Radio Inspire

How To Learn Sign Language

Journey into the Deaf World: ASL version with captions (no slides)


>>Good morning. It’s nice to meet all of you. I’m just wondering have any of you taken ASL classes? Raise your hand if you have. It seems like they’re enough students here who have taken ASL. We can get rid of the interpreters, right? How do you guys feel about that? No? Oh, you don’t want that. OK. It’s not a good idea? OK. We’ll keep them, all right. We’ll have the interpreters stay. I don’t know if many of you heard much about deaf people or deaf culture or the deaf world. Deaf culture and deaf people are very complex. It’s a community that they are very comfortable with and the lifestyle of their own, it’s their own world. And it’s really different from the world that you all live in. So we would like you, to invite you to enter this world with us and see what it’s like and imagine what this deaf world could look like, all right? This is obvious. We’re all familiar with the 5 senses. So, now we take away hearing. Deaf people are born without hearing, grow up with no hearing or maybe a little bit. Maybe you could hear police sirens. This was my experience. If something was very loud I could hear a little bit. I knew that it was there. But it’s very different from being able to hear. Maybe you’ve met deaf people or you could imagine meeting a deaf person. And automatically you think that something’s missing, right? If you see a deaf person, do you see that they’re hearing is missing? Not really. But many deaf people have just the 4 senses, never experience the fifth sense. I never experienced hearing. I was born with 4 senses and I’m fine. Was I missing anything? Maybe speaking, but that’s really something that you care about. From my perspective it’s different, it’s not that important. Out of the 5 senses, often people think that hearing is the most important and they think vision is maybe the second most important. Hearing is important for communication, then vision. If we eliminate hearing, so guess what my second most important sense is, if vision has become my most important? Can you guess?>>Touch?>>Yes, touch. Taste, no. It doesn’t really help much. But sense of touch is very important. If something is very loud I can feel the vibration. I can feel that something is happening. My sense of touch can be helpful in that way. So often people will look and say do deaf people really have a culture? This deaf culture that we hear about, what is this? It’s become a topic of discussion. What is culture? It’s very complex subject. Some cultures include their food, their clothes, certain values and a variety of other things that are important to that culture. So it’s easy to develop a culture based on these lists and they have a checklist like oh, we have these things or we don’t. And does that make something a culture? It varies. The best answer is really based on these ideas. When we’re born do we already have a culture? No, of course not. It depends where we are born, what we are taught and learn and that affects us and develops our culture. Is culture frozen? Of course not. It’s constantly changing. We’re always changing. As people get older, things change. Customs change, cultures change. Culture is something that makes us feel comfortable. We feel that we’re not isolated and on our own. We can find someone with similarities and feel that we are alike and become friends and have something that we share that makes us feel comfortable. The fourth example here. If people of different cultures encounter each other, sometimes it’s very awkward. Has anyone ever been to Japan? You do not shake hands in Japan, you bow. Shaking hands is considered inappropriate in their culture. How ’bout in France? You hug and you kiss and it’s very affectionate. So where are the boundaries? How close can you get to someone? What are the physical space issues in different cultures? And that’s what makes a culture: how you feel comfortable. One of the most important of all things for culture is this. All of us have our own identity. An identity is so important. It makes us feel proud of who we are and have a strong identity. Culture really provides this identity development that is part of our identity. And there are many different aspects to identity. The list goes on and on whether you’re a man or a woman, what color your skin is, whether you have developmental disabilities, whether you are gay or straight. The list just, it goes on and on. There are too many to even mention. But identity can be a challenge and there are many issues with identity. Deaf culture, if we want to really talk about deaf culture, it has a long list also and I could here and lecture you all day. But I’m an old man and this won’t be easy for me to do. So I’m just going to pick 2. The most important 2. These are the 2 key ideas for deaf culture. This is really the 2 most important things. We do not live in a world with sound, we live in a visual world. And of course our language. When we are born, most of you, your primary language is the spoken language. For deaf babies it just can’t happen that way. So we have to make up our own way of language and developing sign language. So these are the 2 key elements to deaf culture. >>Are you two doing OK? And we are! There are many definitions of culture. Some are based on language, we have a language of course, but another perspective is that it might be based on sensory input. You know, depending on your training, our culture, you know, most people think that there are 5 or 6 senses. And so some cultures walk in a certain way with you know, they might have good balance, they can carry things on their head. If they don’t, you know, that particular sense is lacking. So different cultures value different things. In deaf culture for example, we value the visual input, you know, in our everyday life everything is based on the visual sense. So we will see whether a particular system has that visual input and if it doesn’t we will develop our own way of getting that visual input. Scientific research has proven different things about deaf people. One for example being deaf people might rely on, you know, their vision in a way that makes it more sharp. So science has proven that peripheral vision for deaf people is keen and they’re able to see, signing for example from a wider range of peripheral vision. Deaf people, like for example, I’m looking straight