Ya hoo – 4201 victory!

Summary of vlog:

“Gratitude is the memory of the heart.” ~ Jean Massieu (Deaf Fench teacher and supt)

send thank you notes to Gov. Cuomo http://www.governor.ny.gov/contact/GovernorContactForm.php (see my thank you note below)
go to Deaf NY action – scroll down for leg reps http://www.deafnyaction.org/?page_id=11

link to thank you letters sent to NY Assembyman and Senator for their push to preserve 4201 school funding

I have a big smile on my face?  why because the news re: 4201 schools in NY state (there are 11 schools for Deaf, Blind and Severely Disabled students in NY) and NY gov. Cuomo was looking for ways to cut the NY state deficit of $10 billion dollars.  He made many proposals of ways to cut costs and change things.  4201 schools were targeted for such a change in funding support from NY state.  But the Deaf community said “TIME OUT” and got busy – from out of state, across the US and even abroad, people rallied to show their support of 4201.  People made vlogs, educated, information shared, advocated, engaged in peaceful activism…  One Hearing father set up a petition that had thousands of signatures, a letter writing campaign to the governor and legislature (representatives and senators) – out of state people wrote letters to, there was a phone drive to call everyday to the governor, folks convened on Albany for a rally in which many people addressed the crowds, there was signage and peaceful spirited activism, folks then marched out front to chant near the Governor’s office.  It has been quite a collective approach to activism.  There was the use of social networking tools for positive use – meaning there was not spreading of lies or misinformation, no shooting down of folks, just keeping people informed so we take a stand and protect WILL!  Wow, im so impressed with the 4201 schools efforts.

Recently the Governor and legislature have agreed and approved of a budget.  Soon it will be signed and endorsed.  That vote / agreement includes the decision to RESTORE the budget for 4201 schools.  RESTORE the BUDGET for 4201 schools!!!!

So celebration time – this is a VICTORY!

Below i have a link to Signmark (fingerspelled then shows the sign for Signmark – I hope this is the right sign for Signmark) – they are a group from Finland with a Deaf sign singer and a Hearing one.  (I think they will be coming to RIT in April for Brickfest – every year Gallaudet and NTID alternate having a gathering on their campuses and this year its NTID’s turn and they r trying to bring Signmark to peform here for Brickfest.  I really wanna see them so I hope they succeed in booking them).  Signmark has a signedsong called “Smells Like a Victory”? (see video link below).  Its a wonderful song with a clear message of “keeping your eyes on the prize” and not giving up.  Don’t go off chasing tangents, dont let the stinking thinking affect, the shooting of u down, the lies and attacks – nah – “don’t let it stick to you” and don’t become what u hate.  Stay positive and faithful.  Believe!  Take a stand and defend and know YES WE CAN!

So congrats to all the folks who worked so hard!  I feel so honored to see u all in action, to go to Albany and meet so many good folks!  wow.  Big hand waves.  I am so impressed with our Deaf community.

You are Champ!

Yes, it is a victory so celebrate while we still keep our eyes on how things progress and get implemented as well as look forward to the next few years.  NY state does have alot of Deaf schools – we need to look at how each are performing, are they strong and truly helping our Deaf students?

We also need to look at what is happening with Deaf schools nationally and in Canada and other countries too.  Its like HEYE!  we need to preserve TRUE options for Deaf students – the right to bilingual education.  I’m thrilled to see the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) take a strong stand for Deaf schools with their position statements and various actions.  Its good to see us cherishing Deaf schools.

The Academic bowl at Gallaudet and the Science competition recently at NTID/RIT both had Deaf schools winning – this means that Deaf schools do have good, quality education.  They just need the right teachers, right approach and right beliefs then they will SOAR – CAN!

So big thanks to 4201 schools and everyone across the landscape that were actively engaged in making a difference – not just sitting being arm chair advisors yaking – you really DID IT!  You are CHAMP!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead

Signmark – hopefully they will come to Brickfest at NTID this april

My thank you email to Governor Cuomo

“Gratitude is the memory of the heart” ~ Jean Massieu.  This quote is from a well known Deaf teacher and superintendent in France during the early 1800s before the onslaught of oral-aural-ONLY education in which natural sign languages were banished from the Deaf schools across the globe.  It is only fitting that we use his quote to communicate our gratitude to you and the legislature for restoring the budget for 4201 schools.  By providing humanistic, sound and progressive pedagogical practices in American Sign Language and English, Deaf schools in NY state ensure that our Deaf, blind, and severely disabled students have the roots to be able to fly.  Knowledge is indeed power.  Thank you for doing the right, just and good thing.

Preserving state funding for 4201 schools ensures that you follow the words you tell your children when you said, “I believe even in the most complex situations, there is always a simple truth. There is always a right and a wrong.”

It would have been wrong for NY state to balance its budget on the backs of these children.

Thank you for doing the right thing.


Patti Durr


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karen Mayes
    Mar 29, 2011 @ 14:26:41

    Wonderful blog 🙂 AND THANKS TO YOU FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE FOR 4201 SCHOOLS as well ;D

  2. handeyes
    Mar 30, 2011 @ 01:27:57

    smile – i did VERY VERY VERY little but as gandhi says:
    Whatever you do may seem insignificant to you, but it is most important that you do it.

    it was marvelous to see so many good folks united for such a good cause and its also GOOD to see this measure of success and victory. We keep moving forward.

    Thank you Ms. Karen – ya got a small frame with a big heart!



  3. Bill Keenan
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 13:48:39

    Hi, Patti,

    I say “ditto” to Karen’s comment. It especially was so nice that you came to Albany with us in support of the 4201 schools. Nice!

    Regarding Signmark, I just received an e-mail from one of his production company people, Nuppu Stenros, who said they’re confirmed for the April 16 Brickfest at NTID. Signmark also will be performing at RSD for our October 13 “Adventures in Education” program, and he’ll do a performance and workshops with our students (and other deaf/HH students from the mainstream schools) during the day on October 12 & 13. Can’t wait!


  4. handeyes
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 15:17:18

    Ya HOO!!!!!!!!

    IM SO PUMPED – thanks for the heads up! and i will definitely see them at Brickfest and at RSD’s phenomenal Adventures in Education which i try never to miss!

    i blogged a wee bit about this past Fall’s Adventurer at:

    thank u again bill for letting me know and all u do for RSD

    RSD Rocks!



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