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

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Friday, May 31, 2013

My Thoughts Regarding " Deanne Bray's Rude Awakening"

I saw this video posted on BitcoDavid's blog. Beautifully signed in ASL and captioned, everyone should share this message. It should be shown in schools, women's groups and men's groups and discussed.

This is the most excellent video I've ever seen regarding this topic. More women and girls are killed EACH YEAR from this than our soldiers at war. If you are in this situation, you are not stuck. You are not alone. You can get out, and you can make a difference for your future, and especially for the future of your children. You can do this.

You were created for love. I learned this beautiful truth from "Captivating" a book that Fabulous Husband gave me the first time we met in person, face to face  by John and Stasi Eldredge http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/cms_content?page=1086397&sp=71457

Deanne Bray's Rude Awakening


Beautifully signed in ASL and captioned, everyone should share this message. It should be shown in schools and in women's and men's groups, and discussed.

visit http://deafhope.org/ 

My friend Carol posted this comment on FB:  http://ransomedheart.com/  http://ransomedheart.com/ they have some great books...also one on Marriage called Love & War


Thursday, May 30, 2013

This Coastal Cottage is Deaf Friendly

Today's post is loaded with photos. With summer, comes vacation, and have I got the best place for either a romantic getaway, or a family getaway!  I share the highlights of one of my favorite places.
Enjoy the view.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

UK: ASL Around the World

This week, Rebecca Slone, the owner of  Over the Rainbow Sign Academy in Lakenheath/Mildenhall AE United Kingdom is our guest writer. Rebecca shares with us how signing not only helps babies and parents communicate, but also how signing can unite multi-lingual families together. 

When I was in college, I spent two weeks on a student trip to England. I never imagined that nine years later I'd be living there...or that two years after that, my son would be born there...or that a year and a half after that, I would start a business teaching baby sign language classes out of my home. 

I'm a military wife, former elementary school teacher, and mommy to Liam who is nearly 2. We are currently stationed at RAF Mildenhall, located about 2 hours north of London. I started looking into using sign language with my baby when I was pregnant & came across the Signing Time & Baby Signing Time products shortly thereafter. When my son was about 5 months old, we attended a baby sign class offered by our local SureStart service. I was over the moon when I realized that Liam was signing "milk" when he was 7 months old. 

As Liam's verbal and signing vocabularies neared triple-digits, impressing family & friends and making life with a young toddler a bit easier (and a lot more fun!), I decided to become a Signing Time Academy Instructor...and Over the Rainbow Sign Academy was born. 

As a Signing Time Academy Instructor, I am able to use my passion for teaching to help other families build a great foundation for communication. My Sign, Sing & Play classes are made up of American military wives like me as well as British & other European moms...some are married to Americans, and some are not. English is the first language for some mothers in my classes, but for others, English is a second language. One of the little ones in my class hears German from her mom and English from her dad. Another hears Czech from her mom, Turkish from her dad, and English at day care & play group! I find it fascinating that these kids are learning multiple languages at such a young age and I personally believe that learning sign language can help these families form links between languages. 

The class my son and I took taught British Sign Language, but I only chose to use a small handful of BSL signs with my son (such as "pig" just because I liked it better!) I teach the ASL signs, but when I know the BSL sign, I will point it out to the British mummies in my class in case they prefer to use it. I find that most moms in my class wish to learn signs in order to communicate within their little families and aren't fussed about learning ASL instead of BSL. They teach me things too, like when teaching the sign for "pants" in England, I should use the term "trousers" since "pants" refers to underwear! 
I love that moms and children from different states and countries can come together through a shared appreciation for the great experience that baby sign language offers! 



Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

My sincerest appreciation to all who have served, who are serving, and who will be serving our country.

Friday, May 24, 2013

"Stop Hearing Loss Bullying"

In honor of "Stop Hearing Loss Bullying Week", the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Communities respectfully request that you take a peek at this short video.


