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8:3 Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Welcome to My World

The Original Chronicle of a Child of Deaf
Adults (CODA) During the Depression

“If there were a way, if I could, I would write this book in sign language. I cannot. Signs do not transpose to the printed page; they are understood only in the flesh, hand to hand, face to face. And so I write in universal printed English, words to conjure the magic of my first language—words my mother taught me, words my father taught me—words told by the flick of a finger, the sweep of a hand. Sentences, liquid, rising not from the human voice but from the human body.” With these words, Ruth Sidransky introduces her life story in the reprint of her groundbreaking book In Silence: Growing Up Hearing in a Deaf World.

As the hearing daughter of deaf Jewish parents in the Bronx and Brooklyn during the 1930s and 1940s, Sidransky reveals the challenges deaf people faced in pre- and post-World War II America. “We lived in two worlds as I was growing up, our private world and the ‘hearing’ world outside,” Sidransky recalls. “I was on intimate terms with silence and the language of silence. But my parents’ oral words hit hearing ears like jagged stones on rooftops. And I, a small child, hung my head, unable to speak in clear sentences.” Read more about the early life of Ruth Sidransky in chapter 2 “School Days,” and order In Silence online. Take advantage of your exclusive 20% subscriber discount by typing “MAR0620%” in the box marked “Comments or Special Instructions” below your credit card information. Or, order by mail.


Martha Sheridan, Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work at Gallaudet University, knew all about the negative stereotypes attached to deaf children when she set out to interview the subjects of her groundbreaking study, Inner Lives of Deaf Children: Interviews and Analysis. Deaf and hard of hearing children, so the story goes, traditionally suffer from low self-esteem and underdeveloped interpersonal skills, leading lives primarily defined by negative experiences. What Sheridan discovered, however, effectively banishes these prejudicial misconceptions once and for all.

Now in paperback, Inner Lives of Deaf Children provides a comprehensive look at how a variety of educational environments, communication systems, and family situations affect the lives of deaf and hard of hearing children. Writing as a social worker and as a deaf woman who grew up in a predominantly hearing family, Sheridan offers a unique understanding of the children she worked with and an incisive analysis of the developmental challenges that remain for these children today. Read an excerpt from chapter 8 “Lisa,” and place your order here.


The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education recently recognized Educating Deaf Students: Global Perspectives in its Fall 2005 issue, stating: “Professionals in the field of Deaf Education and researchers who would like to broaden their view beyond their relatively narrow research interest, as well as advanced students, should have this book on their shelf. And they should read it too.” In 2000, the International Congress on Education of the Deaf (ICED) held its 19th conference in Sydney, Australia. More than 1,000 teachers, administrators, and researchers from 46 countries addressed an extremely wide selection of topics ranging from the inclusion of deaf students in regular educational environments to deaf students in post-secondary school education. Educating Deaf Students, edited by Des Power and Greg Leigh, brings together a select cross-section of the issues addressed at the 19th ICED. Read more about the past, present, and future of deaf education in “Reviewing the Past, Assessing the Present, and Projecting the Future,” and secure a copy of Educating Deaf Students.


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