"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive." Anaïs Nin

Need to change text size? Click one of these:
Small Medium Large Larger Largest

Want to read this post later? Send it to your Kindle reader:

Send to Kindle

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Trouble Hearing the TV? Try This

Chances are, you or someone you know will experience hearing loss at some point in life. Now that people are living longer, more are experiencing hearing loss. Many times, we are unaware we are losing our hearing. We just turn up the volume on the t.v. or radio. Many quit socializing with the people that are "too quiet". Even those with hearing aids don't socialize as much because sounds aren't "normal", or EVERYTHING is too loud, or wearing hearing aids too much each day cause recurring ear infections, or they make things louder, but not clearer, or they just aren't loud enough. They aren't perfect, they are just what they are - hearing AIDS.

If you know someone who is no longer hearing as well as they used to and have their t.v. blaring too loudly, there is an option available. All the new sets have a "closed caption" (CC) setting they can turn on. My mother only recently started using hers, wishing now she had turned it on years ago. Most programs are now privately captioned or captioned by the National Captioning Institute. When breaking news comes up live, we are now able to read what the newscaster is saying. It's wonderful.

I am fortunate to have been learning Sign Language, though I'm not as fluent as I'd like to be yet, but there are so many people who are in a place where they haven't learned any Sign Language. Yet, they can't hear as they used to. They isolate themselves because they don't fit into any "social category", such as "Hearing" or "Deaf". They are wedged between 2 segments of society, not being able to hear, yet not being able to sign. They are some of the loneliest people in our society. 

I have been in meetings where we had "real time" captioning available along with ASL interpreters. Many who are deafened later in life never learned Sign Language. It is much harder to learn as you get older. For these people, many who are now the generation known as Baby Boomers, closed captioning is a wonderful option to have available. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Answers Sometimes Come Unexpectedly

 Little Fellow mumbled a request somewhat inaudibly during his prayer time one morning this past winter. Fabulous husband asked him what he was praying for. He mumbled something or other. Fabulous Husband kept asking, and Little Fellow kept mumbling. Finally realizing that Dad was going to keep asking until he spoke up, Little Fellow said loudly, "A bunny. I want a bunny rabbit."

Fabulous Husband explained as simply as he could that we don't make prayer requests like this. Little Fellow was ok with that, and he really knew this already, but he was sincerely making his request known to the One who is really in charge, The one over the heads of Mom and Dad. He knew what our answer would be, but it didn't stop him from taking it to our Heavenly Father.

Shortly after that day, it had snowed and school had been canceled. Little Fellow was looking out the window and shouted, "A bunny! There's a bunny outside!" I went over and stood next to him and we watched the brown furry critter hopping around  the yard. I text Fabulous Husband and told him Little Fellow and I were watching a bunny outside in front of our home. Fabulous Husband filled me in on the details of the prayer request.

I laughed at first, then I pondered what I was reading. This was a great opportunity to discuss how God sometimes answers a prayer in an unexpected way.

"You can't have a bunny for a pet, but God sent a bunny to visit you." It just seemed to be the thing to say.

Sometimes God will answer our prayers in ways we don't expect. He hears all our prayers. No prayer ever goes unanswered, sometimes we just don't recognize the answer when it comes. Sometimes we get a "Yes", sometimes a "No", other times "Not yet" and often we even get  "Here is something better, instead". Most of my greatest answered prayers have been answered in the most unexpected ways at the most unexpected times.

Twice since the first sighting this bunny has appeared in front of our car as we drive along toward Church street. He actually hopped along the road in front of our car. One day, he not only hopped along in front of us, he also hopped along side us, much to Little Fellow's delight, before turning and dashing off into another neighborhood.

I believe God hears and answers the prayers of the little children in ways we grown ups have forgotten, or brush off as coincidence. I'm certain it is one of the ways God teaches a child to learn to trust that He hears them and sends them surprises to build their faith in Him.

