Tuesday, June 17, 2008

People like My Mother Could Not Be a Part of the DeafVillage.com

Both DeafRead (DR) and DeafVillage (DV) are providing as blog aggregators. In America, having two or more competitive products are considered healthy and more likely to improve the quality. Yes, the style is different and so is the policy. Most of them get to accept blogs and vlogs that are Deaf related; however, what strikes me the most about DV is that this certain guideline is so different.
To me, I feel that the DV is like this:
(moving the curtain halfway) "hey you are welcome, come on and join us" they say...
Actually, they are welcoming the vloggers halfway. They said that they accept a diversity of bloggers and vloggers regardless of their communication background just like DR.
Why did I say "halfway"? Because it required ASL vloggers to provide transcripts and captions and only some of us can do that. I tend to provide transcripts and it is not a problem for me but I have to speak for this certain group of vloggers like my Deaf mother. She grew up orally and did not have a strong language foundation including ASL that she had to deal with the struggle to comprehend a subject or a topic until she finally learned ASL later on in life. Unfortunately, for her to obtain strong literacy skills were a bit too late. She had been publishing her ASL vlog from time to time and now I am disturbed with the fact that she cannot enter DV because it is required for her to WRITE. She is not a strong writer (she can write sentences) but understands print English. However, when it comes to written English, it is a bit different than reading. To express in writing is too difficult that she often asks for feedback and I do help her sometimes. But for her to feel free to express (with this rigid guideline) is not possible.
DV is not really keeping their curtains wide open to welcome and embrace the walks of life so unlike DR who really keeps it wide open that it doesn't require to write transcripts/captions for ASL vloggers. Naturally, DR has their policy that any blogs that are affiliated to companies (except for Sprint who is the sponsor) to market their product a bit too often is not allowed which is understandable and makes sense. Nevertheless, I just want to focus on this policy that FORCES ASL vloggers to provide written materials and it actually does prevent them to be a part of DV. Not all of the ASL vloggers feel comfortable with English that they had struggled all of their lives and for them to be rejected from DV is not right.
My mother would never be a part of DV and I would not either because I felt that this certain group has been discriminated and I, in no way, would support DV. I feel that the expectations for ASL vloggers is too much of a burden and let me tell you several reasons that the policy to enforce vloggers to provide transcripts/captions are not reasonable.
1. English is not some of the ASL vloggers' strength just like ASL is not some of the bloggers' strength. These bloggers already have an option as opposed to these ASL vloggers. ASL vloggers are stuck and that they are not always strong bilingual users just like those who are fluent in English are not able to express in ASL. What should you do about those who are not strong bilingual users? The bloggers can still get their blogs published in DV and the ASL vloggers can't so what is fair? Now you want access and that you may not understand ASL vloggers, I do understand the problem for this group. It is like catch-22. This group cannot express in writing the way they want to so what is fair? You accept diversity? Let me challenge the quote,"Deaf Village accepts diversity." I want to see where is that part of the group is able to express in their own language without any restrictions. Now DV may say, "Oh no, we don't intend to reject this group of ASL vloggers because we want to have access". I understand that but still it is a huge conflict.
(text: #1. Not all ASL vloggers, especially those who were former orals and did not grow up with ASL, have English proficiency. For those who are not fluent in ASL have more privileges to publish their blogs since translation in ASL is not required.)
2. Translations from ASL to English takes much longer time than from spoken English (including Cued speech) to text (i.e. captions). It is much easier for non-ASL users to translate that it takes much less time than ASL users.
(text: #2. It is a daunting, time-consuming task to translate from ASL to English. To translate from spoken English to captions/transcripts is much easier than from ASL to text.
3. ASL vloggers are finally able to enjoy to watch a video without captions. To have captions in ASL vlogs is distracting and that English distorts the true message of ASL users. There is no enjoyment in viewing ASL vlogs with captions for some.
(text: #3. It has been long overdue for Deaf viewers to enjoy ASL vlogs without captions since it is a distraction to them.)
4. There are times when ASL messages don't go well when translating into English. For example, there are ASL idioms (see video for sign demonstration) that may be difficult to translate into English although the attempts are there but it would never be accurate. It is indeed awkward to translate from ASL to English especially when it is in a simultaneous form. To provide transcripts may be better but still challenging (it already took me an hour to type this so far!). (text: #4. To translate word for word from ASL is not always accurate.)
You need to understand what is reasonable. Do you think this policy is an act of suppression of this group of ASL vloggers?
(text: Suppression occurs when an individual or group tries to directly or indirectly censor that oppresses the other party.)
That is why I cannot participate and support DeafVillage.com because they don't recognize a group of ASL vloggers who are not fluent in English and that they are rejected. I will not support DV until they remove this policy. Diversity? Let me see the proooooffff (in slow motion)!
Sorry, no youtube yet but it will be posted later on tonight. If you have difficulty viewing the video, please download quicktime.


Jenny said...

Handwaves to you, Barb! I agree completely - they are not including everyone. I'm amazed by the people like Jamie Berke who keep insisting that vlogs should be captioned/subtitled but refuse to then also call for written blogs to be translated into ASL. It's a two-way street. Thank you, Barb!

Candy said...

Barb, I'm sure Deaf Village is willing to listen to any concerns.

I don't think perfect grammar is required. I'm sure your mom is capable of writing. And if it resembles ASL in print form, I would think that would be ok. It's still English, if not perfect.

