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CODA, A Mother, A Wife, A Teacher, A Bookworm, An OutDoors Person, An Artist, An Info. Junkie...

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Bloomberg's Sign Language "Star": Lydia Callis

Click here to read the full article:

Identified by the mayor as Lydia Callis, her expressive style has fascinated many and provided a bit of a bright light amid all the dark news about Superstorm Sandy. As New York magazine says, she's given "New Yorkers a legitimate reason to smile" during some very hard times.

Now, as happens these days, there's a Tumblr page — Lydia Callis's Face For NYC Mayor — and the discussion about her continues on Twitter.

If you haven't seen what folks are finding fascinating, there's a video here.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Living Outside The Hearing World

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Click here to read the full article:

For several years cochlear implants have offered some deaf people the chance to have a "sensation of sound". So why would some deaf teenagers choose not to have the implant even if they had the option?
The issue of cochlear implants and efforts to "cure" deafness is a very sensitive subject among the 19,600 deaf teenagers in the UK.

Indeed, many young deaf people are proud of deaf culture.
"I never hear anything, I'm fully deaf. With hearing aids all I could hear was beeps and I thought what's that? So I took them off. I never use them. What's the point?" says 19-year-old Sara Kendall.
Sara and her boyfriend Asher Woodman-Worrell live with Sara's mother and brother in Nottingham. Everyone in the family is profoundly deaf. As Sara and Asher cannot hear or speak, they live in a totally silent world.

"I'm very strongly in the deaf world," says Sara. "I'm passionate about it. I can't imagine myself outside of that world. No thanks. I'm happy where I am, because my parents brought me up deaf."

Even though it might improve her hearing, no one in Sara's family has ever considered being fitted with a cochlear implant - a surgically implanted electronic device that can improve hearing by stimulating the auditory nerve. Although an implant cannot restore hearing to normal it does give the sensation of sounds.
In the operation, a surgeon creates a small space on the surface of the skull where the electronics are placed. From here an electrode carries signals down into the inner ear.

Cochlear implants are not suitable for all deaf people and those considering the surgery have to undertake in-depth hearing, speech and language, educational and psychological assessments. Around 500 adults, aged between 15 and 59, receive cochlear implants in the UK each year.

But some deaf families do not agree with the procedure and are defiant about remaining in the deaf world. Sara and her family consider themselves to be very much part of the deaf community and proud of their deaf culture.

"Personally [I] thank God I don't have a cochlear implant because I wouldn't know where I belong, in the deaf world or the hearing world," says Sara. "I know I'm in the deaf world, that's it, but with a cochlear I'd feel in between."

"It's offensive to think you can fix it," she suggests. "You can't fix it. If you're born deaf, you're deaf, that's it."

"Deaf teenagers are just like other young people, with diverse interests and social lives. Each deaf young person's experience of deaf culture is different," says Woolfe, "but we do know that being able to meet other deaf young people is very important to many of the deaf teenagers and children we work with."

Artwork of cochlear implant in the ear
Cochlear implants stimulate the auditory nerve

"Cochlear implants, whether unilateral or bilateral, don't make deaf children hearing children. They improve access to sound, but they don't replace hearing."

Nineteen-year-old Meghan Durno would like to hear more and maintain a connection with both the hearing and deaf world.

She has been profoundly deaf all her life and had her first hearing aid when she was three months old. She grew up in a deaf family and her mother as well as her sister and grandparents all inherited their deafness.

Meghan decided to have a cochlear implant fitted, but the operation was not without risk as the procedure is most successful when performed on the ear with the best hearing. After surgery, a patient waits four weeks before the implant can be switched on as the area needs to be given time to heal.
During this time Meghan started studying for a veterinary nursing degree at Edinburgh Napier University and had to rely purely on lip reading, which made it difficult for her to understand exactly what her lecturers were saying.

"When I went into the lecture theatre, I just switched off because the lady that was standing there started pacing up and down and talking and I couldn't understand what was being said, so I just looked at the notes," says Meghan.

