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How To Learn Sign Language

Being Mainstreamed As A Deaf Child ft. Jessica Flores (American Sign Language Vlog)


[pencil writing] [Pokemon game sound] RIKKI: Hello! Who is this? JESSICA: I’m Jessica Flores. RIKKI: We’re collaborating. We’re discussing deaf stuff, really. We’re discussing growing up mainstream, our experiences, if it helped us later in our lives, or if it didn’t. JESSICA: So, I grew up in mainstream schools. I was the only deaf person I knew there. And the only deaf person my teachers knew as well. It was hard because I knew I could get away with a lot. RIKKI: Playing the pity card.
JESSICA: Yes! JESSICA: But that was bad because- RIKKI: Eh, we were young. JESSICA: But I missed out on a lot of learning because I would be like, “Sorry, but I can’t hear you so…” and the teachers they don’t know how to communicate with deaf and hard of hearing kids. RIKKI: Did you sit in the front or the back? JESSICA: The front. For me, mainstream schools were fine until high school because- I ended up going to three high schools. RIKKI: Why three? JESSICA: The first two didn’t know what to do with me because I was deaf. They knew a little about the FM systems, but that’s all. My first high school told me that I needed to learn Spanish. I told them that it was too hard because I already in the past had speech therapy. (Spells out) Speech therapy. Is that the right sign? (Fingers got tongue tied) I told them I already had speech therapy back then for English. So when I was in Sh- I mean Spanish class- I told them it was hard because I didn’t have speech therapy for Spanish, I only had the teacher speaking in Spanish. JESSICA: Damn it! I really need to learn that sign.
RIKKI: #FingerspellingProblems JESSICA: So I failed that class and got bad grades. So my family and I decided that the high school was horrible and that I should go to a different high school. The second one, oh boy… RIKKI: That one was worse?! JESSICA: It was still the same thing, they didn’t know what to do with me. Or how to really communicate with me. Those high schools, the first two, They both thought I was the same as their hearing students. RIKKI: Because you voiced. JESSICA: Yes. RIKKI: Mainstream problems. JESSICA: So since I was using my voice, they thought, “Oh she can learn the same way as the hearing kids.” RIKKI: Speech does not equal hearing ability. JESSICA: So, going to a mainstream school was hard because, a lot of teachers think that deaf or hard of hearing students can learn the exact same way as hearing students. But that’s not true. RIKKI: Not in the same way. JESSICA: Because deaf and hard of hearing students often end up doing twice as much work. They end up working harder than the hearing students. Why is that? Because we have to put in extra effort trying to make out what is being said. RIKKI: We have to focus more. RIKKI: Do you wish you had gone to a deaf school? JESSICA: Yes! RIKKI: Do you think that it would have helped you more knowing ASL and having language acquisition? JESSICA: Yes. At my third high school, there was only me and my teacher. RIKKI: Ah, the special ed class! JESSICA: Independent study. So I was teaching myself. RIKKI: I don’t know if I want to say “regret”, but do you regret being mainstreamed? JESSICA: Yes and no. I’ve accepted who I am now. I’ve accepted where I’m from, how I grew up, it’s fine. RIKKI: You’ve accepted your life now. RIKKI: Do you think now you’d be making YouTube videos? JESSICA: My path would have been way different now. But you know, now I have more access: interpreters, VRS (Video Relay Service). I still learning how to use that though. But something that helped me out a lot (since I was mainstreamed) was the Deaf community. Because most of the time I felt like I was the only one trying to figure out how to cope with my problems as a deaf person. And that was not good, coping by yourself as the only deaf person. Like who am I going to talk with about my problems, no one. And what made it even harder was the fact that I couldn’t sign with anyone. So because of that, for a long time I… I was really depressed… constantly struggling… I was really hard on myself, because there was no one who knew what I was going through. Learning ASL, about Deaf culture, and community. That helped me out a lot and helped me find my Deaf identity. Sooner rather than way later on in life. I probably would have been more happier growing up if I had ASL as my main language and a Deaf community to fall back on. Like a LOT more happier. RIKKI: I understand. JESSICA: But you know it’s never too late,
NEVER too late to learn ASL and finding a Deaf community. RIKKI: It’s a Lifetime movie now. RIKKI: I was in mainstream schools all my life. There was a deaf school about
30-40 minutes away from me. I had seen it a few times, but
I never thought anything of it. I mean, I was a kid. I didn’t think about anything related to my deafness. I didn’t care about anything except
Pokemon and playing outside, being a kid. It was high school when I was
more conscious about figuring out who I was. And my hearing got worse. I guess being mainstreamed was fine, but
looking back on it, if I had gone to a deaf school, learned ASL,
that would’ve been better. I remember I was sitting at home once and
there were two people: a deaf girl and a hearing boy. They were going door-to-door
and offering to teach ASL. They knocked on our door and my dad answered it. The girl was signing and
the boy was interpreting for her. She said, “I’m offering to teach people ASL.” And my dad just goes, “Oh, no, thank you,”
and closes the door. He didn’t angrily close it or anything. JESSICA: He just wasn’t really thinking about it. RIKKI: Right. It was a calm,
“No, thank you. Have a nice day!” That type of thing. When I found out what it was about, I was like- that’s when I started to think
