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American Annals of the Deaf

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Genetics, Disability, and Deafness

John Vickrey Van Cleve, Editor

Now in Paperback!

Read chapter one.
Read reviews: Ragged Edge Magazine, Choice, SIGNews, Disability Studies Quarterly.


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From Choice

Historically, deafness is believed to be the natural elimination of “bad” genes (eugenics). Under the Nazi regime, many countries took away deaf people’s rights, including the rights to give birth or even to live. People usually view deafness as a disease. However, among the deaf population, deafness is just something unique, and no negativity is associated with it. In a discussion on the Bedouin community, Shifra Kisch provides new insights into how deafness is perceived. The Abu-Shara people regard deafness as simply a gift from God; being deaf is not much different from being tall or short. Genetic causes account for more than 60 percent of all deafness. The section on hereditary deafness provides a brief discussion of the genetic aspect of deafness, including the notorious connexin 26 gene. All in all, this is a very comprehensive book that provides a 360-degree look at deafness. The editor has done a good job compiling a wide variety of essays that discuss hearing impairment in its medical, cultural, historical, and genetic aspects. Readers will find this book easy, informative, and fun to read. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels.

-- M. L. Ng, Long Island University

John Vickrey Van Cleve is Professor Emeritus of History, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC.

ISBN 978-1-56368-576-7, 6 x 9 paperback, 240 pages, tables, figures, photographs, references, index


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