Recognizing diversity in deaf education: from Paris to Athens with a diversion to Milan

Greg Leigh, Marc Marschark

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Education of the deaf has a proud heritage with regard to scholarship and professional education. This is exemplified by the longevity of the International Congress on Education of the Deaf, which was first held in 1878. Just as it was at the time of the first International Congress, diversity continues to be the norm within the population of deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) learners on many different levels. Given that diversity, the logic for the resolutions made at the 1880 Congress in Milan, which sought to proscribe the use of sign language in education of the deaf, is questioned. It is argued that then, as now, differentiated educational responses were required to accommodate the diverse characteristics of the population of DHH learners. Current research examining the factors associated with the variance in developmental outcomes for DHH learners is reviewed. It is concluded that professionals involved in the identification and education of DHH children should be no less skeptical today about suggestions that there should, or could, be any “One True Path” to seek language, communication, and educational outcomes for all deaf children.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiversity in deaf education
EditorsMarc Marschark, Venetta Lampropoulou, Emmanouil Skordilis
Place of PublicationOxford ; New York
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780190607838
ISBN (Print)9780190493073
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NamePerspectives on deafness


  • deaf
  • educational outcomes
  • hard of hearing
  • International Congress on Education of the Deaf
  • linguistic diversity


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