a Tear or a Smile?

Vlog – a Tear or a Smile?

This hit me today. I have been fully aware of this quote as I go through life daily. Yet a conversation such as today brings this close to mind and heart. This is a question one needs to ask oneself periodically through out the journey of a lifetime.

So which is it? What is better?  The truth that draws a tear or the lie that draws a smile?**  Most of will agree that the truth hurts when confronted with it and with time and the chance to self-analyze the truth, acceptance and the chance to make changes, to improve, to understand and see things in a different light.

a tear

tearforblog

A greater pain is the lie that people just tell or let go. You wonder ‘let go’?  How is letting go a lie? It does not promote dialogue nor a pathway for change. A lie is not a simple thing, it creates conflict and dishonesty, hurting all that ‘benefit’ from this lie. A lie does not offer opportunities nor does it offer chances. It takes them away. That hurts more deeply than the truth.

I have said my piece, yet I want to bring something up. Responsibility. Many people think that it is the sole person’s responsibility for everything in life or in what they do. Unfortunately, this is not true.

I had this conversation once with my mother at a soccer game.  We were talking about stuff and she asked me why I did not use sign language at home.  I explained that it became a habit to sign at school and speak at home. She put the responsibility of signing at home at my hands, 100%.  I told her that it was also her responsibility and whomever in the house to tell me to shut up and start signing (I literally said ‘shut up’ because by nature I am a chatterbox, when the time comes). It is the both of us who are responsible for what we do, no matter how heartfelt our intentions are, equally.

Each of us may have a different type of responsibility and at different levels one time or another. No person is solely responsible for the outcome, consequences or actions that occurs. That responsibility is equal among others. This denial and placing the responsibility upon one person is a form of a lie.  When we do not stand up, then the lie continues.

smileforblog

Which is it? A tear or a smile?

 

 

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Beyond the Ear: To Be or Not to Be

A paradox is it not? The famous words uttered by actor from Shakespeare’s own words – “to be or not to be”? The ultimate goal of Hamlet was to decide whether he would or not kill himself. In this he also analyzes whether or not there is life after death.

Take off the ‘deafness’ label and put your name on it. Own being deaf, let it immerse into your whole being.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_be,_or_not_to_be

This draft has been sitting in my box for three years.  Sometimes when one writes something, it will be difficult to express the thoughts. For me, it is an analysis process, requiring me to assess my thoughts, feelings and be able to express it in a manner that I sincerely hope is clear enough.

To Be or Not to Be…

As someone who is deaf all of her life and until she is with the wind, being deaf is not the whole of me. I own my deafness as a part of my personality, my biological make up and just simply a part of me. This small part is one of many primary parts that guide my journey throughout life.

I cannot imagine my life without deafness. I just cannot.

“Oh but what about sound? You must hear everything! How can you not stand not hearing anything?”

Sounds are just a small part of who we are as humans. Our senses are entwined with each other, that with a loss of one, we have gained more. I still can see, I still can feel (sounds are also vibrations, so essentially I am ‘hearing’ sounds) and I can taste and smell.

Helen Keller said once “Blindness separates people from things; deafness separates people from people.”  People love to repeat this, more so when they do not know, experience or understand either difference in life.

Society is the one that separates people. ‘Civilized’ people are the ones who separate people from one another. Nations are the ones that divide people within their own countries. Being blind will separate one from another person based on their experience. Helen misunderstood what communication really meant, again based on the times she grew up in. Languages mean more than just the words coming out of the mouths of people.

As a deaf person, being deaf does not separate me from people, it allows me to observe them, parody and provides an insight into how the world really works, throwing my rose-colored glasses to the ground and stomping on them until they are in absolute starry pieces.

I prefer my sepia sunglasses that I can hang on my glasses, thank you very much.

Coded Education

From Facebook/my post: Something interesting…after talking to a friend and providing feedback/suggestions on the issue of Cued Speech, I decided to look at my coded sign systems presentation to confirm something… All of the coded systems were created before 1988 (Deaf President Now), approximately 30 years after the linguistic recognition of ASL.  The only coded system created after DPN is Conceptually Accurate Signed English (CASE), which borrows heavily from ASL while maintaining the idea of English grammar structure.

The education system for deaf children needs to heed what is already true…successful citizens need full language access, meaning bilingualism is critical for deaf children.

Language is the ultimate tool, all others are simple tools to achieve the use of language in the real world.

Cued Speech uses what ASL already employs in its function as a true language, the basic function of how language is built. We call this parameters, which functions as phonology structure of language. Cued Speech uses handshapes, location and movement.

The purpose of Cued Speech is to provide English language into a visual mode. In English, 30 percent of the language can be read on the lips, all else requires knowledge of topic, familiarity with person’s lips and the expressive ability to ensure as much information is transmitted.

CS is limited to 13 handshapes and three locations/movements. Those bring out the ‘hidden’ aspects of English – the invisible letters/words that are difficult to see, such as ‘N’ or ‘map/bap/pap’. Contrary to beliefs, the use of spoken language is not required, easy to do yes, but not required.

I really do not want to harp on this specific tool.  I want to bring to light the significance in timeline in how signed systems came into place after the melding and evolution of American Sign Language began in early 1800’s.

