Exclusive!! An Interview with Dr. Paddy Ladd

Exclusive!! An Interview with Dr. Paddy Ladd (1 of 5):
It is an honor to post an interview with Paddy.  Paddy is best known for writing a book “Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood”. In order for us to discuss the interview and Deafhood in depth, the interview has been divided into 5 parts. This is first one and each part will be posted separately over the next two weeks. NOTE: Paddy signs in BSL and ASL.

Part 1: Who is Dr. Paddy Ladd? (3:32)


  • J.J. Puorro 16 years ago

    Great idea for a vlog, Joey.

    Looking forward to parts 2-5….

  • Patrick 16 years ago


    PAH…i have heard of his name many times before…finally see the REAL Dr Paddy Ladd!
    Hurry up PART TWO! LOL.

    Again, nice creative VLOG…as ALWAYS!

  • todos la vie 16 years ago

    One observation – “I respect the deaf community for giving me sign language. Thanks for that.” This is true for MOST who acquired it later i.e. schools, teachers, etc. ~ though we know that the deaf community is the place, not just schools saturated with ill-advised professionals. It’s nice to see him thanking the deaf community. That’s quite endearing. I think that’s why most deaf people are intimate.

    New topic: I wonder if he gets a lot of flack for his name sign. I’ve seen the name sign for some dudes named J/h/esus, in Latino culture, and signed that way. I’ve heard how P. Ladd got it (saying he looks like with the long hair). It’s a fine line. I got a bit distracted by it. Hmm… maybe this makes for another topic discussion.

  • MM 16 years ago

    But not accessible via captions ….. so it appears some will not undertake his ‘incredible’ journey to deaf utopia….

  • Noni 16 years ago

    Awesome job. i agree with Patrick – nice creative vlog. One question – it looked like he had sign name? or I misundertand about the sign that looked like JESUS?
    help me.. thanks..

  • Peachlady 16 years ago

    Yes I heard a little about Paddy, but not about his childhood background. It was interesting! I look forward to watch the rest of the interviews.


  • Nick Vera 16 years ago


    Thank you for his accessory to your vlog that empower our community to comphrend what he discuss with his perspective of deafhood on the table.

    I look forward to watch your mini-series of Paddy Ladd’s further in topical discussion. Naturally, he uses excellent approaches in BSL and ASL that I could understand.


  • deafchipmunk 16 years ago

    Hi Joey

    Thanks so much for sharing Paddy with us. I look forward to the next 4 parts!

    Joey, I have noticed that you always have great quality of video. When I uploaded it, the quality of video decreased. How did you do?


  • JUdge 16 years ago

    Pardon my ignorance.

    Was he raised in England? The way he signs, it looks like that he has British sign language in him!

    Thank you for introducing him to the vlog!

    Way to go!

    And, Let’s go Giants *WITH* Eli.

  • CJ 16 years ago

    I have seen his name many times…now PAH..I see the REAL him! Looking forward to see more interviews…

  • PANY Lighthouse 16 years ago

    Fabulous and PAH seeing the REAL Dr. Ladd and his wonderful works on the Deafhood book!!!! can’t wait for parts 2-5!

    Incredibly impromptu vlog, Joey!


  • Harmon Menkis 16 years ago

    This is Wonderful! Those of us who only heard of Paddy and or read his book finally have this opportunity to see him. Was feeling disadvantaged in not being able to know more about him and am thrilled I am able to catch up with the whole concept of Deafhood and all that it entails (Always thrilled to “meet” the Deaf Pioneers in identifying who we are.)

  • jen 16 years ago

    Great vlog! Good to see an ASL interview with Paddy after my BSL one last summer : )

    And just to clear things up – yes, he is British born and bred, and yes, his sign name is JESUS!

  • Joey Baer 16 years ago

    Todos la vie (#3) and Noni (#5) – Yes, Paddy’s name sign is similar with ‘Jesus’. He explained that when he was assigned to work with young Deaf children for first time, those Deaf children told him that he looked like ‘Jesus’ and gave him new name sign like ‘Jesus’. He admitted that it was a little awkward but he thought it was a ‘gift’ from Deaf children to decide a name sign for him, he honored it.

    Deafchip (#8) – If anyone of you transfer video to YouTube, Google, or other video server, quality always decrease in order to keep file size low as possible. I use my own server and am able to maintain the quality. Anyone of you can do that only if you have your own server (pay for it).

    Judge (#9) – Yes, Paddy grew up in a village of 2,000 people in England. Therefore he signs in BSL and in this interview, it is obvious that he signed in BSL and ASL.

  • Jon Savage 16 years ago


  • Platonic's Eye 16 years ago

    Good i need to unerstand all about is Deafhood that i am interested in learning about that!

