The Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing has been committed to improving the quality of life for the Deaf for over 30 years! Services offered include, but are not limited to, Information and Referral, Empowerment, Community Development as well as Outreach and Education.
For over 15 years the Deaf Specialist, Beca Bailey has worked with the Deaf community in many different roles. Beca has been ACDHH Deaf Specialist since July 2004 serving over 50,000 Deaf Arizona residents (.9% of the population).
Information and Referral
The Commission maintains an extensive directory of resources and services available to the community. The directory is used to make referrals to assist consumers in need of information for employment, housing, education and much, much more.
By informing Deaf individuals about their rights and the laws and programs available to support those rights, they can become empowered as self-advocates. Advocates are available to act on behalf of consumers as needed.
ACDHH works closely with community leaders to determine the resources available, and those that need to be expanded or created to better serve Deaf citizens in each region.
Outreach and Education
ACDHH provides valuable outreach and educational opportunities in local communities. The workshops and information sessions include but are not limited to: Deaf Culture, ADA and civil rights information; legal rights; employment issues and concerns; training for 9-1-1 trainers.
Beca Bailey and Sean Furman are available to answer your questions and provide assistance by email or VP.
12/4: Deaf Specialist co-facilitated with Division of Behavioral Health Services, the quarterly Mental Health Round Table Advisory meeting.
12/5: ACDHH Staff presented the Healthcare training to Gateway Community College nursing assistant and patient care tech. students.
12/5: Deaf Specialist, Beca Bailey attended the GPDSC/PAD Holiday Event.
12/10: ACDHH Staff will present the healthcare training to Valle del Sol staff.
ACDHH DEAF CONSUMER EDUCATION WORKSHOP SERIES:
12/11: Health Insurance Marketplace by the Greater Phoenix Urban League. This workshop is offered twice - 2 pm-4 pm and 6 pm - 8 pm at ACDHHMPR. For more information and to register, contact Deaf Specialist, Sean Furman at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 602-888-0720 VP.
Calling all Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind Arizonans! We are currently researching effective communication in Arizona Hospitals. Please take five minutes to complete a short survey that will help us help you! The survey can be taken here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/79QPFPC. For an ASL version of the survey, watch the video below.
Similar to other cultures, deaf people experience stereotyping by those who do not know and understand their culture. A number of myths circulate widely in our society and interfere with understanding deaf people.
Myth: All deaf people can read lips.
Fact: Some deaf people are very skilled speech readers but many are not. Only 30 percent of spoken English is visible on the lips because many speech sounds have identical mouth movements. For example, p and b look exactly alike on the lips.
Myth: All deaf people are mute.
Fact: Deaf people have the physical ability to produce sound. Some speak very well, while others choose not to use their voice if they think they are difficult to understand. It is difficult for most deaf people to gauge the pitch or volume of their voice.
Deaf-Mute – Another offensive term from the 18th-19th century, “mute” also means silent and without voice.
Myth: People who are deaf are deaf and dumb.
Fact: The inability to hear affects neither intelligence nor the physical ability to produce sounds. Deaf people find this label particularly offensive.
Deaf and Dumb -- A relic from the medieval English era, this is the granddaddy of all negative labels pinned on deaf and hard of hearing people. The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, pronounced us “deaf and dumb,” because he felt that deaf people were incapable of being taught, of learning, and of reasoned thinking. To his way of thinking, if a person could not use his/her voice in the same way as hearing people, then there was no way that this person could develop cognitive abilities. (Source: Deaf Heritage, by Jack Gannon, 1980)
Myth: Deaf people are less intelligent.
Fact: The inability to hear is unrelated to intelligence. Hearing people’s lack of knowledge about deafness, however, has often limited educational and occupational opportunities for deaf people.
In later years, “dumb” came to mean “silent.” This definition still persists, because that is how people see deaf people. The term is offensive to deaf and hard of hearing people for a number of reasons. One, deaf and hard of hearing people are by no means “silent” at all. They use sign language, lip-reading, vocalizations, and so on to communicate. Communication is not reserved for hearing people alone, and using one’s voice is not the only way to communicate. Two, “dumb” also has a second meaning: stupid. Deaf and hard of hearing people have encountered plenty of people who subscribe to the philosophy that if you cannot use your voice well, you don’t have much else “upstairs,” and have nothing going for you. Obviously, this is incorrect, ill-informed, and false. Deaf and hard of hearing people have repeatedly proved that they have much to contribute to the society at large.
Myth: Deaf people can't use the telephone.
Fact: Special telecommunication devices, such as Videophones (VP), TTYs/TDDs and ring signalers, are used by many deaf people. Paging systems are also widely used by members of the deaf community.
Myth: All deaf people use hearing aids.
Fact: Some deaf people benefit considerably from hearing aids; others may only be able to hear loud environmental sounds, such as a fire alarm or a car horn. Still others may not benefit at all from their use.
Myth: Hearing aids restore hearing.
Fact: Hearing aids amplify sound but do not correct hearing. They have no effect on a person's ability to process sound. A hearing aid may enable a person to hear someone's voice, but it may not enable them to understand and distinguish words.
Myth: Deaf people cannot appreciate the arts because they can’t hear music, movies, etc.
Fact: The National Theater for the Deaf and other deaf theater companies are an intricate part of the deaf community. Deaf people have participated in and contributed to the performing arts; actress Marlee Matlin and Linda Bove are just a couple examples. Captioning allows deaf people enjoy movies and other programs.
“Deaf” and “deaf”
According to Carol Padden and Tom Humphries, in Deaf in America: Voices from a Culture (1988):
We use the lowercase deaf when referring to the audiological condition of not hearing, and the uppercase Deaf when referring to a particular group of deaf people who share a language – American Sign Language (ASL) – and a culture. The members of this group have inherited their sign language, use it as a primary means of communication among themselves, and hold a set of beliefs about themselves and their connection to the larger society. We distinguish them from, for example, those who find themselves losing their hearing because of illness, trauma or age; although these people share the condition of not hearing, they do not have access to the knowledge, beliefs, and practices that make up the culture of Deaf people.
Hearing-impaired – This term was at one time preferred, largely because it was viewed as politically correct. To declare oneself or another person as deaf or blind, for example, was considered somewhat bold, rude, or impolite. At that time, it was thought better to use the word “impaired” along with “visually,” “hearing,” “mobility,” and so on. “Hearing-impaired” was a well-meaning term that is not accepted or used by many deaf and hard of hearing people.
For many people, the words “deaf” and “hard of hearing” are not negative. Instead, the term “hearing-impaired” is viewed as negative. The term focuses on what people can’t do. It establishes the standard as “hearing” and anything different as “impaired,” or substandard, hindered, or damaged. It implies that something is not as it should be and ought to be fixed if possible. To be fair, this is probably not what people intended to convey by the term “hearing impaired.” After all, people who do not possess the knowledge of sign language, do we call them “sign-impaired”?
Every individual is unique, but there is one thing we all have in common: we all want to be treated with respect. To the best of our own unique abilities, we have families, friends, communities, and lives that are just as fulfilling as anyone else. We may be different, but we are not less.
What’s in a name? Plenty! Words and labels can have a profound effect on people. Show your respect for people by refusing to use outdated or offensive terms. When in doubt, ask the individual how they identify themselves.
9/5: Brief Overview of ASL & Norms of Deaf Culture
American Sign Language (ASL) is a visual language. With signing, the brain processes linguistic information through the eyes. The shape, placement, and movement of the hands, as well as facial expressions and body movements, all play important parts in conveying information.
Sign language is not a universal language -- each country has its own sign language, and regions have dialects, much like the many languages spoken all over the world. Like any spoken language, ASL is a language with its own unique rules of grammar and syntax. Like all languages, ASL is a living language that grows and changes over time.
ASL is used predominantly in the United States and in many parts of Canada. ASL is accepted by many high schools, colleges, and universities in fulfillment of modern and “foreign” language academic degree requirements across the United States.
William Stokoe (1919-2000) is a renowned linguistics pioneer of American Sign Language (ASL) and is considered the "father of ASL linguistics" by the ASL community.
Gallaudet University (formerly Gallaudet College) hired William Stokoe as the chair of the English department in 1955. In the 1960s, he observed sign language used by Gallaudet students. He studied and discovered that it contained linguistic features (phonology, morphology, syntax, and all) like any spoken language. He proclaimed that it was indeed a true language of its own.
In the beginning, he did not receive much supports that he received some harsh criticism as well as ridicule from his colleagues. Prior to the 1960s and 1970s, oralism had been the means of deaf education and sign language was looked down on and even was prohibited in educational settings. Before his time, ASL used to be regarded as a set of gestures or a "simplified" or "broken English". However, his works disproved them scientifically and revolutionized the notion of language when he presented his groundbreaking paper Sign Language Structure in 1960 and also co-authored Dictionary of American Sign Language on Linguistic Principles in 1965. He founded the journal Sign Language Studies in 1972.
Since the 1970s, studies and research have been widely expanded. He received a honorary degree for his work in ASL linguistics from Gallaudet University in May 1988. He also received honorary doctorates from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and Madonna University in Michigan, U.S. He died of bone cancer in 2000.
Maher, Jane and Oliver Sacks. Seeing in Sign: The Works of William Stokoe. 1996.
Lane, Harlan L. Recent Perspectives on American Sign Language. 1980.
Stokoe, William. Language in Hand: Why Sign Came Before Speech. 2001.
Behavioral Norms of Deaf Community
Making eye contact:
• Essential for effective communication
• Important because people who are Deaf read the nuances of facial expressions and body language for additional information
• Hand waving is most common
• Tapping the shoulder or arm is acceptable
• Flickering lights on and off is also common
• Tapping on a table or stomping foot on a floor is done occasionally
• Using a third person to relay attention is sometimes used in a crowded room
Meeting others within the Deaf community:
• Greetings often include hugs instead of handshakes
• Conversations tend to include elaboration about lives and daily occurrences
• Conversations tend to be open and direct
• There is an interest in other people’s connection with the Deaf community
George W. Veditz (8/13/1861 — 3/12/1937)
Leader and advocate
On August 13th, 2013, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) celebrated the 100th anniversary of the NAD film “The Preservation of the Sign Language,” and wished George W. Veditz a happy 152nd birthday! Veditz contributed greatly to the world, particularly the preservation and promotion of sign language.
Born on August 13, 1861, George Veditz was the seventh President of the NAD, serving from 1904 to 1910. More importantly, he was one of the most ardent and visible advocates of American Sign Language. Veditz became deaf at the age of eight from scarlet fever, attended what is now known as the Maryland School of the Deaf in Frederick from 1875 to 1878, and then attended Gallaudet from 1880 to 1884. Upon graduation from Gallaudet, he taught at the Maryland School of the Deaf and then at the Colorado School for the Deaf. Always an educator, Veditz continued to teach throughout his life, and contributed much to the educational structure of the Colorado School for the Deaf.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) was concerned that “pure sign language” might disappear under the pressures of oralism. It was Veditz who realized in the early 1900s that the newly developed technology of motion pictures were an ideal way to convey the beauty of sign language to the world.
In 1913, George W. Veditz made a fourteen-minute long film without subtitles – “The Preservation of the Sign Language” - demonstrating in sign language the importance of defending the right of deaf people to sign, http://videocatalog.gallaudet.edu/?video=2520 with the available transcript provided by Carol Padden.
In 1965, the NAD transferred these films to the Gallaudet University Archives to better preserve the footage and to make it more accessible to the public.
