DE’s Response to “Bigger Picture” vlog

What is the “Bigger Picture”? DE’s Response to Joey’s Vlog:
In response to Joey’s Vlog, DE explained how our language was taken away and prevented us in reaching the bigger picture.


  • Jean Boutcher 17 years ago

    Pure and simple!

    So be it!

  • Darline Gunsauls 17 years ago

    YES! YES! VERY TRUE! I completely agree with you!! They gotta GIVE BACK and RESPECT our language! 🙂

  • DeafWizard 17 years ago

    Very true. That’s how it happened to me through my entire life. My parents, teachers, and research in my state. So now, my state is working hard to help bring back our language since realize it’s part of Deaf life. They’re start to respect our language. How to do it? We voice them out to show it’s our language too.

  • Speedo 17 years ago

    YEAH, exactly what you said!!! 😉

  • Aidan Mack 17 years ago

    Hello… It’s good to see you back. When will you get your own vlog? :o)

    I agree with you everything what you had said about the system that dysfunctions our lives and our languages…

    But now what next? Are we going to be stuck and to be system’s victims rest of our lives or we take our action and do something about it? We need to take our own responsibilities and make our community better.

    We need to get out of the system and to make difference in our community. We cannot wait for the system to change for us. We need to take action and change the system.

    I struggled with my English. Should I stuck with the system and explain all the reason why I am struggling with my English? No… I chose to get an English tutor and to improve my English writing. The system is no longer controlling me. I empowered myself by getting tutor.

    Here is my

    I hope you will respond to my vlog.


  • ASLisRisen 17 years ago

    YES! You RIGHT!!!!

  • Deafchipmunk 17 years ago


    I absolutely agree with DE’s comment about focusing on AVT/oralism as a root of cause.

    I mentioned that in my videoclip SELL ASL

    We need to work together on that by counterattacking AVT and oralism.

  • Picard90 17 years ago

    Hello again,

    I do agree with you, but even so, like I said in my previous comments, how do you make the bigger picture a reality? I think it’s quite easy for us to agree on exactly what is the bigger picture, but will run into tons of problems if we don’t know or agree on how to make it a reality.

    Sometimes I wish I could make a vlog or even write a longer post to explain my points more fully, but oh well…


  • Ted Henry 17 years ago

    Hi DE! It’s good to see your face again. Hope to see you many more again.

  • Darlene Ewan 17 years ago

    Are you referring that our language is experiencing linguistic imperialism in this country? I know many countries in the past and even today experience linguistic imperialism through civil war and slavery either by spoken or signed.

    To talk bad things about their programs and services isn’t going to work. We need to work together. The majority of Deaf schools do not agree with you. The majority of Deaf social services (Social Welfare) do not agree with you. Even National Association of the Deaf does not agree with you. They made it clear in their position papers. We need to work on the organizations and toughen up the position papers.

    Gallaudet University has put bilingualism in their plan for accreditation. That is a start. It is going turn the pendulum back to sign language. I hope they will lock the pendulum for a long time.

    Please don’t get me wrong, I agree with you 100% but hard power is not going to work.

  • Barb DiGi 17 years ago


    I couldn’t have said it better! We have identified the flaws in the system and we are ready to go on to the next level.

    The big question is:

    What are the plans to get our voices heard ?

    We need to brainstorm ideas on ways to get our messages across to parents of deaf children about the value of ASL and focus on criticizing those so-called organizations who brush away ASL by presenting the facts that have failed deaf children.

    We need to take up to the legislative level and organize a march to spread the messages of the “bad” for those who suffered without a strong language base.

    We need to do something! Enough is enough!

  • Ginny Paja-Nyholm 17 years ago

    Crystal clear! Simple! Let it be signed and written!!

  • Cousin Vinny 17 years ago

    That’s certainly one way to look at this issue! Thanks for expanding our horizons on how to better our standing in mainstream society.

  • Deaf Farmer 17 years ago


    Yes!!! I agree with you 100%. Your picture is very clear than a picture from a digitial camera. I will make a few statements about the leadership in my vlog soon.

  • Lisa C. 17 years ago


    Why can’t we do something??

  • Oscar the Observer 17 years ago

    You people who want action NOW! What about this? Request that DeafRead human editors and whoever else own DeafRead set up a position paper and let it be EASILY noticed in front page? That way if some vlogger or blogger say something we already KNOW human editors are with us who support ASL as a language and support a fight against AVT/oralism. That way freedom of speech is preserved but at the same time there will be increasing peer pressure toward RIGHT way!

  • deafgun 17 years ago

    Since u say u have research to prove not only our language is better than theirs, what research do u have to prove theirs is worse? I have talked to many ppl until I was blue in my face. I need to have the research in my hands when I talk to them again. Inwardly, I agree and know that our langauge is better. I need facts to lift their oppression!!

  • SusanA 17 years ago

    liked your solution, it’s similar to what David Deafchipmunk shared in Political Incorect

    your solution could be the missing link which will make a big difference in hearing’s awareness that hearing’s ways may not work at all for deaf.

