Tuesday, July 08, 2008

My 93-year-old Grandma’s Sorrow (open-captioned)

For the first time ever, I am going to present my video interview using spoken English with my hearing grandmother aged 93. It comes with captions, of course. You may be shocked that I would do a vlog using spoken English but this is how I communicate with my grandmother. I grew up with my hearing grandparents using spoken English and with my Deaf family using ASL at separate times in the same roof. I didn't sign and speak simultaneously while growing up. Quicktime YouTube and video comments, click here.

My grandma shares her regret for not learning signs and how she was misled the idea that if one is to use signs, it would mean that spoken English would not be successful. The myths of AG Bell’s beliefs have shared to the likes of my grandma that using signs will impede speech development while today’s research shows the opposite! But the ironic part is that it still carries on. Feel free to share with your hearing parents or with parents who have Deaf children.

Additional information not presented in the video clip:

It was mentioned that A.G. Bell’s influence had reached to Pennsylvania School for the Deaf that advised my mother’s parents not to sign.

Here is the evidence:

“…back in 1870, the Board of Directors, impressed by the reposts of the success of speech teaching that reached them, sent a committee consisting of F. Mortimer Lewis, James J. Barclay and Principal Joshua Foster to inspect the Clarke Institution at Northampton, Mass., and the articulation departments of the Hartford and New York Institutions. This committee was so favorably impressed that upon its return it recommended that arrangements be made at once for instruction in articulation to all semi-mute and semi-deaf children. Miss Rebecca Cooper was sent to New York for in instruction under Professor Bernard Engelsmann, and upon her return was placed in charge of the articulation class. In 1976 Mr. Edward Crane, a pupil of Alexander Graham Bell, was placed at the head of the Articulation Department.”

My grandma rang the bell about AG Bell having to do with PSD but it was vague to her. Of course, it was eons of years ago!

(Note: This is not a transcript or a summary of the whole video clip.)

Update: See Jeffrey's blog talking about doing your video documentary which includes interviewing with your family members.


Amy said...

Excellent vlog presentation! The best of all - the masterpiece.

This says it all... learning ASL does not IMPEDE developing speech!

Bravo, Barb!

Amy Cohen Efron

Deb Ann said...

I'm with Amy.

It's the best vlog presentation.

I hope it'll touch many young parents.

Thank you for your beautiful work!

David said...

Hi Barb,

I am so glad you have shared priceless resource (your grandmother's experience) with many new parents. DO NOT REPEAT HISTORY. If people continues "repeat history" reserved only to the category of "inferior ignorants".

My mom and late dad have shared same experience what your grandmother have. They told me that strict oralism is very wrong. It is very sad that many new parents do not get full information.


Joey Baer said...

One powerful VLOG that should be spread all over the world! I hope some others will do the similar thing - interview their parents or relatives and have them explain what lies they were told!

Thank you, Barb!!

Anonymous said...

Awesome vlog!!! I would like to have a copy of this vlog for classroom use with your permission.


Penny said...


You are a true educator. You know how to present facts and collect accurate information. We all love facts and you always have them in hand. Impressive work! When I am done with school…I hope to present my viewpoints and arguments with information in hand and facts like you always do with yours. You are a born educator. Perhaps you can develop a project and interview people like you did with your grandmother. Maybe AGB members will then listen to the Deaf community? You are a class act. :-)

deafpower2000 said...


This proves deaf do benefit both sign language and speech.

Thank you for sharing

Anonymous said...

wow, your best vlog ever!!!! very powerful message!!!!! I grew up oral myself and didn't learn to sign until college and now wish i learned it at an earlier age cuz I do not think it would have hindered my learning to speak.

Deaf Pixie said...

Barb, Wow!! That's blessing you did great to share with your grandma. I finally understand why you lives with them for long time along with your parent in one house. One things you made us amazing that you willing to talk or tell grandmother. I think you are so fortunely to share.. Accept easy after your grandmother were realized it was very wrong..

Deaf Pixie

Candace A. McCullough said...