  • passingthru 16 years ago

    Curious…what is the BSL sign for “Jesus”? 🙂 (ok, joey, you answered it in #16…so it looks exactly the same as our ASL sign for Jesus).

    I will download all of these interviews on my PC for repeated viewing. Thanks!

  • Matt Snarr 16 years ago

    Hey Guys and Dolls!!!
    some of you are exciting to hear more from Paddy. I have great news!! We are having him as keynote for Deaf Studies Today Conference in April, 2008!!!
    Go to the website: http://www.uvsc.edu/asl/deafstudies/2008/Keynote.html

    and take a look. think of it. and make decide to come and meet him in LIVE person.

  • deafkathy 16 years ago

    Im floored! I have always imagined him to look so professional with clean cut and business looking guy BUT hes so laid back down to earth type guy, I loved it! I felt so comfortable watching his story. Looking forward to next part, WHEN??? in 5 minutes, right?
    Thanks Joey for setting up something awesome like that.

  • Joey Baer 16 years ago

    Red –

    BSL stands for British Sign Language.

  • Pat Graybill 16 years ago

    Thank you, Joey, for bringing Paddy back. The last time I saw him was when he made a presentation at NTID a number of years ago. It is always good to see him again and again. I am looking forward to his forthcoming answers to your questions.

  • Tami 16 years ago

    Big excitment to see who Dr. Paddy Lard! Forward to watch more because of his sign language. Cool!

    Respect is a big key for all of us but what’s about hearing world to respect ours…?

    Forward to buy deafhood book!

  • Tami 16 years ago

    Opps… I jumped and was big excitment to see Dr. Paddy Lard…

    I mean that what’s about hearing world to be respect as same as ours??

  • Jean Boutcher 16 years ago

    Salut Joey!

    Merci beaucoup for making it feasible to arrange an interview with Dr. Paddy Lane.

    I was wondering: Could you make the five vlogs into the form of DVD?

  • Deb Ann 16 years ago

    Very interesting about his background. I want to buy his book and I can’t wait to see his upcoming vlogs. Thanks for introducing him in your vlog.

  • Jenny 16 years ago

    I was very moved by how Paddy affirmed the importance of tradition and heritage in the community – it is a force that continues to shape us these days.

  • Kim Hungerford Carwile 16 years ago

    Hi Joey,

    Thanks for sharing your interview with Dr. Paddy on your v-log with us! I look forward to watching the rest of your series during your interview with him about his published book. With my background of Auslan, some of his signs were combined into both ASL and BSL. He did a fantastic job!

    I wonder if he has or is projected to plan in translating from his published book to BSL DVD Series or ASL DVD Series. Harlan Lane did from his “When Mind Reads” book, translating from his book – written English to ASL on videotapes. This is just a thought.



  • Professional 16 years ago

    I cannot believe how terrible he is dressed. No way, professionals will view him as a fellow scholar and respected Doctorate. His ideas in a book may convince the hearing world but no way will he convince the professional world looking like a bum.

    I know you will bite my head for this but come on, think about it. Do you think politicians with power to change laws and allocate money will listen to him? Will businessmen donate to causes influenced by his work. The point is representation of Deaf community. I know for sure I do not want him to represent me.

    Here come angry mob and its closed-mind guillotine…

  • John Critser 16 years ago

    I can only say two words to begin with, which are:



    “I’m stoked!”

    Yes, PAH, I am so stoked to finally see Dr. Paddy Ladd, minus the name sign for “Jesus”…..

    What I saw in Paddy Ladd is being himself, without any pretensions, in full color, in Deafhood spirit that is growing and thriving in many Deaf communities…

    To commenter #31 Professional, what do you expect, to see Paddy dressed like Oprah, with a fixed hairdo to perfection like Oprah has? Remember Albert Einstein, one of the brightest minds ever to occupy earth? Remember his frazzled hair that seemed as if it was jumping out of his head? Remember Dr. J, the famous Philadephia Sixer, the King of Dunk? With his huge afro hairdo has big as a Swiss ball (also known as an exercise ball or yoga ball), remember him? The most brillant mind, or philosopher, doesn’t have to look like that former Mafia boss John Gotti’s neatly coiffered hair.

    In other words, the brain is not in the hair. It is in the mind and in the heart that has understanding in bringing the interpretation of a (Deaf) culture into one word:


  • Mark 16 years ago

    #31… You can’t blame him for being a true British hippie. 🙂 However, he did the vLog in his own personal time with his own friends around. Do you really expect for him to dress professionally for the vLog? I certainly don’t think so.