  • Jessica 17 years ago

    I had similar thoughts too. Remember Amy Cohen Efron’s video on Baby Signs and AVT? Language is being held back from deaf babies while hearing babies have the advantage of learning both languages. Marvin Miller in his letter to the South Dakota Board of Regents said it all about what is happening at the South Dakota School for the Deaf where more focus is on the auditory program and ignoring the Bilingual program. Even they are separating the students from both programs to the point where they can’t play together, etc.

    A while ago Deaf Chip from Canada has brought up something much similar to your point about recognizing the bad that they have done. He mentioned something like that we need to look at why or where that come from. Perhaps we should review that vlog and see what he has proposed.

    I hope that the Bi Bi movement that Barb Digi has proposed to have will happen soon so that people will recognize the value of ASL to us.

  • Vadim Milman 17 years ago

    DE, you hit major points here. In fact, I have experienced something similar at work and I ended up blaming the system. Watching your VLOG and other VLOGS such as Aidan’s, I realize that we need some centralized mechanism to make positive changes for all of us Let me know if you need volunteers or humans 😉 See you in July. Hugs

  • Craig 17 years ago

    Yes, Democracy ought to give us freedom of using our language, unfortunately this society does not see that way. This country people never allow us to have that language due to a great ignorance but they make our Deaf communty much stronger and stand up taller. nobody has right to take our freedom of our language! They can take anything from us but they can’t take our spirit and brain to keep us stronger to demonstrate our abilities through our language! ASL!

  • George 17 years ago

    I total agree with you 100%, we have allowed hearing control us for years. I recalled at Deaf school, I signed pure ASL in dormitory and then I attended oral class I was not allow to sign. Bad part is that when I go home, my parents dont know sign language at all because the school told them not to sign and will cause me lose speech. I agree we need to fix the bad part and educate them. Why cannot I as a deaf citizen have much freedom as spoken Spanish language. Everywhere I see on TV are spoken Spanish and nothing with ASL. Sad that they look down on us. You might disagree with me but that is what I think.

  • Colin 17 years ago

    Darlene, we have tried to work with organizations who were “agaisnt” ASL for the past 100 years. What happens? Nothing! Except it’s a lot worse than it used to be. So I guess our current method of “working together” is NOT working! Not that we’ll be rebellious or anything but we need to be forceful and take back what’s rightful ours! We are hurting every deaf child being born everyday by ‘working together’.

  • Jean Boutcher 17 years ago

    “Infant intelligence – they’re smarter than they look”

    A new study shows that very young infants are “universal perceivers,” capable of discerning visual and audio details invisible to adults and even slightly older infants.

    Babies Can Discern Languages Through Visual Cues


    Speaker’s facial expressions tell the tale, study suggests
    By Ed Edelson, HealthDay Reporter

    THURSDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) — Infants can tell the difference between two languages without hearing the spoken words, simply by watching the face of the adult who is talking, a Canadian study says.

    “It is important, because it tells us how babies are prepared to learn multiple languages,” said Whitney Weikum, a doctoral candidate in neural sciences at the University of British Columbia who led the experiment.

    Working under the supervision of Janet Werker, a professor of psychology at the university, Weikum had three groups of infants, ages 4, 6 and 8 months, from bilingual Canadian homes watch silent video clips of an adult speaking either French or English.

    “The baby watches the screen and sees the faces of the people talking,” Weikum said. “When the baby’s looking time declines, the computer switches and starts a clip of an adult talking the other language. The baby notices the switch and starts watching the screen again.”

    That ability to tell the difference can diminish over time, depending on what languages are spoken in the home, the study found. Eight-month-old babies from bilingual French-English homes would return their attention to the screen when the language was changed. But the ability to tell the difference was lost at about 8 months of age by babies from homes where only one language was spoken.

    One point made by the study, published in the May 25 issue of the journal Science, is that “language is multimodal,” Weikum said. “Studies have shown that aural cues are important. This now shows the importance of visual cues.”

    Laura-Ann Petitto, a cognitive neuroscientist who is director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory for Language, Bilingualism and Child Development at Dartmouth College, said: “This is a landmark study about the ways that babies use multiple cues to enable them to distinguish between languages. The study suggests that, at an abstract and deep level, the learning brain might not be tied to speech itself.”

    It has been known that young deaf babies use visual cues to help them learn language, Petitto said, “but we never dreamed that a hearing baby can also be learning language using visual cues.”

    Petitto said the study has “important implications,” because “it supports the belief that the brain can use multiple cues in language processing and suggests that multiple cues in teaching languages can be beneficial.”

    The findings also have practical applications for remedial speech teaching, Petitto said. “Various remedial tools use multi-stimuli,” she said. “This is wonderful confirmation that the multiple cues that we give babies are actually useful.”

    Peter Gordon, associate professor of speech and language pathology at Teachers College of Columbia University, said an interesting follow-up study would be to add another language to the mix.

    “If we gave them say, Russian or Chinese, a language that they are not adapted to, we would predict that they would be like the monolingual group,” he said.

