Looking at the Deaf Education system

In last two months, I attended to three Deaf Education conferences (CAL-ED, CEASD, and State Summit).  I would like to share my thoughts and seek some ideas on how we can improve Deaf Education system.


  • Ella Lentz 17 years ago

    heavy subject! but want to say that the topic is TIMELY and essential for us all to start critically examine NOW. Thanks!

  • Nathan Boyes 17 years ago

    Well, living in Oregon and being raised in both the mainstream and residental school, I can tell you that the biggest problem that I see is that the system thinks that it needs to fix and provide services to the Deaf child and often forgets that maybe the parents are the one that needs services and tools so that they can be a more “normal” parent to their child and communicate with the Deaf child in a mode that is 100 percent accessible to both parties. *Of course ASL would be the best mode, but I’ll just be broad about it since I’ll face controversy anywhere I look* Parents are often made to feel that they are not at fault and have little responsibilities and should expect the schools and states to take over the “burden” to teach their Deaf child language and so forth. I often see that some of the most “normal” Deaf children out there are the ones that have the most involved parents, especially those who communicate with their Deaf child as any other child should expect from their parents, using a language that they can communicate with efficiently. But when I bring this concept up, many professionals will “gasp” as such an idea or accuaction*sp* and that parents should never be told that they should take up equal responsibilities as the educational system, that they are already under such “dramatic stress and greiving”. All I can say is if the child gets 100 percent access to communication from their parents in the home and gets unconditional loving and parenting as any other child deserves from day one, we wouldn’t have to worry about “services” for our Deaf youth in the system, and instead we can worry about how we can raise the level of learning so that our Deaf youth get the education they deserve….

  • Fred 17 years ago

    Man! Joey,

    To be quite frank with you Joey, I have attended CAL-ED in the past, and one or two other educational conferences (can’t remember), I felt they were very strong hearing predominated group, and that we’re walking on eggs in order for us to try to do the shifting of their focus into Deaf, deaf, and how best to be addressed and the like of this… geez …

    I feel that new bodies, new minds, open minds would chair the conferences, lead the way with very strong support from the DEAF. I am not sure, but I am throwing in some thoughts… even some deaf educators most likely tend to lend on the hearing people for their guidance, yet push themselves back with fear of “breaking” grounds or become spear headed, plowing new concepts (whereas they’re old, but just not utilized in the proper form).

    Yes, I see that we do need a developed system, stronger standardization of expectations of educational system … I am no scholar in these things, but my challenge to you educators, administrators to go beyond your boundaries, being a bit bold, “head strong,” being empowered, cultivating old soils, weed out problems of fears, drawbacks, … on and on …

    Are we for the children or are we for our own pocket changes?

    If I were to chair a conference, I would, on the first list of my agenda (focusing on the education of the Deaf), I would draw in prominent Deaf educators from across the country, draw in from them … what they say, what they have on their hands, NOT on what “I” want … analyze this and that, draw up a master concept, and share it back with those that were selected, and hopefully enforce this concept on them and making them report back to the master concept.

    Thanks for patiently read my rambling thoughts.

  • Peachlady 17 years ago

    CRCT Results Show New Curriculum is Working in Georgia! There is a website that we can see which school is doing great or poor. Many parents took their child out of the poor school system and put the child in one of the best schools. Do we have the website for the deaf schools? I would love to see the list! It will help parents to do something about the school.

    Where is the proof or research that BiBi Languague is working? Find out what school for the deaf’s education (bi bi language) is working?

    Share the information with other schools for the deaf that need improvement.

    I think many supts or directors are scared to share the information with others because of the poor results.

  • Sun4Life 17 years ago

    Instead of discussing PROBLEMS, we need to discuss PROGRESS . We need to present ourselves as experts showing what works in educating Deaf Children. Deaf teachers and ASL teachers (hearing with ASL skills) can share what works for them with Deaf children while teaching in the classroom.

    One thing I would recommend, big time, is mentoring for Deaf children. The concept of mentoring need to be more utilized in the Deaf Education. Mentoring Deaf Children with Deaf Adults, mentoring new teachers with Deaf/ASL teachers, and mentoring new administrators with Deaf/ASL administrators.

    Thanks for bringing this up! Keep up with your pondering thoughts.

  • John Egbert 17 years ago

    Hi Joey,

    It is a tough world out there and to achieve success, in the dominating hearing world, is the sound of the voice…that we don’t have.

    My idea might sound silly but I bet you can get your/our goal to have bilingual for all deaf children by…Getting on OPRAH TV program with a top rated interpreter.


