Understanding Deafhood: Our History

Welcome to the newly designed website!  I want to THANK Jared Evans for his assistance in redesigning this site!  Thanks, Jared!

Now, the moment you have been waiting for, a video clip on Understanding Deafhood: Our History (1 of 4). It was very difficult to trim down from a 90-minute workshop to a 13-minute video clip.  13 minutes is probably long but it is very important to share this informative clip with you all.  Understanding Deafhood: Our Language (2 of 4) will be posted sometimes soon. Enjoy!


  • Mike Schmidt 18 years ago

    An eye opener! Recommended viewing for ALL deaf people!

  • Swedish reader 18 years ago

    You’ve done a great job with your vlog! Keep up the good job!

    I am looking forward your next post. The concept “deafhood” is unknown to us in Sweden, but I am sure “deafhood” eventually will spread here, too. It sure is very exciting — not only the concept deafhood itself, but also the discourse.

  • Don Miller 18 years ago

    I am inspired by this work. I am definitely in the process of Deafhood. I’m looking forward to the next part. Thank you!
    Don Miller
    Austin Community College
    Assistant Professor, ESOL

  • tayler 18 years ago

    Congratulations Joey on your new blog…looking sharp 🙂

  • Todd Murano 18 years ago

    Great Job Joey! It is inspiring to see your hard work impact so many people across Deaf America! Keep the good work up and we all thank u! 🙂

  • Nancy M. Carroll 18 years ago

    Superb job! Keep up the fantastic work!

    Onward and forward…


  • Donald Creech 18 years ago

    Keep up with your superb job on this ASL BLOG website, and it’s really impact deaf community across the United States. 🙂

  • Tissa Peiris 18 years ago

    It is an impact on me because of important issues related to Deafhood.That is important similarity between two things that happen or exist in
    colonialism and audsim. That is very simple to convence to Hearing people in the world. I am living in Tokyo, Japan to have a great opportunity to teach ASL/Deaf culture to Deaf/hearing people for one year or more othe year.

  • Mjah 18 years ago

    The webiste is awesome though the background colour interfers with those of us who wear eye-glasses….

    Am a South African and I have been following the various presentations on Deafhood and honestly find them informative and a unifying force in Deafhood global arena. But, surely, we all know the information-led revolution has transformed Deaf communities across the globe to a genuinely boarderless community.

    Indeed, keep the flow….

  • Rick Balk 18 years ago

    Beautiful… Awesome…

    You are champion…

    Keep up your great work…


  • Tara Bennett 18 years ago

    I must say this is one of heck C-H-A-M-P vlog ever! Keep up and make us all D/deaf community proud!

    As for the vlog, I must say some of it that I wasn’t that surprised as some of it I have learned something new. Very informative as well as educating! It’s always about colonialism and audsim issue…not surprising…like Ella said…be free from it to be able to overcome them two huge issues.

    Good work! 😉

  • Paul Kiel 18 years ago

    Time to stand up and raise arms for Deafhood!

    As I have said for many years, St. Louis Deaf Community is suffering from “plantation mentality” or colonialism as discussed in Deafhood. This is where and why we have too many oral schools in one town. They are the “robbers” and “thieves” of our proud Deaf culture.

    “Deafhood is a process to de-colonize our mind, body, and spirit from Oralism!”

    Oralism is a false facade for hearing people to manipulate, steal and oppress us.
    Now it is time for the Deafhood to rise and reckon on those who are abusing us.

    Now is the time for those who “brownnosed” or kiss the butts of hearing people to stop abusing us!

    This is where Deafhood can help and raise our consciousness. It is time to “deprogram” those people and stop them from abusing us!

    Please review http://www.joeybaer.com and watch for series of Deafhood in 4 parts.

    It is worthwhile learning and work on prioritizing our needs and goals to protect our proud Deaf culture. It is time to stop those audists from hurting us!

    Thank you for understanding my point all these years. I was “deprogrammed” many years ago when I realized how those teachers and hearing people manipulated us. They called me “troublemaker” for NOT listening to them! Screw them! I knew my position as deaf person and I knew how they were and still are abusing us!!!!

    Time to draw a big fat black line and tell them to back off and let us live! If they respect our livelihood and culture, they can be friends. If they have different agenda, they can go to hell for all I care!

