The U.S. Deaf Community needs YOUR HELP NOW!  In this guest vlog DE shares his recent experience in Sweden, the country reputed for their Deaf Education system and societal celebration of Deaf people. A possible, but very effective, solution to the U.S. Deaf Community’s problems is discussed here.


  • Dim Sum 17 years ago

    How about we deaf people stop fighting among ourselves and welcome everyone into the community.

    Deaf people need to become more active in advocating sign language not just with deaf children but with all children. For instance, Deaf people need to teach Baby Sign Language and take on a greater role in promoting this for all children.

    The problem with the AG Bell Association is that it is funded by a trust with very specific wishes. Even though it’s very old, it’s a very wealthy organization. The deaf community needs to build wealthy and have an endowment fund to ensure that it will continue to advocate sign language and education for many years to come. Without funding, the Deaf community might find it moving backwards.

  • Tar 17 years ago

    Wonderful, thank you for share with us. I have heard about this issue a lot about their positive system protect our deaf children’s rights. I really hope that we are going to do something in U.S.A soon.. *Thank Sweden, we gotta to credit them”

  • Suzy 17 years ago

    I agree with that our language comes first like when baby is born, if teach verbal or sign language. Sign language would be the first language to learn!

    I know once language is established then the education would become clearer to follow up….

    So, what do we do to make it clear to the USA?

    Gallaudet University is the only Deaf University in the USA, it could have made the impact since then.
    No more advertisement on Cochlear implants but ASL.

    A= American
    S= Sign
    L= Language

    AMERICAN??? Why not make it actually AMERICAN as majority instead of “minority”?

  • FYI - Man 17 years ago

    I am curious if you can provide us some stats on comparison between USA an Sweden in level of education among youth? If stats shows Sweden’s deaf youth have higher education level than USA deaf youth then we can show the evidence that signing works best for kids.

  • drmzz 17 years ago

    Wow, true biz. That is where COMMON SENSE is born! Even HoH people GETS IT there compared to some bloggers here who STILL do not get it and respect others’ right to sign language aka ASL. It makes them look incredibly pathetic now, really. This is doable. Let’s see action. I heard about this trip so thanks for sharing!

  • Merle Baldridge 17 years ago

    This is a MUST to happen in America ASAP.
    Our Deaf children are suffering from hunger in ASL for many years. I give all my support to DE and Joey in showing this Vlog to everyone in NorthWest Deaf and hearing community. Please give out this website to everyone who you know or meet in the nearest future.

  • White Ghost 17 years ago

    Darn…..Wish that the AG Bell organization and their sponsors are discontinue and dissolve.

    If I were millionaire or billionaire, I would love to donate lots of money to DBC.

    We have to do something to win the lottery to ax the AG Bell organization.

    Darn…..what can we do? Funds!

    Don’t let AG Bell control all of us.

    Dim Sim is right at his point about the endowment fund to ensure the advocate of the ASL.

    Funds, funds, funds — that is the real problem.

    We steadfastly advocate the ASL to the nation if we get the wealthy organization.


    White Ghost

  • don't steal 17 years ago

    All funds, endowment, etc., are for deaf children and their educational needs in order to preserving the language. Grassroots must not steal any from the deaf children who need support!

  • John Egbert 17 years ago

    NAD should go over to Sweden for a month to learn more about how we can be the same as Sweden for Deaf babies and children in schools. And also help parents too.

    We should all work together for one goal, Deaf Baby’s Rights.

  • Karen Mayes 17 years ago


    So are the Deaf Child’s Bill of Rights which is slowly being passed in more states the next step to the unity of the deaf community, for the deaf children’s sake? Or the Deaf Child’s Bill of Rights are not sufficient enough for bringing about the success of deaf children?

    I think it is cool… but I don’t feel that the states passing the Deaf Child’s Bill of the Rights is sufficient. I think that USA Congress should set up and pass the Deaf Child’s Bill of the Rights, instead of the states, which would quickly and speedily brining about the success of the deaf children in no time.

    So we should look to the universities which are more open to the idea of bilingualism and enlist their aid… hmmmm….