I can't disagree with commenters above that this is one of your best, powerful, and most touching vlogs. Thank you and your grandmother for debunking the myth that one shouldn't sign in order to have better speech.

Candace A McCullough

Cruise Trip for the Deaf - Oct 2007 said...

Many parents with a deaf child received misinformation, disinformation or little information about ASL.

My mom told me the same story that your grandmother experienced. I remember my speech teacher told me that a sign language is a dirty word when I was young as an oralist.

Since our hearing society does not encourage hearing parents to seek a deaf perspective. History will repeat.

This vlog is so important!

Thank you, Barb!

Cruise Trip for the Deaf - Oct 2007 said...

Correction! Removed the word "language" from the sentence!

I remember my speech teacher told me that a sign is a dirty word when I was young as an oralist.

Sojourner said...


wow, this needs to ride allover the world. beautifully done, and thank you so much for doing this. Your grandma is an amazing woman! Most grandparents do not think this way, they are usually stuck in the misinformation. Even though you can speak, your grandma knows that she should have learned sign language, beautiful.
Thanks for this,


Anonymous said...

WOW... this one. oh boy, I am speechless. I thought I have the expression to share but.. oh boy. But I can say a little... I was raised by my deaf family. I attended to a mainstreamed school. I don't speak because I chose not to when I was little. However my brother and sister can speak. That's because they were motivated to learn how to speak. Of course, ASL is only the language in my family.

Anyway you know the famous motto -- "Shot hear round the world". I would say in your case, "Vlog sought round the world" Preserve this vlog!!


Anonymous said...

Nice interview! This Vlog is very important to save.

Barb, why didn't you use ASL and spoken English at the same time to your grandmother? She can pick the signs up if you continue signing. Another mythis that we cannot teach old dogs new tricks. Your grandmother can learn signs. It is never too late to learn ASL.

I can read your grandmother's lips. It is too easy to read her lips.

My paternal grandmother who was hearing tended to use homemade signs to us.

I notice the grandparents who are/were hearing and had deaf children tended to move their lips very clear and understanble.

Sandra Goldstein

CheryL from MA said...

Hi Barb & everyone,

Powerful message...i was in your shoes from--oral to ASL in my hearing family...Thanks so much to you and ur grandma for sharing a very TRUE story. \../,

Domvera said...

Bravo! I am glad you brought our audience's attention exclusively. Indeed, I agreed what your grandmother said all. My mom said the same thing that I was required to learn how to speak orally during my early childhood. Thank her for enrolling me at CSD-Riverside and found the beautiful language with warm soul and culture.
In fact, we knew everyone have their "boiling" guts about blaming on their parents for thier decisions what best for you all. Eventually, we realized how AGBell started all and feed us with great myths. My mom blamed the oral system for lacking the information to use visual language in the classroom.
I pray that DBC will continue to educate the hearing parents in positive way with accurate and factual information about the development of ASL to teach their deaf and hard of hearing children to achieve their literacy skills essentially.
Thank you, Barb, for providing the great vlog for our audience. Bravo again!

Nick Vera

Grrr too... said...

We should all interview our grandmas and send to Barb Digi to post!

Mine is 88 years old and is always lamanting about the fact the school principal advised her not to sign with her two deaf kids. She now has a deaf granddaughter (me) and a deaf great grandson (my son) and always feels bad she can't really communicate with us other than simple topics. She uses home signs but it's very limiting.

PANY Lighthouse said...

Your grandmother is an incredible person! This interview with your grandmother is absolutely a tear-jerker from the start to the end!

I had and still have the same perspectives from my own Mom who is 70 years old and she says that parents should learn sign language REGARDLESS!!! She also stated that oralism was and is not the way to supplement the Deaf child's needs as she had seen that not being successful with me and my Deaf brother. I owe a great great thanks to my parents who LISTENED to us and prodded us to be who we are nowadays!

Bravo, bravo, bravo Barb! Got me thinking of interviewing the parents from the past era (literally my time), what a cool concept!


