Saturday, July 14, 2007

How could it be UNBIASED as claimed by AG Bell?

Sorry, it is a bit blurry due to the use of digital camera since the camcorder is not available so please bear with my vlog. quicktime YouTube, click here

Hi viewers/readers,

A variety of blogs/vlogs concerning the upcoming demonstration at AG Bell conference have been popping up from time to frequent time leading us to think thoroughly and to look back what AG Bell has done in the past decade. We already know who AG Bell was and the kind of philosophy it carries in the organization. But how much do we know about its function since the turn of the 21st century?

Found on the AB Bell website, here is the statement in "5 Best Practice Criteria" claiming that AG Bell is providing UNBIASED information about all available communication options when a child is diagnosed with a hearing loss. Now isn't that what really happened? So come and join the memory lane as we go back to September 2002.

It mentioned that:

"In September 2002, the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) initiated a legislative outreach program to establish educational policies that incorporate auditory learning and spoken language options for children with hearing loss and their families through an early intervention Best Practice Model.

The following spring, AG Bell developed five “best practice” criteria based on data collected."


To increase awareness of auditory learning and spoken language options and education by ensuring that parents receive UNBIASED information about all available communication options when a child is diagnosed with a hearing loss.

Five Best Practice Criteria:

Parent(s) who have children identified with hearing loss must receive a printed, standardized resource manual that includes clear, objective, explanatory information on each communication option:

a. Auditory-Verbal (Unisensory),

b. Oral or Auditory/Oral,

c. Bilingual/Bicultural (ASL/ESL),

d. Cued Speech, and

e. Total Communication

2. Parent(s) must receive a standardized, printed resource manual from a state-designated representative trained to present the information on communication options in an UNBIASED and impartial manner.

3. Designated representatives who provide information to parent(s) must participate in annual trainings and workshops to develop knowledge of all communication options and topics relating to hearing loss.

4. Interagency agreements, state guidelines and task force committees will provide the mechanism by which parent(s) and children receive cooperative visits and information sharing between early intervention providers, early hearing and detection programs and non-profit agencies providing services to children with hearing loss.

5. Criteria are mandated to be provided in each state as a Best Practice Model.

Now my next question is how many workshops were provided about bilingualism? ASL? They claimed that they are unbiased but we obviously know that the information provided is not well-balanced.

I have looked for the past seminars of this year and here are the topics:

March 29, 2007 - Advocating for a Cochlear Implant Child Throughout the Education Process

July 19, 2007 - Back to School with Cochlear Implants: The Top 10 Things Parents Need to Know

August 30, 2007 - Partnering with Your CI Audiologist: How to Get the Best Possible MAP for Your Child

September 13, 2007 - School Bells: Supporting Children with Cochlear Implants in the Classroom

September 27, 2007 - Maximizing Outcomes with Minimal Resources: Tips for CI Kids Without Access

October 11, 2007 - Hearing with Two Ears: Bimodal or Bilateral

UNBIASED? Come on, who do you think you are fooling?

Now what did AG Bell exactly say about ASL on their website? Here, I found one mere passage about ASL that stated:

“American Sign Language is a manual communication method taught as a child’s primary language, with English taught as a second language. American Sign Language is recognized as a true language in its own right and does not follow the grammatical structure of English. This method is used extensively within the Deaf community, a group that views itself as having a separate culture and identity from mainstream hearing society.

For more information, contact the National Association of the Deaf."

Note that NAD lists almost everything that contains pro-AG Bell methods (cochlear implants, listening devices, etc.) in their website showing that NAD is more inclusive than AG Bell. So who is UNBIASED here?

When you click on the bookstore site, do you see any ASL materials? Heck, no. So how could they claim that they provide UNBIASED information on communication options? I am getting a bit confused here (**scratching my head**).

About scholarships, it only awards to deaf students who are capable of speaking and listening regardless there are non-aural/oral deaf who would be qualified for a scholarship, too. "The AG Bell College Scholarship Program offers scholarships ranging from $500 to $5,000 for students identified with moderate to profound hearing loss since birth or before acquiring language. Scholarships are available to students in any field of study who use speech and residual hearing and/or speechreading (lipreading) as their primary mode of communication." Do you call this UNBIASED?

Even here in the same website, it spelled outloud that "through publications, outreach, training, scholarships and financial aid, AG Bell promotes the use of spoken language and hearing technology." UNBIASED?

In addition, they did mention something about Children Legal Advocacy Program (CLA) that they complained that there is not enough oral practices (exactly the opposite of what you just presented). They said:

"Access to spoken language education is denied as a result of inappropriate placement.

These cases involve either public or private school placements where the school district refuses to place the child in a program that will enable the child to acquire a spoken language education. Instead, the placement offers an ASL-based program, a Total Communication program or a mainstreamed classroom without needed support services."