"I do feel sad sometimes, not so much that I can't hear right now, but knowing that I'll never be able to hear what hearing people hear, but I don't get down about it, I know no different."
Meghan Durno After her cochlear implant operation Meghan could identify different noises
Once the implant was switched on, Meghan's brain took time to recognise new sounds, but she very quickly discovered noises that she has never heard before, like the piercing sound of a baby crying and the sound of birds singing.

"With the implant, I'm able to hear little things I never knew existed," says Meghan. "Like when you rub your hands together, I never knew that made a sound."

"I was lying down one time and I heard a noise and I was like what's that and I realised it was my own breathing… I've amazed myself with what I can hear, and amazed a piece of machinery can help you hear."

I Love ASL!

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I Love ASL Postcards

More ASL / Deaf Culture Videos By Eyepoetic Vlog

Deaf, Be Confident! (ASL Video)

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Friday, 26 October 2012

8 Year Old Girl Writes & Publishes A Book About Her Hearing Loss



Samantha Brownlie was diagnosed with nonsyndromic sensorineural bilateral hearing loss when she was 3 years old.

Hi, my name is Samantha. I'm 8 years old. I have an older brother named Sean. Me and my family live in New York City. I go to P.S. 3 in Manhattan. Sean and I were born with hearing loss. We both wear hearing aids. It's not that hard to get used to wearing hearing aids. All you need to do is think of good things and then you put it in your ear and you hear better. That's all there is to it!

My mom or dad used to put my hearing aids in but now I'm old enough to do it by myself.
I really like my hearing aids because I can hear so much better with them. I used to wear one hearing aid and now I wear two. They are pink and blue!

Last year when I was still wearing one hearing aid I wrote a book called "Samantha's Fun FM Unit and Hearing Aid Book." I wrote it to explain why I wear a hearing aid and an FM Unit in school. And I also made the book for kids or adults that have hearing loss too. I want them to feel the same way about their hearing aids that I do!

My book is also about how to take care of hearing aids, how to use them and how to change the batteries, recharge the FM and tell the teacher how to use the transmitter.
On the cover of my book, I drew pictures of me and fun things like my scooter, my FM transmitter, candy and a Nintendo DS game.

My parents inspired me a lot because they have always told me that I should be proud of who I am and just be myself. Many people including my classmates and teachers don't know that much about hearing loss. I thought if I made a book with pictures it would help them understand hearing loss better and answer some of their questions.

On the outside you see a little girl that's 8 years old, but on the inside there is a good strong heart. And I believe I can do anything, as long as I believe in myself.
Hearing loss an 'invisible,' and widely uninsured, problem

Click here to see the book read by Samantha (CC):

My 7 year old daughter's "How To" book about her "hearing aid" and "FM unit". She describes and illustrates how she uses it in "elementary school" so she can hear better in class.

Keith Wann's ASL Video Of Dr. Seuss' "On The Thinks You Can Think"

Click here to watch the video in ASL & Voice:

Dr Seuss books needed the visual - no one could read a Dr. Seuss book without the pictures...so let's add some ASL for our deaf children when we share stories with them so they get the same experience.
ASL 4 Life Series with Keith Wann

Keith Wann ASL Comedian Youtube Video Site


Click this link to see all his videos:

Thursday, 25 October 2012

ASL Poetry: Boy Signs About Night (With Voice)

Poetry in ASL

Click here to watch the video:

A boy signs a poem about night. (with voice)

Sign Language Ripple Effect, & More Jon Savage Videos

.ASL Poetry: BULLY ASL (Video)

Click here to watch the video:

This is my first ASL poetry vlog; I have created this poetry for one month. Also, I did on purpose to produce a film in black and white as symbol of yin yang. The big picture is showed as being a deaf as Deafhood welcomes all deaf people to sign or not!