  • Karen Mayes 17 years ago

    While you did not elaborate on services/system/language planning, I am assuming that you are in a way challenging us to step up to the Dept. of Education, etc., for a redirction to language planning, instead of focusing on the “old” agenda (services, as from a medical point of view.) “Services” do not point out to the language, but it point out to “fixing” problem. Deafness is not a problem; it is a way of life and we need to “enhance” it, so I agree that language planning needs to be looked at more. It would help deaf schools succeed as well. ASL is widely recognized as the native language for deaf children and we need to get moving on English (both written and spoken aspects of English… spoken for SOME deaf children who have aptitude for it; it is called oracy.)

    Keep telling us what you learned from the conferences… you threw us a few breadcrumbs and we are hungry for more information :o) .

  • Sandra Goldstein 17 years ago

    Boy, it is really depending on individuals on the committee board.

    Let me share one unique experience. I was on the CAID ( Convention of American Instructors for the Deaf) board for four years a long time ago. Only four of the 11 members were Deaf. One of the deaf members showed up at our first meeting. She was so upset to see a sign language interpreter at our first meeting. She said why couldn’t all of them sign for themselves because they were teachers for the Deaf. She walked out and quit as the board member period. I stayed on the board for four years.

    Look at the example. CESAED board members or State organization for Deaf Educators…most of them are hearing and do not sign fluently as well as hearing teachers for the Deaf.

    Our deaf kids are not our problem. Our problem is hearing teachers who do not sign well.

    If I were the chairperson, members should sign for themselves. We should focus the signing skills of teachers for the Deaf including Deaf teachers for the Deaf. Some teachers who happen to be deaf sign poorly.

    Our first priority is to focus the signing skills. If teachers can sign well, then they can teach.Many teachers for the Deaf are not core academic teachers. Most of them get degrees in Deaf Education, not subject areas.

    Our second priority is to focus the teachers for the Deaf’s ability to teach academic courses . Encourage them to have two certificates to teach…one …deaf education another one…subject area… For example. I have two certificates to teach…one …deaf and hard of hearing certificate…another one…mathematics..I am qualified to teach mathematics to deaf and hard of hearing students.

    Some teachers hold one certificate to teach deaf students. Are they qualified to teach calculus to deaf and hard of hearing students i???

    Absolutely no!!!!

    We can develop the mandatory to have teachers for the Deaf to hold two certificates in order to teach deaf children. Also they must pass the ASL test in order to teach deaf kids.

    One drawback is that some deaf children do not know ASL.

  • Karen Mayes 17 years ago

    Hey, it is me again…

    I am shaking my head over this. SERVICES. Ugh. The problem with system/services is if one fails to see the progress, it is considered failure, and one would try something else, so on… like trying different treatments for cancer. But deafness is not cancer. That is what bothers me… as a mother of two deaf children, I see they have different needs, just like other children… but the needs are NOT symptoms. That is what is hurting deaf children…their different needs seen as symtoms/bugs (computer language)/etc. That is what I have been patiently pointing out that my children are just different, nothing wrong nor right.

    Services… humbug. We do have a long road ahead of us… changing the medical point 0f view of deafness; educating hearing parents that signing is often better for the deaf child’s assimilation of language; etc.

    Peachlady, you could contact Dr. Nover at CAEBER at Gallaudet Research Institute for statistics on the efficiency of Bi-Bi. So far, I can honestly say that it WORKS for my daughter who is a student at ISD. My son is proficient in English due to his being “born” that way (reads at high school level for a 5th grader, and he is mainstreamed.)

  • Deaf Socrate's Trail 17 years ago

    Well, there is still a serious problem of question on lack of recognizing ASL as a part of that California Ed Dept which never recognize ASL as a language ! You have no language policy or rights as ethnic miniority! Tell me how much do you know about language policy and rights? The system that is involved with education of the deaf will always have a big problem no matter how hard you think unless ASL must depend on language policy and rights then in order to recognize ASL as ethnic miniority, however unfortunately they do not recognize our Deaf community as ethnic minority but disabled! Thnk about needing and developing the language policy and rights before be ready to be accepted as a part integral of that education.

  • Not an Educator 17 years ago

    When it is said “deaf education”, it leads me to beleive that this is referring to deaf institutions and large deaf programs, which brings up another question.

    Is the “mainstream” aspect a part of the deaf education system? Where a deaf student is mainstreamed in hearing school, is that a part of deaf education? My thinking is that it isn’t but I am more than open to hear other people’s thoughts on that, as I am not an educator.