This tells us that they are advocating for every deaf child that they deserve aural/oral practice instead of using ASL only. Of course, AG Bell is clever and careful enough not to bash ASL on their website. However, action speaks louder than words and this is what we can hear. It is amazing that they are taking on this platform since there are far off MORE deaf children deprived of ASL than ORALISM especially today. I couldn't even identify that many schools who deny spoken language education to begin with unless I am mistaken.

AG Bell slogan is, " Hear from the Start, Talk for a Lifetime". Knowing that hearing babies sign from the start then learn to talk, why should it be other way round for deaf babies? It just doesn't make any sense to me.

So if they are advocating for auditory/oral practice, why can't we advocate for ASL instead of using speech only? I have yet seen any stong organization to advocate ASL instead of speech alone and this is why the birth of the Deaf Bilingual Coalition is needed. Why should we be silent about this? No one has organized such demonstration at AG Bell Conference for 127 years so it is time to be heard.

Since AG Bell has to do with the influence on educational policies, it becomes our business. It also has the influence to the legislative and us as tax-paying Deaf citizens, it becomes our business. It affects many, many deaf children and it becomes our business.

It is an awakening period for the Deaf Bilingual Coalition to be born! Kudos to JohnF. Egbert to initiate DBC!

Be silent no more!


Amy said...


What can I say? You said it all, articulately and eloquent too!

I agree with your point about AG Bell Association didn't follow through their mission that was adopted in year 2002 to provide UNBIASED information, but by judging their actions in past five years, I don't see any UNBIASED information about using ASL, or incorporating ASL in their AVT Curriculum, or sharing information to parents of different options.

That upsets me. I think what they were doing to 'appease' us, and making us to leave them alone. We are hoodwinked by them.

Now, we as the stakeholders, we need to be vigilant and watch the trends that is going on.

I still don't understand why people who are doing research funded by millions of dollars from National Institute of Health's Deafness and Communication Disorders are so focused on helping children to hear, and gathering data how early intervention helped Deaf children, and how important for them to receive auditory-verbal therapy, compared to some thousands of dollars focusing on ASL? It is fairness in this picture? NO!

Why do they spend so much money on research, and believing that these research carries much more weight than Deaf Adults, teenagers, and children who have a very person experience going through right now?

We can simply say - one approach is NOT working anymore. We deserve more than that.

We can simply say that we deserve having most accessible language exposure as earliest as possible before implantation or development of speech.

Give ASL to Deaf Babies! What is the harm of this???


What good it will be if Deaf Babies are taught to sign?


Yay Barb, let's us work together, and everyone, who is reading this blog - please join with us and make ourselves 'heard' for the first time after 128 years of misinformation and deception.

It has to stop. It is hurting all of us, and we cannot afford any more infighting, and I don't want to see the next generation of Deaf people shunning us completely because... they don't know *any* signs, because they are not been taught by anyone. That hurts!

Lastly, we need to not put too much blame on parents, or being hostile against parents. They need us much more than ever and they need positive role models for their own child(ren).

Use our energy to stand up firm with right organization, foundation, corporation, and industry.

Use our energy to SUPPORT parents and tell parents its OKAY to have Deaf Babies to sign as soon as possible.

I need to stop rambling, and Barb, you deserve a big hug from me.

Amy Cohen Efron

use our

Oscar the Observer said...

IMPRESSIVE vlog post!!! I absolutely agree!

Is it a coincidence that my post of today complement yours? Wow. You humble me with your smarter and cooler explanation!

Dianrez said...

*waving applause* Right on, Barb! The items adopted by AGBell need to be put into action or they will lose both credibility and reputation.

We need to point out this shortcoming of theirs and keep proposing more equitable alternatives to make them embarrassed enough to follow through on their own "good" intentions.

They have the majority culture on their side: hearing people. If we keep on attacking them, we look like deranged extremists. Instead, if we can provoke them to openly admit the value of BiBi and ASL, we will have the battle won for a fair and balanced presentation.

You go, girl!

John F. Egbert said...


Barb, you are amazing!

One way to get through AG Bell's "Berlin Wall" organization is to tell the world the honest truth that we were deprived in education/language for 127 years by the American Sign Language Holocaust from an eugenicist, Alexander Graham Bell and 1880 Milan.


Katherine said...

Hallejuah! It appears that they are trying to fudge on their website. Slowly, lies are catching up to them and everyone is going to see what they are up to.

michele said...

Yes Barb! I was beginning to wonder how we would be able to articulate our points across and to make sure that the world understands us. This is it! Bam! This kind of information will make headwaves!

drmzz said...

Thumbs up! Never played fair from the get go.

Re: upcoming protest. You know, people here can make a statement in public, no matter how "frivolous" it may appears to others. Look up the Bill of Rights. For example, people can protest about pink poodles because they can! Nothing wrong with waving from a distance and saying, "We know what's going on."

Jessica said...