I've notice that, what is different about Deaf Village is that they are willing to listen to all concerns because they want their site to be very diverse. I'm willing to bet that if you contact them, they will try to work something out that meets the needs of people like your mom. And, I do understand because my dad is the same too. But, I can't see him blog...still, gotta think of people like them, I agree.

Dyniece said...

Barb - the great thing about the blogsphere is that you can reach out to other people. I'm sure that individuals like your Mother, who have a difficult time grasping English could easily find somebody who is willing to take the time to look at her vlogs and write a short transcript/blurb for her. In fact if I were more confident about my signing skills I'd be the first to volunteer. I think that's a good reason for me to improve my ASL receptive skills, if there ever was one!

Also, if you look on the flip side, providing subtitles/captions/transcripts for people like your mother, allow for her to reach an audience that otherwise wouldn't even bother watching her vlog because they couldn't understand it. Those people in turn (like myself!) would then improve their understanding of ASL.

Perhaps DV can come up with something like a sub-group that lists the vlogs that need subtitling/captioning for people who have the inclination/ability to provide translation. It would be a volunteer thing, and that way people like your Mother wouldn't be left in the dark. I can see something like a list of vlogs that need subtitling that will then go to the MAIN page after subtitling has been done. Sure it might not be as fast since you'd have to wait for somebody to translate, but I think it would be a step in the right direction for individuals like your mother.

Anonymous said...

Candy - does that we have to NEGOGIATE to get ourselves on the DV list? Forget it!

Stick to your principles to have captions for your vlogs - simple isnt it?

Anonymous said...

this comment is for Candy:

aaron of DV wrote: "One point we must stand by is the issue of captioning or text to go with vlogs. The Deaf Village team has heard your voice and we all agree we still must require that vlogs on Deaf Village be accessible to all."

they ain't bending on this one dude

Anonymous said...

Anonymous310, I don't get it. Why wouldn't ASL contributors want to see that their message reaches all via captioning or, at least, a transcription?

Anonymous said...


Your analogy is exactly right!

It all came out simply because of a small misunderstanding. If COI had made a new personal website, the DV would not have been founded in the first place and we would not have this kind of discussion in the first place.

Still with the vlogs with captions, I rarely see anyone like Jamie, Mike or Rachel making comments on it. So we have no way of knowing if they really watch vlogs with captions or just making a fuss to create controversy to make us angry and look bad ourselves. If they were commenting on captioned ASL vlogs, then I would maybe understand why but if they don't watch captioned ASL vlogs, why bother pleasing them and bending our backs. I'm tired of bending back to many people who demand that we must make our stuff accessible when in reality they don't show any interest or whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous338: What's the difference between your comment and this?

Why wouldn't Bloggers want to see that their message reaches all via ASL or, at least, signing vlog as a transcription?

The bottom line - we should let bloggers/vloggers decide what they like to do. We do not tell people what to do.

It is TOO often that we are being told what to do.

David said...

Hi Barb,

Your argument and my argument are in the same boat.

Excellent article and video clip!

Deaf Village has a mask of hyprocrisy.


Anonymous said...

Well, Barb.

I am thinking of my hearing parents whom could not sign at all. They are old, facing the arthritis problems and are on its way to progressive their hearing loss.

My parents have done a great job for raising me into the successful world. I owe them so much. I want them to be a part of this vlogosphere.

However, it is a struggle between both of them as well as it's 50-50. (DV and DR).

They are having some difficult times hearing the sounds in the backgrounds. That's a huge problem.

White Ghost

Shel said...

Barb, That was an excellent post. You did it again!


I agree with you re: ASL being a rich language, but... I can't resist ribbing you about one thing...

Grove: definition for this is... drum roll...a small growth of trees without underbrush. (wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn)

I think it's a bit difficult to sign up at any aggregate in that environment, don't you think? LOL

Kidding aside, I know what you mean. DV isn't ASL-friendly at any rate. So, vloggers don't feel welcome. That is definitely understandable.

Back to you, Barb, from my reading of all blogs that support DV's guideline, I get the impression that they:
a) do not understand that there are different skills involved between reading English and writing English.
b)do not know/understand the linguistics and cultural complexities of ASL
c) don't understand that because of the complexities of translating between two different languages/cultures, captioning/subtitling can be more time-consuming.
d)think that proper ASL is simply a offshoot of English, therefore there should be no trouble in captioning vlogs. Yeah right. Refer to b and c.

Because of this lack of understanding, DV operators cannot see the unreasonableness of their guideline.

drmzz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Normal Deaf Person said...

Why do we continue talking about deafVillage and their narrow-minded ideology?

These people left DeafRead because they don't belong to the genuine Deaf Reality.

Just tell them to bug off! They are not interesting in Deaf Culture or our genuine language.

There only 10 or fewer misguided characters running deafVileage that enjoys being a member of the deficit thinking culture.

Normal Deaf Person

Anonymous said...

DV is nothing but a bunch of audists who are so friggin proud that they can TALK and HEAR. Whoop-de-do!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that those who can't write English well will be regarded as stupid and their opinions won't be taken as seriously.

Anonymous said...

Your video won't work

I really hate long posts with long paragraphs.

Dianrez said...

Excellent point about if vlogs need to be captioned or provided with a translated text, then so should blogs be provided with an ASL interpretation.

Text brings our material within reach of more people in the world, including Deaf people of all kinds and all nations that know English. It also brings it within reach of the search engines and researchers in our kind of material.

But interpreted blogs bring the material within reach of the entire signing Deaf community. Fair enough.