    More information

    For more on speech and language development, visit the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

    SOURCES: Whitney Weikum, doctoral candidate, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; Laura-Ann Petitto, Ph.D., cognitive neuroscientist, Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H.; Peter Gordon, associate professor of speech and language pathology, Columbia University Teachers College, New York City; May 25, 2007, Science
    Copyright © 2007 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

    For more information on infant intelligence, click as follows:
    Cattell Infant Intelligence Scale

  • Jenny 17 years ago

    Very, very well-put, DE! We’ve had so many discussions on this topic and I am in absolute agreement – deaf people who grew up under this system are NOT at fault – the SYSTEM is. The blame and discourse needs to center on:
    1. What audiologists and doctors are telling parents
    2. What really goes on in teacher training programs (and you and I have plenty of stories from personal experience!!)
    3. Research funds being poured into speech training, invasive surgery, and so forth
    4. How this has all divided us (witness some of the divisive discussions in DeafBlogLand and elsewhere).

    One thing that gets me every time is how every time the topic of bilingual education is raised, at least one of our OWN people cries out, “Where’s the research? Where’s the proof?” Um, where’s the research on oralism? On implants? Why are they never asked to produce proof of their success? Oh, the research is there, definitely, but it doesn’t paint as rosy a picture as they’d like, which is why they aren’t stuffing our mailboxes with data. But the point is – why the hell are we always asked to provide proof and THEY aren’t?? Pisses me off, frankly.

    Again, it’s not the individuals who grew up in various environments and with various modes that are at fault, it’s the bleeping system of oppression.

    Thanks for a vlog that paints this so succinctly. 🙂

  • DE 17 years ago

    To everybody who has commented,

    THANK YOU! Your comments/suggestions continue to inspire and empower me!!

    I’ll respond (in quick points) to individuals here…

    Before I go on, I notice some of you said, “Yeah, I agree with you. But how do we do this?” Well, I’d like to clarify that my vlog made a specific suggestion of FOCUSING on the BAD deeds done to us rather than focusing on the GOOD things WE do. I mean- we need to change how we argue our case to the general society. More on this in my next vlog 🙂

    Aidan- thank you. I viewed your latest vlogs last night. You were clear about us not blaming the system…but FYI, in my travels across the U.S. with Ella & Genie, some Deaf people haven’t realized that it’s the system rather than something in our nature that causes us to be divided. So–, in my humble opinion, we need more time in informing our community before asking them to abruptly stop “blaming the system.” But I agree with you- we cannot place blame forever, and we need to act. My current vlog is recommending a very simple step in finally revolutionizing the system.

    Deafchipmunk- right on! Oralism is the root of our evil! AVT is simply the latest in a long line of abusive techniques stemming from Oralism.

    Picard90- I’ve read your comments closely on other posts, and 99% of the time I agree with you. However, I want to point out- what we need to do is, of course, after agreeing on the “big picture”, is to really and radically shake things up rather than doing the same old stuff. I agree with you that this is an impossible task, and some days I’m feeling so hopeless. However, I feel that, given time and patience, we can empower each other to change the system. I am willing to VP with you to continue this discussion.

    Oscar- right on! Good idea about DeafRead making a position statement!

    Vadim- “centralized mechanism”- another damn good idea!!!! How about we develop “signing points” (based on politicans’ “talking points”) where we ALL can use over and over again- in response to challenges?


  • DE 17 years ago


    Thanks, too. Hey- I ain’t worried if you agree or disagree with me, as long as we discuss on the big picture & tactics!!! I’ve always enjoyed our conversations back then.

    Just one question- what do you mean by “hard power”? Is shifting our discourse to focus on the bad part rather than good parts “hard power”? Haven’t they been pulling “hard power” on us and our parents by pouring propaganda against ASL & bilingualism on us?


  • julie 17 years ago

    I agree with most of the vlog and some of the comments too. Keeping a positive attitude instead of blaming others is defiantly the source here. Keeping that + attitude will result in better communication and + change instead of more segregation.

    for example: If you belittle oralist, u will only segregate oralist from the Deaf identity even more, this can NOT happen if the community is to stay strong. I personally believe the oralism and mainstreaming movements had to happen for awareness to be brought to a severely naive hearing world (most do not even know the concept of “Deaf” and most are too scared [many from being inhibited, maybe] of “different” or new things to even look twice at the word). Alexander Gram Bell most likely never hated the idea of Deaf Culture, but instead was concerned for the many hardships he watched his mother and wife face in their lifetime. Maybe if he had spent all that time & money on educating all the people causing these hardships, instead of making Deaf individuals accommodate to hearing needs, it would have been easier for them to accept their Deaf identity and overcome the hardships with pride, rather than watching hearing people flap their lips everyday. While making statements on behalf of his oralist/mainstreaming theories Bell stated -he hopes oralism/mainstreaming will end segregation in the deaf community.

    Long-term impact has seemingly resulted in the exact opposite. More recent information tells us signing can be taught to children before verbal skills are taught (I assume this is based on hearing children) this proves sign language is MORE of a natural language than english or ANY spoken language. Yes I think signing should prevail for the furture, regardless if oral, hard of hearing, profoundly Deaf or whatever other label u own, it is not only natural for ALL children but defiantly more natural for visual learners (ei Deaf individuals).

    Keep spreading awareness, remember to stay strong as a community, and never let this beautiful culture die out. That is just my opinion. 🙂 Kudos to the post.

