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14:6 Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Rebirth of a Legacy

Gallaudet University Press Brings Back the Classic Narrative on Deaf American History

Author Jack R. Gannon describes the impetus for his original groundbreaking volume Deaf Heritage: A Narrative History of Deaf America, stating, “The seed for this book was planted on a train ride from Washington, D.C., to West Trenton, New Jersey, in the winter of 1977. Gary Olsen and I were on our way to present a National Association of the Deaf and Gallaudet College-sponsored leadership training program for deaf adults at the Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf in West Trenton. Gary was at that time chairman of the NAD Centennial Committee, and he was in the process of making plans for that forthcoming event. Among his many ideas, he said, he wanted a book about deaf America to record that century, and he was looking for someone to write it.”

Originally published in 1981, Deaf Heritage, the seventh volume in the Gallaudet Classics in Deaf Studies series, is now back in print. This 17-chapter montage of artifacts and information forms an utterly fascinating record from the early 19th century to the time it was published, making it the first story of the Deaf American experience from a Deaf perspective. Mervin D. Garretson, Special Assistant to the President of Gallaudet College in 1981 and past president of NAD, commented at that time: “It is hoped that Deaf Heritage is but a beginning of a continuing compilation and closer examination of the impact of deafness on persons, their achievements, and their traditions. This valuable chronicle should prove helpful as a text in courses on deaf culture, in orientation-to-deafness seminars, in teacher and counselor preparation programs, as a reference source, and simply as interesting literature.”

Read more in Gannon’s new preface to this 2012 edition, and receive 20% off the regular price by typing “JUN2012” in the box labeled “use promo code” next to the checkout button. You may also order by mail.


“Deaf Americans have identified healthcare as the most difficult setting in which to obtain a qualified interpreter,” observes a reviewer in a recent issue of Reference & Research Book News, “and this volume is part of an accelerated effort to increase the number and quality of healthcare interpreters. Approaching from the direction of health care, language, or education, contributors explore such topics as using authentic interactions in discourse training for healthcare interpreters, using demand control schema to structure experimental learning, online possibilities for healthcare interpreting education, educating interpreters as medical specialists with Deaf health professionals, contributions of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care to professionalizing healthcare interpreting between spoken languages, and a European perspective.” Read more about this new volume, the fifth in the Interpreter Education series, in the editors’ introduction, and order In Our Hands: Educating Healthcare Interpreters online or by mail.


Primary Movement in Sign Languages: A Study of Six Languages was also noted by Reference & Research Book News: “[Donna Jo] Napoli, Nicholas Gaw, and Mark Mai began investigating whether it was possible to identify sign languages by their prosody, and if so, whether such identification could be used to typologize sign languages. Having settled on direction of movement as the one prosodic factor to track, they found that it was indeed possible. Looking further they found that the sign languages — originally five in the study — formed different groups according to different criteria. Based on their findings, they distinguish between origin-bound languages — which remain in the geographical region of the sign language they evolved from — and diaspora languages, that have moved away and interacted with indigenous sign languages in their new range.” You can read more in the introduction. Order your copy of Primary Movement in Sign Languages online or by mail.


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