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Literacy Development in Deaf Education

Hello, my name is Gabriella Escobar! I am student at Susquehanna University, Pennsylvania, and I am excited to be a Literacy Development intern at Deaf Open World. My main internship project will be to create a storybook which both establishes a strong relationship with reading, and fosters early language learning. What’s really exciting to me so far is that I’ve been talking to a lot of great new people: on my campus at school, personal friends and family, even some random strangers that I’ve struck up a conversation with! It’s crazy to me how when you’re interested in something, you grow so much as a person and how learning can draw you so much closer to your community!

It’s also been a bit difficult to imagine how anything that I do could ever make a difference thousands of miles away. What do I know of people who live on entirely different continent then my own? How can I begin to understand, or presume to understand a culture so different from my own? I can’t. I’ve never been to Swaziland, but I feel that through leaving myself open to learn that I will be able to experience Swaziland in some way— even if it is only a small one!

I’ve been reading lots of materials on deaf children’s books, and how the deaf are represented in literature in general. I’ve actually been a bit disappointed. I’m surprised that there isn’t more diversity available in this particular genre. It seems to me that there isn’t as much competent literature for deaf children out there as there could be! It’s lucky for me that I get to indulge in my art; that I’ve been given the opportunity to try and make something good out of my time at Deaf Open World. I can’t wait to see what else I learn in the coming weeks!

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