Think Globally, Act Locally

I would like to share my thoughts about “Think Globally, Act Locally” I mentioned at the DeafRead Awards ceremony last February. This is only to present my perspective and as always, your insights and thoughts are always welcome.


  • deafchipmunk 16 years ago

    Hi Joey,

    I love your article or should I mention videoticle. Your comment is very common everywhere. Many Deaf organizations and even individuals have been isolated due to many different reasons and lack of network system. It appears that we are just discovering something new and use it wisely. I know it is not easy. More and more Deaf people are very much aware that their way of life has been threatened by anti ASL organizations and individuals. I believe they are just coming back and rebuild Deaf network system. Anti Sign Language groups have been waking the sleeping giant, Deaf Community.

    Your argument is excellent and I like that. I think we need to add one more thing. We need to connect Infant Hearing Program like I do now, We have increased more hard of hearing and Deaf infants and their familes to learn ASL at the same time, I learn taht they have used AVT too. It looks like more and more parents are opening their minds by not risking their children to one side program, AVT. They would prefer to provide all of opportunities for their own children rather than following Rachel’s strict AVT method.

    It is time for us to grow and connect each other culturally and linguistically.

    I have always enjoyed watching your videos and I look forward to many more….


  • Leon 16 years ago

    Greeting from New York.

    Thank you for your idea to share with us. I am sure other states will learn your guide and idea to make us more possibilities.

    One thing that seems might hard for us to do is
    teachers of deaf schools. Should we request teachers join to be part of the contribution for Think Locally, Act Locally program? Would it create conflict with deaf students?

    Other topic, have you printed the photo of you that I took photo in Mosduex’s production? : )

  • Jenny 16 years ago

    Very well-put, Joey! The Deaf community, while remarkably collective, also seems to operate on the individualistic leadership model, which is kind of a paradox. What happens is that the individuals become worn out and others may not want to step up because they don’t want to put up with all that work. I’ve had the honor to be part of several collective leadership efforts over the past few years, and wow. You said it – we learn so much from each other, the responsibility is shared, and we are less burned out. The collective leadership model is the way to go.

    Another thing, though this is slightly off the point, we need to be doing while thinking globally and acting locally is growing our own leaders. We need to be nurturing and supporting our people so they can take on leadership situations. This is what I’ve been doing for the past several months – acting in an advisory capacity and providing support rather than stepping in. And it is really paying off.

    Two mottos:

  • David T 16 years ago

    Fantastic vlog!

  • Paul Robertson 16 years ago

    Thanks Thanks and THANKS!!! Your VLOG is very helpful to us! I just forwarded this to all of my Tennessee Chapters (under TAD) so I hope your message will help them!

    PMRjr, Past President of TAD and your old Gallaudet classmate.

  • Tom Murillo 16 years ago

    This is what we need in local everywhere. This is right direction.

    Excellent Vlog!

  • Joey Baer 16 years ago

    DeafChipmunk – Regarding Hearing Screening program that we should connect – you are correct. That’s an area we also need to emphasize the importance of early language acquisition for Deaf babies. Thanks!

    Leon – YES, local teachers should be included in the process. Whole System Thinking means EVERYONE should be part of the process in pushing for our linguistic rights! It is often people thought things are difficult but if you try, it probably wont be difficult afterall. We need to keep on trying!

    Paul – I certainly remember you and glad to know that you are encouraging TAD to check this vlog out. I look forward to see what TAD can share sometimes soon. We need to exchange ideas more often!

    And if you go to, you will see maybe one or two vlogs on Whole System Thinking training CAD officers receive. I hope a such training will be spread to other Deaf Associations as well.


  • Jared Evans 16 years ago

    Excellent vlog as usual! It all starts at the bottom and through interconnections with each other, monumental goals can be realized. The problems facing Deaf people cannot be overcome by a single organization, but if there many smaller organizations and several larger organizations willing to work in a closely coordinated fashion, much can be done.

  • John Mans 16 years ago

    Your vlog is excellent about think Globally, act locally. What I look for this one for pretty awhile. I still ponder and think for right one. Now, you talk this one. Thanks you for making everyone get a bright bulb!!!! High Five!!!!!

  • LaRonda 16 years ago

    Very clear and quite inspiring! Nice to see you vlogging again. I’ve got to catch up soon! Been a long time for me too.

    ~ LaRonda

  • Platonic's Eye 16 years ago

    Beautiful job!!! I like it very much I wish in MD need that. It is only one way to invest in strenght through network as thinking globally, but acts locally. That is what politics all about depend on strenght network that can benefit our Deaf community locally. Yes, I agree with you. You graduated from MD School in Frederick!
    Excellent job on that !!!