ahead. I can’t see the Power Point for example but I am able to look ahead to you and see actually, I can see to the side. I depend on my peripheral vision. For example I’m much more sensitive to people signing to the side and catching what they might be saying. So our peripheral vision is much more keen and that has been proven scientifically. Now tests with 3-D involved, which involves cubes or you know, things being able to be fit together or not have also proven that deaf people have that spatial processing ability where they might have 5 different items and they have to fit these items together, they’re able to do it much more quickly than other people without actually even touching the object. So they have a much more advanced ability to be able to do spatial processing tasks. Now you can see that’s a red light on the remote, correct? When that light is on, you could actually write a word, in a sense with that light in the dark. So if a word was written in the dark like that, a deaf person could actually see what the word is because again, their visual information is rapidly presented, but they’re able to comprehend it much more quickly than someone else. So research has proven that those skills are far more advanced that people that aren’t deaf. Their learning style is such that they are able to, you know, incorporate those skills much faster. We have deaf architectures, people that, you know, build deaf houses for example. So what I mean by that, it’s based, it’s a house that’s based on vision and visible things such as mirrors where they are strategically placed. You know, so for example in a deaf house they might put a mirror in a way that you could see around a corner for example. Again, the space is designed in a way that deaf friendly, which means you go in, there’s usually an open space and it’s easy to see things in a visual way. Deaf people tend to look for homes in that way, to check to see if they are deaf friendly or not. And if they aren’t, if they are like small spaces, closed in, you know, they would not prefer that type of house. They will look for a deaf friendly house and go ahead and buy it. Another value in deaf culture is the eyes obviously. Again, you know, feeling obviously is very important but the eyes are very, very much valued. So any type of game or whatever, you know, there’s always this careful protection of the eyes because it’s a special protection because, and that’s always emphasized to not play a game that might hurt or harm the eyes. That’s another value in deaf culture. We also value face-to-face interaction. You know, without it, I don’t understand how people are so comfortable with cell phones. Deaf people much prefer to see a person face-to-face and communicate with them. It’s highly valued. And so it’s a very, just a different style of being. Now in the visual world all of those things have led to development of language and to the development of sign language. If you weren’t able to hear or speak, you know, you would depend on vision and you would write for communication and developing sign language as well. That is just a natural progression. Could you imagine yourselves being born without being able to communicate at all? And being a child growing up without being able to communicate? Not being able to communicate with your family or friends. When you communicate with people, you get that human connection. You’re able to socialize and you feel good, it’s part of being a human being. It’s mandatory as a human. And communication, community, those two words are very similar. They’re spelled actually very similarly. Being a member of a community and communication are one and the same practically. You can’t have, be in a community without communication. You depend on that communication to be in a community. Now when a deaf child is born, they obviously, you know, it’s a natural desire to want to join a community and to interact. But if they don’t have the ability to communicate they will not be able to do that and they will fail. They will find another way as well. As time went on for deaf people, American Sign Language was developed and it was developed over many, many years. One deaf family would pass it on to the next generation and each generation passed it on and it became advanced over time. It has been around for many, many generations up until today. In other countries there are different sign languages. Each country has their own sign language. It is not universal. There’s British Sign Language called BSL and it’s completely different than American Sign Language. In France there’s French Sign Language as well and each of the countries has their own sign language. And it’s that group, the community that decides on what the language will be and that is exactly what happened here in America. Now as we developed American Sign Language many, many, many generations ago, it wasn’t originally recognized as a formal language. People saw it as gestures. Over time people realized that, in about 1960’s actually, that it actually did fit the criteria of a formal language because it has vocabulary, grammar, it meets all of the criteria of other languages. And it was finally recognized in 1960. Once that was recognized, it just took off from there. It spread like wildfire. And I ask you, how many American Sign Language classes are offered across the United States? Everywhere. They are everywhere now. For example, in this table you can see. This demonstrates from the year 1998 until the year 2002, that 4 year difference how much of a percentage in increase of students took American Sign Language. 432 percent increase over that 4 year span. Now from 2002 to 2011, we don’t have that exact number but it has grown and grown exponentially. If somebody could quickly tell me something. If you had, could you tell me some of the benefits to having taken sign language? Can anyone tell me that?