Friday, November 30, 2007

DBC backs Indiana Rally

Part I:

DBC has been supporting the organizers of the Indiana Deaf community by preparing the flyer (see below), talking points, etc. The organizers have prepared their signs, contacted with the local police to follow guidelines and much more. Hands wave to these wonderful Indiana fellows!!

Here is a video clip by Jill Lestina explaining about the rally in support of ASL acquisition for Deaf Babies and Children during "The Indiana Conference on Listening and Spoken Language" at PU on Friday & Saturday, Nov. 30 - Dec 1, from 10am - 4pm.

Why? Deaf Infants and Children are being denied access to ASL at an alarming rate. Alexander Graham Bell Organization supports Auditory Verbal Therapy Programs all around the USA promoting listening and speech without the use of sign language. Please view the video explaining more about the background.

Where: Purdue University, Stewart Center West (adjacent to Grant Street Garage)

Meet at the Indianapolis Deaf Club at 8:30am on Friday and Saturday mornings or at Purdue in front of Stewart Center West at 10:00am.

Contact Person: Beatrice Pfaff at (Please contact Bea to let her know you will be joining this rally and for more details.)

Part II:

This is another video message from Jill Lestina sharing more details and procedures about the the rally.


Hi, I'm here to keep communication open with you all. This message is for those rally supporters who are thinking about going to Purdue University for the Indiana DBC rally this Friday and Saturday. I want to share with you all that I have been in communication with the police. The police have shared their communication with me regarding the planned rally. I want to share what was communicated to me to make sure we are all on the same page so that there will not be any misunderstandings. Purdue itself is a public university and Stewart Center, where we will go for the rally, is also a public place. We can enter the building, we can be in the hallway, we can mingle in the lobby and we also can be on the sidewalk outside of the building. What is important is that we do not block the doors to the building, we have to let people walk in and out of the door freely. We cannot block the hallway, we have to let the people walk freely in the halls. We cannot go near where the registration table for "Hear Indiana Conference", we need to stay back from that area. Also Purdue has other activities and events on campus where students coagulate, we cannot disrupt these events and activities on campus. We need to respect these activities and events occurring on campus.

Remember our purpose to go to the rally is to support ASL for Deaf babies. We are not there to protest or complain. For those of you who will go to the rally, please be friendly, smile, stay positive, keep the peace and be respectful to everyone. I want to mention a word often mentioned in statements by some people which have labeled us as "protestors", I want to be clear in informing the public that we are not protestors. We are supporters.

DBC, Deaf Bilingual Coalition, has a purpose and that is to inform, educate, and raise public awareness. ASL is truly important. ASL improves education and literacy for all deaf babies and children. DBC wants to make sure that families who have deaf children and babies are able to succeed and grow. It is true that ASL provides the best guarantee of good education, literacy and happiness for all families, deaf babies and children.

The goal for us at the rally is to keep an open dialogue and to give support to families that have deaf children and babies. We want to raise awareness about AGB's oral training method which is called AVT, Auditory Verbal Training, AGB's principles which is outlined in their website, #3 which states that "families should train and not use sign language or lipreading..." and #5 and #6 which states "families should use listening skills at all times in their child's life....". Also AGB provides assistance by giving funds to families who files a lawsuit against schools that promote ASL education. It's called "Children Legal Advocacy Program". DBC does not agree with AGB's approach.

The BEST guarantee for deaf babies to succeed and improve their literacy skills, education, English skills, learning other languages, speech, family relations, etc. is ASL.

DBC is concerned that AGB has labeled us as "hearing loss" which causes nothing but stigma and negative view of us which prevents people from embracing deaf babies. DBC hopes that AGB will understand our concern, be more aware of, and embrace deaf babies so that families can grow, succeed and be happy.

Babies between the age of 0-5 years old are in the most critical period for language learning. ASL is guaranteed, 100%, for access to success!

DBC does not agree with AGB's "one way approach" which rejects ASL.

As most of you are aware, hearing parents are teaching their hearing babies, "Baby Signs". Research have shown that those babies have improved their English development, which shows that ASL is important and critical for deaf babies as well.

DBC is interested in the deaf child's "whole, healthy family approach".

So, the purpose for us to attend the rally is to make sure there is open dialogue to show the truth. The truth is that ASL is definitely "Success for Life".

View this link for a larger view of the flyer or click on the flyer below to download:


Anonymous said...

Thank you to all that went to the rally to represent the billingual concept. I am a teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing, a certified interpreter and a hearing child of deaf parents and extended family. A cartoon on your website says it all and has been the most critical question of all. Why do we encourage and allow hearing babies (i am a great example of that) to learn sign language or other visual cues to help in their understanding of the world around them but we continually tell our deaf/hard of hearing children that this is forbidden. I am a strong advocate of auditory training but do not believe this means the absense of a visual language or visual cues. I a hearing child, I have been afforded the opportunity to learn English, American Sign Language and Cued Speech. I am better for it. I believe that the professionals do not give deaf/hard of hearing children the credit they deserve. They are more than capable of learning two languages at once!

