Ears, Eyes, and Hands presents the author’s reflections on language, literacy, and linguistics that have been shaped by her deafness and by her work as an educator. In short, engaging narratives, Deborah L. Wolter exposes deeply entrenched attitudes and stereotypes regarding language, bringing to bear her own experiences as a deaf person as well as her interactions with children from varying backgrounds.
Wolter reveals and rectifies the impact of deficit mindsets in the educational system regarding race, ethnicity, economic status, gender, and disability. As a literacy specialist, she works with students who fall through the cracks in a system that strives to embrace the diverse backgrounds and abilities found in the classroom. Her passion for engaging students and cultivating literacy shines in the stories she tells, which serve as parables that allow readers to evaluate their own attitudes and assumptions. Educators, parents, and community members will benefit from Wolter’s examination of sociolinguistics and language privilege as she identifies how ethnocentrism and ableism are contributing to negative educational outcomes for some students. With humor and warmth, she offers a path toward approaching language and listening as a gateway to connection and understanding, both inside the classroom and beyond.
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“Wolter takes a “Radical Middle” approach, repeatedly asking her readers to consider their own worldview, experiences, values and attitudes and to listen to the stories of others.” “This is not a book about educating DHH children–it is a book about educating all children.” — Book Review by Michella Maiorana-Basas
“Wolter’s introspective and retrospective approach through storytelling forces the reader to rethink human communication and to consider the complexities of literacy for all people.” — Book Review by Adai A. Tefera, University of Arizona and Mary L. Johnson, University of Maryland.
“A wise and warm book about a life lived at the intersection of the hearing and deaf worlds, about noticing the nuances of language and literacy, and most urgently, about the importance of listening.” — Lydia Denworth, Author of “I Can Hear You Whisper: An Intimate Journey Through the Science of Sound and Language”