James Woodenlegs first learned to communicate using Plains Indians Sign Language from his family, when he was growing up on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana. Known as "hand talk" or "sign talk," the language has been used by both deaf and hearing Indians from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico for at least 200 years, possibly much longer.Be sure to visit this website and there is a very interesting video that has an old black and white video of an indian signing (with captions) sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
A few years back I did a blog how one kind of American Indian Sign Language (ISL) used by deaf native American Indians was already vanishing (or it may have vanished by now) because, ironically so, young deaf Native American Indians were forced to use or in this case had no recourse but to communicate in ASL at deaf residential schools they were sent to. And by doing so they gradually lost an important identity and Indian heritage when Indian Sign Language was passed on down through generations. A sign language that was used by both deaf and hearing Indians within their own community or tribe. This disappearance was an unplanned but systematic move over time by a predominately white Deaf culture and community where ASL gradually overtook their ISL preferences even though historically many of the signs in ASL today were derived from or have similar signs seen in Native American ISL.
Below is a passage on how ASL (supposedly the 3rd or 4th most popular language in the U.S. - a highly dubious claim.), English (number one language in the U.S.), and American Deaf culture have helped erode the Keresan Pueblo Indian Sign Language (KPISL) in New Mexico into extinction already. A native Indian sign language used by both deaf and hearing Keresan Pueblo indians.
KPISL is not much used among the pueblo’s younger generation owing to their learning school English, ASL, or signs that follow the spoken English word order. Before the 1990s, American Indian Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing tribal members usually left home to attend a residential school for the deaf located far away. At the school, there was usually no formal instruction of American Indian or American Indian culture and signs; only Deaf culture and ASL were taught, leading many American Indian students to join the “Deaf World.” After graduation, the students had to make difficult decisions about where and how to establish themselves: on the pueblos with hearing families and friends, in urban areas with other Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing people, or in border towns with limited access to both groups.Now, I'm curious.
English has now become the dominant language for many Pueblo Indians. Its use, as well as continued contact with and influences of the dominant culture, has served to erode some of the traditions and values of the Pueblo Indian culture. As a result, KPISL, a valuable piece of American Indian heritage, may be slipping into extinction as well.
Has Mr. Edwin Black actually discussed native American Indian tribes and their culture throughout the U.S. and how they were essentially but systematically "eliminated" in favor of having them integrate into a predominately white culture and English language at his lecture in California to willing Deaf audience? Did he also discuss the eradication of the Keresan Pueblo Indian Sign Language with the help of a predominantly white Deaf culture in favor of ASL along with English, too? Noticed the eerie similarity?
A challenge to the great Mr. Edwin Black, the "eugenics expert."
If you truly think ASL, the Deaf community and culture are in danger of going "extinct" or "eradicated" anytime soon by means of eugenics then best pay attention to the plight of KPISL first which was pushed aside in favor of ASL, English and, ironically, by a pre-dominantly white Deaf culture world. For all we know now it's probably an extinct Indian sign language and Deaf/hearing Indian culture by now a la the "Martha Vineyard" of the southwest. After all, you are the proclaimed "eugenics expert" and should have no problem in writing the next few eugenics articles on Indian Sign Languages used by deaf Native American Indian people and how such a language disappeared in favor of ASL. This is almost exactly how our English language and culture helped nearly destroy North American Indians’ own heritage, language and culture by forcing them to learn English and have them assimilate into American culture in order for them to “survive.” Not quite the Spanish Inquistion led by the great and cruel Torquemada. Yet they did survive and many of these North American Indian culture and heritage remain intact, even growing allowing them to pass on their heritage to the next generation. The forcing of Deaf North American Indians use ASL away from ISL could be seen as doing the same selfish act. And end up abandoning their own ISL for the sake of integration with the rest of the Deaf culture and community. The irony is overwhelming here considering what has happened with the Keresan Pueblo Indian Sign Language and the eugenics lip service on the so-called quickly disappearing Deaf culture, community and ASL.
What is rather disengenuous is to use emotionally laden words by Mr. Black such as "Eugenics – From California to Auschwitz, Implications for the Deaf Community" in the effort to appeal to emotions from the people of California. That's really reaching, not to mention doing the whole nine yards using Godwin's Law.