  • Mark 16 years ago

    Follow up question on #8 – video quality.

    There are infinite number configurations. I liked your settings.

    What are the compression configuration that you used? (i.e. VBR or CBR? H.243, MP4, XVID? … and the bitrate?).

    Much appreciated

  • pdurr 16 years ago


    thank u and bless u for doing this


    me so happy

    re: paddy’s name sign “Jesus” – my husband, who is hearing, also had long hair and beard (and is Jewish) and was given the sign name “Jesus” by Deaf folks in NYC where he learned ASL. Many folks used the “Jesus” name sign for him while he was a special student at Gallaudet also.

    I was completely YIKES when i met him and found out his name was “jesus” – i come from a very Catholic family and “Jesus” only meant one guy in our books

    over time we just started using “S” (Steve) near shoulder for him and the name sign of “Jesus” for my husband faded out

    would still bump into folks who would ask “still with “jesus” and i be like who? theyd say u know guy glasses, long hair..”

    oh yeah “S” yes still yes

    so when i met Paddy Ladd years later and saw his name sign it was not a big shocker – seems fairly common (maybe universal in parts of the world that have an icon image of Jesus as a white guy with long hair and beard)

    i did feel awkward at first using it when referring to “Paddy” – its due to my religious upbringing but really i can see a big difference in how it is signed than when folks r talking about THEE Jesus

    sorry long above – just want to clarify it is not an unusual name sign to be given and it is not intended to be disrespectful nor to imply “savior” kinda thing

    it me it is a very grassroots kinda organic sign name orientation but a bit jarring for those of us who are raised with “Jesus” being the one and only

    distinction can be to sign it very small and fast as a persons name sign and for “the Lord” sign it larger and with reverence

    re: Paddy’s appearance – smile.
    “dont judge a book by its cover”

    re: barb’s point about Respect and Tradition – yes key points in his introduction
    and GIFT – the GIFT of signing language and the importance / duty / value of
    PAYING IT FORWARD. What has been given to us via the Deaf Community – it is important to
    1. give thanks
    2. give recognition and respect
    3. and contribute back via contributing forward to the next generation

    joey – again BIGGEST BIGGEST BIGGEST thanks for making this possible

    Paddy – thanks for agreeing to do this

    cant wait for part 2

    sorry for long above (Paddy when visiting us in Rochester, had a game for counting how many times i say “sorry” and yes it is “too many”)


    patti durr

  • pdurr 16 years ago

    sorry – one more thing (yes, i know i said sorry AGAIN)

    for those who want more details on Paddy’s background – go to the book “Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood” p. 277 – 281 “Situating Myself within the Study”
    here Paddy offers full disclosure on his background and how he fits within the ethnographic study he was conducting to determine and define Deafhood
    – examinatio of Subalter-eleite researcher status etc


  • pdurr 16 years ago

    typo above


    – Subaltern-Elite researcher status



  • Virginia L. Beach 16 years ago

    In response to commenter #31…

    I agree with the others who commented that Paddy was doing this video in his own personal time, not on work time… so he probably felt comfortable with just dressing up as he normally does. Besides, I felt I could relate to him even better – as he came across as just an “average person” and not some boring, stuffy arrogant college professor giving a lecture. In addition, I think we are more interested in learning what the man THINKS… not how he dresses.

    Besides, I am sure Paddy knows how to dress appropriately for the occasion – let’s not judge him by his appearance in this particular video.

    It is interesting that I notice that Ronald Hutton, another professor that I am familiar with at the University of Bristol (where Paddy works) also has long hair and a sorta “Hippy” appearance, but he is well-known and well-respected as an authority on ancient British culture.

    it would appear the University of Bristol is more interested in what’s inside your head, and not what is growing on it. Kudos to them!

    And kudos to you, Joey…for an well-done and interesting video. I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of this series, and getting to know Paddy and his views!

  • TRH 16 years ago

    Sign name “Jesus” for Paddy does not bother me at all for I believe in His real name is Yahshua in Hebrew language. His name was changed from Yahshua to Jesus by ancient Catholic back in AD time. They did the same with Yahweh to God, Lord and Jehovah. Our religion of the Deaf , Our sign for Yahshua is “Savior” but with “Y”. HalleluYah!
    Paddy is so very humble as “Jesus” and respects kids so he accepted his sign name as “Jesus”. Like Yahusha , a humble person and loves children.
    All of his disciples were humble in dressing, too. Unlike Pharisees / Sadducees, they dressed so formally and so high snob! I pick humble people than them the formal ones. So …. Smile.
    Good for you Paddy!!

