Plural Publishing Releases Second Edition of Deaf Culture: Exploring Deaf Communities in the United States

March 22, 2021

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – A contemporary and vibrant Deaf culture is found within Deaf communities, including Deaf Persons of Color and those who are DeafDisabled and DeafBlind.

Taking a more people-centered view, the second edition of Deaf Culture: Exploring Deaf Communities in the United States critically examines how Deaf culture fits into education, psychology, cultural studies, technology, and the arts. With the acknowledgment of signed languages all over the world as bona fide languages, the perception of Deaf people has evolved into the recognition and acceptance of a vibrant Deaf culture centered around the use of signed languages and the communities of Deaf peoples. Written by Deaf and hearing authors with extensive teaching experience and immersion in Deaf cultures and signed languages, Deaf Culture fills a niche as an introductory textbook that is more inclusive, accessible, and straightforward for those beginning their studies of the Deaf-World.


Key Features

  • Strong focus on including different communities within Deaf cultures
  • Thought-provoking questions, illustrative vignettes, and examples
  • Theories introduced and explained in a practical and reader-friendly manner
  • PluralPlus companion website with a test bank and lecture slides for instructors


New to the Second Edition

  • A new co-author, Topher González Ávila, MA
  • Two new chapters!
  • Chapter 7 “Deaf Communities Within the Deaf Community” highlights the complex variations within this community
  • Chapter 10 “Deaf People and the Legal System: Education, Employment, and Criminal Justice” underscores linguistic and access rights
  • The remaining chapters have been significantly updated to reflect current trends and new information, such as:
    • Advances in technology created by Deaf people that influence and enhance their lives within various national and international societies
    • Greater emphasis on different perspectives within Deaf culture
    • Information about legal issues and recent political action by Deaf people
    • New information on how Deaf people are making breakthroughs in the entertainment industry
    • Addition of new vignettes, examples, pictures, and perspectives to enhance content interest for readers and facilitate instructor teaching
    • Introduction of theories explained in a practical and reader-friendly manner to ensure understanding
    • An updated introduction to potential opportunities for professional and informal involvement in ASL/Deaf culture with children, youth, and adults


Book Details

Title: Deaf Culture: Exploring Deaf Communities in the United States, Second Edition | Authors: Irene W. Leigh, Jean F. Andrews, Raychelle Harris, and Topher Gonzalez Avila | Published: 11/18/2020 | ISBN-13: 978-1-63550-225-1 |


About The Authors

Irene W. Leigh, PhD is a Deaf psychologist whose experience includes high school teaching, psychological assessment, psychotherapy, and private practice. From 1985 to 1991 she was a psychologist and assistant director at the Lexington Center for Mental Health Services. She taught in the Gallaudet University Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program from 1992 to 2012, was Psychology Department Chair from 2008 to 2012, and attained professor emerita status in 2012. Dr. Leigh serves on review boards of professional journals and was associate editor of the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education from 2005 to 2011. As a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, she served on two task forces and the Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest.

Jean F. Andrews, PhD received a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Catholic University, in Washington, DC, a master’s in education in Deaf education from McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College) in Westminster, Maryland, and a doctorate in speech and hearing sciences from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Dr. Andrews was a classroom teacher of reading at the Maryland School for the Deaf in Frederick, Maryland. From 1983 to 1988, she prepared educational interpreters and teachers of Deaf students at Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky. From 1988 to 2015, she taught classes, prepared teachers and doctoral level leaders, and conducted applied research at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. Dr. Andrews’ research interests include language and literacy, Deaf Studies, ASL/English bilingualism, and forensic issues with deaf offenders. She has also served on the governing board of the Texas School for the Deaf. Currently, she is working on ASL/English science materials for struggling Deaf readers.

Raychelle L. Harris, PhD a third generation Deaf and a native ASL signer, received her bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language (ASL) from Gallaudet University in 1995 and master’s degree in Deaf education from Western Maryland College in 2000. Dr. Harris has been teaching ASL as a first and second language since 1993. She returned to Gallaudet University for her doctoral studies in the areas of education and linguistics, with her dissertation topic focused on ASL discourse in academic settings. In 2008, Dr. Harris joined Gallaudet University’s Department of Interpretation as a faculty member. Since 2009, she has been teaching with the Department of ASL and Deaf Studies, preparing future ASL teachers in the masters in sign language education program. She is also one of three editors of the Journal of ASL and Literature. Dr. Harris holds professional certification with the American Sign Language Teachers Association and is a Certified Deaf Interpreter.

Topher González Ávila, MA was raised in a multilingual family of Lengua de Señas Mexicana (LSM), American Sign Language (ASL), English and Spanish. Topher graduated from University of North Texas with Bachelor’s degrees in Criminal Justice and Radio, Television & Film (RTVF) in 2015. He continued his education at Gallaudet University and graduated in 2018 with a Master’s in Sign Language Education. Topher is a Certified Deaf Interpreter with the Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI) since 2016. He is the first Deaf Latinx interpreter in the state of Texas to hold a BEI Court Interpretation certification. Topher teaches for Gallaudet University’s Master’s in Sign Language Education program. Topher works as a community interpreter and a freelance video editor. Topher is proud to be Brown, Queer and Deaf. He works with and for his communities especially, BIPOC Deaf youth and Queer Deaf youth through local, state and national organizational advocacy efforts.


About Plural Publishing, Inc.

Plural Publishing produces leading academic, scientific and clinical publications in the fields of speech-language pathology, audiology, otolaryngology, and professional singing. Plural Publishing, Inc. aims to fill a space in the field of communication sciences and disorders with high-quality publications written by world-class experts in order to improve and enhance the knowledge base of each profession, from the classroom to clinical practice. Plural Publishing prioritizes the intellectual growth of the disciplines it serves and strives to improve and advance these fields through its publications.

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