Thursday, May 31, 2007

Let's take a look at the backbone of Deaf Education: In a Response to DE's vlog (Part I)

To identify and discuss the deaf educational system may be necessary for us to analyze the strengths and weaknesses first before taking some actions. David Eberwein had just expressed and pointed out his concerns in Joey Baer's vlog that I would like to elaborate on the details such as WHO are they taking away our language, HOW parents are being informed when discovering their child is deaf and WHERE have we been with research standards in seeking effective ways to teach literacy. Length (11:14) quicktime Google

Issues and examples on making them look bad and teacher prepartory programs will be discussed in Part II that will be posted soon.

Coming from Texas School for the Deaf site:

The National Agenda is a unique document because it represents a collaboration of parents, professionals, and consumers working as equal partners to achieve a common vision. No single individual or school or organization created the National Agenda. The National Agenda Advisory Group received thousands of comments and suggestions during the period of public input and each had a voice in the development of the National Agenda.

The National Agenda is organized around eight goals—each with a goal area, a goal statement, background information about the goal and a series of objectives to achieve the goal. For each objective there is a rationale for its selection. It’s time to move the National Agenda off the printed page and into the hands of local schools, agencies, special schools and organizations to begin to make changes that will effect the individual children and their families in this country. With enthusiastic leadership and collaborative efforts at the federal, state and local level, many of these goals can be translated into action plans and ultimately public policy and accepted practice in education of deaf students.

Who is a part of the National Agenda?

Steering Committee Members

Ms. Claire Bugen, Superintendent, Texas School for the Deaf

Dr. Jay Innes, Director, Gallaudet Leadership Institute

Mr. Dennis Russell, Superintendent, New Jersey School for the Deaf

Mr. Lawrence Siegel, Attorney, National Deaf Education Project

Advisory Committee Members

Alexander Graham Bell Association of the Deaf, Inc. (AGBAD): Donna Sorkin, Kathleen Treni and Todd Houston

Association of College Educators-Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACE-DHH): Rich Lytle, Karen Dilka and Margaret Finnegan

American Society for Deaf Children (ASDC): Cheron Mayhall, Natalie Long and Barbara Raimondo

Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD): Ed Corbett, Harold Mowl and Joe Finnegan

Convention of American Instructors of the Deaf (CAID): Carl Kirschner, Liz O’Brien and Robert Hill

CEC-Division of Communication Disorders: Carmel Yeager

State Departments of Education and Local Education Agencies: Marsha Gunderson, Iowa and Carol Schweitzer, Wisconsin

National Association of the Deaf (NAD): Nancy Bloch, Kelby Brick and Roz Rosen


Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

by Margaret Mead

So runs my dreams, but what am I?

An infant crying in the night

An infant crying for the light

and with no language but a cry.

by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Look up the documents made by National Agenda in April 2005

Correction: NA was established in 2003, not 2004 as mentioned in my vLog. Please pardon me looking at the notes since I was doing this in a short time with a lot of factual information requiring me to spell out the details.


Teri said...


A Great Video Clip! That's what I tried to say! We need to come up with new ideas --how to solve some deaf education issues.

It seems many of my readers MISUNDERSTOOD my message!

I do not think I need to further this! :)

Great work, girl!

Deaf socrates trail said...

Well, yuo presented very well definition and clarification on that "Take our language". That is really very complicated. I don't know why do these people bring up that issue on vlog. As you know in general they do not understand that kind of very depth complicated that are involved with that issue!

Stephen J. Hardy said...


I want to share a viewpoint by a hearing policy analyst on language of the Deaf.

1. Majority of the people in the United States speaks and write "Spoken" English.

2. It is not cost effective to keep state residential schools for the Deaf.

3. There are no promising reports to show the need for ASL as a language within the public school system.

4. Many Deaf students based on several past reports have trouble going beyond 3rd grade academic levels.

5. Gallaudet University has a reputation of graduating students who had not met the requirements of academic standards.

How many times have you heard of this listed below. I am afraid too many. Something needs to be corrected within the system. The system is driven by experts within the state and federal governments.

I understand why David Eberwien wants to reclaim what belongs to the Deaf. To be honest with you, its too late to correct the wrongs of the past. We need a new approach and ideas that WILL work. Not by repeating the same song over and over.

Where are the Deaf educational policy people? Its nice that all people with hearing loss issues sitting on one table; however, we need Deaf policy makers at the ranks where they can exert influence using facts.