  • Kim Hungerford Carwile 17 years ago

    Thank you DE, no question or doubt about your perspective, as obviously, bilingualism is an issue that is of interest to Deaf people, for many reasons:

    We have been often forced to learn that langauge in its spoken and written form while use of our natural sign has been forbidden. We always live in a bingualism; and most of the research on bilingualism in the deaf community has focused on contact between the spoken langauge of the community at large and the natural sign langauge in each country of the Deaf Community.

    We obvisouly saw that, not just the only oralism, American Sign Language has been oppressed and prevented us in reaching the bigger picture by Signed Exact English II/Signed English/mixed systems that is used in the educational setting. Deaf Children emerge from these situations seem to share many linguistic features, including a greatly reduced morphology and syntax. When children are born in these situations and learn the signing English systems, they begin to change it and make it more complex for all of us.

    Thanks again, DE!!!

  • Ella 17 years ago

    Watched this a few times and read the comments above….Important discussion and ABOUT TIME! I suggest you not to drop discussion on what’s good about Deaf life in order to focus on “their” bad. I suggest a double pronged approach. Do BOTH! There is still so much negativism about Deaf life..of course due to language (AND Deafhood) being taken from us… so pausing every once in a while to reflect and celebrate our Gifts is like a shot in the arm for us ALL to keep the focus and continually fight LINGUICISM (oppression of ASL) and AUDISM (viewing “being deaf” as a bad thing)…
    DE, keep ’em coming!!

  • pax 17 years ago


    and TRUTHFUL !!

  • michele 17 years ago

    Yes I definitely agree! How about if we stage some protest at centers like AGB, John Tracey Clinic and others to let parents know that ASL is what fits deaf children after we have all the facts together first. Also we have a lot of great deaf moviemakers — we could enlist them to make a movie about oralism and ASL and have it broadcasted on tv or movies or whatever that will have a media impact.

    One problem with ASL is that many hearing parents feel that it is hard for them to learn ASL. If we could only make ASL much more accessible and user-friendly so that it is easier for them to learn and master without frustration and hopelessness. Many hearing parents cannot sign ASL very well especially fathers. And then there is the fear that hearing parents have is that the deaf world will come and take their deaf child away, we need to dispel the fears and make sure that they feel welcomed to the deaf world and that we need to work together and be in unity instead of against one another. Also the siblings need to learn ASL as well as grandparents too so it is not just only the hearing parents but a lot of family dynamics are involved so if we could make sure that ASL classes are made accessible to these family members, easy to master, and to feel that they are included fully in the deaf community, then I thnk we have succeeded. We need to think about those things because I believe that is why many hearing parents may go to the oral method so that they can communicate with their deaf child and that the people who support the oral methods always welcome them in open arms, make them feel comfortable and help them whatever they need. I have been through oralism and I knew that they would always try to make my parents feel welcomed, they would call them up and see how I was doing, give them advice and all that so my parents clicked with them very well.

    Thanks for the discussion!

  • michele 17 years ago

    I realized that I didn’t finish my comment. I remember when I first visited a deaf institution, I was not made to feel welcomed there, the deaf kids “snobbed” at me simply because I didn’t know any sign language. So I felt like an outsider and told my parents that I didn’t want to go to a deaf institution. The attitudes of deaf children was really terrible, they thought that they were superior and looked down on oral deaf children.

    So education begins at home, deaf parents need to make sure that deaf children know that oral deaf children have the same feelings even though they may not know any sign language, they need to make them feel welcomed. Also at schools for the deaf, teachers can also introduce the concept of deaf identity, explain that some deaf kids are forced to speak orally so that the deaf children can be more emphathic and supportive and all that. Just like the Holocaust thing, Jewish teens are encouraged to study about it and to understand and to prevent it from happening, we should do the same thing for deaf education so that we are in unity and work together.

  • drmzz 17 years ago

    DE, ya looks like a gangsta in vlog screen still pix above. Gun of oppression in one hand and holding bag of money aka our ASL in other hand, lol. Yea yea, ur point’s taken.

  • Noni 17 years ago

    hey good discussion. i wonder if for cochlear implants, babies have no rights what happen to their bodies. shouldn’t there be some measure of protection for babies to prevent parents or professionals tinkering with their bodies, since it’s not a life or death issue (only to hearing people, that’s for sure ..) just wondering if you know of any debate on that and where i can look it up. it’s funny that its approved for implants for babies without thoughts to their rights until babies grow up and can make their own informed decisions? i know that cochelar implant companies and surgeons and some org’s would never let that kind of protection happen ..

  • Todd 17 years ago

    Hi everyone!

    I totally agree with everyone’s comments here. I do have one tiny problem, this is nothing new! We have been discussing and throwing around ideas what we need to do for years and years. My question is to YOU all is WHO will lead us to get OUR language backl and bring bilingual education back into Deaf Education???? I work with Deaf children at a school that has Zero respect for ASL and Deaf culture so I am tired of all of us looking at each other making those comments waiting for someone or somebodies to take the lead!

    Please feel free to reply to my comments.

