15 Must-Reads on Deaf Culture and Sign Languages

Learn more about Deaf culture and sign languages with this curated book list.
Rodrigo Demetrio
10 min

Isabelle Lepage, a Translation Specialist and Research Assistant, generously shared some must-read books and articles on the topic of Deaf culture and sign languages. Let's dive into her recommendations and see what she had to say about them.

Important to say this content is a special content from our 'Translation Togetherness' campaign for International Translation Day, where we're publishing a serie of special content. So if this curated list resonates with you you may want to access other content that values translations and language here.

Let's cut to the chase and dive into Isabelle's list.

A Curated List on Deaf Culture and Sign Languages by Isabelle Lepage

Isabelle Lepage, a renowned Translation Specialist and Research Assistant, has shared a fascinating list that provides insight into Deaf culture and sign languages. Here are her top picks:

  1. Introduction to Deaf Culture (2016) by Thomas K. Holcomb
Introduction to Deaf Culture" by Thomas K. Holcomb, published in 2016, is a contemporary and insightful examination of the Deaf culture. Holcomb's book provides a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the Deaf community, its unique language (American Sign Language), history, and cultural practices. This accessible and engaging text serves as an excellent starting point for anyone interested in learning about Deaf culture, offering a deeper understanding of the challenges, achievements, and vibrant identity of Deaf individuals. Holcomb's work is a valuable resource for students, educators, and anyone seeking to foster inclusivity and appreciation for this distinct cultural group.
  1. A Journey Into the Deaf World (1996) by Harlan Lane and Robert Hoffmeister "A bit old but a pillar nonetheless!"
 "A bit old but a pillar nonetheless!"
  1. The Canadian Dictionary of ASL by Carole Bailey"A must for Canadians trying to learn ASL."
"A must for Canadians trying to learn ASL."
  1. Seeing Voices: A Journey Into the World of the Deaf (1989) by Oliver Sacks
 "Covers topics in Deaf Studies including sign language, the neurology of deafness, history of the treatment of Deaf Americans, and challenges facing the Deaf community."
  1. Sociolinguistics and Deaf Communities (2015) by Adam C. Schembri and Ceil Lucas
"Sociolinguistics and Deaf Communities" (2015) by Adam C. Schembri and Ceil Lucas offers a profound exploration of the intricate relationship between language, culture, and identity within Deaf communities."
  1. What's your sign for pizza?: an introduction to variation in American Sign Language by Ceil Lucas
"What's Your Sign for Pizza?: An Introduction to Variation in American Sign Language" by Ceil Lucas delves into the fascinating world of American Sign Language (ASL) variation, offering readers an engaging insight into the diversity and nuances of this dynamic language."
  1. ign Language: its history and contribution to the understanding of the biological nature of language (2005) by Robert J. Ruben "It's an article, not a book, but very interesting!"
  1. Talking Hands: what sign language reveals about the mind (2007) by Margalit Fox
"Talking Hands: What Sign Language Reveals About the Mind" (2007) by Margalit Fox delves into the profound insights sign language offers into the workings of the human mind."
  1. Inside Deaf Culture (2005) by Carol Padden and Tom Humphries
"Inside Deaf Culture" (2005) by Carol Padden and Tom Humphries offers a compelling and enlightening journey into the rich tapestry of Deaf culture and its intricacies."
  1. This Sign by Joanne Greenberg
"A fiction book."
  1. What's That Pig Outdoors by Henry Kisor
"A biography."
  1. Acquiring English as a Second Language via Print: The Task for Deaf Children. (1993) by Hoffmeister, Robert J., and Catherine L. Caldwell-Harris "An article on how children learn their second language. Very passionating!"
  2. Bilingualism and Deafness: on Language Contact in the Bilingual Acquisition of Sign Language and Written Language (2016) by Plaza Pust, Carolina
"Bilingualism and Deafness: On Language Contact in the Bilingual Acquisition of Sign Language and Written Language" (2016) by Carolina Plaza Pust delves into the complex dynamics of bilingualism within the Deaf community, exploring the intersections of sign language and written language acquisition.
  1. Deaf Children and Their Families: Sustainability, Sign Language, and Equality. (2018) by Young, Alys "An article but very informative."
  2. Deaf around the world: the impact of language (2010) by Gaurav Mathur and Donna Jo Napoli
 "It deals with the creation, context, and form of sign languages, and social issues and civil rights of Deaf communities around the world

A hearty thanks to Isabelle for her valuable contributions!

Take a look at our post for more tips on celebrating International Day of Sign Language

Rodrigo Demetrio
Steering the marketing ship at Bureau Works with 17+ years of MarTech under my belt, I transform mere ideas into tangible realities. Passionate about languages and their power to build bridges, let's build a new one?
This is some text inside of a div block.
Text Link
This is some text inside of a div block.
Text Link

Try Bureau Works Free for 14 days

ChatGPT Integration
Get started now
The first 14 days are on us
Free basic support