Now, folks. I could be wrong. Perhaps Mr. Edwin Black is truly concerned about the plight of a disappearing Deaf community, sign language and culture which has grown from few tens of thousands during the Martha Vineyard era of the mid- 1800s to now probably close to a million Deaf people in the United States today. General rule of thumb of my own is that the Deaf population accounts about 1/33rd of the current general population size and apply that ratio to any population year but it probably becomes an increasingly rough estimate going further back in time. With nearly a million Deaf people today using the 3rd most popular language in the United States I suppose all that is considered a vanishing act to Mr. Black for his podium thumping lectures on eugenics. Maybe he's seeing this an opportunity to push his books and stir his name into this pot of mess and gain a bit of notoriety and name reconition in the process? Free publicity I suppose. Who knows what his real agenda and feelings are but it's rather curious to use eugenics as a mean to help stop the AB2072 bill and put it out of existence. All in all this bill is a good bill and it will pass. As for the title of my blog? I'm making a point here if that's of any help.
Under Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word "extremist" as:
1 : advocacy of extreme measures or views : radicalismOk. "Extreme measures" means what? Well, that falls under "extremism" and the dictionary defines it as:
2 : advocacy of extreme measures or views : RADICALISM.So, it's about advocacy and how far one goes to advocating their beliefs and philosophies. But that alone doesn't give us a measuring stick. Let's see what the dictionary says about "radicalism."
1 : the quality or state of being radicalOk. What is a being "radical" then?
I think what we think of radicals here could fall under "b" which is the "tending or disposed to make extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions.
3 a : marked by a considerable departure from the usual or traditional : extreme b : tending or disposed to make extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions c : of, relating to, or constituting a political group associated with views, practices, and policies of extreme change d : advocating extreme measures to retain or restore a political state of affairs.
Now, for babies born with a hearing loss where 90% of them are born into hearing parents. Looking from the perspectives of hearing parents who have no understanding or concept about ASL, Deaf culture and the existence of a Deaf community and for parents to hear from a particular Deaf group who pushes ASL first or ASL only agenda onto hearing parents could possible see them as an "extremist group." Especially if they advocate such a law that would force parents to take ASL and provide ASL for their own baby born with a hearing loss (regardless on hearing loss amount from mild to profound). Which brings me back to a recent blog piece I did, "F*ck you, Deaf community! ".
That blog piece I pointed out to readers of a forum that is frequented mostly by hearing parents of a child with hearing loss. One parent vented in anger when he had Deaf people come up to him and basically called him a "monster" and other names while in the presence of his deaf child with a cochlear implant. The decision this parent took wasn't easy when it came to choosing cochlear implant but it was his decision. I'm sure no parents would like being told of what to do with his or her child with a hearing loss and infringe on their basic right in making parental decisions.
And here it all boils down to the AB2072 bill. A bill that gives parents the opportunity to be informed of all communication options in an unbiased format such as what is written on a pamphlet for parents of children that were diagnosed with hearing loss. That way they can begin their direction on being fully informed and soon make an informed decision without feeling being pushed, cajoled, looked down upon, feeling lost, pressured and what not.
Remember, a hearing parents' perspective (or the hearing community) is vastly different from Deaf people on how each of them view a world without sound. For hearing people to hear how certain Deaf groups behave in the effort to make hearing parents feel guilty, to try and push the ASL only or ASL first agenda and even the ideological attempt to try and bypass parental rights to make their own decisions regarding which communication and educational paths they feel is right for their child with a hearing loss. That's enough for hearing people to see these groups as crackpots, extremists, a bunch of idiots, yahoos, and whatever name or image it may pop up in the minds of hearing people.
Maybe what this person did in the Wikipedia entry was a joke. Maybe a point was trying to be made there. Who knows. But it certainly not impossible to fathom the idea that many hearing parents would in fact see certain Deaf advocacy groups as being "extremists" in their actions or beliefs. I or other people might not see it that way but I'm sure there are many who do see it that way. It certainly didn't help some Deaf groups' image when they went out in public to protest against ALL COMMUNICATION OPTIONS in the AB2072 bill. Doing so I'm sure many people would've seen them as going to extremes in not accepting a bill that would allow parents be given information on ALL COMMUNICATION OPTIONS. Who would be foolish to disagree with such an idea?
