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

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Friday, March 29, 2013

How to Sign "Happy Easter", and other Spring Signs

Easter Signs with Rachel Coleman of Signing Time. This is now captioned!


BioAid for iPhone

I was excited to see this posted over on The Limping Chicken. Technology is an awesome thing. We have such creative people designing apps and other gadgets to make life more accessible for the disabled. Take a phone, for instance, and turn it into a hearing aid!

Although this is just being designed, I see wonderful possibilities in the future. I downloaded and installed this app on my Iphone. It works! However, it is not appropriate for someone with my kind of hearing loss, I can see that this most likely works for SOME people who have a mild loss.

As my 9 year old and I dabbled with this app, we agreed that it would work better if it did not pick up the voice of the person using it as a hearing aid. This can be remedied easily with some of the fabulous speech recognition technology out there. All they have to do is add a "my voice" gadget where a person can speak into the mic and then an option to "mute THIS voice" and voila... you would pick up only the voices of those speaking around you and not your own voice.

Anyone can download and check out this FREE app https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/bioaid/id577764716  Read more about it at the Limping Chicken here: http://limpingchicken.com/2013/03/27/deaf-news-mobile-app-turns-iphone-into-a-hearing-aid/

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ladies of Lancaster, PA Area: This is for You

LADIES: We have requested an ASL interpreter for the 

Lancaster General Health event. It has been confirmed there 

WILL BE one on hand from 5pm until the end. Register and 

come on out. There will be drawings, food, and important 

information for our health:

Tuesday, April 2 

Worship Center

2384 New Holland Pike

Lancaster, PA

$10.00 Registration


I hope to see you there!

Optical Illusion Dance

Here is something a little different and delightfully visual. Enjoy:


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

This, too, is important for Social Media

This is worth 3 1/2 minutes of your time, your business and your organization's time, and all aspects of social media as well. This important video created by Collaborative for Communication Access via Captioning is about accessibility, inclusion and equality.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Research Now Backs the Importance of Teaching Deaf Children Sign Language

Bilingual Education...We have known this for a long time, but researchers are just slow to figure these things out. Here is the latest information regarding the benefits of teaching deaf children (and ALL children) Sign Language:


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"The Three C's of Hearing Loss" Guest Post by Shanna Groves

Today's guest post is by author and speaker Shanna Groves. Shanna is the driving force behind the #showmeyourears campaign on Twitter and "Show Me Your Ears" on her website. Her campaign promotes the use of  hearing aids, cochlear implants and dispels the stigma that once came with them. People from all over have been taking snapshots of their "ear gear" and sharing their photos. You will find the link to this wonderful campaign at the bottom of the page along with her other information. I added a photo of one of my ear gears at the bottom of this post.

Thank you, Shanna, for sharing your heart with us in "The Three C's of Hearing Loss".


The Three "Cs" of Hearing Loss

By Shanna Groves

At the age of 27, I was a glowing new mom. My son was a healthy seven-pounder with tufts of strawberry-blond hair. My days were spent holding him because I didn't want to let go. My nights were spent with him laying beside me. The only way I could fall asleep was to have that baby with me at all times.

At the same time I became a mom, something else chose to be with me 24 hours a day. It was the sound of ringing bells in both my ears---a sound that only I could hear. It was the growing awareness that voices had become softer. Hearing loss chose me, but I didn't want it to.

Adult-onset hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) are more common than anyone cares to admit. Causes: noise exposure, illness, hormonal changes, genetics or, in my case, all of these things. 

Are you dealing with a hearing loss you weren't born with? These three principles have helped put my mind at ease:

Hearing loss may shape who I am now, yet some things never change. If I can remember the things about myself that remain the same---my dreams, goals, personality traits---then I know that hearing loss hasn't defeated me. Before my hearing diagnosis, I wanted to write. Eleven years later, I write. I once dreamed that I would have a healthy family. Eleven years later, I have three healthy children and a loving husband. I've always enjoyed being around people. Hearing loss or not, that hasn't changed.

