Tag Archive: Hearing impairment


When I look in the mirror, I see a person who is not content and looking for a way to be content with the life I have been given and has reached a clear understanding of her purpose. My faith and spirituality teaches that in all things be content because being content will present new opportunities when  appreciative for what one has and where one is but this is not the case for me. Have you ever felt that life is a never-ending race, a chase of a dream, a mission to find out who you are and your purpose? I feel like that each time I look into the mirror.

Some days I see the beauty and accomplishments in life and other days it seems like it is not enough. I question my purpose in life. I think I have participated in every activity of the “search for me”.. dream boards, goal statements, life plans, in-depth discussions and prayer you name it I probably have done it and I am still at the same point. Smiling for a moment…I think about all the things I just mentioned just to figure out who I am, my purpose and aspirations…should’nt I know this because the best person to know me is me. Moving on……

If you were to ask me what I thought my life purpose is I would say to make a difference in the education of the hearing community in regards to the deaf community. To advocate and provide  a service to the deaf community where there are needs. Why? From birth to this moment  it seems as though I have always stay connected to the deaf community through every job or opportunity I have had is connected to sign language, deaf community, deaf rights, deaf…deaf…deaf. I love being with this community but I want to do more, however, what does more look like? Maybe more is challenging my education in this topic, maybe more is being more involved, maybe more is simply letting go and letting God lead me exactly where I should be and with who I should be. I will admit, when I am teaching sign language or deaf culture or working with deaf individuals I feel such a passion inside, a spirit excitement ,of home and of love. Then why do I look in the mirror and see discontent and a never ending search?

I think it is because as a human being enough is never enough there is always more. Being content may be a distant goal because I don’t ever remember being taught to be content instead I was taught to be successful, to do more and be more. This post is serving as a sounding board into a small part of my emotional life and goals. As I type this I am thinking of content and what that looks like and how to remain that way. I am thinking of how to prepare myself for the next time I look in the mirror what will my statement be.

It will be…..This is it! My special place, my space of content wherever and whoever I am, a place to be me and live in my purpose…A place of peace, not just a moment in time where all is well but a lifetime that feels like that moment. When I look in the mirror, I am…..exceptional.

I will remind myself as a man thinketh so is he…think content and blessed. Proverbs 23:7

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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)

A few years ago I encountered the word “Deafhood” at first glance I assumed it was a label for the deaf community, the unity of it or deaf identity. As years have passed with more research I am learning more about “deafhood” and its imprtance to deaf individuals.I have read  different perspectives on this term/concept anyhow I attached five videos of an interview with  Paddy Ladd(the person who coined the term deafhood) interviewed by Joey Baer (www.joeybaer.com)

Feel free to share your thoughts on this “Deafhood”.

Interesting that across the nation, countries realized the importance to meet the needs of the Deaf community. Even though access and equality have been a slow process it is better late than never along with the continued hope of brighter future.

Often as an educator, blogger and human being. I begin to rant about all the information in my head. Not a one moment do I think stop and ask if the person listening or sharing in the conversation have a question or insight to share. I know quite often I learn best through discussions and interactions with others. Therefore, what questions do you have about the Deaf community, Deaf culture and/or American Sign Language? Or what insight do you have and would like to share with readers to help us gain a better understanding pertaining to these subjects. I would love to hear from you.

Blessings, Love and Light,

Dahlene

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:)

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International Symbol of Deafness / Hard of Hea...

International Symbol of Deafness / Hard of Hearing This symbol indicates individual(s) who is deaf, hard of hearing, or having some degrees of hearing loss. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Office of Deaf Access is a California Government Department of Social Services program that provides resources to Deaf, Hard of hearing and Hearing communities that work with Deaf. It has a wealth of information and can be of assistance to bridging the gap of information between the deaf and hearing communities.

Office of Deaf Access website: Offers resources for medical professions, education, field officers and employers. As well as hosting a directory for Deaf consumers who are looking for mental health, social services and other programs and a list of service providers for each region.

Retrieved from website 5/1/13:

HISTORY : In 1980, at the urging of California’s deaf community, the California State Legislature and the Governor created the Office of Deaf Access (ODA) to administer the state’s Deaf Access Program (DAP). The DAP was created to ensure that state operated public programs address the communication needs of people who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing and late-deafened.

PURPOSE : The ODA has two primary purposes. First, it acts as a liaison between the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Director’s Office and the deaf community, various programs, agencies, and other organizations concerned with deafness or hearing loss. Second, the ODA provides contract administration and program oversight of CDSS’ contracts with a network of eight, private, non-profit agencies that provide a variety of DAP services to California’s deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing and late-deafened populations.

PUBLICATIONS : The ODA has developed a number of publications that are available for download by clicking on the links provided below. If you are unable to download any of these publications, please contact the ODA and a hard copy can be sent to you. These three brochures are designed to provide American Sign Language assistance in specific communication situations.

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!

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During a trip to Sacramento, CA I visited the Capitol building and as I walked through the hallway I noticed artwork by students ranging from elementary to high school. One artwork category I noticed is “The Best Part of Me”. Students shared how they thought their hair, eyes or smile was the best part of them however; one student in particular said his ear was the best part of him because it allowed him to hear. Sometimes I think our world focuses so much on deaf vs.hearing, culturally deaf vs. medically deaf, signing vs. oral but the important thing is being proud of who you are. This artwork posting reminded me of what is important..just being yourself.

I am happy this little guy is proud of his hearing and his hearing aid. If he ever read this I would say kudos for sharing this with everyone and being proud of yourself and know that you are wonderfully made!

I absolutely love when I find a good video on YouTube to watch! Especially when I need to practice my receptive practice and the best way to do that is by signing with the Deaf community but when time does not allow that the second best way is by watching videos of native signers.Sometimes when I can’t connect with fellow educators, fluent signers or with members of the Deaf community I watch videos to retain my skills as best as I can..smile. Videos of native signers can be from YouTube, resources suggested by RID (Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf), EIPA(Educational Interpreters Performance Assessment) or videos found on material websites such as www.dawnsignpress.com or www.harriscommunications.com.

I found this video on YouTube while looking for idiom videos both English and ASL to teach my students about how English Idioms are used in sign language. I also taught them the common phrases and idioms specific to the deaf community. Teaching Idioms is a lengthy process as students need to understand the definition for the term idioms and then how they are used in the English language. After that we then learn the same information for ASL idioms. At the very end of all that this a great video to show students of idioms at work…maybe a bit much for beginning students but a good video for fluent signers. If you have other suggestions please share.

Until my next post, be encouraged:)