Signing Your Name Cartoon

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Deaf People Call This Applause (Waving Both Hands)

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Keep Calm & Be Proud To Be Deaf!

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ASL Typeface

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Translation: "the quick brown FOX jumps over the lazy dog"


Born Deaf = A Blessing

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

ASL Scrabble Necklance

7 More Creative Ways To Teach ASL

Light Harp (See The Vibration Of Music)

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 Imagine what it looks like with the strings vibrating!


Deaf Tattoo

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Listen = Silent

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Look What Deaf People Can Do (Video)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqf5gyEBoLk&feature=plcp (CC and in British Sign Language)

Made by a group of Deaf young people, this animation shows a Deaf young person seeing how much Deaf people can achieve after being put down by her sister. Funny, entertaining as well as being informative. Includes subtitles and in-vision interpreting

Tips As To How To Communicate With Deaf Children At Home & School Videos

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjJXdNKZ9os  (Home)

Communication Street is a film about problems Deaf young people have communicating at home, with parents, brothers and sisters. In a fun and entertaining way it looks at things such as being woken up, not being told what's going on, communicating in the car, not hearing someone calling for you, and the age old arguments over subtitles. For each problem a solution is also suggested by our Communication Street voiceover pigeon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvutvFjROZc (School)

Made by Deaf young people this film is aimed at improving communication in the classroom and in general when working with Deaf young people. 1: Avoid visual distractions 2: Position yourself properly 3: Make yourself clear 4: How to get attention 5: What to do in group situations

I Wish Everyone Could Sign!

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10 Things You Should Never Say To A Deaf Person


1 – Oh, I’m sorry. (And then walking away.)
Deaf people are really not that scary. When someone tells you they can’t hear you, try making sure you’re looking directly at the person when you talk to them.  Speak clearly, but don’t exaggerate your lip movements.  Or, hey, get a piece of paper or use your phone to write down what you’re saying.

2 – How do you drive? 
I use my eyes. How do YOU drive??  I’m amazed at how many people think that deaf people cannot–or should not–get their driver’s license.  Studies have shown that deaf drivers are no more likely to get in to an accident than hearing drivers, and actually tend to have lower accident rates.

3 – Can you read?
I have now been asked this twice, once at the doctor’s office and once at the DMV.  My Deaf friends have told me they get asked this all the time.  On one hand, I understand the question- after all, English might not be my primary or first language.  On the other… guess what? Deaf people go to school, have jobs, and do everything that their hearing pals do.  Oh, except hear. Assuming that deaf people can’t read is just insulting.

4 - Oh, I know exactly what you mean.  I think I have hearing loss, too – I have a hard time understanding people sometimes. You know, like at concerts and moster truck rallies.
Seriously, why is it that everyone I meet suddenly has hearing loss? Not being able to hear people talking when you’re in a loud environment is not exactly the same thing as being deaf or hard of hearing. I understand that people’s first instinct is to try to find common ground, and connect.  I recognize that this statement is supposed to show understanding and support.  That said, it usually comes across as dismissive, and completely misses the point.  When someone is telling you that they need you to look at them when you’re speaking because they can’t hear you, they’re not looking for you to say you know all about it.  They’re just trying to let you know what they need in order to understand you.  Do that.

5 - Oh, but you can lipread, right? Neat. Can you tell what the guy across the room is saying?
To this I say, lip reading is NOT a super power.  No, I cannot tell what that guy is saying from across the room. It’s hard enough figuring out what’s going on in the conversation I’m currently having, thanks.  Also, stop being a snoop.

6 – Oh, I’m so sorry.  Losing my hearing would be the worst thing in the world.
It has its down sides, for sure, but really it’s not that bad.  This response makes me feel like I’m something to be pitied, and completely dismisses the awesomeness of Deaf culture.  Even if you’re thinking this, please don’t say it. Just don’t.