Isn't this what we do for our children, ourselves, sometimes answering their request in unexpected and surprising ways?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Don't Hang Up Campaign

Finally, Relay Operators for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired in Wyoming are getting a little help. Hopefully, this campaign will reach into other states as well. Too often, we who use a Relay Service get hung up on by businesses, clinics, etc. who do not wait for the Calling Agent or Relay Operator to explain the service before hanging up, or they think it is marketing or solicitous calls, or even prank calls. Check out the campaign here:

It's about time. I just wish it wasn't just Sprint doing this, but ALL telecommunication companies.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Need Captions? Call This Fabulous Communications Specialist

My Fabulous Husband (I capitalize that because he truly is) used to work for the Pentagon in Washington, D. C. He is what you would call a "communications specialist". One of his many various duties was to design a program for a training session with live captioning for the Deaf and  Hearing Impaired employees in attendance. This is just one of the reasons he is so fabulous.

Instead of trying to see what they needed from his viewpoint, he went to the Deaf and Hearing Impaired and involved them in the process of designing a program specifically for them that worked for them. With their input in the process, he was able to come up with the best solution that worked for everyone. He's very clever that way. He recognizes we're not all the same, nor are we all on the same level. We are at varying degrees in our needs, our communications and our skills.

I'm very proud of him, how he is able to observe, ask questions,  ponder and come up with solutions that help. I'm also very thankful to have someone in my life who has been observant enough to work so hard at living with me. It's not easy for a hearing person to live with someone who is deaf. There is a lot of trial and error on both parties as we navigate our way through the seas of communication, but every bit of work is worth it. We all benefit.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why I Do What I Do

This week, I found a plethora of emails and comments from various people from various sides of  "Deaf Awareness", along with other issues. Each comment had some valid points, however, different perspectives, which leads me to what I'm about to write.

I was once hearing, then had a mild hearing loss, moderate, etc.  Now I am deaf. I have been across the hearing spectrum.

Each person has a perspective, a reality different from another. Our experiences are different, our deafness is different, the degrees of our deafness and the issues we deal with. Each of us lives in a culture within a culture of some kind. Some of us are stuck between the two cultures, not fitting into either one, such as the Hard of Hearing or Hearing Impaired. They have the hardest time being wedged between the cultures.

However, truth is truth no matter where it comes from or where you are in the spectrum. One person's perspective of reality may vastly vary from another person's simply because their life and experiences have been different.

I'm not going to post the comments that were left because all of you have your own blogs, and I read them like many others. I appreciate all of your views, and each of you have valid points. However, just because someone has a different view, does not mean they are wrong, or right or evil, not living in reality, nor does their motivation behind what they write matter (such as someone being paid to write something). The bottom line is we all have our place, our experience, our reality, views and motivation. This is why so many of us blog, and I love reading all of the blogs,,,,,, until they become hatefully critical.

I like the idea of a coalition of some sort to raise Deaf Awareness. Actually, years ago, in a small community where I once lived, we had a place called Resources for the Disabled, run by ALL disabled people, mental illness was represented, returning Veterans, the blind and the Deaf of our community, among others, all were equally important and represented. We put out a newsletter that educated and brought awareness to the community where we lived on various issues, each article written someone representing their own disability or Deaf issues. It was run voluntarily and sadly dissolved from lack of donated funds and grants. Perhaps it was a little before its time.

Questioning someone's motivation, having a grudge because the "Deafies stole" from you, being bitter because someone makes a different communication choice, or being angry because another parent is following their heart to try a new device for their child whom they have parental rights to choose what they believe is best for their child,,,, all this bickering leads me to ask, "How is this working for you...or US?"

Perhaps it's time we start respecting the different views and life experiences and realities of others, even if it vastly differs from our own views and let's start finding things that need to be worked on TOGETHER without blaming or pointing fingers or criticizing.

I'm not saying don't write about your personal experiences on your blogs.

I'd just like to see some positive suggestions and ideas without name calling or blaming and flaming. I'd like to see solutions and support for one another.

Let's show "the hearing world" a positive view and something different for a change, such as a group of people striving for some positive changes in our society, people who are trying to break down communication barriers and make it a better place, and to do it with integrity and kindness and a spirit of respect, and respecting the differences.

Even if it is just one person at a time.