>>I worked at a grocery store and at a Friendly’s Restaurant and whenever I had customers come in, they’re always very happy to see that I can sign. >>Thank you. True. Deaf people love it when they’re in the world and someone can use sign language. Hearing people can benefit as well. For example, underwater it’s difficult to communicate, correct? But if you can sign, obviously, you can communicate underwater. It’s simple and easy. There are no barriers. If you’re in a loud, crowded environment you can easily switch over to using sign language. If you are far away from someone, you can sign, you know, in a large space and communicate with someone, whereas you couldn’t do that if you were just speaking. You see various, like if you’re in a situation where you’re blocked from the other person and you can only see them, you can switch over to using American Sign Language. There are many benefits to using American Sign Language. Research has proven that babies, whether they’re hearing or deaf, are processing information and they understand the world and they’re continuously taking in information. But their ability to express language has not yet developed, spoken language that is. If they’re crying, you know, the parents come over and they’re trying to figure out why are you crying? And they might say do you need your diaper changed? Do you need some milk? And the baby keeps crying. You know, most of the time the baby is unable to communicate what their needs are and they continue to cry. In sign language, however, babies can pick up sign language well before the development of spoken language. Studies have shown and babies are signing more and more, they’re using sign language with babies because the vocal cords have not developed but they can sign. The sign for milk, for example. And then when they are able to speak, they then can switch over to spoken language. But this is becoming a phenomenon as well and more and more parents are teaching their babies sign language and then when they are able to speak, they have developed 2 languages. I’m just asking him to back up and repeat for the interpreter. When we are born we do not have spoken language yet or written language. It’s already there, English language is already there, written and spoken. But it’s, in American Sign Language we don’t have a written language so we didn’t want to reinvent the wheel, so we do sign but when we write, we write in standard written English. So we really have 2 languages. And deaf education is really a bilingual education. We read and write in English and we do practice grammar, but then also we, to be involved in the hearing world, but then we also have our sign language as part of our culture and our language. And deaf people’s English has improved so much, but we get no English through ASL so research has proven that any people, whether they’re deaf or hearing, if their first language, if their native language is not English and their second language is English, they will continue to progress and this, using their native language will help improve their English until their English reaches the same level as their native language. Their native language will always be above the English, they will continue to struggle but by practicing in their native language they can continue to increase and develop these skills. And continuing to focus on ASL will help continue to develop English language skills as well. Now I want to talk about something called deaf community. Deaf community really has so many things and aspects to it. We have our own education. Our own sports. Our own organizations. Social events. We have entertainment, storytelling, shows, religious, religious services. Do you know that there is a new religion? Did anyone know this? No, I’m kidding. But we are involved in religious services. If someone wants to go, maybe the pastor would sign and then the deaf people can just watch what’s happening and be more involved in the church community. There are deaf services available. And deaf priests. The list does go on and on. But the point is, that we really do live in our own world, in our own community. And we feel normal, perfectly fine. We’re happy, well adjusted. I want to tell you a story with a happy ending. Does it have a happy ending? No. There are really 2 views on deafness. Our view and what do you think the other view is? Can you guess? The medical perspective. When a baby is born deaf, in the medical world they truly believe that they have the authority on deafness. Because deafness is a loss. Remember when we talked about the senses at the beginning? The 1 sense that’s missing, it’s lost. So it’s their responsibility to somehow get this sense back. So it is their belief that they own the deaf child and the decisions for this deaf child. It’s very different view, very different paths. We have deaf identity. If there’s a deaf child, they see us as, the medical field sees us as only deaf. But there are so many aspects to who this individual is. And they give us all these labels based on our hearing loss or our hearing disorder. They feel that there’s something wrong, that is the main issue. But it’s hearing loss, it’s a hearing loss. So that sense is missing. It’s also been called hearing impairment, as if something is being blocked. So many labels have been based on the inability to hear. Sometimes people have been called hearing impaired, deaf impaired. It’s just a different name, just a different perspective. This has been, deafness has been labeled a disability, a handicap and so on throughout the years. That has caused people to feel it is their duty to fix it, to fix us. You guys are familiar with the World Health Organization. The WHO. Doctors throughout the world discussing different ideas on medicine, so really they are sort of the top experts in the medical field. And this is what they say about deafness. That there must be medicine involved or surgery involved. And the goal is to reduce, or even better, eliminate deafness. That would be the goal. But the community’s goal is the opposite. We want to continue to grow the deaf community. We’re fine, we’re happy. The medical opinion is to shrink our community and our feeling is to just allow it to flourish and grow. This word. It’s kind of a bad word and we’re going to avoid it. It really means a better breed. So how to improve a race? How to make them stronger, better. That’s sort of the American way, to be the most healthy, the best, the top. So this word has become bad because of Nazi Germany. There was this interest in creating this perfect race. So if someone was born with something wrong, they were trying to figure out how to fix them. How to block from making more of this bad breed. So that German approach really became, it was as simple as killing the people. That was their feeling, just eliminate them. We’ll just kill them all if there was something wrong with them. We’ll keep the good, and eliminate the bad. So of course