A Journey to Deafhood

I have been getting some requests for “A Journey to Deafhood” ASL Vlog by Genie Gertz to be reposted from my old website. This vlog will help and clarify questions about Deafhood. The most important message in this Vlog is that Deafhood DOES include every Deaf people in our signing community to better understand our experiences and how we can improve lives of Deaf people.


  • DE 18 years ago


    When you first made this video last May, I thought that it was very clear, soothing, and hopeful. After months of Deafhood dialogue with everybody else, I viewed your video again this morning.

    No it wasn’t just “clear, soothing, and hopeful”… It is PERFECT. I think this is the best possible introduction to Deafhood. Thank you. I have learned a lot from you, Ella, Joey, Paddy, and the many others who participated in this Deafhood dialogue.

    I especially like the part when you signed the opposing concepts of “deafness” and “Deafhood”. Deafhood is a process & journey for us all. We all support each other in our journey- wherever we are at various points in our life.

    Onwards to Deaf humanity, unity, and a better life!


  • Fat Boy Rules 18 years ago

    It s great viewpoint of ideology – A various stereotypes from many diversities within Deaf Community… as subjective of social science in characteristic of sub-culture in our society

    We, all Deaf, need to expose our universal fundemental of charactertics: Deafhood – into their accepted views and innovations including philosophical & cultural also artistic in fluency (ASL)

    Way to go!

  • Tara Bennett 18 years ago

    On that part…don’t get me wrong, I can see that they don’t see it at Gallaudet. Back in spring, they mentioned that JKF was not deaf enough. As I watched vlog regarding deafhood and it is funny how it process when Gallaudet don’t see it that way.

  • Fat Boy Rules 18 years ago

    I agree with Tara… It is very sad to say that it may be appear to be backstabbed & biased around the campus.

  • Joey Baer 18 years ago

    That is why it is very important for us to step back and discuss WHY and HOW this happened? It appears to me that there are few issues at Gallaudet that they need to work and resolve them and we need to give them some time to figure out things out.

    It is critical time for all of Deaf people to work together and discuss strategies on how we can improve Deaf people\’s lives – all through from education system to politics to our language and many others. And I strongly believe that Deafhood will help us to analyze ourselves and the situation better in order to have better leadership for Deaf people in the future because Deafhood is already making us to talk about many things.  Take advantage of it because as Deaf people, we have so much to share and find ways to make our lives better.

    Think positive!

  • Tissa Peiris 18 years ago

    Hey Joey! You are a FANTASTIC job!!!
    I watched the clips of Deafhood / their experiences for two times. Wow!! ” Deafhood made me a clear picture of who I am through my experience in Sri Lanka to American” What I mean .
    I think that the importance of Deafhood workshop to take the opportunity to along with the issues to the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) in upcoming next summer in Spain. It would be possible to respread information and increase awareness of the world’s most vulnerable Deaf children. Thank you!

  • carolyn 18 years ago

    Do you notice Genie Gertz don’t mention HOH and CI?

  • Christopher 18 years ago

    This was fantastic, thanks for sharing it!

  • Mike Schmidt 18 years ago

    Carolyn, Genie said “ALL DEAF PEOPLE,” meaning no labeling and no polarization for anyone with hearing loss.

    Looking forward to Part Three!

  • Rene Visco 18 years ago

    I have a problem. I’m skeptical by nature which I think is a good thing to possess.

    Why do we accept the fact that “deafness” is a medical term?

    It bothers me because in “deafness”, there is a BEAUTIFUL word in it: “deaf”.

    Why are we allowing the word, “deafness” to be defined as if it’s a medical condition or “deafness” as a label?

    We should grab the word, “deafness” and define it ourselves. For example, the word, “faggot” was mean and rude in the past. The gay community took it and defined the term themselves.

    Language is always evolving. We must define and expand “deafness” ourselves, not allowing it to be thrown in the same basket of words: “hearing impaired”, “hearing loss”, and etc.

    We cannot afford to allow the medicial community and media to use the word, “deafness” to frame their arguments.

    Don’t let “deafness” be an orphan! It’s a beautiful word because it contains “deaf”!

  • Stephen & Constance Hardy 18 years ago

    I wanted to share a different perspective on “Deafhood” because I think this phenomena has started in 1880. When the convention attendees in Milan, Italy voted to promote A.G. Bell’s oral
    method for schools all over the world created some form of awakening for the Deaf. as a result of this episode paved way for the Deaf to get together and discuss their destiny as a Deaf person.

    Teachers of the Deaf assembled at the 1st National Association of the Deaf convention at Cincinnati, Ohio in 1880. This was the time when each Deaf brothers and sister focusing on their purposes on earth as a Deaf human being. This is where the ‘Deafhood’ started and evolved into who we are today.

    Deafhood is not new but we knew by heart what it was but did not think of a word for it until now. Deaf people knew their true nature when they are around Deaf people also the language they used were so powerful. That was the moment of identity which still continues to today. The real issue is about being within the core of the Deaf being. To elaborate this is to identify people by their signing and spiritual connection with each other. This is so pure and powerful also is in jeopardy because of other agents are trying to eliminate our way of life. We need to check within ourselves and make sure we are in intact with our true nature as a Deaf person.

    The core of the Deaf circle is becoming smaller and smaller because of external influences in our lives. We need to awakening ourselves again to see what is happening within the community. Many Deaf people are not seeing this because of their comfort zone knowing that everything is being taken care of. National Association of the Deaf is no longer part of this circle because NAD is focusing on serving people with various hearing loss customers to stay afloat financially.
    We cannot depend on NAD to protect the core which is very sacred and now Gallaudet is also leading into this path. The Deaf community is getting weaker and weaker because of no values were taught. Why is it worth fighting for the Deaf identity? We need to educate the community why it is worth fighting for until their last breath on earth. People will say well the world is evolving and must accept changes. That is external talk what we are talking about the seed that was planted inside us when we were young. That is something worth fighting for.

    I have traveled to many Deaf clubs and when I see a Deaf child, I asked do you know Laurent Clerc? The Deaf child does not but even their Deaf parents does not know. This is cancerous and must be fixed immediately.

    Deaf leaders have the responsibility to educate and lead the community for life. That is why people like yourself are on earth to full-fill your destiny to preserve the core within the Deaf community. How to preserve it? You can video tape events and create a library of leaders for the next generation to learn from. You can also create a Deaf secret societies that they will feel their worth by protecting their treasures which is ASL.

    Deafhood is a wonderful thing to promote our Deaf race and remind ourselves who we really are also we need to tell the world this is not a new concept. Its been around since 1880’s or before that who knows for sure.

  • LaRonda 17 years ago

    Joey & Genie, Thank you for this vlog. It was wonderful and very reassuring.

    I invite you all to view my own blog entry at: http://www.earofmyheart.com entitled: “Embracing Deafhood.” It is about the journey of deafhood from a Late-Deafened perspective.

    I was so inspired and relieved by Genie’s clarification of the meaning of “deafhood” that I decided to post my own story of my journey into deafhood beginning at the age of 17.

    I realize deafhood is exactly what Genie defines: “A process and a journey of becoming the best deaf person we can be.” I continue to evolve and grow in my own journey. Thank you for the beautiful interpretation.

    LaRonda Zupp

  • Shawn 15 years ago

    Wow!!! Thank you Joey for share that awesome video of GG !!!! Nice and warm video! Happy Thanksgiving 2009 !!!!


Add your comment

Your email address will not be published.