  • Deaf Californian 17 years ago

    Since Sweden is a small country with a much smaller population & less diversity than here in USA, it would make sense that Sweden would be able to create great milestones for the deaf community. However, it is hard to say if their model would be proved to be effective here since USA is such a big country of 300 million people along with so many cultures involved! Maybe we should only let states use the model on their own & see how results are so notes can be compared!

  • Don R. 17 years ago

    DE’s presentation should be distributed to every person all across the country that has anything to do with the Deaf, whether he/she is ASL user or an oralist. Every person!
    Thanks to all who made that trip possible!
    Don R.

  • Penny 17 years ago

    It is good to see you back, DE. I thought where in the world are you, smile. Thanks for sharing with us and give us positive motivation to do something about children rights. John Egbert…AGB and NAD have relationship together. They use each other for monies, politics and power. I hope you will get grants and have DBC to become the most powerful organization in USA. I want you to be the President of DBC because you walk the talk and you care about Deaf children. Since NAD and AGB have love relationship, it is not possible to separate them. NAD has not been doing ANYTHING for Deaf children\\\’s rights for so many years. They approved on book \\\”SEE\\\” to teach Deaf children. Shame on them! They have not made public apology or anything. I will not invest my energy with them. Once DBC becomes official non profit organization, I have no doubt that DBC will shake our country and we will finally be heard! Believe me! One more here…You are our Veditz today. DE you also did ALOT for Deaf children\’s rights. I did not mean to exclude you. 🙂 I know many others are fighting with us for children rights but you did ALOT. Accept my compliment. Thanks!

  • LaRonda 17 years ago

    Very inspiring vlog. Still, I can’t help but wonder what makes it so easy in Sweden? How did they get everyone on board for SSL? I would want to know their process of how they arrived with everyone on the same page. Is it cultural? Here in America, we are made up of so many different cultures and we are a melting pot. We seem to cherish our individuality and right to be different and unique and have freedom of choice. While I absolutely support Sweden’s model and vision of sign language communication and appropriate education for all Deaf, I am hungry to know how they got everyone in their country on board. Your vlog shares their vision, but not yet their model or process of getting there. We have the what, but not yet the how. That’s what I would want to see next. Keep up the research. Our eyes are wide open!

    Big hand waves!

    ~ LaRonda

  • Judge 17 years ago

    John Egbert: We should send HLA (AGB) there to learn!

    Thanks for sharing the story with us.

  • Deb Ann 17 years ago

    the video clip doesn’t work on my computer.

    Only the works for me. I guess that I am still new.

  • Deaf Socrate's Trail 17 years ago

    America, good question Sweden has very strong objective for Deaf children rights I am not surprised but this country we have too many problems due to compititive and money often bring up good question but not the same way what in Sweden Deaf community they live under socialism they already establish long time! ago!!! In this country. We Deaf community live under democracy! Deaf community must remove or elimate ‘Babel” toward a language- ASL and education I can understand Sweden I would support that all the way! but in America, Too many barriers to that objective, you are right about great obstale barrier ! Money and democracy often confuse many of us politically! Tell me how many of any Deaf or Hard of hearing community would support the new legal for Deaf children have right to educate bilingually, funcitionally, and socially depend on each states?

  • John Critser 17 years ago

    Something has struck me. For the very reason of the Milan Conference in year 1880, we started going backwards, then thanks to technology, we have gone further backwards. Why don’t we form our own “Milan Conference II” and reverse the findings of the people who decreed to shut the hands, ASL and the signed languages of the world? Form a powerful worldwide coalition to promote the use of ASL in our educational system, why not? Beginning with Stockholm, with America rallying for this cause? AGB might be a wealthy organization with sound funding, but who can beat a more sound coalition that is worldwide?

  • Longtime NAD Member 17 years ago

    It is NAD’s duty!

    As a longtime NAD member, I am VERY disappointed with NAD in the last few years.

    This is what NAD is all about, what NAD should do for us deaf people.

    N-A-D, as simple as that.

