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Magicians

  • By: Simon J. Carmel
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

Most people have experienced a magician’s entertaining presentation on a stage or television. Magicians pull rabbits out of hats, produce doves from midair, slice assistants’ bodies in half, and make tigers appear and disappear among other tricks and illusions. Magic, which started roughly 5,000 years ago, is formally acknowledged as one of the oldest entertaining arts. Magical entertainments were reported in Egypt, India, China, the Middle East, and Europe during the earliest centuries. While it is unclear how long Deaf magicians have been performing, based on reports and observations, there are approximately 300 Deaf amateur and part-time professional magicians around the world today.

In 1970, Simon J. Carmel and John G. Schroeder published an article titled “Deaf Magicians Amaze Their Audiences.” Carmel would later author ...

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