Understanding Deafhood: Our Politics

Understanding Deafhood: Our Politics (4 of 4):
Yes, it is here now, finally! This video is the fourth part of the Understanding Deafhood presentation series at the NAD conference last June. Understanding Deafhood: Our Politics, a 12-minute video will discuss several topics such as Effects of Colonialism (on Deaf politics), Our Challenges, Serving All?, The Politics of Possible and What Can YOU do?


  • IamMine 18 years ago

    People, I went to Deafhood last Saturday on their first stop to Michigan. It was an eye-opener! I had seen all the Deafhood vlogs, but it’s NOTHING like being there listening to their presentation! You. Need. To. Go.

    There were so many highlights and while I point one or two, they are not necessary more important than others. I loved Ella’s Deaf Museum play with history in the hidden room! If you didn’t know the full history, you’d feel like that deaf janitor whose eyes were opened when s/he found the secret room!

    Those three wonderful individuals really made us feel comfortable and explained things so clear and interacted with us by asking questions, and by asking, they made us think. They were really humble and talked to people, and listened to them. They just didn’t walk in to do their “job” and then walk out. Heck, I talked to Ella in the bathroom (yes, I washed my hands!), Dave when I was smoking outside (shh, I’m trying to quit) and Genie after the presentation.

    Their pictures ought to be in the “museum” but I tell you, they wouldn’t be big pictures like Ella explained because you wouldn’t be looking up higher on the walls to feel intimidated, but at your eyes level and their sizes would be like an average deaf person – because they ARE you. (Sorry, folks, for even thinking this – but they are doing something really important and will leave a significance impact in the deaf history!)

    You will leave the session understanding better about yourself and your peer, history (you will understand why things are like this now by looking at history and making dots connections), and then: “What can I do? What can we do?” And now.

    My friend who was not really sure based on the vlogs and blogs she saw/read, but with the full session – she also agreed it was an eye-opener and already started a group after the session to start thinking about how we can change the system! Of course, I put my name in the hat! 🙂

    You. Need. To. Go.

  • ToddE 18 years ago

    Thanks for editing and releasing Part IV of the Deafhood workshop! I know a lot of hard work went into it and I appreciate the effort of everyone involved in this production.

    Definitely a feast for the eyes!

  • DE 18 years ago

    To IamMine,

    I had a truly wonderful time with you all in Michigan!!! I am STILL floored by how active the Michigan Deaf community is!! And, you all are wonderful people. I am inspired, re-energized, etc. by you Michigans!

    The Flint Association of the Deaf is a shining example of a thriving Deaf community– even in the 21st century.

    Thank you.


  • Leslie 18 years ago

    Bravo! I do agree with you fully about having deaf clubs come back in the deaf community. In the past, I tried very hard to keep deaf club staying alive by getting together from time to time. When I left, club was fading away itself due to lack of leadership in deaf community. I pray …..deaf club will be back as a whole group….grassroots, educators, diversities, etc….David/Joey…you both did outstanding job!!!!! Preserve our deafhood!!!

  • JL Glass 18 years ago


    I enjoy reading a few blogs every day and today was your day. Interesting take on things are always found in every blog. I’m always researching to find out what the world is thinking. Good stuff and very entertaining as well.

    Keep it up.

    JL glass
    Minneapolis, MN

  • debby 18 years ago

    Your issue is very true but it is not very easy for deaf people in Alabama to do something. It is very easy for them to talk or thinking than Do it. We may need your help how can we shake them up.

  • Donna 18 years ago

    Thanks so much !!! Charlotte Assoc. of the Deaf had a good Thanksgiving dinner last Saturday with 90 people attending. Yeah, we need to go back to Deaf clubs and work together. Thanks again for the wonderful lecture… smiles Donna

  • Toby 18 years ago

    Wow! Thanks for sharing with us! \”Deafhood\” really impacts Deaf world! It also affects Deaf Reformed churches. We will work on how to change it. When we start new Deafhood church (not have any name but will have summit meeting among Deaf Reformed leaders in spring), I will share with you.

    Let us all to get together and work hard to get our Deaf \”nation\” back.


  • Gary Brooks 18 years ago

    HI Joey!

    I wanted to say that I enjoyed listening your point of view! I have to tell you that your ASL signing really beautiful! clear! I missed the most! I remember I used to go to summer camp and they used to have deaf person telling ASL story. Now these days nothing is unique until I saw yours! you made my day! I am looking forward to see you more and more!

    I hope to chat with you near future!

