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

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Today's Photo and ASL Sign is "Sea Lion"

We saw this HUGE sea lion lounging on the dock below us in Newport, Oregon. Below the photo you will find a video uploaded by Changoo taken at the Oregon Sea Lion Caves. At the bottom of the post is the ASL demonstration for "sea lion".

Check out the video uploaded by Changoo of the Oregon Sea Lion Caves.


Signed demonstration courtesy of ntid_lexicon


Sunday, July 29, 2012

County Fair and the Sign for "Carnival"

We were fortunate to arrive in time to join my friend Annie and her fabulous husband Paul at the county fair last week. Signing Savvy demonstrates the sign for "carnival" over at http://www.signingsavvy.com/sign/CARNIVAL/1087/1

Flying Super Women

Our Bubble Boy

We had so much fun, the time just "flew by"

Saturday, July 28, 2012

"Octopus" is the Word, Photo and Video of the Day

Along the marina adjacent to Old Town Bandon is this extravagant chainsaw sculpture of an octopus by Chris Foltz of North Bend, Oregon. You can read more about Chris and the Oregon Divisional Chainsaw Sculpting Championships at http://theworldlink.com/entertainment/article_80238a8c-9df7-11e0-9557-001cc4c002e0.html Don't forget to check out the ASL video by DeafJapan at the bottom of my post today.

While browsing for a nice clip to demonstrate the sign for Octopus, I discovered this rather interesting video posted by DeafJapan Seafood 2011-7-20. It is quite interesting despite a bit of the ... grossness. It is open captioned, English and Japanese.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Today's Photo and ASL Sign - Lighthouse

This is the Coquille River Lighthouse at the mouth of the Pacific Ocean across from Bandon by the Sea along the Oregon Coast. Below my photo is a great ASL music video by Captain Valor, "The Lighthouse's Tale". Click CC if you need captions.


Monday, July 23, 2012

"My Favorite Season"

These are listed in the order they appear. The song on the DVD is OPEN captioned, though this short clip is not. I share my favorite season at the bottom of the page. Rachel shows us the signs for:



Jamie demonstrates how to sign vacation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM98DqrtK_g
My favorite season is VACATION! (I originally learned this sign with the "3" hand shape.) What's your favorite season?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Deaf Girl Amy's KickStarter Project

This is my friend Amy. I would love to see her supported so she can make this tour possible. Had her book been available when I was young, it would have changed my life. Today, this book can help people new to hearing loss learn how to cope. She offers tips how to adjust to hearing loss and to not let deafness stand in the way of getting out and really living. Please consider helping her cause. I've met her in person, and she has a wonderful caring, passionate heart to help others. This video is captioned.

Check out her website here: http://deafgirlamy.com/
Amy's book should be in every audiologist's office

Please share this with others and make this tour happen. Buy the book

Thursday, July 19, 2012

American Dolls with Hearing Aids

I saw this post over on Deaf Girl Amy's FaceBook page Isn't this the coolest idea for children who wear hearing aids?

When I was a young girl, I loved playing with Barbie Dolls. Back then, we didn't have a lot of choices, and the dolls were quite stereotypical. It's lovely to see today's companies creating dolls that appeal to "real" children with "real" accessories. This is very cool. Check out the other dolls this company has available.


I Was the Child With A "Hearing Problem"

People are often surprised when I tell them I was a hard of hearing child who became deaf as an adult. I think they get confused because I speak as well as I do, but that is due to speech therapy in school. It was my seventh grade English teacher who set up my meeting with a speech therapist. My teacher, Mr. Young was confused that I wrote fairly well for my age, yet I couldn't pronounce a lot of words when it was my turn to read aloud in class. He believed writing skills reflected one's reading skills. He suspected more was going on with my speech than what we realized. One doesn't make speech sounds if one doesn't hear them, or isn't taught how to make them.

My mother read to me all the time, but I only heard her when I was sitting on her lap or right next to her, and even then, I didn't hear her well. She has a very soft voice that is difficult to distinguish. I would not know she was talking to me if I wasn't looking at her.