  • jay 17 years ago

    it wont happen in usa but u got to try

    yes i have heard abt sweden and it will be needed big leadership for this job as impact as who person well known to go legal process in the capital make the law and pass it once

    oral language against asl
    s.e.e language against asl
    other competition against asl
    will they happy to advocated all into one asl language huh

    we gotta try and make it happen

    i am vote for sweden systems blend into usa

  • Karen 17 years ago

    I agree with someone saying that” if we have stats that shows the compariison between Sweden kids and US kids. If stats shows Sweden’s deaf youth have higher education level than USA deaf youth then we can show the evidence that signing works best for kids. ” (5)


  • Thanks for sharing... 17 years ago

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Possible solution… for our dying Deaf communities. I would prefer that Deaf persons involved in making the bills either in states or nation. Too often the bills are made without our knowledge, or we overlook those bills… Or, worst yet, we may disagree with such bills. So, the position(s) in the system should be reserved for the Deaf person(s) regardless!

    Perfect example ~ ADA! It was made without us until the last minutes before it was done. And we are not happy with ADA.

  • Thanks for sharing... 17 years ago

    Okay, we need to figure out how we get the funds for this kind of change…

    Like B.A.D., please do something, no more talking… What? How do we collect the funds? I am willing to learn how to do so…

    Anyone? Any idea??

  • DeafSwimmer 17 years ago

    Hello Joey or DE,
    Oh wow, this is an excellent to share with us about SDR.. However, I just want to ask you if you can put the website of SDR because I cant get it from vlog.. I would love to look it into their system of SDR? Can you put their website in your blog so that we can link the website… Thanks…

    DeafSwimmer 🙂

  • Joey Baer 17 years ago

    To respond to some of questions above, Sweden started this 30-40 years ago and now they have a system in place.

    That’s something we need to do – to establish a similar system and it takes time.

    Think globally, Act locally!

  • Welch's ASL Jice! 17 years ago

    Great vlog! The problems are: 1. Many Deaf people are passive that they accept or allow hearing people to take over or control us. We, Deaf people, need STOP being passive! 2. Not many Deaf leaders. We need more leaders. The reason for not many Deaf leaders in America is because they are passive. 3. Don’t know how to fight back because they let hearing people control or overcome us. There several more points but overall we are making habit to allow hearing people to control or overcome us. We need to STOP and to overcome the hearing leaderships in Deaf community for good. Before the 1880 Milan, some hearing people were under Deaf editors. But what happen to us? We need to get up from a couch potato to work harder overcome with good!

  • Sandra 17 years ago

    Deaf and HOH must unite like 1st DPN . Interpreters and educated hearing (knowing deaf culture, etc) will support you. Educational system needs to hear from you. This is my personal opinion. I have worked/interpreted in the Deaf community 30 years and think it is time for Deaf and HOH to unite and make your wishes known.

  • Thanks for sharing... 17 years ago

    Obviously, Deaf leadership training are in great need. We had that a long, long time ago under NAD. Does NAD still train Deaf leadership?? If not, then we can take care ourselves. I was planning to get this done under this state assocation, but I have committement… So, this is much needed. I remember I have mentioned that a while ago. STOP talking, and start action, smile!

  • Paul Kiel 17 years ago

    DE, thank you for sharing your experiences with Swedish Deaf Community. We ought to copy their ideas and plans for USA.

    We need to prove it that mental health among deaf using ASL fare BETTER than oralism. It is a proven FACT that mental health among deaf do SUFFER.

    It is the abuse that has been prolonged since 1880.

    We have to show the world what happened and what we would like to see what can happen.

    I will make a vlog this weekend to make points about what caused a lot of problems the last 127 soon to be 128 years of poor Deaf education.

    Keep up the good work! DE you did hit the nail on its head about Sweden.


  • Carl Schroeder 17 years ago

    NAD had gone awry. NAD went somewhere between being the chief distributor of the SEE book and the supporter of cochlear implants. NAD needs to redefine its mission that focuses on defending ASL as “the noblest gift” and Deaf people of all ages as human beings who need ASL, not SEE or cochlear implants.

  • Cynthia K 17 years ago

    Sweden’s ed system sounds great! How can we get America “on board”? Children don’t have the children’s rights here like in Sweden. Deaf children are still taught SEE in public schools then have to learn ASL. They should be taught ASL the whole time. Hearing parents of Deaf children should be taught ASL the same way public schools teach English to Spanish speaking parents.

    Let’s go for Children’s rights!!!!!!! ASL all the way!

  • Stephen Hardy 17 years ago

    Sweden’s political system (Socialist) allows this because this is a collective system of agencies with one goal in mind.