Jimmy said...

Anonymous 6:14 pm,

The video worked fine for me.

It is you that got a problem!

You hate long post with long paragraphs, then you still have a problem again.

The type you are, you can find harmony at deaf-Vile-age because they love negatives just like your two sentence,

"Your video won't work"....
"I really hate long posts with long paragraphs"

deaf-VILE-age is your place to be and please stay over there and enjoy yourself with these people!


drmzz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa C. said...

I agree with you. (Handwaving)

Anonymous said...

Jimmy, You answer me your stupid question. Videoserver.us often doesn’t work expect YouTube. I know Barb always add YouTube. I bet she forget to put it in her blog. YOU HAVE NO RESPECT WHEN I AM LEARNING DISABITILITY. Shame on you.

Anonymous said...


Then stay over at deafvillage.

You don't seem happy here at Deafread

It is people like yourself, Candy that seems to support these deficit thinking people at deafvillage so please use your head that many people are not happy with you. It is you that need changing, not us. So stop rationalizing yourself and be who you are....and who cares about Paotie, McConnell?

Just why you support their stupidity that is alway talking about themselves, not for others....don't you get it?

Wake up!

Shel said...

Personal choice is key, indeed.

This guideline is easily seen as merely another tool to oppress ASL in a long line of oppressive tools, so I do see why this topic is such an inflammatory one.

Those at DV who feel English is THE language to use because it's the language of the majority don't see how their requirement oppresses ASL users who aren't as fully bilingual. You named your dad as one such individual. Barb's mom is another.

Now, if they require the English text be translated into sign languages as well, I doubt this would be such a hot issue.

Mike Mc Connell said in a debate with me that "diversity doesn't imply accessibility."

Guys, what do you make of that?

My take on that phrase is that it most definitely contradicts the guideline thereby rendering it invalid.


Misha said...

Great vlog, Barb. You've said it better along.

Something has been bothering me since DV's pathetic policy on caption/text/transcription. I just remembered after several days thinking of there should be a way. Ohhh, wait a minute! I went back to CI Online and re-read what Elizabeth said in her "Dig it" title. LO! She "claims" that she knows ASL. *gasp!* She does? *gasp* Hmm, that gives you something to pause and think. Why can't she do the voice over any deaf vloggers who can't do caption/text nor transcription?!? Duh.. She can do that, huh? Hm, I don't think so because they're not willing to consider and will keep shutting ASL vloggers out anyway.

Anyway....screw DV for all I care.

Misha :D

Shel said...

FYI: Mike McConnell says he knows ASL, too, and I just challenged him to lead by example and translate one of his posts into ASL, and vice versa. Will he do it? I don't know.


Jon said...


Jane Fernandes said the same thing....I am fluency in ASL and the whole world believed her!

Mike McConnell doesn't know the real ASL, but maybe he know sign language like the majority of the teachers for the deaf... 3 grade level communication skills. Now you see why they say that Deaf people have 4 grade level reading skills... it is the teachers' lack of communication teaching skills.

Yes, Mike know sign language but on the scale of 1 to 10, it is about a 2 or 3, no wonder why he refuse to sign on Vlog. My 6 year old Deaf granddaughter can do better than Mike McConnell.

Mike McConnell cannot translate genuine ASL because he doesn't know ASL!
That is the fact.....Mike McConnell, proof your ASL skills to us on Vlog.

Anonymous said...


"The supporters of oralism often depicted a deaf population that was suspicious and defiant of larger*English* society."

The goal was to make deaf people more "human" or, like the rustic peasant forced to learn correct *English*, make deaf people, make deaf people more "civilized" through the use of the "spoken" word. From the oralist perspective, these beliefs were entirely consistent with a progressive society's philosophy of working for the betterment of humanity."

Deaf History Unveiled

The Deaf communitie's identy was damaged by English user.

Misha said...

I was going to mention Mike McDonnell but decided against that. But he hasn't yet shown any proof that he has ASL skills as he "claims". I don't think he and Elizabeth are going to do that anyway.


Anonymous said...

anonymous 7:41 PM from Floridagirl

Jeffrey said...


Great Discussion.
Good Points.

Well said!

I just want to put in a few definitions here to help our beloved experts of the English language.

Diverse: adj.

1: differing from one another: UNLIKE

2:composed of distinct or unlike elements or qualities

Diversity: n.

1: the condition of being diverse: VARIETY : the inclusion of diverse people (as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization

2: an instance of being diverse.

I hope this helps them understand what their understanding is lacking.

Oh well...
It's strawberry fields....

la la la la.

Anonymous said...

Cultural DIVERSITY encompasses the cultural differences that exist between people, such as language, dress and traditions, and the way societies organize themselves, their conception of morality and religion, and the way they interact with the environment



Shel said...


Hey, it's strawberry season here in Canada. I'm gonna go over and pick me some strawberries. (Barb, why do food keep popping up in your blog? Last time, it was steak. I always get hungry here.)

Back to the point of the discussion:

Hmmmm... type up an educational blog on that definition and submit it to DV? On the basis of diversity alone you SHOULD be accepted. You're as UNLIKE anyone else I know LOL.;-)

Misha, unfortunately you'd probably be correct that they won't do it.

Florida Girl,
Yep. That's oppression at work, all right.

Add your comment to Jeffrey's new educational blog ;-)

Jeff...get the hint?

Candy said...

I think some of you have misinterpreted the guideline. You're making a big molehill out of it, is all I can say.

