Signs of Hope: Deafhearing Family Life

Signs of Hope: Deafhearing Family Life

English | April 1st, 2012 | ISBN: 1443836540, 1443849634 | 282 Pages | PDF | 3.40 MB

"Signs of Hope" tells the story of a narrative inquiry with three deafhearing families. For many of us, deafness represents loss and silence. For others, being deaf is a genetic quirk; an opportunity for learning, spiritual adventure and reward. For yet others, it is the most natural thing in the world; a connection to a genealogical layer of signing ancestors and the continuation of a culture.

Amid the noise of mainstream, medical and educational discourses of deafness, here are family voices demanding to be heard - whether spoken or signed - that challenge audiological and surgical intervention, that call for scrutiny and critique of 'inclusive' deaf-related pedagogical practices, that rail against marginalisation of members of minority cultures. Over four years, Donna West has recorded the stories of three families who wish to counter and resist what they see as damaging misconceptions and discriminatory constructions of deafness and deafhearing family life. Here, spaces are created that respect and acknowledge human beings - adults, children, deaf, hearing - as storytellers. The poetic and performative narratives at the heart of this book reveal not only the ways in which hurtful definitions of, and discrimination towards, deaf people and signing deafhearing families is destabilised, but also the ways in which celebration of deaf culture and sign language are affirming and vital for healthy family life.


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