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

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Deaf Village Ireland

I saw this post on FaceBook by Drisana Levitzke-Gray in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Forum. It's easy to see how she is one of the finalist for the "Emerging Leaders' Award": 

My website is finally updated with a brand new video about Deaf Village Ireland! There is also a new blog which contains information about myself being a finalist for the 'Emerging Leaders' Award, the winner will be announced on the 26th of November in Canberra, Australia. Check out my website for more videos, blogs and photos etc.www.drisanalg.com


Thursday, July 25, 2013

"The Universal Language is in Our Minds"

This is a provoking thought by linguistics lecturer Patrick Boudreault. It is captioned and signed.

"Wish Them Well and Pray for Them"

When we  traveled to Oregon a year ago this week, Fabulous Husband and I dropped in at the local clinic to visit with my dad. He was in a room with other chemotherapy patients receiving treatment.

It had been five years since we last saw each other. He did not like that I had adopted a child. He did not like that I had met a man online who was coming from Pennsylvania to Oregon to meet the rest of my family. 

He disowned me as a family member and did not want my mother to have any contact with me.

As we entered the room, I didn't recognize my father at first. I saw a man with a hat similar to the one he used to wear and thought that was him. Fabulous Husband pointed to another man. How did he know that was my dad when he had never met the man before is beyond me. I did not expect seeing my father again would bring up so many past experiences and emotions. It was hard to believe this person actually had power to make me feel inept, unwanted and unaccepted for who I was and the choices I had made for my life.

It took him a moment to recognize me. Fabulous husband stood beside me. Have I mentioned how wise my husband is? We had discussed the moment I would be seeing this particular person and my hesitation to go visit. Fabulous Husband kindly stated, "This time it will be different. You have me now."

There was comfort in knowing that we were not alone in the room. There were other patients with family and friends lounging and visiting. Dad was always on his best behavior when out in public.

I introduced him to Fabulous Husband. It didn't take long before Dad asked me, "Are you hearing better these days?"

"What?" I asked, unsure if I saw his question correctly.

He did actually ask that in front of a roomful of people. Twice.

"No. I'm deaf now."

He looked at Fabulous Husband and asked, "How do you put up with that?"

I looked at Fabulous Husband, who did not say a word, but turned and looked at me with compassion, gentleness and love.

My husband  loves me. Patiently. Kindly. Truly. Sincerely. 

What Fabulous Husband said before we traveled to Oregon was true. It WAS different. It was different simply because of his love.

I saw this posted on FaceBook recently. It speaks volumes to me. It simply says:

  "Forgiveness does not always lead to a healed relationship. Some people just aren't capable of love and can be toxic to our lives. Sometimes we have to set up boundaries to protect ourselves. Wish them well, pray for them, and take care of yourself."

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"Thought of You" by Ryan Woodward

I saw this posted on a friend of a friend's Facebook page. Art needs no words to convey grace, beauty and a story. The animation is by Ryan Woodward.  Enjoy the visuals:


Monday, July 22, 2013

Captioned Video of the webinar about the Fortissimo Phone is now available

Karen Latimer, the Assistive Technology Assistant at PIAT Institute of Technologies notified me that the captioned webinar of the Clarity Fortissimo Phone is now available for viewing. Check out this FABULOUS new phone and all it can do in this video:  


Equipment Name: Clarity Speaker Phone Fortissimo

Clarity Speaker Phone FortissimoThis speakerphone gives "one-touch" access to dialing, answering, and memory scanning functions from up to 40 feet away. Phone can be dialed by using the one touch number, the wireless pendant, or a connected switch. Headphones may be added to the pendant for privacy. Additional accessories may be added-call program for information.
HEADSET OPTIONS - One of the following headphones may be added to the pendant for privacy:

Headband: an over the head style that covers both ears with sound (Must be able to put over head and on both ears)
Two ear buds that have foam covers and fit completely in the ear (Must be able to use hands to put small device completely in each ear)
One ear clip that slides over the top of the ear (Must be able to use hands to slide clip over the outside of the ear)


Appropriate for people who... HAVE THE ABILITY TO: Program needed phone numbers into the memory buttons or have assistance to program in memory buttons, activate the switch (by pressing standard buttons, pendant or switch); YOU NEED TO: Have a hands free conversation, activate phone with remote control or switch (push a button of some kind).


Saturday, July 20, 2013

VBS Accessible for Deaf Children (Mechanicsburg, PA area)

Just a reminder that we're less than 2 weeks away from our deaf-friendly VBS!  Please tell/forward this email to everyone you know who has a deaf child.  This VBS is fully staffed with signers and interpreters, from the skits and songs to the lessons and games!  Come one, Come all!!!

West Shore Evangelical Free Church is making it's Vacation Bible School accessible again this year!
We are inviting all deaf children ages 4 through completed 5th grade to attend.
Interpreters and signers will be working throughout the VBS environment to make it completely accessible.  This is an integrated concept.

Theme:  Kingdom Chronicles, Standing Strong in the Battle for Truth 
With The Kingdom Chronicles, your brave knights and fair maidens will be equipped to put on the full armor of God so they can stand strong in the battle for truth. They'll love the fun songs, the daily skits, and the “Truth or Error” game.

