Through Joey’s Eyes 3: It is good to be Deaf!
After I did two vlogs sharing my thoughts about “Through Deaf Eyes”, I felt I missed something, I finally remembered it and would like to share it with you.


  • The One and Only Ridor 17 years ago

    Amen, Baer.

    I always tell hard of hearing, latened deaf, and all these categorized folks that they are still Deaf.

    Deaf, like you said, does include any *degree* of hearing loss. ASL or not, they re still DEAF.

    It is good to be deaf, dear!



  • Ron Riddle, Jr. 17 years ago

    Joey, I remember that you gave Delta Sigma Phi fraternity rush party speech in 1995. You have your excellence talent on public speaker. Keep this up!
    About your vlog on “It is good to be Deaf”, I agree with you to have DEAF with different vitual communications. I know some deaf people still deny to be deaf like oralism, cued speeh, etc… We have to work together to make Deaf more strong and unity from our different backgrounds.
    Hat off to Joey!

  • Jean Boutcher 17 years ago


    You hit the nail on the head! Clean and simple! All under one umbrella! It is no wonder that the
    National Association of the Deaf represents people of varying deciBels.

  • Sarah 17 years ago


    I’m just SO, SO, SO glad you brought this up…It’s about time someone is talking this out in the open and in ASL, smile.

    For many years, i have already told people why do we have to say Deaf and Hard of Hearing for organizations, so forth when Blacks do not say “…for the Blacks and Half-Blacks.” I have mentioned this on Ella Lentz’s blogsite.

    I don’t want our HoH friends to feel threatened by my comment and perspective, because they may feel proud that they are not totally deaf. I respect their feelings and this is about keeping ourselves together in a much bigger group that shall draw much more power to us. Should we prefer HoH to stay within their HoH labeled community and Deaf in our Deaf labeled community, we are simply creating an internal war against each other, the two sub-minority groups within the non-hearing minority community.

    Let the term Deaf be a positive image for all of us then on a microscope we, of course, acknowledge there are many different hearing levels for Deafhood.

    On a different note, i also dream that one day we unaminously would not use the term ‘hearing loss’ for those of us who are genetically D/deaf. Hearing loss means we are supposed to be born hearing and it’s a drag that we weren’t born that way. It’s time to stop that implicature in English that comes from hearing people’s way of thinking. Let us begin saying “hearing level” instead and it’s ok to say, “Sure, i got a low hearing level.” But it is NOT ok to say “i have a hearing loss…” when i’m already taking part in the Mother Nature’s evolution as an evolving human being from a biological standpoint.


  • Julie Rems-Smario 17 years ago

    Excellent vlog!

    Julie Rems-Smario

  • MikeS 17 years ago

    Thumbs up. Nice catch “deaf” hands sign ending.
    I feel that way the same for long time, but it’s unfortunate many in denial with term, “Deaf.” This is the ongoing dilemma of polarization of experiences. Nevertheless, I agree it should be the umbrella term under other terms are under. That is what others should see for social and political purposes perhaps.

  • Darla 17 years ago


    I completely love how I see myself, as a deaf person and that is for sure! I am darn proud of our culture, our organization, and our people!

    Sure, always liked the idea for anybody who has difficult times hearing declare themselves proud as much as to be one of us. Often, I would meet other people who know how to sign, and/or they cannot hear well and learning how to sign, and I have noticed how they have the wants for using ASL. I love the idea of everybody whoever have desire to preserve ASL, regardless if they are deaf, or hard of hearing, or such. But too often, they don’t have this deep desire or understand the level of ASL, until much later, or when they’ve become habit to it.

    Things I wondered about the other community, those organizations that you mentioned; they have their exclusive positions with their possessions within their community. Forever, they can speak with their beloved languages, and they don’t need to worry about losing the ability of interactions within their community or their cultures for years to come, except maybe the blind organization. The Black community, Mexican community, Asian community and all those organizations would probably outlive us; due to this reason, who could change their skin or the features of their body. Who could subtracts their DNA of colors into white? Unless the melting pot has its purpose, these communities would never fade away.

    I have tendency of fury inside me when I observed my friends back in high school, those of different races. They have these behaviors in thinking their culture, or their customs, or their style are much better than ours. I have always wished I’ve talked to them and explain about this, because I felt our culture, as Deaf, welcome every body, regardless of their races, sexes, religions, any kind of communities the character think of, they are so sure welcomed in our community.