  • Deafchipmunk 17 years ago


    Yes DE can be our own Robin Hood by robbing and taking a bag of Deaf rights away from wealthy oppressive kingdom of AVT and give it back to Deaf people!


  • Deafchipmunk 17 years ago

    Forgot to add, give it back to Deaf chipmunks too!!!


  • Jac 17 years ago

    Todd, I agreed with you.

    Who will be leading? That means is YOU (each) to do it in your community to get our language back!
    Then get a lot of audience! Speak up and tell them what you think about them!

  • Orkid : ) 17 years ago

    DE – your points are very TRUE for most Deaf people growing up and grew up with the same old story and common experiences.

    I think we all should NOT focus fighting against the general oralism/mainstream practicers out there. Time is really running out people! CI is spreading like FIRE. I have been reading articles where I am working at the SFPL.

    We really need a very rich person who have a lot $$$ to hire lobbyists/lawyers to convince or propose new laws that if a child is deaf or suddenly deaf are immediately required to learn sign language with parents involvement.

    Good example of that already happened in SWEDEN. I wish USA law be switch with Swedish law on bi-bi for parents with deaf kid(s).

    Remember people – we need to convince the congress to listen to us. They did listened to us during the DPN in 1988. Remember that?

    Congressmen and Congresswomen can make it happen again and again for deaf/hoh communities.

    – O.

  • Delanne 17 years ago

    yes yes very true…would love to see more discussion on this topic… 🙂

  • Sheri Farinha Mutti 17 years ago

    I’m in agreement with Ella. I feel it’s critical to keep a balance of the positive and the negatives. I also feel its important to work together as a community, because all of us who are Deaf, who come from different backgrounds, consider this community our home. It’s what we do with our differences to gain a better understanding of one another to show respect toward these differences. The our common bond which ties us altogether as a strong community is ability to express and receive communication using a natural language, ASL. Some of us are slower to reach an understanding than others. Some of us have our own ways of saying the same thing. I really do not want to see our healing together suddenly take a turn for the worst to focus only on the bad things in life.

    I agree, the AGB era really hurt education of the Deaf. However, I’m not necessarily in favor of the biblical term, “eye for an eye” which seems to be what you are asking us to do here. I am more in favor of keeping the focus on the positive need to raise awareness about why the status of ASL as a natural language, needs to be socially on par with that of English – – another natural language. I’ve often thought of politically how to help our govt. “get it”. Deaf children’s early exposure to ASL has been proven to show it enhances the child’s ability for acquiring English competency.

    What isn’t “natural” for children to learn are “approaches” to learning a natural language appearing to be a messiah but in fact have ultimately created a fiasco, more failures than successes, not just educationally but emotional well-being as well. Such approaches are falsely portrayed as the educational tool deaf children need in order to become competent in a language. Be it a twisted version of a natural language, or a copy cat of the natural language. Both should be hallmarked as unacceptable practices. For example, oralism is a twisted, exaggerated approach of spoken English is it not?

    Some view S.E.E. as a twisted attempt copycatting ASL even, is often viewed as a wrong approach to use to learning a natural language. What I’m trying to get at is, highly competent, higher achievement levels, are those who were taught a natural language using another natural language. Nowhere does it say anywhere that approaches or tools are what is the golden key to successfully master a language. So many Deaf people born to hearing parents learned natural language of English before learning ASL. Meanwhile of us may have been exposed for a short time to oralism, and could really tell and see the vast difference and unnaturalness of this approach and, most importantly, didn’t learn anything during that timeframe.

    True DE, for years we have seen examples where ASL is put down and or hidden from us because the hype or buzz at the time was “oralism”. That is what we need to start doing is explaining that oralism is an old hype that needs to just – – die. I’ve often felt that we don’t highlight the pluses of ASL enough in the education arena, and one of the pluses is that its status should be on an equal footing with English officially because both are natural languages. I know you and others have seen me say several times, we really need to revisit and advocate making ASL an offical language. Maybe this could be the march on the Hill that Barb Digi discussed? Smile. I’m always ready for a good march/protest!

    My apolgies this is so long! i dont often get the time to make comments. Thanks for the opportunity.

    With respect.

  • jt 17 years ago

    yeEeeEeeEep! respect our language and ignore our standard of sociality!! we could make new standard for this decade or century!! =)

  • Tara (MO) 17 years ago

    B-I-N-G-O! 😉

  • julie 17 years ago

    I agree, this oppression is a result of AUDISM, glad that point was brought up!

    Going back to the oralism issue: has anyone seen the video? All the hearing parents seem so sad about their amazing children like it is a hardship that THEY have to deal with. 🙁

    All I could think was; what selfish parents! (not bad, just selfish, they need to think about their kids 1st and themselves 2nd) U tell that baby that Deafness is bad, they are going to grow up feeling the same way! Right? U accept that baby’s individuality and take the time to learn that their Deafness is a wonderful life attribute (while teaching them not to give a damn what other’s think, to take nothing personally and knowing that hearing people’s blatant rudeness [or maybe lack of compassion, w/e the issue] shows their ignorance & insecurities).