Exactly! Unbiased is the word I was trying to think of. That is why I want to see what they do with their mission statements and goals, not just put on paper. Says a lot what they truly value and stand for. Well said! Couldn't have said it better. :)

I was thinking of some ideas that some commenters left on DeafDC on Shane's blog like more of a media or web presence, having a list of schools using ASL for teaching, and some others. I believe it was Deaf Pundit who brought up some of those good ideas. Oh also profiles of successful ASL users.

Since AGB organization recognizes oral programs for their exceptional work, why not have an organization where they can recognize bilingual programs?

I can't remember where I read this so if whoever wrote this confirm this to make sure I got it right but they want to get some legislation for support of AV training. That is up at the political level. One thing that I agree with Amy Cohen Efron in her video "the Greatest Irony" (my favorite one) and also in her other comments about deaf babies being deprived the opportunity to learn sign early like hearing babies and missing out on the benefits. If this ever becomes into legislation, then I would like to ensure that those deaf babies get all the benefits they can get equally to hearing babies.

Again, well said.

Anonymous said...

WOW, GREAT VLOG!! You explained this beautifully and an eye opener, too! Makes me want to do something about AGBAD, cuz they are shunning us in a scheming way...but we are starting to wake up and going to fight with all our strength, in unity, with all diversified Deaf people! Love your vlogs/blogs, you sure have a powerful "voice" that speaks volume! You are destined to be a great leader! That is your gift, keep using it, to spread the words! If, at all possible, can someone or group of people, set up a time and date, for a "million deaf people march" in Washington DC. We will be heard, VISUALLY LOUD n CLEAR! We will not be oppressed/suppressed any longer! You go girl! (PS, sweetie, if possible, can you make your lens stay clear as it often gets a bit out of focus...or is it my eyes that needs checking again? *Grin*
- DeafWoman

Anonymous said...

I just had to add a quote by a poet, named Maltbie Davenport Babcock...his quote fits us well.

"Be Strong
We are not here to play, to dream, to drift, we have hard work to do and loads to lift, shun not the struggle, face it, 'tis God's gift. Be strong: say not the days are evil - who's to blame! And fold your hands and acquiesce - oh shame! Stand up, speak out, and bravely in god's name. Be strong! It matters not how deep entrenched the wrong. How hard the battle goes, the day, how long! Faint not, fight on! Tomorrow comes the song."

-- DeafWoman

Brian Riley said...


".....views itself as having a separate culture and identity from mainstream hearing society."

This is a horribly biased and distorted comment. Deaf culture is not a "separate culture," but rather is vibrant part of mainstream culture. There is no separation there.

That's why Deaf people are bicultural. The "bi-" does not mean that the two are seperate from each other. They overlap.

Deaf culture represents multiculturalism in the pluralist sense, not the particularist sense.

Anonymous said...

PS...Gulp...I just noticed your note above your vlog...about blurry...I take back my words and eat it. Gulp! :-)
-- DeafWoman

David said...


Your article has amazed me.

AGBAD speaks with forked tongue!

I agree we need to approach political organizations that will make a big difference rather than bark at the worthless lizard (AGBAD).


Barb DiGi said...

Thank you all for adding your perspective giving all the reasons to justify the introduction of ASL in all deaf babies.

Amy: (hugging back) That's right, we are now paying attention to details to what AG Bell has been doing. There is a lot of work to do but I am inspired to work together as a team to spread the word.

Hey Oscar..saw your vlog and I can see that it is from your heart. You shared how you felt and defended that ASL is a true language. Some people don't understand or realize it. Just continue to spread the word as well!

Dianrez: Being objective with factual information and evaluation is the key. I have yet seen the actions they have followed up by presenting unbiased information on communication choices that include ASL and Bilingual Education.

John: You rock! Thanks for being an inspiration for me to initiate this vlog since I want to better understand where AG Bell stands and what have they been doing.

Katherine: Yep, actions and talking are two different things.

Michele: I know that we both have been debating about the idea of the demonstration and I want to thank you for making me think more thoroughly about what you just presented. I truly appreciate your feedback and the others from :-)

drmzz: You are too funny! Pink poodles? What a hilarious example but your point is taken!

Jessical: This is what I love about b/vlogging since it allows us to brainstorm and share our ideas that lead one to another.

Oh, DeafWoman, you and I have the same vision: The Deafhood Million March or something likek that..someday..someday..Thanks for an inspiring poem! Let me take your words back because you brought me with your attention that my vlog was blurry so I added this announcement right after your feedback so that viewers will know in advance. The good news is that there is definitely nothing wrong with your vision :-) Thanks for your kind comments. got this one right! As we know, AG Bell was strongly influenced by nativism where attitudes toward multiculturalism and foreign languages were not intolerable. And let me throw in Darwinism as well that paternalism dominated over Deaf people for more than a century.

Barb DiGi said...


We will still "bark" in the AG Bell Conference since the media and the public will be acknowledged about the conflict.

However, I do agree that there are more important places to make our voices heard. I just believe that there will be no limitations on how we will get our messages across just like planting seeds all over the place.

Chuck Baird said...

My eyes flipped!

Jean Boutcher said...

