Mr. Samuel D. Parker
Clinical Associate Professor
Hands of My Father
A Hearing Boy, His Deaf Parents and the Language of Love
by Myron Uhlberg
Much of my interest, philosophy, knowledge and life work are strongly influenced by my heritage. As the fourth child of a Deaf mother and father, I am what is allegorically known as a CODA (Child of Deaf Adult). Although I have excellent hearing abilities, I was raised in a large culturally Deaf family that includes eight extended Deaf family members, all of whom sign fluently in American Sign Language (ASL). Thus, as a native user of ASL (i.e., English is my second language), I am “culturally Deaf” in my identity within this unique culture, and I feel a huge sense of belonging and pride in the Deaf community. As a distinct language, ASL is capable of rich imagery, and it further emphasizes a perspective or mindset that is visually oriented. As with other cultures, Deaf culture has a unique sense of time, social mores, folklore, language, history, and conversational discourse. I share with you Hands of My Father: A Hearing Boy, His Deaf Parents, and the Language of Love in hopes that Myron Uhlberg’s writing will give you a glimpse into my heritage and my love of ASL.