a basic need
i stand alone
a basic need
Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding,
From "Schooling The World":
"Other people of the world aren't failed attempts at being you or, in our case, failed attempts at modernity. They are by definition, unique facets of the human imagination and when asked the meaning of being human, they respond with six thousand different voices. And those voices collectively become the human repertoire for dealing with the challenges that will confront us in the ensuing millennia. (continued information for several seconds) We always have this idea of our society as not being really a culture, but being the real world and these other cultures, outside, those are the cultures. That kind of cultural myopia we really can no longer afford. We're just another cultural reality with the choices that we've made...." ~Wade Davis, Ethnobotanist-National Geographic Society
Bold is my emphasis.
25 Years ago - Deaf Still Can't? http://www.arkad.org/illinois-deaf-teacher
Learning to Speak Visually with Cued http://lipreadingmom.com/2013/08/07/learning-to-speak-visually-with-cued-speech-an-interview-with-aaron-rose/
Schooling The World (The free version is no long available after Sept. 9) http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/schooling_the_world_2010/
Just got done with the last course for my Masters degree. I will get my Masters in Sign Language Education from Gallaudet University. Whoo! I have learned tons and look forward to making some changes in the upcoming school year, both at the high school and university where I teach.
I also have two kids, one going into 1st grade and the other into kindergarten... school year begins, whew. A whirlwind! Many students in places where ASL is offered will begin learning the language. Many will come into the classroom thinking ASL is easy because humans gesture naturally. Some will quit, most will persevere. It will be frustrating to begin because most do not realize that even though ASL is a 'foreign' language in its natural country, it is the modality that is different.
Modality is how language or communication is delivered. In this case, we will focus on language modality. We know that there are two different ways to communicate a language - one is spoken and the other is signed (there are more ways). One uses the ears and the other uses the eyes. Many students who take French, Spanish or German learn a different language in the same modality - spoken (L2M1). Those who take ASL end up learning two different manners of one language - one being 'foreign' and the other using the eyes-hands mode (L2M2).
This is not to discourage you but to bring you some understanding as the new school year comes (or already has started) and you take ASL, regardless personal choices made in taking the courses.
Good luck and enjoy learning ASL.
Here are several links to peruse to help you be ready for the classes:
Since I owned an iPad and we all know there are pros and cons about owning technology; however, I had the opportunity to upload Visual Learning and Visual Language, known as VL2's two stories told in ASL and English.
The first one I purchased was The Boy Who Cried Wolf and it is certainly interesting to see this popular fable told in ASL. My son liked this story while my daughter enjoyed it until The Baobab Tree came in. I just think it's mostly my girl's favorite colors, still she enjoys it a lot. Pretty much any time, she will look for the book and open it - she is going to be a late night reader like me.
VL2's stories come in story platform with several options, ASL and English, ASL only, English with word choice that shows the signer providing the sign (or sign sequence) for the particular word as well as fingerspelling. This encourages children who are either learning ASL or are bilingual in ASL/English to learn about ASL in a content concept.
This would be good for all young children, ASL students or just for your pleasure. While it may seem costly, the funds go to support VL2's endeavor in creating stories in ASL/English and encourage/enhance deaf children's ability to learn ASL and English.
I only hope that the stories will be also available in Android products soon. The more the merrier. The stories are awesome.
A new one is coming... The Little Airplane That Could. I am looking forward to this story and many more! My kids are too.
Link to VL2's site: http://vl2storybookapps.com
The picture is a screenshot of the website.
iTunes for The Baobab Tree: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-baobab/id585916034?mt=8
iTunes for The Boy Who Cried Wolf: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/boy-who-cried-wolf-vl2-storybook/id826618004?mt=8
A paradox is it not? The famous words uttered by actor from Shakespeare's own words - "to be or not to be"? The ultimate goal of Hamlet was to decide whether he would or not kill himself. In this, he also analyzes whether or not there is life after death.
Take off the 'deafness' label and put your name on it. Own being deaf, let it immerse into your whole being.
Be an ally.
Own it. Make your deaf self yours.
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_be,_or_not_to_be" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_be,_or_not_to_be</a>
This past week and weekend, I hung out with my people. Yes, my people, a good full week of my people. These people share my language and culture. Stress was reduced, communication misunderstanding was limited to missing information or asking to fill in the blanks. Ahh, the ease and flow of communication, blessed!
I work nearly 12 to 16 hours a day in the real world. Most of it is working with hearing people from ages 15 to older (college) and adults. This daily barrage can be discouraging, as well as mental fatigue. Communication is the uno numero barrier, even while teaching. I have a plethora of communication tools in my box, which often surpasses many whom I work with. Yet, I am often stooped to their level of incomprehension and miscommunication.
To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.
With my people, I could argue, discuss, laugh, listen or share stories and simply love for the sake of love and life. Is it not a wonder why people like me thirst for this daily amazement? To be frank, this is something the majority will never realize until it is too late.
This is why the battle rages within, without and all around. It does not matter whether one wears technology or is bilingual.
It boils down to identity, language and culture. When one appears "normal" it is more likely the sense of not being normal comes from within and the search can only end, when then "not normal" becomes normal, the identity. Human identity is tied to language and culture, majority or minority.
That much is true.
I seriously do know what it is to be out in the mainstream, standing as an isle among the flow. This is one of the few reasons why I am driven to recreate or renew the community I am a part of and where I live in. Times may have changed, but we are still humans. That will never change.