    If mainstreaming is not a part of deaf education, then it is pretty much a no brainer, that the bulk of the deaf education programs are already involved with the use of ASL. This is not to say that I’m saying all deaf teachers know ASL fluently as it has been constantly discussed that there are hearing teachers that teach the deaf, but are not quite proficient enough in ASL. Thing is that these deaf students still become fluent ASL signers by communicating with other teachers and their deaf peers.

    That being the case, the English language needs more of a focus, so that they are truly bilingual and are able to communicate with hearing people, especially when they are out in the working world. I have noticed that the bulk of the deaf people with superior English skills that work in the hearing world have significantly better jobs than those deaf people, whose English isn’t as good.

    In my own opinion, the best way to improve English skills, is to help deaf young children develop a love for reading. If these children would read constantly, whether its comic books, regular books, internet, or even captioning on tv, it allows them to build up on the English language.

  • LaRonda 17 years ago

    I think one place to look at when discussing the quality of education for deaf children is to the staff and teachers working with them. You brought up “they system.” Staff and teachers are part of that system. What is often needed is staff development in areas of ASL training, improvement and evaluation, so that they can teach children using competent ASL skills. Or team teaching, so that you have native ASL signers teaming with qualified teachers for the deaf, where they can give bi-bi approaches to education in the classroom.

    I think what often happens is that you will find teachers with so-so ASL skills in positions in the early education departments where language development is most crucial for deaf children if they are to succeed and advance. These teachers are usually very wonderful people with big hearts, and they are well-known and well liked. However, they have just never reached the ASL skill level that is necessary to bi-bi approaches. They are long-timers in their positions, and in for the long-haul so they can retire nicely on state benefits.

    I think it is very difficult for dept. heads or those in charge to actually evaluate ASL skills with mandates that say ether you become proficient in ASL or you will be asked to leave. The system will balk and rock no one wants to rock that boat.

    I have worked in a deaf school that provided ASL classes to staff after hours as a way to offer staff development with CEU’s attached, which is a nice perk and drew in teachers who needed to satisfy their CEU hours for ongoing certification. This worked out rather well. Even those staff who felt they knew ASL well enough took the ASL refresher classes, and commented that they were a great help.

    This is an example of making everyone in the system happy. Parents were also offered ASL classes. The students benefited from everyone beefing up their ASL skills to help them succeed. The staff benefited with CEU hours and refreshing their skills. Staff development was well received when it was supported by the school itself. The parents benefited by improving their own ASL skills so they could become partners in educating and communicating with their children.
    The potential is their for the education system in the state to benefit as well with higher test score results and success in students.

    It all links back to language proficiency in ASL.

    Just my 4 cents….

    ~ LaRonda

  • jim coyne 17 years ago

    Well if you REALLY want to dramatically improve
    deaf education then just hire as many DEAF administrators and teachers you possibly can. Then get out of the way for about 10 years and see what happens!!!!!

  • Jac 17 years ago


    You said 500 deaf students were in San Diego area so they went into a mainstream program in a many different school like North , South, West or East side, it surprised me . did you see one vlogger mention about her mainstream San Diego, how her teachers treat her and other deaf students, it was a weak education, like teacher gave them a limit education.

    I am from Midwest, in my second big city in that state, there were about 200 to 250 deaf students around here, they has not been gone to deaf resident school, I was a ASL teacher for a couple of years for the community, My good friend who worked as case manager, he mentioned that around my area has a strong mainstream program by parents as we had not enough more people behind us to line up to speak out to a board of director for education system to change our language to ASL from SEE. We were a out of order since parents were very strong to support a SEE language, it was a best education for the deaf students. See how the systems works with an education, it sucks!
    (I did not mean to say, but it is a fact!)

  • todos la vie 17 years ago

    It needs to start with the student-centered atmosphere. I don’t mean only the students and in classrooms, but also for adults (teachers, principals, vLoggers, friends, parents, etc.) in other “rooms” – supervisor to employee meetings, college classrooms, vLogs, volleyball games, friends’ houses, etc.

    Too often the modeling of this aspect is missed out or not practiced enough, and children are not able to adapt or follow this method because they do not see enough of it or come from families in which self-empowerment is lacking. Nor might they understand the difference between teacher-centered (old philosophy) and student-centered environments which is a tragedy. We all know we can learn from leading ourselves.

    So in this regard, we need a paradigm shift in the current atmosphere in conferences and other areas, where ideas are explored and debated without being criticized.