Wild applause! Beautifully and eloquently expressed as always, Barb! Whilst it is true that we shall never tear the wall of AGBAD down, the pen is mightier than the sword. So the best way to send a message to the parents that AGB is heavily biased would be through the media. One would have her or his skillfully crafted article published on the editorial page of The Washington Post. Remember Lew Golan, a retiring writer for Chicago's prestigous newspaper? Himself a pure oralist - AGB advocate, he made a big noise by publishing his article on the Post's editorial page complaining about illiteracy in Deaf America in April 1995. He failed to strike the chord with Gallaudet's English Department after learning that many high school teachers of hearing students asked for Gallaudet's help -- are you ready? -- for literacy project! Let us strike AGB again!

moi said...

Barb, thank you so much! We all need to stick together in the face of negativity from those in our community. I appreciate your continuous efforts to generate and produce positive solutions and plans of action! Keep going, girl!

Anonymous said...

WOW!!! You say it all!!!! I fully agree with you..

Thumb Up!!!! Keep up with your vlog... Hand wave!!!!!


Karen Mayes said...

Good vlog.

I agree with your point about "unbiased" info. which was not really unbiased.

Okay, I guess because I live in Indiana, the members of Hear Indiana (which is under the umbrella of AGB) are more open-minded about ASL and Bi-Bi philosophy (a few members have their child attending ISD anyway.) So I guess it depends on the degree of exposure to the understanding of ASL as a language (not a language method, which seems to be a major misconception among the hearing parents.) In fact, my son's TOD is a chairperson of a few committees in Hear Indiana advocates Bi-Bi philosophy and she told me that children whose first language was ASL/other visual language usually required more work in the mainstream settings. Like, my son whose first language is English is doing very well in mainstreaming and my daughter whose first language is ASL is doing very well at ISD... even my daughter will be particpating in the oracy part of Bi-Bi method at ISD soon (not enforced... only with parental permission and with the child's motivation.)

As for the protest, just as long as it goes smoothly and that would catch the media's eye. If one or more protesters talk negatively about AGB or CIs, the protest would fail to meet the goals. Just stick to ASL as the language and that it benefits younger children... don't say anything about the dangers of CIs or AGB being the euganalist... it would show the biased anger of the protesters and that would be a big turn off.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Hey Barb!

What can I say? You have shoveled much deeper about the antics on AG Bell's organization.....

There are things I do not know about this wack-o situation from AG Bell.

I wish I could be there to make the protest on the last week of July...Make me the petition. I am joining your club.

I am happy that I finally post your vlog....:-)

White Ghost

Anonymous said...

I want to tell u something about Early Children ED Services. When I lived in New York,they provides

ASL program

English sign language

Speech program with sign language english

Speech program with ASL

Speech program without sign language

CI program

I asked them,what age can deaf children get CI...their answered said, start with baby. I was so freak out and shocked what they provides that way.
I asked,why do you have to doing this provides for each new parents and their answered,following their system orders.

I am still disagree with their provides because the system should provides all of deaf or hard hearing or hearing disorder language must require signing language auto in all any provides.

CI provided to early children program that is very very wrong to begin with spread wide around wrong effect to hearing parents and deaf parents. CI should provides through ages law above 18 years old can decide their own without parents took babies' spirits/soul (true colors)and the babies can't tell " NO,NO,NO I don't want that or I want that".

NAD needs to focus on CI law and CI keep empowerment and pressing down on deaf impact. Time to changes Deaf rights support and prevention hearing control in wrong system for deaf system rights.

Thank you,Deafpeace

John F. Egbert said...

To Deafpeace,

Good point!

That's colonialism, subjugation over the babies's own right to chose.


Karen Mayes said...

*Sigh* The real issue is NOT cochlear implants... there is nothing we can do about it; it is a given fact now. The issue is the flow of information of ASL/Bi-Bi. There is a big misconception about ASL, that is not a true language in the majority of people's eyes. We need to show that ASL is benefitical for deaf babies, just as it is for hearing babies.

CI... well, we have to live with it, since we will have deaf leaders with CIs in the near future.

Deaf Socrate'sTrail said...

EXCELLENT! You must be a great detective I am telling you! Well, there are many choices to bark at A G BELL,In Fact, ASL is needed to protect by the law in order to weaken A G BELL's stance in long run and will strenghten Education of the Deaf and Bilingual Education much better definition, as You know Signed languages are often not recognized as a true natural language even though the numerous of educators, professional and others are supported by extensive research. In USA most of us as a Deaf linguistic minority have no linguistic rights, yet almost only minority language which lacks official government recognition! That is why we need to do something about ASL's future to be recognized by the law that would benefit many of us very great! "A smile refreshes the intellect."

IamMine said...

Barb, I always admire your vlogs with research and information you share with us – in ASL! You really are the jewel.

I am all for Bilingual Education for the deaf children because I do believe that MOST of them benefit from ASL as their first language.

