Tag Archive: ASL


 

ASL_Painting.jpg

ASL_Painting.jpg (Photo credit: robert.barney)

As technology advances opportunities evolve in teaching American Sign Langauge. I am taking an online class to learn how to become a certified online educator. In this class the technology I am learning about and how it can be applied in my field is amazing. Often as an educator being complacent is a danger to both me and the students. The learning environment should be innovative, exciting and inspiring. It has been proven in numerous research that students learn best in this kind of environment. Especially now with the common core movement, teachers of all backgrounds to include core classes, electives and career technical education classes are encouraged to develop project-based assignments with a real-life relevance for students to participate in and learn from. This online training has my mind turning as to how I can apply more web 2.0 tools into my curriculum which is what students are using anyway.

So far in this class, I have learned about screen casting, google docs, presentations and more, as well as simple programs such as snipping tool that have been on my computer all this time that I never used…lol. Wow! This proves I need to explore a bit more. I have also taken a look at how Oovoo can be used as a tool in a sign language class. I never bothered to look at it before but now that I have Oovoo allows up to 12 people to interact at one time, students can send video messages, chat live, send written messages and watch YouTube videos with friends. This type of technology can open the door or provide continual development for complete online or blended (online &face to face) ASL classes. Of course there are other tools that can be used but this is a short list of examples.

A complete online ASL class maybe a challenge as ASL is a language that requires interaction more often face to face but as the world evolves and technology advances the deaf community is already connecting via web tools and online resources. The Deaf community is evolving too in methods of  socializing, techniques in education and technology to make environments “deaf friendly”.

Online learning is a trend in education that is growing and looks as though it is thriving and great success is happening. I would love for ASL to be a part of this trend that will become permanent. Even if educators considered offering ASL as part of a blended program both face to face and online offerings. This type of program would be great in to begin high schools and community colleges.

I do want to note that there are websites that have already begin using online curriculums and teach classes completely online. Therefore, it’s possible and is being done. I have not seen this yet in high schools, colleges nor universities and this is where I would like to see it begin.

So the driving question is why not?

Why not have an  ASL class completely online which opens the door for increased student enrollment?

Or maybe the class can be  blended  part online and part face to face?

What are the benefits/drawbacks of an online ASL course?

What are your thoughts?

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English: A collection of pictograms. Three of ...

English: A collection of pictograms. Three of them used by the United States National Park Service. A package containing those three and all NPS symbols is available at the Open Icon Library (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It seems odd that I would ask this type of question especially with my background but very often people ask me is deafness a disability? Or is it a handicap? Or both?

My answer is that Deaf (Big D) individuals do not see it as a disability nor handicap but instead a unique way of life and a culture bonded by a common language. Deaf individuals do not focus on what they cannot do but what they can do- this would the disability vs. ability perspective. Hearing individuals tend to focus on the limitations associated with deafness until they are introduced to the “can do” perspective of a deaf person.

The hearing communities and deaf organizations have established programs and resources for deaf individuals to have equal access, resources and opportunities to be successful and a productive citizen in society based on what may be perceived as a disability. On average deaf individuals appreciate and utilize the resources and opportunities provided but they take advantage of the offers not because they feel and agree with the disabled perspective but to use the resources to accomplish goals, to advance and to thrive.

According to www.ehow.com

Disability Defined
  • According to the World  Health Organization, a  disability is “any restriction or lack (resulting from any impairment) of  ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered  normal for a human being.”

Handicap Defined

The World Health Organization’s definition of a handicap is the “loss or  limitation of opportunities to take part in the life of the community on an  equal level with others; encounter a person with disability and social,  physical environment. Is an inability to accomplish something one might want to  do. The term emphasize the focus on shortcomings in the environment and in many  tasks and activities, ex. in education, occupation, information or communication  (social dimension).”Read more:  Difference Between Disability & Handicap | eHow http://www.ehow.com/facts_6141081_difference-between-disability-handicap.html#ixzz2TQ7D4Ymx

According to www.wisegeek.com

Impairment: occurs when there is a problem that affects the normal human body structure or organ.