On December 28, 2010, the Library of Congress announced it had named the landmark film, “The Preservation of the Sign Language” for inclusion in the National Film Registry. Thanks to Veditz, sign languages all over the world continue to be documented via film.
As long as we have deaf people on earth, we will have signs.
And as long as we have our films, we can preserve signs in their old purity.
It is my hope that we all will love and guard our beautiful sign language as the noblest gift God has given to deaf people.
- George W. Veditz, 1913
Thanks to his gift to us, the NAD continues to advocate for the preservation, protection, and promotion of American Sign Language for all deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States.
International Week of the Deaf is celebrated by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and its national associations and their affiliates globally during the last full week of September (Monday through Sunday), culminating with International Day of the Deaf on the last Sunday of the week.
The WFD is an international organization composed of 130 national associations of the deaf that, in collaboration with the United Nations, serves all countries with focus on improving human rights of deaf persons, the status of national sign languages, access to education, and access to information technology and services. The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) represents the United States as an affiliate member of the WFD.
The WFD today encourages its national associations and their affiliates to celebrate International Week of the Deaf by focusing on the theme of Human Rights through Sign Languages. This focus gives greater attention to deaf culture and the achievements of deaf people, portrayed in a positive way. This focus also increases solidarity among deaf people and their supporters, and provides an opportunity to stimulate greater efforts to promote the rights of deaf people throughout the world.
In the United States, celebration of International Week of the Deaf is held throughout the year, not only during the last full week of September. For instance, the NAD took part in the Midwest DeaFest, jointly hosted in August 2009 by four state associations of the deaf. Affiliate organizations or other groups may hold a Deaf Festivals during a given day or month (in April, as an example), or a library may have an exhibit in December in honor of the birth of Laurent Clerc (December 26, 1785) and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet (December 10, 1787).
Events can also range from a themed exhibit in the corridor of a school to a full week of activities scheduled throughout a given city. Performing artists, lectures, art exhibits, film festivals, historical exhibits, Deaf Festivals, booths in area shopping malls, cultural activities held in conjunction with sporting events -- these are just a sampling of past events held across the nation.
◦ Gain greater understanding of the American deaf and hard of hearing community and its culture and heritage.
◦ Learn about sign language as an essential human right and how it is growing in popularity across the United States.
◦ Find out about resources within your community, e.g., sign language classes.
◦ Discover ways to promote the human rights of deaf people and access to education and technologies.
Come and view ACDHH’s Deaf Awareness Kick Off video by the Deaf specialists. Starting September 3rd, ACDHH will be celebrating Deaf Awareness the entire month of September by posting different topics and tidbits every day. Every weekend, we will also include spotlight interviews with special guests. This is a wonderful opportunity for ACDHH to celebrate Deaf Awareness and recognize those who have contributed to where we are today. Be sure to check ACDHH website and Facebook page.
In March 1988, Gallaudet University experienced a watershed event that led to the appointment of the 124-year-old university's first deaf president. Since then, Deaf President Now (DPN) has become synonymous with self-determination and empowerment for deaf and hard of hearing people everywhere.
In 1988, Gallaudet University was the site of a student-led protest that today is called Deaf President Now, or simply, DPN. But DPN was more than a protest. It also was a unique coming together of Gallaudet students, faculty and staff with the national deaf community—all bound by clear and defined goals.
The DPN supporters believed that the time had come for a deaf person to run the world's only university for deaf and hard of hearing students. When this didn't happen, the result was a protest whose effects are still reverberating around the world today.
DPN was remarkable not only for its clear sense of purpose, cohesiveness, speed, and depth of feeling, but also for its ability to remove the barriers and erase the lines that previously separated the deaf and hearing communities. In addition, it raised the nation's consciousness of the rights and abilities of deaf and hard of hearing people.
March 1, 1988 was a crucial date in the history of DPN. It was the day of the first fully organized rally, the event that inspired many students to join the movement. For some, it was the first time they had even learned what the protest was all about and what it would mean for them to have a deaf president. In their flyers, organizers likened the protest to a civil rights movement, drawing parallels between the deaf community and other minority groups.
More than 1,000 University students, elementary and high school students from the University's Pre-College Programs, staff, faculty, alumni, and members from the local deaf community participated in the rally. It was a traveling rally, moving from the football field, to the elementary school, the largest classroom building, president's home, and ending at the statue of the first president of the University, Edward Miner Gallaudet. Those in attendance were treated to motivating and mobilizing speeches by various deaf leaders.
During the next four days, a flurry of activity occurred. Students began camping out in tents on the lawn of the president's home, the president of the Student Body Government, Greg Hlibok, wrote Zinser a letter asking her to withdraw her candidacy, and the NAD and the GUAA sent information out to their constituents about the successful rally. Also, a television reporter and crew arrived on campus after learning about the students camping out and about the several hundred students who briefly blocked traffic on Florida Avenue, the main street that borders the south side of the campus.
On Saturday, March 5, 1988, the Gallaudet Board of Trustees met at a hotel downtown to interview both Zinser and Jordan. Corson was interviewed on Sunday morning. The Board was scheduled to vote and announce their selection of the next president of the university at eight o'clock on Sunday evening. However, things didn't quite go as they had been planned...
The spark that ignited DPN was the announcement on March 6, 1988, by the University's Board of Trustees that a hearing person had been selected as Gallaudet's seventh president. In the months—or by some accounts, the years—leading up this date, many in the deaf community and on campus had advocated for a deaf person to be named to the presidency. After all, by then there were more than 100 deaf people with doctorates, and many more that held administrative positions. Because of this, and because two of the three finalists for the position were deaf, many people were confident that the next president of Gallaudet would be a deaf person.
However, in spite of all the evidence and support, the Board chose the lone hearing candidate, Elisabeth A. Zinser, who was then the assistant chancellor at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Unhappy with this decision, Gallaudet students, backed by a number of alumni, staff, and faculty, shut down the campus.
The students and their backers then presented the Board of Trustees with four demands:
1. Elisabeth Zinser must resign and a deaf person selected president;
2. Jane Spilman must step down as chairperson of the Board of Trustees;
3. Deaf people must constitute a 51% majority on the Board; and
4. There would no reprisals against any student or employee involved in the protest.
By the end of the week, the students ended their protest and proclaimed victory. All of their demands had been met and Dr. I. King Jordan was named the Gallaudet's eighth—and first—deaf president.
9/12: Colleges for the Deaf – Gallaudet, NTID, and CSUN
National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID)
The National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) is one of the nine colleges of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), a leading career-oriented, technological university. RIT, founded in 1829, competed against eight other colleges for NTID to become part of the university. NTID began operations in 1968 to provide deaf and hard-of-hearing students with outstanding technical and professional education programs, complemented by a strong liberal arts and sciences curriculum, which prepares them to live and work in the mainstream of a rapidly changing global community and enhances their lifelong learning.
More than 15,000 undergraduate students from around the world, including more than 1,300 who are deaf or hard of hearing, come to campus every year to take advantage of the benefits of an RIT/NTID education. NTID prepares professionals to work in fields related to deafness; undertakes a program of applied research designed to enhance the social, economic and educational accommodation of deaf people; and shares its knowledge and expertise through outreach and other information dissemination programs.
Gallaudet University, the world's only university with programs and services specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students, was established in 1864 by an Act of Congress, and its charter was signed by President Abraham Lincoln.
Gallaudet University is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world.
The Vision of Gallaudet is to:
•Provide the highest quality liberal and professional education through undergraduate and graduate programs for deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing students.
•Offer a welcoming, supportive, and accessible bilingual educational environment for teaching and learning through direct communication.
•Embrace diversity within the University community by respecting and appreciating choices of communication while guiding students through their process of linguistic and cultural self-actualization.
•Pursue excellence in research, pedagogy, scholarship, and creative activity.
•Lead the advancement of intellectual, social, linguistic, and economic vitality in deaf people through educational, outreach, regional, international, and leadership development programs.
•Preserve deaf history and use visual media to promote the recognition that deaf people and their signed languages are vast resources with significant contributions to the cognitive, creative, and cultural dimensions of human diversity.
•Position our community to reach its full human potential and assume its role as a progressive global entity committed to civic responsibility and social justice.
Established in 1964, the National Center on Deafness has been a pioneer in demonstrating best practices and providing full and meaningful access to university programs for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. NCOD offers quality in communications, connections and community, across the whole spectrum of the university — academics, co-curricular programs and residential living.
Deaf and hard-of-hearing students attend CSUN each semester and register through the National Center on Deafness to receive services such as interpreting, speech-to-text transcription, note taking, tutoring and academic advisement. For deaf or hard of hearing and interested in learning more about the programs and services offered at CSUN, we have information for all prospective students, from high school to college, and can provide guidance in applying for admission to CSUN.
John Flournoy's frustrations with his deafness as well as the social discrimination he experienced from the hearing world led him to become an activist and reformer. He is perhaps best remembered for his 1855 proposal to Congress that there be a Deaf state. As part of this proposal, it requested land to be set aside in the western territories where deaf could control their schools, establish their own government allowing the deaf community to flourish without prejudices and live in a state that embraced American Sign Language as its primary language.
Although many deaf southerners expressed support, most deaf leaders in the north seemed to be opposed. Some denied that deaf people faced discrimination. Even those who were theoretically in support of the plan were full of doubts about its workings and its feasibility, questioning everything from what would happen to the hearing children of deaf community members to how deaf Americans would get to the western territories in the first place.
Although Flournoy's proposal failed to be implemented, it provoked intense debate within the deaf community. For Flournoy and for other deaf people, living in the margins might provide more freedom than living in the mainstream. His call for a separate colony tapped into the dreams of deaf people everywhere. Flournoy, his deaf peers, and later generations would refer to the concept of a protected "deaf space" by various terms, including the land of Gallaudet, Deaf-Mutia, Gesturia, or Eyeth (instead of EARth), highlighting the continued dreams about what their connections could build.
Little information is known about John Flournoy, the eclectic, impassioned deaf activist after the 1860s. Still, his life story remains important, offering important insights into 19th-century deaf community aspirations, tensions between mainstream society and this minority group and regional influences, as well as the diversity of experiences and attitudes of deaf individuals in America.
The oldest existing school for the deaf in America opened in Bennett's City Hotel on April 15, 1817. The school became the first recipient of state aid to education in America when the Connecticut General Assembly awarded its first annual grant to the school in 1819. When the United States Congress awarded the school a land grant in the Alabama Territory in 1820, it was the first instance of federal aid to elementary and secondary special education in the United States.
The impetus behind its founding was the fact that Alice Cogswell, the daughter of a wealthy local surgeon, was deafened in childhood by fever. Dr. Cogswell, One day, Gallaudet observed Alice's attempts to communicate with her siblings and the neighborhood children at play. Although not trained to teach deaf children, Gallaudet convincingly demonstrated that Alice could learn and should be afforded the opportunity to attend school.
Alice’s father prevailed upon the young Gallaudet (who had recently graduated from Yale University’s School of Divinity and had begun studying at Andover.) Cogswell and nine other citizens decided that the known 84 deaf children in New England needed appropriate facilities. However, competent teachers could not be found, so they sent Gallaudet in 1815 on a tour of Europe, where deaf education was a much more developed art. After being rebuffed by the Braidwoods, Gallaudet turned to the Parisian French schoolteachers of the famous school for the Deaf in Paris, where he successfully recruited Laurent Clerc.
Laurent Clerc worked closely with Gallaudet, but there was not sufficient time for Gallaudet to master all of the techniques and manual communication skills before his diminishing funds forced him to book return passage to America. Gallaudet prevailed on Sicard to allow Laurent Clerc to accompany him on the return trip to America to establish an American School. In the fifty-five days of the return voyage, Gallaudet learned the language of signs from Clerc, and Clerc learned English from Gallaudet.