We don't need a melting pot in this country, folks. We need a salad bowl. In a salad bowl, you put in the different things. You want the vegetables - the lettuce, the cucumbers, the onions, the green peppers - to maintain their identity. You appreciate differences. ~Jane Elliot
There are two songs that resonate with me: Sean Forbes' "Watch These Hands" and Signmark's "Against The Wall". Both have profound meaning in how our identity can be shaped by those who do not understand who we are. "Against The Wall" has a deeper meaning for me due to my passion and desire to bring the Deaf community to the forefront, not only to make a difference in an indifferent society but to be darn well proud and proactive people, for all ages. Enjoy Signmark's video.
There is a common agreement that if we do not watch our languages, around 3,000 of the 6,000 (approximate figure) languages will die or fade away within the fifty years. Most of the Native American languages have gone extinct or are endangered. A few languages such as Navajo are enjoying a resurgence. Ethnographers are rushing to record the elders who are the last speakers of their language.
Like ASL users in the late 1800's and early 1900's, Native Indians were feared, therefore their children had to assimilate in society of the majority. This is only one of many reasons why languages die.
What's the point you may ask. Languages do die or fade away anyway. It happens so why are we carping on it?
It is the rate, the death march of languages is faster than ever in this increasing globalized world. We could imagine a Hall of Languages (a museum) where we could look at all recorded information about languages which have died at the hands of humans, not the natural deaths, but deaths by persistent monolingual attitudes, forced assimilation, language policies, media use of majority language with disregard for native minority languages and so on.
The Hall of Languages will show the rate of language deaths to be within the 20th and 21st centuries, highest ever in the hands of the human species. This would be similar to the story of Easter Island where almost all native flora and fauna is extinct and the collapse of a system happens. Sustainability, adaption and symbiotic relationships are important.
Without the variety of languages, how else can we borrow, play, create fads, or insert some 'excitement' in an overused languages such as English, French or German?
Native populations have begun to take their own back, some successfully (Hebrew, Navajo, some Sign languages such as ASL, BSL) and some not so successfully (Irish, some African languages). There is more work ahead and we will continue to see some language deaths but hopefully in a more realistic manner.
Go bilingual or multilingual, your world will continue to expand. There is nothing to fear but fear itself.
Is ASL or signed languages such as Netherlands, Japanese the only languages enjoying a comeback in this increasingly global world?
Human colonialism for over 400 years have caused many a language decline or language extinction.
Despite the oppression, some languages have survived. Will they survive the globalization?
I welcome your comments and will continue this post to next posting.
The late post of this is due to finding a topic that I can share. I ran through so many topics but nothing hit me, until I realized this month is Black History month. I decided to move my focus into a small group within the black community - black deaf people. They are amazing people I have had to hang out with. I joined the Freedom Club (a black deaf club) at Indiana School for the Deaf and was fortunate to be friends with them when a situation arose where I used 'negro' (which also means black in other languages) as a synonym to 'black'. I was taken aside to be explained to about the historical definition of 'negro'.
As with white deaf women, black deaf people go through double stigmata, of being black and of being deaf. With some readings and stories, the black deaf people in the South went through worse than those who lived in the North (they still experienced negativity, put downs and persecution). I have put up a list of black deaf people and there are more out there. There is also an organization called "National Black-Deaf Advocates" (NBDA), which I will add a link to at the end of this blog.
For the most part, most do not realize that deaf people do talk about sound and hearing. There are many contexts for this kind of topic. One I want to talk about is the physical sense of sound and hearing.
I often ask myself when I sit in the audiologist booth whether what I am getting through the tonal headphones are either something heard or felt. I would not have thought if it when I was younger but as I am occasionally required to have an audiogram, I begin to question the concept of sound and hearing.
By the way, I am off the charts and rock deaf (got the ‘rock’ from a friend) – interesting, that is an ASL slang for hard and physically profound. This has been the same since I became deaf at the age of one.
I am doing great‼‼ Awesome!
Why would something like this be of interest to deaf people, generally? Hearing people take for granted their ability to hear so they do not have to analyze the concept of ‘hearing’ until they lose it, any way or how. For those whom have lost hearing gradually (progressive) does not realize it until they lose enough that makes significance in communication.
Sound is a wave carried through air. There are mechanisms in the ear and brain that translates those sounds. Without ears or the brain function of translating sound, we would not be able to understand what those ‘waves’ are and how they are defined.
That is why I always wonder when I go into an audiologist’s box whether I heard it or felt it. Sound is taken for granted.
A good example of sound translated into tactile information is Evelyn Glennie, a Scotswoman who lost her hearing at the age of 14 and worked hard at percussion instruments and shows her audience that one does not need to worry about losing sounds but transferring the loss of a sense to another sense that works well with sound – tactile. Feeling the music. http://www.ted.com/talks/evelyn_glennie_shows_how_to_listen.html
I challenge you… try listening with your hands, feet and chest. Your whole body in fact. Let me know how different it is for you. Again, I often wonder if I am hearing or feeling sounds in the booth when I go in there.
To Be Whole
Currently I am an ASL teacher at a local college and at an high school. I received my Masters in Sign Language Education from Gallaudet University. At home, I am an activist within the community, Northwest Indiana. My son is in first grade and my daughter goes to E.C.L.I.P.S.E. ASL Preschool. Change begins with you and change is effective with a team.