    The future, the scientists had predict the fate for the Deaf people- maybe within 100 or 200 years from now, our very own community might be wiped out effortlessly with lots of help by, doctors, scientists, and genetic engineers, our government, and most possibly later, United Nation governments. (This is why I said, except maybe the blind, because apparently there are some cures for the blind as well, they might be as well wiped out one day in future. I have been keeping in date with the science literatures, discovery channels, and all those kind.)

    There are too many people that have different degree of hearings. Some people had became deaf during their childhood, or adulthood, they tends to keep their original language by being hearing, or managing their hearing skills, so they won’t lose their speaking skills. There are senior citizens who would become deaf, and yea, we are happy to invite them in, but they might become aged too well to adopt ASL. The majority of deafness is from outside, not from the inside of our community, and our ASL culture is our core, and that define us, as the Deaf people. Do you want us to sell our culture’s soul to the bigger pool and lose our ASL spirit? I doubt it. .

    If I have to be honest, if I agreed to invite every body that cannot hear fairly well up to DEAF, and set up an organization for all of us, frankly, I still have the resistance feelings. ASL is probably the one of the most cherished commodities that DEAF use. Myself, I am all into ASL, and I would give anything to preserve it. I just knew we all just cannot afford see the passion of ASL ebb. If there are too many people that cannot hear well coming in the organization, and the majority may change the view of ASL.

    ASL is probably the most fragile language. This is one of reasons I rather the DEAF world being restricted to those who love it and cherish the community. I think we got to be careful.

    Sorry for a long comment.

    Anyway, I love what you are saying. Great thoughts. Good plan, though.

  • kira 17 years ago

    i adore ur vlog. i love ur simple point which is so powerful! 🙂

  • Linda Kennedy 17 years ago

    Joey, you hit home with your third vlog. Yes you are absolutely right we allll should all fall into one BIG group of deaf. I grew up as an oralist. I was always trying to hide the fact I went to Clarke School. I was afraid I wd not be accepted by the Deaf but I always felt I was just as deaf as the rest of us. True I do have some speech but I stillll have same frustrations in hearing world and DO prefer to be in deaf world . so I embrace your idea of unitifying alll deaf under ONE wing. Oralist, HH, CI, Deaf and deaf. ALL are same. Like u said well that we all are VISUAL based learners. thanks for including all of us Linda Kennedy

    Wow you really lift us all UPP and UPPP thank you!

  • DT 17 years ago

    I don’t think this is a new concept but it’s good to be reminded. I also feel that these different kinds of deaf you mentioned will always pretty much be “separate” socially. So the focus should be that all of the groups should be united politically because that’s the name of the game. That’s a goal I’d love to see happen.

  • Tayler 17 years ago

    Too bad you didn’t caption this vlog, so the “other” types of deaf people could follow it. 🙂

  • justmedeaf 17 years ago

    Joey, I agree with you. I have lot of thought about it and I am happy that you brought up for all deaf to see themselves as DEAF. Thank you

  • White Ghost 17 years ago

    That is what the organization is all about. Deaf means everything.

    There are so many deaf schools around the country. For instance, “School for the deaf.”

    White Ghost

  • IamMine 17 years ago


    I finally saw the 2 hours show yesterday!!!

    Unlike many, I felt GOOD!!!

    My vlog title was going to be: “Through Deaf Eyes: STILL Deaf!!”

    I was going to use the exact quote from that oral kid’s dad who understands that they are still deaf no matter what and tell parents that technology will NOT cure deafness. That is a POWERFUL message itself.

    All shared the same message through different ways!

    I felt so good…because my dad who came into my life at 18 sat down with my husband and I.

    Both them said this was very informative!

    It felt like I unzipped my chest and got it all off because I could connect with almost everyone, or knew people who went through that.

    I thought it was really a GREAT program – but finished?

    No… more! 🙂

    Thanks for sparing me a vlog – I couldn’t have said it any better! 😀

  • Ginny (Paja) Nyholm 17 years ago

    -So simple and so crystal clear!!!

    Ginny Paja-Nyholm

  • Judge 17 years ago

    Exactly right!

