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

Quotes:

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.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Dr. Andrew Foster, "Father of the Deaf" in Africa (DH #7)

Barb DiGi covers the story about how Dr. Andrew Foster, a dynamic leader who was an African-American, made an invaluable contribution for the deaf community in Africa. Quicktime google video

Length: 11:42

Sources:

Victor Vodounou, Assistant Profressor at Stephen F. Austin State University, Texas who presented at Gallaudet Deaf History Conference 2007

David Evans's blog

CMD website

AARegistry website

* Black and Deaf in America by Ernest Hairston and Linwood Smith

* Carroll, Cathryn and Mather, Susan M. Movers and Shakers: Deaf People Who Changed the World. California: Dawn Sign Press, 1997.

* Lang, Harry G. and Bonnie Meath-Lang. Deaf Persons in the Arts and Sciences. Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1995.

* Moore, Matthew S. and Robert F. Panara. Great Deaf Americans. New York: DeafLife Press, 1996.

* Van Cleve, John V. Gallaudet Encyclopedia. New York: McGraw Hill Book Co., Inc, 1987.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Legacy of Leadership and Joey Baer's "Let's look at the Bigger Picture" (DH #6)

How was Joey Baer's recent vLog on "Let's Look at the Bigger Picture" related to "The Legacy of Leadership"? There were several applications from Edward Miner Gallaudet's leadership to what Joey Baer had just described in his vLog. The information was derived from David de Lorenzo who researched and presented in the Gallaudet Deaf History 2007 Conference. vLog by Barb DiGi. About 10 minutes long. quicktime YouTube

David Evans's blog

Monday, May 21, 2007

Deaf Less Likely to Binge?

I find it interesting what I have discovered today about the causes in binging especially among women in Women's World magazine. Surprisingly, one of the causes has to do with hearing. So does that mean deaf people are less likely to binge than hearing people? Why, of course, there are factors causing one to binge but this type of trigger is ruled out for deaf people. Nice to be deaf, heh?

Here is the excerpt from Woman's World, May 29, 2007, pg. 15

Lower the Volume..

of your phone, computer, TV and car radio. Women in noisy settings are twice as likely to binge on junk food - and the effect can last for hours or even days after leaving the ear-jangling environment, a recent study reveals.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

WHAT KIND of Deaf Ed Teacher Prep Program is THAT?

Barb DiGi gets so upset and angry about this so-called deaf education program in University of Southern Mississippi (USM) that she identifies as one of the problematic teacher preparatory programs. The department in USM is called Hearing and Speech Science and the course syllabi include a very few ASL courses (none related to deaf culture and bilingual instruction) but plenty of clinically-related courses in deaf education. This program reflects audism! Scary? There's more! quicktime YouTube

Barb will demonstrate a video clip from USM as a way to recruit prospective teachers of the deaf and courses offered in the course syllabi/outline. That video did not even include captions! Can't you believe this? In the field of deaf education, it is leaving prospective deaf applicants out which means it calls for discrimination. I am so appalled seeing this practice of audism happening today in deaf ed programs! What's more, this program only offers 3 ASL courses and 47 courses relating to aural and oral training! What does that tell you about this program?

There is a newspaper article talking about this star student, Zachary Breland, who has been claimed by a hearing chair of Department of Speech and Hearing Science that he mastered ASL naturally. In rare occassions, it can be true that only a FEW hearing individuals are able to master ASL quickly because they have this ability to hold visual memory. However, the real issue here is that how can a chair from the Department of Speech and Hearing make this claim when ASL is not even his native and/or natural language? What's more, there is no evidence about having the deaf professionals teaching these courses so it is all operated by hearing people.

What bothers me so much is about Breland's statement found in the newspaper article below.

He said “After that, revolutionize the field of deaf education,” Breland added.

“Maybe later on I will mix the two fields and work with new technological devices for the deaf,” Breland said. “You never know. ...”

I feel like he carries this paternalistic view that he can "revolutionize the field of deaf education" while he barely has the training and background in bilingual education and deaf culture as evident by the lack of such courses listed in the course syllabi. This is in my opinion like he is acting an example of Charles Darwinism theory that he has to take care of the problems for little people by carrying an egocentric view like he has the control and the power!

Southern Miss Student Finds His Niche in Deaf Education (with photo)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Contact Jeannie Peng - 601.266.5568

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Twenty-two-year-old Zachary Breland of Petal enrolled at Southern Miss with dreams of earning a radio, television and film degree. Instead, his exceptional talents gave his goals a 180-degree turn toward deaf education.

