Are you part of the Disaster or part of the Solution? Help the Media "Get It"


There has been some v/blogging about the two articles in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel covering the Deaf Bilingual Coalition conference and rallies and the AG Bell Association’s convention.

Some have gone as far as to refer to it as a “media disaster”

Some important quotes on MEDIA / PRESS:

The most important service rendered by the press and the magazines is that of educating people to approach printed matter with distrust.

Samuel Butler (1612-1680) British poet and satirist.

Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic diseases of the twentieth century, and more than anywhere else this disease is reflected in the press.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918-?) Russian novelist, dramatist and historian.

Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper.

George Orwell (1903-1950) British novelist, essayist, and critic.

The definition of DISASTER:
1. An occurrence causing widespread destruction and distress; a catastrophe. A grave misfortune.
2. Informal. A total failure.

These vlogs / blogs and comments placing their trust in the media over their trust in the Deaf Bilingual Coalition are very interesting entries.

I am all for challenging each other and offering input and suggestions. There does seem to be some irony here. That we cry and scream for Deaf unity – and I don’t think I have ever witnessed a greater case of it than at the DBC conference and rallies this past weekend – yet we jump to assume the worse in the DBC and the best in the media.

We do not do anyone/thing justice by taking quotes out of context.

We do not do anyone/thing justice by assuming the media got it right and the Deaf individuals have gotten it wrong.

We do not do anyone/thing justice by not exercising critical thinking and analysis when getting information via the media.

Two core members of the DBC were interviewed at great length on Sunday while a peaceful group of supporters watched. I witnessed the statistics, facts, and positions the DBC media representatives delineated to the newspaper reporter and to see only a few points make it to press, is disappointing to say the least.

The MEDIA is not gonna “get it” overnight folks.

It is not gonna take one person saying all the right things, using all the right words to get the press to “get it.”

Its gonna take a lot of WORK. Its gonna take a lot of TIME. And its gonna take a lot of COMMITMENT from folks not to go pointing the finger at others on how they should do things but rather themselves figuring out how THEY THEMSELVES can contribute constructively and directly to helping the media to “get it.”

We saw it during the “not Deaf enough” and the “designer Deaf baby” media MISrepresentation. Doesn’t matter how often you say it, how many small words you use, how many illustrations you draw, they are not gonna get it until we start showing:
1. we are not going away
2. we who were not…are
3. we are awake and alive and we will be heard

So I would ask ya all – instead of blogging / vlogging about a media disaster that never happened (folks say any publicity is good publicity – and I don’t think any of the quotes within the full context they were written are even bad) – instead ya all could be writing letters to the reporters of the articles, sending letters to the editor of your local newspaper, writing to your congress person, contacting a TV news program…

Do SOMETHING to help get the message out there that Deaf babies are entitled to sign language, that bilingualism constitutes more of a choice than an oral / aural ONLY upbringing, that being bicultural does not make the child a foreigner in her/his own home, that if we said we believe French children in the US should learn French as well as English – no one would bat an eye, that…..

It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.


Patti Durr

36 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. DE
    Jul 02, 2008 @ 23:59:44

    Hand waves, Patti! My already deep admiration for you just gone off the cliff!!!!

    I’m laughing at a certain vlogger who is claiming that this is a media disaster and calling for new leaders in DBC… this certain vlogger was not even there at Milwaukee last week. What does this person know? Nor what direct action or actual interaction with subalterns has this certain vlogger ever done? Oh yeah, it’s the Deaf who are always wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong, and that the (hearing) media is always right right right right.

    I’m still feeling goosebumps at the wonderful mobilization in Milwaukee last weekend. Deaf people and hearing allies from ALL walks of life came together and TRIUMPHED.

    Love you, Patti. So glad you came to Milwaukee. You are such a gem.


  2. Richard Roehm
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 01:02:03

    Where’s the blog / vlog calling it a media disaster? I think youre just spewing out horse apples.