Hearing loss heightens my compassion---an awareness of other people's needs. If I stop focusing on what I don't have, I realize that a lot more people have far less than I do. How can I help them? My focus instead shifts from my hearing loss to reaching out to other people. My ears may be defective, but my hands and feet work fine. I'm still able-bodied to serve others.

Hearing loss is a community. Among those I can reach out to are millions of people worldwide living with hearing loss. I have found a sense of community through such groups as the Hearing Loss Association of America, Association of Late-Deafened Adults, the SayWhatClub, and many more organizations online. I can use my skill (writing) and my compassion to touch the lives of this growing community. In doing so, I know that I am not alone.

If you substitute the words "Hearing Loss" in the above paragraphs with "My Life," you can put into context what a gift my hearing diagnosis has been. My senses of compassion, community, and change are heightened. I like that aspect of hearing loss. 

How has hearing loss shaped who you are today? 

(c) Shanna Groves


Author and Speaker Shanna Groves writes about the roller coaster journey of being a hard of hearing parent in her new memoir, Confessions of a Lip Reading Mom. Read more of her story at ShannaGroves.com and LipreadingMom.com.


Shanna's book "Confessions of a Lip Reading Mom" is about to launch. This is a great time to order your copy: http://lipreadingmom.com/order-lipreading-moms-book/\

Follow Lip Reading Mom on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LipreadingMom

Shanna also has a FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorShannaGroves

Here's a snap shot of one of my hearing aids, Shanna, for you to download and use as you please for your campaign - Joyce 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Xpressive Handz is Now on FaceBook

With the help of Author Shanna Groves, Xpressive Handz now has a FaceBook page. Come take a peek, and "like" the page, if you feel inclined to do so. I will be sharing items there from others that don't make it into my blog posts, but are worth taking time to read. Since it is newly created, there isn't a whole lot published there as yet. It is, and will be a work in progress. Be sure to say, "Hello" and let me know you stopped by.


Also stop by Shanna's page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorShannaGroves?fref=ts

Thank you, Shanna for taking the time to walk me through the process.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

For New Deafies...and Some Older Ones Like Me

I have a copy of this book, "A Survival Guide for New Deafies!" written by Amy Sargent. Even though I have had hearing loss longer than Amy has, I found this book to not only be helpful, but offer a few tips and perspectives I was missing out on. If you or someone you know is dealing with hearing loss, I would suggest getting a copy of this book for them and their family. Be sure to check out her book trailer and stop by her website. The video and links are below.

"This video book trailer introduces Deaf Girl Amy Sargent and her book "A Survival Guide for New Deafies!" Deaf Girl Amy was 27 years old when she started to lose her hearing, fast forward 15 years and she has written a book that covers everything from The Top Ten Rules for New Deafies, De-Mystifying Audiograms, Do's and Don'ts for Family and Friends to The Pros of Being a Deafie. The book was written specifically for people who suffer from late onset deafness. It is also for people who want to communicate with new deafies. This book is long overdue, especially as boomers age. A fast read that is simultaneously funny, inspirational and, informative.

Who can benefit from this book: Individuals experiencing hearing loss, Relatives, Friends, Neighbors, Teachers, Doctors & Nurses, Police Officers, Waiters, Bartenders, Customer Service Reps....in short everybody! Available for $14.95 at www.DeafGirlAmy.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com and also available in eBook format through Kindle & Nook for $9.99" https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qfk0pnt9fDQ "

Stop by Amy's website: http://www.deafgirlamy.com/

Stop by Amy's Facebook page and give her a "like" https://www.facebook.com/DeafGirlAmy?fref=ts

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

"Stolen Futures"

I saw this video posted by my friend, Sarah on her blog Speak Up Librarian.

Many of you will recognize actor Jim Carter from "Downton Abbey" as the spokesperson.


