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September is Deaf Awareness Month! What are you doing to make yourself aware about the deaf world?

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Hawkeye-X Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:17 AM
Original message
September is Deaf Awareness Month! What are you doing to make yourself aware about the deaf world?
I'm David, and I'll be your deaf guide for the day.

I was diagnosed with enlarged endolymphatic sacs when I was 18 months old, had surgery at 3, and have been wearing hearing aids all my life - I have been progressively losing my hearing, and even the most powerful hearing aids doesn't always work. I finally learned and became fluent in ASL (American Sign Language) when I was 17, and married a beautiful deaf woman, and have a hearing child, who is a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults).

Here are a couple of key websites:

First, our deaf community website w/ forum:

http://www.alldeaf.com

Learn American Sign Language:

http://www.lifeprint.com/asl101 /

Want to help DU caption their political videos?

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2009/04/caption-editor...

And of course, we have our Deaf & Hard of Hearing Forum here in DU - just click on the link on the bottom of this post.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to ask. I'll be happy to answer in any way I can.




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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:21 AM
Response to Original message
1. Here's a K&R. I am undoubtedly not doing enough to be aware.
I wonder where this falls on the long list of things which I should be more aware of though? At the rate I'm going I will not caught up in this lifetime.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
2. k&r. thanks for the information.
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
3. K&R n/t
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cdsilv Donating Member (883 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Uhh - spending time with my deaf daughter? n/t
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
5. Lifeprint is also a wonderful way to spice up your DU posts
I just did it yesterday, as a matter of fact:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Which reminds me, when my colleague Becky gets in, to sign "Good morning" to her!
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LynzM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
6. Heya dude :)
My best friend in middle school was deaf, so I learned quite a bit of ASL from her. I've since forgotten a lot of it, though :(

Can I ask, is having the internet as a means of communication as huge a boon to the deaf community as this hearing person (maybe naively?) thinks it would be?

:hi:
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Hawkeye-X Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Of course!
Internet in general has been a MAJOR MAJOR help with the deaf community. Instant Messaging, emails, videophones, Facebook, Myspace, has been a great way to communicate and connect with the other deaf people. I've got like about 300 deaf friends on my FB account :)
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Roon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #7
15. For me, the internet became a great equalizer..
don't need ears on the net...
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Lochloosa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:22 PM
Response to Original message
8. ...
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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 05:39 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. I'll second that kick
I've known the sign alphabet since I was about 7 and it's come in handy a few times.

Julie
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intheflow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
9. I also want to add that ASL is a great second language to teach your child!
Infants can sign before they can speak. Your local library will have access to books and dvds on how to teach your child to sign. Sesame Street alone has some truly wonderful resources.

My sister taught developmentally challenged children for a while, and spoke both audibly and in ASL to her classes. She taught me a game which my son and I used to play on long car trips: spelling out billboards with the ASL alphabet. Whoever spells it the fastest won. It's not full-blown ASL, but if I was stuck on a desert island with a deaf person who couldn't read lips, I could sure spell out my thoughts pretty quickly! And assuming English was their native language, they could understand me. :)

K&R
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FunkyLeprechaun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 03:52 AM
Response to Original message
10. Hi there David!
AllDeaf has posted my articles before, so you may have seen my real name!

I also helped my university get ASL as a foreign language option. They had not considered it as a foreign language due no books being printed in ASL (aside from the Learning ASL books).

I do have my reservations with ASL as a whole, but if it's to help your child communicate with you and your wife, that's great! When I have a child, I'll do Cued Speech with them if I can. I was a patient of Dr Daniel Ling's and he stressed that if my parents wanted me to learn how to speak English well, I shouldn't use CS or sign language when speaking English. As a result my speech is quite good for someone who was born profoundly deaf but my Cued Speech skills are quite rusty. That's okay, I interact mostly with hearing people and my CS skills come back quite easily, albeit slowly, when I hang out with my friends who do use CS.

I know that people advocate using sign language with their hearing babies but how does this affect their later speech skills? I asked my brother-in-law if he had considered using BSL with his son and he looked into it but he didn't think it would help his son with his English speech proficiency skills (his son is hearing).