  3. Karen Mayes
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 04:33:13

    Well, I understand what you are saying, but come to think of it… there are MORE anti-AGBell v/blogs written by deaf people and I am sure that the reporters did check them out (DeafRead, especially.) The negative postings do speak LOUDER, easy to leave lasting impressions on new parents. Also, check AGBell website out and there is no articles against DBC by AGBell (except for “Demonstrations
    AG Bell would like our attendees to be aware that a demonstration is expected to occur outside of the Midwest Airlines Center and Hilton Milwaukee City Center during Convention. AG Bell recognizes that differing viewpoints exist within the deaf and hard of hearing community and respects the rights of those viewpoints to be expressed in a positive and lawful manner. AG Bell’s primary goal is to provide an enjoyable environment for attendees at all of our events.”

    That is why I think there is a need for DBC to cease the attacks against AGBell and to start focusing on the target audience and start putting effort into educating hospitals and clinics where newborn screenings occur.

    Plus DBC’s “Gearing Up” is pretty negative… for a first impression, period.

  4. egbertpress
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 05:28:46


    Yes, how true that the media’s misinterpretation can lead to two Deafread editor’s Vlogging/Blogging that created a big misunderstanding among the Deaf Community as well as the parents of Deaf children and also caused some of their commenters’ negative/misguided opinions about DBC.

    Thank you so much Patti for teaching us about how media can cause chaos and misunderstandings.

  5. Amy Cohen Efron
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 05:30:10


    I am fully aware that media always provided a distorted picture of what is truly happening.

    What I am seeing is that people are taking a proactive approach by producing more and more videos and blogs about their experiences at the conference.

    It is wonderful to see how inspired they are with the experience. I can see that you are very inspired, Patti! I am inspired to see that our Deaf community is speaking up about how important American Sign Language means to them, and value bilingualism for all young deaf children.

    DBC’s website is becoming better with more entries on summaries of presentation, and more uplifting vlogs too! Don’t stop! Keep it coming.

    Karen Mayes’ comment above made a very important step that it is a high time for DBC to channel all their energies to focus on the target audience with all possible efforts into educating hospitals, clinics and 0-3 programs. It is an excellent suggestion, Karen.

    Amy Cohen Efron

  6. deafchipmunk
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 05:55:45

    Hi Patti,

    Thanks so much for making logical discussion.

    Most important of all is to grab media attention. It is just the beginning. The media is now aware of DBC and its mission. We can learn how to get our message across.

    Well done and your article did a great job!


  7. Tami
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 06:58:59

    Well said and perfectly correct in what took place with the media. I stopped buying the newspaper a year ago just because I was tired of this very issue.

    We must continue to educate those around us including those that attend AGBell conferences and are members of this association. Many of them don’t have full and accurate information regarding the benefits of ASL in early language acquisition. A big majority of AGBell members do not even know the history of how Alexander Graham Bell advocated early on when it came to eugenics. Many do not know the damage that the oral only approach has done in the lives of many Deaf individuals. They only know the here and now. Knowledge of history is vitally important in the education process.

    Karen…doctors, audiologists, speech pathologists, and new parents attend AGBell’s conferences. I registered and attended several workshops, saw their exhibits, and stayed at the Hilton with the hearing families. I saw who their attendees were and how they were being educated.
    We cannot possibly say that AGBell is not the target audience. Through their message, their membership of families, children, and the medical society ARE affected and influenced by mis-information of the oral only approach.
    One of DBC’s goals is to turn this around and have parents, families, and the medical society attend our DBC conferences. Being visual and rallying for ASL is another POSITIVE means of educating. Seven hundred people who came to support DBC and attend the DBC Education Conference can testify to this.

    Rome wasn’t built in a day. But with the growing support of so many enthusiastic and motivated people who attended the conference and who will go back to their own home states to continue working the mission, I believe we finally are on the way to making huge differences in the lives of deaf babies and their families.

  8. dog food
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 07:04:24

    you use alot of “we”.

    talk for yourself for a change.

  9. RLM
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 07:43:04

    DBC seems not really the media-savvy as the DBC Media Committee should be!

    That’s why I urged the DBC to hire the Public Relations specialist and several Communication majors for more effective media exposures and balanced news reportings on Amy Cohen Efron’s vlog/blog last weekend.

    From what I have seen the Gally media handlings to be most horrendeous and disorganized media efforts ever I seen in my entire life.