Dates: 7/29 - 8/2
Time: 6pm - 8:45pm
West Shore E. Free Church, 1345 Williams Grove Road, Mechanicsburg, PA  17055

Register online:  www.westshorefree.com or call 717-620-2330 ext. 162
Online registration ends Sunday, July 28
Registration is also accepted each night of VBS.

Friday, July 19, 2013

"3 True ASL Hospital Stories"

My friend, Jessi shared this on Facebook this week. The first 2 stories by this young man are hysterical, the 3rd, should not have happened to him, nor anyone else. He advocated for himself, and by doing so, perhaps prevented this from happening to anyone else. He captioned these so those who do not understand Sign Language yet can have access to what he is sharing. Thanks for the CC!!"


Be sure to "like" his page so you can see more of David's posts: https://www.facebook.com/Deafthecomedian

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"Facebook isn't just Facebook."

A little Wednesday Humor for you:

"Facebook isn't just Facebook. It's ESPN, The Weather Channel, TMZ, Twitter, and even the Jerry Springer Show."

Monday, July 15, 2013

Haunted Prison at Jim Thorpe

Nestled in the Pocono Range is the beautiful resort town of Jim Thorpe. Originally named Mauch Chunk, it was renamed in honor of the World's Greatest Athlete, Jim Thorpe in 1953 after his death.

There is a lot of history, outdoor adventures to be had, beautiful galleries and an outstanding opera house, but we weren't there to see any of that. While most people were celebrating the 4th of July with bar-b-ques and get togethers, Fabulous Husband, Bear and I were spending time in an old prison, an old haunted prison. We'll be revisiting the city again in October when the city offers "Haunted Tours". The prison is one of the highlights. Our 9 year old, Bear, was quite enthralled with the entire tour and wants to go back for the haunted festivities. I'd like to come spend a day or two around the Christmas holidays.  

When the tour ended, we wandered into the kitchen where there was a photo on display of an orb that was caught by someone's camera. There were no orbs in any of our photos. We do notice them in the photos Fabulous Husband takes of many of the old, small cemeteries that are scattered along the roads and next to old farm houses throughout the state. 

Being late deafened as I am, I wasn't able to follow what our tour guide was saying, however, in the end, it didn't matter. Everything we needed to know, the stories she shared along with many others  were typed and mounted onto plaques and posted throughout the tour. There were old magazine articles and newspapers that filled us in with many details. 

The story of the Molly Maguires and the mysterious handprint (check out Weird Pennsylvania), make this a tour well worth taking.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Casting Call for ASL Proficient Actors

My friend Amelia is looking for people proficient with ASL for her film! I'm sure many of you remember Amelia as you helped vote her into film school "Amelia Wins, Expresses Gratitude". Below is her request, along with a link for you to click through if you are interested and want to be in her film.

Hi Joyce,

I hope you're doing great. I'm delighted to tell you that I've just finished my first week at film school and I am in preproduction of the film that you helped create! 

This weekend is casting already. I've put out adverts on Mandy.com, Craigslist and AllDeaf.com. I was wondering if you wouldn't mind sharing this link with any Deaf or HH friends you think may be interested and know actors, or any ASL students that you may have.

Many thanks.

Best wishes, 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Police State?

Fabulous Husband snapped this photo at a parking lot in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania yesterday. This is a PA State Police car.

Monday, July 8, 2013

"Navigating Deafness on the Way to a Rhodes Scholarship" Rahel Kolb TEDx

My friend Sara Wegley posted this on her blog over at  Speak Up Librarian. This TEDx presentation by Rachel Kolb is one that should be shared everywhere. Rachel challenges us to look beyond what we "can't do", and instead look to our abilities and see the possibilities that can be reached simply by doing things differently. I like how she reframes deafness...deafness isn't so much of a disability as it is a communication barrier. This impressive 17 minute presentation is captioned.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Firework: 4 Different ASL Interpretations for the 4th

Like many of you, I enjoy watching the interpreted music videos that so many talented people post on YouTube. Here are four of my favorite interpretations of "Firework". It seemed appropriate for the Holiday.

Jason Listman:


Sherry Hicks:


Brooklyn Moore:


Tiffany Hill:


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Video by CSD Innovations #CSDVision

This totally blew me away- featured on today's Limping Chicken and by far has got to be the coolest thing I have ever seen when it comes to communication. There is no limit to the amazing things we can do with technology. I am in awe of the people who create and design ideas and gadgets like this.

#CSDVision from CSD on Vimeo.


Find out more about CSD Innovations here: http://www.c-s-d.org/innovations

Tweet, share, get the word out about this company and share their vision.

Monday, July 1, 2013

ASL Tip When Relocating

My family and I just finished a month of ASL classes together at a church over near Lancaster. Though I had taken classes before where I used to live decades ago, I would suggest anyone moving to another area to take ASL classes in their new community. There are many signs and idioms that evolve within closed communities that are different from other regions. I wish I had figured this out sooner. Many signs I had learned years ago aren't used in the area I currently live.

My vocabulary and knowledge has been greatly enriched from these classes. Our teacher provided many of the origins of how the signs came to be. I was always interested in the study of etymology when I was younger. I took French and Spanish in school. Though I couldn't hear or speak them well, I could read and write them decently. I noticed how many words were similar with spelling and meaning. This interest is flowing over into Sign Language, wanting to know the origin and history behind the signs.

I would recommend anyone relocating to sign up for classes and not only will you learn the idioms of the area, you will meet interesting people in your new community.