    Paul Kiel
    “Audism spreads while good Deaf people do nothing!”

  • Vikee Waltrip 18 years ago

    What a great way to learn about Deafhood, especially for those of us who couldnt get to the workshops at NAD….

    I want more more more of this! Its so easy on the eyes, rather than reading the book…

    Keep going Joey, one day our deaf world will finally feel free from all the colonialism and discourse we are now experiencing as a result

    Thanks for showing it

  • Toby Welch 18 years ago

    AWESOME!!!! Very informative! That caused me more pride being Deaf! Thank God! I highest recommended to ALL people to understand what Deaf culture is!

  • carolyn 18 years ago

    Paddy Ladd was born deaf. He spent his childhood unhappily orally mainstreamed in a small village in Berkshire before gaining a degree in English literature at Reading university, and more importantly – acceptance by the hippie culture of the day. http://www.online-conference.net/sdp2006/presenters.htm

  • Eric Spanbauer 18 years ago

    LET ME SCREAM THIS! The deafhood concept is true in its own right! My deaf parents put me in a public school to learn speech because they wanted me to succeed in a hearing world (I don’t blame them because they tried to do right) that was oppressive to them during the dark ages, as I call it. My teachers told me and my oral classmates that sign language was wrong and subjected us with endless speech therapy sessions. Little did we realize that the oralism or colonialism doctrine pitted the Deaf against the Deaf because we perceived deafness to be, like people with disabilities, were ‘broken people.” This caused my classmates to yearn and rise in masked pride that they were “hearing” because they could speak! Speak, yes, but no intelligence! I endured beatings, rejections and scornings. It was hell and strangely, the “power status” was ranked by whom who could speak the best and acted like a hearing person. Fast forward many years later, my oral generation has never gotten together to work and advance the cause of our communication rights, captions, interpreters and other privleges enjoyed by hearing people! They are now isolated people, not real individuals of their own right and didn’t realize their much potential. They were like frogs living in a pond, thinking the whole world is the pond. What sad and wasted lives caused by colonalism! Finally, Deaf against Deaf is the worst sin of our culture. Thank you so much for this workshop that mirrors upon my deaf soul and may God bless you all!

  • Devil_Advocate 18 years ago

    As a devil advocate.. here it goes…
    As a deaf person all my life coming from a deaf family, I do not find Deafhood a new concept. It is rather a weak term because these deafs (ohh excuse me, Deaf) from particular areas across USA are rather radical and fancytalk on it. Colonizing us for what resources? I do not see how they take advantage of us out of “agenda”. Colonizing does not account out of ignorance which I believe the hearing people are having. Sources tell me Padden and other researchers are starting to realize there may (just may..) be no such thing as Deaf culture because culture includes the clothing, food, language, traditions, etc. The only thing separates us from the hearing is the language itself. So the researchers are now figuring out the next thing – that perhaps deaf group belongs to ethnic (a member of an ethnic group; especially : a member of a minority group who retains the customs, language, or social views of the group). If the deafs claim they are colonized by the hearings, then why DON’T the deafs become more independent such as not being dependent on SSI and VR?? My perception (shared among other educated deafs) is that the hearing folks are just ignorant and think Alexander Graham Bell is right. It is still a learning experience for us all as they become more and more aware of our views. So Deafhood is rather a fad thing for now. But, thanks for all the presentations and they are rather interesting. 🙂

  • James Womack 18 years ago

    Deafhood- a lot of what was said I have said in different words over the years much to the
    dismay of some not ready to “hear” such a message.

    I admire the eloquence of those on the video. A lot I knew in my heart but this video gave me mental knowledge and understanding I will long cherish. THANK YOU!

