Deaf and Hearing Siblings in Conversation


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About the Book

This is the first book to consider both deaf and hearing perspectives on the dynamics of adult sibling relationships. Deaf and hearing authors Berkowitz and Jonas conducted interviews with 22 adult siblings, using ASL and spoken English, to access their intimate thoughts. A major feature of the book is its analysis of how isolation impacts deaf-hearing sibling relationships. The book documents the 150 year history of societal attitudes embedded in sibling bonds and identifies how the siblings’ lives were affected by the communication choices their parents made.
The authors weave information throughout the text to reveal attitudes toward American Sign Language and the various roles deaf and hearing siblings take on as monitors, facilitators, signing-siblings and sibling-interpreters, all of which impact lifelong bonds.

About the Author(s)

Marla C. Berkowitz is a senior lecturer in the American Sign Language (ASL) Program at Ohio State University. She is certified by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, the American Sign Language Teachers Association and the Supreme Court of Ohio as a court interpreter. She lives in Columbus, Ohio.
Judith A. Jonas is a freelance sign language interpreter, with New Jersey educational interpreter certification. She retired from being the coordinator and co-founder of a literacy, job placement and counseling program for deaf adults. She lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

Bibliographic Details

Marla C. Berkowitz and Judith A. Jonas

Foreword by Martha A. Sheridan

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 212
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7825-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1513-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  v
Foreword by Martha A. Sheridan  1
Preface  3
Introduction  7

Part One. The Emergence of a Sibling  15
1. How Conversations Began  16
2. First Social Network  21
3. Inside the Family  32
4. Intensities of Sibling Closeness  41

Part Two. Milan Impact  47
5. Between Marginalization and Human Rights  50
6. Molding Deaf Siblings  63
7. The Fallout  95
8. Magnet Secrets  104

Part Three. Sibling Buddies  115
9. Sibling Monitors  116
10. Sibling Facilitators  125
11. Signing Siblings  134
12. ­Sibling-Interpreters  143
13. Investing Quality Time  160
14. We Will Chat Anyway  163

Appendix A: Continuum of Intensities of Sibling Closeness  179
Appendix B: Questions for Guided Discussion  181
Appendix C: Let’s See What Our Fingers Know  183
Appendix D: BMJ Family Interpreter Fund  187
Chapter Notes  191
Bibliography  193
Index  199

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Intriguing…extensive background information helpful to those unfamiliar with the deaf world and culture…compelling”—Library Journal
  • “Unique and valuable…. The book will interest educators, researchers, and parents”—Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
  • “Brings to light a broader picture of family dynamics in the deaf community…intriguing, well-rounded”—ProtoView