The start of ASL’s melding from different sign languages (Old French Sign Language and indigenous village sign languages, such as Martha’s Vineyard SiL) at American School for the Deaf in 1817 has continued to evolve over years, naturally human influenced. In 1880; International Congress on the Education of the Deaf (ICED) met in Milan, Italy (also known as Milan Conference of 1880) to place a ban on sign languages being used to teach subjects in school – globally.

Language Impact on Deaf Community

For the PDF version, please click on LanguageImpact

 

A noticeable difference in the quality of education for deaf children was not recognized until 1920’s. In 1965, a report was released from the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (mind you, 1965) outlining how the method of teaching deaf students using the oral method was not a success. From this time and on until before 1988, a total of 8 signed systems were created, in order to help deaf children learn English.  At the same time of this Babbidge Report, research has already shown that ASL is a bona fide language that deaf people had a hard time accepting that their language was an authentic language, conditioned by English/spoken dominated society, since 1880. This was despite the fact that ASL continued to be used among native/natural ASL users (whether be Deaf, deaf, hard of hearing, CODAs or hearing) in the community.

 This rash of signed system inventions stopped in the late 1980’s, particularly I believe sometimes before Deaf President Now in 1988.  The only invented signed system after this period is Conceptually Accurate Signed English (CASE); which borrows heavily from ASL while strictly maintaining the English grammatical structure.

 What is the difference between ASL and the signed systems?

 ASL has been around for more than 200 years and has evolved from a myriad of existing languages and has been embraced by children of any age.  I can tell you this from my experience growing up in a deaf and hard of hearing program before going to my alma mater and my questioning of others who went through similar programs that children take a strong reprieve from the use of signed systems, naturally, such as recess, break times, side conversations and the like, using a form of language which is similar to ASL. That is why when those students graduate from mainstream schools with the ability to transition between signed systems and the peered ASL, they have the easiest time being accepted and adapt to full ASL because they have already developed their social language with their peers, which unfortunately is less true today as most deaf children are isolated in their schools.

 Signed systems are based on the spoken English language, it is not natural. Also these systems have been created mid 20th century. While they may have the nice goal of building literacy; however, are often taken the wrong way. The main goal is to produce speaking deaf people, not literate, functioning and contributing citizens of the world.

 With signed systems, children cannot play, be naturally creative or produce new signs that fit their generation (fads/slang). They can do this with ASL and English. Children makes the language go around, adults take their experience and make their language static, often struggling with dismay or amusement with their children when they ‘play’ with language.

 The brain knows what it is doing, deaf or hearing. That is why children struggle against something that does not make sense to them, they will find a way to make it simple, creative, and understandable. (http://oes.gallaudet.edu/bl2/; Dr. Laura Petitto)  That is the flexibility we leave behind as we become adults.

For further information about ASL and coded signed systems go to Language or Coded System? (Prezi)

The Wholeness of Deaf Children

 

DeafchildrenentiledDeafcultureAs a parent and as a deaf child of hearing parents, I find myself frequently disappointed that parents do not take their deaf kids out to meet others who are like them, regardless of what language is used by individuals.

Why is this important?  I believe strongly that deaf children need to know that they are human beings, who happen to be deaf.  How in the world of creation (Nature or God) can a group of deaf people create a language and culture out of ‘deficiency’ or an absence of sense?  How?!

HearingparentDeafAdult

From ASL 4 Deaf Kids page on Facebook

The medical profession likes to believe that their answers are the accurate pathways for parents to take. This prevents parents from being able to be encouraged, learn and grow as human beings, in turn their kids to do the same as they grow up into their lifetime journey.

What this means for parents is that they need to take advantage of events that bring a wholeness to individuals and to families.  Whether it be a deaf/ASL Coffee Chat event, a community event such as Deaf Kids Fair (Cincinnati, OH), NWIDHHC Deaf Festival (Northwest Indiana), or American Society for Deaf Children (2015 Conference in Indianapolis, IN), a parent gathering with their kids (for socialization) or basically anything that gives parents and children a chance to be whole – TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THOSE EVENTS.

A child’s life should need not be dictated by medical opinions or the fanciness of technology. The child’s life needs to be encompassed by the WHOLE. Denial of the ‘whole’ is denying the opportunity for growth, adaptation, experience that builds into the mind, soul, body and spirit of self.  If this is not denied to most children who have their hearing, why should it be denied to deaf children?

Remember, we have defied and defined the concept of human culture and language by introducing our own signed languages and cultures. Why deny this natural occurrence for deaf children?

#deaffriendly

Many deaf and hard of hearing people often face challenges when trying to communicate with business owners and we will return to those who have made their business open and accessible to us…often. We can rely on each other to provide positive feedback about businesses that others frequent when we search for a local business to go to.

One example: Before my son was born, I asked a friend of mine which pediatrician she takes her children to. She gave me a name and I have been happy to have the pediatrician as a part of my children’s health because he prefers to have an interpreter in place during appointments, no matter how long we are there. Not only that, it is cute when he asks for signs such as MOM, DAD, or THANK-YOU. He knows that efficiency and effective communication is best between doctors and patients.

I already registered and will be providing positive reviews for a few places, especially those places who have worked with us for more than one year for events and such. Enjoy the beautiful video and John Maucere’s interviews.  #deaffriendly !