and feel what and how I was. My grades were absolutely awful. I actually graduated with a 2.6 GPA. I couldn’t understand a lot.
I missed out on a lot. I had friends, but not like best friends. I had some friends, but it wasn’t the same
like everyone else in school had. I didn’t have those strong connections,
didn’t have a group like everyone else. And when I graduated, I had nothing to do,
so I had a lot of time to think. A lot of time to think about who I was,
my interests, anything. I just didn’t have a real identity. When I first started YouTube, I liked and did makeup. That became part of my identity, but what else?! I had wanted to be a makeup artist. I wanted to move to LA and be popular. Yeah, that didn’t happen. But that was my dream then. I was thinking that there were no deaf makeup artists. There is, by the way! But I didn’t know that. But I was looking for them online and saw that one. And when I saw her, I wanted to be like her. When I saw other deaf people on the Internet
for the first time, I was like, whoa. JESSICA: I reacted the same way! RIKKI: “I’m not the only one!” I mean, yes, I was born from a deaf woman, but she was also mainstreamed and oral. When I found other deaf people and deaf culture,
I was like, “What the hell is that?” My mind was blown. The song “A Whole New World” applies here. JESSICA: A champ world! RIKKI: So I was asking questions and learning a lot. I read other people’s stories. I realized not only was I not
the only deaf person, but that there were deaf people
with the same stories as me. That meant even more to me than other stories. It was just… wow. JESSICA: It’s funny you mentioned that you couldn’t really find any Deaf makeup artist. For me, I graduated college for… Animation. And I really wanted to become a full time story artist. But I couldn’t find any… RIKKI: Deaf role models. JESSICA: Yeah, none. All of them were hearing, which is fine but… RIKKI: It’s not a bad thing it’s just not the same… JESSICA: And because of that, I felt like my dream as a story artist started to feel impossible. It’s never going to happen because animation is really competitive. And for a hearing person, it’s a little bit easier to compete, but for a deaf person who doesn’t know sign language, how are you going to make it work? RIKKI: You’re stuck. JESSICA: Yeah, you’re stuck. Because if wanted to work as a story artist, they work in groups. It’s a lot of group work. And they do a lot of story pitching. But they do a lot of group work and usually they work with a lot of people in one room. And everyone is talking over one another, passing ideas quickly. RIKKI: It’s hard to understand all that. JESSICA: So I knew that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with all those people because… RIKKI: It’s too much. JESSICA: Yeah, and I didn’t even know ASL so it’s not like I could get an interpreter. Now it is different, I can get interpreters. Communication is getting easier, I mean I am still learning ASL. But, anyways, it is just funny you brought that up, because it reminded about that. RIKKI: Things are easier when you’re a kid because everything is like, whatever. but then after you graduate, it’s like now it’s time for the real world. And as far as you know, there’s no role models for you. The only person I knew of a few years ago was Marlee Matlin. I had no idea who she was until after I graduated! JESSICA: Same! RIKKI: Just one person! I mean, yeah, there were likely more,
but she was my first one! JESSICA: Four years ago, I found out about her
and I was like… W-T-F?! Why am I finding out about her NOW!? RIKKI: And then finding out about famous
deaf people was something else. Now, I’m not really mad that I was mainstreamed. Before, I really was, and
sometimes, I have my moments. Like I said before, it’s kind of like,
“What would I be doing now?” Would I be doing YouTube now? Would I be sharing stories of any kind now? JESSICA: Would you still be doing makeup? RIKKI: Would I have been inspired to help
other deaf kids like me now? ‘Cos, you know, now there’s still a
lot of deaf kids who don’t have role models. They don’t know of anyone. JESSICA: I think that being mainstream is fine but you need to give your kid access to the Deaf community… sign language… RIKKI: Got to give them options. JESSICA: Because they might not
have anyone to cope with. And having that Deaf community helps a ton! RIKKI: There are deaf people who don’t care. They’re fine with being mainstreamed.
They don’t want to use sign language. And that’s fine. My only issue has been if they’re
not given knowledge of all the options. You do whatever you want. I just think it’s fair to give them their options. I worked with someone at Google who
wears two cochlear implants. She doesn’t use ASL at all. I think that’s fine.
I respect that. JESSICA: We all only know what works best for ourselves. So if hearing aids don’t work for you, implants don’t work for you or signing doesn’t work for you, that’s fine, but make sure you make the decision, not other people. If you are parents of a deaf or hard of hearing kid, make sure to check in every now and then, and see what’s up with your kid. Like, ask them how they like their hearing aids. RIKKI: Have discussions with them. JESSICA: It’s important because, you know, hearing aids don’t always work for everyone. RIKKI: Same with implants. JESSICA: And even lip-reading, it doesn’t always help kids. So make sure find out and see what they want to try. RIKKI: Just give them all the options. JESSICA: That. RIKKI: If you have stories that you want to share,
write them down below in the comments. RIKKI: Let’s discuss some more.
JESSICA: We want to know. RIKKI: There is a video on Jessica’s channel,
so make sure you go there and watch that. And also subscribe to her channel. Thank you for coming here! JESSICA: Thank you for having me here! RIKKI: We’ll see them later? BOTH: We’ll see you later. Bye!