    My oldest son always call himself a DEAF person regardless the degree of hearing he can hear. He isn’t shy.

    Excellent vlog, Joey!

  • Nick 17 years ago

    To the hail of Chief Baer:

    “It is good to be deaf” WOW! What a great positive statement! Thank you for having us into the think tank to discourse this issue. Absolutely, I agreed with you that we are all collaborating into one group as DEAF.

    You did a good job on vlog. Silent Applause!

  • Sandra Goldstein 17 years ago

    I always enjoy your vlogs. Deaf is a dirty word to hard of hearing. Hard of hearing people are entilted to a right to call themselves hard of hearing. Some of them resent to be in the group of Deaf.

    Now look at the NAD. NAD…National Association of the Deaf… Many members of NAD are hearing. There are many organizations… NDA( National Black Adovocates, NLA ( National Lationo Association), NSA ( National Asian Association).. they are separate organizations…I strongly believe in ONE organization… NAD period… One national organization in one country. It looks so united… Separate national organizations for the Deaf divide us… America is one country of any color… We have black organization, brown organization, yellow organization, red organization , green organization,,, America is divided by many color organizations… Similar to NAD..NAD is divided by national black deaf organization, etc…

    Look at the schools for the Deaf… Many hard of hearing go to the schools for the Deaf…No school is called school for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing…Look at the NAD… not National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing…

    However, look at the state commissions…They call Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commissions??? Why not Deaf Commissions only?????

  • Denise 17 years ago

    Well said!

    Just that the medicial people really have strong influence of “marking” the term deaf with negative thoughts. So those people who haven’t accepted the fact they are deaf are influenced by those people. So we have two areas to work on, within ourselves and medicial field people.

  • Rick 17 years ago

    Well said! I have to agree w/Tayler’s comments as well. So think about captioning your vlog, OK?

  • Jenni 17 years ago

    KUDOS Joey!

    You have made it point!

    Thanks for your time and inputs on your Vlogs, I ve enjoyed watching ya!


  • Cherry 17 years ago


    Yes, it is very true. No matter what to be with use asl/or without asl to use as Oral during to be DEAF.

    But One thing, what is about ” Usher Sydrome” ? I am Usher Sydrome myself, Cuz I grew up in Deaf School. I feel alike to be Deaf and dont feel to be blind yet, Not complete blind yet, but I will be blind in the future.

    You said, Blind ‘s head from under different kinds of groups and Usher Sydrome, too? Will Usher Sydrome be Deaf ( belongs to ) or Be Blind ( belongs to ) or Both ?

    Both of Deaf/vision Diffcult are a middle of to be deaf and to be blind. How? Can you explain me about ” to be deaf can link to Usher Sydrome or Should be to link to Blind’s Group from Usher Sydrome” ?

    My Feeling is strongly to be Deaf.

    Joey, if you feel any questions to send me and will be gladly to answer the questions back. 🙂

  • Sharon Lane 17 years ago

    Great job, good details. I’m going to show this to my ASL students.

  • debby 17 years ago

    Great job! I agree with you about a method of visual communications such as SEE, PSE, TC, oral, CS, ASL and SHHH are always considered as DEAF! Title “Through Deaf Eye” (visual) and ending “D E A F” have a meaning. I accept any kind of deaf people who communicate in SEE, TC, CUED, etc. I think they are beautiful and they all should be part of us in one community.

  • Virginia L. Beach 17 years ago

    Great vlog, Joey.

    You’re right…it IS good to be deaf!

  • SAG 17 years ago

    Well Said!!! Some hearing people saw “Through Deaf Eyes” program and still don’t get the point that because they even asked me why I did not try cochlear implant? GOSH, I told them that I’m damn proud of being deaf. I am happy with being who I am! period They said that communication is the most important in a hearing world we are in and it would make easier to communicate with everyone with the cochlear implant. Do you have any suggestion on what to explain it better to them that they will understand?

  • Jay Paul Gold 17 years ago


    Wow, I never thought of that. Myself, I am Hard of Hearing. I agree with you every words you saying. I am proud to be DEAF. No Matter what people saying. I am DEAF. It is good to be DEAF, forever.

  • Greg Hlibok 17 years ago

    Hey Joey,

    That was my Freudian slip during the course of presentation at Ohlone College several years ago. JKF’s slip would be, “We would be better off being hearing.”