the world, you know, said that this was a horrible thing to do and the word became a bad word, a negative word. These are some examples. There are a variety of ways that people have tried to increase a race in the past. Suppose you want to come into America. First they make sure they check that you’re healthy. If you’re sick, forget it. Go back. Did you know that? You can’t come, they won’t be allowed into America if you’re already sick. Afraid that they might affect, infect other people once they come here. So how ’bout deaf people who tried to come in? They wouldn’t accept deaf people. Turned them right back and not be allowed into America. There were a few people who were allowed to come in but it was a struggle for a long, many, many years. Deaf were not allowed to enter America. Segregation is another example. They didn’t want deaf people socializing with hearing people. They wanted to keep them segregated, put them in a school for deaf children. So that no one would have to see these deaf children, just hide them off in a school by themselves. They weren’t only deaf students, they would put the blind students somewhere, students who were, had autism. Maybe put them in a hospital. Keep them all separated. So that the community looked fine. We didn’t have to see anyone who wasn’t sort of this perfect image. Someone presented a bill in America to prevent more deaf children from being born. And how did they present this? They wanted to suggest that deaf people could not get married. And luckily this did not happen. Sterilization was another idea. Long time ago they often sterilized deaf women so that they couldn’t have children. The concern was that more deaf babies would be born, so they would be sterilized to prevent this. That did happen. Genetic screening. Now there’s research that you identify if there’s a disability, if there’s deafness, if something’s going on. You can identify all these things, there are over 400 tests and one is the test that causes deafness. So they can look and see if they want to, you know, they’re hoping to maybe eliminate genetic deafness. And if parents want to have a baby they can go to the doctor and the man will give some sperm and the woman can give an egg. The doctor can screen it. Oh no, this is a bad egg, it may involve a child that would be deaf. And they could switch it for some good sperm or good egg so that they would have a child that would not be deaf. So if parents want to think about, or if they want blue eyes or they want specific traits for their babies, they can do that. They can pick a blonde haired, blue eyed child. So I feel like this is really in sort of going back to this eugenics idea. But if the baby that is developing is not developing normally, the doctor can tell the parents that the baby may have certain health problems, including deafness. And ask the parents what they would want to do and offering abortion as a choice. And it is their legal choice. If they choose not to carry that baby to term, they can go ahead and abort. If they decide they don’t want to have a deaf child and start all over. So it’s very scary to me. I think about how people could just abort a baby just because of deafness. And it’s, I think often because the hospital has no idea about deafness and having a deaf client. And they keep that data confidential so we don’t know exactly how many babies have been aborted for this reason. There’s no proof, but it is their right to abort if they don’t want to have that baby because of their deafness. The next issue is cochlear implants. You can have the baby. If they decide to keep the baby, then the baby is born and find out the baby is deaf, oh. No, it’s too late. We now have this deaf baby. So the idea is how can we fix this baby? And with technology there’s now a surgery and a device called a cochlear implant that can be inserted into the baby. So there are studies now that show about stem cell research. With clones. And they can grow another, you know, if you lose an arm for example, and they can grow a new arm that could be used. So there’s stem cell research going on. So now they’re thinking how could we use this to cure deafness? Maybe we could grow a new ear or grow new parts of the ear and surgically replace them. I’ve a question. In 2011 what practices do we still have? Do you think we still have all of these practices? Do we still block people from coming into the country? What do you think? Luckily, no. Deaf people are now allowed to come into the country. A few people may be told no, but in general this is OK. This was an old practice that is not used very often anymore. How about segregation? Do you think this practice is still happening? It’s very strange because it’s sort of a yes and no. A long time ago deaf children were sent to a deaf school. Now we have a different mindset. Deaf schools may not always the best for students. It’s best, maybe a student wants to mainstreamed in their own town. And often those schools were broken down and the students were sent to their own schools, in their own towns. So segregation does still happen but now we almost feel like it’s the opposite way, because now instead of being in a deaf community, the deaf students are alone in their towns. Marriage restrictions no longer. How about sterilization? Do you think this still happens? A long time ago there were many. Today it may still happen if the parents want to do it. If the child is still under 18, but a long time ago parents could still decide even after the age of 18. Can you even imagine that? After the age of 18, your parents being allowed to say that you could be sterilized. But no, luckily it does not happen anymore. The rest, we do still have them today. They are still practiced today. The top 4 really have improved but the bottom 4 are still practiced today. They still happen. So my question. The word eugenics. Many people look at that and say it’s a bad word. Oh, and we don’t practice eugenics anymore. That doesn’t happen. But when I look at this and I think we do still practice eugenics. I would like a new word I would like to introduce. Research and the goal is to, is improvement. It doesn’t mean the same as eugenics. It has a very bad history associated with that word. So the new word and the new practice, it has been carried on but it is called genetics. And many people disagree. But in my opinion this is what it looks like. And you know, you can interpret