  • Noni 16 years ago

    Very well thought out. i agree, organizations need to work together – after all, we serve the same Deaf community – and can accomplish so much as a huge group.
    One example – a few years ago , two organizations worked together to host Valentine’s Day – it was extremely successful, of course, there are many help. we also made a big profit , even when split between two programs, and that really helped to develop programs – aft er that, the two organizations suggested that each organization do its own thing. after that, we didn’t make as much profit, our events were not as successful. so there is something there.

  • Deafeye 16 years ago

    Valid point you have…

    We, the community, needs to get together to plant seeds in our local community of the rights and wrongs of our vision.

    Once the peers of ours get their feet wet and know that they can become our allies. THIS is where we will prevail as stronger community. We can build form there into nationally. Baby steps first!

    There are so many quotes that I could throw here, but only one that would and need to move forward into nationally from locally after time being.

    “United we stand; divided we fall”

    Work together, CI, Oral, HoH, Deaf, and few more. Together we will move forward.

  • Ella Lentz 16 years ago

    Thanks Joey! Will love to see you (and maybe Clark and Adele too) do brief notes on Whole System Thinking for everybody to be exposed to that concept more.
    Will forward this vlog to CAD folks.

  • Penny 16 years ago

    Joey is baaaaack and he is very much alive! 🙂 Joey- You got over 575 viewers in short time. How do you do it? What is your secret? 🙂

    Anyway…good presentation. I hope to contribute to the Deaf community when I am done with school. I know that I can’t work at Deaf school because I will collect hearing aides and cochlear implants from deaf children and throw them in the garbage can and let them be children. No question about it. Can’t they be children? Can’t they use their hands to communicate? What is wrong with their hands? Is it sin for them to use their hands to communicate? Is it sin for them not being able to hear? Is it sin for them to be in silence world?

    When I watched the program tonight and some went to South America to make ear molds for Deaf children so they can use new hearing aides. I became very upset about it. I wish that successful deaf people would never care for fame, walking on red carpet or making money. I am tired of seeing many people focus on Ear Mouth Ear Mouth!!! It is sad that some (not all) successful deaf people do not stand up for Deaf children. What is wrong with using hands? I often wonder if these people who focus on Ear Mouth wish not to have hands themselves.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing and I admire you being cool, calm and collective thoughts. Amazing! 🙂

  • Nick Vera 16 years ago


    Your vlog empowered us with our great heart for our community to build the bridge gap. Indeed, the foundation is always essential to support the giant ideas to collaborate with each member to work with.
    I agreed all above of the comments to work with others that would be not easy to persist. You know the concept of the chart from early as if it is brand new to maturity-decline. I want to keep the maturity stablizing eternally in order to keep fresh daily.
    With your great ideas and concepts, I would love to see the whole thing to support our community to remain the stablizing collaboration locally and globally to perserve our language and culture.
    You made the excellent job to share with us. Hands Wave!

    One more thing before I sign off, I would love to see the whole concept here in Metro-D.C/VA/MD to work with.

    Nick Vera

  • Susan 16 years ago

    What can we do locally and nationally to stop DeafRead from making the site for people who are obsessed with ears, deafness, speech, etc? Should we protest and not visit DeafRead until they make changes?

    We should not attend DeafRead’s next conference and see how many CI people will go and support their conference. It is my understanding there were a few CI people there.

    We are fed up with DeafRead’s lame attempts to be neutral. You already said that neutrality is no good in one of your vlogs.

  • Sandra Goldstein 16 years ago


    Very interesting vlog! The famous quote is ” Actions speak louder than words”. We are aware of the fact that we cannot build the roof first. We have to build the foundation before we build the house.

    The big problem with the deaf community is that deaf people have ego problems. They tend to work with their own friends. They do not bother to use nonfriends’ expertise as well talents.

    We have to learn to work together but we do not have to like each other. Working together works.

    Some deaf people brought up the good idea but they demand to have a credit that the idea was theirs. So what? Why bother to earn a credit? Throw the idea to make the organization better as well effective without earning a credit. If it is my idea and someone else wants this credit, let him or her have my credit.

    Keep on vlogging with a big smile:-)

    Sandra :0)

  • Joey Baer 16 years ago

    To response to some of you above, yes it is not easy to start something like this. Like I said, we are STILL working on it – how to connect with local organizations. We are still learning and that is the reason I am sharing this with you with hopes you can share with us of your progress in your area.

    Ella – Adele Ann, Clark and I have been talking to do some vlogs to expose the idea of Whole System Thinking. We will keep this in mind!

    Regarding DeafRead and its status, yes I am concerned where they are going. I will simply monitor carefully on their progress. One thing I already noticed is that the number of ASL vloggers have dropped dramatically. That’s something we need to watch.

