The Deaf Community in America

History in the Making


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About the Book

The deaf community in the West has endured radical changes in the past centuries. This work of history tracks the changes both in the education of and the social world of deaf people through the years. Topics include attitudes toward the deaf in Europe and America and the evolution of communication and language. Of particular interest is the way in which deafness has been increasingly humanized, rather than medicalized or pathologized, as it was in the past. Successful contributions to the deaf and non-deaf world by deaf individuals are also highlighted.

Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Melvia M. Nomeland, who is deaf, of deaf parents, has taught deaf students for 25 years. She is a co-developer of the Deaf Studies Curriculum Guide currently in schools and has contributed articles to a variety of publications.

Ronald E. Nomeland is a professor emeritus at Gallaudet University where for 35 years he was a professor and department chair. Born into a deaf family, he has written numerous articles and served as president or officer of several national organizations serving deaf people.

Bibliographic Details

Melvia M. Nomeland and Ronald E. Nomeland
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: 61 photos & illustrations, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6397-8
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8854-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword by Trudy Suggs      1
Preface      3

1. Earliest Known History of Deaf People      5
2. Origins of Deaf Learning in America      27
3. Historical Issues in Education      48
4. Life in Deaf Communities      72
5. Recognition of ASL as a Language      101
6. Expansion of Visual Languages      116
7. Emergence of Colorful Communication      141
8. Enlightenment of Independence      171
9 Personalities Through the Years      189

Epilogue: Today and Beyond      209
Notes      213
Bibliography      217
Index      225

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Pays attention to the cultural heritage and identity of this often-ignored population…a good primer…recommended”—Choice
  • “Traces the cultural history of deafness…full of references and well-indexed”—SciTech Book News