    America’s political system (democracy) does not allow this because in our constitution we are individuals.

    The Department of Education needs a major reform in the method of teaching the Deaf children. Auditory philosophy does NOT always work with profoundly Deaf children. If they think so and that is the HEARING thinking and not the Deaf. Hearing educators thinks they can teach Blind people how to paint colors and live in the color world. This is the problem within our educational system.

  • Yerker Andersson 17 years ago

    A friend of mine informed me about this vlog and comments today. Of course, I watched the vlog and read all the comments. After having lived from birth to youth in Sweden and been involved in the activities of the Stockholm club for 5 years, I want to say a few explanations. The parliament and the government in Sweden not only consult but also encourage SDR and the organizations of parents and teachers to work together before bringing proposals up. Such parctice cannot occur in the US just because the Congress is willing to listen to both individuals and groups. Cooperation and centralization at all the levels are more required in Sweden than in the US. It is not possible to explain more here. But try to appreciate their cultural and political differences before attempting to make changes in our own world. In short, we must work together regardless where we are! Yerker

  • Judy 17 years ago

    I love this. I am wondering if it is possible for DBC tgo develop a press release or a list of different vlogs and blogs’ comments about ASL and Bilingual to the local news and newspaper all over the nation. The list would consist of:
    The greatest irony by Amy Cohen
    DBC by DE, Ella Mae Lentz and Gertie
    ASL Issues by Carl Schroeder
    Deaf Edcuation/Bilingual by Barb DiGi
    “Elephant in a room” by Ella Mae Lentz
    few others….(i cannot think of their names) with the links and their comments for us, the Deaf community to have the local news and newspaper to talk about ASL and Bilingual/Bicultural to spread the words of the great awareness and possible of more supporters out there to join in our bandwagons to have ASL into Bilingual as a mandate for all Deaf educations.

    If you (DBC or Joey Baer) could develop this one list for us to spread the words, that would be the beginning for us to start the action.

    what do you think?


  • Penny 17 years ago


    I appreciate you sharing how things work in Sweden. I learned something new from you. You have been involved in NAD for many years, I believe. We would appreciate very much if you can tell NAD officers/staff to do something about it rather than just carrying briefcases around. I like Carl’s suggestion that NAD needs to rewrite their mission. If they do then that will be a good start. Are they willing? I don’t want them to carry briefcases and spent hours dreaming and chatting but to ACT now and ACT fast before it gets too late. Thanks.

  • DE 17 years ago


    Ok- some of you asked for HOW Sweden got there. The best book I’ve read on that would be “EDUCATING DEAF CHILDREN BILINGUALLY” by Shawn Neal Mahshie. This book tells how (approx. 30 years ago) both Sweden and Denmark changed their system. Awesome book!

    As for Denmark, unfortunately- recently they dropped Sign Language, and now their system is crashing. Crashing so bad that several families are sending their Deaf children to Swedish Deaf schools instead.

    This is a lesson for us- Denmark AND Sweden had a similar system for the last 30 years, but the Sweden Deaf Community kept a close look to their system even today. Nowadays, over 90% of Swedish Deaf students are cochlear-implanted, but many of them still attend bilingual Deaf schools/programs. That’s a testament to the Sweden Deaf Community’s power- they kept close tabs on children, programs, hospitals, different organizations, and especially on how parents are informed.

    Now– as for the perception that it’d be “impossible” to duplicate Sweden’s system here in the good ol’ U.S.— my response is- WAIT A MIN… we haven’t even tried to WORK together yet! That’s the point of my current vlog… for OUR Deaf organizations (not AGB, hospitals, etc. nope not yet) to SIT DOWN together and PRIORITIZE our goals into simple but powerful means that EVERYBODY in our community can rally behind.

    Even Mahshie’s book has a chapter debunking the “yes, but…we can’t do it here!” mentality. She pointed out that we don’t have to aim nationally- we can do it locally and state by state. California is seriously looking into this, and we will invest our energies for the California Deaf Education system to improve for the better. You can do the same with your local system and/or your state’s.

    Lastly– while Sweden is a socialist system, the Deaf community STILL has to ACTIVELY apply for grants, services, legislation, government policies, etc. They do NOT sit back and wait for their government to come to ’em and ask ’em what they want.

