Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Is Making "Them" Look BAD a GOOD thing?


YouTube viewers, click here

Finally, I am ready to share my experiences on how I made "them" look bad about the teacher preparatory program in this Part II series from Part I titled Let's Take a Look at the Backbone of Deaf Education: in a response to David Eberwein. In my previous vLog, I criticized the course syllabi offered in a deaf education program at University of Southern Mississippi (USM). It later led me to receive angry, explosive e-mail messages from USM students and staff saying that what I just exposed was not what it looked like to them. With this type of approach, you must have your own armor and shield ready to deal with such controversial issues. What I did was to provoke them, question them, oh yes attack them, anger them, put them in denial and you name it. I received several e-mails that I would like to share with you and how I responded to it. The bottom line with this approach is that it surely got their attention.

I thought it would be fair to share you their side of the story however most of them yet acknowledge the need to change in their curriculum. They defended their program saying that it was enriched with cultural experience in the deaf community outside the program. While I am pleased that they are immersed in the ASL environment but my focus is the curriculum per se.

When we study history, you can find plenty of events where one makes them look bad resulting to a positive outcome. What would our quality of life be like if we never had the muckrakers who dug out the dirty laundry to expose the robber barons and political bosses in deception? This is why I call my blog Deaf Progressivism to just simply usher the rightful path to encourage everyone to choose wisely that will affect deaf posterity.

The upsides to making them look bad: My previous vlog drew some respondents via email asking me what deaf education program would I recommend since my messages influenced them to think twice about enrolling such programs like USM that I gave my thumbs down because of the lack of deaf studies related courses offered in the program. Although I already know a few programs that offer bilingual/bicultural courses in the course syllabi but I don't want to be the one to provide a list so I would like to ask you for your recommendations based on what you know of other program.

So please allow me compare USM curriculum to McDaniel College and University of California in San Diego (UCSD) in deaf education. You can see how a big difference it is between USM and these two graduate programs. For example, not even one bilingual course or deaf history related course is offered at USM while McDaniel and UCSD provide plenty of deaf education core related courses. This time you be the judge because they thought that I am the only one thinking this way.

Here is a sample of McDaniel College and UCSD course syllabi so that you people of USM can see what a big difference on what it offers in a deaf education program. If you check out McDaniel and UCSD curricula, I am rather impressed that it focuses more on pedagogy core rather than clinical or pathology core. See it for yourself:

McDaniel Deaf Education program course syllabi:

CORE (4 courses)

DED:511 Foundations in Deaf Education

DED:517 Reading for Deaf Children

DED:518 Assessment and Instruction of Deaf Students with Special Needs

DED:541 First and Second Language Learning

Area of Concentration (7 courses)

DED:527 ESL Instruction in Content Areas

DED:534 Issues and Trends in Audiology and Spoken English Development

DED:535 Literacy Instruction for Deaf Students

DED:582 Bilingual-Bicultural Approaches to Teaching Deaf Students

DED:589 Seminar in Deaf Education

DED:595 Practicum Experience

Here is a sample from UCSD that it includes a selection of bilingual courses

A typical program of study includes:



COM/HIP 124: Voice: Deaf People in America

EDS 142A: ASL-English Bilingual Education Practices

EDS 161A: Innovative Instructional Practices

EDS 201: Intro to Resources for Teaching and Learning

EDS 203: Technology, Teaching and Learning

EDS 250: Equitable Educational Research and Practice


EDS 142B: ASL-English Bilingual Ed. Practices

EDS 161B: Innovative Instructional Practices

EDS 169A: Student Teaching Practicum

EDS 190: Research Practicum

EDS 205A: Reflective Teaching Practice


EDS 142C: ASL-English Bilingual Ed. Practices

EDS 161C: Innovative Instructional Practices

EDS 169B: Student Teaching Practicum

EDS 182: Inclusive Educational Practices

EDS 205B: Reflective Teaching Practices



EDS 151: Teaching and the English Language Learner

EDS 240A: Research in ASL-English Bilingual Education

EDS 241: Advanced Topics in Deaf Education


EDS 233A: Topics in Education Research and Design (recommended)

