Within the past few decades, there has been great progress in deaf education in Latin America and growth in the empowerment of their Deaf communities. However, there is little awareness outside that region of these successes. For the first time, this book provides access, in English, to scholarly research in these areas. Written by Latin American Deaf and hearing contributors, Change and Promise provides a counter argument to external, deficit views of the Latin American Deaf community by sharing research and accounts of success in establishing and expanding bilingual deaf education, Deaf activism, Deaf culture, and wider access for deaf children and adults.
Change and Promise describes the historical, cultural, and political contexts for providing bilingual deaf education in Latin America. Bilingual deaf education uses students’ sign language, while simultaneously giving them access to and teaching them the majority spoken/written language. This book describes current bilingual deaf education programs in the region that have increased society’s understandings of Deaf culture and sign languages. This cause, as well as others, have been championed by successful social movements including the push for official recognition of Libras, the sign language of Brazil. Change and Promise covers this expanding empowerment of Deaf communities as they fight for bilingual deaf education, sign language rights, and deaf civil rights.
Despite the vast political and cultural differences throughout Latin America, an epistemological shift has occurred regarding how Deaf people are treated and their stories narrated, from labeling “deaf as handicapped” to being recognized as a linguistic minority. This panoramic study of these challenges and triumphs will provide an invaluable resource for improving outcomes in deaf education and help to secure the rights of deaf children and adults in all societies.
Barbara Gerner de Garcia is a professor in the Department of Education at Gallaudet University.
Lodenir Becker Karnopp is a professor in the Department of Specialized Studies at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
"The work draws attention to the need to make education more accessible to the Deaf, and offers nuanced discussion of the complexity of Deaf culture(s), highlighting the fact that Deaf cultures are as varied as hearing cultures."— CHOICE
"This book would be of interest to professionals from the countries represented in this volume (Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, and the Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa such as Guineu-Bissau, Mozambique, Angela, Cape Verde, San Tome, and Principe) as well as professionals around the globe who are teachers, students, researchers, linguists, and public policy specialists. Latin America has much to teach us about bilingual/bicultural education."— Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
"The book emphasizes the need to transcend mere pedagogical approaches to bilingual Deaf education and directly consider the ‘politics of bilingual education’. Thus, the volume looks at bilingual Deaf education as a political tool which disrupts business-as-usual types of education. Particularly, it engages with the production and reproduction of knowledge around Deaf culture in Latin America, which has long been neglected, and it explains how Deaf culture is the key to the fightback."— Tania Campos, Deafness and Education International