Jerome Cain said...

you surely blew my mind. this is real. wow, i am impressed!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is incredible! My own mother after years of being brainwashed by the strong beliefs of teaching me the oral skills, finally admitted to me that she wished she had used sign language with me when I was young. I hear that with many older people after years of lost time with oralism. I'm so delighted that you are showing this vlog. It is very true and realistic how we struggle with limited oral communication while sign language frees us more and helps us to be accepted better. Thank you for posting this powerful vlog.
Dianne K.

Native ASL/CI parent and child said...

powerful! my child has bilaterals which make him hard of hearing. He signs ASL fluently and speaks in English separately.

The mental and emotional health of a deaf/hoh child come first! Give the child BOTH!!!! Or give the child ALL like I did by giving my boy cochlear implants which makes speaking and listening so much easier.

A Deaf Pundit said...

Barb, great vlog. We need to see more vlogs like this. This is compelling, and will make more people take notice. Good job.

Lisa C. said...

Great vlog!! My mom and grandmother had gone thru like your grandmother.

Anonymous said...

Pleasant vlog. Your story are one of so many others. Jack Levesque wrote something similar about this and so did many others. It's unfortunate that on account of the U.S. Constitution parents of deaf children have the freedom to choose. State-run schools and facilities for the deaf needs to really clean up their act before they can justify true Deaf / Bilingualism and standard academics. I'm really talking about high standards. I discount Maryland School for the Deaf's misleading stats which they should be ashamed of as is akin to gerrymandering in this age of NCLB. How can one expect parents to leave their deaf children in poor performing state schools for the deaf? Some of the "better" schools isn't safe. Look at Maryland and now Texas not to mention countless others. DeafRead declined to link articles about the violent rape that occurred under Superintendent James E. Tucker's watch at Maryland School for the Deaf yet they linked about Texas. Double standards and accountability needs to be realized before anything can be done about this.

Anonymous said...

Pleasant vlog. Your story are one of so many others. Jack Levesque wrote something similar about this and so did many others. It's unfortunate that on account of the U.S. Constitution parents of deaf children have the freedom to choose. State-run schools and facilities for the deaf needs to really clean up their act before they can justify true Deaf / Bilingualism and standard academics. I'm really talking about high standards. I discount Maryland School for the Deaf's misleading stats which they should be ashamed of as is akin to gerrymandering in this age of NCLB. How can one expect parents to leave their deaf children in poor performing state schools for the deaf? Some of the "better" schools isn't safe. Look at Maryland and now Texas not to mention countless others. DeafRead declined to link articles about the violent rape that occurred under Superintendent James E. Tucker's watch at Maryland School for the Deaf yet they linked about Texas. Double standards and accountability needs to be realized before anything can be done about this.

DeafKathy (Wilson) said...

I nominee this clip to be the best VLOG clip of the year!

This is the best one I have watched for the year of 2008!

Dianrez said...

Beautifully done! And please congratulate your Grandma for being so young-looking and alert at 93 years old! We should all be so lucky!

Looking back at my childhood, it was in a totally oral home, me being the only Deaf child. I spoke with my parents and sister, but not with my maternal grandparents as we could not understand each other. Even my paternal grandfather who lived with us could not understand me and we wrote all the time, which was a feat because he only had schooling up to the 4th grade.

Oralism is now discredited, thankfully. We must stamp out the last of the stubborn lies that Bell's heirs continue to spread.

Tara said...

I am in AWE! Wow...amazing vlog and thanks so much for sharing it with us! TRUTH SHALL SET FREE!

sommersprossen1 said...

There is no better VLOG than this one. This VLOG should be spread all over the world to educate people and solve the myth.

I was born deaf and with my deaf parents I can use German Sign Language (DGS). All my relatives are hearing and I don't have any problem speaking German with them. I haven't asked my grandma but I feel that she may not approve learning DGS but the point is that any deaf person can use ASL and speak well. As many of you may know, many hearing children have no problem to speak two languages, English and Spanish, at all. Those languages don't interfere each other; children are smart enough to be able to separate languages. With saying that, deaf children can use ASL and spoken language separately without being confused.

