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

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Eloquently Written Article of What It's Like To Be Hearing Impaired

I saw this article mentioned over on Sarah's  "Speak Up Librarian" website, and I just have to share this woman's perspective of what it is like to be hearing impaired. Terri Goldstein  wrote this so eloquently. After you've read this, do be sure to check out Sarah's blog. She is one of this year's Oticon Award winners in Advocacy.
This is at the LA Times website, and I apologize for all the advertisements you'll have to skim through to read the piece entirely.

"Speak Up  Librarian" blog : http://speakuplibrarian.blogspot.com/

Monday, February 27, 2012

Unleash Your Fingers

Here's something a little different. No lyrics, no signs, and they say "a new kind of dance by JayFunk". Visually fascinating!


Meeting Deaf Girl Amy and Touring the Rochester Area

Fabulous Husband recently stated he had a four day weekend coming up and asked if I would like to go meet Deaf Girl Amy Sargent. He remembered I mentioned that I would love to have an opportunity to meet her. She wrote a fabulous book I wish had been available when I first started going deaf. (For more information about Amy's book "The Survival Guide for New Deafies".


I sent a message to Amy and asked if she was available and would like to meet for lunch somewhere. She graciously accepted and we had a lovely time meeting for lunch and dinner. We met her fabulous husband Arthur and had a lovely time all together.

Amy was a delightful hostess and tour guide. She took us first to a very hip health food store so I could pick up some recommended vitamins, then we went up to Lake Ontario. The lake itself reminded me a great deal of the Pacific Ocean and the beach near where I used to live before I moved to Pennsylvania.

From Lake Ontario, Amy took us to Fairport, also known as one of the 100 best places to live in America. It is a lovely, quaint little town along the Erie Canal. Oh, we also got to visit the Erie Canal. Amy's sister has a  delightful "Book-tique" on the block adjacent to the canal. Our son found an interesting book to read while he was browsing in the "man cave" section of the store.

While we were in the Rochester, New York area, Fabulous Husband took us to see Rochester Institute for the Deaf., and the gallery inside the National Technology Institute for the Deaf. There is a self portrait in the lobby gallery of the recently deceased deaf artist, Chuck Baird.

Rochester and her outlaying areas are extremely friendly, especially deaf friendly. While Amy and I were signing at lunch, even the waitress joined in signing! The person at the health food store knew only one sign (thank you) she was signing it to us as we were leaving. People were genuinely very warm, open and friendly.  Amy and Arthur's hospitality are a reflection of the friendliness of the area. We're looking forward to visiting again when the weather is warmer.

Enjoy these few photos and be sure to check the links at the bottom of the post for more information and  more photos.

We also stumbled upon a Greek Orthodox Macedonian Church in the middle of nowhere. They kindly invited Fabulous husband in to meet the priest. The priest was kind enough to give Fabulous Husband a personal tour of the exquisite interior. I'll post the link to view those at the bottom of this post.

Another pleasant surprise was the gorgeous Buddhist Temple and garden.

You can find out more about Amy's book "The Survival Guide for New Deafies" here: http://deafgirlamy.com/buy-the-book.html

And you can check out Fabulous Husband's photos of our trip to Rochester, New York here:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/hipfotoguy/
There are photos posted of the George Eastman mansion, the Erie Canal, the interior of the Macedonian Church and other points of interests.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Twitter and CB Radios

As I sit here this Sunday afternoon watching the Twitter posts scroll along my Iphone, I came to the realization that Twitter is to deaf and hearing impaired people what the old CB radios were to people who could hear well. Back in the '70's, I could hear fairly well, well enough to use regular telephones and listen to radios. Just about everyone I knew had a CB or ham radio in their car or home.

If anything was going on, it was broadcast over the air waves, everything from emergencies, to chit chat of what was playing at the movies and grocery lists being spouted of to spouses. If you were into ham radios, you could talk with someone on the other side of the world. Just like those old radios, there are no borders or boundaries to Twitter.

