Reading to Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Children

Reading to deaf and hard-of-hearing children is just as important as reading to hearing children; in fact, the same things are important: creating a literacy-rich environment, building vocabulary, engaging children's brains, building confidence and more. There are, however, some different considerations. The Belmar Library (Jefferson County Libraries) will host a workshop called:

Gateway to Reading: Book Sharing with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children based on effective book sharing techniques as outlined in The 15 Principles of Reading to Deaf Children. The workshop will be held on Thursday, December 5 from 5 - 7:30 p.m. Registration is required.
Please email no later than Friday, November 29.


The Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet University shares recommendations on reading to deaf and hard-of-hearing children, including translating stories using American Sign Language (ASL), making sure kids see both ASL signing and English words along with the pictures, adjusting where you sign--sometimes on the page, other times on the child, other times in the usual place, looking at the the child to engage him, among others.

While the same children's books can and should be read aloud to deaf and hard-of-hearing children as to hearing children, the following titles focus specifically on ASL and reading:

Read With Me. Volume 1, Sharing the Joy of Storytelling with Your Deaf Toddler (DVD)
Read With Me. Volume 2, Stories for Your Deaf Preschooler (DVD)
Read With Me. Volume 3 (DVD)
Read with Me. Volume 4, Stories for Your Deaf Preschooler (DVD)
American Sign Language for Babies & Toddlers: 200 Words in Audio & ASL (DVD)
ASL Tales, The Princess and The Pea
ASL Tales, Rapunzel

How do you help your child with reading? Let us know, share your wisdom.

Written by Stefanie on November 27, 2013


Anonymous on December 5, 2013


Thank you for posting this ..... So often the parents don't know how to communicate with their DHH children yet alone to educate them. Asl is the best access to the world, and such a beautiful language, it is important DHH children are given this benefit to be the most successful children they can be!

Stefanie on December 5, 2013


Your welcome. I'm so glad you think it will be helpful to DHH parents and children. Thank you for sharing your comment.

Annette@MyHear… on October 15, 2015


Make sure that your face is visible when speaking, and try to face the child with hearing loss as much as possible.

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