I LOVE Deaf people and the language also the culture. The past approach using the techniques are not working. We need a smoking gun to show the facts that will help a Deaf child have a normal life without interpreters. That is what policy people are looking for. We do have an advantage in using technology to remove communication barriers. The Deaf people who assume the responsibility to direct our issues within the educational system are not presenting a good educational argument lately.

Another problem here is statistics and we need to get the full numbers correctly. NAD is using the 10% of the population with a hearing loss. Many policy people do not buy this and we get a lot of prevalences of Culturally and Linguistically Deaf people in America.

The numbers that the policy people got is between 700,000 to 1,000,000 ASL users. This number is too low and the government would rather put them on SSI and it is not worth making a system change because the numbers are too low.

Now to the question, what changes do we need to address?

1. Statistics?
2. Reform Deaf education?
3. Create Deaf educational stakeholders within the educational system?
4. Are there any professional Deaf policy analyst within the federal government?
5. Are there any Deaf Educational lobbyist firms that will pursue the interest of the Deaf?
6. Are there any evidences that the current system is harmful to the Deaf children?
7. What are Gallaudet, Clerc Center doing about literacy problems within the Deaf schools?
8. Who are the Deaf educational system experts?
9. What accountability is being monitored for each Deaf child progressing through their school years?
10. How can the policy analyst, lobbyist, and educational experts come up with a plan to put ASL under the protective class within the law?

Jean Boutcher said...

Everything went in one ear and out the other ear after Educator Carol Erting and two linguists Robert E. Johnson and Scott Liddell wrote an open letter, "Unlock the
Curriculum, to the Gallaudet community. The copies were distributed to schools for the deaf in 1989.

Actually, it is the faculty in the graduate school at Gallaudet that is negative towards ASL. The connection between the Department of Education and Audiology Department is very close. Graduate students are trained to use SEE at schools for the deaf. The National
Association of the Deaf should speak out.

Karen Mayes said...

You presented the facts very clear, helping clarifying Teri's vlog. My interpretation is that the deaf community has MANY colors... like rainbow, of different attitudes, different communication methods, etc. ASL is NOT a simple answer, since one sock's size DOES not fit all deaf people.

Too many issues. Too many opinions. I agree with Stephen Hardy's comment... we NEED statistics, UNBIASED. Often stats have wonder the parents receive mixed meesages on what to do the best for their deaf children.

Barb, keep talking (uh, I mean signing...;o)

Karen Mayes said...

Barb... are you going to ASDC (American Society for Deaf Children) Convention next month? If so, will you be giving workshops at all? You'd make a big impression... since the majority of ASDC members is hearing.

Whatcha say? I hope it is not too late for you to sign up for leading a few workshops...

No, I won't be able to attend the convention :o(.

IamMine said...

Thank you for doing this, Barb... that IS where we need to go.

I understood where Dave was coming from and I DO support ASL, but I also respect the parents’ decisions. I really do wish ASL was provided as a second language to teach ALL hearing kids, not just the deaf/hoh as their first language.

I always thought we should target the hearing kids because that would give us more numbers in statistics on how they really become smarter by being exposed to both hearing and deaf teachers in school, in ASL and spoken English. I know higher percentage would show that they become smarter than those kids who do NOT know sign language.

What happens? We get more exposure to ASL and people would pay more attention to deaf children using ASL and we’d have more support in ASL research, not to mention more $$ donations.

I know we’re focusing on deaf children…and the word, “mainstream” is what hearing parents want to hear for their deaf child(ren). They want to be assured that they will be successful like their hearing peer.

We need to also state that as well for the Bi/Bi education. That deaf child WILL mainstream using the Bi/Bi approach.

I’m also smiling because I understood the jargon you used for Statistics. I only wish I was so comfortable with it to be involved in this.

Karen Mayes said...

Hmmmm... I'd like to respond to iammine's comment about mainstreaming...

My son has a RID certified ASL interpreter (I requested for it) and David's ASL skills improved, thanks to the interpreter (and also, to keep up with his younger sister who is more fluent in ASL than he is.) His writing skills improved as well (his peeve is writing... he hates dry formal English grammar rules.) Plus his classmates get exposed to ASL, so they'd know a bit about ASL. We need more examples of this... that it is better to get a RID certified ASL interpreter than uncertified untrained interpreter who is not fluent in ASL which hurt mainstreamed deaf children. From my experience with my mainstreamed son, I realize having a RID-certified ASL interpreter is the key to the success of the mainstreamed child, even though it can be isolating.