    Part of Whole System Thinking process, we need to MONITOR people’s behavior and reactions to situations as well.

  • Jerri 16 years ago

    Wonder can I put your vlog of “think globally, act locally” on Facebook since many deaf people connect with old and new friends there?

  • Jerri 16 years ago

    By the way.. I loved your videoclip!! I understand completely.. I am from deaf family.. went to deaf club during my childhood.. I do notice deaf community is weaker now.. We need to ACT together..

  • Joey Baer 16 years ago

    Jerri – sure you can forward the link on your Facebook! 🙂

  • deafk 16 years ago

    That’s great. Good to see you back on vlog!!

    Leadership trainings or organization trainings are still needed among us. We need to train the locals first. Then when they can perform properly in organizations, they can intersocialize with the another organizations, and support each other better.

    Just my two cents, grinning…


  • Susan 16 years ago

    Monitoring DeafRead may not be enough. We need to take an action.

  • Penny 16 years ago

    One more…why didn’t the people who went to South America reached out to Deaf children to show them that there is a sign language they can learn for communication and learning. Why did they rescue Deaf children to make new ear molds for their hearing aides? Why? They are not important. Education and communication are far more important because it gives them identity and language. Not hearing aides and ear molds. Ear molds get decayed pretty fast believe me. Sign language stays forever. People can be selfish. Me and I…Me and I. We should never give applaud to some individuals who do not bring real hope and truth to Deaf children. They bring fakes. Sad!

  • Jean Boutcher 16 years ago


    Great to see you on the vlog! One head cannot work. We need to have many heads to brainstorm together. Do not give up your ship. Keep sailing!

    Jean Boutcher

  • DE 16 years ago

    Joey- you the MAN! Yes- many good things happen LOCALLY– and Deaf people develop confidence through local friends, colleagues, and allies… having our local BASE is an important step in addressing grander issues.

    I feel that Deaf people the past few years are slowly but surely moving towards the Collective Leadership model, and discarding old habits of “me, myself, and I” and pulling others down. (Sure, there are a stubborn few who refuse to look at ideas and the system and persist on talking about people rather than ideas, and prevent unity on the cultural level. They come up with false accusations against Deaf activists, spread gossip to distract everybody from the real issues, etc. We gotta confront that destructive behavior and tell them “stop”
    and urge them to focus on ideas not people.)

    It isn’t easy, but we must persevere…for the sake of our Deaf children and community!

  • Tom Murillo 16 years ago

    Hi Joey!

    Don’t forget, we – CAD of BAC will host CAD board of directors meeting and Event in Fremont this July. Ralph Singleton and I already talked about your hot topic – Think globally, Act Locally last night. We agreed that our theme will be: Act locally! We will plan more, get people involved and set up the model for everyone. 🙂

  • LJR 16 years ago

    It was good one! I just surprised to see that DCARA is not part of it. I believe that DCARA plays the big part in Bay Area.

  • Joey Baer 16 years ago


    Yes, DCARA and other organizations play big role in the Bay Area. The organizations I mention in my vlog were simply because of my personal experience and connections. As you can imagine, if I mention every organization and their roles in the Bay Area, the vlog will take forever!

    This is to clarify that any local should consider and include every organizations/members in the Whole System thinking process sharing same vision. It is also important to emphasize that this effort is not an overnight thing. So yes, locals should consider agencies, senior citizens, and many other organizations!

    As for DCARA playing their role, they started vlogs last year to make it access to Deaf people in the Bay Area. Go to: and click on \”Back to Archives of Di\’s Perspective Vlogs\” on the bottom.

    Thanks for asking, LJR!

  • Hillary 16 years ago

    Excellent Vlog, here in Texas Need this.. will pass this around thanks!!
    and Welcome back Joey, Always enjoy your vlogs.
    keep it up! 🙂

  • Mishkazena 16 years ago

    Good point, Joey, about the need to build up a strong local and regional foundations.

    However, some deaf communities do not have any leaders or too few leaders at all. They can be momentarily overwhelmed when their communities face a sudden crisis, i.e. a school protest. Then they need the firefighters from elsewhere to help shore them up until the temporary crisis passes, i.e. resolution of the school protest.

    When I was involved in hearing health advocacy work, there were many national and state leaders, but too few local leaders. While we mostly concentrated on strengthening our local and national foundation, we also helped out other local communities temporarily during emergencies while they were on fires, i.e. “national fire brigades”. We understood that their resources were very limited. In this aspect, not only the national and state leaders got involved, their people also contributed. In this collective team, nobody got burned out as everybody worked together.