That said, I do have mixed feelings about this “protest”.

It happened way too fast with little time to plan, organize, researching, and so forth.

Plus, unfortunately the “protest” term has bad stigma. People will tie that with Gallaudet protests – no matter how you try to say differently.

I am still unsure of it taking place at the AGB convention.

I do not think you people would get out of control or anything like that… and I do hope it goes smoothly and your message would get across.

But I do have problem with several things:

Comparing AGB with Hilter? AGB did NOT gas people. We know Hilter got ideas from him, but AGB did NOT kill deaf people.

Genocide? Come on… those deaf children are STILL alive and STILL deaf! Even parents of CI children call them “oral deaf children with CI”.

This could be argued as an “opinion”.

Majority of hearing people will NOT get that. Media could show happy children with CI and this will just look bad for the protesters.

Focus on ASL itself with no bashings or sadistic comparisons that would numb the true message – ASL as a language that should be provided to deaf children as the most important foundation of their upbringing and education.

Like you and Amy have been saying “Hearing babies can sign! Why aren’t deaf babies allowed to sign?”

I could go on and on… but you and others have already pointed them out by dialogging on Shane’s blog.

I want to say that I think you, Barb, should be *the* spokesperson for the media – explaining and answering the questions.

I am still nervous about this but I’ll watch things unfold and hope for the best.

Karen Mayes said...

I agree with iammine. I also think that you'd be a good spokesperson. I know that the hearing people would turn a deaf ear to the claims about AGB (as I said before, so what about his past) and CIs being dangerous, etc.... hearing people won't see it that way, since there is a growing statistics that more deaf CI children are successful.

So, the best thing is to talk about ASL/Bi Bi and the benefits of it, how it improves the ability to learn more languages (Spanish, etc.), it improves speech, etc.

Longoman said...

As history has shown it, AGB is in denial and I believe it is the small number of members who are not being fair to the majority on unbiased information. That majority needs to wake up and steer the organization in the right direction!
You rock, VLOG girl!

Joey Baer said...

Barb - excellent vlog as always. You already have my vote for 2007 Vlogger of the Year!

Iammine -

When a person or an organization intentionally try to take away language from an individual, what do you call it?

We need to remember this again and again, AGB clearly said he wanted to eliminate deaf people from earth and that is easily called genocide to me. It is very smiliar with Hitler who wanted to eliminate Jews from earth.

Aidan Mack said...

Hello Barb:

Wonderful Vlog...

I really look forward our Deaf Bilingual Coalition to be full grown beautiful wild flowers spreading out like fire by wonderful people on the team. Deaf children will be able to pick up beautiful flowers everyday knowing that their Deaf bilingual education is secured and solid. They will be no longer struggling, and go in the classes with peace of mind and focus on learning in different courses....

The difference between Hitler and AGBAD are based on how they are killing people. Hitler moved too fast and took people's lives away in bloody way. AGBAD take Deaf people's lives away by killing their education, their rights, their dreams, and their right as full human beings.

Like in domestic violence training workshop, there is no such as which is the worse: emotion abuse, verbal abuse, and physical abuse. They are ALL the SAME.

The historian says it is critical for any one to understand in the past in order to have a better understanding about the present and future...

Some people want to sweep the truth under the rug and demean at us as protestors that we don't know what we are doing. The irony is that they scold to people who invest their time for Deaf children, do nothing, and use "ME" model.

I am so proud of people on the team really dedicating their time to Deaf Bilingual Coalition even they have real busy schedule. I thank for these wonderful people on Deaf Bilingual Coalition.

Barb DiGi said...

Hi Chuck I can't help but chuckle about your comments!

Jean: Thank you for your kind comments. I am going to investiage about Lew Golan since it is the first I have heard of him. It is good to know the historical claims that the deaf is not the only one suffering from illiteracy.

Moi: You are welcome! I also appreciate your support! We are in the stage of defining the purpose of our objective and the more individuals understand it, the more unity it will acheive.

SnoopyFreak02: Thanks!

Hi Karen: thanks for sharing about your experience with Hear Indiana and I wonder how many models are like that across America? Indiana is a breeding ground of Bi-Bi philosophy so I wonder if Hear Indiana has any interaction with them. I would like to know more where did they get their training and workshops. I am reluctant to take this TOD's statement that children who have ASL as their first language required more work in the mainstream settings. More work in what? Your son was born hearing so I am sorry I cannot use him as an example. Your daughter was born deaf and that ASL was her first language so I wonder would it be more work for her in mainstreaming setting?

It is a demonstration rather than a protest that will be held at AG Bell conference. I hope to have positive dialogue to take place as we will be questioning and learning about what actions have been taken to ensure that parents are receiving unbiased information about communication options.

White Ghost: Good to see you back! There is so much to know about what is really going on behind-the-scene of this "Wizard" of Oz!

You are far as I heard, Australia just approved to have 6 months old to have CI. Scary, huh? We need to justify why it makes it risky for young babies to receive CI but it won't be a platform at AG Bell. There are so many areas we need to focus on but one battle at a time. To justify ASL as a first language in babies is the way to go.