    That’s the point– the Sweden Deaf Community is PROACTIVE in every sense of the word. We can and WILL do the same here in the U.S., irrespective of our different political system and avenues.

    At heart, the Deaf Community is the same all over the universe- we just gotta get our act together and stick to universal priorities- Sign Language and good Deaf education for ALL children.

    And, some of you are asking “what do we do now”. Before we react, let’s think carefully and analyze what needs to be done first. Lately, I’ve been asked that question for everything- “yes, I wanna do something NOW”. My response as always, is, “NOW? Think. Yeah, think first.” We gotta analyze our system, how our organizations are doing, how to pull the Deaf community together, how to work with various groups, etc. first before acting.

    Thinking, itself, is action as well.

    More later,


  • Gunsbut 17 years ago


  • Thanks for sharing... 17 years ago

    Ok, DE, sure, can we share our thinkings here? And establsih the chart to see where the organizations ought be. Who will take care of that? DBC? We need to gather somehow (through v/blogs) and discuss further? Eh? What do you think of this? Something we could share nationwide?


  • debby 17 years ago

    United We Stand, Divided We Fall
    Which Deaf organizations and Deaf schools in U.S. that are willing to unite in one and help NAD a strong organization and educate hearing people about d/Deaf children/ Deaf’s rights and ASL? Name them?

  • Deaf Californian 17 years ago

    Has anyone read the book named “Deaf Diaspora” written by Bob Ayres? It is an excellent book addressing many issues that affect deaf schools & deaf culture in general. For anyone who read this book, he or she will discover the actual truths about how deaf schools & culture have gone downhill in the last few decades! Would be worth your time reading this book!

  • John Critser 17 years ago

    Let’s unite first by piecing together soundbites from Deaf leaders such as Joey Baer and David Eberwein. If we follow their lead, the coalition grows and becomes strong, and most importantly, undivided. I am going to put bullets in this comment, quoted by DE: (all in numerical order are quoted by DE, and comments by me)

    1. This is a lesson for us- Denmark AND Sweden had a similar system for the last 30 years, but the Sweden Deaf Community kept a close look to their system even today.

    Comment: If we learn our lessons, we can improvise and strengthen our system proactively.

    2. Nowadays, over 90% of Swedish Deaf students are cochlear-implanted, but many of them still attend bilingual Deaf schools/programs. That’s a testament to the Sweden Deaf Community’s power- they kept close tabs on children, programs, hospitals, different organizations, and especially on how parents are informed.

    Comment: In realizing cochlear implantation is difficult to stop, we can at least keep close tabs on children, programs, hospitals, different orgs, and how parents are informed. In doing so, we can encourage those with C.I.s to attend bilingual Deaf schools/programs. If we study the example of Sweden’s educational system, we can apply the same to ours.

    3. We haven’t even tried to WORK together yet, for OUR Deaf organizations (not AGB, hospitals, etc. nope not yet) to SIT DOWN together and PRIORITIZE our goals into simple but powerful means that EVERYBODY in our community can rally behind.

    Comment: This vintage DE quote simply proves that working together will make things happen in favor to our cause. Let’s put the pieces of the puzzle together and working together is the final and bonding piece. NOTHING happens without people working together, for any team, any cause, or for any purpose.

    4. The Sweden Deaf Community is PROACTIVE in every sense of the word. We can and WILL do the same here in the U.S., irrespective of our different political system and avenues.

    Comment: So what are we waiting for in being proactive as well. What makes us different? We can do the same here in the US, no matter what the political system and avenues are!

    5. And, some of you are asking “what do we do now”. Before we react, let’s think carefully and analyze what needs to be done first.

    Comment: What a wise assesment! When we ask, “What do we do now?” we essentially are in panic. And when we panic, we make irrational decisions whose tide may not turn in our favor. Before we REACT, let’s think and analyze what needs to be done first. Then we can take the steps, and make it happen.

    Hearken to our wise leaders. Wisdom is the beginning. Wisdom doesn’t stall things, it begins the process. Fear belongs to those who denies ASL as a language.

  • John Critser 17 years ago

    I want to give a very honest opinion of how we can reach out to those parents of children with hearing losses, and of the children with C.I.s….