I liked Anne Marie's comment on Cy's post (Deaf Tea time)...focus on deaf children who are mainstreamed, involving them and their parents, making them see that ASL is fun and very educational at the same time, etc. The organization that Barb mentioned will be around for a long time, so we need to push for formal statistics, not heresays. As Iammine mentioned, hearing parents want to be assured that their deaf offsprings would be as successful as hearing people, even with ASL.

IamMine said...

That's great, Karen!

Even though the isolation part isn't fun...

But it sounds like a great example...perhaps you might want to talk to the interpreter and the school about videotaping?

That would be a great education for interpreters working in mainstream schools.

I wish I had an interpreter like David's when I was growing up!

Out of all interpreters I had, I can only think of ONE awesome interpreter. :S

But my classmates...even though they were exposed to an interpreter with a deaf classmate, their attitudes weren't great towards me with the exception of few who would go far in learning sign language to communicate with me.

But yeah...we need hard statistics since numbers are given more love.


DE said...


THANK THANK you for the wonderful follow-up! I've always enjoyed your calm and reasoned vlogs. More on this later.

IamMine... exactly what does "respecting parent choice" means? I get that all the time, and that doesn't sit well with me for many reasons. Chief among them--- hearing children's parents (whether they be hearing or Deaf) do NOT, I repeat, do NOT have a choice language-wise. All hearing children in the U.S. are expected to speak English, period. No ifs, buts, and/or ands. English period. Even those foreign children are expected to acquire English sometime in their school years.

English is required, expected, and the "norm".

But when it comes to Deaf children, it's always "options". Options for language?!!!!!!! Wrong-o. Like Barb says, we should expect parents to raise their Deaf children bilingually. Both ASL and English. Both ASL and English. Both ASL and English. No ifs, buts, and/or ands.

Double standards, really. We should have the same expectations of Deaf children as we do for hearing children.

Barb- keeeeeep going!!!!!

Deaf Farmer said...

HI Barb,

Thank you for doing this! I agree with you and DE's comment. I look forward to seeing Part Two.

IamMine said...

David, I do respect parents’ decision on how they chose to raise their deaf children, whether we agree or not.

I’ve met some who felt they were doing the right thing in the best interest of their deaf child by placing her/him in oral program with CIs. They are the ones who are very involved in their child’s life and from what I’ve seen, that child is really fine and is not deprived of anything – namely not being exposed to ASL. I was sad by that, but that’s their choice.

I also see that those CI children who are exposed ASL do well – in some cases, even better than those CI children who aren’t, especially when their parents are not as involved in their AVT therapy.

Out of all parents, I only know a few who would go out of their way to learn BOTH ASL and AVT therapy with their deaf children.

On the other hand, I’ve seen confused parents who thought that was the best way out of grief.

I’m saying that there ARE parents out there who have done their homework and chose this way.

I know it doesn’t sit well with you, Dave.

I’m NOT an expert in this so don’t hold anything against me – just from what I’ve been seeing and I DO agree that they need to be exposed to ASL as their first language.

I’d love to see more deaf children in Bi/Bi education as the majority.

Karen Mayes said...

Yes, that is why I am looking forward to the new statistics from CAEBER about the success of Bi Bi education. We need the hard, formal facts, so that the organizations will listen to us. Dr. Kim Brown-Kurtz said a few years ago that government WILL listen to us if presented with hard numbers. If no numbers, they won't listen to us.

Joey Baer said...

Excellent Barb! I am really glad David Eberwein brought this up and helped us to shift the focus on who is in control of our language.

Again and again, it is all about language that we are protecting. I am feeling good on where we are going and we have a lot of work ahead of us!

Upward we go - grasping the BIGGER PICTURE!

Barb DiGi said...

Hello everyone and you are welcome!

Teri: I saw your video clip and I thought it was clear to me about your message on looking for innovative ways to blast the system. Just keep on going to provide examples on ways to do it.

Deaf Socrates Trail: Yes it is an indeed complicated issue. Our language has been deprived and shoved away from deaf children who are aligned to use oral method only. Today, oralism is now on the rise. I will explain about the statistical facts about this soon.

