A comprehensive history of deafness, signed languages, and the unresolved
struggles of the Deaf to be taught in their unspoken tongue Partially deaf
due to a childhood illness, Gerald Shea is no stranger to the search for
communicative grace and clarity. In this eloquent and thoroughly researched
book, he uncovers the centuries-long struggle of the Deaf to be taught in
sign language--the only language that renders them complete, fully
communicative human beings. Shea explores the history of the deeply biased
attitudes toward the Deaf in Europe and America, which illogically forced
them to be taught in a language they could neither hear nor speak. As even
A.G. Bell, a fervent oralist, admitted, sign language is the quickest
method of reaching the mind of a deaf child. Shea's research exposes a
persistent but misguided determination among hearing educators to teach the
Deaf orally, making the very faculty they lacked the principal instrument
of their instruction. To forbid their education in sign language--the
language of light--is to deny the Deaf their human rights, he concludes.

Gerald Shea—The Language Of Light - A History Of Silent Voices

  • 9780300215434