EDS 240B: Research in ASL-English Bilingual Education

EDS 290: Research Practicum


EDS 149: Deaf Education Specialist Student Teaching

EDS 240C: Research in ASL-English Bilingual Education


EDS 295: MA Thesis

Based on what I have seen the course syllabi listed in USM website, there are no such courses that focus mainly on literacy instruction, bilingual-bicultural approaches to teaching deaf students, instruction in content areas, first and second language learning offered. My sister who is also a deaf educator lives in the South even told me she knows a hearing friend who went there and found to loathe the program because they focused too much on oral-aural type of courses.

The downsides to making them look bad: Made some respondents upset and viewed me as deafism. "Making them look bad also means making me look bad" syndrome is what I got myself tangled into but weaved my way out of the web.

These are the comments copied from YouTube under my vlog:

seoshrin (3 weeks ago)

This is an example of deafism - criticizing young people who have a penchant for doing good....instead of criticizing, why not offer suggestions for improving the interactions between the deaf and hearing. Building cocoons rather than reaching out is not beneficial.

avbria (3 weeks ago)

I have already made suggestions if you didn't understand what I said. I am criticizing the system as it seriously needs improvement! A whole bunch of clinical related courses are so uncalled for in deaf education. It has to go! It is not about interaction between hearing and deaf people though.

avbria (3 weeks ago)

By the way..this system practices audism and it is considered an oppression for the deaf. Explain me how a video that is audio based not made accessible for prospective deaf teachers? Explain me how all of these courses are aligned to aural-oral training rather than learning about deaf studies? You calling my example deafism? You oughta be ashamed of yourself.

What that writer meant is that I criticized Zachary Breland. Remember when I called Zachary, a hearing man who just graduated from USM, arrogant because he wanted to revolutionize deaf education when he announced it to the world? That phrase took me to feel like a Darwinism effect. What I later found out that he meant to improve the teacher preparatory deaf education program knowing that it needed more deaf centered curricula. Actually, I was glad to understand more about his intentions so I offered my apology through his close friend who sent me an email (below).


Hello. I am a student at The University of Southern Mississippi and I just wanted to e-mail you to better understand your video blog and maybe try to explain a little more about USM. I have seen the many comments left on your blog and I hope never to come across as some of those do.

I am a deaf education minor at USM and although I am just a minor I feel that the program at USM has inspired me to go on someday and, after learning much more, teach at a school for the deaf. I know I have many more things to learn and I understand why looking at the class you have seen would upset you, but not all of the classes you mentioned are deaf education classes. Some of those are audiology, speech path, etc. I know that many of the classes that deaf education majors have to take do focus on oral education and many of the students at USM dislike that there is so much focus on oral deaf education.

Realizing that there are many oral class, we do still have 3 great ASL classes. While I completely understand that that is not enough we are all encouraged to participate outside of class and to get involved with deaf culture. I personally have learned more from involvement outside of class than in class. I have met many deaf people who continue to teach me about deafness and deaf culture. I know that from first glance USM many not seem like it has a very good program, but please know that they are working on the program and that many of the students who come out of the program do have more experience with ASL then just three classes.

Also, just a quick comment on Zach Breland. He is one of my good friends and I know he never intended to sound so big headed and so "pity-pity." Please believe me when I say he is on your side. He agrees that program has flaws and what he meant by "revolutionize deaf education" is that he wants to change programs like USM's so that students who come out of those programs are prepared and know more ASL. If Zach could set up a program there would be WAY more ASL. He is pro ASL all the way. He was never trying to offend anyone and he didn't mean it the way it came across. I know you don't have to believe me and I know that everyone has his or her own opinion. I just wanted to let you know in a more civilized way and between just you and me what USM's program is really about.