What is better: Know how to write and to read and not being able to speak OR know how to speak but not being proficient in writing and reading? Of course, case one. AG Bell and most teachers apparently favor case two.

Jean Boutcher said...

PAH! Evidence! Evidence Distribute the URL of
your vlog to the attendées
of the AGBEll Conference in


Jean Boutcher said...

PAH! Evidence! Evidence Distribute the URL of
your vlog to the attendées
of the AGBEll Conference in


Joanne in MA said...

My name is Joanne. I'm 50 years old. I am hearing and my sister Cheryl (Cheryl from MA) is deaf. I have 5 sisters, and 1 brother, we are all hearing. When Cheryl was 6 months old she got meningitis. It is believed this is how she lost her hearing. We cannot know for certain since it was not discovered that Cheryl was deaf until she was 18 months old and my parents began to suspect she was unable to hear. At first they brought her to see our family doctor, he stood behind Cheryl clapped his hands and proclaimed that she could hear because she turned her head. My parents persisted and finally it was arranged for Cheryl to have her hearing tested in Boston. That day my parents and Cheryl returned from the tests, heart-broken. They had no idea what it meant to have a deaf child. They were given no reassurances at the Hospital in Boston. They were just told your child is deaf. My parents wanted to do the very best for Cheryl but they did not find it easy obtaining information regarding what was best. At that time, more than 40 years ago, we were backward here in Massachusetts. My parents knew there must be something Cheryl needed to help her communicate with us. My grandfather knew a man who worked as the Superintendent of Schools in our home town. My grandfather approached this man and asked if there was a school for the deaf in our city. This man, looked at my grandfather and said, "Dick tell your daughter the best thing she can do with her little girl is to put her in an institution, she cannot learn, she is not normal and will never be normal." My grandfather a very quiet man was shocked and did not say anything, and then he left. He got back home and told my grandmother and she said, "and you said nothing to this man, why didn't you knock him to the ground, that child is brilliant anyone can see that looks into her eyes, how smart she is." Of course my parents would NEVER consider anything like this fool suggested. I write this story because it breaks my heart to realize that any progress made in understanding the importance of sign language, specifically ASL for deaf and hearing impaired people seems to be in jeopardy. We lost all those years communicating with Cheryl. She suffered, a bright child, unable to express her thoughts because we were told not to EVER use sign language with Cheryl. We were told we could not even use hand gestures when we spoke to her. Eventually Cheryl learned sign but didn't learn ASL until she was 14 years old. We as a family never took a sign language class, because we were advised against it even after Cheryl herself began to sign. We were told that Cheryl should sign with deaf people but with her hearing family we should continue to rely upon oral communication. It was not until I was 22 and went to school to learn ASL myself that I learned how impossible it was for my sister to have good communication with us, and us with her unless we used sign language. I think ASL is a beautiful language, it's like watching ballet. It's visually expressive and appealing. Unfortunately, I am not great at it, perhaps because I was so old by the time I took classes, I use ASL with Cheryl today, but it's not the fluency that I wished I could have. I resent those people that told us not to learn sign language. I resent all the times we have struggled with communication when Cheryl was young, and I resent the fact that I never became good enough to be an interpreter for Cheryl at large family functions. I am OUTRAGED to learn that things are going back to what I think of as the dark ages. To deny deaf children the use of ASL in schools is to deny them the best way for them to learn and FULLY communicate. Sign Language/ASL does NOT interfere with a deaf persons ability to read lips, or use oral communication, if anything it would IMPROVE on those skills. Please, any parents out there if you read this, please trust me when I say this. My sister Cheryl has two beautiful little girls. They are 5 and 6.5 yrs old, they have been signing since they were 9months old, probably understanding sign even before that. They spoke almost as young as they learned sign, every bit as well as the other children in my family, in fact, Cheryl's two girls are exceptionally bright and articulate. I'm so sorry if I have written more than I should, this is an emotional issue to me. Deaf people, children especially should NEVER BE DENIED THE USE OF ASL. It only makes it more difficult to communicate and does not help oral skills in any way. I'm very proud of my sister, she is intelligent, accomplished, a wonderful sister, daughter, wife and mother.