Disability: refers to the way in which the impairment restricts the movements and activities of the individual.

Handicap: stems from the extent of restriction that the impairment and disability impose on the individual. The criteria for measuring the handicap is by assessing how other normal people in such a situation would cope. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-difference-between-impairment-disability-and-handicap.htm

 

All that being said, which there is more to the Disability vs. handicap topic, how do you define each and what do you think the difference is and which applies to the deaf ? Maybe your perspective is that neither applies to the community.

What are your thoughts respectively shared:)

My wonderful students have been practicing and planning an ASL Showcase. Students will perform acts, skits and songs that are translated into Sign Language. You do not need to be fluent in ASL to enjoy the show, only have a willingness to have fun and experience something new.

The event will take place at:

Redlands High School

"A-S-L" signed with American Sign La...

“A-S-L” signed with American Sign Language, combined Image:Sign language A.svg, Image:Sign language S.svg and Image:Sign language L.svg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

840 East Citrus Avenue

Redlands, CA 92374

Clock Auditorium

6-8pm

Entrance fee of $5.00 at the door

The showcase will include a raffle, vendors and great snacks.

imagesCA8QPK11During this week, a local reporter and photographer interviewed myself and some of my students for  a story for the Redlands Daily Facts newspaper. It was such a great opportunity and experience for me and the students. We were able to share about the wonderful events and learning experiences we are involved in and the difference we are seeking to make in ourselves, school campus and the hearing and deaf communities. We landed a space on the front cover of the newspaper and on the 3rd page of another newspaper titled The Sun.

So often it seems that the positive in the world goes unheard or is ignored to pay attention to the negative going on in the world. This articles highlights some of the positive that happens daily in my classroom and how students apply what they learn in outside of class.

On a personal note, I felt good to be able to share my passion for deaf culture and American Sign Language and how the topic I teach has made a difference to some students that are connected with the class. It also gave me a bit of inspiration to hang in there because sometimes as a teacher we are at the very bottom of the totem pole for recognition and at the very top of the totem pole for blame. This article along with a select group of students reminded me of the short-term and long-term rewards of teaching. To see a students smile because they were able to sign to a deaf person, to read a report about how learning  ASL has changed their life, to hear about the college or career the student selected just because it involves Sign Language and to simply feel the passion a student shows because of how connected they are to the topic. For these experiences I am grateful to simply be an educator.

A link to the article is below, enjoy:)

Silent World Gains A Voice

Hello Everyone !

It has been some time since my last post. I apologize but  life simply happened and I have been so busy. My students are preparing for their first ASL showcase, we are signing stories at the local library and I have been attending common core training. Too many things too little time…smile.                                                              travel

This week’s post is about travel resources for the deaf community where hearing people are welcomed too.

Last week, my class learned vacation themed signs and that Deaf people enjoy going on vacation  and types of accommodations they should have rather in a hotel or airport. One of the main concerns deaf individuals may have at times is accessibility and receiving information given to travelers on cruises, flights, tours and other travel. I gave them an  homework assignment  to look for deaf friendly travel agencies  that include resources and accommodations for the deaf, other important services, destinations and contact information.

One of my students researched The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) this act sets requirements for disability access at airports and airlines. Great idea! I will give some information on the ACT.

1. Prohibits U.S. and foreign airlines from discriminating on passengers based on disability

2. requires Airlines, facilities and services accessible to passengers with disabilities

3. Require airlines to take steps to accommodate passengers with a disability.

Key information:

1. Passengers must let airline personnel know they are deaf, hard of hearing or deaf blind and the services they will need.