“My entire life has changed,” Breland said. “Not only did I change my minor--from marketing to deaf education--so that I could learn more about deafness, but I changed my life and career goals.”

Breland, a graduating senior, found something many university students hope to find as they work toward their degrees – their true talents.

His first encounter with university-level sign language occurred when he decided to take a class for fun in substitution for a verbal foreign language. He signed up in spring 2005 for American Sign Language 1 under the direction of Dr. Gerald Buisson, assistant professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences in the College of Health.

Buisson said he quickly noticed something different about his new student and encouraged Breland to pursue his newfound talent even more. Breland decided to get his minor in deaf education.

“He’s got, somehow, the visual memory to hold the information in his long-term memory,” Buisson said. “He’s got it – he understands.”

The Mississippi Quality Assurance Screening test confirmed just that when Breland scored a two. It is not uncommon for first-time test takers to receive between a zero and one, Buisson said. The highest score is a three.

“There are a lot of people who did not pass the Quality Assurance Evaluation, or did not score very high, yet Zach did,” Buisson said.

Breland said the test was an “intense experience.”

“I had only finished American Sign Language 3 four months before, and it seemed completely crazy that I was now preparing to take the state test to get my interpreter license,” Breland said. “However, everything worked out well.”

Brett Kemker, Department of Speech and Hearing chair, said Breland has found his talent.

“He’s a natural,” Kemker said. “He’s just found his niche. We’re celebrating him.”

Buisson said Breland can go on to accomplish a number of things with his ASL interpreting ability. He is already the president of A Show of Hands sign language club at Southern Miss and a member of the Mississippi Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. But he’s not stopping there.

He recently accepted an interpreter position at Moselle Elementary School, and eventually, this star student wants to attend Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., a university for the deaf or hard of hearing, to obtain a master’s degree and then perhaps a doctoral degree.

“After that, revolutionize the field of deaf education,” Breland added.

And what about that radio, television and film degree? Breland said he’ll find someway to put it to good use.

“Maybe later on I will mix the two fields and work with new technological devices for the deaf,” Breland said. “You never know. ...”

Southern Mississippi deaf education program was founded by Dr. Etoile DuBard in 1966 and is accredited at state and national levels.

Links to deaf ed program

Links to Mission statement

Links to video clip

Feel free to send a letter of your opinions about deaf education program to Dr. Henry Teller (Henry.Teller@usm.edu). Thank you!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Sweet Smell of Victory for ASL!

The Rush-Henrietta School District just made a proposal to phase out ASL class as a foreign language credit that the 8th graders had have been earning a credit that is equivalent to high school level. The fight was presented by the deaf community members to confront the board in a town meeting where many spoke out to preserve ASL in the middle school. See how this model has set up an example of unity to make the outcome desirable by the deaf community. quicktime YouTube

From the Democrat and Chronicle website:

Rush-Henrietta may reduce signing classes today

Some parents oppose middle school changes

Marketta Gregory

Staff writer

(April 24, 2007) — HENRIETTA — A proposal to phase out American Sign Language classes at the middle school level has upset several deaf residents and parents of Rush-Henrietta students.

If the proposal is approved by the school board tonight, ASL would still be taught at the high school level, though, and more languages could eventually be added.

Lisa Sanford, director of languages other than English, said the district wants to focus on preparing its students for a worldwide community, and ASL — unlike other languages — is used primarily in the United States. Also, languages like Spanish and French have students reading and writing and practicing grammar while ASL doesn't follow the grammatical structures of English.

"We're trying to look at languages other than English that have the most global approach without losing our community focus," Sanford said, referring to the large deaf population in the area.

Although exact numbers aren't known, Rochester is home to one of the largest concentrations of deaf and hard-of-hearing people in the country, primarily because of the Rochester School for the Deaf and Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

Still, only seven of the county's 19 school districts offer classes in ASL, according the Monroe County School Boards Association.

Three of those — Rush-Henrietta, Greece and some Rochester schools — teach it to middle school students.

"Honestly, I think they should try to do it in elementary," said Joanne Enright of Henrietta, who has two daughters at Sherman Elementary School. One of her daughters has already picked up ASL from a classmate who is deaf, and her younger daughter is learning, too, because she sometimes has classes with another student who is deaf.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to embrace a community and bring it into our own, while at the same time, being an example to the rest of the world of acceptance and tolerance," she wrote in a letter to the school board.

Even though Patti Canne's four children all use ASL at home with her, they enrolled in ASL classes at Rush-Henrietta.