  • Cousin Vinny 17 years ago

    Thank you for going to the conferences and giving us a glimpse into a world most of us never see, let alone participate. I generally agree with your premise that services should be de-emphasized in favor of language planning and development, when it comes to sharing information at these conferences.

    I’d like to add two more observations, of which I hope to see more impetus and attention by these influential people at these conferences;
    * Pre-School Early Intervention Programs
    * Accountability

    As some of you know, I already teach a Kindergarten class in a local elementary school. A lot of my students are language-delayed, because they did not receive the needed language stimulus while at home during their infant years. While I can only do so much with these wonderful children, I know they can do so much better had they gotten more language exposure at home.

    Hence, critical focus on pre-school early intervention programs is hugely important! The benefits reaped at the early-intervention level truly cascades up the educational ladder, all the way up to 12th grade and beyond.

    Early-Intervention programs need to be fully staffed with highly-qualified professionals equipped with fluent ASL skills. (Not just speech/medical people.) It needs to be fully funded and resources need to be made immediately available to parents upon finding out their child is Deaf/HH. Lastly, such early intervention services need to be consistent throughout the state.

    Lastly, I’d like to see more accountability among Deaf programs and schools. This way, we can identify poorly-performing schools and programs, and implement reforms. We can identify high-performing schools and use them as models on how Deaf education should be done.

    I tried to float the idea of having a publically available list of Top Ten Deaf Schools and Worst Ten Deaf Schools, but many people did not like the idea, especially singling out Deaf schools and programs to be substandard.

    Thanks to the NCLB act, several Deaf schools have undergone testing and are being held accountable, most notably that of CSDF and CSDR. One can go to the CDE.CA.GOV’s website and check out how these two schools are currently performing. (Not very good; CSDR lags behind CSDF, but both are rated ‘C’ by CDE.) This way, we can see where these two institutions are, and see how they can be BETTER. Our Deaf students of tomorrow deserve no less.

  • Rene Visco 17 years ago


    You can view Dr. Steve Nover\\\’s video summary on Language Planning that he provided at CSD, Riverside. He brought up many good points about the need to increase ASL literacy for K-12.

    See it at: http://csdr-cde.ca.gov/pawstv/languageplanning

  • joseph rainmound 17 years ago

    The problem is finding QUALIFIED people. Plenty of deaf and hearing folks with no qualifications willing to work, but they do just as lousy a job as the people currently in power. What we need are EDUCATED Deaf teachers and Deaf administrators. Just throwing Deaf people at the problem is not a solution!

    I wish Gallaudet had a program geared towards creating Deaf educators and sending them to high – needs Deaf schools around the country – they sent money to Hawaii, what about the other 49 states?

    One person on this thread wrote about a Deaf woman who left her school board… because she was the only Deaf woman! Come on! That\’s a sign you need to work HARDER, not just quit! Or maybe she really wanted a social event to chat at, not a program where she would have to do hard work.

    I agree there\’s problems with Deaf education, but honestly, if people who comment here see a problem, they can:

    1. Join the school board.
    2. Become a parent advocate.
    3. Volunteer at the school.
    4. Write letters to the local newspaper.
    5. Vlog. (With subtitles, so the hearing people in power can understand what the hell you\’re saying – very important, huh?)

    As for myself, I believe the educational system in America is screwed up, period. I think we have to figure out not just Deaf/ASL/SEE, but also have to figure out issues of poverty (which impact Deaf people even harder) and race (which determines where Deaf people end up far more than we like to admit) and gender (ditto.)

    I wish more schools used ASL-all the time policies like my school MSSD… It changed my life 100%… I was mainstreamed until that point, and yes it SUCKED.

  • Deaf Farmer 17 years ago

    HI Joey

    I am not sure if College or University has Deaf education program for the students who want to become a teacher for Deaf School or Mainstream school in California. I make a coment about that.

    Click at http://my.videoegg.com/video/dnCTrH

    Thumbs Up!

  • Rima Cornish 17 years ago


    I can see that your comment have come to many of us to think about what we can do or speak on what we already saw and out opinion of what can be done.

    I have experiences working in several places/level with children and education. I had my internship and voluntneering at CDC at Gallaudet University and Kendall school. I work at mainstream at John F. Kennedy high school at Sacramento, CA and then now at CSDF.