John: I know, I know. It is sickening to my stomach. I would never forget when my son was 3 yrs old, he came home terrified when he witness his classmate returning to school from a long absence who showed him a large scar with stitches. He asked me, "Will I be next?" I said, "Oh no, honey!" His eyes were full of relief. I would never forget his reactions.

Karen again: Ditto since it is not the issue to focus on right now but still Deaf people have the right to express concerns about the risky part of CI since as far as I know there were about 13 deaths from children with CI as resulted from bacteria and infection.

Deaf Socrate's Trail: Haha, maybe I should become one of the CSI for the Deaf. Law that offers protection to ensure that ASL is being introduced is the cream of the crop! I just strongly believe that the birth of Deaf Bilingual Coalition is a starting point where political advocates with Deaf Stakeholders and funding take place to push for Deaf linguistic rights. Care to join us?

Hi IamMine: Good to see you back! I think it is natural for everyone to have mixed feelings about this demonstration. I did so in the beginning as I had some questions until the focal point was clarified along with documents to prove that AG Bell was not biased after all. I wished I could have more time where we are able to generate our thoughts but I can't control the date of the conference nor the process of the demonstration. I totally agree that the term protest has stigma to it since I pointed it out earlier in deafdc blog. People need to realize that there are different styles of protest. MLK's sit-in protest is completely different than the abortion protest and so on.

Nah, we are not gonna bring up the comparision of AGB to Hitler. But I need to share with you that it is not genocide which is the wrong word, it is EUGENICIDE that AG Bell was found in comparison with Hitler and that is a fact since I do have documents about that. It parallels in some way that sterilization took place among deaf Germans and even here in America thanks to the push of AGBell. Perhaps, I should vlog about this. Anyhow, we are going to focus the big picture about promoting ASL in deaf babies period. Thanks for your recommendation but there will be others as we will be on the same page when we meet. There are outstanding leaders involved as well. I hope you will trust us.

Karen again and again: Point taken! :-)

Hi my Longoman! That's right we need to be more proactive and vocal (with signs of course!) to bring out the facts on what is happening to deaf babies who are not fulfilled with complete language development before the age 2. Why stall them and limit them to speech only? Hugs ox

Barb DiGi said...

HI Joey..I am humbled by your statement! You got a point here about the goals of AGB which was already documented that no deaf people should longer exist that he even pushed laws to sterilize deaf pregnant women and prevented them to marry each other. Sure there are some similarities to Hitler considering that they had strong leadership that was used in a wrong way. We must be careful not to compare this unforunate historical moment to Holocaust since it was handled differently but the concept remains the same: to get rid of the deaf by sterilization so that is what I call it Eugenicide.

Hi Aidan..I love how you put about Deaf children picking up beautiful flowers..ahh isn't the smell sweet? Yes, you got a point here about the differences of method in elimination between these two heinous leaders. There are some individuals who still don't understand our voices..perhaps they need more listening devices to hear us! I am proud of the team and carry good feelings about it. This is the birth of the Bilingual Movement in front of our eyes! :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey Iammine!

I see your point....comparing between Hilter's and AG Bell's. I still like you. :-)

Well, killing is not the issue.

The issue is about the Eugenicidism.

Hilter and AG Bell WERE the similar path about the sterilization laws.

Glad that the lawmakers were not buying the sterilization laws!

See, the deaf families with deaf kids are thriving and we are winning over the AG Bell's laws! :-)

Barb --

Not again! Not another country to put early age babies into the CI! I know, I know, I know that the researchers and audiologists have given the parents some advices about the capability at the early age babies who can hear the sounds.....That will make the parents to think that the babies CAN/WILL learn how to hear and talk at the early ages! They will also think the hearing babies are the same path as the early age CI babies! Geez...

Happy Wizard of the Oz....

:-) White Ghost

A Deaf Pundit said...

Just dropping in to wish you all g'luck at the demonstration, and wanted to leave a quote for you all to think over. Make of it as you will.

"No sane person with a life really wants to be a political activist. When activism is exciting, it tends to involve the risk of bodily harm or incarceration, and when it's safe, it is often tedious, dry, and boring. Activism tends to put one into contact with extremely unpleasant people, whether they are media interviewers, riot cops, or at times, your fellow activists." - Miriam Simos (Starhawk)

Deaf Socrate'sTrail said...

March the beginning of the tidal wave: Deaf Bilingual Coalition is here,now! Let us explore the question of protection of our ASL under the new law might answer to A G Bell! Tell me what is CSI? We,Deaf people have our dignity and are linguistic minority! I would like to see linguistic rights become more viable since English has not been recognized as an offical language under the federal law by the consitutions, so We have rights to use our language as linguistic rights here!I am very cautious about the definition of what bilingual is and I see Deaf Bilingual Coalition is very good concept to start that is where can lead to build a new front of our politic that is what we need to have one!