"They want to improve their signs and learn more about deaf history, culture and literacy," Canne, who is deaf, wrote in an e-mail. "My children (who are all able to hear) also have a possibility of having deaf children in the future, too, and I believe they want to have the best skills to communicate with them."

By the numbers

In Henrietta — An estimate of seventh- and eighth-grade students enrolled in foreign languages:

Spanish, 496.

French, 179.

American Sign Language, 167.

German, 76.

In Greece — Foreign languages start in eighth grade and not all languages* are offered at all locations. The numbers for the eighth grade:

Spanish, 584.

Italian, 267.

American Sign Language, 144.

French, 43*.

German, 38*.

A link on unanimous outcome in Democrat and Chronicle

Monday, May 07, 2007

Douglas Craig, the most beloved worker of Kendall Green: DH #5

Douglas Craig who was known as the most dedicated and loyal worker since he landed in Kendall Green as a young African-American deaf boy who became homeless after the Civil War. It was pretty interesting how he got to Kendall Green and seeing how much influence he made to the students of National Deaf Mute College. Marieta Joyner updated the research information about Douglas Craig at the Deaf History Conference at Gallaudet in 2007 that Barb DiGi was able to summarize it in her vLog. quicktime YouTube

There were previous research findings provided below that were written in 1970 by Oscar Guire and 1979 by A. Goodstein and M. Walworth that they created Gallaudet reading materials and reading exercise.

The quote and the picture was taken from Silent Worker. Please read David Evans' blog for reference.

Update: After discussing with David Evans on his blog, I decided to copy and paste so that you can see underlying historical findings.

Barb DiGi on 03 May 2007 at 10:05 am #

Hi David,

I am doing a vlog on this on next and there is a slightly different information about Douglas Craig. In your journal, it said that he was not deaf at that time when he was found by the Senator as he later contracted a disease causing deafness.

Now in my notes, it said that he could not speak or talk that prompted the Senator to transport him to Kendall Green which made sense for Douglas Craig to end up there. Theoritically, if he wasn’t deaf then why would he be brought there at the first place? Anywa,k I had to do some more research and came up with this link Douglas Craig by Goodstein and Walworth. So what do you think?

Also that he was about 7 or 8 years old when being discovered in the street and that after attending Kendall, he was about 14 years old when he started with his landscaping job.

David Evans on 03 May 2007 at 8:39 pm #

Hi Barb! It’s possible that he was already deaf when the Senator picked him up– I’m merely posting a summarization of what I typed at the time of each presentation, so it’s possible I made an error. I do remember Joyner saying that he became ill at some point– whether this caused his deafness or not, I may be wrong about that.

The link is interesting, but given that that book was published some time ago, and Joyner is currently conducting her dissertation research on Craig (which is why she presented her paper at the conference), I’d have to say that it’s very possible she’s turned up new or additional information.

As for Craig’s age, it’s my understanding that no one, including himself, knew exactly how old he was. I can’t remember the date now, but I recall Joyner saying that he chose a date and celebrated his birthday on that day, regardless of when his actual birthdate might have been.

Barb DiGi on 08 May 2007 at 2:51 pm #

Now do you have any information that Senator Harrison Craig was friends with Thomas H. Gallaudet or Edward M. Gallaudet?

How did the senator know about Kendall Green and based on which friendship did he form?

My notes said Thomas H. Gallaudet but someone challenged me in my blog that it was Edward. I thought he may be right because of the timeline that Thomas died before 1851 but it may be possible that the senator befriended him before Edward’s time. Can you help me verify? Thanks!

David Evans on 10 May 2007 at 3:00 am #

Barb, no I don’t. But in trying to answer your question, I came up with both an answer and a new question.

As to your original query, it was most likely EMG that he was friends with. D.C. was a rather small city back then, and the number of the elite was smaller than it is now. Additionally, EMG spent a fair amount of time up on Capitol Hill ensuring that funding would continue or increase, if possible. Also, EMG was members of exclusive clubs, such as the Cosmos Club, which gave him access to the wheelers and dealers in political and social circles.

However, I tried finding a Senator Harrison Craig, both online and off-line. I couldn’t find a U.S. Senator by that name; I *did* find an Andrew Harrison Cragin, who was Senator from New Hampshire at the right time period to have found Douglas Craig. I’m now wondering what the original source is for the information on who found Douglas Craig, and if maybe the information has been misinterpreted over the years…?