On the strength of Clerc's reputation, the ASD was incorporated as the "American Asylum for Deaf-mutes" in May 1816. When it opened in 1817, there were seven students enrolled: Alice Cogswell, George Loring, Wilson Whiton, Abigail Dillingham, Otis Waters, John Brewster, and Nancy Orr. The original name of the school was: The Connecticut Asylum (at Hartford) for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons.
Gallaudet was principal until 1830. His son followed in his legacy, establishing Gallaudet University, which followed the ASD's lead and taught students primarily in American Sign Language (derived from the methodical signs and Parisian sign language of the French Institute for the Deaf).
As a result of its pivotal role in American deaf history, it also hosts a museum containing numerous rare and old items. While it is situated on a 54-acre campus, the ASD has a small enrollment — in its history; more than four thousand alumni have claimed this historic school as their alma mater.
Arizona’s first state legislature in 1912 enacted a provision forming the Arizona Schools for the Deaf and Blind. Henry C. White was the first principal, appointed by Governor George W. P. Hunt, and classes began in October, 1912. Nineteen children who were deaf or hard of hearing were the first students, and classes were held in a converted residence on the campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson. Over the years, the school continued to grow, eventually becoming a public corporation governed by a board of directors. Through modernization of the physical plant, growth of the curriculum, and expansion of learning opportunities, ASDB continues to lead the nation in serving students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired or deaf blind in the state of Arizona. The Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (ASDB) was established in 1912 as a department at the University of Arizona in Tucson. The first home of the school was a converted residence on the University campus. The first building on East 2nd Street and Park Avenue near the University was the former residence of a professor.
A growing population soon made the facility inadequate and the search for new facilities began. In 1918 the City of Tucson donated fifty acres on West Speedway, and in 1919 eighteen additional acres were purchased. Contracts were awarded in 1921 for the construction of four buildings: two dormitories, a kitchen and dining room, and a powerhouse. No classrooms were included, so a wooden building had to be moved from the University and converted into classrooms. Classes began on the West Speedway campus in October 1922.
The campus now has over twenty-five buildings, athletic recreational facilities with beautiful landscaping and well-maintained open areas. Students may attend classes from age 3 through 21. The school colors are royal blue and white and the mascot is the Sentinel. For 100 years, ASDB has provided a well-rounded quality education through a variety of classes, sports, extracurricular activities, events and other programs for the students. We are proud of the precious and rich heritage of ASDB!
Phoenix Day School for the Deaf (PDSD) was established in 1967. PDSD is a division of the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind. PDSD has been providing quality educational programming for children who are deaf or hard of hearing for over 40 years within the metropolitan Phoenix area. The school was originally established at the urging of Phoenix parents who wanted their children educated closer to home. PDSD began in 1967 with 26 elementary students and 5 teachers. Today they have 370 students in Kindergarten through 12th grade and 90 faculty. The high school department was established in 1979 with the first graduating class in 1983. PDSD has been fully accredited by the North Central Association since 1982.
The Phoenix Campus provides a full array of educational and support services to day students in Elementary, Middle School and High School. These services include counseling, communication instruction (American Sign Language, speech, auditory training, speech reading, augmentative communication, public speaking, reading intervention, pragmatics, and communicative competence), audiology, occupational and physical therapy, vocational training, career counseling and transition planning.
The School supports a philosophy which includes the acquisition and development of two languages: American Sign Language (ASL) and English. The curriculum parallels that of any regular public school program with modifications made to meet the communication needs of deaf and hard of hearing children. Culinary, physical education, and computer instruction are an integral part of the curriculum for all students. PDSD has the only comprehensive secondary program designed exclusively for deaf and hard of hearing children in the Phoenix area. Advanced vocational and career preparation programs are available to high school students through Metro Tech and the East Valley Institute of Technology. Completion of the academic/vocational course of study or the college preparatory course of study leads to the Arizona high school diploma.
Sequoia School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Sequoia School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SSDHH) is a public charter school located at 1460 South Horne in Mesa. SSDHH serve Kindergarten through 12th grades on campus. Since 1998, Sequoia School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearings (SSDHH) has been on a mission of educating K-12 Deaf and hard of hearing students and enabling them to attend college, play sports, reach out to the community and become well rounded and well educated adults.
SSDHH offers a bilingual/bicultural education. Our students learn both American Sign Language (ASL) and written English. They learn the history of both the hearing and Deaf cultures. SSDHH provides students with Deaf role models and encourage community involvement. In addition, SSDHH offers students the resources they need to jump start their college education. SSDHH’s unique bilingual-bicultural approach to Deaf education empowers students with the knowledge that they can do anything and everything except hear.
Sharing a campus with hearing schools is also an integral part of the educational philosophy at SSDHH. Deaf students take some classes with their hearing peers to enhance their comfort and knowledge of both the hearing and deaf cultures.
At the Horne campus there are a total of five charter schools that share the facilities and provide a powerhouse of resources and education options to our students.
KASL Academy is a school of faith. Faith that your child is more than their label. Faith that your child can learn and excel. Faith that every child is made by his or her Creator for a purpose. Faith that every child graduating will someday be a leader. A leader in their country, community, or home.
KASL Academy for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is Arizona's only private, nonprofit K-8 school serving the DHH population. Currently located at 10330 N Cotton Lane, Waddell, Arizona 85379- just off Highway 303 and Peoria Ave. Plans for expanding a pre-school, High School, and into Tucson are already underway for 2014 and beyond.
There actually was such a place once. It was an isolated island off the Massachusetts coast - Martha's Vineyard. Some early Vineyard settlers carried a gene for deafness (the first known deaf one was Jonathan Lambert, 1694), and over years of marriage, generation after generation was born with hearing loss. At one point, one in four children was born deaf! There were so many deaf people on the Vineyard (most deaf lived in Chilmark) that residents developed a sign language, Martha's Vineyard Sign Language (MVSL). MVSL later merged with mainland signs to form American Sign Language.
Sign language was so accepted on the Vineyard that a newspaper marveled in 1895 at the way the spoken and signed languages were used so freely and easily by both deaf and hearing residents. People moving to Chilmark had to learn sign language in order to live in the community. Deafness was so common that some hearing residents actually thought it was a contagious disease. Deafness was never considered to be a handicap.
In Martha’s Vineyard, the deaf were considered equals, not second-class citizens, as many Deaf people today feel. No one considered deafness a disability, which is contrary to how deafness has historically been viewed throughout the world. In fact, deafness didn’t even factor into the islanders’ treatment of their deaf neighbors.
In schools, hearing and deaf children alike learned how to read, write and perform arithmetic. No one was exempted from learning how to read because of poor hearing, and no one was given a pass on difficult subjects based on whether or not they could hear. This is drastically different than what deaf school children experience today, as many adults who attended deaf schools, and even mainstream schools, possess poor literacy, can barely spell, and often have little, if any, knowledge of American or world history.
Martha's Vineyard Sign Language (MVSL) was a village sign language once widely used on the island of Martha's Vineyard by both deaf and hearing people in the community; consequently, deafness did not become a barrier to participation in public life. Martha's Vineyard Sign Language is mostly dead today, but it has an important legacy. In the early 19th century, children from the island brought their language to America's first school for the deaf, where it mingled with French Sign Language and other colloquial home sign traditions to create modern American Sign Language.
The last deaf person born into the island's sign language tradition, Katie West, died in 1952, but a few elderly residents were able to recall MVSL as recently as the 1980s when research into the language began. Ironically, the opening of the first deaf school in Hartford, Connecticut was a big reason why the hereditary deafness on the island petered out. Many deaf people from the island attended the school, met and married other deaf people whose deafness wasn’t hereditary, and lived and had children near the school on the mainland of New England. As more and more of the population moved away, less and less deaf children were born on the island.
Though the community is gone today, its signs live on. Children attending the Hartford school mixed their signs in with the French Sign Language Laurent Clerc brought with him from Paris, creating much of the uniquely beautiful American Sign Language that exists today.
As an entertainer, CJ Jones has done just about everything, from performing a Tony Award winning play on National Tour, to directing Deaf kids from high school to kindergarten in their own productions. He has acted in TV, written several one-man shows that have toured the US and internationally, and gives motivational speeches to colleges and companies. In short, CJ is CEO, producer, director, writer, actor, comedian, and musician.
In addition, CJ can rightly add educator and advocate to his credits. He heads Hands Across Communications (www.handsacrosscommunications.com) to produce events for international deaf artists to share their talents and receive recognition for their artistic work. The goal is to make their dream come true through performances on stage. He also founded Sign World Media to help broaden the opportunities for Deaf people in entertainment, providing Sign Language and accessible programming.
When not pursuing these goals, he takes his one-man show (www.cjjoneslive.com) on the road! For more than 35 years, CJ has shared his talents with Deaf and hearing schools, events, and universities across the country and around the world. Having appeared on Broadway stage, in television, video, and on the big screen, he has experienced what he calls the “double whammy” of being an actor who is both deaf and black. CJ vigorously spreads the message to students and adults alike, that being different does not mean being less worthwhile.
CJ has performed his one-man show in Ecuador, Japan, Sweden, Australia, Canada, the US Virgin Islands, and in every state in the union. He has performed in hundreds of elementary, high schools, universities, colleges, conventions, and many events across the continent, inspiring hearing and deaf, young and old.
Sean Berdy, one of the most multifaceted Deaf actors of his generation, has brought an astonishing array of characters to life on film, television and stage.
Sean was born to perform and has been following his passion for entertaining. Sean is an actor, comedian, entertainer, and live performer. His first stage as a young boy was his parents' bed where he put on shows for delighted family and friends alongside his younger brother. Occasionally, he loves to impersonate people. He brought joy and humor to his family and friends.
Sean received his first big break in acting in "The Sandlot 2", the 2005 comedic sequel to "The Sandlot" playing as the lovably mischievous Sammy "Fingers" Samuelson. Sean went on to play roles in additional films including "The Bondage" (2006), "The Deaf Family" (2007), and "The Legend of the Mountain Man" (2008). In addition to Sean's film career, he has been featured in numerous public service commercials.
Sean is currently in a new hit show called, "Switched at Birth" on ABC Family as Emmett Bledsoe, the most lovable character known as Deaf James Dean.
In between filming engagements, Sean has toured the country, performing with a highly acclaimed musical group. Sean was named Mr. Deaf Teen America. In this role, Sean has been asked to make public appearances across the country for one year.
Today, Sean is developing his superlative one man show called, "The Sean Berdy Show" that will bring his comedy standup, life stories, and performance to life.
"It's not all about acting. It's about giving an art of entertainment to humanity."