When we briefly lived in California, I was put into special education classes. My math skills were horrendous. I struggled all through school and college with math. It was all foreign, it still is. Part of my struggle had to do with how the teachers came up with the answers and numbers they wrote on the blackboard. If I couldn't see their lips, how in the world was I to know how they came to the conclusion to the problem they were explaining? They always had their back to the class when they were writing on the blackboard. I could see what they wrote, but I could not see what they were saying.

My biggest struggle with a teacher was in fifth grade. His name was Mr. Gates, and I really liked him, but my constant questions irritated him. It finally got to the point where I didn't want to ask questions anymore, or even go to school. Mr. Gates had great facial expressions, but his lips were impossible to read. I could tell by looking at him when he was in a good mood, if he was enjoying what he was teaching that day, as well as when my questions made him cross and irritable. Mr. Gates didn't have a voice,,,until I was standing next to him when he was sitting at his desk. Then he had a bit of voice. My questions in class were things he had already talked about. How could I know what was already discussed if I couldn't hear him or read his lips? I wish I could go back and explain to Mr. Gates I couldn't distinguish what he was saying because I simply couldn't hear him. I didn't understand at that age that my hearing wasn't "normal" like everyone else's.

I always sat at the front of the class in the desk closest to the teacher. I should probably mention that not only could I not hear, I also have a congenital vision impairment, rotary nystagmus,   which causes me to often miss small nuances with speech shapes on the lips. It also makes it difficult to distinguish some signs. If someone signs too fast, I only get part of the conversation. I have to be close enough to read lips and hands.

I often wonder if I was the only kid in school with a "hearing problem". I never knew anyone else in class who struggled with following along. I seldom knew what was going on around me. I preferred to be around loud kids. It was the same with people as I got older. I gravitated to people that were loud and/or animated. It took me a long time to understand why I made these choices. At least if they were loud or readable, I could understand what they were saying and thinking.

Once in a while I wonder how my life choices and friendship choices would have been different had I been able to hear and understand what was going on around me better. Those moments don't last too long, nor do I dwell on them because I have found someone to love, and things that I love to do. Interestingly, Fabulous Husband is soft spoken with very expressive eyes. His body language is easy to read and he is wonderfully gentle and expressive.

In the end, it doesn't matter that I was a child that had a "hearing problem". It doesn't matter that I am now a deaf adult. It matters only that I kept my heart and eyes open to really see the people who matter most, and how blessed I am to have them in my life.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Synopsis of Gary's Visit at Dauphin County EMA 9-1-1 Call Center

Today's guest writer is Gary Bootay. Gary sent an email to me about his visit to the Dauphin County EMA. He shares with us some important FCC mandates for text only phones that many in the Deaf Community are unaware of, as well as some fascinating "futuristic" technological information. Thank you, Gary for sharing this!

On Jul 17, 2012, at 11:25 AM, Gary Bootay wrote:

Yesterday morning I had a wonderful and educational time at the Dauphin County EMA call center where all the 9-1-1 phones and terminals are.  Walking in the large darkened futuristic basement was like being at an airport control center with a dozen employees busy on their large screen terminals.  Gregory Kline, who knows Jerry Penna, is the manager of technical systems and programs - he took me on a tour with another employee named Joe.  Jenice was our interpreter.

I told them my biggest concern was that I could not dial 9-1-1 with my text-only cell phone in case of an emergency.  According to Greg that texting technology is being worked on and will be available in the future.  However, I got some very good news when I was informed that the FCC requires ALL CELL PHONES to have voice capability to call 9-1-1.  My cell phone does not have the voice chip, just the texting chip.  I did not want to pay more than double the monthly fee for voice which will "never be used" as I'm profoundly deaf.  Look at your phone bill and you will see a $1.00 monthly charge for 9-1-1 access. I thought I did not have voice access and paid for a service I could not use.  I demonstrated my frustration by typing a trial message then dialing 9-1-1 only to receive a message from the phone company saying "this service is not available".

Now I bet you are concerned about what I meant about the GOOD NEWS...