40 Replies to “Being Mainstreamed As A Deaf Child ft. Jessica Flores (American Sign Language Vlog)”

  • Hello Rikki I think your amazing and I have learnt a lot of from your channel and I have just been diagnosed with Scoliosis after 21 years I will have to have surgery and I am scared could you please do a another chronic pain and your coping techniques

  • Thank you so much for the video!! It gives me little hope.
    Im half deaf. My left ear is deaf (nothing at all) and my right ear has mild hearig loss but 1/4 of my audiogram is profound hearing loss. I cant hear high pitched sounds at all. My deafness was found out at age 5/6 (Im 18 but newborn hearing test wasnt standart here then). Im mainstream. I never cared about what I hear or dont hear, I never made it my problem. Age 16 (3 years back) I figured out I need help. I got my first hearing aids at 1st grade at High school. I went pretty well with them but Im not fun of high pitched sounds…my brain just dont take them. At end of nd grade I got Baha attact implant. (I would be more than happy to have Cl on my left ear but insurance wont cover due my right ear still works somehow). Im currently 3rd year on High scholl. Baha 5 Super Power user. I use FM system for like month. Im not on something like deaf program. My teacher is now working with people from "deaf help", so I can get everyting I need. Its much easier now. I had to go to that organization so they coould check how my hearing and learing is doing.. They were amazed and angry that nobody saw the problem before. Every audiologist tell me I lipread…well I dont knw about it, I do need to see peoples face to understand but Im not able to understand if I dont hear it. I look at peoples face ust becouse Im making sure of what they are saying, sometimes I hear something but I know they told something else.
    I know one deaf person from my town (she has Cl). She still goes to deaf school. She use sign launguage and spoken launguage.
    I would like to learn sign launguage but I couldnt use it with anybody. As the most hate about my hearing I receive by family members.