    We can invite the very same parents to Starbucks, or to our homes and invite Deaf leaders, educators, and parents who know ASL as well, to allow those parents to SMELL and TASTE of the things to be, and things to become. Before you make fun of my usage of the word SMELL, what I mean by it is to detect sweet things to become. To taste means to get an idea of what in awesome world the Deaf Culture is. Allow the parents to feel the senses in every way that their tentacles will be very receptive to our ideas.

    I know this comment is a little ornery, but why not? To liven things up is also to enlighten you as to what can be a good solution: Establishing relationships to all parents (in and outside of Deaf schools), before the educators with the AGB seal reach them first.

  • Jean Boutcher 17 years ago

    Yerker and Cynthia:

    I completely agree with you. The system in the USA is democracy. Educationally, the 8th (Eighth) Amendment protects Americans. It is ithe very amendment that we can press Congress about deaf children’s rights.

  • keith Doane 17 years ago

    WOW! That is what I remembered when I was at Sundsvall, Sweden for 15th Winter Deaflympics.
    We can do this kind of act by make it a law into Dept of Education in the States… then let it trickles up to the Federal level, the US Dept of Education. Dont make any compares with Alexander G. Bell Association and its wealth organization, we can achieve with facts.
    \”All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth. \” -Aristotle
    Thus we shall governing the Law that give the roots to our preciously youth that carries the beautifully language…ASL!

    DE, THANK YOU for bring this to our attention!

  • Kevin 17 years ago

    Keep in mind that Sweden is a very small country when compared to good ol’ USA.

  • RLM 17 years ago

    That’s why I always emphasize about our American children often treated as private property, not communal property. Having offsprings (children) are part of social investment within the society at large. Nothing to do with political philsophy, ex. socialism and captialism!

    That is all about the necessity of social investment within deaf youngsters receive proper educational resources and lead productive life.

    The Thirteen Amendment in our U.S. Constitution definitely forbid any kind of enslavement and deprivation of any human beings on American soil. Any parent(s) undermine their children’s educational progress and well-being ought to be treated as criminal.

    Robert L. Mason (RLM)

  • Nick Vera 17 years ago

    Quite impressive about Sweden! I certainly wish the system should be done in USA to equalize everyone to work together despite of our differences. It cannot be done overnight but we can continue to educate in public gradually and the system become solid within 20-30 years.
    I agreed all above of the comments that we face the difficult approaches in our current system than Sweden.
    I pray that DBC will continue to educate positively the parents of deaf children and preserve our language for deaf and hard of hearing babies at early childhood before learning to speak and to hear (CI). Also the deaf children’s right should be intact in the US Constitution to amend permanently.
    Importantly, the parents of deaf children need to listen their own children and communicate them often that will continue the rapport relationship through their childhood by self-esteem, confidence, and learning all aspects globally.
    Thank you, DE and Joey Baer for your investment into vlog to wake us up!
    Nick Vera

  • Sandra Goldstein 17 years ago

    Why should we rely on NAD to make it possible? I guess some of you forget about Canada. ASL is used in North America including Canada. We should include Canada to fight for Deaf Child’s Rights.

    We have to keep in mind about several issues.
    Issue Number 1 : Parents who may not accept the fact that their children are deaf may prevent them learn ASL. Their children may not know their rights to use ASL. They may prefer SEE to ASL.

    Issue Number 2: Hearing Educators who teach deaf children may not use ASL and know nothing about Deaf Way. Deaf children won’t be able to know their rights.

    Issue Number 3: We, Deaf Americans and Canadians, have to work HARDER to convince US and Canada to make it possible.

    Issue Number 4: NAD cannot function well without state associations of the deaf. All state associations of the deaf should be involved too.

    Issue Number 5: Canada does not allow hearing people teach ASL while US allows hearing people teach ASL because of the Human Right.

    Issue Number 6: How many deaf teachers in each mainstream school? How many deaf parents in US and Canada?? ( Of course we are a minority group). If we want to be a majority group, then we have to move to the new planet, Eyeth.

    Sandra Goldstein

  • Shrug 17 years ago

    It’s a nice thought, but until Deaf people start getting MONEY to fight organizations like AG Bell, it’ll never happen. So, donate today to NAD and the like, or else the future of unity like Sweden will never happen.

