No clue how to get my vast list of books on Deaf Culture down to 5…so I foresee a “List #2” in the near future. Anyways the point is, as a member of the Deaf community and an avid reader, I think you should read the following:
If you want a compact, knock-you-over, cram course, and easy read book on anything (and nearly everything) Deaf, take a look at For Hearing People Only by Deaf Matthew Moore. The entire thing is made up of questions and answers, nice and simple for those among us who do NOT enjoy reading books. (And for the Gastons out there, there are pictures galore, no worries!)
This book will answer 150+ questions like “How do Deaf people feel when a hearing person approaches them in public using sign language?” or “Do all deaf people benefit from hearing aids?” or “Why do Deaf people always hang around after a play (or any other event) and stand together and talk?” I find the book to be pretty accurate and a good intro read for those of you curious about the Deaf world.
Authors: Matthew Moore and Linda Levitan
[LINK: 10 Reasons Deaf Cherish ASL]
In my opinion Carol Padden is one of the greatest writers on Deaf culture. Book number 2 on my list, Deaf in America: Voices from a Culture, is a relatively small book that contains historical and current issues in regards to our culture, ASL, and community.
Author: Carol Padden
[LINK: The Life Cycle of an ASL Student]
As a history buff, I am convinced that a person cannot truly understand another culture and people without learning of their history. The Deaf community is no exception. Most of Deaf culture traits, tendencies, sensitivities, and growth stems directly from its history. While this book may be quite large and a heavy read, it is a “have to” for those truly wanting to understand. Written by Harlan Lane, arguably the greatest Deaf historian the world has ever known, When the Mind Hears is an excellent read.
Author: Harlan Lane
Let me make myself perfectly clear. A Man Without Words is not about Deaf culture whatsoever. However, it will help readers understand what will happen when a person is kept from language as a child. This book was vital in my decision to support the Bilingual/Bicultural education method. The primary goal of a Deaf child’s education is to be communication, not spending vital language years learning how to shape their mouth just right. (Take a look at #8 of this article to read more about this topic.)
Authors: Susan Schaller and Oliver Sacks
[LINK: Met a Deaf Family in Istanbul!]
This is a classic; a book that seems to always be in Deaf culture book lists. So we pay tribute to Leah Hager Cohen and her ability to write a famous book where most hearing do not understand the cover until they reach the end. Curious? Take a look here for Train Go Sorry.
Author: Leah Hager Cohen
I have had all of these books in my library for quite some time; they’re long-lasting and worth the small cost to buy them. If you click on the book titles you’ll be able to go to my recommendation page which includes excellent Deaf movies as well. Enjoy my friends!
Life is oh-so-good!
UPDATE: I made a new list with 5 More Books on Deaf Culture!