    Thank you so much for all your videos, they help me a lot.

  • i was mainstreamed as a deaf child, it was brutal for a while, especially high school.
    But if I hadn't gone, then I would have been stuck into a deaf school( which did not have a good reputation).
    To this end I have excelled in education( more than possible in a deaf school 40 years ago).

    You wouldn't know I was deaf if you spoke to me either( even through I'm profound).
    my family were featured in a book by the NDCS in the UK as an example of deaf people excelling over adversity.

    however what I see today is a backward thinking toward deaf children, almost a form of denial which I put down to cultural influences and a lack of protection by the legal system.I cite my own deaf child as an example for whom I have had to fight a legal battle against my former partner who denied treatment, support and even acknowledgment of our child s deafness( which may explain why I was in turn abused by her as well)

  • I went to mainstream school as a child and it was very hard times in my life and but I am a strong woman, I am hard of hearing.

  • And I’m crying. Thank you guys SO much for this video. I’m a hearing parent of a Deaf daughter & all her therapists, teachers & mainstream administrators thought I was ridiculous & a bitch & fought me SO HARD when I pushed for ASL and they refused her so much. I home schooled this semester so that I knew she was at least understanding what she was being taught & we move this weekend & have a meeting with the new school district & that states Deaf School next week to set up her enrollment. You ladies helped us make the hard decision to move to another state so she can get the communication, community & so much more that she needs & deserves!

  • Here in Italy deaf/blind etc kids go to mainstream schools but they have aid teachers who translate what the teachers say for them, help them making notes etc etc
    It's the same also with children with mental disease, if they can't afford to stay with other people they study in another class alone with the aid teacher but they are part of the class so gradually they star feeling less different… I worked (we are obligated to do some hours of work a year, real work… It's a long story) with a guy ho doesn't talk with ANYONE, he has Asperger, but gradually he started talk with me because he saw I wasn't a bad person… And the day he said "hello, how are you?" I wanted to cry…
    I really appreciate that aspect of italian's schools, we have sooooo many problems, but we try to help kids to feel part ot the society
    I just wanted to share this because it also concern deaf kids 😊

    (Also: if i made a mistake, you're all allowed to say it to me, I want to improve my english 😊)

  • I'm curious: How much of ASL is fingerspelling? I live in New Zealand, and know a little NZSL and there isn't much fingerspelling there, unless you're introducing someone. Keep up the good work!!

  • Awesome video! Also….somewhat unrelated: why do captions constantly disappear when you zoom out of a video? Or is this just me?

  • I can relate with you both a lot. I was mainstreamed my whole life and decided I want to learn ASL when I started college 4 years ago after I saw “Switched at Birth” and I immediately fell in love with the language and became more happy and accepted my deaf identity. And of course, I had to work twice as hard than hearing people and luckily, I went to a good mainstream district but it was definitely hard being only a deaf student and I had my moments like you guys said. I grew up in hearing family so they all thought it was best for me to talk orally so I can communicate with them including my twin sister. So like you guys, I decided I was ready to start my YouTube channel recently because I want to spread awareness, help my deaf community, and make sure deaf and hard of hearing kids have all their options and don’t have to go through what I went through. My ear doctor thought it was only ASL or only speaking and I just don’t agree with that. I think learning both is the best way to do depending on their hearing.

