Tag Archive: deaf community


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

Good insight on what it is like to be deaf. It reminded me of  some of my experiences as a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) with a deaf parent and siblings. So often, as hearing people we take things for granted (our hearing) and the small things we do not think twice about a deaf person has to think four times about. I am sooo appreciative that I was raised in a deaf household! This experience has taught me to not take life for granted and the small or big things that come along with it. My childhood gives me the motivation to get involved; to advocate and educate others on deafness and disabilities. All I can say is thankyou mom and brothers because of your lives, your struggles, your visions….I am. (I am a CODA, I am an advocate, I am passionate, I am bilingual, I am blessed, I am empathetic, I am loved, I am empowered….I am)

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:)

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

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.

What are your thoughts?

Video provided through Ohlone College Deaf Studies Division