Flagler professor publishes deaf education book

Brian Thompson, Director, Public Information, reported to Historic City News that Flagler College Professor of Education Carl Williams has just released an instructional textbook on deaf education.

Williams book, “No Limits” published by Butte Publications, is one of the only comprehensive textbooks written for instructors in deaf education.

“It is the first textbook to be released that correlates with the Council on Educating the Deaf standards and the Educational Content Standards in Deaf Education,” said Williams. “These standards are important because they ensure that deaf students fully learn the content of subjects such as math, science and social studies.”

For many years, teaching these standards and how to apply them in an instructional setting has been difficult due to the lack of books with good visual aids, activities and case studies. Williams wanted to write a textbook that would embody all of this information. “In the past students have been asked to browse through journals for information and many of these journals were just broad special education issues, and some were even outdated,” he said. “I felt this was a very unwieldy way of approaching this particular issue.”

So Williams came up with a better way to present the course information to his students: He began posting his own tailor-made chapters online a week prior to discussions. “I just followed the guidelines of both sets of standards combined with my research from other sources and created my own teaching material,” he said. “When it came time to present my material to the publishers, I took everything that I had researched and used for my courses and presented it to them. They loved it.”

Williams, a Flagler College graduate, was inspired to write “No Limits” for other reasons. “It is very difficult yet important to be able to teach deaf students a fact, concept or skill,” he said. “At one seminar I attended, I heard other professors lamenting about lack of information in this area and I made it a point to include it in my book.”

Williams said his 14 years of teaching the deaf and hard of hearing at The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind helped in the writing of his book. “Many of the successes that I had in the classroom at FSDB gave me insight into the types of approaches and practices that would be effective with deaf and hard of hearing students,” he said.

He also adds that his students at Flagler helped by giving him advice. “I encouraged my students to always give me feedback if there was something that was unclear in my online chapters so that I could rewrite it,” he said. “Because of this, ‘No Limits’ is probably one of the few textbooks that was used with the target population before it was actually published.”

Williams noted that his book is full of images and that every page has specific examples. “I wanted to make the book visually rich to mirror the types of practices that should be used with deaf students,” he said. “With many other books regarding deaf education there is nothing visual; it’s all theory.”

This is not the first book written by Williams for deaf education. In 2006, Butte Publications – a publishing company that specializes in deaf education books – published “It All Depends,” a case study book in deaf education. He will now be using both books together to teach his courses.