the information the way you see fit. Today the medical view and the community view conflict. In the medical view, there’s many different advances being made; money is being given constantly to progression in that field and it’s growing very quickly. At the same time, American Sign Language is increasing as well. Students that have taken ASL, the number has just increased very rapidly. However these two views are at great conflict with each other. It’s kind of ironic, students that can hear celebrate diversity and see all the benefits, whereas the medical field is trying to eliminate the deaf community. So how will it work? Where should the money go? Again, the World Health Organization suggests that with deaf children, their English skills, reading and writing skills are a concern. They are encouraging students, deaf children, to learn their native language. However in the past the emphasis was on oral, the oral approach. So there are these conflicting approaches. The AVT, Auditory Verbal Therapy program is what I’d like to talk about right now. Over time using that oral philosophy, where students are not encouraged to use sign language, where they must rely on speech reading, lip reading only for communication, that was very popular. Now people realize how little is actually understood through lip reading. It is not the best visual approach. AVT is actually forbidding sign language and lip reading. They force children to rely on their residual hearing with hearing aids, cochlear implants, etcetera. Teachers will speak but they cover their mouths as they’re speaking. This is the approach that they are using. They aren’t allowed to use any visual cues at all, including the lips for lip reading. Again, the irony. More and more babies that are born hearing babies are learning sign language. They’re being taught by their parents. Once they can speak, they switch over to spoken language only. However, a deaf child born is forbidden to use sign language. They are, you know, encouraged to use only the oral approach. Sign language was invented by deaf people. And it’s being given to the hearing community whereas they’re not able to, or encouraged to use it in their own lives. Now think of this. We have laws. For example, if a family speaks Spanish, a Spanish family and their child speaks Spanish at home but then goes into school and learns English. Are they allowed to speak Spanish when they go home? Does the law say that they cannot use Spanish at any time? No, it’s their right. The family’s right to use their first language, of course. With deaf children, they go to school and they are not able to use the language that they’re using possibly you know, with the family or their native language. They’re not able or encouraged to use American Sign Language. It’s ironic. In closing, I would like to compare society and the deaf community. Society today does not understand why deaf people want to be the way they are and not change. Hearing people say you should be upset, you should change, you should want to hear. You know, and deaf people are saying we are fine, we are perfectly happy the way we are. And this has been an ongoing struggle. For example, I mean, it’s just simply the society does accept them as we are. You know, however, you know, in American society there are many people that value diversity. And why is it that they cannot value the deaf community as being a diverse group? This struggle is ongoing. Doctors progress with their field and forbid sign language, encourage cochlear implants with the goal being to reduce the deafness. They do not want deaf people to be deaf. That they are subhuman, inhuman. When a baby is born or developing, sometimes they are encouraged to be aborted. They are not valued. They are not encouraged to be a member of the deaf community. They are looked down upon, oppressed. It’s continuous. There is a lot of oppression and I have experienced a lot of oppression. Do deaf people sit back and take it? The deaf community is fighting back. There is a new word in the deaf community known as audism. I want to let you know it is not in the dictionary. You will not find it there. It’s the same connotation as racism, any type of oppression for deaf people. You know, it could be seen in the same way. What it means is that deaf people or some people are oppressed because of their race, their sexual agenda or something else. There’s another word also being talked about in the deaf community, known as liguicism, an oppression of language. This word was not developed in the deaf community but other researchers in other countries have developed this for their languages but it actually does apply to American Sign Language. The same concept. In the deaf community there are deaf artists that are able to express the ongoing struggle that deaf people experience on a regular basis and this is one example. Now this is interesting. What do you think this picture represents? Does it not look like a dog sitting at the table below, beneath a family where the family members or people are talking above where the person is unable to understand what the communication is? Their feeling of isolation in a family, that is what this represents. And this is an ongoing struggle in the deaf community. Now what do deaf people want for the future? What do deaf people want? What deaf people want is exactly the same as other people. They want their culture to be valued, they want their language to be valued, their identity to be valued. They want to preserve sign language and their way of being. In the deaf community, and deaf people want to be valued. Is that all? No. If the deaf people were, was left alone and respected and with that research continue, that would be something that the deaf community would prefer to not have to have that constant threat where the medical field is constantly threatening to reduce the number of people in the deaf community. And take away their deafness. I want to speak clearly today and say that it is OK to be deaf. We have a very good and healthy way of being, a good life. You know, parents can find other ways to relate to their deaf children. If they use sign language we are, you know, we have a beautiful language and we are OK. Now in the future you will be working with deaf children, I’m not sure if that’s true for everyone. And what parents decide for deaf children sometimes is to forbid sign language. It is a parent’s decision, you