Read more and discuss at Lipreading Mom's (author/speaker Shanna Groves)  page: http://lipreadingmom.com/

Take the pledge and stand with us.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Webinar for New Clarity/Plantronics Fortissimo Phone

I am passing this information along for all who are interested:

Pennsylvania’s Telecommunication Distribution Program (TDDP)
Is proud to present a unique training opportunity on the Clarity Fortissimo Phone, added to the TDDP in March 2013.   Jonathan Gray from Clarity/Plantronics will be conducting a webinar to help us discover more about this new telephone for people who are hard of hearing or have limited mobility.  We hope you will take the time to join us!
WHEN:  Wednesday, June 5, 2013  9:30-10:30
Klatimer@temple.edu by 6/3/13

Karen L. Latimer, ATP
Assistive Technology Specialist
PIAT,  Institute on Disabilities
College Of Education, Temple University
1755 N. 13th St.
Student Center 411 South
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Karen L. Latimer, ATP

Follow us on Facebook! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Statistics and 2 Important Videos Regarding the "Hidden" Among Us Deafness and Hearing Loss

I chose these two videos today because they explain the different communication needs for people with deafness and hearing loss. The statistics that were shared at the recent "Working Together" event in Harrisburg, PA are very eye opening. We still have a lot of work advocating and educating others of the various needs we have for access to language.

* "But remember it is important not to generalize or assume everyone fits in the same category of hearing loss and ability."

* "Deafness and hearing loss are often called the 'hidden disability'."

* "By average only 1/3 of what is said can be understood by lipreading."

* These quotes were found in this video created for training police officers on Deaf Sensitivity, "Police Training Video: How to communicate with a deaf or hard of hearing person"


Far too often, people assume we who are deaf know and use ASL. Another misconception is that all deaf and hard of hearing can read lips.

This is why captions are so important in our society. Hearing loss is the "invisible" disability. I once asked a church to provide a deaf ministry and captions. The response I got in an email simply stated, "We don't see the need". That is the difficulty when we ask for these accommodations. It is an invisible accessibility necessity

If someone has asked for this accommodation, there is a need, and if one person has asked, you can pretty much bet many others have the same need, but don't know how to ask, or are afraid to ask.

I recently learned these interesting statistics at the "Working Together" conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania sponsored by HLA-PA.

... Pennsylvania has 1,201,718 Hard of Hearing people (that we know of)

... 2,096 of children K-12 in PA are estimated to be deaf

... 10,478 have some degree of hearing loss

... 75% of these deaf and hard of hearing children use speech only ( * "By average only 1/3 of what is said can be understood by lipreading.")

... 15% use sign and speech

...  9%  use Sign Language only.

These statics point to the increasing need for captions in our classrooms, for all videos in the education system to be captioned as well as important meeting places, museums, churches, synagogues, libraries, movie theaters and other places where language needs to be accessible.

I've not even touched on the statistics of hearing loss among the Baby Boomer generation that is increasing each year through the aging process.

60% of our returning service members have hearing loss from artillery blasts while serving our country.

Hearing loss will affect all of us at some point in our lives. Either someone we love, a friend or quite possibly, ourselves will have, or acquire hearing loss or deafness. Let us be in inclusive in our society and make access to language possible for all of us.

"Lip reading is not a dependable form of communication for those who are deaf or hard of hearing," as stated in this excellent  video posted below, "First Responder Communication with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing":


For more information about captions, visit: Collaborative for Communication Access via Captions

Need Captions? Just ask: CaptionMatch

Thursday, May 16, 2013

"Soaring Spirits International Celebrates 5 Years at Camp Widow West"

I first heard about this wonderful organization on Twitter in a mention by @BrendaLeeFree. When I first started following Brenda a few years ago on Twitter and her blog at http://brendaleefree.com/, she was a widow. Life has changed for Brenda since then. She is of late a brand new bride, happily remarried. Though she is remarried, she still promotes this compassionate organization. It was a recent post on Facebook by Brenda that caught my eye. She mentioned that Camp Widow was deaf friendly.

To find out more, I contacted Brenda who put me in touch with the organization. I was thrilled when Janine Eggers sent me this post to share with you.