The neat thing about Twitter is just about everyone can use it and get connected. Like the old meet ups with people gathering in diners when someone suggested pulling in and grabbing coffee, it is the same today with tweetups.

Twitter really does level the communication field for so many of us today. I love modern technology. Without it, I would be disconnected from the world, indeed.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Police Brutalize Yet Another Deaf Person. We Need To Stop This NOW

This is yet another video of a deaf person being attacked by those who are to protect and to serve. How many deaths, unjust brutality and unjust arrests will it take before Police Academies adopt deaf awareness training before officers graduate? When will more police departments have deaf awareness training for their officers yearly? The video was uploaded by Editor Charlie Swinbourne. Be sure to read the links he's provided in the article about other recent deaths and attacks of deaf people by police and security officers. Police Departments need to be held accountable in these situations. See my post of how the students at Maryland School for the Deaf are training a Police Department on Deaf Awareness at the bottom of my blog post.

See my post about a video with Deaf students in Maryland teaching Deaf awareness to Police officers:

We need training programs just like this example (listen to the deaf, save a life)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dine & Sign episode 22: 25 Years of Lousy Closed Caption, Cochlear Implants etc.

Alex and his dad did it again. They discuss President's Day, birthday, Closed Captioning, sensing sound through vibrations and the controversial issue of cochlear implants. They welcome you to stop in and eavesdrop on their conversation. (total of 8 minutes)

Be sure to subscribe to their channel at http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_120087&feature=iv&src_vid=8MBqkblrfwQ&v=vp2yEWpOBHI


I posted a request for someone to interpret or caption the video of "Real Food: Is It Too Much to Ask" and Headmistress stepped up to the plate and gave us a loose translation. This is very important information, especially if you have children, allergies, or you just want to feed your family the best food possible. There is a lot of information in this, but I think you will find it valuable.
A HUGE thank you goes out to Headmistress for this very kind deed!

Real Food Is That Too Much to Ask? : Transcript NOW Available!!

Thanks to Headmistress, we now have a transcript of this video!! READ it HERE:  http://www.scribd.com/doc/82494670/Loose-Transcript-of-Robyn-Obrien-s-speech

My friend Annie posted this on her FaceBook page. I would love to have access to this information. If any of you can interpret this, or know someone who can,  into ASL and caption this for the rest of us, please do so. There are many people who become deaf later in life and haven't learned sign language, or are fluent. Closed Captions are used more and more by baby boomers who are becoming deaf late in life as well.


Monday, February 20, 2012

The Angry Dad in ASL and a Challenge from Keith Wann

There was a video of an angry dad ranting about his disrespectful daughter on FaceBook last week. It wasn't captioned, so many of us were curious exactly what was going on. Here is the ASL interpreted version of the video, courtesy of Keith and Emilia Wann.
Keith also challenges students to step up and start video interpreting other newsworthy and pop culture items into ASL for the Deaf Community. What a concept! Be sure to read what he has to say and the challenge he puts forth below his video:
Let's see more like this! Also, if you would kindly caption them for so many baby boomers who have now become deaf late in life, but aren't fluent in ASL, that would be an added bonus.

See What I'm Saying - HD Music Video from Deaf Entertainers Documentary

This music video was filmed with Deaf actors and it is closed captioned, accessible to all audiences. This is directed by Hilari Scarl, and the song was written for the film by rock band Powder. I love this artistic and visually interesting video and the message it presents.



Friday, February 17, 2012

The Streets Perform the Edge of A Cliff

I love the way the artist, the interpreter (BSL) and the captions are incorporated in this music video, as well as the message of the song. The interpreter is known as ithinkmynameismoose


"Bullying Is Everywhere"

"Bullying is everywhere" says Emily Osmet in this video campaign against bullying. See what she, Katie LeClerc and others have to say about it. (Click the cc button for the captions).