Ya know, you guys are starting a dangerous trend. Who's to say that someone will start lobbying for less captioning on TV, DVD's etc because you all don't seem to want it here, then why would you want it there?

Be careful for what you wish for.

I agree there has to be some give and take. Instead of whining about it, talk to them over at DV. Talking does not mean negotiating. You don't need to negotiate. sheesh. lighten up folks.

Jeffrey said...


I'll get me baskets and we can pick together. I love wild strawberries on ice cream.


Send those pupils to class!

Smile and the world smiles with ya!

Anonymous said...

Candy has a point, 8:33 PM.

We can't be selfish. I felt guilty because there are more countries, i.e., Africa with poverty do not have subtitles and many more.

We should be grateful to have the CC in the movies, DVDs, and many more. It's for everyone who involve the needs.

We couldn't ask for more.

White Ghost

Shel said...

Candy, if the guideline is being misinterpreted, perhaps it is because it is too vague? What is your interpretation of that guideline? And, how does this jibe with Mike's "diversity doesn't imply accessibility" comment?

Also, you missed the point, as have you, White Ghost. If the DV asked that the blogs translate into signed text like BSL, ASL, Auslan, whatever as well, there won't be a hue and cry from the Deaf community. It has to work both ways. There's too much history of English oppressing other languages including ASL for this guideline to be taken docilely.


drmzz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shel said...

Drmzz... I'm okay with eating strawberries, but I hope you don't mean we have to sniff them too? Smelling is ok, but sniffing...puhleez! I gotta draw the line somewhere.

I just ate strawberries with Jeffrey. Now I'm hungry again.


Anonymous said...


That's a good debate, Shel.

For instance, Seek Geo have the link in foreign languages on the right side of his blog. I clicked one of the foreign languages and Wow! It's great! It's cool!

Someday, perhaps, the aggegrators could set up for all of us to access any languages, just like Seek Geo's blog.

White Ghost

Shel said...

I'll have to check out SeekGeo's foreign languages link.

PS: Fresh strawberries on sale in Ontario. Come partake of them with icecream and pound cake.

WELL It IS June! Strawberry fever is in the air.

Jeffrey said...

*strawberry juice running down my chin*

These are ummmm-deeee-licious!

*wiping my mouth*

drmzz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...


I just commented in Seek Geo's blog.

I don't know why he removed the foreign languages' links.

Hope he'll tell us for some good reasons.

I tried..... :-/

White Ghost

drmzz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shel said...

Jeffrey, you just missed a spot on your chin. Let me wipe that off for you.

Yep. Those strawberries were delicious.

Drmzz... I know what you mean. Careful. You nearly mentioned my number one addiction: coffee. hmmm. Coffee with strawberries, anyone? More specifically...Tim Horton's coffee with cream. I'm killing two birds with one stone.

Ahhh... URP. Sorry. How uncouth of me.

Sorry, Barb. I just got off topic. Food is a good distraction. Good coffee is an even better distraction.


Barb DiGi said...

Jenny: I am more amused at the idea how much they stress diversity and ending up accepting certain vloggers! I left my comments explaining almost the same what I said in my vlog at Jamie's blog and she didn't even publish mine. It tells me how much narrow minded a person can be to resist my reasoning for opposing to the idea of requiring vloggers to provide text.

Candy: Well, I hope DV is capable to listen to any concerns because it seems to me that they haven't participate in this forum. I don't even feel I need to contact them because this has already been to their face as they would have read my b/vlog. My mom is not the only one whose needs need to be met and it is impossible to address to everyone's needs. I read it somewhere that DV made it clear that it is not their responsibility. My simple solution? Do not require captions or texts for ASL vloggers. Let them be free from this suppression.

Barb DiGi said...

Dyniece: That's the point..my mother would have to DEPEND on someone to write a transcript or do captions and that is, my dear, not a freedom to her right of speech since it is being restricted by this guideline. Writing blogs/doing vlogs are supposed to allow one to be expressive and free without having to resort to this rigid guidelines. Imagine if YouTube requires everyone to do transcripts and captions. What would you think people will say? Not all ASL vloggers are out to reach the audience who are not signers. If they want to reach out to a larger audience, allow them to make that choice. Your solution to have a sub-group is not a bad idea at all but I suppose it can be a difficult, time-consuming task to do for every vlog unless one gets paid. It is all about economic opportunities to make this happen.

Barb DiGi said...

Anon 3:38: Like I said, not all ASL contributors are comfortable to translate their ASL vlogs due to reasons mentioned earlier.

Anon 3:40: Interesting point!

Anon 3:54: Another good point! Yes, this is the blogosphere of the free especially in America! It just violates their freedom of speech!

Deafchip: Let's keep on rowing the boat gently down the stream and be merry that DeafRead isn't like DV!

drmzz: Yes, it is the policy that drives ASL vloggers away. Amen!

WG: I suppose your parents are dependent on print English to understand the vlogs. Like I said in my vlog, there are b/vloggers who are more dominant in their language than another may cause the struggle for the viewers to understand but to ban this group of ASL vloggers from posting because of the lack of text is not what makes it right. They should not be prevented from their freedom of speech just because they are not fluent with English.

Shel, the welcome mat at DV is so worn out already, I guess! Perhaps DV comes from a different planet that explains why it is so difficult for them to understand.

David Ennis said...

Exactly I totally agreed with your each paragraph from the top to last..

The title of "Deaf Village" should be renamed "Hearing Impaired Village" because the DV founders believe that ACCESSIBILITY will alway be the top priority over the respective status of any cultural and linguistic minorities.