    I was not really clear b4, so let me explain; forgetting the negative is not a good idea. I believe remembering the negative is what helps us learn and grow as people. Embracing the positive, while remembering the negative is what I believe is important…

    I also agree with a good march/protest always being good idea! 🙂 As we see with the Gally protests, sometimes it takes
    bad (wrong decisions) + radical methods (protests) = good (positive change for the future).
    What a great discussion, I really enjoy seeing free flow communication. I am interested CI for babies too, that seems like a difficult issue, if anyone has anymore thoughts on the future of that I would enjoy reading them.

  • DE 17 years ago

    Mike & Deafchipmunk, you burst my stitches. 🙂

    Ella & Sheri- while I’m thrilled our basic ideology is the same, we may disagree on strategy. Fine with me. Your job to keep reminding me of the positives of Deafhood (of course, I’ll continue celebrating being Deaf- just like I did since Day 1) while I focus on dismantling audism.


  • Brian Riley 17 years ago

    Let\’s just put the facts on the table.

    1) The outcome of the 1880 Milan conference had absolutely no rational basis whatsoever

    2) ALL babies need to be exposed to language in its natural form immediately and without delay after being born

    3) If a baby cannot hear, then it\’s absurd to structure that child\’s life around an educational plan centered on spoken language

  • Teri 17 years ago


    What an interesting discourse! You have many great and valid points!

    But, but, but!

    I sure got something to say after reading Scott Page’s article at the site of Center of American Progress.

    I guess I have to stay up late despite my doctor’s order and dispute a little bit. *wink* I will go ahead vlogging — based on what I read the article written by Scott Page.

    Will post it in a few minutes!

  • SusanA 17 years ago

    LOL to drzmm and Deafchipmunk! 😀

  • Jerome Cain 17 years ago

    Do not you know that Milan is back to Denmark, Europe now. Some students already moved to Sweden because of Sign Language.

  • drmzz 17 years ago


  • Darlene Ewan 17 years ago


    You dodo? NAD encourages us to attend to IDEA public meetings. In their blog, they encourage us to…

    3. Thank the Department for specifically mentioning the needs of deaf and hard of hearing children in the proposed new rules, especially in relation to the list of early intervention services that includes sign language, cued language, and oral language; and the definition of special educators that includes teachers of deaf and hard of hearing children.

    This website can be viewed at:

    What do you have to say about NAD’s suggestions?

  • Bobby Rishsew 17 years ago


  • Julie Rems-Smario 17 years ago

    Nice to see you vlogging again. I am also in agreement with both Ella and Sheri.

    Keep on vloggin’…

    Julie Rems-Smario

  • deafk 17 years ago

    David E.

    Yes, yes, agree 100%! Now we need workshop or training how to do so!! We need to practiice the skills.

    Honest, the deaf people I worked with in the past did not know anything how to run an organization, and did not know what a leadership was, as a result of not supporting the leader. They have completed colleges! Please. This is a serious issue, especially here, i guess. What about your areas, commenters?????


  • Beth Ticehurst 17 years ago

    Beautifully said. Rather than being polite and nice, you were blunt, concise, and to the point with the message of being “finished”. More Deaf poeple need to feel this way rather than choosing to accept what is… (like me for a long time) Enough is enough. Thats the big picture.

  • Barinthus 17 years ago

    Excellent vlog, DE.

    As a graduate student being trained in a bilingual-bicultural education program, I have been thinking for long time on how to address issues such as those you described in your vlog.

    It is very apparent that we need to go on an offense instead of sitting passively. It has not been working for us and steadily our human rights are being eroded.

    Even in most “deaf-friendly” schools in my area, Deaf-Mutes are not being hired as teachers. Deaf teachers are expected to speak. Deaf teachers cannot have deaf aides – they must have hearing aides while hearing teachers for the Deaf may have hearing aides.

    About a half of my classroom, every day when they travel on school buses from and to home and school, they are restrained to their seats with some kind of harness. It’s disgusting to me to see this happening because I know it’s communication issue behind behavior issues on buses. It’s cheaper to pay for restraining harnesses than to have bus drivers and aides take ASL classes to the point they are compentent enough to clearly communicate with students.

    Some people made comments expressing concerns about that this will become an “eye for eye” type of situation. I disagree. I definitely agree with Ella that we should also keep in mind what are positive about our Deaf World. Going on an offense is not about “an eye for an eye” sort of thing. It’s about us as a culture and a community to speak up for our rights and our dignity. We are surrounded by a majority who has complete control over our lives. Who, what, and how can we stop them if hearies decide one day there should be a law where there are no more closed captionings, no more relay service, no more public support, and that all deaf children must be implanted and taught how to speak without any kind of exposure to ASL?

    Face it – we are at their mercy and sitting around making passive comments will not suffice. We need to grab their attention and show them why it is good, wonderful, and worthwhile to keep ASL and give Deaf community back the power to decide what is best for our deaf children. Hearies are stuck with the dictionary definition of the word “deaf” in their head and they are much more likely to listen to fellow hearie experts such as audiologists and doctors. So we do have to step in and say “Hey! Those views are wrong, period! Here is why” and so on. Positive as much as possible of course but it also includes exposing ugly lies oralists have been telling the general society.