I'm also writing a dissertation for my MA on deaf access in museums. I chose this subject because I feel that museums can be clueless when it comes to deaf people, especially when I was reading an entry in Museums Journal, profiling a woman who worked for the Tate Modern. She basically said that deaf people who used BSL (British Sign Language) can't read and may not understand what the artwork's label says and I know university educated deaf people who use ASL most of the time! However, I think museums emphasize too much on Sign Language when offering access to deaf people (especially for tours or courses offered by the museum) and am suggesting they approach a script/CC-style access. I used CART at University and it would be useful for Museums' lectures/courses. The reason being that I feel that there are foreign deaf visitors to the museum and they may not understand a different sign language method (believe me BSL is so different from ASL) so offering a script/CC access will give greater scope of access to deaf visitors. I know deaf people from Paris and Geneva who would benefit from this approach.

I also had bad experiences with Deaf Culture when I was younger. Deaf culture people accused my parents of committing Genocide and told them they were abusing me by not using ASL. I was the first deaf child in the state of Minnesota to go to mainstream school and both ASL and hearing people didn't feel I belonged there (they felt that I would do well at MSAD). I had proven them wrong as I graduated HS with a 3.6 GPA, have a degree from one of the nation's top universities and now working on my MA from the University of Leicester. There are many deaf children in mainstream schools now and in my old school district, they had to let go the CS transliterators and the ASL interpreters because the deaf children now wear CIs and are so good at listening that they don't need them. MSAD's enrollment rates have fallen and I think they were thinking about making the school a mixed method school, I also think it's the same for Gallaudet as well.

I do support ASL as a second, third or fourth language but I feel if a parent is hearing with a deaf baby, it's important that the deaf child learns his/her parents' language first and understand it. The access to literacy for deaf children is so important. However, I have a somewhat different position when it comes to CODAs, they need to be able to communicate with their deaf parents (whatever method they use) but I think the exposure to English/other languages as a transition to literacy is important.
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Spacemom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 05:41 AM
Response to Original message
12. I have a question
I know a girl who is deaf. She's part of my extended family. She's been deaf from birth and doesn't speak at all. She seems like such a sweet girl (She's about 20) and always has a smile on her face. It just seems like she's kind of isolated from everything going on around her. I would like to get to know her but don't know how. I've thought of just writing it out and giving her a note. Something along the lines of "I'd like to get to know you and be your friend, but I don't know how to bridge this communication gap. What can we do?"

Would something like that be corny or offensive?
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recoveringrepublican Donating Member (779 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. I'm not deaf from birth, but later, but I would LOVE that. It IS very isolating.
I've found that deafness has made me some close friends though. Those who are willing to calm down and have a little patience are some of the best people in the world.
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FunkyLeprechaun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #12
19. I am like that when I first meet people, especially relatives
People have asked my family if I spoke at all. I am nervous with how they perceive my speech so I am often quiet. I am also shy as well so I prefer it if someone comes to me not me going over to someone.

It is always heartening to see people approach me. It brings me out of my shell a little bit.

I wouldn't do the note at first, I would ask if she can lipread you. People didn't realise that I could lipread them before they met me. Often people who just meet me ask if I can lipread.

Or you could ask her family what method she uses because it doesn't seem like you know what method she depends on.
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Tindalos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:04 AM
Response to Original message
13. k&r & thanks n/t
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
16. How difficult is it to learn to sign? nt
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FunkyLeprechaun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. Even as it looks like a simple language
to learn, it creates its own sentence construction. It also differs by region in the US as well (like an accent) so it is quite difficult to master. You also have to have a friend who knows it in order to keep up with your language (in a way they can correct your mistakes). I took two different classes but never had a group of deaf friends who knew sign (they were mostly oral and Cued Speech).

I can tell when someone hasn't used SL for a long time versus someone who has!
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. That is pretty interesting.
I work with two hearing impared people. Both are really nice people and I always wanted to get to know them better.

I think I will look into finding a class at the local college.

Thanks for the info!

Cheers.
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AspenRose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
17. Yay! K&R
:kick:
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
18. Kicked, too late to recommend.
Thanks for the thread, Hawkeye. :thumbsup:
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
21. I saw something kewl on 'So You Think You Can Dance'
One of the auditioning dancers is hearing impaired. When she was finished, Simon signed some stuff to her, then made sure she could lip-read what he was saying.

I'm partially hearing impaired. Closed captioning has been a godsend for me. I've got a second TV next to my main one that does nothing but captioning what's on the other one. Without it I rarely understand what's being said on TV. Support companies that support closed captioning.
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