I recently read on someone's blog when they were at the store a hearing person started waving their hands in the air like they were signing. That would have been a great teaching moment, if not for that sales clerk, at least for someone else in the line, to take a moment to show an actual sign, such as "pay" or "money" or even simply "thank you" and "you're welcome".

Too often we choose to think the worst of others, or we add to the contentiousness. I understand there will be times where someone is absolutely mean spirited, but there are more times that people just don't know any better. If we stay so closed within our community, we're not getting out there reaching others or educating them. With programs coming out now such as "Switched At Birth", there will be more people curious and wanting to learn. Don't crush their spirit by questioning their motives or being too critical because the signs they attempt aren't quite right. Allow them grace. At least they are trying.

As for people who are paid to write things, someone somewhere is probably reading and learning about something they did not know before because someone took the time to write about it, and though it may not be your truth, it is someone's truth, someone's reality somewhere. At least they are doing something, and trying to get the message out where it may not reach otherwise.

So, in closing, know this. I read your blogs, I read your comments and I respect your views, even if they are different from my own. I am learning as I read, but understand this about me and why I share posts from others and blog myself. I want to be part of the communication solution for those looking for solutions. I want to be a support to others who have lost their hearing, no matter how, as well as a support to those who have been born deaf or are culturally Deaf by choice. It's about people, and building relationships with people.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Why Deaf Awareness?" A Post on Liz's page by Suzie Jones

This is an excellent essay about why deafness matters to ALL of us. Please take a moment to read this. Even though the statistics are those from the U. K. the stats can't be too far off from the U.S. I once read the stats for U. S. was 1 in 10. Click the highlighted link and it will take you there.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ears? Eyes? "It's Always Something"

I've had to had my lenses changed a little more frequently lately. I understand it's part of the aging process, but still it is annoying, especially when I depend on them so much to help me hear. I find I'm having to get closer to people to follow the conversation.

Besides the "normal" eye conditions, I have nystagmus along with it. Nystagmus is a condition where the eyeball itself moves uncontrollably. My particular condition is rotary nystagmus, which means they not only move back and forth, but somewhat circular. I'm not sure how it works, and I can't remember if it is a nerve or muscular condition. I only know it really is irritating and often exacerbates when I am tired, and makes it more difficult to lip read and follow along for very long when I do get tired.

I once saw a specialist who told me that we could fix my eyes surgically, but they would be set in one place and never move. I would have to turn my whole head to see anything on either side, as well as up or down. I had to think about that. We can see so much just by a slight movement of turning our gaze, our eyes. I also thought about how with my ears and balance being off, moving my head around that much would just make me dizzy. No, surgery would not be an option for me with the ear condition I have.

I realize that as we age, we are going to have "normal" aging issues with our eyes and ears. With so many of the baby boomers coming into this stage of life, we are depending more and more on aids, glasses, gadgets and all the new technologies that offer these ease of communication for us.

I love how far we've come with Captioning and Subtitling. I'm absolutely thrilled to see Caption in Real Time becoming more common. I'm thinking what we will need to do next is have reserved seating for our aging, Deaf and disabled people up close so we can actually see the captions displayed at sporting events and other various gatherings.

There are a lot of sensory issues that come along with us as we age that we don't fully understand when we are young. I wish I had paid better attention and been more understanding and accommodating to those older than I when I was younger. Often, we don't fully understand these things until we are experiencing these situations ourselves.

I find I'm asking myself more regularly now, is it my ears or my eyes that are getting worse? As Gilda Radnor used to say, "It's always something..."

Friday, July 15, 2011

We Both Needed An Interpreter, but for Different Reasons

My son had a friend over today. His mom and I are taking turns picking up the kids and watching them while the other one of us goes to the gym. This afternoon, the young fellow kept having to repeat a question to me. I moved across the room to read what he was saying and I still couldn't get it. After a few attempts, he called to my son and asked him to come tell me what he was saying. My son interprets for me that they want to know if they can go get the soccer ball out of the garage.