  • Jessica is a great guest! And this topic was an important one, for sure. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    Also, I really enjoy these ASL-only videos. I'm still learning myself and this gives me a way to further my learning while also providing me the opportunity to understand the Deaf community. Two-for-one!

  • I'm hearing but watching deaf people on youtube has inspired me to start learning asl and maybe do something with it? I don't know but I like it so why not

  • I have a similar experience with this. I am Hard of Hearing as well that grew up mainstreamed. However, my parents did think about pushing me to the ASL route, but I wasn't interested in it at the time. I also didn't know much about ASL other than deaf people use it ( As in people who are completely deaf use it). My logic when I was a kid was " I could speak. Why would I need it?" ( Yes, it may look bad for some people but you around hearing people and there is no deaf person actually telling you themselves why. That what happens. The kid gets the wrong information about what deaf people and ASL are.) You don't usually figure out why you need ASL until you are older. There are a lot of stuff that I didn't understand why it was important as a kid. My mainstream school never pushed ASL due to my hearing level. I wasn't "completely" deaf so in their mind, why would a someone that could speak and not completely deaf want to learn? So it's a bit complicated for some deaf/HOH kids who are mainstreamed.

    This video is a great insight for parents or anyone who wants to learn what mainstream deaf/HOH kids go through.Jessica is a great guest and I enjoyed learning about your stories.

  • Hi Rikki- Hi Jess! I am writing on behalf of hearing parents of Deaf/ Hard of hearing kids. It is scary as heck when you find out your child has hearing loss…especially when you have no one in your family that is Deaf. Even more difficult to make the decision when your child speaks clearly and seems to be doing good with the hearing aids. Yes, Jess and Rikki- parents should check in with their kids to make sure they are understanding, and ask how they can help…give them choices, and options, offer to go to ASL class and learn with them…And Deaf and hard of hearing kids, Please be honest with your parents so that they can help!!! Let them know if you are missing a lot of what is going on in school, or if the FM system isn't working for you…or if you want to go to a Deaf school…I wish i had seen a video like this when we had to come the this crossroad!! 
    I have learned so much about you both, and ultimately what i could have done….but i choose to move forward, Im learning ASL at the City College course here in SF…and support my beautiful funny daughter and her amazing new friend that have created this special video…Much love and admiration to both of you!!!
      PS. If you are looking for Deaf Role models…YOU ARE BOTH DEAF ROLE MODELS! YOU ROCK!!!
    Because of you, many kids will be able to stand up and speak out for what they want.And that is nothing short of Amazing!xoxo

  • Being mainstreamed doesn't mean you have no access. You guys should have started school at age three and the school should have provided you with a deaf education teacher as well as an educational interpreter. That should have been in your IEPs. If it is in your IEP….by law it has to be done. You should have been taught sign language from the time you were babies. I am an educational interpreter in the public school system. My job is to make sure my deaf students have equal access to everything being said in the class including reminding teachers to use CC. One thing hearing teachers forget is that they can talk and hearing kids can take notes at the same time. Deaf kids can either write or watch the teacher, not both. I have worked with many deaf kids that have been mainstreamed. One won our fair beauty pageant, one was on the dance team, several have been in band, two are on the flag team. They have access to deaf ed teacher and interpreters as well as fm system.

  • This is where I get annoyed about most TV shows or movies, like Switched at Birth. They can be good about getting mainstream people to know a bit more about the deaf community, but they make it look like lip reading is easy or that every kid goes to a deaf school and a million other issues that they don't talk about.

  • Great video, as usual. You two are really great together!