    Sweden has less than 10 million people and more than 7.5 million live in cities.

    The U.S. has 300 million people and 83% of them live in 360 different major cities. Massive difference to scale up Sweden’s “everyone cooperates on deaf culture” outlook.

    Start small. Focus on small-to-medium size areas in a grassroot format, get entire communities to sign, then branch out from there. I wouldn’t start with DC/Gallaudet — I’d start in Indianapolis, Minneapolis, or even Kansas City.

  • TE 17 years ago

    I agree with you DE that using natural sign language is very important for Deaf education around world. I was in oral education at John Tracy Clinic in Los Angeles and several elementary schools until I was exposed to ASL from older deaf students when I was about 6 or 7 years old. I know I missed 7 years of important learning English thru ASL (meaningful learning not “copying English speech learning”). I just learned basic about important early age of learning language from age 0 to 3 in college and I was surprised then I look back at my early education. It was not a good feeling for me, but it happened to me. If I had both language learning (l mean learning through ASL to English) then I would be more likely not to struggle to get B.A. education. I got my BA in few years back. I really believe that with ASL & English education, I would probably have no problem with reading hard text in books or articles and I’m good at reading everyday language in novels or magazines like newpaper or Reader’s Digest that’s all. I know that many deaf people had up to elementary grade levels of reading and writing. That is really sad. DE, with your leadership and as activist for Deaf ed, I support your speaking out words about education for the deaf. Thank you for your role in as a Deaf activist for deaf education.

  • reterpretni 17 years ago

    America is backwards. Can our system ever be changed? I hope so! Thank you for the vlog.

  • MJohnson 17 years ago

    Hi DE,

    I agree with you completely. I guess that we have to start with National Level. Anyone (Deaf people) knows to contact the senator(s) about Sweden’s examples of Deaf Education and ASL issues.

    Again, I enjoy all of their 56 comments and use some of the best comments for DE’s brainstorms if can.

  • Thinker in Austin.. 17 years ago

    Let’s look at Florida… Yes, OUR OWN U.S. PRESIDENT George Bush’s BROTHER who is governor of Florida apparently to have done this…

    THAT IS IF IF I AM RIGHT AND HEARD IT RIGHT. (Joey, if it’s not correct, then delete my comment)

    I guess Florida governor Bush’s people realized that they were wasting money on the mainstreaming schools & D/deaf program OR on Florida School for the Deaf (& Blind) (FSD&B). They apparently decided to cease the mainstreaming schools and D/deaf programs at public school and sent all the D/deaf students to Florida School for the Deaf. Now FSD&B admission had boomed from very low number of students to approximately 500 students.

    That it could lead to is… ASL language being stronger and also the growth of Education for the Deaf children. Is FSD&B gonna be a good example of S.D.R.’s goal? I know FSD&B education still is in the need of improvement, but still kinda a good example of SDR’s goal?!

    Something worth to look/check into?!?

  • Samantha 17 years ago

    WOW! I never thought of this! I agree that all of children who d/hh deserve to have a good education and ASL! I noticed that some children who are deaf, grow up oral, but I want to see all of them in America to influence each other and building a strong deaf community! I hope that it will happen someday and we have to keep fight and success our goal!

  • Mike Houston 17 years ago

    For those of you who don’t know me, I work as Deaf LInk’s National Liaison and we’ve been advocating equal access for all Deaf and HOH, who rely on ASL for communication, to the “hearing world”. Deaf Link has partners who are starting to see the Deaf community as a comsumer group that has but one major barrier, equal communication access in ASL format. Some of our partners include: San Antonio PD, Frost Bank, Goodwill, UPS, local commercial businesses, RE/MAXl, voting agenices, etc.; we also are serving 12 states with VRI access. Recently, Deaf Link was contracted with Texas Governor’s Division of Emergency Management to provide ASL based solutions for emergency preparedness information and alerts for all Deaf, Deaf/Blind, HOH and Blind individuals; we also have a contract with FEMA to provide these solutions for Deaf residents in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
    All Deaf individuals have rights, all have a basic fundamental right to have equal access and for the majority of Deaf individuals that means using ASL. Deaf Link advocates for this as we’ve been bridging that communication gap for 5 years now. It is my personal belief that all service providers for the Deaf community (VRS, IPrelay, TTY, PDA’s, VRI, Onsite Interpreters) should be working together with a common goal of utilizing all available technology to provide all citizens with an option that best serves their need whether it be English based formats or in ASL. I support the thought that it would be such an awesome sight to see all individuals that have some hearing impairment of one kind or another to join forces and unite with a “like-minded” goal…creating equal access for all.
    I have much to share and if anyone wants more information about what Deaf Link is advocating I welcome you to contact me. My email address is: I do have a VP as well, just let me know you’d like to chat and we can arrange it.
    I appreciate your time and I’ll continue to be an advocate for ASL based solutions that once given would truly provide the Deaf community with the equal access they so desire!