When his mom came to pick him up today, I mentioned to her that he figured out since I couldn't hear him, he had my son come interpret for him. She tells me he has a speech impediment. Really? I never knew that. Apparently, it used to be much worse. The teachers at school had difficulty understanding him when he answered questions, but the kids always seemed to understand him fine. It's rather funny to think about it, he is asking for my son to interpret because he is having difficulty from a speech impediment which I have no clue he has. I'm just wanting an interpreter because I can't hear him. We both needed my son to interpret for us, but for different reasons. 

My Fabulous Husband has always been wonderful about describing to me the way people often sound when they talk, if they have an accent, what it is, if they're soft spoken, anything like that. He knows that I like to know these things about people because I can't hear the difference anymore. I had someone once tell me I had a slow drawl and they thought I was from the south. No, I may have been born in the South, but I was raised in the Pacific Northwest. Fabulous Husband said I just have a slow pitch. I've been told my pitch and tone are very similar to some of the Native American tribes..which is interesting because I am in part Native American Indian, but I've not been raised around them. I don't know if it is a tonal quality we're born with, or if I just have a cadence in my speech from not hearing myself as others can hear me.

Because I used to hear well, I'm curious about these things. What kind of information am I missing from someone I'm getting to know simply because I can't hear them? Hearing people would be surprised how much information is passed verbally by the way a person speaks, the tones they use while speaking and the vernacular of where they are from and the rhythmic cadence or speech pattern they use . These are unique qualities that are personal and tell you a lot about them. They are qualities that distinguish people from others. I miss being able to hear that for myself. Deaf and hearing impaired people miss the two most important pieces of information from how a person uses their voice - the emotion and attitude behind their words. It is incredible how much much is communicated through the voice.

It makes me stop and realize how someone who has never heard would not know some of these distinctions. It would be difficult to describe those sounds because there is no base line to compare that to. I wonder, just how do you describe those kinds of sounds to a Deaf person who has never heard? How do you describe color to a blind person who has never seen color? How do you make comparisons?

These kinds of things really make me stop and think. These questions may seem ignorant to many, but for others, they may have the same curiosity and want to know as well. If you can answer this for me and explain to me how this is done, leave a comment below. Or if you have other thoughts along the same lines, post them. 

I am so fortunate to have people in my life that pick up on what I miss and clue me in. If you don't hear it, you don't know what you're missing. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Part 2: This Deaf Girl Found A Great Way to Rebuild Confidence

Yesterday, I re-posted an article I wrote about accepting an open invitation from Stephanie on Twitter to join her for a class at Direct Action Tactical. Today, I'd like to share what an unusual and unique experience it has been these past couple of weeks. I'm learning more than what to do in a tough spot, practical things, such as how to avoid certain situations, to think and stay calm in the midst of turmoil, and I'm becoming more self aware.

I'm learning that as a deaf person, I may be more vulnerable in some areas, but in other areas, I have some advantages. I'm learning what I can handle, and what I need to work on.

Best of all, I've found a great group of people to be learning with. They  make sure I'm getting the information I need, making sure I understand the information and the movements, and that I'm doing it right.

We are all at different levels in the class. For some it is review and for others of us, it's our first time. Repetition and practice are essential keys for me.

Much of what we are learning is physical, simply "Follow the Leader". All of the instructors and my classmates are GREAT at giving me visual cues. Even one of the children of one of our instructors got on the floor yesterday and showed me by example how to do a "Russian Twist". The instructors are right there working out along side of us in the Fit to Fight classes.

There are actually 2 different classes that I have taken so far, the Women's Only Self Defense and Fit to Fight. My main focus is on the Self Defense class, and the thirty minute warm up before the class is just as intense as the hour and fifteen minutes of Fit to Fight. The lessons of Self Defense moves and manouevers are about an hour long. The size of our group is small and intimate, ranging anywhere from 2 of us up to about 8. I love connecting with the women here. We are all different ages, builds and backgrounds. We are discussing serious issues and challenging situations, and we are also having fun in the process.