In 1947, as a baby boomer, Chuck was born with moderate deaf, grown up as culturally deaf while attended the deaf residential school in Kansas. He went to study both at Gallaudet College and National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID). After received his BFA in Rochester Institute of Technology 1974, he spent 5 summers at the National Theatre of the Deaf (NTD) painting their sets. During these years, he held a variety of jobs developing his art in upstate New York and Delaware before he joined Spectrum, the deaf art colony Texas. In 1980, he joined the NTD for the next 10 years as an actor and did some set designs. For the more artistic opportunities, he left the NTD to live nomadically in California and Arizona. He has performed at some Equity theaters. He also worked for DawnSignPress as an in-house artist, and painted a number of first deaf-related works, culminating in the coffee table book. He went back to Kansas City and moved again to Tucson setting up his own painting studios. During time, he has often traveled to paint murals or lead art workshops for deaf children at schools, summer camps, and at art festivals. He had his works known for the genre called Deaf View Image Art (De’VIA) in numerous art exhibits here and oversea over last 12 years. He was summoned to Gallaudet to help coordinating the visual arts exhibitions for Deaf Way II in 2002 and went back there again teaching art for one semester. He then lived in Austin, Texas and continued creating arts at his studio and aboard. He has established the visual art foundation in his name for promoting emerging deaf artists. Please go to www.chuckbairdfoundation.org
There is no one like Bernard Bragg, who has thrilled countless audiences with his enthralling and entertaining performances for decades. He is an amazing performer, director, writer, poet, and artist who dazzle crowds of deaf and hearing people. In addition to helping found and performing with the world renowned National Theater of the Deaf, he has studied with the famous French mime artist Marcel Marceau in Paris, performed in Moscow with a Russian theater group, and trained Swedish actors at the prestigious Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts. Bernard Bragg has been a Visiting Professor and artist-in-residence at NTID/RIT and Gallaudet, as well as teaching at CSUN. He has written, directed and produced countless theatrical productions all over the country and the world. The World Federation of the Deaf honored him with two of its highest awards: International First-Class Merit medal and Lifetime Achievement Award. Bernard Bragg is the recipient of a Special Tony Award for Theatrical Excellence.
Marlee Matlin is one of the best-known actresses in deaf Hollywood and she has steadily increased her name recognition in both the deaf and hearing worlds. Matlin, who burst onto the scene years ago in 1986 with her performance in the feature film "Children of a Lesser God" which she won an Academy Award for Best Actress.
Matlin has appeared in multiple films and numerous of television roles such as Reasonable Doubts, Picket Fences, E.R., The L Word, Law and Order, and recently Switched at Birth. She was one of the 2008 cast of Dancing with the Stars and one of the celebrity contestants on “The Apprentice” Matlin has her own production company, Solo One. Lifetime Television has aired one of Solo One's projects, Where the Truth Lies. Matlin has also tried her hand at writing, authoring Deaf Child Crossing, a children's fiction story about the friendship between a deaf girl and a hearing girl. In addition, Matlin has written her own autobiography, I'll Scream Later
Phyllis Frelich is best known as the 1980 Tony Award winner for her portrayal of Sarah in Mark Medoff's Children of a Lesser God, and for her Emmy-nominated role as Janice in the 1985 Hallmark Hall of Fame film, Love Is Never Silent. She appeared in numerous of theatre productions over the years including her one character play about a barnstorming pilot entitled Lolly Foster's Daredevil Airshow which premiered at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Ms. Frelich is proud to have been one of the founding members of The National Theatre of the Deaf with whom she performed on Broadway, throughout the United States and a good part of the rest of the world. Television audiences will also remember her as guest star on ER, Diagnosis Murder, L.A. Law, Spenser: For Hire, Gimme A Break, Barney Miller, Santa Barbara, and many other shows including the CBS Film Bridge To Silence. Phyllis is equally at home in the classroom whether the students are deaf or hearing and has designed and conducted a multitude of workshops and acting classes. She has an extensive resume of appearances as a guest lecturer and keynote speaker at various educational institutions, civic and service organizations and corporate conferences. Phyllis is proud to have been recognized by her home state of North Dakota with their Rough Rider Award in celebration of which her portrait hangs in the capital building in Bismarck, N.D. She is also the recipient of an Ovation Award, The Outer Circle Award, several LA Dramalogue Awards and Gallaudet University's Humanitarian Award and Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree.
Sports in the deaf community promote social interaction and athletic competition among profoundly hard-of-hearing and deaf individuals. There is a vast history of sports associated with deaf culture, as many deaf people participate in deaf athletic competitions and some even play in the Olympic Games. The following are some of the most famous deaf athletes in the history of sports.
William "Dummy" Hoy
Unable to hear, William E. Hoy was given the nickname “Dummy”. Hoy was the first deaf Major League baseball player. He played baseball for 17 years, from 1886 to 1903. During that time, Dummy Hoy invented the signal of strikes and balls because he could not hear the umpire shouting if it was a strike or not. Raising one hand means strike. If the umpire just said nothing, it means a ball. Dummy Hoy needed to know if it was a strike or a ball.
Gallaudet University dedicated their on-campus baseball field to William "Dummy" Hoy, on April 8, 2001. The baseball field’s name is "Hoy Field." Dummy Hoy played 1,784 games and had a .292 average in 17 years of baseball. He died of a stroke at the age of 99 in 1961.
Kenny Walker was born in Crane, Texas on April 6, 1967. Kenny became deaf when he was 2 years old from spinal meningitis. He made All-State for both football and basketball in public high school. At Nebraska University, he earned All-American Honors for being a starter for the defensive team. After college, he was drafted by the Denver Broncos and played in the NFL. He played for a few years as a Denver Broncos football player.
Recently, Kenny has started working with the Iowa School for the Deaf as a counselor and a football coach. He is also in the book called, “Roar of Silence” written by Bob Schaller.
In 1892, Paul Hubbard was the star quarterback for the Gallaudet Bison football team. Hubbard was worried that other teams – both deaf and hearing teams – were stealing his hand signals at the line of scrimmage. During one game against the Illinois School for the Deaf, Hubbard could tell the opposing team was reading his signals and he decided to do something about it. Hubbard called his offensive line to “huddle up” before the next play and was able to call the next play without the opposing team knowing what they were about to do. It worked so well that today every football team uses this type of huddle as it is still in common use today, typically between plays in American football as the quarterback assigns the next play to the offense.
Well known for being a famous competitive swimmer, Gertrude Ederle was also the first woman to swim across the English Channel in 1926. Gertrude trained at the Women’s Swimming Association, which also produced various other swimming competitors. She joined the WSA when she was only fifteen years old. Ederle began having poor hearing as a child due to measles. By the 1940s, she had become completely deaf. She spent the rest of her life teaching swimming to the deaf community.
Well known in the deaf community, James Burke was a boxer and held the English heavyweight championship. He was the first modern boxer to kill his opponent, as bare-knuckle contests were still going on at this time. He was a large man, standing 6’2” and weighing more than 200 pounds. Deaf culture holds a place for Burke, as his name was added to the International Boxing Hall of Fame nearly 150 years later in 1992.
Pride was born in 1968 and was a major league outfielder. He later went on to become a baseball coach at Gallaudet University. Deaf education shows that Pride was deaf at birth due to rubella, but developed his oral skills with his 5 percent residual hearing. Deafness did not stand in front of his dreams, as Pride went on to make it to the majors with Montreal and became the first deaf player in the major leagues since 1945. In eleven seasons, he batted .250 with a total of 20 home runs and 82 runs batted in 421 games, creating a name for himself in deaf culture.
Matt “The Hammer” Hamill is a deaf American amateur wrestler and MMA fighter. He was a three-time NCAA Wrestling Division III National Champion (1997-1999) while attending the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, New York. In November 2007, Matt was inducted into the RIT Athletics Hall of Fame.
Matt also participated in the Deaflympics in 1997 (Denmark) where he won both g olds in Greco-Roman style and freestyle. Then in 2001 at Rome, Italy, Matt earned silver in Greco-Roman style along with a gold medal in freestyle.
Matt was a contestant on the third season of The Ultimate Fighter reality television show which was a launching pad for his career in the UFC. Matt fought in the UFC for six years and has amassed a career record of 10-4 in the UFC and 12-4 overall in MMA. August 2011, Matt Hamill announced his retirement from the UFC. Thirteen months later, Matt came out of retirement and fought at UFC 152 in Toronto, Canada and won via unanimous decision. Matt is scheduled to fight Thiago Silva on October 9, 2013.
A racing sensation, Ashley has blazed a trail for female motocrossers by claiming a factory American Honda Racing ride (the first female MXer in the U.S. to do so), earning three WMX titles ('08-'09, 2011) and snagging the 2009 and 2010 XG gold in Racing. What's more, Ashley is profoundly deaf and rides by feeling the vibrations in her bike, which tell her when to shift gears. The charismatic Ashley is a great promoter of the sport with her huge smile and mad texting skills. She is currently working at being an actress and competing for her 4th WMX title in five years. She has announced 2012 will be her last year in this series.
I. King Jordan made history in 1988 when he became the first deaf president of Gallaudet University, the world's only university with all programs and services designed specifically for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. That year Gallaudet students, with support from many alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the University, protested the Board of Trustees' appointment of a hearing person to the presidency.
Deaf President Now (DPN), the week-long protest was a watershed event in the lives of deaf and hard of hearing people all over the world. At its conclusion, the Board reversed its decision and named I. King Jordan, the eighth president of Gallaudet and the first deaf president since the institution was established in 1864. Since DPN, I. King Jordan's leadership heightened public awareness of the important educational contributions Gallaudet makes to the nation and the world. He served as an international spokesperson for deaf and hard of hearing people, as well as an advocate for all persons with disabilities. Much sought after as a public speaker, Dr. Jordan continues to challenge the American public to examine their attitudes toward people with disabilities and to open their minds, hearts and workplaces to them.
Dr. Jordan holds eleven honorary degrees and is the recipient of numerous awards. In 1990, President George Bush appointed Dr. Jordan as Vice Chair of the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities (PCEPD). In 1993, President Clinton reappointed Dr. Jordan Vice Chair of PCEPD. On December 31, 2006, Dr. Jordan stepped down as president of the University. In 2010 it was announced that President Emeritus I. King Jordan has been appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the Commission on Presidential Scholars.
He quoted Frederick Schreibert, saying, "Deaf people can do anything hearing people can, except hear," which became the motto of the deaf community.
Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deaf blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. The story of how Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become widely known through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker. Her birthday on June 27 is commemorated as Helen Keller Day in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and was authorized at the federal level by presidential proclamation by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, her 100th birthday.
A prolific author, Keller was well-travelled and outspoken in her convictions. A member of the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World, she campaigned for women's suffrage, labor rights, socialism, and other radical left causes. She was inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in 1971.
Andrew Jackson Foster was deafened by spinal meningitis at age 11, and attended the Alabama School for Colored Deaf in Talladega. When his family moved to Detroit in 1942, he worked in a military-equipment factory, studying at night. A missionary’s public lecture about deaf Jamaicans inspired him to choose an evangelical career. With the encouragement of Eric Malzkuhn, he became Gallaudet College’s first and only black student, receiving his B.A. in Education in 1954. In 1956, he organized the Christian Mission for Deaf Africans, and set up his first school in Accra, Ghana. He founded 31 schools for deaf African children and adults. In 1970, Gallaudet University awarded him a Doctoral degree, making him the first black person to receive such degree from this university. Andrew trained many teachers and continued his missionary work as more schools opened. By 1974, there were 74 schools for the deaf in Africa, a sixfold increase over the 12 that existed before he began his mission. His career ended when he died in a plane crash in Rwanda—but his mission is continued by his former students. Based on his contributions, "Andrew Foster is to Africa what Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet is to the United Stated of America."
The Abbé Charles-Michel de l'Épée (November 24, 1712, Versailles - December 23, 1789, Paris) was a philanthropic educator of 18th-century France who has become known as the "Father of the Deaf". He is also known as the founder of the first public school for the deaf.
He was born to a wealthy family in Versailles, the seat of political power in what was then the most powerful kingdom of Europe. He studied to be a Catholic priest but was denied ordination as a result of his refusal to denounce Jansenism, a popular French heresy of the time. He then studied law but, soon after joining the Bar, was finally ordained—only to be denied a license to officiate.