    I don’t know if the DBC have the media packages readibly available for news reporters.

    Many news reporters like media packages which are much easier and effective for them to absorb the meaning of event itself, etc.

    Give substantial attention to news reporters, not just give them “media package”. Ask them if they want some drinks or need to interview particular individual.

    Get chummy with news reporters before any incoming event and get them on your side. That is basically a human warmth and rapport- part of psychological and personal connection.

    I still stand by my blog posting about the Milwaukee media outlets being biased and ignorant toward DBC.

    Robert L. Mason (RLM)

  10. Mishkazena
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 08:27:55

    We are a part of the solution 🙂

    I’ve stated from the beginning that DBC is a complete success. The Deaf participants left with big smiles, feeling inspired and empowered. This is really terrific, for a baby organization, not even one year. How impressive is that? I *hand waving* DBC leaders and volunteers for doing a terrific job.

    However, everybody is still learning. We need some improvements and that’s where we hear from concerned Deaf people who truly love Deaf Community, Deaf Babies and Deaf Children. We need to hear constructive feedback so we can do a even better job the next time. That was not a criticism, but a suggestion.

    I’ve worked with the media for a long time. It requires a savvy person to be careful with what to say. I’ve been coached to stress one area, not the other area, ever mindful about the reporter’s ignorance. So the reporter won’t misunderstand us. Deaf people know what we are talking about. We need to see that hearing parents get the same message, but they don’t have the background to understand. Keep the messages simple.

    I want to reamphasize that the DBC convention is a big success. Smile.

    Again congratulations!!

  11. Shelley Potma
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 09:16:37


    Thank you for a well-written post. I agree with all your points. We are just beginning to get media attention.

    Having been there at the convention, I was impressed by the presentations, and my sons have learned a thing or two from the rallies 😉


  12. I'm off to see the Wizard
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 10:35:08

    In other words, Patti, you are telling us to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain?

  13. Nick Vera
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 10:38:20

    Hi Patti,

    Great blogs that you shared the perspectives of the media in their misinterpretation in our group.

    I strongly recommended DBC core team to form another public relation committee and establish the diplomatic relations with the media outlets to clarify DBC’s mission purposes and others. For perfect example, MishkaZena is a good candidate for the head of public relation committee or a head advisor. Otherwise, if you know anyone who might be interested to involve in the committee. Indeed, teamwork sometimes put into their conflicts to express every individual’s opinion and views and essentially find the right solution to team up with the common goal. That’s what I want to see DBC to achieve in a positive way to expose the hearing media outlets and to make them comphrend our goal to save our language for deaf babies/children.

    Perhaps, we could find a celebrity who would become a outspokeperson and endorse DBC organization for the behalf of deaf babies/children to preserve our beautiful language.

    Just a diamond cent to drop the golden pot to shine our future generations. Smile!

    You made an exceptational journal on your blog.



  14. pdurr
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 11:59:55

    Thanks all for ur comments

    DE – back at ya!

    Richard Roehm – “spewing out horse apples” WHAT??? Smile – the Media Disaster was largely brought up in comment threads in the three or four v/blogs telling DBC how they should handle the media / press etc

    Karen – ur comment re: negativity – hmmm I have seen folks leave very negative comments about DBC and DBC core members – are not they themselves harming the greater good if the media is scoping out these sources (which my impression is that the media does not consult b/vlogs as knowledge sources as there are no oversights or mechanisms for verification and authentificaiton

    Re: What should be on DBC’s agenda might be better suited over at the DBC site. However, from my view of things – DBC was BORN out of its opposition to the misinformation or lack of information the AG Bell Association provides to parents – it all started with the rally / demonstration at the AG Bell Assoc meeting in VA so to advise DBC to forget and forgo its roots when it is shy of its 1 year anniversary and when we r just beginning to see some progress – I am not sure it is entirely wise.

    I totally understand why u advise such and my question would be – why don’t u form an organization that just promotes bi-bi without interacting with AG Bell – the more groups we have pursuing similar agendas the more progress we will see.

    John – true the media is a very tricky and fickle creator – b/vlogs are definitely a form of media

    Amy – Maybe you could work with Karen to set up a group that focuses entirely on Bi-B in hospitial and clinics without any focus on AG Bell association? Im sure you’d make a great team.