Now, I'm hearing murmuring that Deafread should get me "blacklisted." Well, good luck with that as you tried to push Tayler to stop providing links that discusses cochlear implant in Deafread as well as having issues in DVTV in getting him to do your bidding and control his creative work. Tayler already knows in his video about me to O'Lois on how I do my blogging. He understands.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
BTW, do you take much stock into Wikipedia nowadays?
Yet, when you click on the "Deafhood" it links to it's own Wikipedia entry on "Deafhood." And I couldn't help but noticed this entry.
Numerous deaf and hearing people view 'deafhood' as a closed society, largely due to long history of rejections against those who do not practice and use pure ASL (American Sign Language). Those who did not practice pure ASL were generally rejected by people who practice deafhood theory. For instance, numerous deaf people were categorized as 'deafless' because they were not deaf enough therefore they were rejected from the deafhood community. Numerous deaf individuals that choose to wear cochlear implants, hearing aids and use different communication methods / devices were also rejected by the deafhood community. The general deaf community sees deafhood as an extremist group.Again, here's a screen capture of that entry, too.
Interesting. I'm sure entries will change again and again and again and again and again and again....ad nauseum.
Disclaimer: I am only reporting this as I just found out about it. Somebody created these Wikipedia entries and not I.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
This is about letting parents make the decision and not the government. No government or any other entity or agency will be doing the decision for parents. This is about empowering parents in making their own decision where an agency or government says, "Here you go, you decide." This exactly how it should be done rather than a government making the decision for parents of newborns diagnosed with hearing loss. The best way to lose your independence is when a government ends up making decisions for you. This would be an example of interfering into people lives rather than helping them make their own decisions for a change provided that they are given adequate and proper information so they can make an informed decision. Once a government starts to make decisions for parents of newborns diagnosed with hearing loss would be the day when the government practices communism.
However, this bill would force audiologists to provide information given to them on ALL communication options, including ASL. If there are biased audiologists out there who do not favor ASL they would soon be forced to provide parents the various communication methods and shall include ASL. The audiologists do not decide for the parents. The government does not decide for the parents. State, regional or local agencies do not decide for the parents. Advocacy groups do not get to decide for the parents of newborns diagnosed with hearing loss such as CAD, CENIAS, NAD, DBC, NORCAL, DCARA, Deafhood Yoga, and any other organizations. The sole decision makers are the parents. This is what the Senate will recognize and understand.
The problem is that those who oppose this bill often spend more time going after AGBell and other similar organizations rather than to focus and promote ASL itself. AGBell has a position paper written up some 5 years ago on their position on ASL.
American Sign Language(ASL), Total Communication, Cued Speech, and Listening and Spoken Language communication options for children with hearing loss, including, but not limited to, information about deaf and hard-of-hearing organizations, agencies and early intervention centers, and educational programs.
AG Bell acknowledges that a chosen approach depends on culture, family interests, and desired communication outcome. AG Bell believes that the language and communication approach chosen should be based on an informed decision made by the child’s parents/family and based on their own unique circumstances.Again, it's about parental choice but parents need to be informed of all communication options, including ASL, the educational choices and the many services and advocacy groups on hearing loss that are available to the parents. AGBell believes in choices and believes that the AB2072 bill is about that in a letter to Tony Mendoza.
With respect to American Sign Language (ASL), AG Bell acknowledges ASL as a language in and of itself. AG Bell also recognizes ASL’s importance in Deaf culture as a unique feature, and a language that many take pride in learning. AG Bell does not believe that ASL should be prohibited or restricted as a choice, nor does AG Bell advocate against learning ASL as part of a child’s overall development if that is what the child’s parents desire.
Regardless of chosen language or communication approach, AG Bell believes that families should have early access to professionals with specialized education and training in the desired language or communication method."
AG Bell believes that the language and communication approach chosen should be based on an informed decision made by the child's parents/family and based on their own unique circumstances. Regardless of chosen language or communication approach, families should have early access to professionals with specialized education and training in the desired language or communication outcome.Senator Elaine K. Alquist who is the chair in the Senate Health Committee wrote up an analysis (on June 9, 2010) on the AB2072 bill, deafness, the issues involved, and about the deaf culture and community. This analysis has a firm grasp of everything. Senator Elaine K. Alquist makes a conclusion and recommendation to the committee (note the bolded portion):
AG Bell believes it is important that organizations that advocate for or work with individuals with hearing loss work together to broaden health care providers' understanding of all communication methods so that upon identification, unbaised information about all options can be made available to parents and their children.