Anonymous said...

Hi Barb!

Wow this is excellent!!! this remind me my late Grandma and Dad how much they believed in me!. I told them many times that oral didn't achieve my English writing and reading abilities. They knew it! and they think that AGBell Association are scam! they are evil greedy! I wish I have gone to Deaf School for sure my signing will be good as Pro ASL! I could gain more Deaf friends! oh well I guess I just accept few Deaf friends who accepted me as mild sign language.

My Grandma said to me that "Whenever you are happy, then Grandma is happy!" same for my Dad, he told me, I am very proud of you and I know you have many way with your communicate! doesn't have to be expert in speaking or using voice! I can understand you by your acting!" wow both Grandma and Dad understood! of course my Mom, current living, still support me too!! even I am gay, she still love me!! lucky I have wonderful Mother who accepted her gay and Deaf son.

so what you shared this with us, I got tear in my eyes!

I know Grandma and Dad up there are watching me and I often tell them "forgive me for silly act on my vlogs!" LOL!!!

Thank for sharing!

Gary Brooks

CheryL from MA said...

OMG Joanne!!! (she's my oldest sister--Joanne from MA) im crying....I Love you & our family very very much...and thanks so much all of you for loving me & believing in me and US--the Deaf community!!! and again, Thankssss for the wonderful comment to help educating hearing parents/family...OXOXOXO

IamMine said...

Got to say, wow! Your grandma looks beautiful at that age! I understood her easily too!

Luckily for my mother, she was very stubborn when she found out the oral method wasn't working for me at age 2, as she had tried and tried.

School said NO. It was an oral program and mom refused to put me at MSD and fought with the school board. She learned sign language behind their backs, as well as a few teachers of the oral program. IMAGINE THAT!!! According to mom, it was "the top program" in Michigan - I'd have to double check with her to make sure.

A few teachers even saw how smart I was and agreed with my mom that sign language was the way to go, even though it was SEE at the time.

The teachers put their jobs on the line and fought the school board with my mom.

They won. It was turned into TC (not great, I know...but at the time it was a big deal considering my mom was only 19 years old!)

Anyway, your story is pretty common from what I've seen growing up with my classmates in TC program and outside as well.

Great vlog, Barb!

Jeffrey said...


This vlog presentation is REAL.
It brought tears to my eyes.

It is the truth. These things are still happening today and yet, they (proponents of oralism) still preach the same to the parents of deaf children.

I'm happy you made this vlog and I look forward to seeing more people do such interviews with those who have seen and experienced such lies and deceit.

ASL is necessary.

I thank you for sharing this with all of us.


Jared Evans said...

Trying to go for another best vlog award? :-) Excellent one- your grandma was brave to get in front of the camera :-)

Good message to share with the rest of us!

Shel said...

Excellent vlog! Your vlog, AND the comments brought tears to my eyes.

Unfortunately, there will be AVT proponents who say this vlog is irrelevant because there were no CI back then, and nowadays children with CI do not need ASL.

Still, this vlog is an awesome tool to combat ignorance in the public. I'm going to share your link with other educators, and from there educate the Children Aid Society (Canadian version of CPS) workers who work with young deaf children.

Do I have your permission to do so?


yupyupyup said...

Hi Barb,

Your grandma's experience is common in my 'neck of the woods'(Wisc). Thanks for doing this interview! It gives me an idea:

This type of televised interview would make a GREAT public awareness ad during Deaf Awareness month or occasionally throughout the year. National and local chapters of Deaf Clubs, NAD, RID, Deaf Schools,etc. should do fundraising specifically to defray costs for television broadcasting of this kind of testimonial and interview. Families who need to get this info. will see it on t.v. and, if contact info. is included in the ad, families would have a resource and a connection!

Abbie said...

This vlog was absolutely superb, instantly one of my favorites!

DE said...

Absolutely brilliant. Brilliant beyond words (signs). At the same time- I'm feeling a bit dejected at how history (AG Bell) is STILL repeating, repeating, repeating, repeating, and repeating. Feels like THE MATRIX trilogy.