    When you talked about education it reminded me that this year, perhaps two weeks ago, the theme for the exam essay (I'm not sure if this is the correct word) of the ENEM – the Brazilian equivalent of the SAT, maybe – was something like "challenges in the school and teaching systems relating to deaf people in Brazil". I think my score would have been high because of you and other deaf youtubers, especially the Brazilian ones. I didn't take the test this year, but none of my friends who took it had any idea of what to write. Not only that, but a story from 2014 went viral: a deaf girl who took the test back then left the test crying and said she didn't understand anything. She had two interpreters, but this didn't help her a lot, because not only is it a text-heavy exam, they also weren't allowed to translate any of the questions' options to her or give her contextual clues. She was allowed to check a dictionary to bridge these gaps, but it was no use, given the considerable differences between LIBRAS and Brazilian Portuguese. Her written Portuguese was very broken (there's an open letter she sent to the department of justice), so she was obviously left in the dark. It's kinda ironic that deafness+education was the theme three years later, especially since not much has changed in this time. She celebrated the fact that this was the theme, though, as it raises awareness. Also, even though she couldn't get into a public university (unlike in the USA, here public universities are the best and usually mostly richer people get in there, while private universities usually receive middle class people, save for "elite" courses such as Law or Med) – well, that was a long parentheses. Anyway, though she couldn't get into a public university, today she studies business administration at a private university and got an internship. She says she still has very hard times in college due to the long bridges separating the languages, but she's doing her best and it's been working out.

    Thought I'd share.

    Most of what I said is here, but in Portuguese: https://g1.globo.com/sp/santos-regiao/noticia/jovem-surda-que-nao-entendeu-nada-do-enem-fala-sobre-redacao-conquista.ghtml

    If you want to I can translate it all, but it'd take some time and I'm very busy until the 15th of December =/

  • THANK YOU SO MUCH for this great video, I can relate so much! I was born hearing and when I was about 15/16 years old I started to notice some Hearing Loss so I went to some doctors and was diagnosed with Meniere's Syndrome which aside from other symptoms meant my Hearing Loss was permanent and it would continue to get worse and worse with the time. I started looking for information about Deafness on the internet and then decided that I'd teach myself Sign Language. The only problem was that I'm from Venezuela (which has its own Sign Language) but most of the information i could find was about ASL so I started learning that. After I while I was able to go to Sign Language class in my city but had to learn everything all over again. Now I'm living in Germany and I don't feel like learning a third one… Anyway I could relate with most of the things you said about people thinking HoH people don't have special needs because we can talk and "it doesn't seem like we need anything".

  • I grew up as a HOH person, i didn't realize it mainly because EVERYONE kept telling me that I wasn't trying hard enough or paying enough attention, so after so many years I convinced myself that THAT was my problem, but when I was in my 20's I went to my Dr. and she referred me to an audiologist and she confirmed I WAS actually HOH, and it made me feel better, because it explained so much, so I eventually got HA's and like WOW I heard so many new things and it was cool, but at the same time tiring and frustrating, because you know trying to get used to something new like that, and my brain was trying to figure this out and that out, and for a while I was STILL asking people to repeat themselves, but I got used to them, and I don't wear them most of the time, only when I'm out and about or with my friend, who took ASL in college, so we could learn together, and I'm still learning, thanks to you two ladies, and I absolutely LOVE leaning ASL, it is such a beautiful language.

  • I also was a only Deaf person in hearing school from 5th grade to High school. Because I had to lip read I missed a lot of what the teacher said especially when they turned around. They refused to repeat themselves for me during spelling tests and of course I didn't do good. I got mostly Cs and Ds and my dad used to beat me up and force me to study for hours at home. He thought I was dumb and lazy. Then I went to a Deaf Bible College in Minneapolis and got straight As and I told my dad. He then asked why I didn't do that in hearing school and I told him why. He finally said he was sorry. I had absolutely no friends, no dates, no school dances, nothing. I finally found my old Deaf friends from when I went to mainstream school from kindergarten to 4th grade when I lived with my mom. My dad took me away and put me in hearing schools. When I finally saw my old Deaf friends again I felt so good and whole again. Finally dated my first girlfriend who is Deaf. In fact I dated 3 Deaf girls. LOL. I have never gone back to hearing world. I missed out on a lot of stuff as a kid.