I apologize for those who made USM look bad through their comments on your blog. They were just upset, I'm sure. And thank you for your time in reading this. I just felt the need to e-mail you.

Thank you,


Dear B,

I appreciate your constructive approach to respond to me in a way that I am able to listen to your perspective. You seem like a reasonable person on how you provide your views in an objective way and that makes me more willing to respond to you.

I understand that my message may upset some people but it is not my intention to attack anyone but the system. I have been in the profession for many years and please understand that it is getting an old school for me to see how bigot attitudes especially by people who are more aligned to oralism taking control to make decision for deaf children that their language has been taken away. One of the causes to engage in this attitude starts with the teacher preparatory programs that weigh heavily on teaching clinical related courses

When reading the article about Zachary, it had drawn me to learn more about USM. While I do understand that the course syllabi is not designed for TODs but for audiologist, speech pathologists, etc., I recognize that there are a very few deafness related courses offered other than ASL but to me it is not good enough. I am glad that you agree with that.

I have nothing against Zachary. I was just turned off when reading the statement making it sounding like he knows it all. I realize that it was not his intention to give out this kind of message but it was how I interpreted it and there were other commenters who had agreed. You see, we have struggled and struggled in the profession to make it right, to help deaf children not only to gain strong literacy but self-esteem and leadership skills that they are able to advocate for themselves. I believe that we all have this very same goal for deaf children but it is always a matter of how to do it and who will do it. If you can take a moment to look at the vlog post relating to deaf education found at www.joeybaer.com, you will see what I mean.

I am just getting so tired of this same old story about deaf education in general. USM is just an example if you happen to notice that there are other programs not fulfilling the in-depth study especially not providing bilingual instructional courses. Most new teachers don't know any squat how to bridge English using ASL. I just get so frustrated seeing teachers coming out of the program knowing so much about oral/aural methods but little about ASL.

Perhaps you and other USM students had been making recommendations on how to improve the program like I did with my graduate program when studying at University of Rochester and NTID more than a decade ago. I understand with relief that USM provides students opportunities to interact with the deaf community and it is so important indeed. However, it is just that formal academic deaf related courses are still necessary.

There are some simple things that can be changed in the website. First make the audio-based video accessible by adding captions. Are we not encouraging deaf prospective teachers enrolling the program? I am curious if there were any in the program. Second, provide several video clips showing the professors explaining the program in ASL. I have been vlogging and it amazes me that there are still many universities/colleges behind to show their program in brief ASL video clips.

I will share my thoughts in my next vlog but it would be nice if Zachary is able to respond to me. My apologies to him if I have offended him. I should not be making a judgment about a person based on reading an article but unfortunately that was how I perceived it. You may forward this email to him. If he doesn't respond, that is ok with me.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts,


At least some of them admitted it needed improvement and I certainly hope the administrators are listening that they are taking a second look to revise their programs to shift to pedagogy approach and making it more sensitive for prospective deaf teachers of the deaf to have access to communication when showing a video with no subtitles that is completely audio. Some said I have no idea what I am talking about since they claimed that they were involved in deaf community like ASL choir and a deaf social every semester, that I overlooked the several ASL courses that are offered for the summer and mini-session, including: Academic Signs and Finger Spelling. USM’s students are also very active in any deaf social event within a hundred-mile radius. They attended Sonic Sign Night, Deaf Picnics, etc, etc, etc…Sigh, but still they don't get it. This is not my point about what they do outside the classroom. I have yet seen a strong course syllabi reflecting deaf centered studies. They kept on saying they have additional ASL courses which is a great thing but remember, learning how to sign and how to use ASL to teach English are two completely separate courses.