know, however when you’re working with a deaf child and you’re interacting with them and you’re feeling, you know, that their child might be upset, I mean behave being in a, you know, in a way that is not very helpful, they’re having a difficult time with behavior. You must look at the purpose, the reason behind it. It’s probably because the communication is failing. Whereas, you know, with that AVT theory that we spoke about before. Often they’ll bring in behavior specialists to look at why a child might be, you know, depressed and they might start to counsel the child and they might find that it’s because you know, it is a behavior problem versus a communication problem but I encourage you to think about what it is that’s really going on. Why is the child upset? If there are communication issues, I want you to focus on a child possibly one on one, gesture with them ’til they have eye contact with you. Make sure that you’ve got their attention and you’ve got some form of communication with them. If speaking doesn’t work, definitely try gestures until you know that the child understands you and I suggest that that will make a big difference. You know, the parents, if they make a decision one way or the other, that’s one thing, but that’s something that I would encourage you as professionals to do. And that is the end of my presentation. Do you have any questions? First.>>I kind of want your opinion on the cochlear implant. Are you against them? For I’ve seen them be very beneficial. >>I’m going to tell you my opinion first and then there is a variety of opinions in the deaf community, however, OK? So my opinion is that many deaf people, if they’re older and decide to have a cochlear implant, you know, enjoy it for the reasons like listening to music, etcetera. But there are actually 2 points I’d like to make. A cochlear implant, is like something that has to be thought of like why are you getting one? To develop speech? My biggest problem with it is that it then might lead to, you know, at some point forbidding sign language. And in that case, I would be against it, like with the AVT theory. Doctors feel like once a cochlear implant is implanted, that the child should not be allowed to use sign language. If they allow sign language, then you know, then I’m OK with that. But you have to think what is the cochlear implant for? So that the child has to listen and has to hear? You know, do they consider that the child might be perfectly OK without it? Or you really have to look at the reasons behind why it’s happening. Now if it leads to preventing sign language, then I am 100 percent against it.>>Do you feel like it’s more caring parents who decide to give their child an implant and if you had a child would you decide to not give them an implant? >>Some interesting information is this. You know, the discussion that we’ve had about the concerns with deaf people, you know, deaf people making more deaf children, etcetera. Research has proven that 90 percent of deaf children from hearing parents, are from hearing parents. Now deaf parents, the 10 percent, is small. It’s just 10 percent. Whereas 90 percent of parents with deaf children are hearing, right? So it’s kind of interesting. 10 versus 90 percent. Now I’ll focus on the 90 percent, the hearing parents right now. Many of them do want their children to have cochlear implants, that’s true. However, their reasons vary. Some want it because they want their child to speak, for example. Now many of those hearing parents are uninformed about sign language and deaf culture. When a baby is born, you know, with that medical view they are being advised to get cochlear implants, to be you know, only taught the oral approach, you know, that’s what the recommendation is. They’re never encouraged to go and interact with deaf people and the deaf community. You know, check out sign language. The parents just are ill informed. So once that is accepted that path, they are then, you know, they know they are forbidding their child to use sign language. But they just don’t know the other options. So that’s the problem with the medical view. With deaf parents however, many of them choose not to have a cochlear implant for their child, but a few deaf parents with a deaf child think well, you know, you know, down the road maybe, you know, because the education in the deaf field isn’t as good for example, they might encourage their child to get one. And possibly, you know, get involved with hearing culture and deaf culture. But deaf parents, you know, do sometimes choose that for the children. Now if I had a child that was born deaf, I would not choose to give them a cochlear implant. You know, I know that how to interact and have, you know, communication, challenge them, make sure they, you know, prepare for college, go to college, all of that so. I think that my children will be fine. Any other questions? I can accept any kind of question. No question is stupid, you don’t have to be embarrassed. Honestly, ask me anything.>>Just one more question, we’ll probably call it a day and turn it back to Tiffany. In terms of two adults who are both deaf and want to have a child and the child, in terms of their thinking, would they feel better having a child who is deaf? As opposed to a child who is hearing? In other words, their wish is for a child who’s deaf. If they’re members of the deaf culture. >>Here’s a fact. Many deaf people want deaf children. This is true. It’s almost like moms wanting a daughter or a dad wanting a son. You know, that kind of wish. You know, because many people want to have that common bond with their child. You know, dads want football for their kids, want to engage in the same kinds of activities. It’s very similar to the feeling in the deaf community. When a deaf parent is born and the child is deaf, they are often elated, they know that there will be no communication barriers, we can teach the family values, you know, there will be very little frustration or if the child does experience frustration, they know those experiences and can support them. And you know, they can encourage their deaf, their pride in the deaf community. And they will send them to school, you know, to the best possible programs. There are some deaf parents that are, you know, excited to have hearing children, too. Obviously they will be excited to have a child hearing or deaf, but those are the observations I’ve had.>>Thank you.