    For myself – I have to totally commend DBC for its two prong approach – it is making leaps and bounds with educating folks about bi-bi and sharing research and facts while simultaneously PEACEFULLY and LOVINGLY showing AG Bell association members what INFORMED choice truly means.

    Deafchip – was thrilled to see u be part of the blue ribbon ceremony

    Tami – I agree

    It was so wise of DBC to have there first conference at the same time and location as the AG Bell association

    We have a great deal of myths about each other and we have rarely sat down across from each other at the table of brotherhood/sisterhood just to chat

    I had several very good and telling discussions with AG Bell members, which I hope to vlog about soon

    Dog food – can u come up with a better name for urself? When I use “we” I mean “we” – when I use me – I mean me myself and I – and I promise you I never mean dog food

    RLM – PR folks cost BIG money – if u can find a good one that will take on DBC pro bono – im sure the core team would love the names for them to consider

    Re: all your tips on how to be media savvy – how about utilizing them yourself to get one media outlet to cover DBC in a correct manner – then we can see how it is properly done.

    Mishkazena – ur kudos to DBC are well deserved and appreciated. Since you are experienced and savvy with the media – I am wondering if you can get one media outlet to cover DBC in the correct light.

    I am only saying this to you and RLM because you are investing a lot in telling others how to do things when I know for a fact that they have tried to do ALL the things if not more that u suggested.

    U are totally right we are all learning. And we can all be quoted out of context or misunderstood or misrepresented. What I am asking from your folks who have this media savvy aptitude – cant u go to your media outlets and try to get them to cover bi-bi issues for Deaf children? Doesn’t have to be specific to DBC

    Shelley – so glad u attended the DBC conference and found it valuable for urself and ur sons. Re: “just beginning to get media attention” yes it is largely the result of DBC firing off a Press Wire which is VERY VERY VERY expensive – that got the medias attention to do follow up interviews

    I’m off to see the wizard – not sure I follow u? im certainly not telling folks to ignore the media or to ignore AG Bell assoc. I am saying if u think u can do it better – PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do it – contact the media and get them to get it right. Contact AG bell association and get them to provide ALL the info to parents

    Nick – Thanks for your diamond cent. I am confident that DBC’s media team will have a debriefing to discuss successes and ways to improve for their next media opportunities etc. I do hope that all the GREAT talent we have out on the internet right now via b/vlogging will try their hand at reaching out to the mainstream media outlets to get the message loud, clear and accurate out there.

  15. Mishka Zena
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 12:49:45

    Please do not assume I haven’t done anything regarding the media contacts.

    Thanks 🙂

  16. pdurr
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 12:54:47

    Mishka Zena

    my bad – pls do give me links or point me in the direction where you have been quoted by the mainstream media or your editorials have appeared in their sources re: bilingualism.

    And also pls forgive me for my assumption – since i hadnt seen anything posted previously – i was making an assumption and i know assumptions can be dangerous. My apologies and ya hoo for breaking through to the media re: bilingualism

    looking forward to the sources



  17. Mishka Zena
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 13:18:26

    I said I have been in contact with the media regarding DBC activities. I didn’t say that I was quoted.

  18. pdurr
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 13:21:06


    Je sais! Je sais! It was not surprising that the blogpost about the media disaster should have been epistled by Patti Durr. I have taken the media with a grain of salt since I read in college the 17th century poet John Milton’s Areopagitica. To day, more and more average readers have begun to realise that the media are like chameleons. Most of today’s journalists are not interested in truth and disregard Poet Milton’s line: “Give me [the jouranlists who only seek truth] the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.” The much beloved Tim Russert was like Milton.

    Peace for “We, the People”,
    Jean had trouble posting this comment – something weird with word press boo – thanks for emailing it to me jean and i apologize for the trouble u had. will try to get to the root of it

  19. Amy Cohen Efron
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 14:20:01


    Thank you for encouraging me to work with Karen Mayes for the important goal. I am receptive and open to this opportunity. Karen, are you interested?