So in conclusion, they viewed me as basher toward their program but I view it as pointing out the hidden truth. What I am asking you to please share your comments on what you think about USM program and what teacher preparatory college that offers an inclusive deaf centered educational program that you would strongly recommend to the prospective teachers. This will allow attracted prospective teachers to inquire and think more carefully about which program should they enroll as I got some of their e-mails asking me what programs to recommend when viewing my vLog on USM. Again, the power of vlogging and unity! Thanks!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Are Enrollment Differences for Gallaudet and NTID fair?


YouTube viewers, click here (3:54)

Based on the enrollment requirements between NTID and Gallaudet, it leaves us a question to evaluate whether or not it is appropriate. The ACT scores required are as the following:


AOS: 14-16

AAS: 14-19

AS: 18-21

Pre Baccalaureate Programs 18-21 High School Diploma required


Bachelor's Program: 18 or more

But accepted students lower than 18 to enrolll "remedial" program. High School Diploma not required; A Certificate of Diploma (a.k.a. IEP Diploma) accepted

FYI, I will be posting one more vLog on Deaf Education then I will be off for the summer. I promise myself not to discuss about deaf education or work related issues during the summer as I will talk about something else more fun!!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Never Underestimate the Power of Vlogging

I would like to share a letter from a deaf mother, Rachele, who used my vlog on No ASL Left Behind (NALB): Chapter One that was produced last winter talking about bilingual concept on how ASL plays a role in enhancing literacy. Little had I known that it would be used in a mediation hearing to convince the school district to keep her deaf son at a school for the deaf. I can't help but burst in tears (of joy) that it helped changed their minds about the value of ASL in deaf education. It has been an emotional moment for me. I am still eyeing on developing more chapters on NALB in the coming fall.

Thank you, Rachele, for granting your permission to publish your letter. I am so happy to learn that my vlog saved your son from transferring to a mainstreaming program that is against your will and his. Good luck to you all! (5:10) quicktime To view Youtube, click here

Here is the letter:

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hello Barb,

My name is Rachele Buckendahl I am deaf myself and I watched your video about NALB and realized I need this video to show my Mediation meeting today. I showed your video to the school district board and their attorney they learned something about this. Why? I have been struggle with them for about three month the district want to place my son back to his old mainstream school the district decided with their statement said my son don't fit deaf school. Because his hearing test show he have some hearing and can hear if using hearing aid and they felt MSD isn't properly placement for him because he missed a lot of speech. I told them my son sometime want to learn speech depending on his interest and his mood feel like to talk but he don't speak like hard of hearing he is profound deaf.

District also said want my son to be in hearing culture and ASL not important they feel ASL is wasting time learning that is not true! They said speech and English sign is not enough for my son and expect him in hearing class with interpreter full time. I told them no I prefer my son stay MSD because he have peers there and he learned so much there. MSD also provide speech so my son can learn both way ASL and learn speech too. I don't allow district remove his ASL! So when I showed them I wish you add the voice speaker with the video but interpreter watch your video and talk at the same time so they heard everything what you explained in the video.

District understand clear now they never knew and never understand why I disagree with them in past few month. Your video did helped my case today and I won the mediation my son will go back to MSD this fall I am very grateful to have your video to show proof!

And I have a question do you have cd copy to sent me one? I know I am not allowed to copy the video because it is copyright. I would like to have the chart you explained in the video because hard to read the chart also need your explain NALB in the video cd. Because I feel I need this in case in the future to help deaf parents who might struggle with their district and I willing to advocate them.


Hi Rachele,

I am inspired to learn that my video clip has made an impact in helping hearing individuals gain a better perspective on the benefits of ASL instruction to enhance English literacy and even speech in the school district team. I have to admit that when I read your e-mail, my tears came out rolling.

This fall I will focus more on developing bilingual theory models and applications. I have already made several clips on bilingual application videos to help people understand the concept. I definitely will consider adding voice over in a series of video clips on NALB. I am not even past Chapter 1 as this is only the beginning. For now you have my permission to share my vLogs as long as credit is given. I strongly believe in community sharing where we all can help each other to achieve common goals.