    This way the community in crisis got a helping hand during a crisis and after they stabilized, they continued with their work on their own. We resumed strengthening our regional and local community. Those who received help became stronger and offered their assistance to other communities on fire. Eventually we all become stronger, locally, regionally, and national-wide.

    This is not what I am seeing here. The regional and local leaders focus on their areas alone. There is no national fire brigade with volunteer firefighters from different areas to help out other communities in severe crisis temoparily, i.e. school protests.

    I’ve come to a realization that we need to empower the Deaf people by educating them how to become activists. That way more people will work together collectively and thus can spread out and help others in need during crises.

  • Joey Baer 16 years ago


    I would never underassume Deaf people’s leadership. We need to stop saying that Deaf people do not have leadership, I do not believe in that anymore.

    It is our duty to inspire and encourage them that they can lead in their own way. Like I explain in the end of my vlog, we need to know their strengths and allow them to lead in that area.

    I much rather say that Deaf people appear not to know what to do or how to lead than saying they do not have it. If we look at the system in last 30-50 years, there were not much leadership training opportunities for young Deaf children. Thus it is the reason they are in need of training (as suggested by some people).

    IT TAKES TIME! We need to believe in ourselves! We can do it!

  • Mishkazena 16 years ago


    I think you misunderstood me. I am not saying Deaf people cannot lead, but that they need help in developing the leadership and advocacy skills.

    I personally witnessed the lack of involvement from the Deaf Community in the recent school protests. Several who did were overwhelmed. There were not many standing by, encouraging and inspiring them.

    We need to teach the local Deaf Community tools how they can empower themselves AND do the advocacy work.

    What’ s why I suggest we provide workshops for them. Maybe this is something we can work on.

    I want to clarify that there is no question in my mind that Deaf people can do it 🙂


  • Name Withheld 16 years ago


    From your comment, I suspect you aren’t a member of one of NAD’s state associations. What I don’t understand about you is that you haven’t even bothered to find out through NAD? You’d be surprised to see a long list of deaf leaders in different state associations busy with legislators, etc, etc. I work with deafies for over 20 yrs.

  • Nancy M. Carroll 16 years ago

    Hello People. When you start working locally with a few, you build your connections with others in your community. Then working globally becomes a possibility. Start with those who share your vision to build your strength and remain persistent in your beliefs. Like the geese in the sky that fly in a V-formation, when the leader at the point of the arrow tires, the others at the end take over and they rotate until they reach their destination. So shall we!

  • Jean Boutcher 16 years ago

    How true because that is how the concept of “Think Globally and Act Locally” works hierarchially. Look at all governments, companies, schools, universities, organisations — always starting from the base of the pyramid before the goal is reached at the top. It works well in an egalitarian approach (example: Julie, Ella, Joey, and others) — rather than “me, I, myself, I know everything, you sit.”

    See LaRonda’s post that shows Julie’s vlog at:

  • IamMine 16 years ago

    Good to see you again, Joey! 🙂

    I do see some great leaders in my own home state and they are working hard on making some changes.

    We do need to recognize them and for every one of them to work together, not against each other, even if they have different ideas or views – like you said by learning through dialogues and supporting each other.

    I also enjoyed Julie’s vlog at LaRonda’s site. 🙂

  • Mishkazena 16 years ago


    I have no doubt about the Deaf leaders in state associations for the deaf and the tremendous work they are doing at the legislative level. This applies to the national Deaf leaders, too. 🙂

    However, that wasn’t what I was talking about.

    Had you read my comments carefully, I referred to the lack of advocacy from the local Deaf Community during the school protests where the stakeholders were overwhelmed. We need to empower the local and regional deaf people living outside the big metropolitan cities. With everybody empowered, we can work together and go a long way! 🙂

  • Roger Smedman 16 years ago

    very important for our deaf leaders that we need to look up , work togther , and support from Deaf Community. we would like to see how the concept of “Think Globally and Act Locally” works , more ideas , I agree with Joey, once long time – Jr NAD I remember that Frank TurK quote ” it is you”

  • Ron Fields 16 years ago

    I am deaf leader supporting the concept of “If you build, they will come.” already have one follower and more to come.

  • debby 16 years ago

    very hard for Deaf Alabamians to be united.

  • EDDY 16 years ago


  • Jerry Chase 16 years ago

    Hello Joey,

    As your same as my dream is to keep the Clubs growing , to avoid the statue quo and to find new opportunties to encourage the deaf to mingle and to enjoy their activities. The focus is to dream and not give up.
    Let’s pull together, work together and stay together.
    Why ? Because we are of “One Heart”. We have our local of Bay Area Deaf senior clubs and together, I believe real Dream+Goals+Plans+Hardwork can succeed from “the think Globally, Act locally”.
    Focus your mind on your best achievements, big, small, and your ability to succeed.


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