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Gallaudet University Press

6:4 Friday, April 23, 2004

Life Signs

Everyday ASL for Everyday People

The editors of Gallaudet University Press have written and edited more than 35 titles featuring signed languages during the past 23 years. They’ve used this vast experience to create 1,000 Signs of Life: Basic ASL for Everyday Conversation. This concise handbook will allow everyone to enjoy the beauty and functionality of American Sign Language (ASL). 1,000 Signs of Life offers new signers essential vocabulary for conversing in ASL. It is a great way to start learning ASL on one’s own; it’s also a perfect supplement for beginning sign language classes because it allows students to build their signing vocabularies while learning the structure of ASL.

The editors arranged this handy guide by 17 different topic areas, with signs organized in English alphabetical order. This format allows you to find a sign easily within a specific category. Interspersed throughout the text are tips for signing, rules of signing etiquette, and engaging anecdotes about Deaf culture, Deaf people, and the Deaf community. 1,000 Signs of Life provides a fun, fast way to learn basic ASL signs and also offers easy-to-follow instructions and hints on how to use them in a variety of everyday situations. In addition to the signs, the book includes the American Manual Alphabet, the manual numbers, and an index of all the English words that correspond to the signs in the book.

Learning ASL is similar to learning a spoken language—you have to use the language often before you can become fluent. 1,000 Signs of Life can provide a good start on signing vocabulary, and you can order today to receive your exclusive subscriber discount of 20% off.

Deaf History International (DHI) Newsletter published deserving praise of Eleanor C. Dunai’s Surviving in Silence in its recent issue: “[It] is one of the few published memoirs of a Deaf Jewish Holocaust survivor, and perhaps the first by a major press in any language. As such, it makes a significant contribution to Deaf History and Holocaust History. Surviving in Silence is the story of Izrael Zachariah Deutsch, who was born in Komjata, Czechoslovakia, in 1934, and later changed his name to Harry Imre Dunai. In fascist Hungary during World War II, nine-year-old Izrael found himself doubly at risk for being deaf and Jewish. Speaking through his daughter Eleanor, Harry Dunai recounts his remarkable ingenuity in surviving the Holocaust and eventually finding his way to America. DHI further endorses this amazing account with “It has been said that the story of any Jew who survived the Holocaust is by definition not typical. But Harry Dunai’s story is a truly remarkable tale of perseverance, survival and success. Moving as well as informative, it is particularly welcome for its glimpse into the life of the Jewish Deaf in Central Europe during the terrible upheavals of the mid-twentieth century.” The full review is available online. Read chapter eight of Surviving in Silence, and place your order here.

In July 2002, more than 9,700 people from around the world attended Deaf Way II, the international conference and festival, held in Washington, D.C. and sponsored by Gallaudet University, to celebrate the successes of deaf people everywhere. Deaf Way II: An International Celebration, edited by Harvey Goodstein and Laura Brown, offers 250 full-color photographs, introductory essays, and captions to capture again the excitement of this historical event. During the course of the six-day event, a host of photographers took more than 11,000 pictures, the best of which are displayed in this beautifully illustrated pictorial. As I. King Jordan, president of Gallaudet University, expresses in his foreword: “It is an honor to introduce you to Deaf Way II: An International Celebration, a richly colorful chronicle of an extraordinary event that brought nearly 10,000 deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing people together in Washington, D.C., in July 2002. The book’s remarkable photographs and accompanying text will provide those who were unable to attend Deaf Way II with a true sense of its depth and breadth. For those of us fortunate enough to have participated in this historic event, the book will generate welcome and vivid memories. I urge you to immerse yourself in the pages of this thoroughly entertaining and informative book.” Read more about this book here.

Also available are the Deaf Way II Videotapes and DVD. The first videotape, Deaf Way II: Opening Celebration - “Believe,” begins the festivities with greetings from President Jordan. Dazzling stage acts performed by Deaf professionals follow, including Chinese dancers, Cubans dancing salsa, a storyteller from Australia, and many others. Part two, the Deaf Way II: A Visual Anthology videotape, takes viewers on a brief tour of the festival. Along the way, the magnificent art exhibited at Gallaudet University, the Millennium Arts Center, and the Kennedy Center is showcased. You also can obtain both the Opening Ceremony and the Visual Anthology as a single DVD.


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