Thursday, May 01, 2008

AG Bell Participants Respond to a Survey on Social and Identity Issues

Survey results reflecting identity and social issues of former mainstream students who belong to AG Bell. Transcript coming soon..


drmzz said...

Interesting. I agree that a Deaf child should grow and interact with another Deaf child. Thanks for sharing.

Jeffrey said...

All of that is true!

Who agrees?
*raises hand*

I do.

Jean Boutcher said...

A deaf child's interaction with
another deaf child is as equally
important as interacting with deaf
adults. If my memory serves me right, Swedish counselors checked out on hearing parents who have
deaf children on a regular basis in the early 1990s (I do not know
if they still do nowadays). Should
a counselor find that a hearing
parent shows no improvement in sign language, she would advise
the parent to attend the SSL class
as well as send a deaf adult to the parent's house to interact with the parent's deaf child until the school age. I have not seen that in the USA. Counselors
in the USA fail to realise that self-esteem is of utmost importance for a deaf child's personal growth.

drmzz said...

Jean, that's true - role models. The level of competence aka self-worth within the child is something to consider too. That level will determine his/her functioning for rest of life.

Anonymous said...

that's interesting. I have a question for you. Im not here to judge you at all so please don't take it so personal.I don't know your education background.. If you're so against "oralist" and A.G. Bell's method of teaching deaf kids how to "talk". I've noticed you signed and used mouthing English words. Majority of Deaf people use ASL and mouthing English words at the same time. Were they trained to learn "speak" english words while signing? What about Mouth Morpheme? Do I make any senses?

Thank you :-)

HoeyHemp said...

you make this so clear for us to understand what your saying about the situation with whats going on with AGBELL. Barb DiGi YOU ROCKS !

Barb DiGi said...

I am not sure where did you get the idea about me being against oralism. I am always against the idea of using oral only method which means all Deaf children deserve to have ASL as well. Heck, they are better off bilingual since research shows increase in cognitive skills and IQ points.

I don't mouth English terms every time I sign since I have used non-manual signals that indicate the inflection and the description when using classifiers.

The whole point of my vlog if you understand is not about oralism, it is about the opportunity for them to interact with Deaf adults and Deaf peers which is not happening for most. Wait until you get to hear more about the effects in my next vlog. And do you really want me to vlog using spoken English?

Barb DiGi said...

Hey Mike, can you imagine growing up without knowing other Deaf? Nah!!

Jeffrey, bless your heart!

Jean, yes, Sweden has been proactive in bicultural approach as well. Here is so inconsistent with the concept of not introducing Deaf children to Deaf peers and adults.

Oh back to Anon..I realized you said if I were against oralists..whoa! That's a completely different meaning than oralism. I would not be against anyone who are orals and who wear CI or whatsoever. However, let me take back what I said..yes, I am against oralism but not spoken English. There is a difference. AG Bell is not tolerant of their oral subjects to mingle with Deaf culture members as evident in the survey. Oralism carries a negative tone that involves deprivation and abuse as evident by former oralists' testimonies.

Hi HoeyHemp..great to read you here! Glad to know it was clear for you!

Tami said...

This past February, I attended the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Conference in New Orleans. It is a national conference where early interventionists, doctors, audiologists, speech pathologists, and other organizations that are connected to Deaf and Hard of Hearing attend. It is mostly geared to Detection and Intervention.

AGBell is highly represented at this conference.

My team presented a workshop. Our main focus was on the value of "social capital" meaning how much worth does a person feel socially.

One mother after our presentation was near tears. When asked why...she said that her son is mainstreamed oral and she can see that he is isolated and is missing the social interaction that he needs. She said that this presentation made her realize how important this is.

Too many parents simply do not see what takes place within their child's educational environment and children do not express the lack of social capital until they become so frustrated that they seek out other means of dealing with the lack of it.
It is up to the parents to get into the classroom at all ages and grade levels in their child's academic career to see how they are doing socially.
Deaf peers and role models are extremely important when it comes to social capital.