Épée then turned his attention toward charitable services for the poor, and, on one foray into the slums of Paris, he had a chance encounter with two young deaf sisters who communicated using a sign language. Épée decided to dedicate himself to the education and salvation of the deaf, and, in 1760, he founded a school. In line with emerging philosophical thought of the time, Épée came to believe that deaf people were capable of language and concluded that they should be able to receive the sacrament (Catholic Churches) and thus avoid going to hell. He began to develop a system of instruction of the French language and religion. In the early 1760s, his shelter became the world's first free school for the deaf, open to the public.
Though Épée's original interest was in religious education, his public advocacy and development of a kind of "Signed French" enabled deaf people to legally defend themselves in court for the first time.
Épée died at the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789, and his tomb is in the Church of Saint Roch in Paris. Two years after his death, the National Assembly recognized him as a "Benefactor of Humanity" and declared that deaf people had rights according to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. In 1791, the Institution Nationale des Sourds-Muets à Paris, which Épée had founded, began to receive government funding. It was later renamed the Institut St. Jacques and then renamed again to its present name: Institut National de Jeunes Sourds de Paris. His methods of education have spread around the world, and the Abbé de l'Épée is seen today as one of the founding fathers of deaf education.
Louis Laurent Marie Clerc was a pivotal figure in the education of the deaf, and has been called “the apostle to the Deaf people of the New World.” Clerc’s influence cannot be overestimated, and reverberates within the Deaf community to this day.
Clerc was born in 1785, in Balme-les-Gottes, in southeastern France. It is unclear whether Clerc was born deaf or became so after a childhood accident. Regardless, he did not attend school in his early years, finally being enrolled at age 12 in the Institut National des Jeune Sourds-Muets in Paris, the first public school for the deaf in the world. Clerc excelled in his studies, mastering the signing methods employed by the institute. In 1806, he became a teacher at the school.
In 1815, Clerc and his teacher were sent to London to lecture on their teaching methods. There Clerc met Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet; the two would form a collaboration that would last decades and have a monumental impct on deaf education. Gallaudet later convinced Clerc to come to America to help establish the first school for the deaf in the U.S., in Hartford, CT, in 1817.
Clerc’s teaching career spanned 50 years, 41 of them in the U.S, during which he inspired innumerable teachers and administrators. The sign language he taught was a melding of French Sign Language and the signs being used in America. This melded system was later adapted and refined by him and his American students to eventually become the American Sign Language we know today.
Rev. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet (1787-1851)
A pioneer in deaf education, Gallaudet was the impetus behind the creation of the first school for the deaf in America – now the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, CT – and was for many years its principal.
Gallaudet was born in Philadelphia in 1787, and attended Yale where earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. A man of immense and varied interests, he considered studying law, engaging in business, or becoming a clergyman, eventually choosing the latter.
Gallaudet found his life’s calling, however, when he met Alice Cogswell, the deaf daughter of one of his congregants. Rev. Gallaudet considered Deaf people outside the reach of the Word of God. Motivated to educate deaf people and funded by Alice’s father, Gallaudet traveled to Europe to learn the deaf education methods employed there. In London he was introduced to the French signing method of manual communication. There he also met one of the method’s premier teachers, Laurent Clerc, with whom he would forge a decades-long educational partnership.
Gallaudet convinced Clerc to return with him to America to found, in 1817, the American School for the Deaf, the first formal school for the deaf in the United States. Gallaudet served as the school principal and Clerc as its head teacher. The success of the school led Gallaudet to lead the movement to establish similar schools throughout the United States, utilizing signing as the means of communication.
Gallaudet’s devotion to bridging the communication gap between the hearing and deaf people were unflagging. One of his sons, Edward Miner Gallaudet, helped to found the first college for deaf students, which would become Gallaudet University.
http://www.weta.org/about/press/kits/37131/additional/39427- History Through Deaf Eyes
Deaf Awareness Daily Tidbits - September 2013
9/30: Quotes & Poem
Famous Deaf Quotes
“As long as we have deaf people on earth, we will have signs. And as long as we have our films, we can preserve signs in their old purity. It is my hope that we will all love and guard our beautiful sign language as the noblest gift God has given to deaf people.” – George Veditz, 1913. ( Former President of National Association of the Deaf )
“Just a thought….it is interesting to see that DEAF people can function in the hearing world very well while hearing people cannot function well in the DEAF world. “ – Gil Eastman (GallaudetTheatre Art Professor 1934-2006)
“The problem is not that the (deaf) students do not hear. The problem is that the hearing world does not listen. “- Rev Jesse L. Jackson ( American Civil Rights Activist, Minister)
“Signs are to eyes what words are to ears. “- Ken Glickman (Deaf Proverbs Book Writer)
MarleeMatlin - “Watch me when people say deaf and dumb, or deaf-mute and I give them a look like you might get if you called Denzel Washington the wrong name.”
Deaf Couple at the Motel A deaf couple check into a motel. They retire early. In the middle of the night, the wife wakes her husband complaining of a headache and asks him to go to the car and get some aspirin from the glove compartment. Groggy with sleep, he struggles to get up, puts on his robe, and goes out of the room to his car. He finds the aspirin, and with the bottle in hand he turns toward the motel. But he cannot remember which room is his. After thinking a moment, he returns to the car, places his hand on the horn, holds it down, and waits. Very quickly the motel rooms light up, all but one. It's his wife's room, of course. He locks up his car and heads toward the room without a light.
Traffic Stop One day a certain lady was driving on the Highway. She frequently checked her speed gauge to make sure she stayed within the speed limit. However, when she looked into her rear mirror, much to her dismay, she saw a police car not far behind! And, to make matters worse, the police car turned on his flashing lights.
She thought to herself, "Uh-oh, what have I done now? I'm not speeding. I'm not drinking. I have my seat belt on! I have kept up my license dues and everything!" So, she pulled over and the police car pulled over to the side right behind her car. She drove her car slowly to a stop, slowly rolled down the window, and prepared for a ticket when she knew she didn't deserve it.
A policeman walked up to her window, and spoke to her. The lady pointed to her ear and shook her head, meaning she was deaf. The policeman smiled slightly and wrote, "I know. I'm here to tell you that your horn is stuck."
Three Deaf men on a Train
Three men- a Cuban, a Russian, and a Deaf American meet on a train. The Cuban takes out a fine, fresh Havana cigar, lights it up, takes a few leisurely puffs, and tosses the unfinished cigar out the window. He explains, "We have so many cigars in Cuba, we can afford to waste them." The Russian then takes out a new bottle of fine native vodka, pours himself a shot, then casually tosses the nearly-full bottle out the window. "We have so much vodka in Russia, we can afford to waste it," he says. Then the Deaf man picks up his sign language interpreter and tosses him out the window: "We have so many hearing people in America; we can afford to waste them."
9/26: NAD, AzAD, Arizona Deaf Festival & NAD 2016 Conference
National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is the nation's premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America.
Established in 1880, the NAD was shaped by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level. These beliefs remain true to this day, with American Sign Language as a core value.
The advocacy scope of the NAD is broad, covering a lifetime and impacting future generations in the areas of early intervention, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, and more – improving the lives of millions of deaf and hard of hearing Americans. The NAD also carries out its federal advocacy work through coalition efforts with specialized national deaf and hard of hearing organizations, as well as coalitions representing national cross-disability organizations.
On the international front, the NAD represents the United States of America to the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), an international human rights organization.
Individual and organizational membership makes it possible for the NAD to ensure that the collective interests of the American deaf and hard of hearing community are seen and represented among our nation’s policy makers and opinion leaders at the federal level.
The NAD is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization supported by the generosity of individual and organizational donors, including corporations and foundations.
Mission Statement: This organization shall be organized and operated exclusively to promote the welfare of deaf and hard of hearing residents of the state of Arizona in education, economic, security, social equality, and just rights and privileges as citizens.
1912--Arizona State School for the Deaf founded in Tucson after the state of Arizona becomes the 48th state. The ASSD later was renamed Arizona School for the Deaf and the Blind (ASDB).
1936--At the Arizona State School for the Deaf Reunion, ASSD alumni give birth to the Arizona Association of the Deaf's (AAD) concept, formulated under William Wherry.
1940--First state convention is held in Tucson.
1958--AAD was inactive during the War Years and re-organized during 1956-56. It was incorporated and recognized officially by the state of Arizona.
1964--First state convention is held outside Tucson (Westward Ho Hotel in Phoenix).
Mid 1970's--AAD initiated the concept and enlisted support of two other organizations in establishing the Arizona Council for the Hearing Impaired (ACHI), now called Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACDHH).
Late 1970's--The first Relay Service for the Deaf with volunteers was developed by Rick Hall and Marion Edwards. The office of Vocational Rehabilitation donated space for the original relay facility. Arizona Deaf Assistance and Referral Agency (ADARA) volunteers provided the service.
Early 1980's--Since the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Arizonans had to type with much slower word per minute with TTY's as compared to quicker vocal conversation, the long distance bill becomes too expensive, Arizona Association of the Deaf filed a petition with Arizona Corporation Commission for a discount on long distance TTY calls. AAD Coordinated this petition with the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest (now called Arizona Center for Disability Law). Expert witness testimony was provided by the Arizona Council for the Deaf and the National Center for Law and the Deaf.
1983--Arizona Association of the Deaf joined with local organizations in National Protest Day against a national network for refusing to close caption television programs.
1993--The initial name of AAD was changed to AzAD to reduce the confusion with three other states that start with "A" (Alabama, Alaska and Arkansas) and American Athletic Association of the Deaf (AAAD).
1996--First AzAD state convention is held outside of the Tucson and Phoenix metropolitan areas
1998--First tax exemption 501 (c) 3 tax status) approved by IRS and adopted new Article of Incorporation, Bylaws that is almost similar to NAD Bylaws designed by Dick Babb.
2006 – Partnered with Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing (ACDHH) in establishing the first Arizona Deaf Festival. AZAD continued the tradition in hosting Arizona Deaf Festival annually.
Arizona Deaf Festival is happening on November 2nd, 2013 and will be held at SpoFit Center, 5031 East Washington St, Phoenix, Arizona from 9 AM to 5 PM. Clown, Performance, Workshop, Children's Program, Exhibitions, etc., will be provided throughout the day. For more info, see website; http://www.azdeafestival.org You also can register at http://azdeafestival-es2.eventbrite.com/?rank=1
NAD 2016 Conference
For those who haven’t “heard”, 2016 National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Conference will be hosted in Phoenix, Arizona!!! For more information, go to http://www.nad2016.org/
9/25: The History of Closed Captioning
An Open Book on Closed Captioning...and More!
Today, you can turn on any TV channel, press a button, and instantaneously access closed captioning for virtually any program you can imagine. Closed captioning not only includes deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers as full participants in the information age, but its practical value and its audience extends far beyond its historical origins. Today, closed captioning features prominently in public environments and public events, accompanies classroom lectures and web content, and even aids ESL students in learning English. Many everyday home consumers appreciate the widespread availability of captioning, its quality, and its convenience.
The Revolution Will Be Televised
At the First National Conference on Television for the Hearing Impaired in 1971, two possible technologies for captioning television programs debuted. Both technologies displayed the captions only on specially equipped sets for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers. Another demonstration of closed captioning followed at Gallaudet College on February 15, 1972. ABC and the National Bureau of Standards presented closed captions embedded within the normal broadcast of "Mod Squad." This fantastic achievement proved the technical viability of closed captioning.
