for indigenous Australian Deaf persons in the legal system. The editors bring the discussion into the digital age by including discussion of interpreting through VRS (video relay services). Like Deaf Professionals and Designated Interpreters, ed. by Peter Hauser, Karen Finch, and Angela Hauser (2008), and Christopher Stone’s Toward a Deaf Translation Norm—the latter also released in the ‘Studies in Interpretation’ series—this volume highlights the urgent need to provide equal access to qualified interpreters for Deaf scientists who present their work at international conferences. A must-read for interpreter trainers—particularly in Texas, New York, and California, where the need for trilingual and four-language interpreters is most pronounced. Summing Up: Highly recommended.” Read more about this trenchant collection in the editors’ introduction, and order Interpreting in Multilingual, Multicultural Contexts here.


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