Both parties agree that information ought to be in an unbiased format and that stakeholders in each of the communication option shall be a part of helping the development of this pamphlet for parents of newborn babies diagnosed with a hearing loss.
Both supporters and opposition to this bill agree that any information provided to parents of deaf children should be unbiased, based on scientific facts, and come from a reliable, neutral third-party source. To address this, the committee suggests amendments to require that either DDS or CDE develop or approve the use of standardized, objective pamphlet of information about communication options for children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, that is sufficient to allow the child's parents to make an informed decision. This information shall be decided upon by the department in conjunction with a stakeholder panel, comprised of representatives of the various communication options. The cost for developing the pamphlet and conducting the stakeholder panel shall be covered through the development of an additional state fund to accept private donations for this purpose. The provisions of the bill shall only be made operative after sufficient funds have been collected to cover necessary expenses.
No conspiracy theories.
No AGBell boogie monster under the bed.
No Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies in the attempt to label this bill and Tony Mendoza.
And none of the eugenics stuff that Edwin Black erroneously tried to infer about the Deaf community and culture's own future.
Just a straight up bill that is designed to help parents make an informed decision regarding their child diagnosed with a hearing loss.
If you disagree, disagree on the merit of the argument itself and not about trying to concoct some "end of the world" scenario here. The bill does include ASL as one of the many communication options whether used alone or in conjunction with other options. So, that is an important step. The ASL community will still have a stake in this once this bill is signed by the governor which, ironically so, at one time played a deaf and mute hit-man for a mob in a 1973 movie "The Long Goodbye."
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I think this is a good bill. It's an opportunity to capitalize ASL even further once passed.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Addendum: I removed the videos since it'd be pointless to have my video up if the DDD's video isn't up to see what the joke is all about.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Warning: This poll is not a scientific poll.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Yeah, I bet you wouldn't.
(correction: changed "Vincent" to "Vinton" which is his correct first name).
Thursday, June 10, 2010
These two Deaf ladies obviously saw my vlog a few days ago on "audism," "deafhood," and "deaf hate crime." They decided to do a mocking vlog on me yet I'm honored at the same time that they even took the time and effort to do this. Also, kudos to them on their creativity! I decided to promote their video here on my Kokonut Pundit blog! And a special surprise, too. This blog is my 1,500th blog! Big thanks to the two ladies for helping me make my 1,500th blog piece!
ADDENDUM: My video removed since it refers to DDD's video below which is no longer available.
I'm honored! Thank you ladies for watching my vlog!
Now, folks, watch the Deaf Dynamic Duo in action! Holy Kleenix, Batman! Warning: it is not subtitled.
DDD's VIDEO REMOVED - not working.
UPDATE: As you may have noticed the "Dynamic Duo's" video is no longer available. It was deleted. Interesting. And I wonder why? Also, more of their videos are no longer public but made private. I wonder why? Are they insecure about showing their videos to the general public and make them fully accessible to watch? Why the sudden deletion, ladies?
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Monday, June 07, 2010
Here's my video seen below.
In the beginning I sign, and then I switch over to voice just to make a point, and then in the end I resume signing. This was brought up when ASL1817 used the opportunity to slam Russell Errigo about his speaking ability even though he didn't ask ASL1817's opinion for it. It was all centered around a topic about Russell's son, Dominic, and his ability to speak and listen with the use of his cochlear implant. A success if anything else. It's a double edged sword when you happen to be the deaf parents of a deaf child in a Deaf community even though the parents know ASL but gets their child implanted with cochlear implant at age 2. This is all about early intervention. Something that, apparently so, Russell and his wife knew about early on. You can find the video of Russell's son and the comments that came with it in YouTube.
Here's my response to ASL1817's attempt to slam Russell in more ways than one.
Sunday, June 06, 2010
Saturday, June 05, 2010
If you want to join and be part of this group that discusses anything from hearing loss issues to video recitals to web chats to discussing the history of music, you'll have to start by going here to begin the membership process. And join the growing ranks of adult musicians with hearing loss.