Can't wait for the day when ALL babies, Deaf or hearing, SIGN fully and proudly.

AG Bell- just take your corporate profits and go away.

Longoman said...

Well presented! It strikes a chord in our emotional state and brought a lot of responses.
I was a product of oralism and a poster child back then (John Tracy Clinic and Clarke School) and it was a bad call on doctor's part!
Been a long time coming, it's time to ruffle those feathers and take action!
Gracias, mi amore'

Penny said...


My aunt e-mailed me after watching your vlog. She and I have gotten very close in the past few years. She will be 80 years old next month. She and I discussed on many issues. She learned some things from Deafread and I admire her for being open minded. She is hearing. I hope that hearing people who is against ASL will read her message here.


That is great! That is exactly what happened with Mabel and Grandma - she was told to have Mabel use her voice and no signs. Fortunately even though Grandma didn't sign- there were homemade signs she made up and she was able to talk to Mabel with. It was wrong not letting the parents and siblings learn the sign language.

She didn't want me to learn sign language either, but Mabel taught me the alphabet so I could at least spell with her, plus our "crazy" home made signs. I think sometimes I still use some of the "old" home made signs and your Mom knows what I mean (lol)- she uses them with me to help me too.

I didn't know they still did that. I thought they had advanced to using ASL. I was surprised to hear that. Thanks for the video honey.

ILY bunches Aunt Bev

Deaf Cinema said...


thank u for interviewing ur grandma, recording it and sharing it with us all

it is priceless

please consider making a documentary and using this interview as part of it

ur family spans a long line of folks affected by the SYSTEM of Deaf education and its impact on people's lives

really see a great film in the making

years ago i saw Dr. Tucker give a presentation on Communication Abuse (what he termed for the denial of signing for a Deaf child) and there was a long line of folks wanting to share about their experiences growing up - similiar with Audism Unveiled - most folks talk about the home environment and the lack of access and the pain and want it causes for all parties involved

your grandmother rocks - in her firmness, her candor, and her integrity

i love how she rubs the table cloth with her fingers - as if her hands are still crying out wishing they could do more than just touch physical things - wishing the could touch Deaf eyes and hearts via signing

please make that documentary - even if it doesnt happen for a few years to come i know it will be from a Deaf perspective and EAGERLY awaited by all

thank u again for sharing Grandma A with us



Misha said...

WOW! That's all I can say about your ass kickin' vlog!

You're not alone in this. I've been in the same shoes as you are. I could converse with my parents and grandparents without ASL. My parents told me that my oral deaf school told every parent not allowing their children to learn and/or use signs. Not even home made signs at all. But know what? My mom didn't listen to them and used home made signs with me because she noticed that I could understand her with home made signs while reading her lips as well. My late maternal grandparents on other hand used Italian gestures while talking, LOL. I'm able to talk and use home made signs with my mom and brother since they don't know ASL at all. I guess it is force of habit on both side just like it is for you and your grandma.

As for my husband, he went to same school as I. Exactly same thing with his parents who got the advice not to use signs. They eventually used the home made signs a little much later when they noticed that his siblings and neighbor kids used the home made signs with him.

The moral story is Deaf babies deserve to learn ASL while they can learn to talk if/when the parents want the total/sim communication. Also, most Deaf people can talk just fine without a help of C.I.

Thank you for the beautiful and touching vlog, Barb!

Misha :D

Barb, you and your grandma ROCK! ALL THE WAY!

Barb DiGi said...

I am very touched with your warm comments!

I wish I could respond to every one of you but I want to let you know that I am listening through my eyes to your heartbreaking stories as well.

I don't usually sign when using speech and I tend to keep two languages separate. For me to sign to my grandma would not help her to learn at this point because all those years, she had been mentally blocked to learn how to sign thanks to the influence of AG Bell. She often wished she could sign especially that she has three Deaf grandchildren (my siblings and me) and two Deaf great-grandchildren (my children).

