Media Releases

February 1, 2005


Deaf Life Press’s enduringly popular handbook for beginners gets a revamp

“Is there one sign language for all countries?”
“How can I improve my fingerspelling?”
“Can’t all deaf people read lips?”
“Is it okay to say ‘deaf-mute’ and ‘deaf-and-dumb’?”
“Isn’t it possible to have the best of both worlds—ASL and a cochlear implant?”
“Are hard-of-hearing people part of the Deaf community?”
“Isn’t deafness a disability? If it is, why do deaf people consider it a culture?”
“What exactly is the interpreter’s role? Who does the hiring? Who pays?”
“Do we need another ‘DPN’ revolution?”
“What bothers a deaf person most about hearing people?”

Deaf Life Press’s best-selling book, For Hearing People Only: Answers to Some of the Most Commonly Asked Questions About the Deaf Community, its Culture, and the “Deaf Reality, is now available in a completely revised, expanded, and updated third edition—now in its fourth printing. This title has been adopted as a central or supplementary text by a number of high-school and postsecondary programs, including Deaf Studies, Cultural Studies, Sign Language/ASL, and Interpreter Training. It has also been used in employee seminars and workshops, and can be read for enjoyment.

For Hearing People Only is intended for absolute beginners—students and casual readers with no background in Deaf Studies or the complex issues involved, and no prior acquaintance with ASL. Feedback from this readership has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic.

HPO-3 contains 131 chapters—more than twice as many as the second edition’s 60—and, at 768 pages, is a fat, hefty paperback. It includes a detailed index with citations keyed to specific pages. (Previous editions contained a rudimentary index with citations keyed to chapters.) The bibliography has been expanded, and the chapters updated to reflect, for example, the proliferation of telecommunication options, especially wireless text pagers and online relay services. Each chapter contains a full-page pen-and-ink illustration by Michael Freeman, a gifted young Deaf artist.

All of the good features—the appealing format, the foreword by Harlan Lane, the “Deaf Awareness 5-Minute Quiz,” the popular “terminology” chapter with its negative and positive examples taken from the mass media—have been retained. The 5-minute quizzes have been revised and increased to encompass the new text.

The first edition of HPO was published in Fall 1992, with 48 chapters. The second edition, published in Fall 1993, reached its 14th printing. Since its publication in April 2003, HPO-3 has remained Deaf Life Press's best-selling title. HPO has used extensively in classrooms and seminars around the nation. It has also been read, appreciated, and discussed by laypeople.

The co-authors say, “This book was published to fill a definite need: an introduction to the topic of Deaf studies and Deaf Culture written for readers with no previous background. We started on the assumption that our readers wouldn't necessarily have any academic credentials or exposure to Deaf Culture, but were curious enough and interested enough to ask questions that deserved good answers. So the book is geared towards ‘raw beginners.’ We wanted to make it attractive and enjoyable, taking an upfront approach, not shying away from controversy.”

Two auxiliary modules, keyed to the third edition, are in progress: a student’s workbook and a teacher’s guide. These components are being developed in response to numerous requests from teachers who have been using HPO in their classes, would like to have it as part of a structured curriculum, and will appreciate having ready-to-use quiz materials and assignment topics. The workbook is designed to enhance students’ understanding of the material. This workbook will be “open market’—available to all customers who want to purchase it—but sales of the teacher’s guide will be restricted to instructors placing orders on departmental letterhead. Publication of these components will be announced on the HPO Booksite ( This Website contains information about the book and online-order forms for retail and wholesale customers.

For Hearing People Only: Third Edition
by Matthew S. Moore and Linda Levitan
Deaf Life Press, 2003
ISBN: 0-9634016-3-7
$35.95, paperback, 768 pp.


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