I was told to open my cell phone without texting a message and simply dial 9-1-1 directly.  The phone rang and was answered by the 9-1-1 call center!!!  Greg and Joe were with me during this demonstration.  Next Joe, Jenice and I went outside on the parking lot and dialed 9-1-1 again (the call center was forewarned not to send the police).  Then we went inside and saw, on the terminal screen, three tiny dots (our heads) in the parking lot in vivid color from a satellite directly 100+ miles overhead which located the 9-1-1 call via GPS.  This was Star Wars fantastic!

What this means is that a deaf person with a text-only phone can call 9-1-1 if that county's call center has the technology.  The voice call is available even without the voice chip!  If at all possible, it is a good idea to speak your name, where you are, and the reason for the call...just keep repeating.  Someone will understand what you are saying and don't worry that you cannot hear their response.  The             satellite GPS can locate you outdoors or in a motor vehicle but not inside a building.  There is no extra charge for calling 9-1-1.

This was a worthy and educational visit.  All deaf and hard of hearing users of text-only cell phones should be informed of this capability.  I was not aware of it and was erroneously told I could not call 9-1-1 with a text-only phone.

Gary Bootay

Monday, July 16, 2012

"Call Me Maybe" ASL/VRS Version (press red square cc button for captions)

This is a FUN music video featuring a Video Relay System (VRS) call. This is great for people who have never seen how a relay call works.  Be sure to catch the credits at the end for a good laugh.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Simple Tips to Help Maintain Healthy Hearing Throughout Your Life

This is a guest post by John O'Connor These are good tips for us to pass along to our hearing children, friends and family. While many of us may not be able to hear, we should be able to pass along healthy tips to help preserve the hearing of others, and to help preserve any little hearing some of us may have left. Thank you John for being a guest and sharing these helpful tips with us.

Simple Tips to Help Maintain Healthy Hearing throughout Your Life  

Maintaining healthy hearing is not something that people think about every day.  Because hearing is such a natural thing, many people do not give it a second thought until there becomes a noticeable hearing problem and medical attention must be sought in order to find a solution.  How a person lives can play a big role in a person’s overall health, and this includes hearing health as well.

Manage Communications and Media/Entertainment Volume Control
Many people can relate to the story of growing up with parents or grandparents who were hard of hearing.  This often led to young children growing up listening to television and radio programs turned up extremely loud so the adults in the home with hearing problems could hear what was being played.  As a result, numerous children have lost a portion of their hearing by the time they reached adolescence.  Adjusting the volume and taking control over the volume around a home is a great way to begin managing your hearing health.

Keeping the volume turned to a moderate level on TV, car radios, electronic devices, and cell phones will help a person to maintain healthy hearing for a prolonged time.  Many people in modern times remain “plugged in” as often as possible.  By “plugged in”, it is meant that a large number of people use entertainment and communication devices excessively.

Falling asleep with headsets on listening to loud or medium-volume music can have a lasting, negative impact on a person’s hearing.  Constantly leaving a cell phone or other communication device on a high volume can potentially be harmful to the way a person hears.  Keeping electronic devices turned as low as possible and still function will be a big step towards maintaining positive hearing health.

Dealing with Partial Loss of Hearing
For numerous reasons, there are many times when people lose their hearing from natural causes, work environments, and other sources that cannot always be helped.  When partial hearing is lost, all hope is not lost.  Many times, a person’s ability to hear can be restored through the use of hearing aids.  Hearing aids are used by both children and adults who experience problems hearing fully on their own.

Seeking out medical advice and treatment is recommended for individuals who are currently experiencing a loss of hearing.  Addressing the problem quickly and speaking to a medical professional about options and how to manage hearing health is a great way to be proactive and to make sure a person is doing all he or she can to care for their hearing health.  

The National Institutes of Health has a website section dedicated to informing people on how to protect their hearing and to know when to seek medical attention.  Following the symptoms and guidelines listed on this website can be a big assistance for anyone concerned about their hearing ability.

Johnn O'Connor

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Signing Time Academy Announces Instructor of the Year!

Signing Time has a new Instructor of the Year, Bree Loggins. congratulations, Bree !

Our instructors are making a difference across the nation and around the world. We not only promote Sign Language education, but offer support and encouragement to families in our communities who value the benefits of learning to sign.