    I experience and saw both positive and negaitve. Mainstream experience was the worse for me. There was around 15 students and two teacher. Thanks god, both can sign which was great but the baddest news is that one teacher dont give a xxxx about teach the students and make different in their lives. She uses phone and chat with her boyfriend most of the day. I ended up teaching and helping them instead. I am not certified to teach but I do what I can do for the student. Other teacher was amazing and do what she can do! That question me and make me wonder how many mainstream programs have been check on and make sure the students come in the class to learn especially high school student who is graduating in few years and it is their last chance to learn and make their future a better place.

    CDC, Kendall and CSDF, the places of deaf community and education, I have see staffs and faculty give all they can for the deaf children. They give full access to communication and teaching them. The schools take research information and willing to adapt to make best education they can give for the deaf children.

    I had attend to discussion group at CSDF to discuss about Bi Bi language. I had learned from a presentation there given by three people included Joey if I remember right. It had hit me hard! It talks about deaf school that label themseleves bi bi language. The presentation discussed if they are? Because we just use ASL as communication in the school and isnt learning about the ASL. BI Bi language have its system about it and it doesnt show that we are doing any of those system. We need to learn about our language, ASL then we will be able to link our understanding of a language to second langauge which is English. IT IS A WORKSHOP THAT SHOULD GIVEN TO THOSE PEOPLE! It can give them more on what the system and communication of ASL will help the deaf children to learn.

    The last one, EARLY INTERVENTION is what we need. We need to make them focus on what they and we can do as early as the deaf child born. THAT IS SOMETHING CAN BE DISCUSSED IN THE WORKSHOP. We need to provide the deaf child able to communicate, understanding, read and other things before come in the school to start learn more. Many come to school with no communication, no learning, not able to read and many things. They had missed out those first 5 years or more. We need them to work with doctors and programs to prepare parents and the child better for the best of the child.

    I know this is long one. Thanks for your time.
    (Darn I dont have web cam or anything to produce a vlog. )

  • michele 17 years ago

    Too many parents are still in the dark about what is the best education for their deaf child. Also some of them are language delayed as well.

    We definitely need more parents to get involved and push for a stronger and unified education for deaf children but too many of them are divided in groups so its hard. One may advocate for cued speech, another may advocate for bi-bi education, oralism and so on…… Which leads more confusion and makes the choices more difficult for parents to believe in which method is best.

    Also sometimes best school districts play a big part, some parents desperately want their deaf child to go into one of the top public schools, they would push cued speech or oralism for their child so that they can be mainstreamed in order to reap the benefits of being in one of top public schools.

    I am not an educator but am stepping into one and learning a lot of new things about deaf education.

  • Kalbinero 17 years ago

    I went CEASD a vew years back then at CSDR and everyone was whining just about anything and everything. There was nothing to learn from or for me to offer there. I left after 2 hours.

  • Jean Boutcher 17 years ago

    Common sense has it that parents know sign language so a deaf child acquire language prior to being enrolled in school. American educators and Hearing parents should adopt Sweden’s system.

    Common sense has it that CAID and state
    board of education mandate that all teachers know sign language before they are certified to teach to deaf children.

    Common sense has it that all members of
    CAL-ED, CEASD, and State Summit kniow
    sign langauge.

    It is “unheard of” that Jewish schools hire
    teachers who are non-Jewish! Unheard of
    that blind schools hire teachers that know not’
    how to use braille to educate the blind, n’est-ce

    All schools should invite deaf parents and
    their deaf children to PTA meetings and show
    them as role models for hearing parent to
    BEHOLD and LO.

    Dr. Mervin Garretson, the wisest 83 year old
    educator spells out very clearly that 90% of
    children receive education AT HOME — prior to entering shool AND THAT 10% of children receive education at school.

    Meaning? 90% of deaf children of HEARING
    parents have not received 90% of education
    at home — until six of age. Six years of
    waste! Whose fault?

    The fault of parents, of CAID, CEASD,
    school adminsitrators, teachers, and parents.
    Who else?