  • Your videos are awesome! I appreciate them so much! I am a hearing teacher who works with students who are deaf/hard of hearing at a mainstream middle school in Minnesota. I've been looking for resources to share with my students to help them find develop their identity. These videos are so excellent! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

  • Its Jessica!! You guys doing video together is awesome. Thanks for sharing your experiences in mainstream schools ladies. My question you two is; would you want to go back to school? Not back then but now, knowing what you know now about deaf culture, and having figured out your identity etc ?

  • Why don't these schools ask the kids what they need? Or what they think they need? Shouldn't it start in a conversation of mutual understanding and respect? Isn't that how all teaching begins?? We need Mr. Feeny.

  • I was definitely raised mainstream, but I was born with total hearing loss in one ear. I'm now 48 and after being very sick and then going through chemo (and just getting older I think) I find I've been having more trouble hearing. It's hard learning ASL as I now have memory issues due to the chemo and blood clots. My biggest fear is not having anyone to communicate with clearly as my hearing slowly decreases in my "good" ear. You guys give me hope that things will work out, thank you!

  • Awesome video! I was mainstreamed most of my school years but luckily I did have a large group of deaf/hard of hearing pals in grade school. One year in middle school I was the only one deaf and had no help so I was failing in history and English class I finally got a note taker lady to help me but that made it super embarrassing to be singled out in class. Like what Jessica says I did use the pity card to get out of presentations. It wasn't till I was in high school I noticed how hard it was for me to socialize with hearing kids. Also I was only hearing the teacher talking so if a hearing student was replying something and then the teacher would go "excatly right!". ????? So of course it's hard for hard of hearing I can't ask the teacher to repeat everything they say all the time. It would have been helpful to have a real time note taker, intertepter and so on. I actually went to the Deaf school for two years and while it wasn't perfect the education and socializing made me a lot more confidence! I actually learned what gossip spread like wildfire means!!! Haha! And that I get to experience high school in a richer environment. I have not lost my speaking voice so I have the best of both worlds. I couldn't survive my college education without these wonderful interpreters! Good job ladies you're doing so well! Hugs! 👍🙋😃

  • The sign for spanish is the "x" hand shape on both hands. Take your right hand from your right shouder, down to your left hand that should be sideways in front of you.

  • this was so interesting to me, because I never really thought about the deaf community and their troubles. it was blowing my mind and at the same time an 'of course' moment to see the things you guys have to go through. thank you for making videos like these! for a second I felt anxious about having a deaf child but that feeling COMPLETELY vanished by getting to the end of the video. it's educating everybody so much who hasn't thought of it so far.

  • I very lucky my family know how communicate with me they find out that I deaf and my mom and family learn ASL and my mom sent me deaf school in salt lake City Jean massieu school for deaf since I 3 year old and all of teacher sign use full ASL then I moved center of Utah and I had to transfer to mainstream school this year and I find out I very behind because deaf school not teach good enough need improvement the education .. but lucky my special education who provides me interpreter and they know how do with me and everyone students and teachers very accept me respect who I am that good deal .. I like mainstream school.. it better for me

  • I went to a small public high school (about 300 kids), none of whom happened to be deaf or HOH when I attended. However, the two language options taught were Spanish and ASL, so a lot of the students could sign to one degree or another. It would be awesome if more mainstream schools went that route.

  • I was agreeing so hard throughout all of this! I relate to Rikki SO much, except my dad is the deaf/oral not mum. I also have 2 brothers the same but I guess we where all clueless. I also reacted all wow discovering other deaf people experiencing the same.

    You two are my role models <3

  • Hey Jessica, you talk about animation, maybe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNCczm3jzgo this is interesting for you: a Brazilian project for a sign language kids series (in Libras, brazilian sign). Maybe you can get people around you inspired to do the same with ASL. I think it can even help you two now to have such a series, to have more exposure while having fun :).

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