Tag Archive: American SIgn Language


Never Too Late for Language!

These are heart-warming inspirational must watch videos. Patrick’s story and the people involved reminds me to live in gratitude and inspires me to be the difference. Enjoy!

Patrick Speaks-Update

#BlackLivesMatter

essenceFor the past months, I have been reflecting on events that have and are taking place in the world in regards to “Black Life”. “Black life” is part of who I am and know very well. The lens I use to navigate the world is through the lens of a Black woman, a wife to a Black husband, the mother of 3 Black children and a Black Child of Black Deaf Adults. The way we conduct our lives are different from other races and cultures. Noting, that all cultures have different lifestyles, beliefs and systems but the experiences and driving factors of decisions and life styles is where the difference lies. As a Black Family, our family gives care to many thoughts that other races and cultures may not such as, who our friends are, how we represent our direct family and community, where we live and how we can work harder to be a better contributor to society and receive equal opportunities. As well as, how to be the best we can be to have people see us as individuals first and then Black. Conversations that take place in our home often and are not unusual, is to explain to our youngest daughter (8 years old) why children cannot play with her at school because their parents said she is “brown” and different than their own race/culture. Another topic is impressing upon my 14 year old, that there is no room for failure because minorities are behind in academics in comparison to other races (seen as their counterparts). She must work harder and push herself harder because no matter what she will be at the bottom due to the color of her skin and hidden biases towards her on behalf of teachers and student counter parts. I encourage my children to be the best they can be and more… because we are a people who will have to fight and prove ourselves worthy to be respected as educated, deserving and human counterparts of the dominant race and culture.

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These are similar conversation I had in my Deaf and Black household growing up. My mother encouraged my brothers as Deaf Black boys to become educated and hard working Deaf Black men. I witnessed as well as learned from my mother and brothers the oppression and dual discrimination they faced simply on their inability to hear and the difference of race. They faced academic, employment and social challenges and no matter how hard they fought they were knocked down, the skill of resilience will only apply and be used as a strength for so long. After a while, they were over taken  with a downward spiral of negativity and hopelessness. In the end, my mother and brothers pulled themselves up by the bootstrap and did the best they could with what they had but not without the constant reminders of the daily dissimilarities, challenges and discriminators they continued to face.

How does this all relate to the focus of my blog “The Deaf Community”? Some of their struggles are the same. Where African-Americans/Blacks face discrimination based on their race (physical features) and ethnicity (culture), Deaf individuals face audism (The notion that one is superior based on one’s ability to hear or behave in the manner of one who hears.-Tom Humphries) based on the inability to hear and use the dominant language.

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I have attended meetings/gatherings where Deaf individuals relate their struggle of oppression and being devalued by the dominant culture to that of what the Black community has battled with for decades. Both cultures continue to fight for awareness, equality and acceptance of who they are as a community without having to transform to the the expectations of society and the dominant race/culture.

Can all races and cultures live in harmony and acceptance? Or do we continue to build our communities separate and not equal. How do we break the viscous and deeply woven cycle of racism and audism(although there are more “isms”). It seems to be through information, exposure, and accountability.

I read a couple of articles yesterday from a fellow word press website that remained in my thoughts in regards to racism and audism and if you are interested you can use the links below to read both of the articles.

On the Topic of Racism with Teija O. Kishna, or Bravo CSD!

Deaf Culture Hijacked-The Hearing Minded Taking Advantage of the Word Deaf

Also great resources are the video links below. Each were of interest and worthy to view to become informed on topics not regularly addressed. Each video has a topic and goal that is unalike but in general the subject matter is related to the topics of the Black community and the Deaf community.

I will continue to the navigate the world through the same lens but I will seek to make a difference with whom I can, where I can and when I can through information, exposure, and accountability but with a positive perspective.

Deaf Hope Video-Black Lives Matter ( Shares perspective about learning about other communities)

Tiffany T. Hill-Black Voices (Speaks about the perception of Black Voices in the interpreting field)

ASL is changing!!!

American Sign Language is a live language, it is ever-changing. Everyday there is a new sign, an alternate sign or a sign that is no longer used. The great thing is there are several resources that can be used as guidance to keeping up with the changes ASL is undergoing.

Some great resources (if you find the correct site)

Facebook

ASL THAT!