The deaf and hard-of-hearing community celebrated these crucial demonstrations, and on the strength of their acclaim, the National Association of Broadcasters deliberated on how to move forward with a true captioning service. The federal government funded further development and testing of this innovative new technology. In 1973, the engineering department of the Public Broadcasting System started the project under contract to the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW).
Although closed captioning service was still an experimental technology, programs with "open" captions aired on PBS. In 1972, "The French Chef" with Julia Child made history as the first television program accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers. ABC also began rebroadcasting its national news program on PBS five hours after its broadcast on ABC-TV. When "The Captioned ABC News" began in 1973, it offered the only timely newscast accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers, and it would remain so for nearly a decade.
In 1979, HEW inaugurated the National Captioning Institute (NCI) a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and providing access to television programs for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community through closed captioning technology. The accomplishments of the new nonprofit would prove even more transformative than anyone could have imagined.
Words Worth Watching
On March 16, 1980, NCI broke through barriers of silence with the first closed-captioned television series. Households that acquired the first generation of closed caption decoders enjoyed a front-row seat to a new world. For the first time ever, deaf people across America could turn on their television sets--with a caption decoder--and finally understand what they had been missing on television. The first closed-captioned programs were broadcast on March 16, 1980, by ABC, NBC, and PBS. The first programs seen with captioning were a Disney's Wonderful World presentation of the film Son of Flubber on NBC, an ABC Sunday Night Movie airing of Semi-Tough, and Masterpiece Theatre on PBS.
NCI developed offline captioning to provide viewers carefully researched and meticulously-timed captions for prerecorded broadcasts and on home video. In 1980, there were only three captioned home video titles. Today, closed captions and subtitles are standard across the spectrum of home media, including virtual formats like online and digital media.
The closed-captioned television service caused an overnight sensation. Suddenly, everyone who had been shut out from the world of broadcast media could enjoy television programs along with hearing people. NCI had truly brought them "words worth watching." Television viewers looked forward to even more accessible programming, including prime-time series, soap operas, talk shows, game shows, sports, children's programming, cartoons, and home videos--the same rich and wide variety of programming that hearing people take for granted. They wanted instant access to live programs such as national and local newscasts. And thanks to another NCI innovation, they would get exactly what they were asking for.
In 1982, NCI developed real-time captioning, a process for captioning newscasts, sports events, and other live broadcasts as the events are being televised, thereby bringing thousands of households into national conversations in a way that had previously been impossible.
Setting the Standards for an Industry
With new technologies and methodologies in development, NCI focused on how to make the technology as widespread as the audience. NCI partnered with ITT Corporation to develop the first caption-decoding microchip. This chip could be built directly into new television sets in the factory, and it led to the passage of the Television Decoder Circuitry Act in 1990, mandating that all new television sets 13 inches or larger manufactured for sale in the U.S. contain caption-decoding technology.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 was another important milestone. The ADA prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, businesses that are public accommodations or commercial facilities, and in transportation. Title III of the ADA requires that public facilities, such as hospitals, bars, shopping centers and museums (but not movie theaters), provide access to verbal information on televisions, films or slide shows. Captioning is considered one way of making such information available to people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Federally-funded public service announcements also must be captioned.
Congress followed the success of the Decoder Circuitry Act with the Telecommunications Act of 1996, requiring that digital television receivers also contain caption-decoding technology. In 2006, the FCC ruled that all broadcast and cable television programs must include captioning, with some exceptions. The exceptions include ads that run less than 5 minutes and programs aired between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. The Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 further requires broadcasters to provide captioning for television programs redistributed on the web and for HDTV-decoding boxes to include a button that controls closed captioning in the output signal. On January 13, 2012, the FCC also adopted rules establishing closed captioning requirements for programming delivered through the internet.
Captioning Deadline Coming
By September 30, 2013, new FCC rules will begin requiring captioning for edited, pre-recorded video programming posted over the Internet, if the video was first shown on television with captions. The rules to do not apply to YouTube clips and other amateur videos just professionally produced videos, particularly those already made available through broadcast, cable or satellite services. Here are some other exceptions:
• Deleted scenes and altered TV scores
• Programing shown originally and only online
• If the TV channel does not make more than $3 million a year, then it is exempt from closed-
• Newspaper and magazine online sites are exempted
These FCC rules are based on a law passed by the US Congress in 2013, called the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA). It directed the FCC to establish how and when video programming must be captioned. The rules describe captioning requirements for video owners, providers, and distributors, a compliance schedule, complaint rules; and requirements for manufacturers of devices that are used to view the video programming.
On March 30, 2013, the FCC began requiring all live and near-live programming originating from broadcasters to be closed captioned. Broadcasters have 45 days after the original date of a TV broadcast to provide online captioning for materials produced between March 30, 2014 and March 30, 2015.
On January 1, 2014 video devices are required to be able to process the closed captioning
Closed captioning has grown from an experimental service intended only for people who are deaf to a truly global communications service that touches the lives of millions of people every day in vital ways. Because of the efforts of NCI, the television industry, the federal government, and so many others, people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing enjoy ever-expanding access to media and will never again be excluded from the conversation.
9/24: History of TTY, Video Phone and Video Relay Service
TTY and TTY Relay Service
The invention of the telephone in the late 1800's was heralded by most people. However, people who are deaf or hard of hearing had difficulty or could not use the telephone at all. For generations, deaf and hard of hearing people had to depend on hearing family members, friends, and neighbors to make telephone calls – to their doctors, children’s schools, and other necessary contacts.
Robert Weitbrecht, a deaf scientist, developed the teletypewriter (TTY) in the 1960s. With the invention of the acoustic coupler (which holds the telephone handset receiver) and the distribution of recycled teletype machines, deaf and hard of hearing people were able to call each other directly using these devices. In the late 1970's and through the 1980's, much smaller and compact versions of the TTY were manufactured, marketed, and made available through state TTY equipment distribution programs.
Calls between TTYs were terrific, but most people had telephones. To provide greater access, TTY relay services began, first as volunteer programs with limited hours and areas, connecting deaf and hard of hearing TTY users with people who used telephones. The TTY relay service communication assistant (CA) connects TTY relay calls with people who communicate by telephone. The CA converts voice-to-text and text-to-voice communication. The text is displayed on the user’s TTY. Because communication using a TTY could flow only in one direction at a time, TTY etiquette was developed. People who communicate using a TTY or TTY relay service, signal conversation turn-taking by saying or typing “go ahead” (GA) and signal the end of a conversation by saying or typing “stop keying” (SK).
With TTY relay services, deaf and hard of hearing people could finally call their hearing family members and friends, make their own appointments, order pizza, and make other calls on their own. California became the first state, in 1987, to mandate and establish a state Telecommunications Relay Program. Other states established their own state relay services and a patchwork of relay services emerged across the country. In 1990, Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandated nationwide relay services, to be available 24/7 in every state and territory. More than 100 years after the invention of the telephone, deaf and hard of hearing people could finally make a telephone call to anyone.
Today, TTY relay services, the original and now “traditional” relay service, can be reached by anyone by dialing 711 from a telephone or TTY. The 711 dialing feature is now available nationwide to access non-Internet-based relay services such as TTY relay services, speech-to-speech (STS) relay services, and voice carry over (VCO) TTY, and hearing carry over (HCO) TTY relay services. For more information about 711, see www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/711.html
Many TTY users have migrated to other forms of communication to access the telephone network, using newer technologies and relay services, including Internet-based relay services.
TTYs, however, are still used by many people who are deaf or hard of hearing; particularly by people who do not have access to available, affordable broadband and Internet access. TTYs also continue to play an important role by providing direct access to 9-1-1 emergency services.
One of the first demonstrations of the ability for telecommunications to help sign language users communicate with each other occurred when AT&T's videophone (trademarked as the "Picturephone") was introduced to the public at the 1964 New York World's Fair –two deaf users were able to communicate freely with each other between the fair and another city. Various universities and other organizations, including British Telecom's Martlesham facility, have also conducted extensive research on signing via videotelephony. The use of sign language via video telephony was hampered for many years due to the difficulty of its use over slow analogue copper phone lines, coupled with the high cost of better quality ISDN (data) phone lines. Those factors largely disappeared with the introduction of more efficient video codecs and the advent of lower cost high-speed ISDN data and IP (Internet) services in the 1990s.
21st century improvements for signing
Significant improvements in video call quality of service for the deaf occurred in the United States in 2003 when Sorenson Media Inc. (formerly Sorenson Vision Inc.), a video compression software coding company, developed its VP-100 model stand-alone videophone specifically for the deaf community. It was designed to output its video to the user's television in order to lower the cost of acquisition, and to offer remote control and a powerful proprietary video compression codec for unequaled video quality and ease of use with video relay services. Favorable reviews quickly led to its popular usage at educational facilities for the deaf, and from there to the greater deaf community.
Coupled with similar high-quality videophones introduced by other electronics manufacturers, the availability of high speed Internet, and sponsored video relay services authorized by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission in 2002, VRS services for the deaf underwent rapid growth in that country.
Video Relay Service:
As NAD has been working hard to advance access to Video Relay Service (VRS), to use VRS, a deaf or hard of hearing individual must have video conferencing equipment or a videophones, and a broadband (high speed) Internet connection. VRS enables a deaf or hard of hearing person to make and receive telephone calls through a communications assistant (CA) who is a qualified American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter. For many deaf and hard of hearing individuals, VRS is closer to “functionally equivalent” telephone services than any other form of relay service. For ASL users, VRS conversations flow so much more smoothly, naturally, and faster than communicating by typing. For many people, including deaf senior citizens and children, no other form of relay service is comparable.
Video conferencing equipment and videophones have additional benefits. They can be used for direct communication between deaf and hard of hearing people and with their hearing family and friends who know ASL. They can also be used by deaf and hard of hearing people who do not know ASL, but who benefit from access to visual communication cues, including speech reading.
The NAD continues to advocate for improving VRS, to make VRS a mandated service, ensuring funds for VRS research and development, and ensuring qualified interpreters for VRS and the community.
Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to private employers and state or local governments as employers. ADA Title I prohibits employers, employment agencies, labor unions and joint labor-management committees from discriminating against persons with disabilities. Title I applies only to employers with 15 or more employees.
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires state and local governments to make their programs, services, and activities accessible to individuals with disabilities, including individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
courts, schools, social service agencies, hospitals, legislatures, commissions and councils, recreational facilities, libraries, and state/county/city departments and agencies of all kinds.
health care providers, hospitals and other health care facilities, police and law enforcement, state and local courts, and jails and prisons.
Filing a Complaint under ADA Title II (State and Local Governments), please file within 180 days of the discrimination at http://www.ada.gov/t2cmpfrm.htm and/or file a lawsuit in state or federal court.
Title III – Public Accommodations (Businesses)
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires businesses open to the public to ensure that individuals with a disability have equal access to all that the businesses have to offer. It covers both profit and non-profit organizations. Unlike the employment section of the ADA, which only applies to employers with 15 or more employees, ADA Title III applies to all businesses, regardless of size.
retail stores and the wide range of service businesses such as hotels, theaters, restaurants, doctors' and lawyers' offices, optometrists, dentists, banks, insurance agencies, museums, parks, libraries, day care centers, recreational programs, social service agencies, and private schools.
Filing a Complaint under ADA Title III (Public Accommodations), please file at
http://www.ada.gov/t3compfm.htm. There is no time limit for filing an ADA Title III complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice, but you should file as soon as possible. You may also file a lawsuit in state or federal court.
