… for you also are human

sometimes – good folks feed me poetry, lyrics, quotes, stories and words

View looking up from the Cave of 100 Hands (really was about 31 hands but who's counting? Cool is cool. One or one hundred). Thank you Matt S for sending us in this direction

in my inbox yesterday a.m. was a poem about Hands by a poet id never read before from a pal of mine who had learned about our hunting for hands expedition.  Thought i’d share it here if ya care to sit and ponder a bit.
  i dont claim to understand the poem in full but the parts that i do are dandy cuz we all should be humbled by being human and it is true that when i looked out at the expanse of various rock art on our sojourn i FELT things.

Things no more and things to come.

Note: the Hands referenced and reverenced in the poem r from California so the makers of the ones in the pix featured here from Utah were created by a different people but of the same race – the Human race (as in humanity me hope unless we give way to insanity and inhumanity (of which the poet subscribed to).



by Robinson Jeffers

Inside a cave in a narrow canyon near Tassajara
The vault of rock is painted with hands,
A multitude of hands in the twilight, a cloud of men’s palms, no more,
No other picture. There’s no one to say
Whether the brown shy quiet people who are dead intended
Religion or magic, or made their tracings
In the idleness of art; but over the division of years these careful
Signs-manual are now like a sealed message
Saying: “Look: we also were human; we had hands, not paws. All hail
You people with the cleverer hands, our supplanters
In the beautiful country; enjoy her a season, her beauty, and come down
And be supplanted; for you also are human.”

(thank u for sharing this poem and poet with us K and thank u for making this journey with me KC)

gratitude is the memory of the heart ~ jean massieu

It was also super cool to visit the Jean Massieu bilingual-bicultural school for the Deaf in SLC and see the ceramic mural they have of a scenic landscape filled with 3D HANDshapes for ducks, birds, leaves, flowers, tree and clouds.  Art is the HeART of humanity.  See below.

Are you a supplanter or a planter?

Partial image of the ceramic mural at the Jean Massieu bilingual-bicultural school for the Deaf in Utah (thanks for the directions James)

Detail of the De'VIA ceramic mural at the Jean Massieu school for the Deaf in Utah. Thank for the tour Brian



The hands have IT

ya hoo – more and more folks are putting good stuff out there re: the RICH language development of Deaf children.

any of us who have spent anytime in the field of Deaf education or deafness or even just hopping around on the internet has seen the prejudices and language bigotry to come flying out of some folks.  I can not tell ya how many times “professionals” have told me so and so has NO language – when in fact s/he actually has a wealth of language – its just not necessarily the “favored” spoken one.  So im thrilled and overjoyed that folks are putting out the good stuff and showing that the HANDS HAVE IT.

Really we have to give a big ole hand to ASL.  it is HANDY and DANDY and has been oppressed, suppressed, depressed, distressed,  and more for 130+ years but still it STANDS.  Why? cuz it WORKS!  It truly does.  it is the surest way to get equality of condition to the kiddies and it is the quickest way to get them knowledge and power so…. we return to the ever present nasty question of WHY oh WHY do they deny Deaf children and their families the right to sign language, HUH?  i know.  not sure if some of u do yet but hopefully u will get to that place of truth soon cuz that is when u will realize just how BIASED and UNJUST they have been playing it.

But back to the GOOD STUFF – Deaf children’s minds at play and at work – its a beauty to behold.  REAL language not artificial imitation of articulation via extreme means of surgery, implantation, mapping, testing, re-mapping, audioverbal therapy, denial of visual acuity (banning signing and lipreading), etc etc 24/7.

The Natural and Just and Good Stuff

(thank u to all the parents, family members, teachers, services, and organizations that promote language and human rights)

Leala Holcomb shows how the Hands Have It at Ca. School for the Deaf in Fremont – Klopping shared a great many truths about the value of Deaf teachers and ASL and Deaf schools at his Deaf Studies Today keynote and Leala and her students are proof of this.

she has many other great ones in this youtube channel so subscribe folks

This is from the Deaf Children’s Society of BC – they have another one in their youtube and also a website.  This one is just so adorable – especially when the girl signs “I respect you.  I respect you.”  I’m like CHAMP and im learning.  Turn taking can be tricky ; )

The Brown family – watch any of their videos – especially the one with the two brothers and you will be like WOW.  Language leaps – adopted by bilingual-bicultural family when they had little to no language (spoken, written, or signed) and presto they be busy

they have several more – the ones with the two brothers interacting are ADORABLE.  They also have a blog that explains more about home life and living and loving.

