A few years ago, while reading a story as part of my daughters’ dance performance, I saw the words I spoke interpreted into ASL. I was so transfixed that I kept losing track of what I was supposed to say: I simply wanted to watch the other woman sign. Her hands flew, graceful and expressive.

I was reminded of this while reading Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck because at a certain point in the story, I realized I couldn’t remember the last book I had read, children’s or otherwise, with deaf characters.

I have blind spots. We all do. But I like to think I’m enough aware of mine that I sometimes look into the space I know I usually don’t see. This blind spot, however, caught me off guard. Now I’ll remember to look – so I don’t keep missing the singular beauty of hands shaping language in the air.

Clerc Center’s Shared Reading Project, which provides information on reading to children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Deaf Characters in Adolescent Literature – a blog by Sharon Pajka, an Associate Professor of English at Gallaudet University.

Gallaudet University Library reviews, some written and some signed.

“The History of Deaf Culture and Sign Language” – by Carol Padden and Tom Humphries.

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