  • Teri 17 years ago


    You hit the hight point! Great video clip!

    Here’s a question … do you recognize those hand carved wood sculptures (fingerspelling ABC’s?) I believe they are kept safe in the barrack at MD School for the Deaf. Correct?

  • DON STEWART 17 years ago

    I agree with you. There are multiple people that are deaf, hh, cochlear implanted, oral, etc…. We are still DEAF period. That is right we are depending on visual all the time no matter what we are.

    Never thought I noticed that end of the show. U did really impacted my point of view. yea It is good to be DEAF!!!! keep up the good work on your vlog. you always have a good point and check out my newest vlog but it is still new and rusty. I am trying to add more vlogs in the future on deaf issues. Keep in touch.

  • Jessica 17 years ago

    That is right, what we all have in common is Deaf, regardless of what degree, regardless of what kind of communication method is used, regardless of what devices we use for it, experience, whatever. The bottom line is that it is our common feature.

    Cherry, yes, I think you are still Deaf whether you have Usher’s or not. You have something in common with the rest of us Deafies! The way you identify yourself with also means something to you. Also Christine Roschaert (sp?) did a good job on explaining what is considered under Blind on SignCasts where Ryan Commerson interviewed her. I haven’t finished watching all of it since it was 58 minutes long but I saw some of the beginning.

  • Sean 17 years ago

    Funny… Many years ago, I was involved in a heated debate about labelling deaf people, how to identify the degrees in deafness based a pool of people. I was a strong advocate (still am…) of calling a pool, “Deaf” and was able to identify the different parts of the pool to their degrees of hearing loss.

    Now, your vlog brings a smile out of me today. 🙂

    OTP – Have you noticed the wooden hand of the letter “F” shaped out differently than what we do today? The thumb does not meet the index finger to indicate “F”. I believe it is a way to separate the letter “F” and number “9”.

    Just a food of thought. 😉


  • DT 17 years ago

    Jeez, Goldstein; I am HoH but I ASL with the best of them! I DO NOT think deaf or Deaf is a dirty word! Your’e not much help in that department.

  • Lisa Toppin 17 years ago

    Great Vlog! I am, myself, deaf so I would like to be labeled as “DEAF”. For the Hard of Hearing, it should be “Hard of Hearing”. At the end of the other movie, it should be read as “DEAF and “HARD OF HEARING”.
    The deaf people have their own world while the HH live differently. Nothing against it but that’s the way they are and the way the Deaf are. So it should be labeled as “Deaf and Hard of Hearing”
    Or “Hearing impaired” for the Hard of Hearing and latened deaf people as well, can be used too. So ” DEAF and Hearing Impaired” can be labeled this way. Not just the word…”DEAF”.
    How would a deaf person feel if someone said that he/she is HH? They won’t like it. They are proud to be “DEAF”.
    Smile, I am proud to be deaf, too!

  • JungleForest 17 years ago

    Kudos to Joey!! Amen! You made that clear point. 🙂

    I’m proud to be DEAF! I remember I heard once by my mother when I was a kid, she asked me if I was “hearing impaired” or “hard of hearing” because she fill out a form for school (which I grew up in mainstream schools), at that time, I didn’t understand a term in HI and HOH until I get older, I finally understood about the terms. I was upset with the words, told them that I’m deaf, period.

    Way to go, Joey!! 🙂

  • Jac 17 years ago

    That make sense! Whole things become one “DEAF” word period at no matter what!Included HI, HH, CS, Oralism, LDA, HL, ETC!

    Interesting — Thanks for pointing that out.

  • Michele 17 years ago

    Joey, I agree with you about this. I just wonder if we were to make this a reality where we would name all organiztions Deaf only and eliminate the HH.

    We would receive people who have lost their hearing at late age, they would still act hearing because that is the way they grew up, their needs will be completely different from us, so if we were to have deaf clubs, would we be patient enough to communicate with them as they may not know sign language. Or they may not be patient with us in learning sign language. This is where the barrier is and we need to find a way to remove the wall so that the word deaf fits everyone in a sense.

    Thanks Joey for making me think this through! I also was glad that the hearing father said about his son that he will always remain deaf no matter what. It is obvious that this father has come to terms in accepting his son’s deafness. Many parents especially fathers have a very difficult time accepting their child’s deafness.

