Happy Birthday Berthier

(c) Arnaud Balard.  To see more of his works go to https://www.facebook.com/Surdism

(c) Arnaud Balard. To see more of his works go to https://www.facebook.com/Surdism

Greetings all:

Don’t know who Jean-Ferdinand Berthier is???

– well ya should cuz he is grand.  Happy Birthday Ferdinand Berthier.  We are so glad you were born.  (September 28, 1803 – July 12, 1886).

Berthier was born 210 years ago and was educated at the Royal Institution for the Deaf, Paris School under Massieu and Clerc.  He later became a teacher there.  Activist, statesman, originator of the concept of a global Deaf-mute Nation and the Deaf-Mute Banquets (with Forestier and Lenoir), he died just a few years after the dreaded ICED Milan 1880 congress but had already began to see Oralism take root in France, largely via Desire Ordinaire, a doctor who directed the Paris school in the late 1800s – forbidding LSF and demoting Deaf teachers.


See Guillaume Chastel (French Deafman, who is an ASL professor at U of R) explain Berthier’s three names and his contributions to our Deaf-World.  (English summary is below)


Video is from the Who’s Who French section in the HeART of Deaf Culture: Literary and Artistic Expressions of Deafhood DVD set


English text from ASL video by Dr. Karen Christie:

Ferdinand Berthier is known by three name signs. P-on-side-chest was one name sign which symbolizes the fact that he was awarded the Legion of Honor because of his activism challenging the government on behalf of Deaf citizens. The second name sign is 5-palm-down-circles-top-of-fist-of-non-domiant-hand which indicates that Berthier was bald. The third name sign used for Berthier is flat-O-circles-near-ear (added: for beret/hat). Berthier was a student at the Paris Deaf School under Laurent Clerc and Jean Massieu (name sign: put-watch-in-vest-pocket). Berthier was a teacher and writer. His books were biographies honoring important educators of the time such as Abbé de’l’Épée (name sign: clerical-collar+SWORD) , Abbé Sicard (name sign: S-fist-shakes) and Bebián. Berthier was a strong activist for Deaf people’s linguistic rights and rights as equal citizens. Along with two other Deaf Frenchmen, Berthier founded the French Deaf-Mute Banquets in Paris and also an International Deaf organization to address global Deaf rights. (Drawing of Berthier)

Adrean Clark’s art and info on Ferdinand Berthier

(c) Adrean Clark Cartoon and info of Berthier
(c) Adrean Clark cartoon and info on Ferdinand Berthier

(c) Adrean Clark cartoon and info on Ferdinand Berthier http://www.adreanaline.com/blog/archive/deaf-profiles-ferdinand-berthier/

(c) Nancy Rourke portrait of Ferdinand Berthier http://www.nancyrourke.com/2012paintings.htm

(c) Nancy Rourke portrait of Ferdinand Berthier http://www.nancyrourke.com/2012paintings.htm

 “We do not speak, it is true, but think

We can express ourselves just as well with eyes, and hands, and smiles and lips.

Our most attractive discourse is found on the tips our fingers

And our language, rich in secret beauty

That you, poor speaking people, will never understand.”

(excerpt of poem translated from French to English by Mike Gulliver)


Portrait of Ferdinand Berthier by Brian Thuringer (c) RIT

Portrait of Ferdinand Berthier by Brian Thuringer (c) RIT

“We have been rejected from the banquets of hearing-speaking people. They have

wanted to suppress the language of deaf mutes…And yet deaf mutes have said to their speaking brothers: ‘come among us: join us in our work and in our play: learn our language as we learn yours”… (Ferdinand Berthier)


Dr. Paddy Ladd discusses Berthier’s activism in-depth in his book Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood.  Here is one excerpt

Excerpt from Paddy Ladd's Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood p. 111

Excerpt from Paddy Ladd’s Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood p. 111

May be one of the first Deaf-themed artworks we have.

May be one of the first Deaf-themed artworks we have.

Deepest gratitude to all the De’VIA artists for allowing us to reproduce their works here.

Thank you Paddy for introducing me to Berthier way back when you came to NTID and my brain was just a wee pea thingy re: Deafhood, our heritage and our collective consciousness.  I’m indebted to you brother.  And KC for all u find & share.

We have shoulders to stand on folks – we just need to find them and … STAND.

And again, overjoyed you were born Jean-Ferdinand.  thank you for all you did and continue to do from afar.  We are resurrecting your Deaf-mute banquets as we inch towards your notion of a true Deaf-mute nation.

