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Everyone Here Spoke Sign Language : Hereditary Deafness on Martha's Vineyard

by
Edition:
1st
ISBN13:

9780674270411

ISBN10:
067427041X
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
3/1/1988
Publisher(s):
HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
List Price: $29.00

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Summary

From the seventeenth century to the early years of the twentieth, the population of Martha's Vineyard manifested an extremely high rate of profound hereditary deafness. In stark contrast to the experience of most deaf people in our own society, the Vineyarders who were born deaf were so thoroughly integrated into the daily life of the community that they were not seen--and did not see themselves--as handicapped or as a group apart. Deaf people were included in all aspects of life, such as town politics, jobs, church affairs, and social life. How was this possible? On the Vineyard, hearing and deaf islanders alike grew up speaking sign language. This unique sociolinguistic adaptation meant that the usual barriers to communication between the hearing and the deaf, which so isolate many deaf people today, did not exist.

Table of Contents

""They Were Just Like Everyone Else""
The History of Martha's Vineyard
The Origins of Vineyard Deafness
The Genetics of Vineyard Deafness
The Island Adaptation to Deafness
Growing Up Deaf on the Vineyard
Deafness in Historical Perspective
""Those People Weren't Handicapped""
Oral and Written Sources
Perceived Causes of Vineyard Deafness
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


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