As my Methodist volunteer in the summer 2000, I used to work with Deaf children and adults in Kenya and Zimbabwe. Both Kenyan Sign Language and ZimSign Language are completely different from my native American Sign Language. It was a tough challenge for me to learn their African sign languages. After two weeks, I enjoyed talking with them by using basic KSL or ZimSL instead of my native ASL. Personally, I don't believe that they are required to learn ASL in order to communicate with us because my humility respects their beautiful African sign languages.
When I arrived in Baltimore, my friends took me to ride home for about an hour. During my riding, I glanced passing many well-shaped residential and commerical buildings, all highly graded roads, new cars, beautiful city and rural landscapes. For my first few minutes, I began to realize how I am so blessed that our country is the powerful nation on Earth with many rich resources and many great opportunities. After 30 minutes, my emotion somehow grew angry until L became much disgust of our materialistic society where many Americans are narcissists.

Right now, I realized that there are some strong pro-ACCESSSIBILITY supporters, who decided to leave the Deafread, are preoccupied with their high-tech audiological-related materialistic things.

Even worse, all DV founders already knew that ASL vloggers have some difficult times to face the obscured "Written English Only" requirement because they are simply narcissists when they keep exploiting at ASL vlogger's weak English language as long as they enjoy torturing at vlogger's esteem of his/ner creative stories in ASL.


Barb DiGi said...

Hey Normal Deaf Person: Well, wouldn't it be nice if we can discuss about normal things for a change? It is just that it's mind-boggling for me to witness the contradiction when one claims diversity but rejects a certain group of ASL users who are not too keen with written skills. It is time for us to make criticism about their actions since they were the one who cried wolf.

Anon 5:00: Exactly! It is a no-brainer that there are smart people who happen not to be fluent in English know the perception of the viewers when being judged by their writing quality.

Dianrez: As you know, these points are not quite new but it seems to me that it requires repetition for one to really get it.

Kim said...

Barb-- One reason I always read your blogs is that you're able to disagree in an eloquent way without putting anyone down. These are your feelings based on your unique perspective of growing up with a Deaf mother who has trouble writing English.

I guess we all have different perspectives/feelings on this. I have felt left out so many times in DeafRead because I didn't understand a vlog. I wanted to understand too, but some people sign too fast and I still have many signs to learn.

I appreciate your willingness to transcribe all of your vlogs. You have good English skills, so it's easy for us to assume most Deaf do. I understand better now why DV's policy has become such a hot spot for some.

I agree it's wonderful DeafRead is there for people like your mom who don't feel comfortable with writing. I hope DR never changes. Someday, I hope I will be able to understand what your mom has to say.

Still-- I appreciate there's a place for me where I can blog about deafness and not feel left out or criticized because my ASL isn't up to par. In many ways, your mom and I are in the same boat.

It's interesting. I continue to learn new things in here all the time. :-)

Barb DiGi said...

Jimmy, there will always be complainers and pleasers on this earth! I enlarged my text to make it more accessible for the Deaf-Blind and funny is that one complains how long my post is. If I make it into regular font and size, it would be much shorter! It is all about perception!

Candy and drmzz: I would have to agree with drmzz that the purpose of v/blogging is not to be restricted or manipulated. It is all about having equal opportunity instead of being selective.

Lisa: Hands-waving back!

Anon 7:03: In case you have missed, I announced in my blog right from the start that YouTube will be posted tonight as I didn't forget for those who don't have access to quicktime :-)

Barb DiGi said...

To Anon 7:03 again: I am not quite sure I understand how not posting my video in youtube has to do with your learning disability?

Shel: Contradiction indeed!

Misha: It bothered me for days which is why I had to vlog about it to get it out of my chest. It is funny that we haven't seen those who claimed that they know ASL haven't vlogged in ASL. I was challenged to do a spoken English vlog and I already did it so why can't they?

Barb DiGi said...

Jon: A person making such claims knowing ASL but haven't vlogged in ASL doesn't fly.

Florida Girl: So would you call this colonization where heavy emphasis is on using and speaking English?

Misha: Nah, me don't think so either!!

Jeffrey: Thanks for reinforcing what a true meaning of diversity should be. Now that you have brought up strawberry fields making me wanting to have a strawberry shortcake. Got whipped cream?

Shel: Ha! Food for a thought indeed!

Barb DiGi said...

Candy: Nah, no negotiation here as it is not my goal though. This is just an open forum and I am sure that DV readers have read this and acknowledge the issues by now. It is up to them how they want to continue with this guideline but my part is done when sharing my thoughts since I have no control how it should turn out to be.

You know, to some ASL vloggers including myself, having subtitles in vlogs is distracting just like hearing people are bothered by closed caption appearance in their TVs that they often have it in off mode. It is all about choices, not making demands. Yes, an off and on switch for captions may solve the problem but to require a vlogger to caption is not reasonable. As for demanding captioning in TV programs, movies, DVDS, etc. we cannot place vlogs in the same category because of economy status.

Nevertheless, the main focus of my vlog is that there is a group of people who are suppressed to have their vlogs published not about having accessibility to view the media which would require another forum.

Barb DiGi said...

Shel: Ditto! Want some whipped cream with ice cream and pound cake with strawberries?

WG: Done.

Now be nice everyone...stick to discussing the topics, not making degrading remarks about the commenters here.

drmzz: Not everyone have a thick skin you know? I understand your frustration but it is not helping us getting anywhere. It is too frustrating when it is difficult to find a common ground but it becomes more frustrating when respect is not present.