    I am hopeful that more people including you, and many others can see the importance of sharing information to the target audience which truly need to hear information about ASL/Bilingualism. They are parents, doctors, and clinics/hospitals where they deliver babies. That is the target audience.

    Two pronged approach is necessary for the development of an organization. Educating members about the organization’s mission, and also educate the public about the organization’s purpose. That requires two different discourses and information sharing processes. That requires two different media packages. Two different ways of communicating to the media.

    During the DBC educational conference and celebration rally, there was an article written in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that does not present a balanced picture of what is happening. I reacted to this article. On my blog, I wrote my letter to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel of my concerns, and I did get the response from the reporter.

    Lastly, any new and budding organization should appreciate and embrace any kinds of constructive feedback, because the reciprocity between the organization and the public is very important. It is extremely beneficial for an organization to receive positive and negative feedback because people do make their time to write or create videos of their feedback. It shows that the public do care what is happening.

    Professional respect and responding with courtesy to the audience is expected from an organization. I spoke up with a constructive feedback, then what do I get, lack of respect, and a flurry of ‘damage control’ to minimize my feedback.

    Then where is reciprocity? I was very positive by releasing the video, The Greatest Irony for everyone to view in three weeks in honor for DBC and NAD conferences. I made a special vlog explaining about NAD’s president Bobbie Beth Scoggins giving an important presentation at DBC about the EHDI process. I wrote a letter to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel challenging their unbalanced article. Then, lastly, I offered a feedback to DBC – and it seems like they are not receptive to this feedback.

    That makes me wonder.

    Does DBC value the audience’s feedback which is either positive and not positive too?

    The answer is undoubtedly yes with professional courtesy and respect, including from the leaders of DBC too.

    Did I get that professional courtesy and respect at this time? Especially on your blog and comments? No.

    Amy Cohen Efron

  20. pdurr
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 14:52:28

    Mishka Zena

    thanks for clarifying that u have been in contact with the media but not yet been quoted

    pls do let me know if u meet with success – it is really important that we learn from each other how to break through. appreciate what u r doing being time

    jean- thanks for ur comment. i do think it is no fault of anyone specifically in how the media covers the AGB / DBC thing. The biggest thing on their mind was like “you are against CI right?” and when DBC said “we are about language rights / human rights.” the media kinda seemed to loose interest – almost like pouting but but but

    Amy – thank you for delineating all u have been doing re: the media. i am glad u wrote a letter to the milwaukee reporter and got a response

    has any of your work made it into the mainstream media – what i mean is has any TV station, radio station, press / newspaper quoted your letter or quoted your “Greatest Irony” video?

    By asking this i do not mean – you have not done enough or you have done wrong.

    no no no – by asking this i am seeking to find examples of who / how we can break through to the media.

    everything u have done to promote bilingualism for Deaf babies is IMPORTANT. every bit of it counts and makes a difference

    My blog entry was about how folks were criticizing DBC members quotes in the newspaper (some taking them out of context) and/or the lack of coverage or the lack of the full scope of the issue being represented.

    To me that is a glaring error of the MEDIA/PRESS and not necessarily DBC.

    Can DBC learn more and grow more and improve more as it relates to the media – BIG TIME. we all can.

    What i was trying to say is that it was the media/press that controls what gets published or aired or quoted as such etc and not DBC or its members

    So pls let me know of examples of where u have met with success in getting ur quotes or articles or letters into the press or mainstream media outlets. I dont ask this cuz i think you are sitting around doing nothing but complaining and criticizing. I dont ask this cuz i want to keep u busy or im trying to be disrespectful – i ask EACH of us to do something – to send these emails or call or write editorials etc in the hopes that someone will get through

    and i was asking those folks who have broken through to the media – to share examples and how they have done it to guide our way

    You conclude with:
    “Did I get that professional courtesy and respect at this time? Especially on your blog and comments? No.”

    can you help pinpoint where i have personally not given you professional courtesy or respect in this blog entry or in my comments? I truly do mean this with an open heart. we are often very blind to what we do and how it affects others and i am always very eager to learn how to improve myself

    I am not advocating that no one give DBC constructive feedback – it is needed and important – i am just saying that the constructive feedback may have been better directed towards the MEDIA / PRESS as they are the ones who actually controlled what got printed and communicated and shared and WHAT DID NOT.