I strongly encourage you to tape your family interview and perhaps someday, there will be a collection of video clips to make into a documentary DVD that will be passed out to all parents of Deaf babies. It will be an eyeopener indeed. Hugs!

SweetMind said...

Thank you so much for having a real vlog between your grandma and yourself. I have said it in my own writing in DeafNotes about my grandmother who was 102 years old from the past years and said it the same thing, too.

I am NO difference from you except you have already set the language up from ASL when u were a baby because you have Deaf parents. That is a big help for you to have ASL from a start.

Anyway, my big family said they wish they have learned ASL a long time ago but they told them not to use ASL and make me to speak all the way that is not always success to have a real communication at home or outside of home. Also it slows us down to communicate with hearing people who don't bother to listen to us that is a real lack of communication all the way because we are having a deaf voice that doesn't motivate heairng people to listen to us that easily.

Anyway, MY grandmother said the same thing as your grandmother said it all along.

Guess what I got beaten up for saying it aloud about my grandmother / whole family and I myself about not having American Sign Language with me in DeafNotes..

MIND YOU, These negative and bitter audist attitudes of Deafism, Audism and some CIsm especially CIsm, ALLDEAF, DEAFONLINE and DEAFREEDOM sites that sux to have a big cruel mocking about me and my being single mom for 20 years /grandmother as well.

Those people are being so self centered and doesn't really care for those Deaf children who wants to have a real communication between Deaf and Hearing. Scoffs at them in their future sake. NEVER MIND ABOUT our Deaf ears that will never solve anything.

Deaf will be always deaf forever that you need to face the Deaf reality. COPE WITH IT, no matter you like it or not.

ASL DOES EVERYTHING FOR BOTH SIDES especially for DEAF CHILDREN s rightful to have ASL in their life. SO BE IT!

Have a wonderful day. :)


Anonymous said...

Barb Digi,

What can I say :) ...... Look your high number goes bang!


bigmcreative said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bigmcreative said...


Virginia said...

I don't think I can say much more than what's already been said here, Barb. This is indeed one of your best posts, and I thank your grandmother for her willingness to come forward and tell it like it is, and I thank you for sharing it with us.

My 76 year old mother was told pretty much the same thing when I was a child - that I was "too smart to be sent away to that deaf school, and I would do just fine if kept at home, attended a hearing school, took speech therapy, and was not allowed to learn sign language."

My mother followed those rules, because like many misguided parents, she thought the "experts" had to be right. But she has told me privately that if she had to do it all over again, she would have learned sign language, and now she tells new parents to do so.

My mother is currently battling cancer, and we just found out she has a nonoperable malignant tumor in her brain. Just a few days after we found out about this, several family members were all gathered at my mother's house. Everyone was sitting around chatting, and as the only Deaf person in a non-signing family, I was feeling left out.

I think my mom was feeling a little left out also... not because she couldn't hear, but it was just so overwhelming and confusing for her. Sitting on the sofa next to me, she reached over and silently grabbed my hand and squeezed it.

I will never forget the look on her face... it left me practically in tears.

I think she finally understood, and that touch was her way of an apology.

mishkazena said...

This is a very important message that the hearing parents of deaf babies and toddlers need to hear. Thank you, Barb, for getting your grandmother to share her experience.

mishkazena said...

Oh, by the way, your grandmother looked pretty good for her age. She moved her lips very clearly, making it easy for us who can lipread, understand what she said.

Sheri A Farinha said...

Excellent Barb! Really love how you put this together and will share with others to watch this too.

Der Sankt said...

Hello Barb,

If you don't mind, could you e-mail me? I would like to discuss something with you of utmost importance and it is not about DBC or Deafhood.

I'm very concerned about something that will or is affecting you right now. An email would be appreciated ASAP to take proactive steps towards your protection.

mwahs :) This is nothing bad just so you know. I'm not out to argue with you or whatever, I really want you to be on the safe side.

Think of this as a peace pipe for this certain situation

also can you delete this comment off this posting...it's more for you :)



Barb DiGi said...

Ben I'm in the midst of family vacation that was planned for months. Pls look for my email addy on the right column and reach me.