    No, this is not about revenge or an eye for an eye. I am willing and I know there are many others who are willing to forgive and move on as long we all work together for wonderful and respectful future for the Deaf community and ASL. This is not about revenge, this is about us standing up for ourselves and say “Hey! This is not acceptable anymore! We demand respect just like any other human beings!”

    DE – You rock and I say… take off the gloves!

  • Jean Boutcher 17 years ago

    For the last 15 years or thereabouts, the system of Sweden’s government mandates that hearing parents learn SSL as soon they give birth to deaf children. That is exactly opposite to the USA’s system by using “ASL __or__ oral.” Perhaps you would consider applying for a grant at the NEA to use funds to spend 6 months to 12 months in Sweden, doing research (note: one would have to request a sabbatical leave). Ask for more ideas from the World Federation of the Deaf. Then
    bring the ideas to the NAD. It is my understanding that Prof. Jay Innes has been working on education at the NAD. Meaning> NAD is not restrcited to consumer matters but also deaf

  • Henry 17 years ago

    DE, Joey, and everyone,

    First of all, I want to thank all of you and tell you how proud I am of everyone who have similar goal: Make the Deaf community better and better!

    I remembered there was a gathering at a college student center meeting with the state legislatives about deaf education issues approximately 10 – 15 years ago. The Deaf community explained their concerns about how the deaf students didn’t get good education. They heard us.

    Now, I see very little improvement in the system. Most deaf children still go to schools with mainstream program for better education. Unfortunately, I don’t think many of them had any lessons or workshops about leadership so it’s probably the reason why the population of the Deaf leaders dwindled.

    I worked in a state funded deaf service for about 5 years and I have gone to advisory committee meetings quarterly where the state employees came to hear our reports. I noticed that they usually were interested in only one thing: numbers. If the number or percent change was small, they usually don’t pay attention. However, if the percent change was large or worsen, they may want us to explain why it happened and they would ask what we could do to improve the situation.

    So, the point I brought this up is that I believe whatever we want to tell the state government, the federal government, or whoever about our concerns; I don’t think they would care to listen to our complain. So what we can do is to come up with questions for statistics purpose. If we can collect enough evidence from the Deaf community that show the numbers (I mean *N-U-M-B-E-R-S*), it may prove that *they* were the reason our language were screwed up. I am inclining to believe that they will start to listen.


  • J. Sue Nobleman 17 years ago

    YES, it is true and exact. I know from my experience………

    Thank to DE!!!

  • DE 17 years ago

    Barinthus (and the others who commented as well!),

    Thank you! I enjoy your comments every time you post ’em. Hope we meet some day!

    Second, I haven’t taken the gloves off… just yet. We all need to build our unified army first before we march down Captiol Hill, the U.N., etc.


  • Deaf258 17 years ago

    Dang it, David!! You’re distracting! 😛

    Good message, though!?

  • Deaf258 17 years ago

    I also had another thought. Perhaps DE can be the narrator or host of a documentary that points out the flaws in the organizations or businesses that forbid the use of ASL?? I wonder if Mosdeux would be willing to support and provide for this kind of project!

  • kal 17 years ago

    You said that they took away our language. Who is “they”?

    1. they discourge parents to sign.
    2. teachers training program.
    3. no research on ASL.

    I assume that you are talking about hearing people in general.

    There are teachers training program and researchs on ASL. I’d like to see your sources justifying the lack of resources in this area.

  • Russell Errigo 17 years ago


    I agree with you as I didn\’t have language growing up deaf. It was mainly focused on speech. Now, I\’m 41 years old and a successful businessman. I\’m fluent in both ASL and spoken English.

    We have to agree the parents’ mindset when they first discover their child is deaf. We can’t blame them. There are influential people with the ability to make decisions to better their child’s lives. It’s only natural! Most parents fear that ASL will separate their relationship with their own child. That’s how determined my mother was to put me into mainstream world in order to interact with a predominately hearing world. But, don’t forget, I have an older deaf sister who went to Rochester Institute until the age of 12.

    Both of us didn’t have language skills regardless of her ASL experience or my oral experience. It’s been tough but we’ve managed.

    I just want to remind all of you that I’m not taking any sides. Now, I’m speaking about business with numbers which may be disturbing for some of you. I’m being a devil’s advocate here.

    That was then and we cannot dwell on the past. Now, things have changed drastically. We’re into Cochlear World starting in 2004.

    Annually, 60,000 kids are implanted. Many six-month old babies are being implanted. Hearing parents with deaf children outweigh deaf parents with deaf children. It’s not THEY (doctors, audiologists, mainstream teachers, etc.) who took our language away, but the question is who is THEY?

    My answer is PARENTS. Now, I’m a parent of a deaf child. Before he was two years old, I was dead against CI’s. I know that ASL is a first language gives him the best possible tool to understand speech.

    CI technology has improved fivefold in the year 2005 in appreciating music and localizing sounds. We’re also seeing much less invasive surgeries. Go to this link at


    Angie and I have decided to implant our son at 2.3 years old. His surgeon performed a one inch incision behind his ear and the next day, his CI was activated and went swimming as if he never had surgery. It’s been one year. The result has been incredible. He’s bilingual and hears at 10 dB. He hears and comprehends words without lip reading. He’s speaking very well and catching up to his age level. THEY is me as a parent who decided what’s best for my child.