"Soaring Spirits International Celebrates 5 Years at Camp Widow West"

Yes, although you most likely did a double take at reading those two words ... you read them correctly.
Camp Widow.
Sounds like a huge Kleenex-soaked event, doesn't it?
I mean really ... "Camp".  
And "Widow"?
Most people would read that and think, "What kind of widowed people want to gather and call it camp?  And do they all wear black?"
Those thoughts would be followed by, "Note to self:  stay far, far away from that hotel that weekend!"

Yes, we know what non-widowed people think when they hear about us.  We used to have the same thoughts.  After all, we haven't always been widowed.
And what's more, we never thought we'd be widowed.  Especially this early in our lives.
But we are, and thankfully Soaring Spirits started five years ago by a young widowed woman who wanted to connect with other young widowed people.  
Michele Neff Hernandez found nothing in her search for connections, and so on May 27, 2008 Soaring Spirits was born and incorporated.
What started with one small on-line program led by 4 board members, has now become a non-profit organization that offers three on-line support opportunities, two weekend long in-person events per year (Camp Widow East and West), and support to over one million widowed people world-wide each year.  We are the largest peer support group of our kind out there, providing support for widowed people in every single state in the U.S. and in over 157 countries.

And Camp Widow?
It's not what you think.  Nor is it like anything you can imagine.
If you were to walk into the hotel that weekend, you'd be hard pressed to point us out.
We don't wear black (unless it's a formal dress at our annual Awards Dinner and Dance on Saturday night) and we're much more varied than you might think.

We're not old.  We're all different ages, from young twenty-somethings to grandparents.
Our relationships were varied.  We're men, women, straight, gay, spiritual, atheist, widowed during marriage, widowed outside of traditional marriage, multilingual, hearing, deaf (we provide interpreters), re-married, engaged, happily single, mothers, fathers, childless, newly widowed, widowed for decades.
There are no qualifications that have to be met to join us.  
Well, other than having a partner who died way before we thought he/she would.  That's pretty much a "must-have".

Camp Widow provides a place where we can gather from all over the world, and be with people who understand, people who "get" us and people who give each other unconditional support.

The last thing you need to know about Camp Widow?
We laugh.
A lot.
All weekend.
That's probably something you didn't picture at all.

If you're widowed, or someone you love is widowed, please join us for a weekend of support, love and laughter.
And help us change the commonly-thought-definition of "widowed".
We'll be celebrating our 5th anniversary at the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina from June 28-30, 2013.  
For more information go to http://www.campwidow.org.
You can learn more about Soaring Spirits International and all of our other programs at http://www.sslf.org.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Spain: ASL Around the World

I want to introduce you to Angela Johnson of Madrid, Spain. Angela is an amazing teacher, who is also an instructor with Signing Time Academy. 

This is Angela demonstrating the ASL sign for "teacher".

Thank you, Angela, for sharing your story and the impact Sign Language has not only with communication, but education, as well. 

ASL in Spain

I want to start thanking Joyce for the opportunity of talking about myself, ASL in Spain and my experience.

I am a bilingual English/Spanish that is also raising bilingual children. My first child took a long time to start talking, and I saw how difficult it was to understand up to a 3 year old without speaking…therefore with my second child I decided I had to find a solution to communicate with them. I found Signing Time program and started signing with my second child to avoid the speech delay due to bilingualism. Could not believe when my baby signed “milk” when she was 10 months old, and was really amazed on how it would help us all. I have continued with Signing Time since then. As soon as I found out about Signing Time Academy I made all the courses to become a Master Certified Instructor and started to use it daily in many aspects.

I have been teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) here in Spain for some time, and thought about incorporating ASL to help Spanish children learn English better, and for groups with special necessities. I got some amazing results:

First, I saw that teaching English pronunciation together with the signs, made the children remember the pronunciation better. I made the sign and they would repeat the word as I had said originally.

Second, for evaluating purposes. The kids that were shy and didn't want to speak English could sign, so that would mean they really understood me, e.g. if I ask them "where are you going?" and they sign "home", I don't need them to speak at that moment since I know they understand me, even though they are not prepared yet to vocalize It. 

Regarding older kids, I started using ASLto spell out words. For example, Spanish and English vowels often are confusing (English "E" has the same sound as the Spanish "I"); So when they don't really understand, I can just spell the letter and then they know if it really is an "I" or "E"; or also with "B" and "V".      