Now I would like to ask for your permission to publish your letter (it is up to you to use your full name or just first name or none at all) on my vlog to explain to the deafies that this is an example of impact of vlogging especially about deaf educational issues. This will encourage the others to consider about advocating ASL in deaf children's education. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions coming from hearing people toward deaf people and I feel that it is our job to eradicate these false perceptions and replace it to factual information based on activities and research.

Thank you for letting me know about your son. May he continue to thrive in MSD.

Best regards,


Equal Communication Access Now short skit by kids

This short skit done by my kids and their friend showing how communication breakdown occurs in a mainstreaming educational setting. Enjoy! (2:00) quicktime

YouTube viewers, click here

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Hearing Teacher of the Deaf told me that...

A hearing teacher just made an analysis on how her perception had changed. (1:25) quicktime youtube

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Parallel between Nationhood and Deafhood (revised)

Barb DiGi describes the comparisons between Nationhood (changed from Nationalism) and Deafhood. The term, deafhood, was coined by Dr. Paddy Ladd and promoted by the deaf trio, David Eberwein, Ella Mae Lentz and Genie Gertz at the NAD convention and elsewhere in the nation. (7:52) quicktime YouTube

Link to my chart on Deafhood and Nationhood

Link to Genie Gertz's video clip on Deafhood

Link to Joey Baer's vlog on Deafhood

Note: I signed Audio VISUAL Therapy..It was supposed to be Audio Verbal Therapy so pardon me!

Thanks to the commenters who made a recommendation that Nationhood may be a better word to replace Nationalism. So in that case, I have replaced nationalism to nationhood since the term is more neutral and it involves process.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Crab Theory Against George Veditz?

quicktime YouTube

Thomas O. Gray who wrote "Windy City Observations" in Silent Worker of 1926 stated that George Veditz intimated Mussolini with a wish to become dictator over all organization of the deaf. George Veditz wanted to consolidate of the two- Frat and Nad- bodies into one. However, not many find this agreeable to his proposal. Veditz was being criticized by Gray but was this an example of crab theory?

Gray felt that NAD should not merge with Frat because it would become an organization known to "preach calamity insurance." Veditz proposed that two organizations to jointly hold their conventions at the same city, at the same time. Now why do you suppose he suggested that? I could imagine due to difficulty of transportation and money, Veditz may thought it would be more effective to kill two birds with one stone. I find it interesting how Gray criticized Veditz and accused him as a dictator however he had every right to express his opinion that NAD should operate as a strict business of its own and that it should not be a part of selling insurance. So you be the judge if this was an example of crab theory on how Gray criticized Veditz back in 1920's.

Gallaudet FAQ link on Crab Theory

Thursday, June 07, 2007

It is a Big Deal About Julie Rems-Smario

View here with special effects to see what is the big deal about Julie Rems-Smario who is one of the eight women who founded DeafHope in January, 2003. I got to meet her 20 years ago since she happened to be a dear friend of my sister's during their CSUN years.

But in the recent year, I have gotten to know her more and developed into a great friendship. I have seen the amazing work she has dedicated and invested along with her team into building DeafHope into a stronger organization.

Tonight on June 7, 2007 is a very special night for Julie where she gets to receive a Humanitarian award that is recognized internationally during eWomenNetwork Foundation International Femtor Awards Gala. (Length: 5:38) quicktime


From the DeafHope website:

Women from the Deaf community came together because they saw the need for more domestic violence and sexual violence services for Deaf survivors in California. The goal was to provide direct services to any survivor that was not getting services, and to provide training and support to other areas of California establishing Deaf domestic violence services. The other founders were Kate Kovacs, Jane Whitney, Trina Abbott, Wenda Whalen, Amber Hodson, Cheryl Bella, and Julie Bella.