    Gary Brooks
    Freelance Filmmaker

  • Penny 18 years ago

    I am baaack! Penny loves to share comments. David, you did a terrific job. I think this is the best video presentation you have given so far. I was able to follow you through to the end. I have seen some hospitals, clinics, SS office and other places that avoid providing the best services for Deaf individuals today….i.e. top interpreters…hiring relay interpreters for some clients. I have been taking care of my mother and have been doing two roles…to be her daughter and advocate, where I often had to fight with some administrators at hospitals and other places to provide the best service for my mother. I personally hope and pray that DCARA will hire the best Director in our century where she/he will make sure DCARA gets 100% involved to clean up and assure accessibility for the Deaf people in our community, and see that they are provided help without even having to fight for it each time. I personally believe that DCARA and other organizations need to improve their health status before community can be healed. I can go on forever, but again you presented many good points. Oh, by the way, I love your shiny blue shirt! Did you buy it at Macys? 🙂

  • DE 18 years ago


    Thanks for your kind comments- always good to hear from you!

    RE: your dual role being your mother’s daughter and her advocate… I read somewhere about the “sandwich generation”; how the current 40something is taking care of her/his parents AND children at the same time. Do you think that applies to us Deaf people as well? I don’t mean just our actual biological family members, but also the Deaf community in general- we are concerned about Deaf babies’ future AND Deaf senior citizens.

    As for the points you raised concerning accessibility; yes, I agree that it is a MUST that Deaf people receive services without having to fight for it all the time. However, it is my opinion that our organizations shouldn’t be focused solely on accessibility. We need to dream big and take on society’s continued disregard of Deaf people as full human beings and citizens of the world. In other words- improve accessibility, sure! But let’s not stop there.

    What do you think, Penny?

  • Patty 18 years ago

    WOW! – powerful message!

    How can I start to help make that difference?

    Thank you for making this video available on the web so that more people can see it. I will share this with other friends so they too can see your powerful, truthful message.

    Are the first 3 parts still available to see? I missed them but very much want to see them all.

    Thank you for your work in making this.

    Keep going strong, please!

    thanks, Patty

  • Penny 18 years ago

    I agree everything you said here. I love doing both roles for my mother…as a daughter and advocate – where I seek best care for her…i.e. finding specialists who will listen and offer correct treatment
    for her and other issues.
    What I mean by advocacy in this situation, is that I have to be the one to go back and forth with administrators and nurses to provide interpreting services for my mother.
    I often had to do most interpreting for my mother and Drs. Clinics have been using Interpreting Service from San Diego. I have no clue how they screen Interpreters. Most interpreters were unable to read my mother and others signed slowly and this caused much delay in communication between my mother and Drs.
    I am Deaf, and a family member and I should not do interpreting at all. I often feel like an audist toward my mother because she was not able to be her own person and have productive discussion with Drs. When I have to interpret, I often forget to ask important questions—to advocate for her. 
    Presently, I am working with El Camino clinics and El Camino hospital to upgrade Interpreting services on list. I learned recently that one deaf man who passed away from rare cancer at El Camino Hospital did not have interpreters and had to depend on his family\\\’s friend.  
    My question is where is DCARA? DCARA needs someone from internal office to actively meet with administrators at different hospitals in Bay Area to assure interpreting services are provided for Deaf patients. DCARA needs to oversee that Interpreting services are on active list, contact persons at every hospital if services are not provided for patients. Where are they? Why do I have to do them? DCARA is a wonderful agency and it is our home too. Yes we need a leader who has other visions too and not just accessibility alone. I agree with you wholly. DCARA and many other organizations in our country get financial support from state and grants. We need to build stronger organizations…to make state and agencies tremble by us and respect us as human beings. This will enable to decrease audism practice as well.
    I hope that I have given better clarifications of what I meant by doing “unnecessary” advocate work for my mother.
    Thank you! 🙂

  • Craig Phillips 17 years ago

    I find the deafhood advocate more collectivism that really discomfort me. There is no opening issue of between individualism and collectivism. There are many misconception of what individualism that really contribute to our civilization based on history of our mankind often tell that collectivisim never contribute to our civilization. I realize that most deaf community are associated with the conecpt of socialism that believe in equal to all of us. i do not
    like that but am willing to accept part but I will always stand on individualism which has strenght of of one’s own personal value he can decide what to do with himself: FREEDOM of choice!

  • mookie 17 years ago

    haha.. What a cool doll! I like his facial expressions! It makes me laugh and happy. I laugh when he gives his big smile!

    That’s so beautiful presentation about DEAFHOOD! Now, it affects me to be proud of a part of the deaf culture. Thank you for making me notice the deaf culture is important!


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