If you are a citizen of the UK, you can sign the petition to stop the cuts for services for deaf children created by National Deaf Children's Society here: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/34073

Friday, March 8, 2013

My Opinion of the Issues Portrayed in "Uprising" - Switched at Birth

I finally watched "Uprising", the latest "Switched at Birth Episode". It left me with a lot of thoughts swirling in my brain, but it wasn't until there was a conversation about the program in the Signing Time Instructor's group discussing issues with Nicole (you will find a link to her website below), that I was able to put those thoughts into adequate words.

 Here are a few snippets of my end of the conversation:

I watched it on the ABC link ( http://abcfamily.go.com/watch/switched-at-birth/SH55120583/VD55280632/uprising ) I was pleased that they also showed how there is discrimination within the deaf community itself. That needs to change. I floundered in mainstream schools as a hard of hearing child... The character of Noah floundered and couldn't function in mainstream, yet some of the deaf didn't want him because he isn't "deaf enough". 

I was also disheartened Daphne didn't stand up for Bay. Children with deaf family members should be allowed as well. It strengthens their bond as siblings, and helps them to advance their own ASL skills so they can communicate better.

I would also like to see them demonstrate CART at some point for new hard of hearing and deaf students who have not had opportunity to learn ASL. Inclusion needs to reach across all the barriers. 

These are different days and times. I believe that by laying aside discrimination, Deaf Community can be the change we want to see in the world. We must put away old learned attitudes and behaviors to see progress. I was involved in a small community decades ago where these attitudes did not exist among its Deaf Community. 

Did anyone notice that there are no students with cochlear implants on the show? When those are turned off, one is still deaf. "The right people", according to Travis, are a select few, only profoundly deaf - this is flagrant discrimination. 

Now is the time for change. Today's Deaf and Hard of Hearing can begin that within our own communities by modeling the change we wish to see, speaking up for all the deaf AND!! Hard of Hearing, not just one separate group. We need support the family members of deaf and hard of hearing as well. Shunning or making hearing family members outcasts, like what Daphne is doing to Bay, will only continue to cause angst and division.

By being accepting those who are different - hearing - hearing impaired - hard of hearing - respecting and supporting those who want to be included will go farther in today's society. 

As a deaf person, I feel it is my duty to help hearing people understand that deafness and hearing loss come in many degrees and varieties. Not all deaf use ASL, so interpreters are not always the answer.

Not all deaf read English well, because English to some ASL users is a second or foreign language, so CART is not an option for them in group or classroom situations.

Many people (such as myself) became deaf post lingual and have been labeled hearing impaired by the medical profession. It does not mean the person is impaired, only that their ears no longer work as they once did. It is the same concept of vision impairments. WE should be allowed to use whatever description that aptly describes our situation, AND respect one another's choices in this regard. 

If the deaf and hard of hearing, hearing impaired, (whatever label you use for your situation) combined OURSELVES together with one unified front, accepting the differences and providing every communication means available for one another, it would be a STRONGER community and more would get done. As long as there are factions and discrimination, there will only be angst and unmet needs. 

It's time to stand up together and be the change we wish to see by starting within our community, being supportive and accepting of one another REGARDLESS of degree of deafness or hearing loss. It's time to be inclusive.

I'm looking forward to seeing the conclusion of  "Uprising". Be sure to visit Nicole's website: http://www.mysigningstar.com/ She is a fellow Signing Time Instructor in the Florida area.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Dinner Conversation at Our House

I thought our little fellow asked at the dinner table, "How do you get sex?" 
I asked, "What do you want to know about sex?" to find out what angle to approach his question.
Fabulous Husband said, "No, not sex... Checks"...

Saturday, March 2, 2013

History + Culture: "Switched at Birth" Revisits the "Uprising" of 1988

Monday March 4th is the air date for ABC's groundbreaking episode of "Switched at Birth" aptly titled "Uprising". The episode will be in ASL ONLY and  open captioned for ALL.

This episode will explore the historical uprising of the student protest at Gallaudet University in 1988. The Daily Beast covers this story and the history  http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/28/abc-family-s-switched-at-birth-asl-episode-recalls-gallaudet-protest.html