Title IV – Telecommunications Relay Services
Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 mandated a nationwide system of telecommunications relay services to make the telephone network accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing or who have speech impairments. Title IV of the ADA added Section 225 to the Communications Act of 1934.
Title V – Miscellaneous Provisions
Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) contains provisions that are not covered in other parts of the ADA. These provisions include:
◦States cannot claim immunity from ADA-related legal action. Individuals with disabilities may sue any state agency for violations of the ADA, but may not recover money damages.
◦Protects individuals with disabilities from retaliation for asserting their rights under the ADA.
◦Courts may award attorney's fees to the prevailing (winning) party in an ADA lawsuit
◦Congress is covered by the ADA.
◦Other federal and state laws can be stronger and provide greater protections and rights than the ADA.
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 - Section 504
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is the federal law that authorizes the formula grant programs for vocational rehabilitation, supported employment, independent living, and client assistance. It also authorizes a variety of training and service discretionary grants administered by the Rehabilitation Services Administration. The Rehabilitation Act authorizes research activities that are administered by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and the work of the National Council on Disability. The Rehabilitation Act also includes a variety of provisions focused on rights, advocacy and protections for individuals with disabilities.
Section 504 – Federal Agencies and Federally-Funded Programs and Activities
“No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency or by the United States Postal Service.” 29 U.S.C. § 794(a).
Each federal agency has its own set of Section 504 regulations that apply to its own programs. Agencies that provide federal financial assistance also have section 504 regulations covering entities that receive federal aid. Requirements common to these regulations include reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities; program accessibility; effective communication with people who have hearing or vision disabilities; and accessible new construction and alterations.
Filing a Complaint under Section 504
Each federal agency is responsible for enforcing its own Section 504 regulations. Section 504 may also be enforced through private lawsuits. It is not necessary to file a Section 504 complaint with a federal agency or to receive a “right-to-sue” letter before going to court.
You can find out about the procedures for filing a Section 504 complaint by contacting the federal agency for more information. See http://www.ada.gov/investag.htm for a list of federal agencies that investigate disability discrimination complaints against federally funded programs that provide education, health care, housing, transportation, and other services.
[Sean] Hello! I’m Sean Furman, one of the Deaf Specialists here at the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACDHH). We are doing spotlight interviews with different Deaf Organizations and Deaf Individuals as part of Deaf Awareness for the month of September. I’m very excited for our special guest today, Linda Bove, from the television show “Sesame Street.” We’ll take a moment to ask some questions today.
We are so excited to have you here! What can you tell be about your experiences as a professional actress?
[ Linda] My experience as a professional actress in the ‘70s ‘80s and ‘90s were formative years, but challenging years both for myself as an actress with the goal of becoming a professional and also for the general public to realize that it is possible for a deaf person to become a professional actor. Those were the two big impacts of that era.
As for my experience as a professional actress, what can I say but “WOW”! I’ll never forget it. Although it was challenging, those challenges helped me learn how to navigate through obstacles. It took time for people to become accustomed to and aware of deaf people and their skills and how to respect our differences. All those things take time. For me, as a professional actress, I had a huge advantage because of the power of television and media to reach a broad audience. In the case of Sesame Street, children, parents, and relatives all watch the show on a daily basis. I was fortunate for the longevity of the show that allowed me to continually expose the audience to ASL and to a Deaf person and my way of life, meaning cultural perspective. I’m grateful for Sesame Street for that opportunity and for keeping me on the show for 32 years.
[Sean] Wow, 32 years! Incredible! I’m sure in that time you faced some obstacles. Can you elaborate on some of the experiences you had?
[Linda] Yes, there were obstacles I have to admit, I can’t deny that. However those obstacles helped me to become more diplomatic and positive in my approach and message as well as my attitude towards them and vice-versa. For example, the interpreters that were present at Sesame Street were not just for my benefit, but for the benefit of all. When I come to work as a professional actress, they were able to take advantage of my input and feedback in order to work together. So we met halfway. The second obstacle I faced was the writers. The writers were clueless about deaf people and their lives. Fortunately, Sesame Street focuses on individual differences whether that be the color of their skin or different disabilities. Therefore, I had to give an authentic portrayal of who I am and who my character is. For example, when the Muppets are speaking, their mouth moves up and down. Should I act like I understand? I couldn’t. I had to be honest and tell them that it wasn’t working. I gave ideas and feedback over the years. We had issues because of the different work schedules between the writers and actors. The writers would come in first, go on hiatus, and the actors would come in and review the scripts and that was when I would find predicaments. So one of the ideas I suggested was to meet with the team of writers with my interpreter to give them ideas and input. They were overwhelmed. We realized it was more effective to talk directly to the head writer who would then pass the message to the writer’s group in a separate meeting. We talked about following what research showed was the best way to get a message across to children at home. So I met with the writer every year before we started filming to share my ideas. Some ideas were not in line with what research was saying, so we substituted suggestions and compromised with the ideas that were given to the writers group. I noticed over the years that the writing improved. We were fortunate to have the same group of writers over a number of years. In the later years, the writers were also invited to the set to watch the actors and the transition from script to action and our interaction with the directors. The challenge for the directors was the different camera angles to utilize while filming so it wouldn’t be boring. The solution to that was captioning. Sesame Street was one of the first few programs that offered captioning. Remember, we’re talking about the ‘70s and we’ve come a long way. One thing I noticed over the years of having an interpreter there with me every time I appeared was that obstacles and communication barriers began to fall. People began to enjoy communicating with me as a person instead of feeling like I was a deaf person they couldn’t talk with. Turning that situation into a positive experience made me realize the responsibility that I carried with me without even knowing. Back then I was young and naïve, but it changed my way of thinking and my approach with them. They were innocently ignorant, but I brought that awareness with me that allowed us to work together. Sorry to give you such a long answer.
[Sean] Wow, all of that experience. Don’t worry about the long answer. I appreciate your answers and explanations. I can see the success stories in the list of challenges you mentioned. You became the pioneer that paved the way for different actors and actresses in TV, Movies, and Media industry. Thank you for that and for your input to writers and so forth. My next question is about Deaf Awareness Week. Why is it important? Can you elaborate on that?
[Linda] Yes, I do think it’s important. Although, I feel sometimes every year can feel redundant. One of the lessons I learned from the crew at Sesame Street was that when they would go on hiatus for 5 months and come back they would need me to remind them of things because they weren’t used to having deaf people around them on a daily basis. New York City is a big city and you may bump into a deaf person every once in a while, but not frequently. So for us to recognize Deaf Awareness Month in Phoenix is important. It is important to remind people that we are here and we are here to collaborate and become partners. They will get what we call “deaf gain” – there are many things that people may not have thought of that we can help with. It’s a give and take relationship. It doesn’t mean we are accountable to them, but that we can work as a team. So a month every year we do the same thing. We can share new information or technology so that people can become more aware and more comfortable communicating with us I think.
[Sean] Thank you for your words of wisdom. Before we wrap up, do you have any final words you would like to give or explain?
[Linda] Yes! One thing I think is important to say. I often find myself in an encounter with hearing person in general everyday settings, and I will point to my ear and shake my head. I find myself looking like I am apologizing for being deaf which in turn makes the hearing person feel sorry for me. About two years ago I decided to make a conscious effort to stop and change my attitude. By attitude, I mean a positive approach. Now I will approach the hearing person with a smile and say ‘Hi, I need help’ or something to that effect and they notice I am communicating with my hands in ASL and are more likely to find alternative ways to communicate through things like written notes, texting, or even gesturing. I like that approach and think we should do things that way.
[Sean] Yes, I agree. It’s true; I’ve noticed myself doing the same thing. A change in attitude can definitely have that ripple effect. Thank you for your stories, words of wisdom, and for your answers to the questions. It’s been a pleasure to have you here as our special guest. Again, thank you for being here. Have a great Deaf Awareness Month!
ACDHH 2013 Deaf Awareness Spotlight Interview with Harvey Goodstein
Due to technical difficulties, ACDHH was unable to successfully caption the video. We have included the transcript of the interview below. We apologizes for any inconveniences this may have caused.
[Sean] I’m Sean Furman, one of the Deaf Specialists at ACDHH. I’m excited to have a special guest here with me today, and to have the opportunity to ask some questions. Who is he? This is Harvey Goodstein. Welcome, Harvey! We’re excited to have you here.
I’d like to take a moment to ask you a few questions. What can you tell me about yourself as a Deaf person, your involvement in Deaf Activism, and historically what your involvement or roles have been?
[Harvey] I started out attending a school for the Deaf, and then attending Gallaudet University. I graduated and got my Masters and a Ph.D. and returned to Gallaudet to teach math for about 30 years. That activist has always been a part of me, growing up Deaf, and wanting to see no barriers. So that feeling of “Deaf people can do anything” is something that I understand. I became heavily involved after the DPN movement.
[Sean] You mentioned DPN, which stands for “Deaf President Now.” That happened 25 years ago – how time flies! Can you tell me about DPN? What was your involvement with that and how did you become involved?
[Harvey] For many years Deaf people usually felt oppressed and faced many obstacles in general. Even at Gallaudet University, there was still to some extent that feeling, specifically when it came to the promotion of Deaf people or Deaf people holding higher positions. We were aware of the situation and watching to see who would follow President Lee. Before him we had Merrill, and we had watched the Presidents come in succession. It felt like we had many Ph.D. holding Deaf people that could become President at that time. When the Board addressed the three finalists for President, which were Zinzer who was hearing, Harvey Corson who was Deaf and I. King Jordan who was also Deaf, we all knew the two Deaf finalists were more than qualified to become the new President of Gallaudet. The prevalent feeling was that the time was “NOW” and if not now, when? So, when the board made their fateful decision, and in hindsight it was a good thing that it happened because it meant a lot more than just getting a Deaf President – it meant we had broken through the oppression and the paternalistic mentality for many people. We felt so strongly that if they were to say we weren’t ready, we couldn’t take it any longer. So we went ahead and did what was necessary to change that situation. Fortunately, we did it in one week.
[Sean] It’s amazing history. I was reading an article recently and I noticed that you had gone up on stage. What made you feel like you could go ahead and do that?
[Harvey] We were shocked on Sunday. The Gallaudet Board was to announce the new President. We were ready to go to the field house, but when we arrived on campus, we were shocked to see many students outside upset. Olsen, the NAD President at the time was there and it looked like things were burning. We saw that they were burning the flyers that were distributed around campus showing the new President. The Board had the nerve to simply drop flyers in an attempt to fool us. They had planned to make an announcement at the field house, but they did that instead. We decided to march to the Mayflower Hotel that Sunday night. We all marched over and were waiting to see the Board President Spilman. After a long wait, she came down in her navy suit with big gold buttons and her hands in her pockets and told us that the Deaf supported Zinzer. That was far from true – we wanted a Deaf President! There were a number of misleading statements that really infuriated us. Her body language showed her arrogance towards us which was upsetting. The next morning we had a meeting with various representatives from staff, faculty, and students. I went to the meeting that morning at Gallaudet. Before the meeting, we had already developed the list of four demands, which you know what those were. So we proposed the list to the Board and were ready for a discussion. After about ten minutes, the Board – Spilman – said that they had to leave to meet elsewhere privately. We consented, and they left. Then 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes went by. We were thinking hopefully that meant good news – they were really discussing in depth. An hour passed and we were still waiting and no one had come. We waited two hours and nobody came. As I was walking around the halls, I saw the Board in another room. The door to the room had a window and as I looked in, I could see that the Board was having a party! They were drinking punch, eating cake, and chatting. They kept us waiting for two hours! After that we still waited another half hour or so – it was two or three hours total when finally, the Board came in with their lawyers. Spilman read off her yellow notepad that she was sorry the Board could not meet our demands and the Board had people at the field house waiting for an announcement. With that short speech, they got up and left. They didn’t let us ask questions or anything. Because of what happened in that other room, it felt like they didn’t really try to discuss anything, they just wanted to steamroll us. That’s when I couldn’t take it anymore – I was furious. I guess you could say I was suffering from temporary insanity because it’s really not ME to get up on stage to speak – I like to work with people, encourage teamwork – but at that point the attempt at domination was just too much to take. So, I went up on stage and didn’t allow Jane to say another word. I told them to leave and they did. They had said they weren’t going to meet our demands, so they left. That’s why I got up on stage – because I knew they weren’t going to change until we were persistent.