Stephen: Thank you for taking the time to offer an excellent analysis on the issues of Deaf Educational system. Your input is valuable that will be considered and remembered when discussing about this issue. Yes, I am very much aware of these underlying issues that call for a crisis in deaf education. If you happen to notice, there were Deaf policy makers in the National Agenda committee (Roz Rosen, Jay Innes) but not enough as I believe the majority of policy makers are not Deaf. The limited number of ASL users is indeed a factor to determine the worthiness of the effort to change the system which is why formal empirical research has not taken place. Your questions raised good points for us to consider and perhaps I have some answers. Yes, there is an evidence that the current system is harmful to the Deaf Children since American Annuals of the Deaf vol. 150, No. 5, 2005/2006 published that: National research on stuents who are deaf or HoH (e.g., Allen, 1986; Center for Assessment and Demographic Studies, 1991, Traxler 2000) indicates that the average student with a heaering loss graduates from high school with reading comprehension skills at bout the fourth-grade level. Approximately 20% of students with hearing loss (some 2,000 annually) leave school with a reading level at or below second grade (Dew, 1999). So again this calls a crisis.

Right now Gallaudet is conducting a team study called CAEBER program that involves almost 30 schools for the deaf to study and practice Bi-Bi. I am hoping that 5 or 10 years from now, there will be a strong research based study to show the evidence of increased literacy skills when using Bi-Bi approach.

Jean: Yes I remember that paper when I was a graduate student and thanks for bringing that up! This is an example of Deaf experts being ignored and how certain influential groups of people have oppressed and fall upon deaf ears on these Deaf experts. NAD and other organizations such as CAID and CED need to be more proactive in advocating ASL but the problem is what kind of leadership are they carrying? I think the problem is that we the Deaf experts need to be recruited more on these committees.

Karen: The Deaf Educational system is not consistent causing a lot of confusion in our deaf community. It's like going to a Grand Buffet House wanting to taste all of the foods but you can't because your tummy will not be able to have enough room as opposed to eating a good homemade meal that you can indulge and appreciate the quality. ASL becomes not for everyone because they have not been exposed to it since birth (your son is an exception) making it difficult for them to express since they have not experienced interacting with ASL users. Eventually whenthey grow up and get the opportunity to immerse in ASL environment, they either embrace it or reject it but it looks like to me the majority tends to embrace ASL and say why didn't I know about this before?

Actually, I am not able to go to ASDC since I have another agenda relating to work. I will plan on it more next time since I am in the middle of developing a project that is too early to share in these workshops.

IamMine: Respect parent's choices on which language to use is where I have a problem with because first of all they are not experts in the field of deaf education. I am not talking about making choices on which schools to send but the decision on how to communicate. For those who are HoH that have substantial hearing may do fine without sign language but for profoundly deaf children it is a different ballgame which I am sure you agree.

Too often I have seen deaf children who are oral saying they are fine but until they grow up into an adult stage they then announce oh damn it I wished I knew signs and so on. Also if you look at their social interaction experience being limited when growing up, it had retarded their social-emotional growth. That's another thing..where are the research materials pointing out the bad of oral experience since I already heard so many stories about how negative their social development experiences were for them. Some of them have psychological issues and were scarred from it. This is not healthy for this group of victims.

DE: Why, thank you for inspiring me to look into this issue further! We are in the same wavelength about the issue of choices for language that is becoming too flexible and loose where it becomes up to the parents. It is not up to the parents when it coms to make a language choice. It is the same way when immigrants migrated to America back in 1800's, they were expected to learn English as they did not have a choice to use their language in the American society. Heck, if the government allowed immigrants to make a choice of what language to use, what will happen to America today? You can imagine the answer as it is exactly what is happening in deaf education that paints a @#&*% picture! This attitude does affect to push ASL out of American society since it is not the country's language which is why we are battling this challenge. ASL is the most misunderstood language of all, heh?

Oscar the Observer said...

My small thought...

Hearies expect us Deafies to go up to their level by whatever means needed. WAIT WAIT WAIT!!!! Look at that???? Up to THEIR level???

Why the hell NOT bring hearies UP TO OUR LEVEL since we ALREADY have proven working language, namely AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE?? If we can somehow turn the tables on hearies, it can bring fresh perspectives and potential solutions. That is my opinion on this. :)

Thanks Barb for great and fascinating analysis!

IamMine said...