    If people mentioned above watch deaf parents
    with their deaf children at home, they would learn that bilingual approach is NOT used at all. Parents merely expdose ASL to their children and
    storytell in ASL to them. Stories from where,
    children would most naturally ask! Parents
    would show them: “That book, this book.”
    Do? Do? Children will open a book and learn
    English on their very own. I have never seen
    any deaf parent sign to a deaf child, “The sign for a chair is…….” and then switch to English,
    “The word for a chair is……” No, that is not true!
    My parents never taught me blingually when I read comics, “Archie”, “Ivanhoe”, It was I who read and picked up English as I was reading each sentence in comics. i am tired of hearing people saying,
    A bilingual approach is a muuuuuuust. ” I used to teach at PS 47 in Manahttan and School of Language Arts where I witnessed the miserable
    failure of the bilingual approach program between
    Spanish and English amongst children taught
    by teachers from Hunter College. The children were terribly confused, no exaggeragtion. I said to myself: “That is it! The same at schools for the deaf where deaf children are confused by hearing teachers who do not know ASL.”. Hunter College teachers had no iota of common sense. True enough, Bilingual Approach at the School of Language Arts in Manhattan and in Berkeley, CA
    had been declared an utter failure and eliminated forever! You can live in Paris and learn French without having ever attended school to learn French. A daily exposure to French would do it. The same can be said with English for deaf children from deaf parents and signing hearing parents. Waht is needed is common sense.

    Senso Comune is needed.. Expose ASL.
    Expose English. That is all. Do not teach,
    “This is ASL, this is English. All children’s
    brains are plastic-like, readily and easily
    picking up anything — even a Russian phrase.
    Look at European children. Their parents and
    grandparents do not teach them. They merely expose languages to them. They listen, or see,
    and pick it up. I have a deaf friend whose father is
    Italian, whose mother is French, whose grandmother is Polish. True enough, the deaf friend picked up three languages effortlessly. Be

    Pardn me for errors or typos. It is past my bedtime.

    Jean Boutcher

  • joseph rainmound 17 years ago

    It is true most parents are clueless about options for their Deaf child. if you check my blog today (surdus.blogspot.com) you’ll see now they feel maybe cochlear implants aren’t the right choice! But rest assured most of the oral efforts today is driven by the fact that 99.99% of Deaf children get implanted.

  • Nancy 17 years ago

    Yikes, Joey, you did it! From the responses (mixed) you got, Y O U did open a can of worms.
    I like them as long as they aren’t sand worms which bite you, but that’s another story.

    About 40 years ago i wondered…Clarke School graduates had better command of the English language than the kids I had. In French it is porquoi. Why?

    Now at my sunset years, I think I can answer the why. Consistency and constancy. Doesn’t matter much what the system is. It requires visual communication between school, parents and ahem everyone else.

    Joey, keep plugging!!!


  • teresa maxwell 17 years ago

    well i disagree with cousin vinny about grading sister schools (CSD and CSDR). It is CDE’s opinion-they havent visited CSD and CSDR so often to determine. they only judged based on students’ testing scores. i, myself, was a CSD student. i, myself, am a CSDR teacher. both are very good-their qualities are different, but good. the scores CDE viewed came from many factors-don’t you remember we include special needs, transferred students from mainstreaming schools, and students with language delay. mainstreamed students often come to CSD or CSDR with so little language. I am not saying all mainstreamed students are inexperienced at being a test taker. CSD and CSDR offer practice in teaching students how to be a test taker. I dont think this occurs at the mainstreaming schools. don’t get me wrong, but generally, yes it is. therefore, how can CDE measure and hold us accountable if we have the students who come to school with no knowledge in being a good test taker?! or that their language is fully structured?! come on-one of the reasons why 3 people from CSD proposed a learning approach (whole system learning). this learning approach will improve testing scores plus language planning approach. not only this, Gallaudet Leadership Institute offers a program called Leadership in Early Intervention. if anyone wants to take action-just apply for that program and roll up your sleeves.

    make a difference!

  • Joey Baer 17 years ago

    Great!!  Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I will need some time to put some comments together and share my thoughts in my follow up vlog. Unfortunately, I will be on vacation and will not be back until mid-July.

    Be assured that I will get back to you and respond to some of your wonderful questions.

  • Joey Baer 17 years ago

    Adele Ann Eberwein’s response:


  • tina jo breindel 17 years ago

    Not just educational standards, whole child standards, whole family standards, but that we fight so hard to make sure people understand the importance of communication access for Deaf children. How is it that we ignore other types of disabilities and the access they require? Yes, I agree the MOST important communication is using the bilingual and bicultural approach. In any language, culture is about “listening” to find out how we communicate to assure understanding. This will dovetail well with the “special education” needs as it is incumbent upon educators to find the key of how best ways to get through to Deaf children. Isn’t it why we call “special ed” that it is supposed to be different from the regular teaching styles in public schools?!?

    At one time people thought “the Deaf could not be educated,” but thankfully, people persevered until the answer came. I need to say Deaf children who I don’t think are unique. What is unique is they have parents and educators who engage and really care about all that they do. The implication the education system is not handling Deaf children very well, and mostly don’t get “caught” in time because there are people out there who are not that engaged. We perceive as the school districts’ unaccountability towards Deaf students’ needs, whereas intervention and prevention services were not in place in time. We are in a terrible bind of a bureaucratic process.