    Professor James Womack
    Community College of Southern Nevada
    Department of International Languages
    Deaf Studies

  • James Womack 18 years ago


    “18. Devil_Advocate | August 5th, 2006 at 4:20 am
    As a deaf person all my life coming from a deaf family, I do not find Deafhood a new concept. It is rather a weak term because these deafs (ohh excuse me, Deaf) from particular areas across USA are rather radical and fancytalk on it. Colonizing us for what resources? I do not see how they take advantage of us out of “agenda”. Colonizing does not account out of ignorance which I believe the hearing people are having.”
    ===================end quote==========

    The colonizing concept fits. The resources in question is the maintaining of “special service agencies and programs” for the d/Deaf” which create employment ($$$) from self-fulfilling prophesies generated by such programs which are overwhelmingly controlled by hearing administrators at various levels and if they do have Deaf administration the person(s) is grossly outnumbered so that hearing-centric policies and control remain dominant. The resource then is social acceptance of our “need” for the claimed services so certain categories of hearing folks can justify assured income.

    Are the Deaf a true culture given we lack certain elements outlined by cultural anthropologists? Yes, by virtue of the fact that true language is culture-born.
    Pseudo languages such as Klingon, Ewok, Esperanto, Gestuno, and the various MCE’s are not languages in this sense. However, ASL is a full blown language which research is finally verifying. Therefore, being culture -born it cannot have been given birth by a non-culture (Hollywood or a sci fi writer) source.
    I’m overwhelmingly grateful for this Vlog site, the Deafhood presentators and commentors for throwing wide the door and letting light shine squarely upon the realities Deaf Culture endured and endures. I hope it is the beginning of a John Paul Jones attitude
    towards the forces that would terminate us a people.

  • Joey Baer 18 years ago


    Thank you for all of your kind words. It is very important for us to remain open-minded and discuss about the whole thing as Deaf people. There is no better way to learn as Deaf people by learning from other Deaf people!

    Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search for Deafhood book can be purchased at Dawn Sign Press. I have attached the link below.


    Stay well,


  • Edna Johnston 18 years ago

    Joey- you look great as always! i truly appreciate the time and effort you spent on producing video segments especially the one on NAD conference. I felt as if I flew to Palm Springs and saw the Deafhood workshop myself! Thanks again and please keep up with this- I’ll keep checking the website!

  • Tim Hickerson 18 years ago

    I would reccommend for everyone to come to your site and understand about “DeafHood” and its true defitions of us to use for understanding our culture better as within ourselves. Let there be no “harsh” or “offensive” approach toward those “good leaders” of our community, but only to use it for better understanding and better ‘”mprovement” for a good and a successful transition in our culture as people we are in this together. make wayfor such blogs to be in sensitive care and not be in the “abusive” sense as it would not help the creditability of this DeafHood approach. be it as something educational for us and for people to understand us better. Thus gain us the rightful power to be recognized and to gain respect of one another. Bravo!

  • Natalie Grindstaff 18 years ago

    Yeah, I agree ~ Thanks for bringing “Deaf” enegry over the nation and sharing the NAD conference with us… We will definitely do something to improve our education for our deaf children as they are our future!! See you at the next NAD conference…

  • Mishkazena 18 years ago

    A beautiful summary. I am wondering if you would be willing to release the videotape of the 90 mins workshop for some of us who are willing to watch the whole workshop. That would be so awesome if that can be done.


  • Lynnette 18 years ago

    As a student of ASL and a friend in the DEAF community I think this is great I am learning more about the culture and I am studying more signs thank you for putting this together as a hearing person I appreciate Your information on all the current events in the Deaf community Thanks again!

  • Lizette 18 years ago

    My friend recommended me to watch this video of Deafhood. At first, I was not in the mood to watch but after I watch the whole film. It really surprised me! And it made me angry at the same time because of how hearing people try to rob us! I did not realized how much hearing people try to seperate us, the Deaf people. We need to educate the deaf people like oralists, hard of hearing, mainstream people to learn more about Deaf culture and Deafhood. Try to encourage others to join us to unit together for all, the Deaf people!

  • fieryz 17 years ago

    That’s good. I hope you will visit any schools and inform them about that. So deaf young will consider and feel to open their feelings early.

  • Lu Long 17 years ago

    Is my family a very strong DEAFHOOD?

    Since I had my grandparents who were Deaf, then my parents are Deaf, myself, I am Deaf and now, my all four kids are also DEAF…. Smile….

  • Joey Baer 16 years ago


    Thanks for your comment. You and others can visit http://www.deafhood.us to find more information about upcoming workshops in different areas. You also can click on “Contact” link on the bottom.

    Any further questions, post away!



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