Yes, I agree, Barb. :)

The oralists do have those characteristics you mentioned - I've even made two oralist friends through PJ shows and they were more attached to me than the hearing fans, even though they didn't know sign language. I do see your point there.

But I can't help but wondering about the oralists with CIs, though. I'm talking about the ones who are considered "successful" in the eyes of the society.

Do they wish they knew sign language?

I saw one good example of that from Through Deaf Eyes show.

The oralists with CIs I've seen at CI meetings or events? They don't seem that way to me.

I am friends with one deaf CI oralist who is a mother of five children and married to a hearing husband. I’ve seen them communicating and she doesn’t seem to appear frustrated or anything like that.

She knows I prefer using ASL and she is not bothered by that or seems interested, either – even when I sign to her.

Then again, maybe I’m seeing that because meetings usually attract people with passion?

I know I'm getting off the track here but I DO want to see deaf children in Bi/Bi education and ASL as their first language.

I am also very eager to find out the statistics from CAEBAR on Bi/Bi! I wish we didn’t have to wait 5 years or so!

drmzz said...

I did a summary paper on this study last Dec, which finds that the better the child signs ASL, the better the English literacy in the child. Even with moderate skill level of ASL. Probably old news to you all, but thought I'd share. Yes, we need more scientific results involving in-depth and validated studies on this issue. Certain people can be biased and have no common sense for the best interest of the Deaf child unless we present findings in their faces, sigh.

Strong, M., & Prinz, P. M. (1997). A study of the relationship between American Sign Language and English Literacy. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education. 2:1,37-46. Winter 1997. San Francisco State University..

“This article presents the findings of a study of the relationship between American Sign Language (ASL) skills and English literacy among 160 deaf children. Using a specially designed test of ASL to determine three levels of ASL ability, we found that deaf children who attained the higher two levels significantly outperformed children in lower ASL ability level in English literacy, regardless of age and IQ. Furthermore, although deaf children with deaf mothers outperformed deaf children of hearing mothers in both ASL and English literacy, when ASL level was held constant, there was no difference between the two groups, except in the lowest level of ASL ability. The implication of this research is straightforward and powerful: Deaf children’s learning of English appears to benefit from the acquisition of even a moderate fluency in ASL.”

I don’t know how much clout The National Agenda Advisory Group has other than accepting suggestions from the mainstream rather than implementing policy. I consider them the “Suggestion Box” people. I think the "Or" in report is the lip biting compromise between several groups. "And", I certainly wouldn't want speech and sign to go together for SimCom. People should have choices, but I feel ASL is not promoted as much as a choice still. It is still stigmatized due to fear and ignorance.

I met a California Child Services rep who presented about Early interventions via infant screening programs in CA two weeks ago and they are aggressively promoting Assembly Bills to require all CCS hospitals to have infant screening on all infants and make immediate referrals for auditory-speech referrals. Parents who don’t want to be involved in this process must sign waiver forms. I suggest anyone to watch how your state’s Dept of Health operate with Dept of Education. One has to wonder why few deaf kids in deaf schools rather than many into mainstream programs, hmm? She did mention in her presentation of the rationale for screening, deaf infants will “become productive and active members of society” with early interventions, meaning via auditory-speech centers. Ouch. This is serious propaganda going on their behalf. Apparently our state/federal govt. is still not willing to promote ASL for hearing parents. They must be reading and believing the other science. I believe that they believe that mainstreaming kids with interpreters, bad signing teachers, or lip-reading and sound amplification is best educational approach. Yea……right!

IamMine said...

That was a great post, drmzz.

"It is still stigmatized due to fear and ignorance."


"...“become productive and active members of society” with early interventions, meaning via auditory-speech centers."

Double ouch.

drmzz said...

More recent (Feb 2007) announcement from state of CA of how Dept of Ed works with Dept of Health.

Closing the Achievement Gap for Deaf & HoH Children.

drmzz said...

Thanks IAM, we all contribute something to this discussion of getting to the backbone of this issue like Barb suggested. Education and politics, heady stuff, not my bag really but have to. I believe it starts with Dept of Health, infant hearing screening programs. The CCS rep I met was somewhat conservative looking (rigid and distant), a protestant from Boston. I asked her who is doing all the pushing of AB in state’s legislation for universal testing and she said March of Dimes, etc. Huh? Special-interest groups? I dunno if that's the truth or was intended to confuse me. I don’t trust Dept of Health’s intentions, but this Feb 2007 report stated otherwise. The CCS rep said there are more hard of hearing children than deaf children. That's true and I infer this is why ASL is not considered as priority intervention and many are mainstreamed instead, IMO.