    Is there a current data available of how many Deaf children we have in each state on hand? Should we ask for a percentage of Deaf children who are in partnership with school districts? I ask because I wonder about this partnership, the financial arrangement the mainstream and Deaf schools are paid by local districts. Is there a real shared responsibility for ALL children? I am not in favor of organizing school districts just to make trouble for them, but if the districts do have a fundamental responsibility for “their” children, they should be the “right” advocates toward the DOE.

    Pardon my expression but I agree with your laundry list of concerns for the lack of resources and trained staff to work with Deaf children. I am glad the lot of you reiterated, and I’d like to add that raising education standards isn’t the only issue. I’d have the committee board make a priority to see the necessary wrap-around services and support available plus training to raise awareness for all involved with challenging Deaf children as well. Because the developmental milestones are passing day by day for Deaf children including my own, I see the need to generate help and healing for parents and educators, deaf and hearing alike. It is important the education system acknowledges the responsibility toward all Deaf children. We keep hammering for a mechanism using a commitment to make positive changes.

    We would gain access to valuable resources to help parents and educators raise a Deaf child, even may put conviction in their hearts while evaluating areas they may have been off base. We can bond with situations that echo our own. We share thoughts, comments, feelings and actions especially for hearing parents who go through as they struggle to get right answers to the many questions they discover how to raise a Deaf child. To help ensure families in CA receive appropriate services, the CDE established an Early Start Workgroup (to provide an ongoing guidance to early start providers, parents and others for early intervention) they are meeting as of now and tomorrow for an overview of Family Resource Center Network. Should you want more information, contact Nancy Sager at nsager@cde.ca.gov.

  • Cousin Vinny 17 years ago

    T. Maxwell-

    Thank you for your comment. To a lesser extent, I agree with some of your comments about ‘grading’ Deaf schools like CSDF and CSDR. I am well aware of the systemic issues affecting the student bodies at both institutions, and marvel on how well their respective faculty and staff have worked with them in acheiving greater academic heights. I am impressed with CSDR and the tremendous progress Mr. Grossinger has undertaken there.

    I wonder if you (And other commentators) have ever heard of the Stanford Achievement Test – Hearing Impaired (SAT-HI) edition? I don’t know if CSDF/CSDR uses those tests in addition to the regular California-required testing. I still want some degree of accountability, and perhaps the SAT-HI test can be a reliable metric of Deaf school performance which can be used all over the U.S.

    Imagine, if the GRI could release a list of all Deaf institutions that have undertaken the SAT-HI regimen, and rank them according to the results of such testing? We’d all know immediately which schools are excellent, and which ones are in dire need of reform. Now, that’ll be one standard of accountability I’m willing to accept for Deaf Schools nationwide, but not on a long-term basis.

    However, on a gradual basis, spread over years and across all grade levels, I would like to see more and more Deaf schools undertake their respective State testing and be held accountable to their student population, parents, and stakeholders.

  • Patty Germundson 17 years ago


    I saw your video and didn’t have time to read all the comments, so I apologize if I bring up issues that are already discussed or expressed.

    What are the percentage rate of deaf being part of these orgs (board, chair, etc..)? (CAL-ED, CEASD, and State Summit)

    When watching your video, I kept thinking of a word, “myself”.

    I believe that myself and other deaf people need to be out there and educate everyone as much as we can. I am currently in school to get special education degree and I have gone through some issues and battles to deal with but I know I taught them as well. For example, a teacher of mine once said this, “Deaf children don’t learn language til around 5 or when in school.” Did I say something about that? Sure, I did. I was lucky enough to share my experiences as a deaf person with the class by the request of the teacher. I bluntly told him that I learned langauge when I first started signing milk at age 8 months… or so. I told him that I was communicating so I disagreed with your comments. He realized his mistake and had said that he should have worded that differently.

    My point of that is, we need to educate people out there about our culture, history, and language in order to have them understand us as a whole, not as a problem.

    Education system everywhere is still lacking in some areas, both hearing and deaf.

    How can we improve education system? It really depends on where, what, why, how, who and when. For example, at Texas School for the Deaf, the supertindent is hearing, with some deaf people with big role under her, but is it the best solution? We don’t know, because it depends on the person, on how they were educated, why are they in the field, who are they, what they believe in, and so forth. It really depends on which school. Again, I stress the word “myself”, I need to go out there and make it happen. Hopefully being out there, you can find allies to work with and move forward together on making education system for deaf better.

