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Observing Deaf History Month
Did you know? Deaf History Month is celebrated each year from March 13-April 15. It straddles two months to highlight three of the key milestones in deaf history:
- March 13, 1988: The Deaf President Now movement succeeds in having I. King Jordan named the first deaf president of Gallaudet University.
- April 8, 1864: President Abraham Lincoln signs the charter for Gallaudet University in Washington, the first school for the advanced education of the Deaf and hard-of-hearing in the world.
- April 15, 1817: The first permanent public school for the deaf, the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut, opens.
In observance of Deaf History Month, we have selected some books—fictional and factual—for children, teens and adults focusing on deafness and Deaf culture.
By Josh Berk
When Will Halpin transfers from his all-deaf school into a mainstream Pennsylvania high school, he faces discrimination and bullying, but still manages to solve a mystery surrounding the death of a popular football player in his class. For junior and senior high.
By Pete Seeger and Paul DuBois Jacobs
Jazz pianist Lee is asked to leave his band when he loses his hearing. At sign language class, Lee meets Max who plays the sax. Riding the subway together, they form a new band with a big audience. For kindergarten to grade 3 and older readers. Schneider Family Book Award, 2007.
By David Lodge
A distinguished retired professor suddenly finds himself struggling with intermittent hearing loss while taking care of his dying father who is also going deaf. For adults.
By Antony John
Dumb is not the name Piper, a high school senior who is Deaf, would have chosen for a heavy metal band, yet she volunteers to manage this disparate group of would-be musicians. In her attempt to make Dumb profitable, Piper learns a few things about music and business, striking a chord within herself. For junior and senior high.
By Myron Uhlberg
Uhlberg, a critically-acclaimed and award-winning author of several children's books, writes of growing up in Brooklyn as the child of deaf parents. For adults.
By Ginny Rorby
Thirteen-year-old Joey Willis, deaf since age seven, has an overprotective mother who refuses to let her daughter learn sign language. When Joey meets neighbor Dr. Mansell and his sign-user chimpanzee Sukari, her world blooms with possibilities. But a crisis involving Sukari brings Joey some heavy responsibilities. For junior and senior high. Schneider Family Book Award, 2008.
By Isaac Millman
Moses and his classmates, all of whom are deaf, go to a concert with their teacher and enjoy experiencing music. They discover that the percussionist in the orchestra is also deaf. Includes information on sign language. For kindergarten to grade 3.
By Mary Carter
Lacey, an accomplished deaf artist, suddenly discovers the existence of Monica, her twin sister, and questions why her parents put her up for adoption while choosing to raise Monica. For adults.
By Delia Ray
Alabama, 1948. Twelve-year-old Gussie, a minister’s daughter, learns the definition of integrity while helping with a celebration at the school for the deaf—her punishment for impulsive misdeeds against her deaf parents and their boarders. For grades 5 to 8.
By Marlee Matlin
Memoir of the Academy Award-winning actress, who has been deaf since she was 18 months old. For adults.
By Carol Padden and Tom Humphries
A historical look at the issues and challenges faced by the Deaf community in America. For adults.
By Ashley Fiolek
Story of Ashley Fiolek, born deaf, who had won the Women's Motocross Championship—twice—by age 20. For adults.
By Andres Torres
Torres writes affectionately about straddling four worlds while growing up: Puerto Rican; New Yorker; Deaf; and Hearing. For adults.
By Lawrence Hott and Diane Garey
This videorecording presents a historical view of the American deaf experience through a spectrum of stories told by great personalities, as well as ordinary people who are hearing impaired. For adults.
By Josh Swiller.
The author, who lost his hearing as a child, tells of his experience in Zimbabwe with the Peace Corps, which he joined "to find a place past deafness." For adults.