I wish all women could take a class like this because it truly does build self confidence and self awareness. It challenges us deal with our own weaknesses and builds and strengthens us not only physically, but mentally. There are mind sets that are beneficial just in phrasing things differently that can help a person in many stressful situations even beyond the training center. I've already started to practice removing the word "can't" from my vocabulary and looking at what I can. I hope to never have to use the phrase, "Not today" in the context by which we learned to use it, but should that ever be the case, I know I'll be counting on it to help me get in the right mind set for that moment.

I'm sure there are many other benefits I've not learned as yet, and I'm looking forward to seeing what those are. It would be nice if one of those benefits will be to be able to outrun my 7 year old, or at best, keep up with him.

*** For the men - and the more adventurous woman - there are the incredibly intense Krav Maga classes available.  ***

I heard also that the teens love the Youth Impact program. When our son is old enough, we'll be enrolling him, as well.

You can visit Direct Action Tactical here:  http://directactiontact.wordpress.com/

I have already met one of the personal goals I set for myself, and I'm going to keep practicing the others until I'm no longer practicing, but doing.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

This Deaf Girl Found a GREAT Way to Rebuild Confidence

I love Twitter. I love all the information and conversations flying around in phrases written in 140 characters or less. If you're open to a lot of different people and ideas,  and  you're willing "follow" them, you're going to be learning about things you never heard of before, maybe even try a few new things along the way.

I started following Stephanie over a year ago. We had never met. I added her to follow on twitter because she showed up in a "local" search. I was looking for new people and friends. Being fairly new to PA, it seemed like a good plan at the time, and I'm reaping great benefits from that choice.

A number of months ago, she started tweeting about a new class she and her husband had been attending. At first, I thought it had something to do with yoga. I was interested because I used to practice Power Yoga daily before moving to PA. The class had an odd name, one I couldn't remember, but I rather envisioned it was the new yoga trend where people are doing difficult yoga positions in a very hot room. Then came the tweet she mentioned the practice that day left her with a fat lip. Somehow, yoga and a fat lip should not go together in the same sentence, but I didn't think to look any further into it until the invitation.

It wasn't a private invitation, but an open tweet to "anyone interested in trying a free class" kind of invitation. I thought to myself, why not? I love yoga, would love to get back into it and back into shape and I would also love to meet the lovely person behind all the interesting tweets.

Yoga, it was not. The class she and her husband are taking is self defense specialized hand to hand combat Marine Corp Martial Arts of the most intense degree. It was fascinating. Once the class began, they were doing exercises around the mats, running, pulling life sized dummies back and forth, and at one point, pummeling the snot out of them. I was impressed. Shortly after all that, she comes over and informs me this is just the warm up exercises.

After warming up, we then head to the next room where the instructions on actual self defense holds and moves are taught. I couldn't hear the training, but I saw enough to know I wanted to learn how to do this myself, especially when I saw Stephanie throw a man twice her size and weight to the floor like a rag doll.

Empowerment. That was the word Stephanie used when she came over shortly after this and explained I could learn to do this, too, and how she felt empowered. While watching all of this, I realized how these skills would allow me to be self sufficient if I ever encountered a potentially serious situation.. I would be able to take care of myself. I would regain some of the confidence that disappeared when my hearing started fading.

I came home and told Fabulous Husband all about the classes, how the young woman could hold her own, and how the fellows in the class didn't give her an easy time of it, but they didn't make it beyond her capabilities to perform, either. As she said, it was a "safe" place to learn, and everyone was serious about what they were learning, but having fun and challenging each other as well. I'm signing up for the women's only self defense class.

The class Stephanie and her husband take is Krav Maga.
You can read what Stephanie wrote about her experience at Direct Action Tactical in this newsletter here: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/June-Newsletter-from--Direct-Action-Tactical.html?soid=1103795792944&aid=ZHCuBdUzxI4

And their website is located here: http://www.directactiontactical.com/

Monday, July 11, 2011

Look Beyond The Shell

It's 2011, and perhaps it's about time we look beyond our own social mores, and learn to accept and help one another rather than building barriers from one another. If we were to want the best for others, we should  look as much as possible beyond the shells of color, working or non-working body parts, gender, etc., and see the person. Perhaps then we would start to be more patient with all people, more compassionate and helpful.