  • Penny 17 years ago

    Joey- You are our Deaf Dali Lama! 🙂 Even before you learned about Deafhood…you were always very nice to me…always! I am sure you were like that with many others too. This does not surprise me what you have been doing for our community. You are a compassionate and thoughtful gentleman.

  • Nick 17 years ago

    Hi, Joey –

    Very good addition to your “Through Deaf Eyes” series! You’ve made me analyze some more and I’ve learnd something. 🙂

    Ive made my own vlog on “Through Deaf Eyes” as well on my own blog and what you just said made me think more throughly about my own. 🙂

    Good Vlog!

  • Tara (MO) 17 years ago

    I second to it! I totally agree with everything you said. No offense…I often wonder what’s the point of adding the three last words to the (state) commission for the Deaf and (this three last words) Hard of Hearing and *scoff* I mean come on, look it up in the dictionary and under this word of Deaf is in the group of any type of hearing loss, so why bother add HOH when Deaf defines all the type of hearing loss?

  • Craig 17 years ago

    Well, tough to be a Real Deaf, I understand your point that Deaf is very broad defination but we still have to work over come “Babel ” Deaf Community ; One unity must accept Deaf , secondly must accept ASL I know a big challenge. We all need strenght through one unity I mean UNITY will help us to build much strong political. We have a long way .

  • Deanna Taylor 17 years ago


    I am agreed with you! I enjoyed to watch your video keep me understand. Thanks..

  • Cry Me A River 17 years ago


    Nice input!!! Now I wonder, our friends who have Usher’s Syndrome can say they are blind? I bet some of them would say yes, others would say no. HoH ppl would say they re deaf (or Deaf) and others would not.


  • Lu Long 17 years ago

    YES Yes Yes YES!

    It is too good to be DEAF! I will tell you why it is too good to be DEAF! I had a hearing brother who always complaint about any tiny noise bothered him while he slept! HA Ha It never bothers me any at all because I am DEAF then it’s too good to be a normal DEAF! Smile….

    I thankfully God that I am Deaf in many ways so, I can share many of my happy being a normal Deaf without any kind of puppets since I am fine!

    I wish I could say more and more but someone just told me that I need to keep my comments shortly as possible, I respect….


  • JFLMad 17 years ago

    Well said and powerful point of view! and that is fact!!

    1 million stars out of 5 stars!!

  • Harriett 17 years ago

    First off, I wanted to really thank you for all the wonderful vlogs you have shared. I never felt the need to add any comments till now. Your vlog regarding “Through Deaf Eyes” really hit the spot. I truly hope that someday our Deaf community wouldn’t be so judgmental about how exactly “Deaf” we are. We all are here for a purpose and we all should unite regardless if we grew up Deaf with Deaf parents, grew up oral, grew up hearing then became Deaf and so forth. We have a history to pass on and to share it with the world. Thank you, Joey Baer, for your part and for spreading the word.

  • Peggy 17 years ago

    Succulent, BRAVO Joey! Deaf always be Beautiful right beside!! Perfect Information for those confused people about being DEAF !!

  • Samuel Jones 17 years ago

    Add to Joey Bauer’s comment, I never forgot having witness or saw well-known person in the film when he met apparently his oral friend guy talked with him via oral method. “Sorry”, well-know guy said(signed), ” My eyes are becoming poor so I cannot read your lip. So I had to use sign language method better.” Wow! it must be very hot issue. I wonder all oral people who cannot read lips and had to use the sign language methods better in their retirement – lives. Therefore we are DEAF, Any comment?

  • MABEL 17 years ago





    M A B E L

  • Jerry 17 years ago

    I have worn hearing aids since I was 30 years old and have signed since I was 35. Now I’m 61 and doctor’s say I’m seriously deaf with Minere’s disease and am getting more deaf almost daily, but I tell people I’m HoH, not because I think HoH is better than deaf, but because I haven’t paid my “dues” like my deaf cousin who is deaf from birth. Her 65 years of life experience has been much harder than mine, and I don’t feel worthy to wear the title of “Deaf.” At least not yet. Deaf people see me talking as say, “you’re not deaf,” and hearing people try to tell me something and I can’t understand and they tell me, “You’re deaf.” Sometimes I feel like I don’t fit in in either culture, but I’m more comfortable in the deaf world. But the truth is, I’M DEAF! I’m glad to know that some deaf think of me as deaf too.