British Sign Language toddler chatting with mum

A while back i saw one of a Deaf boy retelling the “Are You My Mother” book but for some reason i cant find the video again – if anyone knows of it, please point me in that direction as well as any others you feel should be added.

We STAND – its GRAND to be Deaf and its HANDY to have ASL+English.

Bilingual Brains Rock and Multicultural People Matter.

DBC petition re: bilingual bicultural birth right


see also the Humphries et al article re: Harms of cochlear implants – chief being the denial of a fully natural and accessible language.



Caring and Sharing and Daring

Caring and Sharing and Daring

kudos to folks who say nuh uh when ASL is not represented rightly and when falsehoods go flying

case in point #1:

the No Church in the Wild’ “ASL” video article in huffpost

folks here and there objected to the mangling up of ASL and the huffpost has smartened up and realized maybe they shouldnt be praising ASL videos when they don’t speak ASL.  Maybe they should get a consultant – this is all good so i truly hope they get a GOOD consultant – a Deaf native ASLer and one with professional experience in consulting

Added: Huffington Post did a follow up article and also got pow pow quotes from NAD CEO Howard Rosenblum as a result of Deaf community folks saying NOT COOL mark & co and Huffpost.  Community accountability works eh?


case in point #2:

The Johnny Depp and Natalie Portman ASL “My Valentine” video – i dont think the flare up over the signing is really justified cuz by and large they did a mighty fine job and it is a pretty video – just artfully shot and executed.  Johnny signs “apply” instead of “appear” and he looks kinda pained and stressed and its hard to sign with a guitar in your arms and the “#ucking valentine” well i just love that one – i might even start adopting that sign “i bloody dang love u, luv” smile.  the only criticism i have for that video is:

1. did they use a true Deaf ASL consultant to teach them signs?  my thinking is they didnt cuz if they did some of the sign choices would be better and the grammar would be less English

2. there are parts of the song that are totally absent of any ASL – just poof or mouth movement so its like – ohhh this is just for show and tell?  meaning that if i chopped out the audio indiscriminately Hearing folks would be like wtf smile so it would have been a wee bit better if they honored the language start to finish

3. NO FACIAL EXPRESSIONS  – so maybe they r trying for a minimalist approach or maybe that is just Natalie’s way – i have seen her in a few flicks and she is just subdued in her facial expression and Johnny has that focused, farrowed brow look – almost pained.  Much of ASL grammar and intention and tone and inflection is carried by facial expression so either this was a minimalist experiment OR all they did was learn the hand motions without the heart of it so….

a challenge for ya all – Lets make our own “My Valentine” video and put it out there with facial expressions – put it in black and white behind a black backdrop and show ’em how it could be done as an inspiration and out of respect for what they did achieve

they HAVE achieved something mighty nice there.  i do think its beautifully shot – especially the overlapping of signs – that is just very sweet and conveys meaning and message and visual sound

if u do do this – keep the #ucking valentine in the last refrain – i just love it smile

case in point #3:

folks real upset by the b.s. in the NPR article – that there is VERY disappointing and unjust.  just totally WRONG – for shame NPR – u know way better than that.  BALANCED ha!  unbiased ha!  and why didnt u even include anything from the new article by Humphries et al re: the HARMS of cochlear implants.  Glad ya all said – stop this crap.