Congratulations fellow nominees. We appreciate and thank our awesome Associate Directors who nominated us, and we especially thank Signing Time Academy for the fabulous opportunity to be a part of a great organization that supports and encourages us.

Check out the rest of our nominees below, listed in alphabetical order. Someone you know may have been nominated by an Associate Director.

Signing Time Academy Blog, Instructor of the Year Winner and Nominees

Amanda Paxton
Anna Larson Kernes
Marcia Bruce
Cait Watson
Colleen Brunetti
Courtney Nakagawa
Joyce Edmiston
Kelly Konieczki
Lane Rebelo
Lavina Faleiro
Megan McWilliams
Suzanne Hanson

Be sure to check out how Signing Time Foundation is making a difference in Ghana: http://www.signingtimefoundation.org/

If you would like to learn more about Signing Time, visit us at http://www.SigningTime.com
If you would like to learn more about Signing Time Academy, visit us at Signing Time Academy

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

"Hearing Music From Memory"

Dan over on FaceBook posted a music video from a time back when I could hear so much better (it may have been from around 1975). He had no idea there was a "once upon a time", meaning he did not know that I've not always been deaf. I shared my personal experience when it comes to music from decades ago.

It's amazing how the brain works because I can still "hear" in my mind what many things sound like. While I don't hear much of what's playing on the radio or tv now, my brain kicks in and fills in the gaps. Although there may be a few nuances of the sounds forgotten, a lot of it is there. Rhythm and vibrations help me recognize a musical pattern from an old song and and I can follow along. It's amazing how the mind can hear music from memory.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"Let Me Be" by Iris Leonardo (Signed and Captioned)

I like the film noire feel of this video. It sets a melancholy mood to the duet. Iris did not know any sign language before this. Though she signs "sad" instead of cold (the lyric said "cold", but she signs "sad"), it aptly depicts the meaning of the song. There is a coldness that comes with sadness and loneliness. I can certainly see the yearning to belong portrayed bythis performance. I really liked this. They both did a fabulous job.


A Few Minutes in the Life of A Sign Language Interpreter

I first viewed this last week over at The Limping Chicken
On one hand, this is hysterical, on the other, so sad because it's mostly likely something they encounter on a regular basis. Here's to the professionalism of interpreters who sincerely advocate for their deaf and hard of hearing clients. After seeing this, it makes me appreciate the ones I've depended upon even more!


Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Chuckle for the Bloggers

This little gem was posted recently in a writer's forum over on FaceBook. It made me chuckle.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Feel the Music, A Short Documentary about Sign Language Interpreters

My friend Sarah asked if I had seen this short documentary about Sign Language interpreters who specialize interpreting at live music performances. I had not seen or heard of this short film until she left their link on one of my posts. This is only a little over six minutes in length, and I think you'll enjoy learning about what they do. Be sure to turn on the CC if you need the captions.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hearing Loops: A Demonstration

I saw this little snippet of a video mentioned in a Tweet by @LetsLoopSeattle  More places are setting up loop systems for people who wear hearings aids. The largest growing population of people who depend on hearing aids is now the Baby Boomer Generation. We are living longer, and we are active people. Hearing loss is a natural part of the aging process, but it should not stop an active generation from getting out and about. Loop systems like this make all the difference.

Loop systems work along the lines of FM, and the sound is delivered directly into the T-Coil of each hearing aid that has one built in. It's quite interesting, and this is why I'm working on getting a new pair hearing aids.

When we were visiting Rochester Institute for the Deaf, I noticed signs around rooms that had the loop icon.

I love that this is something that is now advertised and visible to the public and that more and more cities are using this technology.

This video simulates the difference of  having a loop system, versus one without. There will be no captions at the beginning, so that those who can hear, can experience what it is like for a person with deafness or hearing loss or someone with hearing aids where there is no loop. To add captions would be, as they pointed out at the end of the video, "unfair".


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy Fourth!

In honor of our Day of Independence this coming week, here are two video versions of our National Anthem. The first one is with  Leah and Alex, (the Signing Time kids) and the second video is with Kristina Garcia-Santiago of the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Both videos have captions.

Learn more about Signing Time at SigningTime.com

Have a safe and happy 4th, Everyone.