Barb DiGi said...

White Ghost: Yes, what's even alarming is that the researchers claimed that babies who are implanted at 6 months old show no differences among hearing peers when they are in kindergarten. In other words, you will not be able to tell who is deaf or not when putting them together. Of course, I have doubts about this claim. Perhaps in kindergarten it is more difficult to detect the differences as compared to adolescent years.

Deaf Pundit: Let me throw in the quote once again in case you missed it in deafdc blog:

“Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world’s estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consquences.”
-Susan B. Anthony

Also luck has nothing to do with it as it requires preparation and organization to make it a success. I am not saying that it is an easy task and that it will go with a breeze.

Remember, the more support and collaboration we get from the deaf community, the higher degree of success will occur. I have seen your wonderful ideas about involving testimonies and I hope that you will consider your future involvement in Deaf Bilingual Movement (not necessarily at AG Bell conference). Please think about it, thanks.

C said...

I did reviewed AGB's website and found their scholarship criteria suprisingly biased. I can see many HOH with good speech qualifying for it. Let's face it, AGB is focusing their advocacy for a certain group of people within the deaf community. It's time we have our own to promote ASL as important language acquisition for deaf children. Kudos to you and others who have brought this idea up. Please make this something real, not just talk. Let's get moving!

I do agree with Iammine and Karen on approaching this protest carefully. I like their suggestion and I hope many will defer (pass on) the urge to speak out or make comments to the media...let Barb be the spokesperson lest information gets all screwed up. Remember Gallaudet Protest and how informaton got muddy because some individuals took it upon themselves to share their opinion (rather than let FSSA be the spokesperson). That is how the 'deaf card' came into play. Don't forget history!!!! Don't let it repeat itself in that way.

C said...

One more thing came to know how some people tend to have the urge to say something to the media (human nature), maybe someone should post a "talking point" listing the points we can use if media approach us and stick with it and do not add anything to it.

Anonymous said...

My daughter is deaf and took Deaf Studies class in deaf middle school last year then this year took Bilingual Lab class. I think this Fall will be in English class (regular).
Should push Early childhood program take Bi-Bi class to push parents to get awarness of ASL vision language same as hearing use vision language so they will feel more deep touchy relate to communication language with deaf history pull deaf baby equal communication access same as hearing baby equal communication access by let hearing parents know more about Bi-Bi .
You are such right about Bi-Bi should happening spread toward deaf/hearing world prevention deaf ASL becomes fade away/exist. Preservation(care)straight information about vision language of ASL.
The commenters are still good point and still need to know more about how to get acts rights of Deaf ED and Deaf Programs and Early Childhood Program processing


deafmichele said...

Hi Barb,

I know you like using quotes but this one I could not resist in not sharing it with all of you.

here it is:

"Well behaved women seldom make history.

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich"

We could substitute Deaf People in this quote. It is a perfect quote!

Deaf Socrate'sTrail said...

Surprised our tazpayers are not equal instead of being exploited! Why I say that? I have shown strong evidence that Education Dept does not recognize ASL as our legimate language! Look at this web:, please read this one might displease you! I try to say that NO ASL has been recognized by that EDUCATION DEPT! Then what are you doing about that? It is very serious consideration of what number of comments said all is theory not realistic and fact!!!

DE said...


No wonder you are the leading candidate for VLOGGER OF THE YEAR, like Joey says!! In my travels across the U.S. giving Deafhood workshops, DIVERSE people come up to me and say how much they like YOU and your calm, reasoned research!!!! We need you, Barb!!!!!!


LaRonda said...

Passionate! Poignant! Perfect!

~ LaRonda

Ella said...

super wonderful research and discourse and responses to comments! You ARE INSPIRING!

Karen Mayes said...

Barb, the TOD did not say much about it, but I interpret that if mainstreaming an ASL child at a young age, it would be more work than mainstreaming an older ASL child who grew up in the bilingual environment... meaning don't mainstream young deaf children until they already mastered both ASL and English skills, preferably in middle or high school years. ISD has a honor program in which the students attend a nearby university for a course or two prior to the graduation.

Nope, my son is not a typical deaf child... since his first language is English due to having been born hearing.

I have met a few hearing parents (two hearing parents whose children attended ISD) who are members and they were fine with ASL and they told me that many members did sign and that their children signed. I will be dropping off my son at the Hear Indiana's sponsored camp in two weeks so I will have a chance to meet more parents there.

Jessica said...

Karen, your interpretation of what the TOD said is much different than what you said in the first place. There is a big difference between a child whose first language is ASL requiring more work to be mainstreamed and a young child with no foundation in ASL as opposed to a older child with some foundation in ASL.

If your interpretation is what the TOD meant, then it can say a lot about what ASL can do for the child's language development. Having ASL first before being mainstreamed will not be as much work, right? So if that is true, then it would be easier to work with a child who had a foundation in ASL then.

Want to be sure I understand right.