Anonymous said...



RLM said...

Tami, Barb DiGi, Drmzz, Jean Boutcher and other deaf individuals,

Yes, that is basically called the necessity of "Social and Emotional Development" within each child to be compassionate, considerate, responsive, intitutive, curious, delightful, adventureous, bold, inquistive and other positive factors leading into the well-rounded and socially-balanced individual than anyone who self-doubt hirself.

That is not really SURPRISING about the survey enclosed by the AGBAD about the realities of educational and social and emotional development being impacted upon deaf child.

We, deaf people are uniquely consisted of our own existence as "cultural and linguistic" minority group in the dominant society whose largely depended upon hearing abilities.

The educational system of the deaf ought to do the investment in social and emotional development of every deaf child without subjecting the child to the ideological spectrum (unworkable approaches like social isolalatism and intellectual recongfigurement.

Sadly, many deaf youngsters exposed to the cold and lifeless environment lead to the socially-inept individual. Many of them turned into "control freaks" and seen other culturally and linguistic-vibrant individuals as real threats to their own existence.

From what I observed the thousandths of mainstream-educated and oral-educated deaf individuals. Same thing happened with numerous deaf individuals with CI whose not embrace the aspect of deaf culture and language later in their life.


David said...

Hi Barb,

I really enjoy watching your arguments. Yes you are correct. I have seen many former oralists who joined us, the Deaf community after they finished schools. Their social skills are range from very low to middle. Their emotions are unstability and their communication and language skills are abnormal. They feel they do not belong to rightful place because they do not have any skill in both worlds. Deaf community always have welcomed them into our world. AGBell shut them and their parents out after they did not meet their expectation and goals. AGBell uses very few successful oral or AVT recipients and show them to the world. Same with some in Deafread that promotes AVT and discourage ASL. That disgusts me.


Jean Boutcher said...

Hi again,

I wonder if you are aware that
Gallaudet's archives contain the
correspondence between AGBell and
Edward Miner Gallaudet. I wonder if you would be interested in writing a book after doing the review on their correspondence. I
really want to see it written by
a bilingually-biculturally Deaf person like you. It is time for the world to know what they had
written about! :)

deafk said...


Frank Turk explained a long time ago about this SPICE. It was for Deaf education...

Education (I think)

He emphasised that COMMUNICATION is a MUST for the Deaf students, even though social was there. It is the basic concept as yours...

Anonymous said...

Jean is right. 1890s, A. G. Bell and Edward Miner Gallaudet lead "communications
debate" between oralism and manualism, respectively

deafk said...

Ah, it was emotional, not education...


I forgot to mention that Frank Turk said he would like to ADD the word, communication to those PIES(?). Better it be SPICE for the Deaf students than it be PIES.


Anonymous said...

What is Speech Worth to the Deaf?

"Some have even gone so far as to claim, and this is a bill twice introduced into the congress of the United States and favorably reported by a committee, that “it has been clearly proven that deaf children can learn articulate speech and language by the use of the eye for all practical purposes as well as children who hear can learn through the ear, provided they have this training in infancy and early childhood.”

"And those who make this claim seriously promise to impart to all deaf infants committed to their care such facility in speech and lip reading as will enable them to receive their education in schools for the hearing. And they declare the general adoption of measures for teaching speech to deaf children in the days of their infancy will make it possible to discontinue all existing special schools for the class of person."

Barb DiGi said...

Tami, thanks for sharing. Although AG Bell continues to advocate for oralism, it is crucial for presenters like you and other models who advocate for bilingual approach to give a more balanced view where parents are able to see and analyze more thoroughly about the impact of mainstreaming solitaire and oralism.

anon 12:13: cool...