7 – But, you have hearing aids. 
Yep, I do. They’re pretty awesome, and I’m glad I have them, but they’re not miracle devices.  They don’t suddenly “cure” my hearing loss. I still need to read lips or use ASL to know what people are saying.  They tell me THAT people are talking, but it’s like catching shadows of words. I have to fill in the blanks.  If someone has hearing aids, don’t assume that they can hear things–or that they can’t, for that matter.

8 – Oh, are you going to get that implant thing to fix your hearing?
I’ve had people launch in to how the cochlear implant is a miracle within 3 minutes of meeting me.  They’re usually basing this on a) seeing Ellen talk about it on TV and b) the fact that they like hearing birds chirp, or whatever. The decision to get a cochlear implant is a big one, and involves a lot of factors that you probably aren’t aware of if you haven’t been around the Deaf community for very long.  Besides the fact that this question assumes that something is wrong with me that needs to be fixed, it’s a really personal, complicated question.  If you’re going to ask someone about CI, please be sensitive to that.  And maybe wait until you’ve known the person a while before you bring it up.

9 – But you don’t sound deaf.

Of all the things said to me on a daily basis, this is the one that drives me the most crazy. This is the reason I usually go voice off in public, like at the grocery store.  People have a hard time understanding that just because I have good speech quality does not mean I can hear.  It makes me feel like I need to explain myself – no, really, grocery store clerk, I’m not purposely ignoring you, I just can’t hear you. Closely related to this one is…

10 – Wow, your speech is really good!
I get this well-meaning comment from almost everyone I meet – even interpreters sometimes say this to me.  There are several reasons why you should never say this to someone.  For one thing, it makes the person feel awkward and self-conscious. For another, the underlying message is that speaking skills are to be highly valued, and praised.  It implies that people who don’t have clear speech are less intelligent, capable, or aren’t trying hard enough.
This comment makes me feel like I’m being patted on the back.  I didn’t do anything special to earn my speaking skills. My speech says nothing about my intelligence or abilities.  I just happened to grow up with enough residual hearing to make speech work for me.  In some ways, my clear speech is a drawback – it makes it that much harder for other people to understand my deafness.
Have you ever said something you wished you could take back?  What are some awkward/awful things people have said to YOU?

FREE Online ASL Games

Sign the Alphabet


Sign the Alphabet

How to Play:

  • FUNBRAIN will show you a sign.
  • For each screen, identify the correct meaning. Check the correct box or type in the letter or number.

label and learn: sign langauge logo

Lyric would like to help you a learn to sign using ASL.
All you have to do is click on sign game links below.


This is a great site in general for early readers, however, if you click on ABC’s you will see a picture of hands on the bottom left hand side of your screen. Click on this and it will show you an animated girl showing each manual letter in the alphabet. She will also say the letter and make the sound of the letter. Even though it is an animated drawing the hand shape is quite clear to understand. My only wish is that she also said an object that started with that letter (and showed the sign for that object) and that there were more things to do on the site that incorporated sign language.


Arthur at PBS

Arthur is a cute character that appears on PBS. On their website Arthur has a section on sign language where children can practice signing. Arthur will teach you how to sign your own name (by fingerspelling it for you after you type it in), and he will also show you how to ask some different questions and make some different statements in sign language. You can choose your question or statement from a list of choices and do it over again several times so that you can learn some new signs each time. There are two drawbacks to this site. One is that the manual alphabet is just shown on one page, it is not interactive and Arthur doesn’t do any sounds the letter makes or objects that start with that letter like some of the other sites reviewed here. The other drawback is that the questions and statements are actually signed English, as the sequence of the words in the sentence are how we would say them in English and not how we would say them in American Sign Language. An example from the site is that in the statements section it has the sentence “I like basketball.” In American Sign Language you would sign “Basketball, I like.” The subject of the sentence is always put first. This can be misleading on the site, although they do explain this in the “More Information” section.


KiddiesSigns.com - Happy, bright little kids are using sign language


Click Here to Visit Signing Time's Main Website!