    Looking forward to your helping me see how specifically i have wronged you – you are important to me

    re: the response u got from the milwaukee reporter – could u get permission to post that in ur site or in the comment section below – im just trying to get a full picture on how the media views this issue and responds to us etc.

    re: u and karen teaming up – that would be AWESOME!



  21. Mishka Zena
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 15:04:25

    I would make another recommendation that the DBC leaders make themselves available to the Deaf Community for questions after this terrific convention.

    I wanted to speak with the DBC founder, John, to clarify that I was NOT criticizing DBC, but to offer constructive feedback and suggestions. However he said he wasn’t available and if I want to talk with him, I can meet him at NAD. That is a problem as I won’t be going to NAD.

    However, Ella has graciously agreed to talk with me over the weekend. I do look forward to talk with her as she always has a lot of interesting ideas to share. 🙂

  22. egbertpress
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 16:49:26


    I love it when you encourage people to DO IT rather than complain about other people’s effort to promote betterment in education, community, etc.

    Crab Theory has been destroying thousands of Deaf people’s desire to help the Deaf Community in the past years.

    John Egbert

  23. Mishka Zena
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 17:03:59

    I am not Amy, but I’ll answer this. Your post come across as ‘scolding’ because, as a blogger and vlogger, we tried to provide constructive feedback, encouraging them. We’ve already contacted the media ourselves, including that reporter, and tried to educate them..

    Here we saw DE laughing and jeering at Amy sarcastically. John also accused us of creating a big misunderstanding among the Deaf Community. The messages from them imply that as b/vloggers, we do not have the right to be concerned and provide constructive suggestions. If the DBC leaders cannot handle constructive feedback, how can they take the heat from the critics? They also need to be mindful how the lack of their professionalism as DBC leaders affects how the public view DBC.

    I’ve corresponded with NAD. They were appreciative of the feedback, both the positive and negative, as they need to hear from the Deaf Community. These constructive feedback help them meet their members’ needs better.

    By the way, when I was interviewed, I was very careful and didn’t give any room for the reporter to distort my messages. I kept them short and concise. As a result, none of the articles came out with misstatements. In fact, the reporters were very understanding and sympathetic. In other words, they have become my asset. DBC can benefit from our feedback and get the media to be their allies.

    By the way, I do not moderate my blog with the exception of unacceptable conduct. Both sides are welcome to comment. Regarding the criticism, I will be the first one to tell people I’ve been criticized and bashed many times in my own blog by my readers. These comments were published.

  24. Mishka Zena
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 17:22:46

    I forgot one thing. When my readers disagree with me, I don’t accuse them of practicing crab theory. I listen to their objections and respond back, continuing our dialogue constructively. Once in a while, we agree to disagree. I don’t make it personal.

    Apparently some people chose to overlook the positive comments I made regarding DBC’s successful convention.

  25. pdurr
    Jul 04, 2008 @ 05:36:20

    hi Mishka – thanks for pointing out that my entry came across as scolding

    i think perhaps that is the danger of offering constructive criticism

    Some of the b/vlogs that offer feedback to DBC on how to deal with the press without offering any analysis of how the media works can come off as scolding also

    whats more – many of them have very patronizing tone

    “i know best. i have experience. i am media savvy. this is how its done kids. What a media nightmare, No, no, no DBC thats not the way to do it….”

    for my part – i do apologize to any v/blogger who has taken offense and i will re-read my entry to figure out how i could have stated my point without appearing to be scolding

    Scolding is a big difference from unprofessional and disrespectful so im still eager to hear from amy

    re: ur other statements – i cant really comment because they seem to be directed at John

    It seems to me folks r feeling hurt and defensive

    for any way i have contributed to those feelings – i say sorry

    how about we start over:

    can DBC improve – yes
    can our own b/vlogging improve – yes
    can we examine how the media/press needs to be challenged – yes
    can we share examples of success for when we get the media to get it – yes



  26. Mishka Zena
    Jul 04, 2008 @ 06:36:32


    Not only I, but several others already made constructive suggestions in the past about presenting concepts to the parents and the media and also the importance of the public perception. These suggestions were rejected.