RLM: The survey was conducted by an independent group that the former mainstreamed students who belong to AG Bell took it. Your description reflects the reality of today's products of oralism and mainstreamed educated in general, that is, if they don't have appropriate support and contact with Deaf peers and adults models.

David: This is a main concern today that not all thrive from this approach. It is important for us to be aware and identify the side effects to expose to parents so that way this repeated cycle can be avoided. I share the same feelings as you do how AVT shuns ASL and I feel that it is not necessary to block these Deaf students from ASL in order to be successful in listening and spoken English.

Hi Jean, in fact there is a book called, "Never the Twain Shall Meet" the communications debate between AGB and Gallaudet. I have been reading this book again and found some interesting facts that I thought you would like to know. I was so surprised about how they treated each other in the beginning. Keep your eyes peeled!

Deafk: Hmm, SPICE? Didn't realize about the acronym that Turk came up with. Trying to come up what the P stands for..psychology?

Anon 2:56: Thanks for throwing in the resource link!

Anonymous said...


I def agree with you on this, however I have questions, supposedly there is a deaf contained class in a mainstreaming setting, deaf children come in different levels, they are placed together, teacher may have paraprofessionals working with them, they may pull out a child, for example, lagging behind in language and work one on one with the child while the teacher teaches math to the whole class. Often times, the child who is pulled out to work one on one with the paraprofessional is often resistant or unhappy as they want to be with the class. I wonder if this is good practice or not? In situations like this, where there are children who are on different levels, I wonder how this is accomplished without having to pull out a child or mainstream a child. Cuz sometimes when a child is pulled to go into mainstream class, they are saddened to leave their deaf classmates. Does it affect them as well as a child who is mainstreamed with no deaf services similarly?

Anonymous said...

Arguments I hear are that students must be in mainstream so they can learn to interact with hearing peers, and that social skills that they learn there are so important that even if they are much behind in their academic skills it's ok because they are learning to interact with hearing kids. Second thing that I am told is that it's no big deal if D/HH skills lag far behind behind grade level- mainstream is still good because there are other kids in the classroom that are also that far behind. Like telling a kid who is starving that it's no big deal because others are also hungry. Suggestions on how to respond to these arguments? I am quickly becoming a dinosaur because I do not agree with the above.


Barb DiGi said...

Anon 8:55 am: It is called differinated instruction that is common in Deaf Education. Well, as long as they have contact inside or outside the classroom, that what it matters. It would be ideal if they have the opportunity to participate in after school programs together such as Jr. NAD, clubs, etc. As for a child who is mainstreamed with no deaf services meaning no contact with others if you intend to put at this way may not be as beneficial as those who have contact. Again, ever child is different since some feel the need and some may not.

Dino, well it is not a win-win situation for one to be mainstreamed if they are to lag behind not only in academics but in social. They would be better off to go to a Deaf school. Based on my experience, students from mainstreaming to schools for the Deaf got to grow tremendously in social, emotional and academic areas when they step their foot in the school for the Deaf.

Yes, American schools are facing a dilemma of public school students not meeting the standards and it is a big deal for both Deaf and hearing. Academic strategies and social experience for some of the Deaf are not exactly the same for the hearing so it is necessary to evaluate whether or not the needs are being met for these Deaf students.

Deaf students have to work harder than hearing students when it comes to doing well in school and remember, they will not have a better chance to get a job than those who are behind grade level so it is a big deal, dinosaur!

Barb DiGi said...

Let me explain a bit clearly...these hearing graduates who are already behind in academics will have a better shot getting a job than those who are also behind which is why I say it is a big deal. The Deaf may starve to death but remaining hearing students are just hungry.

Anonymous said...

If you are white person and hangs around with African American people all the time and never met another white person and I am pretty sure you will feel different and missing something about yourself. I believe some people are not straight and struggle to find their own identity then they join in their own and will find a happiness and know one's own identity then can join back to first or any other group. So anyone should not forbid anyone to separate from one's own identity.