Sometimes, people just don't know any better, but they have good hearts and good intentions. They may not say things exactly as you like or expect, but they do mean well and want the best for you and others, regardless. They just don't know how to do that.

While living in Europe, I struggled with communicating with the people of the country hosting us. I had only a mild hearing loss at that time, however, but beside that, I did not know the language. It was foreign. I purchased a small English/German dictionary and made a list of words to facilitate everyday conversation. I discovered if I tried to make an effort, many of them were not only patient, but spoke enough English to teach me a few things about themselves. By showing my interest, and, yes, my ignorance of their ways, and allowing them to see my vulnerability, they opened up themselves and became my friends. They helped and guided me along my way and I made many new and interesting friends and neighbors. 

I think it's time we looked beyond the shells of others and work on building bridges instead of  barriers  to separate us and divide us.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

It's Not Anyone's Fault = It's A Side Effect

"I don't know what I don't hear," seems to be my phrase of the month so far and it's being said with a tone of frustration. My poor Fabulous Husband and I had our first ever major miss-communication. I was sure I heard something else, and what is worse, he didn't know that. In the end, after we discussed the issue we figured out what had happened. He told me he said such and such, and I explained what I heard, and then we figured out what I didn't hear, which was a crucial point. All I had left to say is "I don't know what I don't hear", or another way to put it, "How can I know what I don't hear"? It's confusing, but really it does make sense if it's ever happened to you.

I'm just thankful it wasn't serious, because it well could have been. However, the reality is, no one is at fault when this happens, and I'm incredibly blessed and fortunate to have Fabulous Husband who is patient, and so wise and gentle and loving and incredibly understanding.

I actually had a similar situation years ago when I was living in Georgia with my friend, Katherine. Her husband and mine were very good friends, and it was they who were the peacemakers. I took something I thought Katherine said, and I accused her of lying. Fortunately, I only accused her of this to my husband and to her, however, it could have gotten ugly and I could have ruined the poor woman's reputation beyond repair, and unjustly had our husbands not put together what had actually happened.

I went personally to Katherine and asked point blank "Why did you lie?" and that was not the way to approach her, or anyone, really. I was young. I was very young, and I was about to learn a very good lesson in communication and caring about others.

As it turned out, no one was at fault. It was a simple communication problem, my failing hearing and poor lip reading skills being the real culprit. Once we figured out the problem, she was very forgiving of my lack of tact, however, the friendship was never quite the same. We were still friends and our husbands got along great, but there was now a strain that had not been there before.

Fortunately, I'm older now by several decades, and I've learned never to accuse anyone of anything blatantly, because many times, it comes down to a matter of perspectives. From my perspective, it may be one way, and from another person's perspective it may be vastly different because we have different information, or not enough information, or we heard something wrong or didn't hear a piece of information at all or we just have an entirely different view or interpretation. Too often, we presume, assume and arrive to incorrect conclusions. It is not our job to accuse one another, nor is it right. We should be slow to take offense, patient and give one another the benefit of the doubt and talk it out.

Which brings me back to Fabulous Husband. He has those wonderful virtues, patience, kindness, gentleness, slow to take offense and he's wise, loving and understanding. He has a beautiful spirit. I'm so grateful he stuck out the conversation with me and we figured out exactly where we got our wires crossed.

I mishear things everyday, all day long, and I'm thankful that it's not been over serious issues. I'm also thankful I'm learning the lesson of not allowing such things to create unnecessary drama in my life or the life of others. There will be many more conversations in the future where I'll be saying, "I don't know what I don't hear", but at least we know if something gets misconstrued, it's a side effect of being deaf and we are learning better how to handle it.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

We're Just Like Other Expectant Parents!

Last night, before Fabulous husband and I settled in to drift off to sleep, we discussed names for the new member of the family we're expecting. We were coming up with gender names, and shortly after waking up this morning, it dawned on me that we can even use a name that isn't gender specific or even traditional for that matter. I had forgotten how fun this could be, the excitement, the anticipation, wondering about the personality our new member will have and wondering when we can bring him/her home.