Karen Mayes said...

I did not say that. I reread my comments and I did not mention how young the deaf children should be mainstreamed. In the last comment, I pointed out that the TOD did not say much and that I interpreted that younger children whose first language is ASL, without having gone through the education of bi bi would not fare well in mainstreaming (more work for TODs so to speak... TODs do not always work at the same school everyday... my son's TOD comes to his school once a week.) If deaf children already mastered BOTH ASL and English, they'd have better chances of succeeding at mainstreaming. I did consider mainstreaming my daughter whose first language was ASL but decided against it when I realized that she had not really learned English yet.

That is why I am for bilingual education. That is why I suggested not to mainstream younger deaf children who have not learned English yet... unless the mainstream schools have programs that advocate Bi Bi.

ASL Risen said...

Wow, Barb!!!!

You brought up fabulous point! I feel that agBAD do not have good mental health program ! Seems liek agBAD do not care any problems with the parents of Deaf children who may so EMBARRASSED if their Deaf kids failed English reading and writing skills!

Keep on vloggings! Vlogging hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

your clarifications/comments regarding agb's unbaised options for deaf children was RIGHT on the point!! you totally nailed it!!

dont stop what you are doing, keep finding impt facts and present them well in public (hopefully somehwere in hearievlogland) ;o)


Jessica said...


Ok, thanks for helping me understand what you mean better.

Interesting observation from the TOD though. Makes me wonder more about that.

Anonymous said...

WOOO Waving HANDS! You have my 100 percent support. Amy and you should do a vlog together as dyamic duo in this movement!

Love ya!

Julie Rems-Smario

Karen Mayes said...

Jessica... I believe another reason is that the TOD used to work at ISD several years ago. So she is more familiar with Bi Bi (like Barb said, ISD is a "breeding" ground for Bi Bi which explains the familiarity of the hearing parents of deaf children with Bi Bi philosophy.

MB said...

I completely respect the opinions expressed here. However, I feel I should defend AG Bell just a tiny bit.

Our 7 month old was born with a 60db bilateral sensorineural loss. In the past 7 months we have been presented with many different options including signing. Our early intervention people have been great, helping us learn sign as well as working with us with hearing aids.

As a parent I joined AG Bell because of their work with the auditory-oral approach. If we were using primarily sign, I would join another organization. I feel like associations exist to advocate for their members, and from what I can see, their members are primarily those using the auditory-oral approach.

That being said, I have met many of the AG Bell staff and they have been very friendly and supportive of all of our efforts with our daughter. Not one person has ever discouraged us from signing.

Again, I understand and respect your point of view. Just remember that there are very hard working people behind this organization who are doing what their members pay them to do. If you want the association to change, become a paid member ($60/year I think) and they will be much more likely to listen.

Hoeyhemp said...

I gotta say this HEY Barb "YOU ARE THE LEADER! you rock ! We are becoming your followers and are with you 100% maybe one day you ll become president of united states of america, for sure there ll be a big change better for the deaf community Keep it up we all are lookin up to you. HoeyHemp

Divided said...

Barb: You rock!!! Your vlog has been viewed 186,721 times. Keep vlogging and keep it up. You need to write to Oprah and see if you can get on her show. I'll bet she might be interested and get AGBell on it too. This would make a very interesting show. Also, write articles for magazines like Parents, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Readers Digest, etc. to publish DBC and why you're protesting AGB.

Anonymous said...

Please check this out to see if Hillary Clinton is the membership of Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf. I was told that she is..I want you to check this out, please.

Spiritsez said...

Hello again!

DBC and you, Barb are on a roll! Just let me know what to do and if a media or mini-education/promo packet can be prepared for me to bring to my legislator, I will do that for the ASL and Deaf babies getting language in very early in life. We so much technology available for reinforcing language and it is so possible for the bi-bi intergration to happen. Plus the 'net, DVDs, movie cams can be an excellent resources as well as regular face-to-face contact by the expert who can equally teach ASL to babies who are both Deaf and hearing.

Let's focus on next steps and start disseminating/sharing info/research/experiences that ASL works and getting the power stakeholders on our side or even to balance the axis as you poignantly pointed out in your v/blog and we are not out there to destroy learning even if it comes orally/aurally. What did you think of MB's suggestion to have DBC join AGBell?

From Massachusetts, I can commit towards making a committment about my expressing my beliefs towards ASL and educate Senator Kennedy and revelant political leaders about the bi-bi approach, I will do so and I need your help. I'm not in ASL academia nor deaf education but I am an advocate and have been through the system 'orally!' No pun intended!

Now, I am so proud that ASL is the 3rd or 4th most widely used language in this country! ASL changed my life for the better! And I'm not getting younger!


Till soon,


Firekeeper said...

I'm trying to locate an email address in order to write Barb DiGi directly. I have ideas and suggestions for DBC and it's struggle with AG Bell.

Firekeeper said...

On a second thought I think I should leave my email address for Barb DiGi. It's Regards