Representations of deaf characters in children's picture books

Debbie B. Golos, Annie M. Moses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Picture books can influence how children perceive people of different backgrounds, including people with disabilities whose cultures differ from their own. Researchers have examined the portrayal of multicultural characters with disabilities in children's literature. However, few have specifically considered the portrayal of deaf characters, despite increased inclusion of deaf characters in children's literature over the past two decades. The present study analyzed the portrayal of deaf characters in picture books for children ages 4-8 years. A content analysis of 20 children's picture books was conducted in which the books were analyzed for messages linked to pathological and cultural categories. Results indicated that these books did not portray Deaf characters from a cultural perspective but, rather, highlighted aspects of deafness as a medical condition, one that requires fixing and that perpetuates stereotypes of deafness as a disability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-282
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican annals of the deaf
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011


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