Last but not least, are the special needs groups. Here in Spain, all the children are integrated in the same education system, and sometimes a teacher can have a Down Syndrome student without having a specific training in that matter. We found that some teachers had even invented their own signs to communicate with children with special needs...not knowing there was already a language and curriculum they could use. I am currently trying to train teachers to use Signing Time in the classroom.

Along the way, I found another bilingual mom worried about the same things as I, and also trying to find English books in Spain at a decent price. Since we saw it was difficult to achieve, we created our own company: www.twinkletwinkle.es and started importing English material for teachers and parents so they could have availability in these kind of resources.

We continue..growing and offering support, information and guidance in bilingual education to teachers, parents and caregivers. We love publishing free activities, crafts, articles and ideas in all of our social media. 

Hope this publishing can help any other person in any other way.

Angela Johnson

Contact details:

Twinkle Twinkle - Angela Johnson - Madrid, Spain

Monday, May 13, 2013

Why Hospitals and Medical Centers Need Interpreters & CART

Many of you know that when I was in the hospital for my surgery last fall, I was not given an interpreter even though I had asked for one. They figured because I was speaking with my husband, I wasn't as deaf as I am. That's a common problem with people who become deaf later in life. I had also requested one at a previous medical testing proceeding at a lab, and though we waited for some time, no interpreter showed up. I had told my husband I didn't need him at that appointment because we had requested an interpreter. I wish I had known that not only would no one show up, but no one bothered to inform me that none would be available. Interpreters are trained to communicate, and to communicate well.

Not all Deaf, hard of hearing or hearing impaired people read lips, and even though many of us take speech reading classes (lip reading classes) there is a huge margin for error. We may think we understand what is being said, but the reality is, so many words and phrases look similar on the lips. We may think we are getting correct information, but the truth is, we aren't getting all of it, only bits and pieces. One word can make all the difference in meaning. If someone is smiling while giving bad news, we may not understand that something serious is being said to us. There are just too many variables for misunderstanding and miscommunication.

It is imperative that hospitals and medical centers understand this and change this situation, especially in light of Matt's story.

This story by Matt Dixon is heart breaking. No child, no matter how old, should have to be in this position, nor any other family member. Hospitals and medical centers everywhere need to have professional interpreters on staff and on the premises for Deaf who use Sign Language. English is a foreign language to culturally Deaf people.

Along those very same lines, for deaf, hard of hearing and hearing impaired people who do not know sign language, CART services need to be available on site, as well. You can learn more about CART at the link at the bottom of the page, but first, go read this article written by Matt at the The Limping Chicken "I had to tell my dad he was going to die, because he wasn't given a Sign Language interpreter"

To learn more about the FABULOUS service CART provides, visit  Collaborative for Communication via Captioning and also check out CaptionMatch if you need help locating a provider for captioning services.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

For the Women

Happy Mother's Day to all the women who have loving hearts. When you share love or nurture, even teach children, you are sharing the purpose of motherhood. One does not need to give birth or have children to have a mothering spirit.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Robyn O'Brien's Ted Talk "Real Food"

Below is a video (worth 20 minutes to view) and a transcript of it is at the bottom of the page.  Headmistress over at http://thecommonroomblog.com/ kindly volunteered her time to listen and type this up for us. One of my friends recently asked if I would share this post and transcript for her friends who've not yet seen this. Do share this with people you know who would be interested. I wish this was captioned, perhaps one day soon it will be.

 This is a loose transcript of Robyn Obrien's speech 
here: http://www.wimp.com/realfood/ I slip in and out of a precise transcript, where I use the first person wherever Robyn did, and paraphrase, where I use second person. It's not meant to be professional, just something to help those who need closed captioning get what she was saying.------------

I am such an unlikely crusader for cleaning up the food supply, born and raised in Houston, Texas on twinkies and poboys, wasn't a foodie. Was a first born child, oldest of four, and everything you read about those first borns, Type A, over-achiever, thankfully channeled that to business school, top honors in her class, and when management teams would come in to visit from groups like Whole Foods and organic places, they thought well, you've nice marketing niche carved out, lifestyles of rich and famous or some hippy thing, not on board with that.

