Sunday, October 14, 2007


We had an extremely successful trip to the ASL Expo in Kissimmee, Fla.

Our DBC team consisted of David Reynolds from Fremont, CA, Stephen Hardy from Gainsville, Maria Dollhopf from St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Carl Chapman from Orlando, and myself from Ft. Myers. The team was extremely skilled in presenting the mission of DBC, the meaning of bilingual, and how we all can work together person by person...state by state... to be progressive activist to ensure that all Deaf babies and children have a right to American Sign Language and access to it from birth.

We met so many wonderful people from Florida including members of the Florida Association of the Deaf, Chris Wagner from NAD, and the organizers of the Deaf Expo whose mission to create on-going exposure for promotion of American Sign Language We were able to network with these individuals along with many other advocates for the State of Florida. We collected over 250 names and email address of people who are interested in helping whenever and wherever they are needed and interested in the work that DBC is doing.

Our day ended and we were all very exhausted but very inspired by how enthusiastic people are, not only here in Florida, but also around the USA and the world about the mission of DBC. Here are some pictures of the ASL Expo.

by Tami Hossler


The One and Only Ridor said...

Bravo! Bravo! I'm so thrilled with you guys!

Keep it up!



John Egbert said...

The first picture is the DBC booth at DeafNation in Chicago, October 6th.

The Florida ASL Expo are the other pictures. Tami H. did a great job!!!

The next DBC booth will at DeafNation in Pleasanton, California on October 27th. John Egbert and David Eberwein will be there...

Stephen J. Hardy said...

Hello, I was one of the team members at Orlando, Florida. I had so much fun with Tami, Maria, David and Carl.

The Deaf Bilingual Coalition is going to make news all over the nation. People realized that sign language is an asset to both Deaf and hard of hearing babies. This gives babies a foundation of human language which will help them develop language using their brain. Once a Deaf child learned American Sign Language (ASL) from age 0 - 5 years old they will accelerate their written English language skills. As you may be aware the baby's vocal chords are not developed or ready to communicate using voice.

This is where ASL comes in and they are learning visual language starting with milk; more; mom; dad; hurt, and etc. How can a child understand voice? ASL for babies can help with motor-skills like signing "9" to button or unbutton their clothes; signing "1" to press, point, and show. This is a very powerful development of language learning in action.

Once a child have a language developed and then they can learn spoken English or another language.

If a parent refuses to allow a child to communicate using ASL and that child will spend its lifetime defending their own natural language (ASL). As they get older you wonder why your child does not like using voice. Its like trying to teach a cat to bark even it is not the cat's natural language.

When a baby is Deaf and it is natural to teach the baby sign language during the first 5 years of their lives. Once that is developed and you can teach that child any language. That child is using two parts of their brain and that increases their I.Q. levels because of combinations involved such as when a deaf baby trying to describe a thing they use creativity by drawing using ASL. That is more powerful than learning to speak without sounds. The child is demonstrating how they understand things using ASL.

We have nothing against speech but people who think that Deaf babies learning sounds is natural. This is an utmost fallacy I ever heard of. Teaching a blind person about colors while they were babies and why teach them sight? There are other methods but the so called experts thinks their methods are correct. We have a lot of arm-chair experts in the field of Deafness. They are barking on the wrong tree because they are NOT experts and look at the educational system in the past 50 years. Not many Deaf children are catching up academically, why? They spend too many hours learning to speak. Learning to memorize mouth movements and etc. deprives the child from learning their own natural language.

Start with learning American Sign Language and then speech later when their vocal chords are ready to be used.

Parents of Deaf children, keep an open-mind and try to listen to both sides of the story. I am from that generation who was forced into speech and I did not start learning until I was 10 years old. I lost 9 years of language development and spend my time memorizing mouth movements, reading speech and I became an expert in speech reading when I took the test I knew only 30% of what I speech read. When I became immersed with ASL I understood everything and I can communicate effortlessly.

I met so many people who were like me and they knew what was wrong also saying why are we not allowed to learn sign language when we were babies? The answer I gave them was, "This was NOT allowed and the so called experts are saying we will mess up our learning process." I have news for you, our language learning process was messed up since day one when we were not allowed to sign.

Its funny, my three children are hearing and they learned ASL since they were born. Today they have a high command of English because they already have a language when they were babies. They were signing to us such as "not feeling well;" "tummy hurts;" or "hungry" within two years old. Shocked? Don't be because it is a natural human language to begin with.

Parents of Deaf babies if you have any questions and please send an e-mail and we will respond with accurate information to help your child learn language using American Sign Language.

Lastly, Tami Hossler with TONS of spirit and her exciting personality made this event an huge success and Maria Dollhopf , Carl Chapman and David Reyonds came on board with HUGE passion for Deaf babies also their lifetime experiences are the MOTIVATING factor of why they are here. I am honored to become their friends.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! I'm joining you guys in the bandwagon. :-)

White Ghost

Todd said...

Thanks for hosting this booth at the Kissimmee ASL Expo! I learned a little bit more about the DBC and its mission.