At DeafHope we are committed to providing the services that Deaf survivors and their children need to be safe.

The information below is from eWomen webpage:

What is a Femtor™?

The word Femtor™ is a registered trademark of eWomenNetwork, and it means to “help a woman succeed and thrive by investing one's knowledge, skills, time, resources and insights. Femtor™, or Femtoring, is the art and compassion of a woman helping another woman succeed and achieve her dreams.

Humanitarian of the Year:

The Humanitarian of the Year Award recognizes the powerful change that one individual can make in the lives of others. By selflessly giving, this individual is truly making a positive difference in the world, one person at a time.

DeafHope's Executive Director honored with Femtor International Humanitarian of the Year Award.

On the evening of June 7, 2007, during the eWomenNetwork Foundation International Femtor Awards Gala, Julie Rems-Smario was honored for her work as Executive Director of DeafHope with a Humanitarian of the Year Award. Deaf Hope is a non-profit agency serving Deaf survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

The eWomenNetwork Foundation gives annual awards to women who embody the spirit of what it means to be a Femtor. The word Femtor is a registered trademark of eWomenNetwork, which means "a wise and trusted woman providing knowledge, inspiration and practical information to other women." Femtor acknowledges the mentoring work done from a female experience and knowledge base. These experienced women seek out ways to teach, share their wisdom and help other women find their wings.

Taya Levine, Chief "Make It Happen" Officer for the eWomenNetwork Foundation remarked on this occasion "It is truly OUR honor to recognize Julie and the extraordinary work she is leading through Deaf Hope. We are committed to broadening the understanding of condition of women who are underserved, and often unseen. Deaf Hope is giving much needed visibility and support to a population that would otherwise be adrift, and needlessly penalized solely because the broader society has not yet realized the need to embrace and attend well to Deaf women who are contending with violent circumstances. We are delighted to play a part in raising awareness, and recognition, of our Deaf sisters and playing a small part in their future success."

The Femtor Awards are a prestigious international honor, awarded to women who have proven themselves to be exemplary role models in the world of business. These award acknowledges their outstanding achievements, skills, positive "can do" attitude, and commitment to giving back to their communities. These women inspire others, are respected by their peers, and volunteer their time and energy to serve others less fortunate.

The Humanitarian of the Year Award recognizes the powerful change that one individual can make in the lives of others. By selflessly giving, this individual is truly making a positive difference in the world, one person at a time.

During the award presentation, Sinden, a Deaf survivor of domestic violence, presented on how Julie's work had changed her life, giving her the opportunity to be a mother raising her child in a home without violence. To describe the impact that Julie's work had on her life, Sinden said "To me, Julie is like a beacon of hope in troubled waters, soothing my worries like balm."

In testimony to Julie's character, Bobbie Beth Scoggins, president of the National Association of the Deaf, said, "Julie's ability to connect and share so much of herself with deaf women in need of love, support and caring is truly phenomenal. We at the NAD are very delighted that she is being nationally honored by eWomen Network for her humanitarian work."

DeafHope was founded in 2003 by eight women, including Julie Rems-Smario. DeafHope's mission is to end domestic violence and sexual assault against Deaf women and children through empowerment, education and services.

Now the Board of Directors is planning to launch a new dream - a capital campaign for a center for abused Deaf women and their children. The vision for this center includes a shelter and transitional homes.

DeafHope Founding Board Chair of DeafHope, Kate Kovacs, joined Julie Rems-Smario to be part of this honor. Kate said, "It is such an amazing thing to happen to DeafHope. Julie has given so much of her energy, vision, guidance, selfless acts, and passion toward building a dream that each of us at DeafHope has, which is to end domestic and sexual violence in our community. Having many stepping stones to get there, this is a huge leap and I look forward to many more opportunities to open up for us."

Picture credit: http://www.comingtogether2007.com

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

What a stupid e-mail message!

