Saturday, September 29, 2007

An "Alice in Cyberland" Experience on the way to Deaf Hope Tea Time

Deaf Hope is hosting 6th annual Tea Time to support domestic violence program for Deaf women in California and invited six v/bloggers to join the party. The theme is Alice in Cyberland and each of us adopted a character from the story. I bumped into a surprise vlogger in the airport so we vlogged together in the plane! View Quicktime View YouTube

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Facts of Deaf Life and the International Day of Sign Languages and the Deaf (voice-interpreted)

As I researched this event that was known as International Day of the Deaf, it was also referred to Deaf Awareness Day. I was surprised to find Cambodia knowing that it is a developed country and had a history of human rights oppression such as the Killing Fields to take the initiative to march in the streets for their rights In 2003, they actually formed a march and spread their message to declare the equal rights of Deaf people. They hosted a series of workshop and included some of the World Deaf Federation (WDF) representatives giving empowerment to the Deaf. On the other hand, I find it interesting that Cuba celebrates International Day of the Deaf for a different reason. It stated that "Cubans will celebrate the International Day of the Deaf tomorrow knowing that 18 of the island's children have had their hearing restored thanks to cochlear inner-ear implant surgery." That was held last year.

Now, it seems to me that the objective has evolved into celebrating International Day of the Deaf by adding Sign Languages. When looking at the powerpoint presented by Markku Jokinen, the President of WDF, he pointed out the history of linguistic oppression.

He quoted,

"In December of 2006, the UN General Assembly adopted the new Convention on the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The following stage of the process is also very important. On March 31st representatives of the UN member states gathered in New York for the opening for signatures. After this the convention is sent out to the states for them to ratify. We hope that as many states as possible ratify the convention, and we hope that all national Deaf associations monitor the situation and attempt to influence their governments to ratify the convention. Through ratifying, the governments also commit to changing their national legislation in accordance with the requirements of the convention, which in turn will improve the rights of the Deaf to Sign Language, interpreting, and education. So I sincerely hope you monitor the situation and the actions taken by your governments."

I am impressed with his knowledge and commitment to fight for the rights of the Deaf to Sign Language, interpreting and education. His website is fantastic in my opinion so check it out!

One more thing, there is a website that explains about the history of International Mother Language Day which was founded in 2000 and this is something we can recognize and be inspired as well.

Have a great first annual International Day of Sign Languages celebration and don't forget to wear black to remember Deaf people who are deprived from visual linguistic rights!

For more information, see the video clip link.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Looking Back and Looking Ahead

Welcome back to my new site! I surely had a most refreshing summer especially in August spending my time away from home and the computer as much as possible! It had been an amazing summer with the birth of Deaf Bilingual Coalition (DBC), signing performance at Fremont, California with a vlogger, Mike Schmidt, along with a live band including my boyfriend, Steve Longo who played the guitar (yes, he’s Deaf!, see video clip below), a week long trip in southern California with my family and giving a presentation with David Eberwein about DBC to a highly engaged audience.

You will get to see the presentation that will be posted sometimes on www.deafbilingual.blogspot.com. I am impressed with the active involvement of the Bay Area Deaf community seeing how much passion they have demonstrated by attending to the DBC presentation, discussing their perspectives and concerns and donating money to DBC.

Before that, I had to go through withdrawal symptoms when refraining from reading deafread.com during my previous month-long vacation that I even sneaked in to take a peek in my sidekick pager! Then with multiple activities that required undivided attention to my family, I actually reduced my time with my pager and allowed myself to let it go even with my e-mails. The price I had to pay was to catch up with a thousand email messages and topics that intrigued me in deafread.com that were a few weeks old.

I have just returned to my routine with mixed feelings of delight and sorrow.

The sorrow part is that the superintendent of the school, Dr. Harold Mowl, is going through multiple trips visiting his injured son, Kevin, who is suffering multiple fractures to his face, arms, legs and back as well as a severe head injury that was caused from an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle last month. He is now undergoing almost daily surgeries at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.

We are all in debt to Kevin for his service to our country and his efforts to protect America . For more information, please visit http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/kevinmowl and please consider making a donation to help out his family during a difficult time in their lives. You can even leave your comments there and send your get well wishes.

What is so touching is that all staff and students surprised Dr. Mowl and his family to celebrate the life of Kevin by wearing duplicate T-shirts depicting Kevin's photo on a flag. We gathered for a group picture in the school's auditorium with a backdrop of a large flag that once flew over the U.S. Capitol. You can read more about it in the local newspaper website.

The delighting part is that I am starting the school year with my new job position, ASL\English Bilingual Specialist that has been created for the first time in history since 1876. We also have two ASL teachers! Before that there was an ASL specialist for several years then it stopped a few years ago. Thanks to the staff and community feedback, it is now made possible for a language planning team to exist in this school. I am psyched since this is my passion and goal to see students thrive in both languages.

I have exciting topics to share with you in my vlog this year. I will be talking more about updated studies about the myths on educating deaf children, bilingual education for deaf students, deaf history, follow-ups to some of my previous vlogs since some questioned about the results about “My Deaf Mom, the Cop and the Law”, “What kind of Deaf Education program is that”, “No ASL Left Behind (NALB)”, ASL personal stories and songs and some topics that touched my heart from my observations. About the video follow-up for signing performance, I am disappointed that it did not come out well enough for you all to see our signs clearly. I only included one video clip of Mike and me performing together. The signs are still hard to see but you could see us act at least. We had so much fun with that skit. The song was about a guy spotting a gal in the street and picking her up thinking all was easy but he was up for a surprise finding out what kind of woman she really was. You can read the lyrics on Allright Now. I surely had a kick out of this and Mike had been a good sport about this! If you want to see the rest, you may go to stevelongo at YouTube.com.

Hope you all had a good summer as well and looking forward to see your blogs/vlogs if you will!