Added – Audism Free America has a letter out to NPR’s ombudsman re: the article


case in point #4:

De’VIA is not for the old smile – some folks got mighty unhappy when a presenter was presenting Deaf View / Image Art (De’VIA) as some passe form of artistic expression for old disgruntled folks and tried to re-write history and truths as if everything was happy happy now and conceptual artists were all hip and young (while listing several OLD conceptual artists) oy!  Also she presented by barely showing any art at all – we r a visual people RIGHT?  and it was a presentation ABOUT visual art so ya think she would have shown some but fortunately good folks on the ground know the truth – audism still exists and must be resisted and Deaf gain is dandy and should be celebrated and all these are part of Deafhood and are expressed via art from old to young and in many forms – not just in conceptual art but in traditional, classic, abstract, etc etc

case in point #5:

ASL literature is not translated works from English.  Some folks got mighty upset when a presenter presented a “festival of ASL literature” by not showing any real ASL literature at all – not one ASL folktale, abc story, poem etc was shown or performed but rather he used the time to discuss the translation of the bible (which is itself a translated work and not even English literature).  Folks were upset because ASL literature has a wealth of good stuff that often does NOT get its day in the sun but should and because translation is translation – it is NOT creating new works out of a language that is like no other.  and cuz knowledge and truths are IMPORTANT

case in point #6:

folks r starting to wake up to the 2nd wave of Oralism – their feets have grown numb from leaving them dangling as the water has risen and now they are stamping them awake and hitting the pavement and saying wtf – Oral / Aural only schools are making a come back?  Oral / Aural only schools are taking money away from Deaf bilingual – bicultural schools OY

See all the activism re: EHDI badness and Hear Indiana and Hand and Voices coup

so news in but still awaiting confirmation:

St Joseph (see AFA vigil at the old St Joseph school to see how St Joseph implements oral /aural only) school in Kansas is closing.  (still have one in St Louis Mo and an outreach program in Indiana)

Brian B. got arrested for standing outside the governor of Indiana’s office peacefully holding a sign and objecting to the wittling away at one of the FEW bilingual-bicultural options for Deaf children in this country.

We waking up folks.  We caring about our language, our culture and our people (did you know we are a PEOPLE of the handeyes?) and we are DARING to be awake, aware, and active.

Keep jumping at the sun

(and u can toss a snowball while u r at it – its snowing in rochy this am)

thank u to each and all of u who STAND – u r grand



PP presentation @ Deaf Studies Today 2012 Conference

Heye all – i know i have been mighty quiet but i have been majorly busy finalizing the monster project (soon, soon, soon) and traveling.  Had a splendid time at the Deaf Studies Today conference (tweeted a bit about some of the keynotes and presentations i saw) and got to meet and greet folks as well as SEE some of Utah’s  petroglyphs and pictoglyphs.  They rock!

Some folks have asked for my PP so im posting it here.

Biggest thanks to Deaf Studies Today for the opportunity to talk about going “beyond talk” and to all the folks who supported this presentation coming to fruition and the folks who attended.  Thanks to the artists for creating and allowing me to use their works in the PP.  Big thanks most of all to all the folks who STAND.  You are GRAND.

click title link below for PP and to see the video clips scroll down

Patti Durr’s PP for Keynote Address at Deaf Studies Today – Beyond Talk April 2012

Dr. Fleischer discussing the evolving role and importance of Deaf Cultural Studies and THE People

Dr. Ladd quote re: oppressor killing creativity and the need to build the mountain

Veditz “Hope” quote and Dr. Fleischer’s reminder of our duty to “Protect”

Required Reading – this is a hafta do folks!

heye all

i know i aint done a long commentary v/blog in a long time but crazy busy here living and loving.  However some mighty fine truths have been coming our way.

Folks STANDing and SEEing and BEing – its mighty fine.

Dr. Harlan Lane at NTID RIT on monday was CHAMP brilliant.  That man aint a Genius award winner for nothing.

wish i had 1/2 his intellect and his heart … well, his heart appears to be golden.  He knows truths when he see ’em and he knows suppression of truth when he encounters them so the fact that he has devoted his life work to uncovering many of the secrets of Deaf history (which he noted had been stolen from us and penned by Hearing folks about Hearing folks) and the truth about Language, the brain, the ethnicity (yep Deaf folks are an ethnicity) – well he is GRAND.  that is all i got to say! smile and READ THE BOOK (no not u, i know u never read.  i mean the good folks who want to understand and grow and KNOW…  It’s good to be Deaf and ASL is handy and dandy)


