Sunday, August 12, 2007

Welcome to our Deaf Bilingual Coalition Temporary Website


Hello everyone,

This is a temporary website to keep you currently posted about the progress made by the Deaf Bilingual Coalition (DBC).

Please feel free to ask us questions as we are now working on developing organizational system, resources and materials, mission statement and more.

This is just revised as of August 12, 2007

Mission (draft):

The Deaf Bilingual Coalition promotes the basic human right of all deaf infants and young children to have access to language and cognitive development through American Sign Language (ASL).

Purpose (draft):

The main purpose of the Deaf Bilingual Coalition is to emphasize the importance of the social, emotional, linguistic, and cognitive aspects of ASL pertaining to early visual language acquisition for all deaf infants and young children. The secondary purpose is to make the general public aware of the prevalence of misconceptions and misinformation that devalues ASL.

Goals (draft):

DBC is a community of deaf and hearing people whose goals are to promote language acquisition, social justice, and quality education through the awareness of ASL and its excellence in cultivating the critical intellect of deaf infants and young deaf children. The Deaf Bilingual Coalition will work to inform parents of deaf children, guardians, teachers of the deaf, doctors, audiologists, government officials, businesses, and other organizations on the importance of ASL in early language acquisition for all deaf infants and young deaf children. DBC will work to spread awareness of the research that shows that ASL does make significant contribution to the development of literacy skills in both languages, ASL and English. And lastly, DBC will work in collaboration with others to promote the respect and understanding of ASL.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

#7 Wrap Up at the AG Bell Conference Protest

Leaders summarized its goals and purpose of the Deaf Bilingual Coalition.

Again, thanks a zillion to Ruthie Jordan for her hard work with filming and editing!

#6 The Participants' Testimonies about AG Bell

See what the participants got to say during the AG Bell conference Protest.

Kudos to Ruthie Jordan for filming and editing!

#5 Children in the AG Bell Conference Protest

You will see different children, both deaf and hearing, making comments during the AG Bell Conference Protest.

Play Quicktime

Thanks to Ruthie Jordan for her filming and editing work!

#4 People's Reaction when receiving the flyer at AG Bell Conference Protest

This video clip will show you how people reacted when the demonstrators passed out the flyer at AG Bell Conference.

Link to flyer

Much appreciation to Ruthie Jordan for her filming and editing work.

#3 AG Bell Protest: Day One: A Deaf Child Harmed

From the Deaf Bilingual Coalition:

After today's (July 27th) commotion (Crystal Gateway Marriott manager Jenny Botero's unprovoked attack on us) at the AG Bell convention, we debriefed each other and made more discoveries to today's attack.

AG Bell convention site coordinator/manager Botero snatched the flyers from Brianna DiGi, Barb DiGi's 8-year-old Deaf daughter, and in the process, harmed her. Brianna had scratches on her hand where the AG Bell coordinator/manager snatched the flyers from.

Yes, AG Bell coordinator/manager Botero abruptly snatched the flyers from a 8-year-old child and scratched her. Brianna was briefly traumatized by this unprovoked assault.

AG Bell coordinator/manager Botero then added insult to injury by ripping the flyers in half. Why would anybody do that to a 8-year-old child?

Brianna was OUTSIDE the hotel on a public sidewalk, and she was handing flyers to people LEAVING the hotel for lunch.

Before we go on, we assure you that Brianna is now OK and she retold her experience on video.

The video also includes evidence of AG Bell coordinator/manager Botero struggling with Raychelle Harris, who was peacefully handing out flyers and raising social awareness. See for yourself.

Is it acceptable to physically harm and traumatize an innocent 8-year-old Deaf child who was outside the hotel and not provoking anybody?

Tomorrow we continue our campaign 9 AM-approximately 2 PM. We stand ready to talk w/ media and raise awareness. We also will remain PEACEFUL and hope that AG Bell coordinator/manager Jenny Botero does not attack Brianna or us again. Again, we are to remain PEACEFUL and continue raising awareness of Deaf children's and their families' plight.

Thank you.
Deaf Bilingual Coalition

This transcript was composed by two people, Jenny Cantrell and Brian Riley who graciously offered their transcription services.

((Footage of Raychelle Harris being accosted by the hotel manager))


We’re outside!… (after the manager leaves) whoa.


We were outside the hotel and I could pass out our flyers. Hey, it’s a free country, right? No problem there. I was outside and conference attendees passed me on both sides as they were leaving the building. I passed out the flyer with a smile on my face and people took the flyers, seeming to accept them just fine. I kept passing them out as people walked out past me and it was peaceful. Suddenly, much to my shock, the manager was in my face, a woman with shoulder-length hair, approached me and seized my flyers. It happened so fast. She forcefully grabbed the flyer. I was holding them as she tried to pull them out of my hands. She was trying to speak to me while tugging and yanking on the flyers. She suddenly let go and walked away. WHOA. I, stunned, couldn’t help but WONDER… would she do this to hearing protesters? I mean, she might approach hearing protesters and talk to them. But would she actually grab onto flyers in an attempt to confiscate them? Would she rip them, like she actually did to someone else?