[Sean] Really, it was a “payoff” in the long run because it made a lot of noise and got the world’s attention. We recognized that the Deaf have access and many capabilities. I’ve noticed in Arizona some issues have come up with HUD and schools for the Deaf – what would your advice be to the community? What should they do about those issues?
[Harvey] Regarding HUD – it’s really sad. In many ways it’s similar to the education of Deaf students in that people seem to think that the Deaf need to fit into the hearing world – that we should integrate. But honestly, Deaf people are different. It’s hard for people to understand what our “handicap” is. If someone were to look at either of us, we look just fine – what’s wrong with you? But when we start to communicate, you can see there are barriers there. That’s the challenge. I think we’ve fought pretty well thus far and I applaud the perseverance of CCM, of Chris and his people, and of Phoenix Housing. I encourage the Deaf community to keep making their voice heard. It looked like, at last I saw, that they were going to review some things. I’m hopeful that they will have a clear policy for guidance. Their stance against discrimination is right, but if we want to congregate, that should be allowed. In fact, I think the law allows that. It clearly says something to that effect in the 504 rules that they can’t discriminate by building a separate housing unless they were to build one that gives equal access. That’s not possible in another type of housing situation – and it’s exactly what’s happening. So I think it has to do with the way they are interpreting things and misinterpreting things. We have to keep working diligently with the hopes that we will prevail soon.
[Sean] Yes, I agree. Now, Deaf Awareness Week is celebrated every year. Why is it important?
[Harvey] I think it’s important because many people out there don’t realize what our capabilities are. Many people out there don’t realize that we can overcome obstacles. So for some hearing people, they may be afraid to touch Deaf people or shy away from us. But we’re just fine! So I think for Deaf people to be visible during Deaf Awareness Week to the hearing community. It also serves as exposure to others, which is great. We have to do that every year because people forget or there may be new people in important offices that we have to reeducate – really, that’s our life story: to educate and reeducate again and again.
[Sean] How true. Before we wrap up, do you have any final words of wisdom you would like to give to our audience?
[Harvey] I like to use this quote – it’s only six words from famous statesman Winston Churchill: “Never, never, never, never give up!”
[Sean] Good one! Thank you again; it’s been a pleasure having you here. Thank you for watching. Have a happy Deaf Awareness Week/Month! Take care.
ACDH 2013 Deaf Awareness Spotlight Interview with Cindy Foley
Due to technical difficulties, ACDHH was unable to successfully caption the video. We have included the transcript of the interview below. We apologizes for any inconveniences this may have caused.
[Beca]:Hello! I’m Beca Bailey. I’m one of the Deaf Specialists from the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing. I’m excited to be doing a Deaf Awareness Month Spotlight Interview. I have a special guest with me today – Cindy Foley, the founder of Deaf Bridge, INC. Thank you for coming!
[Cindy]: Thank you for inviting me. It’s my pleasure.
[Beca]:Do you mind explaining a little bit about your organization, Deaf Bridge? What do you do? What is the vision of that organization?
[Cindy]: Sure. Our organization is a non-profit focusing on Domestic Violence for Deaf and Hard of Hearing throughout the state of Arizona, to empower Deaf victims to help stop the cycle of abuse.
[Beca]:That’s so important – especially for the Deaf Community I would imagine. So what is the goal for Deaf victims?
[Cindy]: To help educate, advocate, provide resources in order to help them to understand the process of how to get help. To understand what to do when the police are involved, getting legal interpreters involved, finding a shelter for them, networking, sending them to Deaf Hope or ADWAS in Washington State, to help shelter women with children. We are open to both women and men to help them get as many services as possible both in referring them to help and guiding them.
[Beca]:So it sounds like at this point in time, Deaf Bridge does not provide direct services. You refer to local, state, or national organizations that do.
[Cindy]: Correct. Right now we are providing advocacy and resources. Right now we don’t have direct services to provide because of the money involved. Right now we are working on fundraising in order to get grant writers. Our goal is to have direct services in the future, hopefully. There are many other non-profit organizations in Arizona that we are partnering with to help victims. For example, we are partnering with Arizonan Coalition against Domestic Violence, and ADWAS for guidance regarding victims. From there, we’ll just keep rolling.
[Beca]:Wow! It sounds like you have a full plate ahead of you, but how exciting to provide a service to the Deaf community that is so needed. Can you talk about any upcoming events that you may have?
[Cindy]: Yes! Guess who’s coming to town! Kurt Ramborger, the Deaf Irish Chef is coming to our show called a “Deaf Chef Food Competition” on October 19 at the Phoenix Association of the Deaf Community Center from 10 to 2. We will have family friendly event with a judge and two Deaf Chefs competing against each other. There will be social time and food so come join us at the event! Please come support us. Children are $5, Senior Citizens are $5, Students with an I.D. are $5, and adults are $10. Please come! It will be exciting.
[Beca]: Wow! That sounds like a really cool event – especially with food and chefs. Do you have any other events coming up after that?
[Cindy]: We are working on it. Hopefully we will be announcing them in the future as they come up. We have a lot planned. We’re very excited for this year – it’s a big year for us.
[Beca]:I’m really excited to hear about that. As I said before, this month – September – is all about Deaf Awareness. Can you tell me a little bit about why Deaf Awareness is important?
[Cindy]: I think Deaf Awareness is important because it educates about ASL, the Deaf Community, Deaf Culture – many hearing people don’t know what Deaf Culture is at all, or what ASL means and what it is for, or why it is part of us. It’s an invitation to understand us and to support us. It’s nice to have that inclusion. Hearing people don’t know how to communicate with our kids. I work with Deaf students in High School and we are often educating the parents to help build bridges for relationships within the family and the Deaf using ASL. It’s a part of them and it’s important.
[Beca]:I have to agree. I am a parent myself and I know how important it is for language to be able to communicate between parent and child. I am grateful for all that you are doing. It’s wonderful.
To wrap up, do you have any words of wisdom for our audience?
[Cindy]: Yes. Please, as victims or survivors, don’t have fear. Domestic Violence is an important issue for everyone to be aware of. It’s my passion. I love to help and care for people. Many people don’t know that Domestic Violence is not okay. It’s not ok. The message is – get help. If you know anyone who needs help, guide them. Make sure they feel safe. It’s important to feel safe in this world. Domestic Violence has a high percentage of catastrophes. It’s happened economically, mentally, physical or verbal – everything is possible. People aren’t aware of what Domestic Violence is about. It doesn’t only happen at home; it can happen anywhere.
[Beca]:That is very true. Can you let us know how we can contact Deaf Bridge?
[Beca]:How exciting, we’ll have to look for that website.
[Cindy]: Be ready! It will be coming out soon! We’ve got a lot going on.
[Beca]:Well I want to thank you, Cindy, for joining us in honor of Deaf Awareness and thank you for all you are doing for the community, especially relating to Domestic Violence. It’s a much needed service so thank you.
[Cindy]: Thank you for having me involved in this. I’m happy you asked me because there is a huge need regarding Domestic Violence.
[Beca]:I agree. Thank you.
ACDHH 2013 Deaf Awareness Spotlight Interview with Tom Posedly
Due to technical difficulties, ACDHH was unable to successfully caption the video. We have included the transcript of the interview below. We apologizes for any inconveniences this may have caused.
[Sean]: Hello! I’m Sean Furman. I’m one of ACDHH’s Deaf Specialists. I’m here for another spotlight interview with our special guest today. Today we have Tom Posedly, the chairperson of the ADSCC Board. We’ll take a few minutes to ask him some questions. I’m excited to have you here today! Welcome, Tom.
[Tom]: Same here.
[Sean]: Thank you. My first question relates to ADSCC. What does that mean? Can you explain the goals and vision? What is the purpose of that organization?
[Tom]: Yes. ADSCC stands for Arizona Deaf Senior Citizens Coalition. We were established in 1995 with the goal of building a retirement home like we have here at AAT. Secondarily, we aim to better the quality of life for all deaf senior citizens.
[Sean]: Wonderful. We definitely want a better quality life when we get older, of course. I’m wondering what types of services ADSCC is currently providing?
[Tom]: If you are asking if we provide direct services, no not exactly, but we do encourage other direct services to improve. For example, this is an independent living facility not an assisted living facility, but we do have a committee looking at and asking established assisted living facilities if they have staff that sign, if they have video phones installed, etc. We are compiling all that data to give to families as well as distribute widely. Long Term Care is another area that we want a committee to follow up on. We are moving forward one issue at a time.
[Sean]: Yes, it’s definitely a work in progress, not something that happens overnight. It takes perseverance. Does ADSCC have any events planned for the future?
[Tom]: We plan on having three annual events that are the same every year. The first is Oktoberfest, which is this October 19th. It will be the third time we had that event. The second is a new event related to Mardi Gras, which will happen in February –
[Tom]: The third event will be in Cave Creek before the summer, before the snow birds leave. Those three events will be an annual occurrence. We may have other events here and there but those three will be the main focus.
[Sean]: So what is the purpose of those three events?
[Tom]: To build our fund so that we can purchase AAT by the year 2026. Our developer will maintain the building for 15 years – we have 13 years left. When that arrangement is completed, they will offer to sell it to us first. If we have enough money, we will purchase it at that time. We’re very hopeful.
[Sean]: We definitely need everyone’s help with that goal. Can you explain what AAT means?
[Tom]: Apache ASL Trails. The road that the building is on is called Apache, so it’s easy to remember the Apache part of the name because that’s where they live. The ASL part of the name is because the residents use ASL – it’s important for communication and leisure. The Trails portion of the name is because many people move here from different states or even Europe or northern states – so the Trails is for that.
[Sean]: It’s really nice to have as unique as AAT here in Arizona. Not many states have that, right?
[Sean]: We need more of that. So back to Deaf Awareness Week – which typically falls during the last week of September. I know we usually celebrate every year. Why is Deaf Awareness Week important?
[Tom]: To provide exposure to the general hearing public about Deafness, the challenges we face, how they can help, and to contribute.
[Sean]: Before we wrap up, do you have any words of wisdom you’d like to leave with our audience?
[Tom]: We have to help each other. That’s the only way to improve the quality of life for all of us.
[Sean]: Yes, that’s very true. We have to continue to be a support system and not become complacent, right?
[Sean]: Can you quickly tell us the ADSCC website and how people can contact you?
[Tom]: We currently have two websites.
www.adsccinc.org has lots of information such as why we were established, how to donate, information on meetings, and so on.
We are also on Facebook under our full name spelled out where we give out information. For example, if someone in the community passes away, we honor them on the page. Someday we will have even more. We may have a Twitter account in the future someday.
[Sean]: What a wonderful resource to have available for the Deaf and hearing communities. Again, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to be part of this interview. Thank you – it’s been a pleasure.
Thank you for watching. Happy Deaf Awareness Week/Month!