2. The airline must make information available through text or the best resource for the passenger.

3. Service Animals are permitted

4.Safety Assistants are permitted to travel with people who are deaf-blind

5.All televisions must have caption in the airport

Hotels, Motels and other like businesses ADA requirements: This law applies to all lodging (except for  buildings in which the owner lives and that have five or fewer rooms for rent)

1. Must provide auxiliary services when necessary to ensure communication, unless it would result in an undue burden or fundamental alteration. Auxiliary services can be an interpreter , computer-aided transcription services, written materials, amplified headset, open and closed captioning telephones compatible with hearing aids, video texts displays or other effective methods. No charge can be given for this.

2.Hotels and other lodging must be installed audio and visual  flashing fire/smoke alarms, doorbell lights, electrical outlet for TTY use near telephones, can provide assistive listening devices.

If you need to file a complaint you can contact: http://www.ada.gov/t3compfm.htm

Summer will be here soon are you looking for a Deaf friendly travel agency???? Here are some resources they found below:

www.greatdeafvacations.com

www.handsontvl.com

www.ncl.com

www.kerstinsdeaftravel.com

www.passagesdeaftravel.com

www.disabledholidaydirectory.co.uk

travel 2Happy Travel!

help images

Help, I need somebody,
Help, not just anybody,
Help, you know I need someone, help! The Beatles – Help! Lyrics

As a teacher every now and then we may teach topics we may not know the technical term for but we now what we are teaching and how to teach it. Sometimes, I will teach a topic and someone will ask if I teach a certain topic or make a comment on the topic I teach and when they use the technical term..I think oh yes that is what is called. My motto is I am always learning and I seek to learn something new as often as possible therefore I am in a constant learning process. What I think I know…. I don’t and what I think I don’t know…I do, odd how that works. However, I know that I know I want to always put my best effort forth and when I am not familiar with a topic I am going to research or ask for help until I get an  answer I understand. Therefore, I was introduced to these four topics some of the topic I knew already and the others I did some research to make sure I understood and now I want other educators, native signers or those knowledgable about linguistics to shed some light. If you could give definitions and examples of how you use this in content, that would be great!

These are 4 topics : Classifiers; Discourse Analysis; Register and ASL Sentence Types. 

Thankyou for your help and feedback!

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” – Dr. Seuss

Moments of Gratitude

English: wiktionary:thank you diagrammatically...

English: wiktionary:thank you diagrammatically shown in British Sign Language (BSL). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over the weekend a number of my students and I volunteered at a deaf community event. I had a great time! It almost felt like I was at home in my circle again (with my mom and brother who have passed on) it reminded me how much I enjoyed communicating with them and how much I enjoy sign language.

Seeing familiar faces and being welcomed by deaf individuals I have never met always gives me that “warm fuzzy feeling”..lol. Like I am with people I belong with. To add icing to the cake, I saw my first ASL teacher! I started ASL classes in the interpreting program around 1996 and normally ASL/Interpreting teachers and fellow students judge me when they find out I am CODA (Child of Deaf Adults). They treat me differently or expect me to know everything. I am not God! I only know what I know and can be who I can be. She always did that for me..accepted me as I am and required me to improve and always look for something new. I have great memories of her I can’t say that for every teacher but for her I am.

It also felt good for students to see me sign and interact with other signers. Sometimes, I know they wonder how well I can sign and can they trust who they are learning from. This opportunity allowed them to see my skills at work and accept that I may know a little something..smiling. I also saw students sign more than ever and in such a natural manner unlike the guided classroom practice and pre-written conversations for them to copy and perform. Students returned the following day and shared all of their great experiences. This opportunity allowed them to “Dive in Deaf World” and that is all I can ask for.

I am always thankful for my culture deaf/hearing, thankful my language-ASL/English, thankful for my passion, family and thankful for great teachers who inspired me years ago and continue to inspire me now.

Now that it has happened..what did you think about the Switched at Birth Sign Language Episode?

This video shared why they decided to produce this episode.
It is fabulous that they did this and it reminded me of what my life was like in a deaf household….sign..sign..sign:)
Love-it(Kiss-fist)

What are your thoughts?