I was walking outside and I looked over and noticed something happening — I saw Raychelle’s tussle with the security guard, the very same security guard, um, manager, named Jenny. After the struggle ended, I told my daughter to come along with me to the sidewalk area, because I remembered very clearly that this was specifically where we were permitted to distribute flyers. We, happily, were right by the bus area where conference attendees were lined up to board. We seized the opportunity to pass our flyers out to the people in line. My daughter and I were passing out flyers peacefully. Everything seemed to be going fine. But then wouldn’t you know it? All of a sudden, the woman came up to us the minute she saw us, Jenny I mean, and GRABBED the flyers from my daughter’s hands. My eyes flew to the manager. She then snatched the flyers from mine and I was so confused and stunned. This was totally unexpected and it happened so fast. She just came up from behind and yanked them from us. Bewildered, I said, “Wait, what are you doing? What are we doing wrong? We’re here on the sidewalk area.” She said, “No, this is my property! You all just get out! You’re not allowed!” And the she began ripping up all our flyers! I couldn’t believe what was happening. I just felt that she completely shut us out. There was no attempt to discuss it with me or try to initiate a dialogue. NONE. She totally jumped the gun by snatching the flyers from my daughter, confusing her and me too. Then, as we were still reeling from what had just happened, she just up and left without finishing the discussion. She walked away like this very angry woman, just walking around like that. You can see how crazed she looks on the video. That’s evidence.

I pondered the recent events. Later on, yes, I was still stunned. I talked it over with my daughter to make sure she was all right. We discussed feelings at length, and she shared that she was stunned and afraid. This went on for a while. Some time passed after that discussion. But it wasn’t until only one hour ago that she finally shared something, y’know, during quiet time, just the two of us bonding and sharing. My daughter told me, “That woman scratched my hand.” I was like WHAT??? A SCRATCH? If I had known this in the first place, I would have reacted much differently at the time. With the knowledge that she TOUCHED her, I became furious, unhappy, and heartbroken. It grieved me to think of what that woman did to my daughter. What will my daughter think? Will she hate this hotel and hearing people because one treated her this way? This was so completely unnecessary. She should have approached me first in a calm manner and talked it over with me, not simply grab and yank the flyers out of our hands. I was actually following their policies! This just threw me off and she was trying to be mean and squash us. When my daughter told me all this, I put my own feelings on hold and focused on supporting her. I’m feeling down and I’m grieving. These feelings will fade with time, but at the same time, I will do something! I will have to. I’ll write letters, tell others my story, let it out. And all of you can add your own contributions to the effort. The process will gain momentum. What right do they have to do that? Scratch into her hand like that? Is that right for them to do that? No!


Today I was at the AG Bell convention. We were in a group, passing out flyers to people. Everything was fine when I saw Raychelle trying to keep her flyers from the woman. I watched, shocked. We walked fast to the sidewalk. It would be better. I was just passing them out with my mom. We were just passing them out when I saw; I had no idea, the manager, behind my back, grabbed my hand and scratched it. It hurt. Ow. I watched her grab my mom’s papers. I watched, scared. She grabbed the my papers out of my hands and then ripped them up into pieces! I felt really scared. I watched, uh-oh. What’s wrong with her?


From Amy Cohen Efron:

The morale of this story: Deaf people uses our hands to communicate, and we desire that all Hearing people to use THEIR hands to communicate with us. We do not tolerate having THEIR hands to control us, by touching, pushing, snatching, hitting, grabbing, but not using their hands to communicate.

Why cannot people just try to use their hands to communicate, instead of using them on us?

That is a very serious communication breakdown, but sad, very… very… common for us to be controlled by their hands all of the time.

The irony is… hearing babies are encouraged to use their hands to communicate before they can speak. Deaf babies are not allowed, and will not…

Think about this.

Special thanks to Aidan Mack for filming and editing.

#2 Here you can see what the AG Bell Booth Display looks like

The video clip shows what materials are exhibited at the AG Bell Booth area to give you an idea how they market their ideology.

Do you think the bilingual ideology is well publicized and organized like that? That is why the founding of DBC is necessary to reach out to parents of deaf babies about the benefits of ASL.

Special thanks to Ruthie Jordan for her filming and editing work.

#1 AG Bell Protest:: The Day Before

Thanks to Aidan Mack for filming and editing.