46 Replies to “Journey into the Deaf World: ASL version with captions (no slides)”

  • I started watching the first five minutes and an hour passed. This is excellent information. When I was a cashier I was approched by a deaf woman asking for directions and I totally messed up on what she understood and how I could speak with her. I wish I had known this then. I'll just have to do better next time.

  • I pray the Lord lead us to more and more appreciate the value and need, to encourage the rights of the deaf culture as a gift to all cultures, especially for the benefit of deaf children!

  • Hey, i'm actually getting my B.A. in interpreting right now. It's very important in educational interpreting to have 2 interpreters to make sure that the message is conveyed very clearly. If the speaking interpreter misses something, it's the second interpreters job to tell them what they missed. Then they alternate every few minutes to ensure they one doesn't become overly exhausted and start to lose clarity in their interpreting. hope this was helpful.

  • He teaches at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah! I know for a fact – cuz I've taken almost every class he teaches 🙂 He's awesome – one of my favorites!

  • Hi, I'm self-learning ASL. I'm kinda upset, bcs I hv no deaf friends to talk with and it's hard to improve in my signing. I hope to find new friends. Thanks for the video.

  • Hi. My name is David Barban. I am a special education teacher since 1984. I startrd working at the age of 20 in Los Angeles. One day, my director came to us, and said:"We are going to have some deaf-mute children". Therefore, you must learn some ASL. I learnt 8 years of ASL in Santa monica college. I was born in Paris, and decided to learn french sign language. When my mom died, I came back to Israel, learnt hebrew-hebrew sign language. You are right in everything you say. I gree with you 100%.

  • nicely done job sir also i enjoyed the presentation about the deaf culture but the fact is im deaf myself just like u also i give u credit for this video to help hearing people understand about our lifestyle alot.

  • Thank you for this powerful witness to life! I am "physically challenged" and know a little about being "different". People fear what they don't understand a lot of times. I applaud your work. I could understand you a little, but you sign much too fast for me. I am now taking ASL classes online with Dr. Bill Vicars (who is deaf) @ "Lifeprint". (I am on lesson 12) He is an awesome teacher & I suggest anyone with interest in ASL to watch 1 of his lessons. Thank you again!