Saturday, May 05, 2007

My Deaf Mom, the Cop and the Law

I would like to share the story that I had learned last night about the incident between my Deaf Mom's confrontation with a cop who did not even make any effort to communicate through writing! She requested for an interpreter but was denied. So I decided to investigate the rights of a deaf individual according to the law from NAD. quicktime YouTube

Also I found a cop forum page about their discussion on deaf drivers. Some questioned if deaf drivers should drive and even labeled Ridor as the another "I hate the cop guy." Take a look at this link to see how some of the police officers perceive deaf drivers. Some of them even questioned if we could drive. See the quote written from a cop: "The other day I made a stop and found both the driver and passenger to be deaf. This surprised me, as I didn't think a deaf person could get a driver's license. But the driver presented a driver's license and it came back as valid." Whoa! They must be born yesterday! Although it was posted in 2001, still recent post showed some ignorancy among the cops.

According to the ADA law:

11. Q: If the person uses sign language, what kinds of communication will require an interpreter?

A: The length, importance, or complexity of the communication will help determine whether an interpreter is necessary for effective communication. In a simple encounter, such as checking a driver's license or giving street directions, a notepad and pencil normally will be sufficient.

During interrogations and arrests, a sign language interpreter will often be necessary to effectively communicate with an individual who uses sign language.

If the legality of a conversation will be questioned in court, such as where Miranda warnings are issued, a sign language interpreter may be necessary. Police officers should be careful about miscommunication in the absence of a qualified interpreter -- a nod of the head may be an attempt to appear cooperative in the midst of misunderstanding, rather than consentor a confession of wrongdoing.

In general, if an individual who does not have a hearing disability would be subject to police action without interrogation, then an interpreter will not be required, unless one is necessary to explain the action being taken.

Example: An officer clocks a car on the highway driving 15 miles above the speed limit. The driver, who is deaf, is pulled over and issued a noncriminal citation. The individual is able to understand the reasons for the citation, because the officer exchanges written notes with the individual and points to information on the citation. In this case, a sign language interpreter is not needed.

So my Mom was not able to fully understand the reasons for the citation since no effort was made to write notes and that the ticket was in fine print that she could not even read to the point that she needed an interpreter but was denied.

Interesting to note that in this website, there is a statistic of bilingual police officers as we have 269 Spanish interpreters, 64 Vietnamese interpreters in all of these states, in California, Nevada and Ohio.

According to my Mom's friend who is a cop and working on becoming an interpreter, she said that the Nevada State Law made the law effective on May 1st, 2007 to provide interpreters when giving a ticket.

From this website , it said that in Seattle, Washington, it's required by law to provide an interpreter when requested.

" Then, inform the police officer how you want to communicate. Ask for an interpreter (the law requires that an interpreter be provided when requested). If you prefer, use paper and pencil, face to face communication, lipreading or whatever else you are most comfortable with."

My Mom just reported to the internal affairs and she got good support especially from a cop who could sign. So see what happens!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Free ASL literacy program for families NOW!

Barb DiGi explains how a Miami-Dade county in Florida funds a Shared Reading Project for 22 families where 461 students are enrolled in mainstreaming programs for the deaf and hard of hearing. We should be checking out our local county to see if this such program is implemented in mainstreaming schools serving deaf and hard of hearing students. If not, then start taking some action. See below for more information. quicktime YouTube

Write a letter to the county board to sponsor such programs to all Deaf and Hard of Hearing children who are in the mainstreaming program. Here is a sample letter but please feel free to add or revise. Thanks!

To whom it may concern,

As a concerned deaf citizen, I would like to see a Shared Reading Project (SRP) implemented in all mainstreaming schools in our county that will help serve families with deaf or hard of hearing students which will not only reduce the barriers in communication but increase literacy. Please take a look at the SRP website: http://clerccenter.gallaudet.edu/Literacy/srp/index.html. The SRP website mentions about grant writing and budget information. Attached is a newspaper article talking about SRP in Miami-Dade county that it offers for free to parents.

Today, there are many deaf and hard of hearing students mainstreaming in the school system. I am inquiring about the available service that meets their needs especially when parents need the support to receive ASL instruction in the classroom and SRP for free. It is strongly recommended for a fluent ASL signer to coordinate all schools in the county who can provide this program.

Please follow up to see about having the SRP program that will facilitiate communication between parents and their deaf or hard of hearing child.

I look forward to hear from you,

(your name)

Newspaper article

Posted on Mon, Apr. 30, 2007

Free program heals the hearing barrier

BY LAURA MORALES

llmorales@MiamiHerald.com

Even without an obvious communication barrier, parents and children can sometimes feel as if they are speaking different languages.

