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Diversity in the Deaf Community: Introduction



book cover about Ann Silver, a Deaf artist. It has a blue background, clouds, and black and white street signs "One Way" showing the opposite direction to another sign below "Deaf Way".The Deaf Community is a diverse one and is 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 Deaf-Blind, Deaf Families, and international Deaf people. Many of these Deaf groups also have their own sign language dialects.

Deaf people are not hearing people who can't hear. As a group, they are far more diverse than 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.

If interested in general multicultural or diversity and deaf issues, you can use these keywords [deaf* AND (multicultural OR diversity)] when searching for information using our RIT Libraries Catalog and databases.

In general, Deaf-related resources tend to be in the HV2300-HV2600 area for books, bound journals (2nd floor) and DVDs.

Check out the Diversity in Deaf Education and Psychotherapy with Deaf Clients from Diverse Groups books.

However, Deaf topics will be found in different call number areas. If you have questions, feel free to contact me, Joan Naturale - I am the NTID and Deaf Studies Librarian and happy to help.

Finding Encyclopedias

Encyclopedia book cover of Historically Black Colleges and Universities showing a college building and photographs of students. The Image at left is a book cover. Encyclopedias (many are online and there are print encyclopedias you can check out) provide background information about diversity issues which can help you find topic ideas. There are also books offering in-depth scholarly analyses on such topics.

Use  keywords like multicultural AND encyclopedia,  religion AND encyclopedia, African American* AND encyclopedia, Hispanic* AND encyclopedia, Native American* AND encyclopedia and (gay OR lesbian) AND encyclopedia. If interested in Deaf-Blind education and other topics, check out the online Gallaudet Encyclopedia and the Sage Deaf Studies Encyclopedia.
The Encyclopedia of African-American Education
Historically Black Colleges and Universities: An Encyclopedia.
Encyclopedia of Black Studies
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States
Encyclopedia of American Indian History
Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History in America.
Multicultural America: An Encyclopedia of the Newest Americans

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