DE said...


Research? Oh yes, there are plenty of FACTS out there. It's just a matter of organization.

Fact #1: a high percentage of Deaf HS graduates read at/near the 2nd/3rd grade reading level.

Fact #2: Over 80% of Deaf education programs do NOT use the bilingual approach. (40ish% pure-Oral, 40ish% MCE/cued/etc.)

See the correlation?

Conclusion: non-bilingual programs FAIL.

The above is just ONE example. Drmzz did a great job posting actual research on ASL/English proficiency. Thanks, Mike. Barb DiGi says there is no "empirical research", and I agree with her 200%. Paddy Ladd states that all "academic" research in Deaf Ed is invalid.

Yet, we are still being told to come up with more "research". I got news for you- AGBAD and parents do NOT want facts. They want to be assured that their child is normal.

Don't get me wrong- as an educator, I am ALL for research, and we should discuss and promote more empirical research, etc.! Of course, and share these within our community. But to use research as the "heart" of our marketing to parents? No. We need to do a better PR.

First, we need to start with... believing in ourselves. That Deaf people know what is best for our Deaf children.

Cy said...


Excellent vlog. You answered my "when, how, where, who" questions! :)

Still, I feel there's more to cover or I await your part II.....there's National Agenda for the Deaf...that's news to me. Why didn't we know about it before now? If we have been in the dark, I presume not much have been taken into action by that organization? What can WE do to get their steam going?

Barb DiGi said...

Great discussion forum here! This is what we need to better understand the scope of the updates relating to deaf education.

Oscar: As much as I agree with you, this is a hearing world and we are what? Like a size of an ant to them which is why we are called a minority group. But in an ideal democratic world, a minority group has a right as well but unfortunately it is not reality.

IamMine: I believe there is a relationship between the amount of hearing and the success of oralism. Everyone has a different way of processing auditory and language that even sharing the same amount of residual hearing, one would not be able to pick up the same as the others. Personality and learning styles are other factors as well. You know, when you grow up not knowing what is there, you won't know what you have missed. Perhaps that explains why these non-signers who are deaf don't feel deprived. I grew up in a public school without interpreters but I felt deprived because I knew what was missing since I come from a deaf family and attend to deaf community events. If it weren't for that, I may not know what I had missed. Perhaps that is why organizations like AG Bell have been working hard to block these deaf kids from being exposed to ASL knowing that once they taste it, they will "lose" them.

drmzz: I have seen studies like that but unfortunately it is not enough to convince the lawmakers to make ASL mandatory for all deaf children. Anyway, I want to clarify what I meant by saying AND is to provide both languages, ASL and English, not simcom. Right now it is a matter of OR meaning there is an option that it can be this or that or both like whatever you choose to please. Your update on CA legislative bills is alarming! Will there be a watchdog group such as CAD doing something like making it an immediate referral for ASL developmental skills not just auditory-speech?
You are right, Mike, it starts with Early Intervention since it is like a starting point on road map for parents of deaf children.

DE: We are now able to identify the problems on what is going wrong with deaf education. We need to brainstorm ways to counterattack the wrongs of oralism since there is a lack of research in that area showing the damages of literacy, social and emotional development.

Cy: Yes, we have been in the dark! It is ironic because one of the members in NA works where I work and I never knew about this information!!! Communication and sharing among deaf education community have been the issue as well! I guess we are discovering and learning new information through vlogging which is an innovative way of communication that we can become more aware and be more involved to analyze the situation more effectively rather than waiting for workshops or conferences. You are right, it ain't over until the pig flies in the sky!

Todd said...

That was a pretty educational video entry. Thank you for pointing out what real research entails. I agree with you that if given a choice, parents will almost always opt for the A/V approach, and somehow, we need to restore the equibrilum (sp?) towards ASL.

You know what? I would love to see a scientific research on the A/V approach, using controlled studies, scientific and measurable principles, etc. along the lines you mentioned in your video as to be true research.

This way, the world can see how spectacular failure the oral approach is. (Hey, I could be mistaken and it could be a successful approach.) Once confronted with hard, solid, irrefutable data about the oral approach, just maybe, the parents and States will then swing the pendulum towards back to ASL.

Stephen J. Hardy said...


