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American Annals of the Deaf

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Literacy and Your Deaf Child: What Every Parent Should Know

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Technological advances are making it imperative that deaf children learn to write and read to a greater extent than ever before. Many of these changes affect the way the way deaf people live, because having the ability to make use of these technologies is necessary if they wish to optimize their career and social potential. These technologies include

  • Teletype communication (TTY). This is a keyboard that has a built-in coupler that allows a person to type messages over the phone line to someone else who also has a TTY.
  • Message relay centers (MRC). Message relay centers allow a deaf person to use a TTY to talk to someone who has a phone but not a TTY. An operator at the center is contracted who then dials the phone number required and uses either type or voice to convey the message that the two parties exchange with each other.
  • Closed captioning. This enables the captions of TV and video programs to be shown and thus allows printed access to the speech and sounds on the programs.
  • Distance education. Classes and workshops are taught via videoconferencing. These classes typically make use of writing on overhead projectors.
  • Virtual universities. An increasing number of colleges and universities are offering courses on-line. People who take a course this way need to be able to write because they usually have to submit papers and assignments via their Internet connections; participate in classroom, on-line, real-time discussions; and respond to their instructor’s queries.
  • E-mail. E-mail is rapidly becoming society’s medium of choice for social interactions outside of personal contact. Even among hearing people, there are significant numbers who prefer e-mail to the phone.
  • Internet. One aspect of the Internet can be likened to an extension of the shopping mall. Everything from airfares to cars and homes can be bought on the Internet. To do so, however, a person is required to be able to ask questions, respond to queries, and fill in forms correctly while on-line
  • Alphanumeric pagers. These devices, only slightly bigger than a regular pager, are rapidly gaining in popularity and will soon be as ubiquitous as the cell phone. They allow a person to send and receive phone and e-mail messages by typing on a miniature keyboard.

Is Punctuation Important? 

I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, and thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we are apart. I can be forever happy—will you please let me be yours?


Dear John,

I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, and thoughtful people who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior! You have ruined me. For other men I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we are apart, I can be forever happy. Will you please let me be? Yours,


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