Check out this link for more things YOU can to to help put an end it to it:  http://abcfamily.go.com/movies/cyberbully/resources/pl_PL5547513/vd_VD55133208

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Compromise of Terms

There have been some interesting discussions over the terminology between "hard of hearing" and "hearing impaired". It seems it has to be one or the other. In fact, I recently saw a survey on Facebook asking which term people like to use best.

On one hand, we have the argument some prefer "hard of hearing" over "hearing impaired" because they feel that to use the word "impaired"  implies something is wrong with them as a person. Still others prefer the term "hearing impaired" because they feel their hearing isn't working as it used to, therefore their ears have become "impaired", similar to vision impairment. A few people voice that they would prefer to be an "impaired" person over a "hard" person.

Let's get a little more practical with this, shall we?

Why don't we say those born with hearing loss, but not to the degree of deafness, are simply hard of hearing.

For those who once had better hearing, and are now experiencing hearing loss, let's use the term "hearing impaired", because, quite frankly, their hearing has become impaired.

Why not incorporate these terms and respect the choice each individual person chooses in referring to the matter of the status of their ears, and include those terms, just as "deaf" and "Deaf" are used for differentiation.

This makes sense to me. Let's not squabble over simple things like this to where we become disconnected from one another, even discriminating. It's time for acceptance and respect, perhaps even a simple compromise of terms.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Deaf Girls are Risky on Valentine's Day?

I respect these two gentlemen and their thoughts.. They open themselves up vulnerably and honestly. Another interesting episode, Gentlemen.

Be sure to subscribe to their channel and come eavesdrop often-you never know where the topic will lead.

Episode 21

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

From This Moment On (Keith Wann's ASL version for lovers)

Many know him as being the "bad boy" of  "Deaf comedy", but he has many facets, from his radio show (Keith Wann Cultural Bridges), to performing children's ASL stories (NADINE),  to advocating for ADA legal rights (Legal Shield) and this, a love song:
(Lyrics are below the video)

(I do swear that I'll always be there. 
I'd give anything and everything and I will always care.
Through weakness and strength, happiness and sorrow, 
For better or worse, I will love you with
Every beat of my heart.) 
From this moment life has begun
From this moment you are the one
Right beside you is where I belong
From this moment on 

From this moment I have been blessed
I live only for your happiness
And for your love I'd give my last breath
From this moment on 
de.com/lyrics/s/shania_twain/from_this_moment.html ]
I give my hand to you with all my heart
Can't wait to live my life with you, can't wait to start
You and I will never be apart
My dreams came true because of you 

From this moment as long as I live
I will love you, I promise you this
There is nothing I wouldn't give 
From this moment on 

You're the reason I believe in love
And you're the answer to my prayers from up above
All we need is just the two of us
My dreams came true because of you 

From this moment as long as I live
I will love you, I promise you this
From this moment
I will love you as long as I live
From this moment on

More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/s/shania_twain/#share

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012

ASL Music Videos Mentioned in the New York Times

The New York Times has a wonderful item about ASL music videos and the people who interpret them into sign.

‘Singing’ With Their Hands

AS far as YouTube music acts go, Michael Chase DiMartino’s won’t be mistaken for Justin Bieber’s. In a series of videos called Songs in Sign, Mr. DiMartino doesn’t sing, his lip-syncing can be off, and the dancing can be comical.

