For Hearing People Only

The Most Popular Handbook
about the Deaf Community

4th edition

Answers to Some of the Most Commonly Asked Questions. About the Deaf Community, its Culture, and the “Deaf Reality.”

Answers to Some of the Most Commonly Asked Questions. About the Deaf Community, its Culture, and the “Deaf Reality.”

The Most Popular Handbook
about the Deaf Community

HPO is celebrating 30 years!

HPO is written for people who have questions
about Deaf culture, sign language,
and Deaf life in general,
and need a quick answer.

It’s for students and casual readers taking a peek into this subject for the first time.

It can be used as a handy in-class or supplementary text in beginning ASL, Deaf Studies, or Introduction to Deaf Culture classes. In response to the requests we’ve gotten from teachers, the fourth edition contains more footnotes and citations.

HPO has become Deaf Life Press’s best-selling book!

When we began monthly publication of DEAF LIFE in July 1988, we recognized the need to include an informative column written especially for our hearing readers, featuring commonly asked questions (some of them sent in by our readers, others based on questions we ourselves had been asked time and time again) with our responses. “For Hearing People Only” became one of our most enduringly popular features–perhaps the most popular.

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High-Quality Contents


It is not intended to be an in-depth excursion into a vast and complex subject, but to provide accurate and provocative answers to over a hundred persistent questions.

Each chapter is designed as an independent unit
focusing on one topic.

Our foremost concern is to provide honest answers to people’s questions. Our perspective is based on our own experiences as deaf persons and members of the Deaf community, and embodies a Deaf viewpoint—
a viewpoint that is often suppressed, distorted, or disregarded in “mainstream” media coverage.

HPO4 Testimonial

What people say?

Offers a quick fix without the mishmash of long-winded discourse and scholarly sources, Enlightening to deaf people, including myself. Honest and fair, with sage observations. A practical Handbook on Deaf Life and "The Deaf Reality."Should provoke lively discussion in class.
Dr. Robert F. Panara
Emeritus Professor of English & Drama at
National Technical Institute of the Deaf at
Rochester Institute of Technology
A masterpiece! Something long overdue in Deaf America ... a valuable resource material in generating a sense of integration, collaboration, partnership and reciprocity among all concerned, deaf and hearing alike.
Dr. Frank R. Turk
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
I loved this book! It was required reading for a Deaf Culture course I took in college and this book made me want to keep reading even after I had finished the assigned chapters. It is broken up into smaller sections that cover important topics. If you are interested in learning more about the Deaf World, I strongly recommend this book.
Jessica Rugg
Aurora, Illinois
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