HIST 333 Diversity in the Deaf Community: Introduction

This guide introduces the diverse deaf community, including sign language dialects. This guide discusses the most common groups found in the Deaf community.


The Deaf Community is diverse and a microcosm of the hearing community. There are Deaf people from all races, ethnicities, and religions. In addition, we have Deaf people with diverse gender identities, Deaf people with secondary disabilities, such as the DeafBlind, Deaf Families, and international Deaf people. Many of these Deaf groups also have their sign language dialects.

Deaf people are not hearing people who can't hear. As a group, they are far more diverse than their hearing peers. There are cognitive, linguistic, experiential, and social-emotional differences between Deaf and hearing students likely to affect academic outcomes. Sign languages and schools and programs for Deaf learners thus remain an important part of the continuum of services for this diverse population. Many mainstreamed Deaf people who enter NTID or Gallaudet start to discover their identity and learn sign language, giving them a sense of belonging. It is akin to the 'coming out' of LGBT individuals during the college years when stronger identity development occurs.

In general, Deaf-related resources include books, bound journals, and DVDs in the HV2300-HV2600 area. However, Deaf topics are found in different call number areas. Many of the required books and articles are available via our subscriptions and linked if they are. 

If you have questions, feel free to contact me, Joan Naturale - I am the NTID and Deaf Studies Librarian and am happy to help.

Edit this Guide

Log into Dashboard

Use of RIT resources is reserved for current RIT students, faculty and staff for academic and teaching purposes only.
Please contact your librarian with any questions.

Facebook icon  Twitter icon  Instagram icon  YouTube icon