  • I'm hearing. I am in ASL classes and I absolutely love it. I really liked this presentation. It really helps the hearing people understand Deaf culture better. I think that ASL is a beautiful language and its a beautiful culture as well.

  • way to go mom. i am happy that you put your foot down at the dr. why should we have have to get coclier implants when we don't want it. my belief is that if the child is born hard of hearing and the doctor told me that my child must get it done. i would say screw that i want to let my child live in a happy life. when she or he gets older and want to get it done then it's totally up to her or him end of story. thats my opinion. im happy you put your foot down. i'm hh myself and i don't want that.

  • Right, that's true, no matter what language (spoken or signed), you need two interpreters in academic and professional settings, small conversational situations not so much! I've interpreted from Spanish to English and English to Spanish..and it is quite exhausting! And the first time I tried..it gave me a headache!

  • If people did research into "eugenics" they would be sickened. Hitler borrowed Margaret Sanger's ideas on eugenics during the holocaust. So, America cleaned up the word to "planned parenthood". Sanger often referred African Americans as "social weeds" & "parasites". In N.Y.C. in 2010, 40% of ALL pregnancies ended in abortion. 60% with the Black community!!! And they have the nerve to call it "health care". It's a Satanic bloodbath. I wonder who they're going to say it's "o.k." to kill next?

  • Good for you! Our family made the same decision 7 years ago and have never regretted it. Want proof? Go to the Metro Deaf School website and watch the videos – these are HAPPY kids!

  • I am hearing (However, I can't speak). I learned quite a bit watching this video, some of it stunned me a bit. I am often shocked at just how much I don't know! Thank you for sharing this!

  • This is very interesting! thank you very much for this presentation! but I lived in India and so I spent easy life in USA. but not easy life in India.. 🙁

  • I don't know how I got here and I can't believe I just watched this entire video. I have been enlighten a great deal. I no longer live in ignorance about deaf ppl.

  • Wow! I learned quite a few things from this video even though I was born Deaf and first language is ASL, thanks for sharing this educational video with us! I am sharing this video with my ASL classes!

  • Listening to the lady speak is a bit annoying cuz I hear another woman whispering as to what to say.  Why cant the other lady just speak in the microphone instead of relaying what is being signed??!?

  • I loved this video. When he said "in closing", I thought, no, already?! I really enjoyed this video. It was very informative and I like how strong he is. As a hearing person, I would love to interact with the deaf community. I have many reasons as to why I want to interact with the deaf community. I have never wanted to know just one group of people. I hope one day I have the pleasure of meeting a deaf person. I honestly do.

  • Wow i watched the whole video. Im hard of hearing and i grew up speaking orally since im the only person in my family that cant hear. And im suprise by learning more about the deaf culture that i never heard before. I actually told my family i want to learn sign language

  • Im deaf in one ear and i can hear out of one ear so im part of the deaf communty and the hearing world Its,not easy i uses to know asl but lost alot of it because i had à,hearing aid but mine got broken by à mean person So Now i Read lips and My hubby says that it wouldnt be smart to put head phones on has im Walking Its smart not too and when He walks W me He has to stop me because i cant hear the cars on My deaf side im Lucky to have him it took me awile to tell him.i was deaf in one ear ….So u guys that can hear out of two ears treasure that ……because i was born deaf and hearing is à good thing ….

  • Personally I think the Cochlear Implant is amazing. However it should really be up to the person who is deaf whether they want to give it a try or not. I don't really see deaf people needing to be "fixed". It's their option whether to get implants later or not. If a deaf person told me "I'm going to try these implants" I would say "that's cool". If they said "I'm going to remain the way I am" I would still say "that's cool". I like to think I'm an open minded person and try to place myself in others' shoes for certain views. Also, as a side thought, sign language is just cool looking.

  • Great video. I have taken some culture classes. I found the interpreter that was from Mass very annoying. She was not fluid in her speech. The other lady was great.

  • Wow. The word Thank you is not strong enough to express my appreciation for this video. I have recently adopted a Deaf daughter and I need to know how to communicate and relate. This is so extremely helpful!

  • as an interpreter that has been out of the profession for quite sometime, I can appreciate the hard work that the team interpreters go through. I would like to start interpreting again and have begun the long road back to this marvelous profession.

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