Learning More about the Deaf Community through the Library

by Jamillah Abdul-Saboor, Print and Design Studio

As an employee at the Pratt, I have had the pleasure of experiencing so many cultures from the steady flow of customers especially when I started in the position as an office assistant in the Circulation Department. I encountered customers from different ethnic backgrounds and learned a lot about different languages and behaviors. But I have always been intrigued about deaf customers that would come in for services because of how they are able to communicate with others who are hearing and are still able to get what is needed. Being in that department, I was able to learn some basics in ASL, including “library card,” “computers,” “hello,” and “thank you” so we could help deaf customers feel comfortable at the Pratt. To tell the truth it felt very good to bridge that gap in basic communication. 

Lauren Read, BST Librarian, Signs about the two eBooks titles
Deaf President Now! and Baltimore’s Deaf Heritage

Deaf President Now!
by John B. Christiansen and Sharon N. Barnartt

Baltimore’s Deaf Heritage
by Kathleen Brockway

Now that we are in COVID-19 pandemic,  I often wonder about our deaf customers who are always seen and not heard. In doing some research, I found the Pratt Library has a great catalog of resources to help expand knowledge about the deaf community.

Below are some titles from Maryland Deaf Culture Digital Library that you can check out today:

Four Days With Kenny Tedford
by Paul Smith
The Hidden Treasure of Black ASL
by Carolyn McCaskill and Ceil Lucas
The Imprisoned Guest
by Elisabeth Gitter
On The Beat of Truth
by Maxine Childress Brown

If you would like to know more about the hearing impaired life go to HLAA Hearing Loss Association of America.