    Have a great day today! God bless.

    Mike Houston

  • Peachlady 17 years ago

    To 58. Thinker in Austin.. ,

    I think you are wrong about Florida. I remember one mom (hearing) told me they made a law that a doctor must tell a parent of deaf child that there is a school for the deaf (FSDB) in St. Augustine. In the past a doctor would not tell about the school for the deaf.

    We don’t have that kind of law in Georgia.

    When my mom found out that my sister was deaf, the doctor in Fla told her to send my sister to Atlanta Speech School. My parents moved to Atlanta and that was a big mistake.

  • Cat 17 years ago

    I think America should do the same. The children our are future and it is important to give then the best. I do not think its fair. What can we do???

  • Thomas Withrow 17 years ago

    I am curious where did you get the data on those Deaf children as shown in the beginning. I am interested in knowing the source that you have gotten the important data from.

    I appreciate the vlog and the message it is sending across the nation and world.

  • Ella Lentz 17 years ago

    here’s the main source of the numbers mentioned in the beginning. This is from 2004-2005 survey by Gallaudet Research Institute. To date, there hasn’t been any more recent ones.

  • DE 17 years ago

    From the Gallaudet Research Institute’s Annual Survey.


  • Ella Lentz 17 years ago

    to Anonymous (#66)
    Your argument would be convincing except the Deaf baby HAS a machine inside him/her that is not organic thus his/her babbling is NEVER normal as other hearing children.
    Research I believe by Petitto shows that Deaf babies babbles in sign organically and just as normally as hearing children babble with voice. What’s wrong with this since this is much cheaper and much more organic..

  • retarded 17 years ago

    The hearing who don’t want to communicate with deaf children are retarded. Simple as that. Everyone knows the hearing are lazy and let the world slit and load the machine in ears.

  • Thinker in Austin 17 years ago

    62. Peachlady… Yes, you are correct!!! Thanks for the correction. It’s law in Florida that the doctors have to refer the Deaf children to Florida School for the Deaf/Blind first before they are referred to anywhere else.

  • Kristofer 17 years ago

    A comment from Sweden… 🙂 Just want to clarify that Sweden’s political system is absolutely not socialist, we have parliamentary democracy. Anyway, what political system doesnt matter.. maybe theres less diversity in our deaf community, but to not invite other group than pure deafs into our community, our lifestyle, our thoughts, our needs…. that doesnt make sense at all.. its all about how NAD can work for a only group – sign language users. There’s We all can find and understand deaf awareness, cultural identity, human and childrens’ rights… and thereafter our needs. “Accessibility through Sign Language” – thats what SDR (Swedish National Association of the Deaf) has as its philosophy.

    I like this phrase: “Possibilities rather than Limitations” 🙂

  • DE 17 years ago


    THANK YOU for the clarification. Yeah, I was very impressed by the Swedish Deaf Community’s ability to unite behind a common vision of Sign Language. It will happen here in America! Thanks for showing the way.


  • SEK 17 years ago

    “Sweden’s democratic system”

  • Tim Riker 16 years ago

    I think it is clear, and more research may be needed to effectively support this in America, that regardless of the degree of hearing loss, children who are deaf or hard of hearing need to be taught sign language at a young age to boost their ability to learn English, whether it is spoken or written.

    The idea is that with partial or no hearing, deaf and hard of hearing children have distorted or limited access to sound. Rather than exposing them to more sounds and hoping that they will somehow acquire a spoken language, these children need to have a visual language foundation which would lead to learning other languages, including spoken languages.


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