Barb DiGi said...

David: Thanks for sharing your experience. Unfortunately, there are cultures who have this enthnocentric attitude and it does apply to DV since they made their principle that English is superior over ASL.

Speaking of being blessed, I am much more appreciative of DeafRead than ever!!

Barb DiGi said...


Why, thank you. But there are times that I do get irritated so I had the opportunity to vent it out then try to look at the topic objectively. I even called Deaf Village "barfsville" when commenting at another vlog!

Like I said, it is a catch 22 thing! There are two groups being left out: one who cannot comprehend the ASL vlogs and one who cannot include transcripts/subtitles due to lack of English proficiency. How to include them all is challenging but to make a such guideline is discriminatory for ASL vloggers who are not able to or not feel comfortable to provide texts.

drmzz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Squ65 said...

Barb -- I love you for this! I am in the same boat as your Mom! I am very intelligent as I am often told. It is very odd I am stuck with my writing even I am an avid reader. I am a former oral myself until I learned ASL at Gallaudet. I have had a very very difficult to write down -- fluently and/or freely. Today I often wish to file the complaint to my work or others .. I am humiliated and trapped. I give up. I don't mean I am not a winner but blame on this damn language barrier! I grew up lack of express my own feelings -- write freely. (My family is a bit reserved .. not allowed me to express freely in the public.) My speech isn't too great either. English is NOT my first language because I barely remember I used my homemade signs with my siblings as a young toddler. At this moment I am stuck - I wish to express freely here in my vlog but It is not a good timing because of the recent incident - a long story! Every Deaf v/bloggers have rights to express freely thru vlogs, blogs and many more. That's what the Deafhood is all about! Everyone is welcomed.

BTW I am pretty stunned about your interviewing with your wonderful grandmother by using your voice. Share the story about the ABG and so on. I've always thought you are Deaf and raised in the Deaf family etc ... I was dumbfounded by your precious interview. Still am.

As you can see my writing isn't too great compared to the avid writers (like you and some others) I feel humiliated. Again thanks for sharing this with us.

Squ65 said...

Diane here again -- Once more thing DV and DR are DEAFinetely not the same thing to me. No offense but many educated Deaf people often use the DeafRead (both blogs and vlogs). I use both DR and DV depends on the good topics. I am into the Deaf world - of course just my writing issue is the problem for me. I have enjoyed both the DR and DV (however DV humiliated me a big time a few weeks ago. I will not do the vlog over there for a while). Anyway I have had a hard time writing my own blogs in the DeafRead instead I use the vlog - One at a time I guess. Based on my own opinion, Many people (I would say 70 or less percent) in DV are not educated and tends to yap yap behind Deafs' back and etc. Again NO OFFENSE. Correct me if I am wrong and I am happy to hear your point of view here. Remember they are welcomed .. and be sure we have to make accommodate for variety of Deaf people's needs here. I'll hush ... *waving*

Candace A McCullough said...

Same concerns here! It does not feel right when they do not ask bloggers to translate their blogs into ASL, too. Thanks for doing this vlog.

Anonymous said...

Barb DiGi, So would you call this colonization where heavy emphasis is on using and speaking English?

The English language is helpful for highly intelligent deaf children who cultivate their minds. Oralists are brainwashing deaf children with English as their primary langauge. Also, the oralist would get rid of any Deaf students with failing literacy practically the same as the Nazis would slanghter any Deaf person who did not have skills.

To take a look at Mike McConnell, Paotie and Rachel, they are very skilled at writing and receiving a high grade without raising their experience with ASL as their primary language since birth.

PS. I take pleasure in watching your vlog that has many examples.


Jean Boutcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barb DiGi said...

Candace: It is good for the readers and DV people to know how we feel if they care.

Floridagirl: It is all about values, heh? We all have values but need to work on compassion and respect.

Jean: Aww, sorry that you are having difficulty with my video. Have you tried downloading quicktime? I wasn't able to upload YouTube since I didn't have access at that time thanks to firewall!

Jean Boutcher said...

Albeit I am bilingual: ASL and English, I am disappointed for not having for more than 12 hours been able to access your vlog. Quick Time Player in my computer is not working for some reason or another. Why am I disappointed for not seeing your vlog? Simple because ASL is my FIRST language!

todos la vie said...

wow, looks like this touched a lot of nerves. Your argument addressed the need for acceptance and diversity in the deaf community. It's not ASL for the sake of English, but rather having ASL as a whole language without sacrifices. Deaf village doesn't really provide an authentic atmosphere for deaf people with their policy and it's astounding to see this still goes on.

Anonymous said...

There's something I can't understand. The people who make ASL vlogs are complaining that they have to caption or subtitle the vlogs before they will be listed on Deaf Village. The point for having the captions or subtitles is so that everybody can understand what they are saying.

Don't they WANT others to be able to understand them? I mean, ASL is not exactly the most common language, and being that this is the world-wide internet,there will be a HUGE audience that won't even bother watching the ASL vlogs if they aren't translated, and therefore the message will be completely lost! What's the purpose of putting up the vlog on a site where people won't even watch/understand it? There are other places that vlogs like that can be put if they don't want to take the time to ensure that they are accessible to those who can't understand ASL, nobody's forcing them to put their vlogs on Deaf Village's site.

What if they do away with this rule, and a bunch of the bloggers who have CI's just start putting up vlogs where they speak? Don't you think those who have ASL will demand captions so they can understand? It works in both directions!