Traded in briefcase for diaper bag, in typcial overachiever manner, had four kids in five years, and up until that point, had still really not given a lot of thought to what was in the food supply, if it was on grocery store shelves it was safe, don't tell me what to eat and don't tell me what to feed my kids, four  picky eaters, limited time, limited budget, I didn't want to hear it.

 And then one morning over breakfast, life changed. Youngest child had an allergic reaction. Lego waffles, blue yogurt, and scrambled eggs. Child's face started to swell up- she didn't even know what it was, took child to pediatrician, who said it's a food allergy. What did the kids have to eat for breakfast? Legomyeggo waffles, blue yogurt, and scrambled eggs.

The pediatrician said that breakfast included 3 of the top 8 allergens, rattled off stuff about food allergies and Robyn started wondering how a child could be allergic to *food*. She got the baby calmed down, took the kids home put them down for naps, and then every analytical gene in her body went off. She'd never known anybody growing up who was allergic to food. She wanted to dig into the data, understand what was going on.

That morning she learned that: From 1997 to 2002, doubling of peanut allergies.1 out of 17 kids under 3 now has a food allergy. According to CDC, a 265% increase in hospitalizations related to food allergic reactions. Doctors checking kids into ER, not moms. So she wanted to know 'what is a food allergy?'

A food allergy is when your body sees food proteins as foreign. so it launches this inflammatory responseto drive out that foreign invader. This raised the question, is there something in our food that wasn't there when we were kids? She turned to the USDA and learned that yes, in the 1990s new proteins were engineered into our food supply (this is the table shown at about 4:31).

And it was done to maximize profit for the food industry. This makes perfect sense to her as an analyst; it drove shareholder value, which is absolutely the fiduciary responsibility of the corporations creating these proteins, but at the same time, no human trials were conducted to see if they were safe. 

So, milk allergy is the most common allergy in the US according to wsj and cnn, so she wondered is there something in the milk supply that wasn't there when we were kids?[Image] Beginning in 1994 in order to drive profitability for the dairy industry, scientists were able to create this new genetically engineered protein and this synthetic growth hormone and inject it into our cows to help them make more milk. The business model makes perfect sense. It's a brilliant one. but at the same time what happened is that it was making the animals sick (this is the table at 5:30): causing ovarian cysts,mastitis, lameness, skin disorders, and for that reason it increased antibiotic use in those animals and governments around the world said they would exercise caution and would not introduce it into the milk supply because it hadn't yet been proven safe. 

We took a different approach. We said it hasn't yet been proven dangerous so we'll allow it.as I learned that I thought, how many sippy cups have I filled with this milk and how many bowls of cereal have I poured it on for my husband, not knowing that Canada, the UK, australia, japan, newzealand and all 27 countries in europe did not allow it when it was introduced in the us in 1994? I wanted to know what are the conditions we're seeing here in the us because one of those concerns about the around this new growth hormone, this synthetic protein is that it eleveated hormone levels linked to breast, prostate and colon cancer.I turned to remarkable organizations like Livestrong and the American cancer society because I wanted to know the US cancer rates compared to the rest of the world (this is the table at about 7:08)

The US has the highest rates of cancer of any country on the planet. According the American Cancer Society, migration studies show if you move here from somewhere like Japan, your liklihood of getting cancer increases four-fold.1 out of 2 American men and one out of 3 american women are expected to get cancer in their lifetime. 1 out of 8 women has breast cancer. but only 1 in 10 of the breast cancers are genetic, which means 9 out of ten are environmentally triggered. (she says it was like looking at a car accident, she wanted to stop looking, but couldn't)

She wanted to know about the other allergies we're seeing, have foreign proteins been introduced in other foods, too? shortly after milk was engineered with this new protein, scientists engineered soy, (which is also one of the top 8 allergens), again, to drive profitability for the soy industry because soy is primarily used to fatten livestock. Scientists were able to engineer the soybean so that it could withstand increasing doses of weed killer, the business model made perfect sense, you engineer the seed so you can sell more weedkiller, and at the same time you've engineered something new into the seed so you can patent it and you have a patent on the seed and are selling additional weed killer.