I sleep when I can said...

Hi all, first let me introduce myself. I am Gail, a student at Purdue University. I am majoring in Elementary Special Education and I would like to teach deaf children and or children with communication/language delays. I have been married 14 years. I am a mom of 3 boys they are 11, 9 and 7 when they were babies my husband and I taught them some sign.

I wanted to share my excitement about the Rally to support the use of ASL by deaf children (people) on Friday and Saturday at Purdue University. I went both days and had a great time. I loved being able to show my support for the use of ASL for the deaf community. It was great to meet people in the deaf community. They all were so very nice. They knew they needed to sign slower for me, so whenever they were signing to me (or they knew I was part of the conversation) they would sign slower so I would understand. When they were signing to each other or for the video camera they would sign at the normal deaf speed, and I was left behind reminding myself that I still have a long way to go to be fluent in ASL. I am sure I could have asked what is that sign etc but I did not want to interrupt them or slow things down, because I felt all this was for them, and not for me. Also they would check with me to be sure I understood what they signed, and would resign or respell for me as needed. I met many people. When I met one guy he signed his name as Nhoj, like I said they would have to resign sometimes for me. So I asked him sign it again, he did, I thought ok I am still confused so I signed his name back to him Nhoj, he signed yes. I signed that is a weird name, he signed yes weird name. Then later I realized he tricked me and signed his name backward, he was John. LOL a funny joke to play on someone. I asked him later if he could help with an assignment I have in my ASL 202 class it is a presentation we have coming up and he was very kind as he helped me and gave me suggestions to improve my presentation. He was offered a treat by another deaf person at the event while he was helping me and he said no, I am helping her now. Like I said they were all very kind.
Saturday I brought along my 3 boys. We taught our boys sign when they were babies and they each know some sign but not a lot, they know the manual alphabet pretty well and can sign maybe a dozen or two dozen other signs. They knew more when they were younger but they have not used it so they have forgotten it. My husband and I thought it would be a good experience for them to attend this Deaf rally. When I told the boys about it they were excited and wanted to come. We were there for about 2 hours on Saturday. The boys got to meet many members of the deaf community, some were deaf, and some had deaf members in their family. They got to show off a bit of their sign language, getting to introduce their selves to others etc. They meet many people, some were a 12 year old girl who is deaf and her parents (hearing), a mom (hearing) of a deaf girl who is attending Gallaudet, Ray (my ASL 101,102 instructor) Jill (my ASL 201 instructor) John (Jill’s husband who is also deaf) and many more. I think at one point I counted 28 people attending the rally, it was great to see that they came but I wish more people were there to support the rally specifically hearing people. I was disappointed that more of the ASL students did not attend. I asked the boys if they liked the event as we were on the way home and they all said they did, that they loved it and had a great time. I think they were a bit nervous and worried as they signed to the others there because I know they all know the signs better and can sign them faster than they did today.
I had the same problem even though I have gotten all A’s in my ASL classes so far. I kinda worried and would forget a sign or use the wrong sign, when I KNOW better, like I signed paper when I meant school and I know better and one time I completely forgot the sign for ‘deaf’. I think it was just I was nervous as I was signing and having so many deaf people watching me, not that I thought they were judging me, but I still felt nervous. Maybe because I did not feel like I know ASL well enough, maybe because I know they all really know ASL very well but I am not as fluent as they are and for good reason. I just use sign in classes or for fun, with our boys on occasion etc, they (the others in the deaf community) use sign all the time, so I know I would not be as good as they are. I also kinda worried that my poor signing ability and being nervous messing up, forgetting a sign or using the wrong sign would look bad on Ray, Jill and Robin. They have all been great instructors and nice people. I worried the others (of the deaf community) would think, this gal (meaning me) does not know sign very well, she makes silly mistakes and does not know simple signs, and then think it was either because I was not smart or because they (the ASL instructors) were not good instructors. I hope they realize neither is the case that it just was I was silly and nervous and would forget or just use the wrong sign on accident, that I do know better.
Anyway, I really enjoyed participating in the Deaf Rally. I hope to be able to help support the deaf community again.

Gail Marie

dustin gentis said...

Hey all, I was there too. and I had the same joke played on me! but by both the Johns (NOHJs) haha I didn't get it at first either, but i was trying to catch the letters and not the context. Must be fun for them.... haha pickin on us noobs. NE-way I also didn't make any of the highlights on youtube, or at least the ones i viewed ,as of yet. (sad face with smirk) Currently writing a paper about the DBC and this rally, however I can't figure out who was holding the meeting...was it A.G.Bell or HEARINDIANA? or are they connected. I am having trouble figuring this out. Also, dose anyone know where I can find out what AGB does with its money...stocks, product developments, lobby groups ect...??? Thanks to anyone who sends me some help, ( I enjoyed speaking and listening to you all while we were there. (my wife and I)

Dustin Gentis