IOWA ASSOCIATION OF THE DEAF, INC.
"Concerned with the General Welfare of the Deaf of Iowa"

Updated December 9, 2019

Bilingual

Getting the Word In

GETTING THE WORD IN

The concern now among researchers like Caselli and Amy Lieberman, assistant professor of deaf studies in the BU School of Education, is what happens before school starts. Approximately 90 to 95 percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents who often don’t know sign language and therefore will likely struggle to teach it before their children enter school. Even among school-aged deaf children, estimates based on data from a 2010 survey from Gallaudet University, which specializes in deaf education, suggest that at most 40 percent of families use sign language at home. Given this data, educators in the field worry that a majority of deaf children may be deprived of language.