    Had you read my post, I have already made an excellent suggestion: “I would like to make a recommendation that the DBC leaders work together on making the goals of DBC more consistent to the public and the media.”

    In other words, if audism, oracy, and cochlear implants are discussed with the public and media, these concepts should be incorporated in the mission statement, too as that isn’t related to bilingualism.

    This way the public can review the ideas in depth on the DBC site and see a new perspective.

    That would be a good solution.

  27. Karen Mayes
    Jul 04, 2008 @ 10:17:56

    Check this link out… what he says makes a lot of sense (linear thinking, corners, etc.)

  28. pdurr
    Jul 04, 2008 @ 12:58:20

    MZ – who has a scolding tone now?

    i have read ur post

    i simply disagree with u

    i feel that the DBC is doing a good job with the media and that their website is clear (although it could be much easier to navigate and have things organized better)

    they state:

    Our Purpose
    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.

    There will be NO WAY to discuss the denial of the right to bilingualism for Deaf babies and children in the US without discussing AUDISM and ORAL / AURAL ONLY APPROACHES via CI and AVT

    I think the goals of the DBC have been communicated to the public and media consistently. It is clear that the first milwaukee article’s intention was to make this a binary argument – CI / Speech vs. ASL. that is old news and a very oral stance – bilingualism has always said ASL and English not oral only or ASL only

    MZ i dont really want to beat this dead horse – we can see the milwaukee articles as half empty or half full – we can see them as what DBC should have done differently or what the media should have done differently

    the bottom line is that U CARE incredibly about the Deaf community, ASL and English and justice


    i agree that u have lavished more kudos and praise on the DBC conference in your post than u did criticism

    i think perhaps i was responding to the many many many comments that have been fostering a bit of a feeding frenzy instead of “hey, how can we unite and push the agenda forward” instead lots of pointing the finger

    this does not mean that we all have to agree 100% on everything

    this is what was quoted in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
    We aren’t concerned about implants per se,” said Ella Mae Lentz of Hayward, Calif., a member of the coalition, who will join in protests outside the Midwest Airlines Center, where the AG Bell Conference will take place.

    “We’re concerned about the audism behind the implants – this belief that hearing is more advantageous than being deaf. It’s the same as racism,” she said.

    I dont really have a problem with these statements. I think they fit into the DBCs purpose. In fact im thrilled to see the term AUDISM used in a major city newspaper. The more we can use the term appropriately the more we will be able to aid people in understanding how the denial of ASL to Deaf babies and children has been perpetuated in the US and to what ends it has met with

    to me it is obvious that the reporters were going after the CI angle and it couldnt be further deflected. I saw a reporter do this after the 2nd rally also. they are far more interested in painting a CI vs ASL picture than understanding what bilingualism really means

    MZ thanks for this dialogue

    Much peace


  29. moi
    Jul 04, 2008 @ 13:35:41

    Awesome post and I loved your latest response to MishkaZena. I think its important to her that we recognize her positive words. Everything you said was spot-on in my opinion. As always, thank you for your caring, kind, thoughtful words that attempt to see all sides of the equation, while maintaining a clear Deaf center.!!

  30. DE
    Jul 04, 2008 @ 13:44:41


    I echo moi’s sentiments. You invest so much time to foster peace, love, and understanding, yet remain strong and firm in your belief of Deaf people’s capabilities, not deficiencies. Thank you. Others can (and should) do well to emulate you.

    Can I be your neighbor, so I get to talk with you everyday? Pretty please?


  31. Brian Riley
    Jul 05, 2008 @ 00:48:47

    Thanks, Patti.

  32. agbellinfo
    Jul 05, 2008 @ 08:51:03

    We need to focus on the Big Picture and that is to provide cognitive development skills into the mind of a baby at start so that its mind can start to learn how to learn… English, education, even speech that thousands of hearing babies have already learned before they were able to speak with their developed vocal chord by learning sign language first.

    DBC is only 11 months old and learning. We care for babies with our genuine heart as Number 1 Priority before our true self.