But one thing he does extremely well is “sing” with his hands. Known to his fans as Mister Chase, he is among a budding crop of YouTube stars who are hand-synching their way to online fame, performing songs like Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” using American Sign Language.
Call it karaoke for the deaf and hearing-impaired. And like LOLcats and the “Stuff People Say” videos, it seems to be a growing Web phenomenon. “Searches for ‘ASL’ over the past few months are the highest we’ve seen them,” said Kevin Allocca, the YouTube trends manager. “And 40 percent of all videos tagged ‘sign language’ on YouTube were posted in just the past year.”
The most popular of those are music based, Mr. Allocca added. Among the most viewed is a video by Stephen Torrence, a clean-cut jocular Texan who performs a self-possessed and humorous hand-sign interpretation of Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the U.S.A.” The video has had almost 2 million views.
Another is by Sean Berdy, an 18-year-old actor from Florida, who performs in a sleek and melodramatic version of Enrique Iglesias’s “Hero.” There’s lots of signing in the rain and crying, along with subtitles for those don’t understand A.S.L.
Mr. DiMartino, 27, a pop performer from Manhattan, said he was surprised by the popularity of his hand-sign videos, which have garnered more than a million views. “People just started responding to me, saying: ‘Wow, this is amazing. I can finally feel connected to the music,’ ” he said.
Adrienne Chiusano, 33, a cashier from Lower Burrell, Pa., who is studying to become an A.S.L. teacher, said her daughter, Claudia, 6, is “a very big fan” of Mister Chase. Claudia was born deaf and wears cochlear implants, small microphones that simulate sound. Before Claudia views Mister Chase’s videos, she plugs the implants into her computer’s USB port for a louder experience.
“For a deaf girl, she has so much rhythm and loves music, so she just starts dancing around while she’s watching him sign and she’s trying to mimic his signs,” Ms. Chiusano said.
“Obviously she doesn’t understand the meanings of the songs,” she added, referring to songs like “Womanizer” by Britney Spears. “But she’s just getting such joy out of watching him sign and all the graphics in his videos and the way he dances.”
Being able to enjoy music videos in A.S.L. instead of closed-captioning is important because A.S.L. is its own language, said Keith Wann, 43, from Clearwater, Fla., who hears normally but was born to two deaf parents. Mr. Wann learned sign language before he learned English, and makes his living largely as a comedian for deaf audiences — he calls himself a “deaf person who can hear.”
His break came on YouTube, he said, with a video skit that parodied the difficulties of signing rap music, using the Vanilla Ice song “Ice Ice Baby” as his comedic vehicle. HisYouTube channel has had more than 2.4 million views.
“Anything with a video where you can see the sign language, it’s been the best thing for the deaf community,” he said. “It’s a way for us to share our work, whereas before we never could."


Friday, February 10, 2012

Demystifying Deafness by Amy Sargent (Deaf Girl Amy)

Short video demystifies deafness, created by Amy Sargent. Be sure to check out her website and her book, "A Survival Guide for New Deafies". It's excellent for anyone who has lost their hearing, or has a loved one who has lost their hearing.


Amy Sargent's website:  http://deafgirlamy.com/

I highly recommend this book. I have a copy and wish something like this was available when I started going deaf.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Are You Up for the Challenge? Stop Bullying NOW

My friend Wendie posted on FB tonight that Friday, Feb. 10th she and others will be wearing purple to show the stand against bullying. It is P.S. I Love You Day - Anti-Bullying. This is a good time to post and share this particular video. This video was made by Gallaudet University students. They present us with a challenge we should join together. Now. Today.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

An Excellent Tutorial: Professionalism with Interpreters

This is a fabulous short presentation demonstrating the professionalism of interpreters.  This video was made under the Disability Awareness Project at St. Petersburg College.

This is how a meeting should look when discussing how you are all going to work together, everyone involved in the process is at the meeting together discussing the needs before the class/orientation/meeting/appointment, etc. 

 Note that the deaf or hearing impaired person should always be placed at the front: we use our eyes to "hear" with. This is the appropriate and standard practice everywhere (to put them at the back of a class, meeting, etc. is the equivalent of putting them "at the back of the bus" = discrimination, and  is frowned upon).

Do your interpreters advocate and represent your deaf and hearing impaired clients professionally and appropriately? Be professional. Be open. Be teachable, and communicate.

Don't be too hard on interpreters, it is not easy what they do, but do help them remain professional and share this video. Everyone needs a refresher course now and then.


