Deafhearing Family Life

As long as we have deaf people on earth, we will have signs—George Veditz, 1910

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In 2007, for my PhD, I began a research project with three deafhearing families. Dora and Luke are hearing and have two daughters: Harper is hearing and Maisie is deaf. Brigit is a hearing mother with three children: Bella is deaf, Thorin is hearing and Christian is deaf. Georgina has five children: Nick, Wes, Jasmine and Toni are deaf and Thomas was born hearing.

I asked them to tell me their family stories.  Together, over four years, we shared stories of deaf family history, genetic counselling, bilingual deaf education, deaf community life and sign language.  We discovered and recovered stories of diagnoses of deafness in newborn babies, of visits from peripatetic teachers, of attitudes towards deaf children and their deaf parents, of misunderstandings of and discrimination towards signing deaf and hearing people.  Some stories are long; others are short.  Some have a beginning, a middle and an end; others are stuck, fractured, cyclical, ongoing.  Some are funny; others full of anger and despair.  Some of the family stories may resonate with you; some may linger; some will pass you by. 

Our work together is now published as a book, “Signs of Hope: Deafhearing Family Life” with Cambridge Scholars Publishing.  You can find a preview here.

“Signs of Hope” is available on Amazon, and can be ordered from the Book Depository. It can also be ordered direct from Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

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You can also find Deafhearing Family Life on Facebook.

The PhD, DEAF-HEARING FAMILY LIFE, is available from ETHOS.


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