As I moved a few things around in our room the day before to make room for the new bed near the window, I couldn't help but smile as I thought of going through this very process when I was expecting my daughter twenty eight years ago. Her name was an easy pick because because her dad and I both had mothers named Mary, as well as a grandmother named Mary. We struggled with a name for a boy, and never really quite settled on one, but that was just as well since we didn't need one. I didn't name my son, either. He already had his name when I adopted him.

This time, it's a little different. The new member will be choosing us just as much as we will be choosing them. We had our home visit with Patti Forker from Keystone Human Services last night as part of the process of adopting and being adopted by a Hearing Service Dog from Susquehanna Service Dogs. The more we move through the process, the more exciting we're becoming, just like parents awaiting the arrival of a baby. Though this is a working dog, a partner to help me hear, the relationship and bonding processes are really no different from other familial relationships. We will be responsible for the health and welfare, both physical and emotional for our new member. We want the best for them and preparing our home and ourselves for this huge step for the lifetime of this new member is much the same as expecting any other new addition to our family.

I've always said, "Pets are family, too".

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My ASL Students are in Central Penn Parent Magazine Today!

Today is an exciting day for Signing Time Academy. Erin, a teacher at a Deaf school here in Pennsylvania and another Signing Time Academy Instructor was recognized in a local newspaper. Signing Time Academy is also mentioned in TODAY'S published Central Penn Parent Magazine, page 25. We have instructors around the world currently teaching ASL to children and families. Children in Japan, Africa, China, and South America, just to name a few are learning ASL through Signing Time Academy. We even have dvd's in spoken Spanish, but ASL signs are the same everywhere we are teaching. Check out the interview of my classroom and see why I'm so proud of my ASL students at St. Stephen's Episcopal School in Harrisburg, PA

I can't wait until we start classes again this fall!

Another Teacher Spreading the Benefits of ASL

I ran across this article today about a teacher for the Deaf here in Pennsylvania who is reaching out in her community to teach others how to communicate with ASL. She has found teaching her own hearing children has many benefits. More and more parents are giving their children the gift of communication with ASL. I love reading what she is doing to reach her community and that she is also a part of an organization near and dear to my own heart, Signing Time Academy. Read her wonderful story here:   http://foresthills-regentsquare.patch.com/articles/school-for-the-deaf-teacher-spreads-sign-language-at-breckenridge-highlands
I look forward to seeing more articles like this, not just in the U.S. but all around the world.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Short clip of the Power of Words

I wish this short film was Captioned, however, it is visual enough to follow the powerful message of the words written at the end of the clip. I wish I had the talent the young woman in the film has. It's worth to the time to view.
Take a moment and click the highlighted link. You'll be glad you did.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Delete Digital Drama and Bullying (Campaign)

This seem so appropriate among all the posts and comments I see flying about among young people on the internet these days.

It's a needful campaign.

I've Been Accepted!

Last week, I received an email notification from Keystone Services that my application for a Hearing Service Dog from Susquehanna Service Dogs has been accepted. I have a home visit appointment with Patti Forker, Chief, Workplace Support Section of the Department of Public Welfare of Bureau of Human Resources to come to my home to make sure it is a safe place to have such a valuable partner.

Once that is complete and we pass the home inspection, it is a matter of waiting until puppies are available and ready to meet them. There are events a couple of times a year where applicants and the puppies get together for "Meet the Puppies" to see which puppies and humans connect for a lifelong partnership together. From there, puppies will begin training with expert trainers to help assist their human.

After that part of the training with the dog are completed, then the human applicant is brought into the training program for very intense two and a half weeks of training with the dog.

These dogs are bred to assist humans, trained and are worth $20,000.00 each. There are a lot of grants and funding available, however, the end cost in my particular case is going to be $5,000.00. This is due on the first day of my training session. This is only a small cost compared to the overall expense of such a highly trained lifelong working companion.

After the dog and I have been on our own for 6 months, we will be retested on our skills together and any training adjustment will be made at that time. In fact, each year there will be testing and any time adjustments need to be made, they will be addressed for the remainder of the dog's life.

I am raising money to help pay the cost, support and care for my future workmate through the proceeds generated from My Signing Time Store at http://www.XpressiveHandz.com