  • Mia 16 years ago

    Interesting! I wish buy that book “DEAFHOOD” because he write too much deeper which i never know what the words, meaning, define, etc. It may hard understanding on me. I hope that video may help me understand clearly from that video 1 to 4 or 5.
    I wonder Did Dr. Paddy did ask the hollywood movie executives (media) to make movie about DEAFHOOD?? If so, i hope and would love to watch that movie so we can understand better.

  • JC 16 years ago


  • Lori L. 16 years ago


    Thank you for inviting Paddy on your Vlog. Thanks to Paddy for agreeing to be on your Vlog. This is considered to be a special Vlog.

    I have been your fan a little more than a year. However, I was too shy to leave any comment until today. I learned about the Deafhood through your vlogs last year.

    I second to TRH’s comments about Paddy’s name and appearance. Not only he was named “Jesus” due to his appearance but his being humble in the public.

    Looking forward to the next part.

    Kudos to you!

  • Sandra Goldstein 16 years ago


    What happened?? I did not receive your Vlog directly to me. I just happened to use website deafread and found your VLOG.

    About the book Paddy wrote.. I read this book TWICE. Boy, it is very difficult for me to understand what Paddy wrote. It is too abstract.
    Deaf people including myself are not comfortable with abstract words. We happen to be visual people. Let me give you an example. NTD( National theatre for the Deaf) plays are too abstract for Deaf audience.

    I do not mean to offend Paddy’s style of writing. He wrote the book based on his research.
    Looking forward to viewing Parts 2-5, I am. I may understand better what Paddy tried to exxplain about Deafhood after viewing the other four parts.

    Deafhood is the term… Can we use Hearinghood, Hardofhearinghood, Blindhood, Blackhood, etc????????


  • passingthru 16 years ago

    LOL Paddy Ladd was dressed better when he presented at NTID…see the videos of him at pdurr’s blog or on YouTube. This was an impromptu vlog interview so….and he was on vacation. He is a cool guy that I can tell!!! Brillant people don’t care about clothes!

    Wonder where I can get that T-shirt?

  • Justin 16 years ago

    So! That’s Dr. Paddy Ladd!? All I get was the name and Thank you for making the time to interview this man. It is nice to get familiar of who this person really is and off stage. Looking forward to next Vlog to know more about this person.

  • passinthru 16 years ago

    Notice his sign for mainstream…I wonder if that is the way BSL sign for mainstream…not just to emphasize being “alone in the mainstream” hope my question makes sense

  • John Critser 16 years ago

    It’s so funny people are talking about Paddy Ladd’s clothes instead of how he represented Deafhood in his book.

    Life is funny.

    Maybe we can talk about how Alexander Graham Bell dressed instead of how isolating oralism can be…or how uncivil CI implants can be…

    We can note that both AGB and Paddy Ladd wore beards.

    The only difference is that Ladd let his hands do the talking, and how so eloquently..

  • Picard90 16 years ago

    John Critser,

    Dress code is important if you want people to take your ideas seriously. A casual interview doesn’t really cut it, at least in my book.

    Don’t be upset if somebody places prenium on BOTH appearance AND ideas spoken of.

    Again, let me say this carefully, this is not a criticism of Paddy’s interview, so much as how appropriately he should dress.

  • John Critser 16 years ago

    Yes people do have etiquette on dress (attire), I second you on that, Picard90. But if I see Paddy Ladd dressed like that again, I will just listen to his ideas.

    If we speak publicly in a conference room or in a convention, then that is more urgent in how we dress. Paddy Ladd can be hard to catch sometimes, and Joey grabbed the opportunity to catch him and interview him on the spot, in the same day.

    It wasn’t like Paddy having a Deafhood entourage following him like a movie star and carrying his suitcase for a quick change of clothes.

    It was either interview him on the spot or buy a round trip ticket to England and pre-arranging an interview, with a nice background and him all dressed up for the interview. That is, if Paddy felt it was beneficial to him to do so.

    The paparazzi in Hollywood have a tendency to catch movie stars wearing jeans and t-shirts carrying their McDonalds take-out order jaywalking across the street, so…

    Make sense? Again back to Albert Einstein, the world famous scientist, remember his hair?

  • IamMine 16 years ago

    His clothing or appearance does not bother me at all. 🙂

    It’s his genuine personality that has touched me.

    If it were done at one of the Universities where he had to give speech, then that would have been a different story.

    But this was more of a personal and laid back interview.

  • Question to Dr. Ladd 16 years ago

    Dr. Ladd said in this vlog that he was born deaf. But he wrote that he was partially deaf (hard of hearing?) and he can speak clearly and competently (Understanding Deafhood, page 280). May Dr. Ladd clarify his statements?


Add your comment

Your email address will not be published.