    For over 100 years, Enough is Enough! It is time for parents to be educated throughly to make informed decision without any Wall Barrier to hide the truth about American Sign Language.


  33. Me
    Jul 05, 2008 @ 16:38:37

    I think it’s very sad that these kinds of discussions have to be held on Patti’s blog. I have left several comments on Egbert’s blog, and it seems that unless the comments are lavishing praise on him, he just isn’t interested and quickly deletes them. How can DBC be called a success? So, yes, a bunch of deaf people have gotten together and told each other stuff that validates their own experiences. Yes, they all agree that deaf babies should be taught ASL. I have yet to see even one suggestion about how that should be done. Who’s going to teach all of those parents? Where are the resources? Where are sign ups for deaf mentors? I’m sorry, but so far I haven’t seen anything at all that convinces me that DBC is anything but a huge ego trip for certain people. Stop the bashing. Stop using terminology like “cognitive development skills” that you don’t understand and don’t make any sense. Use simple language — here’s a way for you to communicate with your deaf child when he or she isn’t wearing his or her CI, and it can be fun! Today’s hearing parents of deaf kids really don’t care about how you were oppressed or whatever. That has no relevance for them. They just want to be able to communicate with their children, and have their children be able to communicate with the people in their lives that are important to them. And yes, they can do that with some sign language too! If you really are serious about winning over parents, then look at things from their perspective, and put your own baggage and anger someplace else. Whatever AGBell the person did is ancient history as far as they are concerned, and it has no importance to how they’re raising their children.

  34. pdurr
    Jul 05, 2008 @ 17:04:56

    Hi Me

    im sorry im not following your points as they relate to my blog entry re: the media and press?

    are you posting your comment here because you are desiring to comment to john or other DBC core members?

    I believe that DBC is in the process of developing resources for families. I know that the presentations had interpreters and were open and free to the public. I saw several DBC core members talking (literally speaking) with hearing AG Bell member parents

    it was all good

    can be it better – YES resoundingly but really an awesome beginning.

    Re: ego trip – i have to kindly disagree. I have been to lots of Deaf events and i have felt the “look at me i am D-E-A-F vibe and I am king / queen etc”

    really there was none to be felt at the DBC conference. if it was wondering around i honestly didnt get a sense of it and im usually pretty perceptive of that kinda thing

    have a low tolerance for folks thinking they are better than others

    we r all learners on this planet

    re: ur points about valuable, important and proactive steps for DBC to take – u r totally right. they did a great deal of work re: state chapters and they also did an amazing job bringing in very knowledgeable presenters

    re: your statement:
    Stop using terminology like “cognitive development skills” that you don’t understand and don’t make any sense.

    did you really mean that?

    do u really think we dont understand what cognitive development skills mean?

    wow – im sad cuz i think this shows a lack of cognitive development on your own part. i really dont want to assume that at all. id rather assume the best in u

    i can assure u that marlon kuntz’s presentation re: bilingualism and the brains development WAS VERY CLEAR to all in attendance and made perfect sense

    i can sense that you are pretty angry from your comment but i am not entirely sure why you are angry at my blog entry or at DBC

    It seems to me you could cite their short comings without insulting them and you could also try to create your own organization to do the things you feel would be best and most effective

    RE: AG Bell – the man may be dead but his philosophy and methods are still alive and well today.

    While AG Bell association is clear to say that they do not oppose ASL their AG Bell Academy (certification body of the AG Bell Association ) states:

    Principles of LSLS Auditory-Verbal Therapy

    3. Guide and coach parents¹ to help their child use hearing as the primary sensory modality in developing spoken language without the use of sign language or emphasis on lipreading.

  35. SDA
    Jul 05, 2008 @ 23:41:26

    nice meeting you at the dbc conference, even though our encounter was brief. but i could feel your positive energy.
    i do look forward to the opportunity to know you a bit more when you come to my town in september!
    thank you so much for all the work you have done to educate others about what dbc is really all about.
    like you always say, peace! 🙂

  36. pdurr
    Jul 06, 2008 @ 10:22:16

    SDA – smile re: peace

    great to meet u in Milwaukee

    hey CA here i come – looking forward to the visit and the opportunity to know u more as well as others there

    much peace


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