Shel said...


You hit the nail on the head. "ASL as a whole language without sacrifices."

Mike said in our debate that ASL users could ask others to help with English writing. So, that is indeed asking an ASL person to sacrifice their pride and independence and ask for help in writing, after a lifetime of being criticized for their poor writing. To add this dependence to a lifetime of being told their English is not good enough is simply not right.

Look at Diane. I honestly don't think she has bad English writing. (I've seen worse from some hearing people I know.) She simply does not have confidence in her own writing, and in fact, feels humiliated. This is after a lifetime of being criticized for grammar errors, etc. I see this in so many Deaf people who aren't fully bilingual.

Those in DeafVillage has never had negative experiences with English, so they cannot ever understand where Diane or Barb's mother are coming from, for example.


Shel said...

Anonymous 3:59

I agree this should work in both directions, so why don't DV require that blogs be translated into ASL vlogs as well?

You speak like a monolingual person who has never taken cultural studies. When you don't know the history or cultural or linguistic issues, you cannot understand.

ASL is being offered to hearing people all over the USA. Many hearing people are interested in those courses, yet some of the DV aggregators don't bother to take ASL linguistics courses?


Anonymous said...

Some deaf people have no use for ASL! Nobody in my family is deaf except me, and I'm the only deaf person in my town, the only deaf student in my school system. I lipread and I speak, and I use a hearing aid - but there is nobody that I NEED to sign to, so why should I have to learn ASL?

Shel said...

Anonymous 4:17

I understand your point, but there's a wonderful little tool called the Internet. Go to Deafread Live Chat. It is always active Friday nights, at least from what I see. I'm usually in bed by that time (EASTERN TIME) :-(

People don't HAVE to learn French, Spanish, Greek or other languages, but they do so for the fun of it. So, do learn ASL for the fun of it. :-)


Squ65 said...

I am a bit wary of that person who remains anonymous here ... I grew up oral and I don't do these stuffs to the Deaf children or students. We come from our different upbringing. There is no right or wrong here. I have a very large hearing family and they don't sign. I have used my voice with them everyday! I have a very old friend Kathy who is hard of hearing and still refuses to learn ASL! She spoke with my sister front of me. I was like ugh ... Luckily at the right time and the right place. After my sister left, I "ASLed" with my own friends front of her. Kathy gullllped because she was all alone in the room with us Deaf! I am not angry and/or I can't control her thou .. It is all up to her. I hope Kathy gets the message. I am willing to speak slowly and some homemade signs with her.

I am a bit wary of that person .. would be nice anonymous is not allowed here .. lol

Quoted by the Anonymous.

"Oralists are brainwashing deaf children with English as their primary langauge. Also, the oralist would get rid of any Deaf students with failing literacy practically the same as the Nazis would slanghter any Deaf person who did not have skills."

Longoman said...

Excellent point and valid. DV is really mentally deaf in that area.
John Lennon knows what you meant -
"Always, no sometimes, I think it's me
But you know I know when it's a dream.
I think I know I mean a 'Yes'.
But it's all wrong.
That is I think I disagree.
Let me take you down,
'Cos I'm going to Strawberry Fields.
Nothing is real
And nothing to get hung about.
Strawberry Fields forever."
Applies to opinionated vloggers/bloggers and the like.

Anonymous said...

Squ65 -- 4:33 PM June 18, 2008

I feel for you. Let me give you a hug. I went through the same boat as you are in a situation with "Kathy".

The best thing for you is to remain calm and be yourself. You can sign to your friends in front of your sign-less friend. Don't let them wary you. :-)

I'm an avid reader, too. It's my reading as a "smoking" habit. I must not quit my reading habits. It's better than smoking. We don't have to do our best for writing skills. As long as we can understand our proficiency.

Thanks, Barb. At times, there are some views that I have never thought and get my perspective into a broad discussion. It's a good discourse, tho.

White Ghost

Shel said...


As I've never heard music, or read lyrics, thank you for putting Jeffrey's strawberry fields comment in context. I had fun getting mileage out of the strawberry thing, though.

White Ghost,

I believe most of us have gone through what you and Diane experienced and understand.

Not quitting reading is good advice for any one. Re: writing, that is good advice you gave Diane.

My advice to Diane, and whoever else this applies, is: NEVER be ashamed of your writing no matter what level it is. Your writing reflects the person that you truly are. The same applies to signing in ASL.


*ist said...

What a great vlog! I support you 100%

People should be entitled to decide how to portray their thoughts, opinions, and their genuine values whichever method they prefer in the vlogs. After all, it is their vlogs that reflect who they are.

For DV to mandate this policy to enforce all vloggers to provide transcript is a huge loss in DV's aim to "diversity."

Diversity is about respecting each person's preference, values, and communication methods/approaches including their decision not to use transcript that may reduce our beautiful sign language into mere 1-dimensional texts.


Anonymous said...

your brother Joe is not good write english well too.


Barb DiGi said...

(this comment was posted earlier but moved to the bottom)

Diane (Squ65): I feel for you! There are many intelligent Deaf people who have been limited by language. You were exposed to speech learning not language learning when you were growing up. Your English isn't that bad though since you do have advantages in some ways. There are many others who are not even like yours unfortunately. Anyway, I just hope that there will be people who are willing to learn and I can see some are after having this discussion.

Barb DiGi said...

todos la vie: Yes, it is a very sensitive issue. What you said is so true about DV!!