    Now, I can understand what my mother and my wife’s mother went through. We give them credit.

    An increasing number of parents have witnessed the success of implanted children. Then, how can you dismiss it? Naturally, parents do anything to make the world easier for their child. We have no reason to punish them for that. Then, who is THEY to take our language away?

    Now, speaking of numbers as I mentioned above, I have been in the business for a long time and we look at numbers to make it successful. I have a marketing background. We all have to agree that one to three generations will end the deaf cycle. We’re ending because babies like my son and those with hearing parents with implanted children will conquer in this country and Europe. Hair cell regeneration growth and stem cell research are making great strides. The numbers don’t lie. Hearing aid companies don’t sponsor racers like myself since there are 250,000 culturally deaf people opposed to 15 million hard of hearing seniors and 10 million hard of hearing people. As a profoundly deaf racer, I’m basically at a loss.There is no tie in to get sponsors from any hearing aid companies. Additionally, have you noticed they don’t advertise in Silent News or other deaf publications. Numbers don’t lie. We have to accept the numbers and move on.

    Let’s not blame anyone except us. Let’s educate parents the importance of ASL and spoken language. The more we accuse with THEY, the worse it gets. We’ve been bitten every time we go out to protest.

    We’re going in circles. We have to accept that CI’s are working effectively. Unfortunately, many who obtained CI’s before 2004 have found them to be ineffective, but that’s their choice and oftentimes, we go through trial and error in order to succeed. We have to welcome all fronts in order to preserve our language.

    I’m giving out my thoughts and experiences and I hope you all can understand.

    Warmest regards,


  • Deaf Socrate's Trail 17 years ago

    I looked closer what you said which means the system shows serious concerned about social justice but it seems real social injustice for a failure for providing the accurate information on Deaf child and Take away our language is real serious concerned that something has to do with social injustice that might be involved with that system. I did not realize how serious after all it took me to think pensively after all. I looked at other GUFSSA { gallaudet University FSSA- Social Justice. You live in Ca;lifornia. Under California law that are involved with Deaf Child show something missing and not even present the equal access instead of optional that really hurt s Deaf Child. Your Deaf community ought to pay attention to that law involvement with Deaf Child and I read that web about that law show very unclear and does not show real clear specific of how to develop that child when that child is exposured by that instead of saying against other that is very biased and very unfair to that deaf child. You presented very well and strong statement: Take away our language! Which mean it really violate that right for any Deaf child who have right to access both way and let that child to decide which one is the best for that child,

  • Outsiders view 17 years ago

    I’m coming to this discussion a little late but I thought I would throw in my two cents. Although I completely agree that there was and still is a strong aversion to using ASL, I must disagree that Deaf people are the only oppressed group whose language is also being “taken away” or oppressed. Often children of immigrants are told not to speak their families’ native language because they need to learn English. I have worked in many classrooms (with all hearing children and teachers) where minority students are easily labeled and placed into categories based on how well they speak and their English fluency. In fact I see many parallels between the struggle that Deaf people face and the struggle that hearing people that use other languages face. In my opinion it show that in fact there is a lot more in common than often realized between people not using the dominate language regardless of if they are hearing or Deaf.
    Additionally, your last comment left me feeling uncomfortable. That is a delicate balance to show how bad someone is, instead of showing how good you are can lead to a very negative view of you. That tactic is used often and can lead to further strife, further marginalization, and further division among the very people that you are trying to unite. What is the answer? What is the balance? I don’t know, but I know focusing on what other people are doing (bad) can lead people to view you with a very negative attitude that can drive people like parents away from your philosophy which is the exact opposite result from your goal.

  • Jo 17 years ago

    Agree, all. Don’t discount those of us who attack things from an angle that is long-hated: teach Deaf Ed and ASL introduction through Audiology and Speech pathology courses. Know many HATE this method as it relegates us to ‘disordered’….BUT: we all admit that our first line of defense will be with those audiologists who tell parents ‘do not sign’. If those audiologists are uneducated about the culture and the language, then they will never advise hearing parents to utilize ASL. I would love to bypass all of this OLD argument and concentrate on the true issues of equality of education (rather than equality of service). If we cannot educate all the incoming Deaf members of our society (those born to hearing parents), then we will continue this uphill battle.

    Thank you all for continuing the fight

  • silentredwolf 16 years ago

    Good Ideas, good goals, good talks, but you bunch are doing the same thing that MLK’s famous line “We have a dream” but they never act. Native americans have their own famous line, “we have reality”. They do it with roll up sleeves and act. So you Deaf people must act and not bark.

  • Inge 5 years ago

    Agreed! That why it is important to intro ASL to Deaf Babies in the first place and using it for the rest of their lives continuing using with ASL for knowledge development. I came from a long way and this time I won’t what our Deaf Babies will face the same fate as I have. Also, Deaf babies born to hearing parents, they also must include learning ASL also! I am from South Africa, we are working on it. Viva!


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