New Iphone App Could Rival Relay Services

Deaftel could quite possibly revolutionize how the deaf, hard of hearing and the speech impaired make telephone calls in the very near future. The two best things about this app: private without a third party relaying what is being said, and no more disconnects. Finally, you can make calls without people and automated answering services hanging up on you!

Read more here: http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/general/new-iphone-app-could-rival-telephone-relay-services

I love the advancements technology is making.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Penn-In-Hand from University of Pennsylvania (Sign for Sign)

These university students are doing something FABULOUS. They are Penn-In-Hand from the University of Pennsylvania. Go, Kids!! Be sure to read the article posted below the video at Under the Button.

READ the full article here:

Beautiful ASL interpretation

I love Mike's beautiful ASL interpretation of  "God Speaking", a song sung by Mandisa. The lyrics are below the video for those who can't hear, and for those who are learning ASL.


Have you ever heard a love song that
Set your spirit free
Have you ever watched a sunrise and
Felt you could not breathe
What if it's Him
What if it's God speaking

Have you ever cried a tear that
You could not explain
Have you ever met a stranger
Who already knew your name
What if it's Him
What if it's God speaking

Who knows how He'll get a hold of us
Get our attention to prove He is enough
He'll do and He'll use
Whatever He wants to
To tell us "I love you"

Have you ever lost a loved one
Who you thought should still be here
Do you know what it feels like
To be tangled up in fear
What if He's somehow involved
What if He's speaking through it all

Who knows how He'll get a hold of us
Get our attention to prove He is enough
He'll do and He'll use
Whatever He wants to
To tell us "I love you"

His ways are higher
His ways are better
Though sometimes strange
What could be stranger
Than God in a manger

Who knows how He'll get a hold of us
Get our attention to prove He is enough
Who knows how He'll get a hold of you
Get your attention to prove He is enough
He'll do and He'll use
Whatever He wants to
To tell us "I love you"

God is speaking
"I love you"

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Valentine's Day Signs

Rachel Coleman from Signing Time demonstrates Valentine signs...just in time to share with your students, family, friends, and your Valentine.



Thursday, February 2, 2012

Don't Hang Up... It's a Relay Call... Wait...

I got a nice letter in the mail the other day. What is difficult is they want me to call to speak with someone on their staff. I wish it were so simple.

I am able to use my own voice when I make phone calls because I became deaf late in life. The phone system I use when I call people is wonderful, however it isn't always easy to connect to someone with it. A Calling Agent types to me what the person on the other end is saying, and I use my own voice to respond. The trouble is, people hang up on us, not understanding it is a relay call from a deaf or hard of hearing person using a different means of communication. Many people expect a response within seconds of answering the phone, and if they don't get one, they hang up. Most often, if they have not been trained about the different kinds of relay calls they may get from deaf and hard of hearing people, they think they are getting a solicitous call and they hang up before the Calling Agent has time to explain.

The biggest obstacle is getting past the automated phone systems. By the time the system races through which number to key in, the Calling Agent is still typing to me, and all the options have been listed, the automated answering system has disconnected us. We need time for the Calling Agent to type all the information to us, time for us to read the information, and time for us to say what number of the option we need.

I make most of my appointments through  email and messaging. I would love to make an appointment and come into the office and speak in person, but when my emails get stuck through the chain of command, I get quite frustrated, especially if it happens over the course of many, many months.

People say, have someone else call. The problem with that, I am left out of the conversation, and many of my questions aren't addressed because the conversation is carried on without me.

I'm looking forward to the day when people manning the telephones allow more time for the callers on the other end to respond, and for businesses to use answering systems that allow pauses between the options so the three of us, the Calling Agent, the business and the deaf or hard of hearing person can connect. Then many of us will be able to connect and make those personal appointments and take care of business in person, face to face.

In the meantime, please, include your personal work email address in your letters so we can connect and make an appointment.

Life in Technicolor (Cold Play) ASL Interpreted

This is a sweet little video uploaded by dreamnesc. I love the still at the end.