I want to add another point. Do you remember the Brown vs. Board of Education case? They used the dolls and we could do the same for ASL.

Thank you for the references and I will be doing some research to find out how we can change policies towards education of the Deaf.

We must present an argument to show how the current educational system for the Deaf is flawed. I agree that ASL is a language that gives the Deaf people power; nevertheless, it has been too silent outside of the Deaf circles.

Now our challenge is "How do we convince that ASL is the correct avenue for the Deaf child?" A lot of parents only knew spoken English system and not ASL.

Once we gather all the evidences and write a rebuttal to correct the misinformation about Deaf students in general. You are doing a great job outlining issues that needs to be revisited. Please, write a book or essay and educate the parents of the Deaf. They NEED the information otherwise they will listen to the medical people.

Karen Mayes said...

Okay, DE, there are plenty of facts. I have a hearing cousin who works at DC and he is into...hmmm...advancement of weapons (he works in the model programming, which uses a lot of 3-D and a lot of programming language... his speciality is to create war games for training soldiers.) His company is one of the major lobbyists for funds to betterment of weapons (I know, I know, it is wrong, but I am not involved!) Anyway, he mentioned to me that government WILL listen if we had MONEY and LARGE number of people involved and LOTS of FORMAL, PUBLISHED statistics. It sure took a long time before our government finally acknowledged that there was global warming...

So, we have to be persistent. We need PUBLISHED statistics. Etc. That is why our eyes are on CAEBER now. Not fair. Nope, I am not an educator, but I understand a bit about government, due to my mother's family having careers in the governement (they work in "think" tanks.)

Deaf socrates trail said...

Here I see a lot of potential possibles to develop new bilingual resources, in fact, No ASl has been recognized by US Dept of Education or Dept Justice because we do not have any Bilingual resources language needs and language policy, language rights as a minority! Due to lack of all these bilingual resources of the Deaf, Suggest look at and look up at Limit English Proficiency. which will tell you all explains. ASL is not included compare to other languages such as French, Spanish or other etnnic languages, how do you explain that ASL is not a language in itself.Seriously we have a long long way to go. Need to clarify between the differences and disorders that are involved with communication. There are a lot of many things that are needed to develop the bilingual resources language needs. Unfortunately we do not have that. That is why Deaf Education is very flawed for today!

A Deaf Pundit said...

Wow. Hot discussion here. My apologies for coming in late on this one.

Okay, regarding parents' choices, I'm sorry but I have to respectfully disagree. We do not for the most part, go around telling other parents how to raise their children.

My problem with CIs and preventing them from learning ASL is because the medical establishment are LYING to the parents. That's my problem with that. Not with parents implanting the children. It's about the lies.

If a parent has done allllll of the research, and got unbiased information, then STILL decided to implant their child, I wouldn't like it, but it's their choice. As it is, parents are given the impression that their child will never learn English or speak if they used ASL. We all know that's not true.

If we go around saying 'I will NOT respect other parents' choices with their children!' then that will come back to haunt you, because hearing parents will start doing the exact same thing to you. Do you all want that to happen? Because it could very well happen!

Two wrongs do not make a right.... Just my two cents.

Barb DiGi said...

I am not talking about cochlear implant choices..I am talking about language choices since today it is up to the parents whether to use oralism or manualism. Please review to what DE just explained in his comments. Language should not be a choice but required just like English is to hearing people.

A Deaf Pundit said...

Ok, my mistake about the CI/language issue.

Actually, English is not required for hearing children. It's definitely a must for them to succeed, but we don't have to teach them English *legally*. Many people here in the United States do not know English - especially immigrants.

So I still think we need to respect parents' choices - on everything unless it comes to child abuse. I realize people could argue that depriving them language is child abuse, and I agree, but with many children it's a roulette shoot. It does work for some, and fails for many. You can't really consistently predict when oralism will work with them. Parents are entitled to make mistakes. And really, nowadays if you want to raise your child orally, it is required for them to have a CI.

Karen said...

Interesting discussion here! At Hands & Voices, our motto is simply "What works for your child is what makes the choice right." It's important that families are empowered with non-biased information from the start-- information without an agenda attached to it.
We all want the same thing for deaf and hard of hearing kids: well-adjusted successful kids. And these kids come from every communication method. It's important that families recognize the communication needs of their child and provide full access to language, regardless of the method.
Here are the elements of a Language Rich Environment: