These are some great books that have deaf characters or are about Deaf culture, American Sign Language (ASL) or deaf identity.
These books are helpful in better understanding deaf culture, ways of life, challenges, struggles, triumphs… and some historical perspectives.
"True biz", deaf slang for "for real?" or "seriously?!" - a story that is winning a lot of love out there.
It's about deaf culture, learning ASL, CI within a fictional deaf school.
Kind of dated in some respects, but an overall solid book on Deafness and Deaf culture by a hearing neurologist. It's a good starting point if you are new to Deaf culture or if you have a child who is Deaf and want to learn more about Deaf culture, history and so forth.
Deaf icon Nyle DiMarco writes his first memoir, and in it, a testimony to Deaf culture and way of life.
This is BOOK, if you know what I mean! Leaning on the academic, this book is a guide through social change and deaf culture and language.
I read this book something like 20 years ago and felt a deep kinship with the author, simply on the basis of connecting with her stories about being deaf. There is a lot of relatable stuff in here, and she's funny.
Two stories, woven into one, of adoption, love and ultimately, of acceptance.
Authenticity is Growing…
As you can see from the list above, there are a growing number of books featuring deaf characters that provide an authentic portrayal of deaf culture and experiences. These books can be used to educate non-deaf readers about deafness and help to create awareness of deaf issues. They often offer examples of deaf people overcoming challenges, or show how deafness can be embraced as a part of everyday life. By reading these books, readers gain a deeper understanding of deafness and become more aware of the struggles that deaf people face in society. These stories are not only meaningful for deaf people, but can also help to create a more inclusive and accepting society for everyone.
In addition to providing education about deafness, these books help to normalize deaf characters in the media. This is important because it helps to break down stereotypes and misconceptions that are still common in society. Books featuring deaf characters provide readers with an opportunity to explore deaf identity in a safe space. By reading these books, readers gain insight into deaf culture and develop greater empathy towards deaf people, ultimately creating a more open-minded society.
Books featuring deaf characters are valuable tools that can be used to educate hearing readers about deafness and foster an understanding of deaf experiences. This can better help hearing parents of deaf children, or hearing families of us deaf. It also radically helps us deaf ourselves.
Stories with Deaf Characters, or Memoirs of Deaf Experiences
The thing is, too often those of us who are deaf born to hearing families don’t see ourselves reflected through deaf characters in books, and we don’t see our own stories in the memoirs we read. Stories and memoirs with deaf characters shift that for us, help us feel less alone, less isolated. They help us connect with feelings of belonging, community. They inspire us, in the best sense of the word.
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.