Gallaudet University Press

14:9 Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Disappointment, Pain, Hope, and Triumph

A Mother and Her Deaf Daughter Share Their Fight for Her Education in a New Narrative

Within the canon of personal narratives about raising deaf children, a familiar theme revolves around the emotional trials endured by a mother trying to find the right educational environment for her deaf child. For the first time, however, a mother’s story of her arduous journey is paralleled by her deaf daughter’s own personal narrative, both featured in the new book Amy Signs: A Mother, Her Daughter and Their Stories.

“Thirty-seven years ago, I vowed to write a truthful book about raising a deaf child,” shares Rebecca Willman Gernon. “The book would be filled with disappointment and pain, as well as hope and triumph. Amy Signs is that book.” Although Amy Signs is primarily about her daughter’s story, “each person’s life has an effect on the other family members,” Rebecca explains. “The journey my husband Jack, son John, and Amy and I took had its ups and downs, but the overall progression was forward, even though many days it was against a stiff wind. I believe my decisions were the best for Amy. Instead of wanting her to be hearing, I embraced her Deafness. Were my decisions right? I’ve hoped so for years. While writing this book with her, I gained a better understanding of her Deaf world. Knowing she is happy and content, with no reservations about my decisions, has been my greatest reward.”

Read chapter 37, “Do You Sign?”, in its entirety, and receive 20% off the regular price of your online order by typing “SEP2012” in the box labeled “use promo code” next to the checkout button. You may also order by mail.

Author Timothy G. Reagan’s Language Policy and Planning for Sign Languages, the 16th volume in the Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities series, elicited the following review from the journal Language Policy: “This pioneering book measures up remarkably to the tall order of bringing together the work of scholars in two disciplines to explicate the concomitant links between sign language in deaf education and language planning for sign languages. [W]ith this book, Reagan has laid a solid foundation upon which researchers and educators from an array of disciplines will find support for exploring and advancing language policy and planning (LPP) activities for sign languages.” Examine this volume further in this excerpt from chapter one, “Sign Language and the deafworld as a Special Case: An Overview,” and order Language Policy and Planning for Sign Languages online or by mail now.

In Signing in Puerto Rican: A Hearing Son and His Deaf Family, Andrés Torres, the only hearing member of his immediate family, writes of growing up in New York in a Deaf/hearing family that communicated freely in a mix of Spanish, ASL, and English. Centro, Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies had this to say about Torres’s story: “This book is for those who are interested in Puerto Rican issues, cultural issues in childhood, issues of Deaf families with hearing children, and those who are interested in cross-cultural relationships involving Deaf people. This book is an easy read, both enjoyable and informative, and filled with much information about new topics not typically encountered in the lives of Hearing people.” Read more about Torres’s unique family life in chapter one, “The A Train,” and order Signing in Puerto Rican online or by mail.

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