Human Right to Language: Communication Access for Deaf Children

Human Right to Language: Communication Access for Deaf Children

by Lawrence Siegel
     
 

In 1982, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Amy Rowley, a deaf six-year-old, was not entitled to have a sign language interpreter in her public school classroom. Lawrence M. Siegel wholeheartedly disagrees with this decision in these pages. Instead, he contends that the United States Constitution should protect every deaf and hard of hearing child's right

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Overview

In 1982, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Amy Rowley, a deaf six-year-old, was not entitled to have a sign language interpreter in her public school classroom. Lawrence M. Siegel wholeheartedly disagrees with this decision in these pages. Instead, he contends that the United States Constitution should protect every deaf and hard of hearing child's right to communication and language as part of an individual's right to liberty. Siegel argues that when a deaf or hard of hearing child sits alone in a crowded classroom and is unable to access the rich and varied communication about her, the child is denied any chance of success in life.

In this ingenious, well-grounded argument, Siegel proposes that the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution be enforced so that Amy Rowley and her peers can possess that which virtually every other American child takes for granted-the right to receive and express thought in school. He asserts that the common notion of a right to "speech" is too infrequently interpreted in the narrowest sense as the right to "speak" rather than the broader right to receive and transmit information in all ways. Siegel reveals that there are no judicial decisions or laws that recognize this missing right, and he offers a legal and constitutional strategy for change. His well-reasoned hypothesis and many examples of deaf children with inadequate communication access in school combine to make a compelling case for changing the status quo.

About the Author:
Lawrence M. Siegel is the Founder and Director of the National Deaf Education Project and a special education attorney in San Francisco, CA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781563685910
Publisher:
Gallaudet University Press
Publication date:
03/22/2013
Edition description:
1st Edition
Pages:
180
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

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