Hi folks! Just wanted to share with you about a recent e-mail message I got about adopting two deaf children. The e-mail included a Deaf Life logo stating that it supported this so-called agency and that if I would be interested then contact the writer and the bank. Oh duh! Can you believe how someone that stupid wrote this e-mail asking me to contact the bank where my money could be transferred just like that? I wonder if it worked for them before? Also what made them think that anyone would fall for that? Read on...(Length:3:21) Special thanks to Matthew Moore for granting permission to use the logo from Deaf Life. Deaf Life has nothing to do with this scam and it is an example of how this company has been exploited by scammers who are attempting to damage its reputation. quicktime YouTube

supported by .....

We provide good health and focus for deaf kids .supported by the Uk government.

Hello honest deaf,

My name is Agent sarda work for government ..in manchester .i will really love to pass this information to all good deaf and the honest one that is really willing to take good care of 3 years old girl and a 4 years old boy .Their mother and father came from unknown area and they live in uk.. 3 months ago their parents die and they left the amount of 3million pounds in their account.and when you convert into usa dollars its about 6.5million dollars.the 2deafs kids are in the uk hospital were doctor Jack Bradford is taking good care of them cus they were participated in the accident that happen ,To God be the glory that they were not dead like their parents.we shall love a good honest deaf or woman who can accept the 2 kids and take good care of them and after 2 months , the uk gonvernment will pay 2500$ for both kids every week to take care of the kids and they will always come after every 6 months to check on them to see how they are doing ..and the person will be given the 3million pounds to take good care of the kids for life and when they get time to go to school , the uk government will use the remaining money in there account to send them to the best Deaf school in u.s.a still under your care. NO much stress and easy life for u they a sweet kids you will love them . .Please write me back if u are interested so that we can contact the bank that hold the money as soon as possible and also contact the uk government and deaf view UK so that they can sign and agree the kids to go with you and the money..pls contact me as possible in this email address ..... barristerwilliams_20077@yahoo.co.uk thats my email address , let me know if you are interested.

Take Care

Agent Sarda

Note: I misspelled the name Sara while it is supposed to be Sarda. But what difference does it make since it may be a phony name!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Here is Why for Y-system

Brianna shares her ASL poetry on using Y when talking about the sign for system. At first I was planning on doing it until she watched me and copied then she became familiar with it and wanted to do it. She had so much fun doing it. ASL rocks!

My C.I. Friend is So Happy with ASL

Barb DiGi's daughter describes what she knows about her CI friend who is happy with ASL instead of relying on speech alone. Transcript:

Hello, my name is Brianna.

In my class, a girl who is my friend named B (10 years old). Three years ago, her mother heard about cochlear implant from her hearing friend and had B going through cochlear implant surgery.

Ever since B's speech isn't as intelligible or articulate even not able to hear and understand speech as she is able to when using signs.

Her mother sees that there is no improvement or change in her speech skills since.... Wondering if it is worth it to have C.I. for her daughter?

Then one day, her mother accidently threw the cochlear implant device (used incorrect handshape sign for C.I.)..oops I mean cochlear implant (with 2-bent handshape) sorry...in the water when doing the laundry.

The device was broken but it was not fixed right away as it was being put off.

Her mother can see that B is still happy without C.I. because she is able to communicate using signs. Then finally got the C.I. device fixed and B is still happy because she has access to signs.

It is fine for C.I. with signs.

(end of transcript)

Please note that her mother (hearing) already knew about C.I. since her daughter was younger but did not pursue having C.I. until B wanted to have one. Her mother realized that her daughter was still happy when her C.I. was not working because she had access to communication using signs which was why she didn't get C.I. fixed right away.

Her wearing the C.I. is never considered a main vessel to communication since she is not able to fully comprehend speech and not able to produce intelligible speech. Using signs allow B to have the freedom to communicate making her happy.

She loves her mother so dearly and faithfully. It is a beautiful thing!