The Best Deaf History Book Recommendations

Learn more about Deaf history than you ever wanted to know!

If you are learning ASL and planning to be a part of the Deaf community, you have to know about Deaf history. You can read our history of sign language page, but that doesn’t hold a candle to everything you can learn from these books. We highly recommend all of the books in this list. They will give you a greater insight into the history that the Deaf had to endure than you have ever known.

Please note that when you choose to purchase through the external links on this website (in many but not all cases) we will receive a referral commission. However, this commission does not influence the information we provide in this site. We always give honest opinions and reviews to share our findings, beliefs, and/or experiences. You can view our full disclosure on this page.

Forbidden Signs: American Culture and the Campaign against Sign Language
This book focuses on the history of the oppression of American Sign Language. We highly recommend this book because it is not only easy to read, it goes into detail about how sign language was forbidden in schools and the fact that many attempts have been made by hearing society to prevent deaf people from using sign language. Highly, highly recommended!

Deaf History Unveiled: Interpretations from the New Scholarship
This book is a little difficult to read at times, but it offers great information. The book compiles 16 essays that range in topics from new themes in Deaf history and Deaf culture experiences compared to the experiences of African American culture to societal paternalism toward the Deaf and the determination of Deaf people to establish employment, education, and social structures. This book is a deep read, but well worth it!

A Place of Their Own: Creating the Deaf Community in America
Some books just talk about Deaf culture and how it is today. This book actually goes in depth and back into Deaf history to explain the trends and the changes that have taken place in the Deaf community. We highly recommend this book for anyone learning ASL and becoming involved in the Deaf community.

Deaf President Now!: The 1988 Revolution at Gallaudet University
Understanding the Deaf President Now movement is critical to understanding Deaf Culture. To read more about DPN and gain a more in-depth understanding about what happened that year, we highly recommend this book.

Baltimore’s Deaf Heritage (Images of America)
A great book for comparative cultural studies on the Deaf cultures in different areas, Baltimore’s Deaf Heritage illustrates the evolution of Baltimore’s Deaf community and its prominent leaders.

Detroit’s Deaf Heritage (Images of America)
A great book for comparative cultural studies on the Deaf cultures in different areas, Detroit’s Deaf Heritage illustrates the evolution of the deaf community in Detroit and its prominent leaders.

If you have a favorite Deaf history book that is not mentioned on this page, please share in the comments below!

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