When a parent learns that their child is deaf or hard of hearing, they need to make many difficult decisions. These decisions include how to communicate with their child and how to teach them language. The authors of this article offer guidance for doctors and other professionals advising parents and family. In the past, doctors have often given advice to parents based on their own misconceptions about deafness and sign language. Although many doctors do better today, some still need to learn more. The authors explain what the research says about the best way to teach language to deaf children. They argue that deaf and hard of hearing children need both visual and auditory exposure to language from the beginning.
The text in this article is mostly accessible for people using screen reading software, but with some difficulty identifying which web links go where.