Anon: Well, not everyone's goal is to have their messages across to everybody. The whole point is having the freedom or choice to vlog without the requirement of English. Imagine Youtube has that policy that all foreign language must be translated into English. Do you actually think no one will object? I am not addressing about accessibility in my vlog but about freedom of choices.

Shel: Well said!

Anon 4:14: So in your nutshell, no one uses ASL and you have to lipread and use hearing aid. How sad that you were not given an opportunity to experience both languages. Like Shel said, to learn a second language can be fun and exciting. If you are Italian, would you want to learn their language? So think about it.

Squ65: We all should know that reading anonymous statements are not always validated. It is up to us to decide. I believe in freedom of speech as long as one doesn't attack another so anyone is entitled to make their comments whether if it is anon or not.

Barb DiGi said...

Longoman, my man! Perhaps DV is mentally deaf-impaired? LOL..thanks for sharing the verse from John Lennon..learning something new here!

WG: Glad to know that you are opening up your views and learning something from this vlog.

Shel: Ditto!

*ist: Thanks! You have said it beautifully! Your point about the concept of diversity is so clear! Diversity in DV my ass!

H.: Your ip address shows that you are Di so I find it interesting that you brought it up about your own husband. Please don't try to pretend that you are someone else. We knew it was you all along making these comments in another vlog so you know that being anonymous doesn't mean that we don't know who.

Back to the point, your English is not at par either because you did not have a solid language while growing up. Ever since Joe was a baby, it was instructed not to use ASL but spoken English so he did not develop a strong language base. Luckily, my mother changed the approach with Susan and me. Remember, Joe had a learning disability and he was not raised in a strong bilingual environment since his school used oral approach.

Anyway, that is the point of my vlog since there are Deaf people who have minimal English skills should not be pressured or have to abide the guidelines that they are required to provide text whether it is captions or transcripts. DV claimed they welcome diversity but in reality they are not since there are ASL users who are not capable to do that or don't want to do that since they felt intimated with their writing skills.

Jean Boutcher said...

To some commenters:

Please bear in mind that intelligence and language skills are separate. Albeit lacking writing or reading skills, your deaf child's IQ may be much higher than yours or than his hearing sibling(s). There are two separate intelligences. One is natural intelligence; the other is developmental intelligence. If your child lacks language skills, it does not mean that he is much stupider than a person who has English proficiency.

I had been a French tutor for many years. I have observed that some deaf students -- are you ready? -- have Englishphobia (a term I coined at Gallaudet in 1970s), but they have no phobia in French! To find out why they have Englishphobia, you would have to ask them pourquoi.

Jean Boutcher

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said…October 9, 2006 at 3:07 pm
“Do us a favor. Don’t post anything until the protest is over. Your posts are too heavy — research kind of posts. Write something for lay people! Thanks.”

Language as Reality: An introduction to Discourse Theory « A ...
Deaf Characters in Adolescent Literature - Interview with author Elizabeth Boschini and illustrato... Berke Outspoken - Deaf Village’s Captioning ...

Anonymous said… Saturday, August 04, 2007
“If the 'Deaf' seem determined to take on A G BELL then they must expect opposition... while choice exists, you have to accept oralism.... the decision is, do you want to spend a lifetime opposing that choice, or get on with the choice you have made ? A lifetime is a long time to spend wasting energy... Change what you can, don't expend energy on what you can't.”

ASLisRisen: Still War for Oralism VS ASL ????
Aug 4, 2007 ... It is time we need to build more STRONGER DEAF FORT to protect and gaurd ASL ... Interview with author Elizabeth Boschini and illustrato

Deaf Tea Time: Validity of Great Schools Website Scores
Jan 20, 2008 ... Schools for the deaf in different states are a whole a DIFFERENT STORY due to .... Interview with author Elizabeth Boschini and illustrato.

“And, let me let you in on a little secret, Deaf Militants”

“WHAT?!? Shocking, I know. Given the extent to which some Deafhood followers glorify ASL, you’d be tempted to think it contained some talisman-like powers.”
Post by Elizabeth.

Apparently, Elizabeth Boschini has spoken out on Deaf issue. Did you click on any of the links?

Sometimes the links seem to lead you to some other place. I suspect that she seems to be the same person as an anonymous some blogs and vlogs.


Kim Carwile said...

Hi Barb,

Thanks for expressing your vlog about the DV's policy with us along with the following blog comments.

Both of ASL and English have a different form of expressing freely with its own grammatical structure, syntax, semantics, use of language, and more. It seems confusing for me if I watch ASL story with English subtitle at the same time, for example, ASL Signs: MAN WHERE (whq) and it should be written in English as it is
MAN WHERE (whq).

In ASL, MAN WHERE (wh-q) translating into English as "Where is the man?" is still different especially with our use of space, non-manual marker, and facial expression. Do speakers without ASL formal training understand wh-q, y/n-q, neg, nod, cond, or ASL gloss?

It is as well a time consuming to translate, using all ASL signs, ASL-English glosses, and English sentences and ASL-English features at the same time.

I have to pick one either of ASL or reading English or consecutively.

I am sure that hearing speakers have challenges understanding our ASL idioms or slangs and many of us have the courage to ask their hearing idioms to expand the meaning for us. We both have different visual and auditory oriented background with many different idioms.

I hope DV is looking into your recommendation and having second thought on ASL v-loggers who want to express their narration, stories, or sharing experiences freely without any stress involved.

I appreciate your concern, Barb and commenters.