Book Recommendations for ASL and Deaf Culture

You have started exploring the world of American Sign Language and Deaf culture. Whether you took lessons, met a Deaf person, or have a new family member with hearing loss – you want to learn more, but where?

With so many books out there, how would you know which is a good source? I’ve listed several books under different categories for easier referencing. Let’s get started!


Add these books to your ASL library for improving your signing skills and vocabulary.
  1. The American Sign Language Phrase Book

With more than 500 different phrases, this book helps the beginner to express common everyday phrases. It has clear illustrations as well as well defined explanations for various meanings of a sign.

  1. Learn to Sign the Fun Way: Let Your Fingers Do the Talking with Games, Puzzles, and Activities in American Sign Language

Make learning fun with games and puzzles for adults and kids to learn ASL.

  1. Multiple Meanings in American Sign Language

This book will help learners get beyond the “one word – one meaning” thinking process. You get to practice how to stimulate conceptual vocabulary development and their application.

Deaf Culture

Deaf culture is a complex world and in order to participate in it we need to learn and understand it fully.
  1. Deaf Culture, Our Way: Anecdotes from the Deaf Community

This classic collection brings deaf culture to life through personal experiences and practical day-to-day information.

  1. A Journey into the Deaf-World

This book explains it takes a lot more than “knowing ASL” to participate in the world of Deaf culture. It answers many ASL learners’ and various professionals’ questions about acceptance, etiquette, and Deaf peoples views of the “hearing world”.

  1. Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood

This book illustrates the pitfalls which have been created for those communities by the medical concept of ‘deafness' and contrasts this the concept of “Deafhood”, a process by which every Deaf child, family and adult implicitly explains their existence in the world to themselves and each other.

Deaf Children

It takes more than ASL to help your Deaf child to “connect”. These books will help bridge the gaps.
  1. How Deaf Children Learn: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know (Perspectives on Deafness)

This book helps to answer how parents and teachers can effectively support the language development and academic success of deaf and hard-of-hearing children?

  1. Raising and Educating a Deaf Child: A Comprehensive Guide to the Choices, Controversies, and Decisions Faced by Parents and Educators

Deaf children are not hearing children who can't hear, they are far more diverse than their hearing peers. This book explains extensively the variety of challenges deaf children face and how to help them cope.

  1. The Parenting Journey, Raising Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children

Written by a hard of hearing mom, she shares her journey and advice for raising deaf and hard of hearing children.

Deaf History

In order to understand Deaf people we need to know more about their history and their struggles.
  1. Deaf Heritage: A Narrative History of Deaf America

Tracks Deaf history in the United States, both chronologically and by important impactful subjects. 

  1. The Deaf Community in America: History in the Making

Covers the history of people’s views of deafness in education and their social participation, evolution of communication and changing attitudes.

  1. Through Deaf Eyes: A Photographic History of an American Community

A beautiful book of over 200 photographs, quotes and stories of 200 years of Deaf history.

Children’s Books

Maybe you want some books for young children to understand their Deaf peer or relative?
  1. El Deafo

A fun graphic novel of a child going to school with a large hearing aid and their fun adventures.

  1. Some Kids Are Deaf: A 4D Book (Understanding Differences)

Using simple, engaging text and full-color photos, readers learn what deafness is, how it can be caused, and what daily life is like for someone who can't hear.

  1. Proud to be Deaf

Stories of a Deaf 7-year-old girl and her world.

These books should give you a great start into the ASL and Deaf world. If you have more questions, feel free to ask one of our Deaf Ambassadors!