  • Matt Malzkuhn 17 years ago


    Interesting point. As I wonder, I would agree that, in terms of advocacy, we should remain united, but in terms of validating ASL and Deaf Culture even further, a type of separation is inevitable as there is a huge divide among deaf people in linguistic uses/communicative modes. Rather being stuck fighting our own, I would rather take a staunch position and do everything in my power to promote ASL.
    Within advocacy it is usually centered on “deafness”, the biological characteristics of our body and in working to making our body accessible to the world. It is the Deaf (cultural) side that is complicated because of language/communicative use. The organizations that you mentioned does not have differences in languages and modes so it is easy to remain united about their being, as a whole. I believe that Deaf people are dealing with a combination of physical and communicative issues. At times we would decide to fight for our physical issues and then go our separate ways and fight for the mode of our choice. Life isnt always easy eh ha.

  • Tara 17 years ago

    Jerry- you don’t have to “pay your dues” to label yourself as deaf 🙂 Being deaf does give us different challeneges in life, especially as a linguistic minority. BUT does that mean it’s a HARD life? I don’t think so. That’s something my deaf parents always told me– different life, yes– hard life– no.
    Don’t get me wrong– I know that a lot of deaf people get the short end of the stick and as a result, have a difficult life. I strongly believe that it’s not necessary for our future generations– I would love for each deaf child to KNOW that it’s good to be deaf, regardless of their background. I know it’s possible because I grew up that way.

  • Jeannette Zarembka 17 years ago

    SO So SO So TRUE!!! I agree the most wtih the blind part… since they have different areas under the title BLIND.. Why cant others accept that HOH, Late Deaf, and etc are under the title – DEAF. It makes perfectly sense!
    Thank you for sharing this thought wtih us so we can use this as an example to others when this issue is brought up. 🙂

  • Donna 17 years ago

    oh yes I do agree with you all Deaf stay together!thanks for sharing your thoughts…

  • Joanne 17 years ago

    Hurrah! Finally we got someone like Joey to explain what deafness is – no matter how much a deaf or hard of hearing person can hear! Joey, keep on vlogging. Thanks a bunch!

  • JAY 17 years ago


  • Michael J. Gilbert 17 years ago

    Joey, I have a question about the adults when they loss hearing do you think they called deaf or what? I think they dont label for the deaf when they loss hearing. Dont you think?

  • Kelsey 17 years ago

    Your messages was very GREAT 🙂 I think I believing this too because Im deaf I happy that your messages was following the Deaf.

  • Roxanna Hamaku 17 years ago

    Mahalo Joey for your talk on “It is Good to Be Deaf.” My parents are both Deaf but one chose to be in Deaf culture and other chose to be in hearing mainstream culture. Me?…..I struggled because I felt Deaf but society and Deaf culture told me I am, “Hard of Hearing.” I AM NOT HARD OF HEARING!” I am DEAF! Why? Because it is within me from before I was born, that I am DEAF! My primary language is DEAF, I understand ASL and I struggle with ENGLISH! Sorry, as you can see, I have a strong sense of “deafness” within my loin that I am DEAF. Will you accept me as Deaf or because I can use telephone and talk some, that I am “H of Hearing?” With your blog, Joey, I feel that you are trying to make the wareness known that “deafness” means not just one aspect but many like “blindness.” I am Deaf and I am proud to be known as Deaf. My Dad died recently and his name was Paul Sumner Curtis from Fulton Deaf School for the Deaf.

    Just making myself known,
    Roxanna Hamaku (Curtis)

  • Roxanna Hamaku 17 years ago

    Oh… and my stepmom is Beverly Curtis too who is Deaf too.

  • gergin 17 years ago

    yes, i agree especially that our learning style, the deaf, is visual…I just tested my brain and my visual learning style is 71%, more powerful than auditory…I am a deaf film maker and I hope that with my strong visual perception and applying educated filming knowledge, we will make a strong film challenging the mogul of the film industry, the Hollywood wolf…
    Let’s be proud that we are Deaf, no shame or no hide our identity from general people (hearing)!


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