Throw in a physiological disability and a transcontinental move and you've got the complex obstacle course that makes communication difficult for the Vera family of El Portal.

Until recently, parents Jorge Vera and Silvia Patino spoke only Spanish. Three of their children speak English and varying levels of Spanish.

But none of this equipped them to communicate well with Jorge Jr., 12, who was almost completely deaf at birth, and who began studying American Sign Language in school shortly after their family's arrival from Uruguay.

That is, until one of Jorge Jr.'s teachers introduced the Veras to the Shared Reading Project, a free but financially struggling program funded by Miami-Dade County Public Schools and managed by Miami's Deaf Services Bureau.

The program helps hearing families of hearing-impaired children learn basic sign language by signing popular children's books. Tutors visit families for weekly two-hour sessions, teaching relatives the signs necessary for books such as The Horrible Big Black Bug and The Sombrero of Luis Lucero.

While in Uruguay, Jorge and his parents used a sign language unique to the country. But the younger Jorge, who can understand written English and a bit of Spanish, doesn't remember much of it.

So for years, they struggled with the simplest of messages -- what time Jorge Jr. had to return home from playing -- and with complicated life lessons. Everything had to go through their 14 year-old daughter Jessica -- at the time the only family member fluent in English, Spanish and American Sign Language.

`SO INNOCENT'

''Sometimes he is so innocent,'' Patino said of her son. She recalled a time when a boy asked Jorge to ''lend'' him his bicycle, then disappeared with it.

''We had to go to the kid's house to get his bike back,'' said Patino.

But with the lessons, they have been able to communicate on an entirely different level. ''Now I can talk to him about why this one or that one is not a real friend,'' she said.

They can ask each other questions, and get answers. When a group of boys came knocking recently, Jorge Jr. ran into a room, emerging with some video games. ''Where are you going?'' Jorge Sr. asked with his fingers.

''To show my friends these video games,'' the boy waggled back, nodding when his father signed ''come back soon.'' Jorge Jr. was back a few minutes later, upset. ''They're all broken!'' he signed, tapping the games against his head.

The school district and Deaf Services Bureau introduced Miami-Dade to the program, founded at Washington, D.C.'s Gallaudet University, last year.

Some 92 percent of deaf children nationally are born into all-hearing families and most of these children's parents do not know American Sign Language, said University of Florida ASL teacher Michael Tuccelli.

In Miami-Dade schools, 461 students are enrolled in programs for the deaf or hearing impaired, said Deborah Finley, Exceptional Student Education supervisor for the school district. The Shared Reading Project, though, only has funding -- $25,000 this year -- to reach 22 families.

Finley said that in families that haven't learned sign language, it's hard for the children to convey their wants and needs to their parents.

''It causes communication gaps, gaps that can be very negative,'' she said.

For example, William Nguyen, 6, used to get angry when his parents couldn't understand what he tried to say through gestures and noises. Though he is only 50 percent deaf, the Gulfstream Elementary student cannot speak, his mom Sopa Nguyen said.

PROGRAM IN PRACTICE

''He would isolate himself,'' Nguyen, of South Miami-Dade, added. ``But the tutoring has helped him a lot. He is a happier child.''

JohnPaul Jebian, a Shared Reading tutor who teaches sign language to deaf and hearing students at G. Holmes Braddock Senior High and Miami Dade College, said that, at first, the families are nervous. ``But by the second visit they get more comfortable, and then they get excited about it.''

Families can keep their lessons fresh between sessions by doing ''homework,'' or signing the stories along with a videotaped narrator.

Through her family's experience, Jessica Vera has developed a taste for helping people improve their communication -- and lives.

''I like doing sign language,'' she said in Spanish. ``I'm going to study be a Spanish-English-American Sign Language interpreter when I go to college.''

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

My grandpop's last words (in a response to Ron Fenicle's vLog)

Ron Fenicle's vLog on Grandma's Last Words inspired mei to share my hearing grandpop who was also told that using sign language was a taboo and he expressed his last words to my surprise. Although Ron's mother and my mother grew up in the same area, this was a common advice for parents not to use sign language even across the nation.

YouTube Later on, guilt and shame were burdened upon themselves but forgiven under the circumstances that they were told by the so-called experts not to use signs. Today, parents of deaf children were provided the options but those who chose to use oral method exclusively may not realize the negative impact on the social and emotional growth to their deaf child(ren). The more stories we share, the more impact we can make to help realize the importance of using ASL when raising deaf children.