Once again governments around the world said no studies have been done to show that this is safe to feedto our lifestock and to feed to our consumers, and so to exercise precaution and prevent the onset of any resulting disease we won't allow it, but in 1996 here in the US, we took a different approach. As I kept learning more about food allergies I was hearing concern from parents about corn allergies. So I wanted to know, did corn get engineered? In the late 90s when concern grew about spraying insecticide over corn fields, scientists were able to engineer that insecticide into the dna of a corn seed, so that as it grows, it releases its own insecticide, As a result, corn was regulated by the EPA as an insecticide. As you can imagine this was hard information to learn. 

We had introduced a term called substantial equivilance, a conceptual tool used by tobacco industry to facilitate the approval process of something for which no human trials have been conducted, and that was the justification for why we were introducing these things in the US. As I sat down one night with my husband I said I can't unlearn this and I don't know what people will see if I try to teach them, but I have to try.

 Next day sat down and said to her four kids,"you know how mom has learned some tough stuff about what's going on in our food and how it's not in food in other countries and especially not to food fed to kids? I have to do something about that" and one of the boys looked at her and said, "Mom, how many people are on your team?" She said, you four, and your daddy." He said, "You need a bigger team."

He was right. I had people come up and say "You're foods Erin Brokovich, you should reach out to her!" I did not want to be foods' Erin Brokovich, how could I reach out to her? then the type A genes started going off and I thought I have to try. If I could get through to somebody like her, maybe we could change things here. 

So she spent two weeks crafting a four sentence email, and fired it off. Erin replied. That really impacted her and she thought maybe one person can make a difference (cheering) so as I began to really dig into this and look into the fact that we were using new ingredients in the US food supply that weren't being used in other countries. It drove me nuts how expensive organic food was so I looked into the business model, what I learned is that as a national familiy sitting down at the national table with our national budget, our taxpayer resources are being used to subsidize the gorwth of these crops with all these chemicals, but over here the organic crops grown without these chemicals? 

 Those guys are charged fees to prove that their stuff (this is about the 13:26 mark) is grown without it and then charged fees for the lable and then on top of that they don't get the insurance and marketing program assistance that these guys over here do. so not only is their cost structure higher, but it's not just those farmers it's impacting, fourth and fifth generation farmers who have been feeding our country for generations, because those seeds are patented, they now have a new cost structure, too. they have to pay royalty, licensing and trade fees to even begin to plant those seeds on their farm.

 So when I thought about this I thought how are our American corporations exporting their products if these other countries don't allow these ingredients? I realized and found research that Kraft, Coco Cola, Walmart are doing a remarkable job of responding to consumer demand in other countries and have formulated their products differently. They don't use those ingredients in prodcuts distributed in other countries. At first that was depressing, then I thought "we just need to teach other here."

 As I reflected on the thought that as we introduced these proteins with all these toxicity concerns I wanted to know what do we spend on health care compared to the rest of the world. the US spends more on health care than any country, 16 percent of our GNP goes to managing disease. 

Starbucks spends more on healthcare than coffee.

 This could be effecting our global competitiveness, rather than driving profitability toward our core competencies in the global market place. We are managing disease. We don't need to wait for regulation and legislation we can exercise precautions in our own families, communities and corporations so we can protect the health and well being of our families and ultimately of our economy and was coming through all this knowledge. 

It was paralyzing when I realized you can't make perfect enemy of the good, and it's really all about progress. None of us can do everything, all of us can do one thing. Just as you don't potty train a kid overnight, you don't wean from sippy cup overnight. this is a process that doesn't happen overnight but as each and every single oneof us does one thing we have the ability to affect remakrbal change because each of you have talents and attributes you are uniquely good at and when you leverage that with something you are passionate about you can affect remarkable change in the health of your family, companies, and country and the bottom line is that there is nothing more patriotic that we could be doing. 

