cover image Bug: Deaf Identity and Internal Revolution

Bug: Deaf Identity and Internal Revolution

Christopher Jon Heuer. Gallaudet University Press, $21.95 (227pp) ISBN 978-1-56368-357-2

A lot of things bug Heuer, not least the insensitivity of the hearing and the narrow-mindedness of many in the deaf-or is it Deaf-community. The small ""d""/capital ""D"" question is not a small matter; Heuer uses them to differentiate between those who have a hearing impairment and people who define themselves as part of a deaf culture with its own language (American Sign) and traditions. Heuer was born with impaired hearing but suffered continuing hearing loss throughout his childhood, becoming almost entirely deaf early on. An English teacher at Gaullaudet, a Washington, D.C. university for the deaf, Heuer proves an intriguing, dynamic guide: though he learned to speak as a young child, he now chooses to sign; though he identifies strongly with the Deaf Pride movement, he deplores its insularity. Collecting 116 opinion pieces-most from The Tactile Mind Weekly, some from the National Association of the Blind website, a few new-Heuer proves angry, lively and convincing whether discussing the complacency of the Deaf toward illiteracy in their ranks, or the failure of hearing parents to learn Sign when their hearing impaired children are young. Despite his serious intent, Heuer is always entertaining, and his insights into discrimination and ""the soft prejudice"" have a powerful reach.