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9:4 Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Overcoming Obstacles

Author Studies Successful Deaf and
Hard of Hearing African Americans

“A comprehensive and collaborative educational approach needs to be taken to improve the educational achievement of African American students,” notes Carolyn E. Williamson, author of Black Deaf Students: A Model for Educational Success. “Large achievement gaps in educational outcomes still persist between diverse groups, and by some measurements, these gaps have widened in recent years.” In her new book, Williamson interviews nine successful deaf and hard of hearing African Americans to create a formula for success for other black, deaf students.

This study views the protective factors that are critical to African American deaf and hard of hearing students’ successful transition through postsecondary programs. They include both individual characteristics (innate assets) and environmental supports (external assets). These assets instill resilience — the ability to rebound and learn despite obstacles and adversities. The positive effects of individual resilience occur in many forms — high academic achievement, graduation from high school, vocational training, or postsecondary programs; a healthy emotional well-being; appropriate social behavior; and positive interpersonal relationships. Williamson states that, although resilient people are not perfect, “they learn from their mistakes, let go of them, and move on with their lives in a positive and productive manner.”

Learn more about this fascinating study in chapter 9, A Resilience Program Model, and use your exclusive subscriber discount to save 20% off the regular price when you order Black Deaf Students online or by mail. For online orders, type “APR0720%” in the “Comments or Special Instructions” box below your credit card information.


The Through Deaf Eyes DVD, shown nationally on public television, is now available through Gallaudet University Press. The film presents the experiences of American history from the perspective of deaf citizens. Interviews include actor Marlee Matlin, I. King Jordan, other community leaders, historians, and deaf Americans with diverse views on language use, technology, and identity. Six artistic works by Deaf media artists are woven throughout the documentary that complement the core of the film. Order the DVD alone at a 10% savings off the regular price, or order both the DVD and the companion book, Through Deaf Eyes: A Photographic History of an American Community, at a 20% discount. For online orders, type “TDEyesSet20%” in the “Comments or Special Instructions” box below your credit card information.


Child development instructor Penny Warner’s Signing Fun: American Sign Language Vocabulary, Phrases, Games, and Activities garnered the following acclaim from School Library Journal: “This book is a great resource for readers who want to learn more signs, or for teachers and librarians looking for fun ways to share them with kids.” The full review is available online. Signing Fun offers a wide variety of signs on middle-schoolers’ favorite topics, including animals, emotions, fashion, food, holidays, home, outdoors, parties, people, places, school, shopping, sports, and travel. Each chapter ends with sample sentences so that students can practice the newly learned signs in a fun way. Helpful tips for signing, such as where to place the hands and how to choose a name sign, are scattered throughout the book. The book also offers dozens of entertaining games and activities to play with ASL, such as Alphabet Sign, Finger Fun, Gesture Guess, Match Signs, Mime and Sign, and much more. Learning to sign is just plain fun. So, order Signing Fun today.


Recently, The Midwest Book Review published an exceptional evaluation of the all-new, completely revised fourth edition of Linguistics of American Sign Language: An Introduction, written by the team of Clayton Valli, Ceil Lucas, and Kristin J. Mulroney. “Linguistics of American Sign Language is an in-depth reference and resource for intermediate to expert linguistic students, scholars and professionals, now in an updated fourth edition with an accompanying course DVD. The fourth edition of Linguistics of American Sign Language features an entirely revised section on morphology and syntax, the latest research on main categories of verbs in ASL, insight into artistic forms of ASL such as singing, drama, and poetry, 18 new and updated readings, and new suggested homework assignments based on the DVD, and much more. Simple black-and-white diagrams illustrate this definitive linguistic compendium and college-level education and consultation reference.” You can view the contents of the text and DVD online. Also, read an excerpt from part 3, Morphology and Syntax, and order Linguistics of American Sign Language, 4th Edition here.


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