    I hope that I can put my hand out there on making the system better for our deaf children.

  • Keri 17 years ago

    Two words: ASL CURRICULUM. Canada is way ahead of us with this and it’s important for the US of A to follow suit because of the success Canada has had with the ASL curriculum being used in classrooms.

  • Ron Fields 17 years ago

    If I chair a committee meeting, first thing is how to have a standard ASL class in every school for every deaf children. Correct me if I am wrong but I think almost all deaf schools and mainstream do not include ASL classes as part of education system. We need to break this barrier.

  • Valerie Hamilton 17 years ago

    Hello Joey,
    I am taking a class on the deaf culture. I have only had one ASL class and tried to keep up with you. Don’t laugh, but what I caught from your Europeon trip was that you were driving, there was a lot of smoke, you took your family, you had a thought and you were happy. Would you please fill in the blanks. LOL I really enjoyed your vlog.

  • Kristy 17 years ago

    if it was me, I would have using ASL and English at the same time, like for example having all kids sit in chair in circle, and then have them talk about one sentence. and let talk about it and then translate ASL and English and why how to spot it and study and where postion. it good starter for little kids to see the different so they able to do both and ASL is my language but English is my second but I able to have two language. it will pull their IQ upper. also I would believe Deaf kids should have summer school work book it will help them be prepare for school start and run smooth with teachers that will work.

  • LuLu Long 17 years ago

    Since I am the Deaf mother of my own four Deaf sons, I came from a Deaf family which means that my parents, my grandparents were also Deaf and plus I been helping some other Deaf students for many years. I cherish “ASL” as our first language. I also taught many hearing parents who have their Deaf children how to communicate as their education combined.

    The very important key is “communication”. I been studying in the legal matters for a couple of years. In the first sessions of my studying was all about required to have clear communications in many areas in hearing world. I felt it should be the same for the Deaf world here.

    Again, “communication”….

    I been thinking and wondering how this whole world be able to “communication” and “education” both at the same time? I just popped to think “YES” I did my job for many years as “nothing new” since I been teaching my own Deaf sons how to communication at the same time for them to learn their education by using our “ASL”, showing pictures, and our body language, too. Plus some english.

    Yes, I often went to any of the public mainstream schools where provide Deaf education, many staffs who not know how to communicate with any Deaf students which effected me to wonder how can they be able to teach any Deaf students while these staffs not know how to communicate? How can any of these Deaf students be able to learn? This must be shamefully and selfish because these staffs know they can earn good benfits while they can have good numbers of Deaf students in their areas which really harm so many Deaf students who got lost in their life and had no hope. What can we do?

    Of course, I know I just cannot do this by myself alone, I really need your help in this area very much to help these other Deaf students to be successful in their future with good hopes. I often visited some public schools where they provide Deaf education in some areas and I hope I helped some of those Deaf students to reach their goals after they looked at me. I want more of you to come to any public mainstream schools and do the same as what I am doing…. Just show Deaf students that we Deaf people can do reach our goals in many areas!

    I feel sorry for all of these public mainstream Deaf students who their parents not allow any of their Deaf children to be able to attend to the Deaf school for any reasons like my parents done to me till I was only 14 years old, I finally attended the Deaf school during my high school years! I know I missed a lot in the Deaf school and anyway, I thanked my parents to let me go. I bet the same feelings for the others. If any of you want to know more about my schoolings, I can share this information with you later. Feel free to ask me.

    Please do not ever misunderstand this any at all, we here are not trying to steal any of your Deaf children away from any of you, parents. It’s only that where Deaf children or Deaf students need their own education for their future sakes to be successful!! They can always thank you for allowed them go to have their own good education which is very important to them, not you.


  • sevenrio 16 years ago

    Well, living in Oregon and being raised in both the mainstream and residental school, I can tell you that the biggest problem that I see is that the system thinks that it needs to fix and provide services to the Deaf child and often forgets that maybe the parents are the one that needs services and tools so that they can be a more “normal” parent to their child and communicate with the Deaf child in a mode that is 100 percent accessible to both parties. *Of course ASL would be the best mode, but I’ll just be broad about it since I’ll face controversy anywhere I look* Parents are often made to feel that they are not at fault and have little responsibilities and should expect the schools and states to take over the “burden” to teach their Deaf child language and so forth. I often see that some of the most “normal” Deaf children out there are the ones that have the most


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