Now another required reading (*gasp* why is Durr always trying to get us to read – who does she think she is anyways?  some kinda socialist intellectual elitest militant radical fanatic commie pinko gingerhead?  nah she (as in me) just loves u and knows knowledge is power, folks)

so the other required reading to land in my lap is – “Language acquisition for deaf children: Reducing the harms of zero tolerance to the use of alternative approaches” by T Humphries, P Kushalnagar, G Mathur, D Napoli, C Padden (another MacArthur Genius Award winner), C Rathmann, S Smith

Harm Reduction Journal 2012, 9:16

to get the PDF for the full article go to http://www.harmreductionjournal.com/content/9/1/16/abstract

I could CRY

Seriously  i could CRY

this is totally OVERDUE and cha important

CHA as in ASL mouth non-verbal mannerism for HUGE – BIG – Cha

“Cochlear implant protocols that prohibit the use of alternative accessible language are causing linguistic deprivation in deaf children who do not acquire a first language by early childhood.”

The Harm Reduction Journal has a peer review process and is dedicated to open access – knowledge is power folks

if u read Dr. Lane’s other book “Mask of Benevolence: Disabiling the Deaf Community” you will be aware of the biases within the system to always over accentuate a deficit model of Deaf folks in order to justify the aggressive mean means utilized to TREAT Deaf folks – thus creating the need to be needed by DENYING the very thing that empowers Deaf folks and gives them Equality of Condition (see John Bosco Conama)

so i am OVER THE TOP happy about this article because:

1. Deaf and Hearing scholars have been VERY shy and slow to spell out the truth of how the system is playing the parents for profit and false prophecies

2. the 2nd wave of Oralism has been crashing on our shores and the hour is late

3. i know so so so so many young folks who have been raised and reared under this 2nd wave only to say – sure i may or may not be able to whistle and/or hear a whistle but still forever and forever more – i wish someone loved me as i was created and treated me with dignity and respect as is and i wish i knew the hand talk as a pup

4. the TRUTHS are POWERFUL and long overdue.  truths force / soul force rock

5. the Deaf community and scholars have had a gag order on themselves – it has been taboo to discuss the proliferation of CIs for fear we would hurt or offend Deaf folks who have CIs and/or parents who have chosen CIs for their Deaf children.  In sliding into this “only discuss it behind closed doors” we have been complicit and we have aided and abated the powers that be to continue creating false science to prop up their “by any mean means” necessary approach to the “Deaf problem.”

Do you all notice that most Deaf children were identified by the age of 2 and still they did pretty good CONSIDERING all the obstacles in place via the TREATMENT route and since the advent of CI and the universal newborn screening push and EHDI and mainstreaming (IDEA) babies have been DETECTED at birth or within 3 mo to 6 mo and we have NOT NOT NOT been seeing a consistent gain in the results – they are still floundering in the mainstream.  they might be able to PUSH THE RED BUTTON faster but the increase in working auditory neurons is not translating into “independence” in terms of not benefiting from visual information.  they still need and want visual information so for the SYSTEM to be actively PUSHING oral / aural ONLY at the expense and exclusion of ASL – well that is just OLD and LAME and UNJUST and IMMORAL and WRONG and INEFFECTIVE (i could go on and on here folks – ya know i could and can cuz ya done seen all my past v/blogging on this subject – just read their article – they say it far better and clearer than i can and i have and this is why i say THANK YOU and YA HOO! – send them an email folks – and say THANK YOU.  people who take this good STAND need our love and support and u know they r gonna get crap from the bad folks so lets balance it out with us good folks saying PAH and THANK YOU and we OWE U big time!  and you are our heroes and Viva Veditz ; ) )

6. Doctors (which include doctors of audiology) are obligated to “do no harm” – take a good long hard look at it folks.  any Doctor, specialist, or professional making folks SIGN AGREEMENTS never to sign with their child – well that is just WRONG and they are directly responsible for creating estrangements within families and they do it all under the falsehood of TREATING the Deaf child from their ailment and affliction

u dont treat folks by CREATING language deprivation

to all those authors – i thank YOU and i love u

to all the bad practitioners of bad science –

¡Ya basta!

ya busted

now stop that crap in its track.  Oral / Aural ONLY is a no no.  capice?