Thank-you (standing ovation, cheer, cheer)( the moderator? woman in black calls Robyn back on stage to acknowledge the standing ovation and says, "you may get a standing ovation every time you give this talk, but we don't get to give one every time, so thanks for taking that in.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Topic and Time for Next HLA of Lancaster County Meeting

"Dealing With Depression from Hearing Loss" will be presented by Gretchen Gaudioso, Client/Family Advocate Mental Health America, Lancaster County at the next Lancaster County Hearing Loss Association meeting Tuesday, May 21st, 2013 at 10:00 am. CART (real time captioning) and loop are provided.

EVERYONE is welcome!

Village Center Building
Fellowship Hall (lower level)
Brethren Village Retirement
3001 Lititz Pike, Lancaster, PA

Need more information? Contact Nancy Kingsley at kingsnan@aol.com

We hope to see you there!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Technology for Communication in the Workplace

I saw this video posted by Melissa Ruth, the lovely woman in this video, over on Lipreading Moms and Dads Network FaceBook page.

This captioning system links inter-agency telephones in the work force and levels the employment field for deaf and hard of hearing employees.

"Did you know that you can put ClearCaptions on your company's Cisco Unified IP phones (with Cisco Unified Communication Manager) to accommodate employees who have some form of hearing loss?"


Pass this information along to employers and businesses everywhere.

Learn about other devices by Clarity here.

Today's technology is bringing accessibility to a whole new level.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Malaysia: ASL Around the World

I want to introduce you to a true Supermom, Nurul Farid of Malaysia. Nurul is a Signing Time Academy instructor, and she is also working hard to help build a Mummy and Me center for mothers and their children to gather support, attend classes and grow together.

Thank you, Nurul, for accepting our invitation to write a guest post for us.

 “Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.” – Rita Mae Brown

Firstly, I’d like to thank Joyce for inviting me to write as a guest blogger. It’s such an honor to be able to share my experience on a blog I’ve admired and turn to for information and knowledge on the Deaf community and ASL.

I live half way round the globe, in Malaysia, but ASL was the perfect sign language to introduce to my baby. There are plenty of resources and the local sign language: MySL - Malaysian Sign Language has its similarities to ASL. I taught my baby to sign at 3 months old and we became a Baby Sign Language convert! Now I teach sign language to babies and parents at select venues around town and have made it my personal mission to encourage more Malaysian parents to sign with their babies and expose them to the benefits of signing.

Why you ask?

Here’s my story: Before becoming a work at home mother, I was teaching primary school children in a public school. I am a TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) graduate from an Australian university. My first language is the Malay language and I speak and read a little bit of Japanese. Call me multilingual, but almost everyone in the country is at least bilingual, so being multilingual is quite common here.

The task of an English teacher here is important in making sure that children who come from non-English speaking backgrounds are exposed to proper use of the language. It was after I resigned from my teaching career and recalled someone mentioning about baby sign language that I realized I’ve been using a lot of the signs in my English classes. Had I known earlier about using sign language with kids, I would have incorporated it into my language classes sooner.

It creates the perfect balance in a class of visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners in language learning. Now I’m doing what I can to encourage parents to use it with their young to carry it till they are older and able to apply it in a primary school setting (or even when they’re adults!)

Since I’ve always loved babies, being a Signing Time instructor has helped combined my passion towards language, motherhood, and early childhood education. Most importantly, I’m going around sharing my love towards multiple languages simply through 1 language that helps bind them all.

Help support my fundraising (http://igg.me/at/ibuandme/x/3006776) to get a venue of our own and coordinate more sign language classes. Would also love a ‘hello’ at our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ibuandme

Thank you, Nurul, for sharing your story, your heart and your mission with us.

Be sure to stop by Nurul's home page: http://www.ibuandme.com/ 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Inclusive and Accessible

Captions don't have to be projected onto a screen. They can also provided on the wall of the auditorium just off to the side of the person who was speaking. Captions can, and should be, provided in every classroom, courtroom, church, meeting, medical appointment, anywhere where words are spoken, for access to language for all who are deaf or hard of hearing.

This 3 and 1/2 minute film was created by Collaborative for Communication Access via Captioning (CCAC), an international volunteer advocacy organization. Take a few minutes and become aware and educated with the issue. Be inclusive. Be accessible.


To find out more, visit the CCAC website: http://ccacaptioning.org/ccac-advocacy/

Be inclusive. Be accessible.