Discusses the ASL expressions of 4 things: 1) Current trends (popular topics, words, or phrases in the news), 2) Variations of signs (national, regional, local, cultural, style, international, etc.), 3) Interpretations of English words, phrases, quotes, idioms, and 4) New and innovative signs (both widely accepted and suggested). We will explain our expressions and perspectives. Bottom line, we share our ASL knowledge and respect each other’s signing preferences.

I Teach ASL

A support forum for instructors of ASL, Interpreting, and other Deaf- and ASL-related fields and courses.

ASL-Connect-IE

Welcome to ASL-Connect-I.E. We are a social group of Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, CODA, Interpreters and fluent signers who get together to sign American Sign Language in the Inland Empire Southern California . Join us at our next event!

Deaf Night Out

Our goal is to provide you with good times, good folks, and good cheer in good places. To do that we organize Deaf Night Out.

Youtube

Rob Neilson

Ewitty 

ASLized

 

ASL Apps (purchased in APP store)

ASL Word Search

ASL Lite

Spread Signs

 

Online Dictionaries

HandSpeak (one that was recently shared with me)

Commonly used by students:

ASL Pro

Signing Savvy

ASL University

 

If you are familiar with any other resources please leave a note.

 

 

As I prepare for the upcoming Fall semester, I am always looking for new and interesting videos, activities and lessons to add to my curriculum. Finally, after hours of searching I found some great videos that I can share with students that will peak their interest for the different facets and beauty of Sign Language.

Take a look at the videos, share your thoughts and share videos you  may know of that bring light to ASL that help students connect with the language and develop a zest for it!

Enjoy:)

 

Deaf In Prison

I watched the #Deaf In Prison video from You Tube and I must say I feel dismal  but not surprised..which is unfortunate. You would expect that all citizens have a right to be treated fairly and their basic needs being met such as love, nourishment, clothing( if you desire), shelter and communication. Of course our basic needs over time have grown to a laundry list of items that may or may not be a need but more of a personal desire. However, the items I listed above are common to any individual in the human race.

When thinking of the Deaf community and their basic needs-communication, equal access and civil rights are key to their abilities to thrive in a hearing dominated society. When deaf individuals are deprived of these necessities they are set-up for an uphill battle one that cannot possibly be won.

The documentary clip Deaf In Prison shares experiences that deaf prisoners are facing that are all too common place and should not be. I understand people are responsible for their actions and must face the consequences but in that they remain human beings and require their basic rights while repaying their debt to society.

 

 

Hands Talk Too is all about resources! Here are some deaf news sites to take a look at.

These are independent news reports that shares headlines and deaf related news with the deaf and hard of hearing community. Take a look and sign to receive subscriptions!

 

Click on each name to check out the websites:

Deaf Weekly News

Deaf News

Deaf Newspaper LLC

Deaf News Todaynews

fatherFather’s day has come and gone but the lesson learned remains. I raised by a single deaf mom and hearing grandmother who invested in me to become what they knew I could be.  Through out the years of they were my sole support and I never wanted for anything. I had a father who was deaf and had moved on with a new wife and four daughters of their own and my brother and I remained with my mother. Although, there was a reoccurring event called a “birthday” where my father would show up to greet my twin brother and I with birthday wishes and a birthday card sent from my paternal grandmother. For years that was my only contact with him until one day I told him that he no longer needed to grace me with his presence because I had all I needed which did not include him. From that point on I did not hear nor see him and that was fine with me.

Until the year of 2005 when my mother passed away and he contacted me about my mother’s passing and wanted to attend the funeral. My mother never harbored ill feelings for him so I wanted to respect the big-hearted and forgiving person she was and invited him. After the funeral my dad asked me if I could have a place for him in my heart and in my life (by the way this was not the first time he asked) and my response as usual was I don’t know. I always say that I did not hold an ill feelings towards him but I did. After that day things went on as they usually did and we did not communicate.

Then in the year of 2009 my twin brother passed away and my father and I connected again. I am not sure how we did but he was there with me every step of the way. I saw a different person. After, my brother’s funeral he asked me the same question again and this time my answer was different I simply stated ” I will try” to make a place for him for who he was now but reminded him that it would take some time and effort. Eventually, I found myself lowering my guards and letting go of the ill feelings, seeing him for the person he had become and letting him into parts of my life.

Here we are in 2014 and I am calling him to say happy father’s day because he deserves it. He has been very patient and accepting of who I am and where I am. We talk more frequently, we attend church together occasionally and he even attended my daughter’s basketball game last week. Even though it has been years, I am appreciative to be at this point and to actually have a father I want to call and honor on this day. Thank you to my father for seeking change, being committed and showing it is never too late to be a father. Happy Father’s Day!

turkeyWith Thanksgiving right around the corner…that is at the end of this week. You may be looking for fun and creative activities to enjoy with the kids. There are several resources listed below that can turn up the level of excitement for the little ones Thanksgiving. Hope you find the resources helpful and ENJOY!

These websites have resources for:

ASL Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids

ASL Thanksgiving Song-Barb Wifi

Sign Translation (basic)

For hearing people:Barb states that each sign is signed four times and then at the end a word is sign once. You  will see that by the …..between the first four words and the last word.

Thanksgiving(signed 4times)

Plan(signed 4 times)

Cook (signed 4 times)

Smell (signed 4times)…..good (signed once)

Invite (signed 4 times)

Children (signed 4 times)

Adults(signed 4 times)

Hello(signed 4 times)

Welcome(signed 4 times)…come in (signed once)

Share (signed 4 times)

Pie(signed 4 times)

Eat(signed 4 times)…..full (signed once)

Talk(signed 4 times)

Enjoy (signed 4 times)

Happy(signed 4 times)

Clean(signed 4 times)

Rest…(signed once)

Thanksgiving Snipets-Rob Neilson

Great video but no caption for hearing people who have not learned ASL. However, still great to watch! Can also be a great resource for those who have taken sign language to practice receptive skills.

BLOG RSOURCES

Mrs. Schenk’s JK Adventures

Thanksgiving turkey hand print-free handout

One Perfect Day

Thanksgiving Activities

Great video to show an ASL 1 class about the differences between signed communication. Often students think American Sign Language is universal but it is not. The professional educator in this video gives great visuals of differences between several languages. Enjoy!

leadArticle @ Deaf Immigrants Event at Cal Baptist on July 28,2013

Website : Hector Project  (A non-profit organization that provides resources for Deaf Immigrants such as ASL classes, job search and referrals)

On Sunday July 28, 2013 I was fortunate to volunteer at the Leaders Empowering Advocacy for the Deaf (LEAD) event created by Immigration Law Offices of Hadley Bajramovic (ILOHB) hosted at Cal Baptist University. This is my second time participating in this event and each time I am blessed with a tremendous experience.

Speaking for myself, I often focus on the “don’t haves” in my life instead of the “do-haves”. This experience reminded me of the basic needs I have and the over and above indulgences I have compared to those who have less based on the status they have in this country we call so great. Side note: there are people who are citizens of the land of opportunity and their needs are not met, which is sad. That only those who the country deem worthy “elite” to have all the joy and prosperity that it has to offer and the poor, less fortunate, middle class and black sheep of this US must work twice as hard, live without and suffer to partake in a piece of the American Dream which never actually transpires. Back to the topic….LEAD.

As I volunteered as an interpreter, I learned so much about the level of language comprehension and expression in deaf immigrants compared to mainstreamed deaf society. I enjoyed finding creative ways to convey concepts of ASL at individual levels of comprehension. These types of encounters which were not always the case  opened my mind to developing my skills and enduring I provided accurate interpretation for the clients served at the event.

At the end of the event a gentleman asked if I could interpret for him with a police officer who was a guest speaker at the event. I cannot share to much of his story but the point that it was all too common of a story about law enforcement and the misconduct and treatment of people who are immigrants, have disabilities or are other ethnicities. His experience was sad but what is worse is the fact that as an interpreter, woman of color and a disability advocate it is difficult to not become desensitized when you hear these experiences. Law enforcement will not change but we have to equip special populations with tools to educate them and protect them against these encounters.

Law enforcement is not the only problem for immigrants. Side note again: Riverside Police Department shared that  police officers are no longer able to pull someone over and ask their immigration status (racial profiling) wish they would be the same where they would stop pulling over people of color based on ethnicity..any who…we will see how successful this is. Back to the other concern shared by the officer that immigrants are afraid of being deported or getting into trouble by being here illegally they are often victims of crime in which they do not report the crime because of fear and criminals prey on this population. The department is looking for ways to connect with this community to encourage them to stand up and speak out.

So many lessons in one day. To sum it up attending this event stimulated a desire to serve others, to appreciate the “haves” in my life, and as I grow in my field, life and educating others, I would like to remain connected to a cause that will make a difference for me, the community and the students I work with.