NOTE: the term mute was widely accepted by Deaf people (many who could and would still speak when amongst non-signers.  It was AG Bell who stigmatized the term “mute”)


Dr. Harlan Lane at U of R

Screen shot 2013-09-24 at 10.38.11 PMNote: entry updated with more specs on time and location

Dr. Harlan Lane is giving three important interpreted presentations at the University of Rochester tmw and thur Sept 25 and 26, 2013.   Dr. Lane has published several important books on Deaf history, Deaf equality, and Deaf ethnicity.  (See When the Mind Hears, Mask of Benevolence, Journey into the Deaf-World, People of the Eye: Deaf Ancestry and Ethnicity (with Pillard and Hedberg)

Lane’s lectures at U of R are:

1) Neilly Series lecture:  Harlan Lane is speaking on Wednesday, Sept 25 as part of the Neilly Series of lectures; his topic is Deaf Ethnicity:  For and Against”; the presentation is in the Hawkins Carlson Room in Rush Rhees Library  at 7 pm.  It is  free and open to the public and the U of R community. Parking int he Library Lot (free).
2) U of R  presentation in Hellen Wood Hall on Thursday Sept 26 at noon hour in Room 1 W510 .  His topic is  ” Do Deaf People Have a Disability? ” (for a more medical/healthcare focused audience)
3) Corner Society for History of Medicine at the Rochester Academy of Medicine, 1441 East Ave.,  on Thursday evening 5:30 – 6:30 pm (refreshments) and lecture 6:30 – 7:30 pm; his topic is  “Origins of At the American Deaf World” .


Karl and all the King’s Horses…

Dr. Karl White & All the Kings Horses and All the Kings Men…

So we come to see that the audist systems (systems that believe that to hear and/or behave as a Hearing person is superior to being Deaf) have thrown everything at the Deaf child and still the results are lukewarm at best.  It’s because they approach the Deaf infant, child, youth, and adult as if they were a shattered egg that can only be brought back together again by means of making the individual as Hearing-like as possible.


when they gonna realize that bio-diversity rocks and rolls as does freedom?

re: Hearingization of the Deaf – That has been tried throughout time

again and again and again.

And each time they rave about the newest and the bestest and greatest and –

–       still Deaf Oral kids graduating from mainstream programs with less than stellar reading & writing skills

–       Still Deaf Oral youth & adults still needing and wanting visual access to spoken information via captioning and CART

–       Still Deaf Oral folks growing up to wish they had ASL as children

–       Still Deaf Oral folks not going home during the holidays cuz it’s a drag to have to try to conform to parents expectation that you be something you are not – ie Hearing

–       Still more and more research is showing Deaf peoples’ natural visual acuity and the POWer of the bilingual brain

–       Still more and more research is showing the benefits of baby signs with all infants and toddlers (Hearing and *gasp* Deaf babies)

So if we want to see what all the Kings horses and all the Kings men have been up to to make Deaf children as Hearing-like as possible we only need to look at Dr. Karl White’s Early Intervention for Children with Permanent Hearing Loss: Finishing the EHDI Revolution in The Volta Review, Volume 106(3), 2006, p. 237-258

Dr. Karl has been on his white horse making that revelation a reality for almost a decade now and what has he got to show for it?  hmmm?

Basically it’s a missive and a call for the eradication of biodiversity and language diversity.  It is a display of a feverish bent towards all things hearing and a disdain for all things capital D and ASL – ie Dr. White no like multilingualism-multiculturalism.

Bias, prejudice, linguicism, audism, eugenics – yep that is what the kings be playing at.

Dr. White asserts the importance of getting ‘em early – fresh out of the womb early.  He is BIG on newborn Hearing testing despite the fact that many of them are false positives and false negatives and despite the fact that really there is NO reason the parents need to worry about this on the very DAY OF THEIR CHILD’S BIRTH.  It is beyond traumatic for some parents to be greeted by a technician or hospital staff to be told their child has failed (or the current euphemism “is referred”) and needs to be tested again in three month. Traumatic because its not information they need to know in the delivery room.  It really is NOT.  Especially considering the baby’s ears have been submerged for 9 month and s/he is just adjusting to being out and about and the reliability of the testing is not 100% so why bother?  Why not wait for their regular 3 month old check up at the doctors office?  Hmmmm?

Why plant that worry and upset on the day that should be one of the most happiest moments in the parents’ lives?  hmmmm?  is it really about getting the babies early or about getting the parents early?

Why have those glossy cochlear implant brochures right there and ready on the maternity ward?  Why pressure Deaf and Hearing parents into feeling like there is something wrong and unwanted with their beautiful newborn?  (and yes Deaf parents and Hearing parents who are like – Deaf baby – “no problem.  We’ll sign” are greeted with lots of doomsday messages of a hopeless future if technology is not tapped into asap).

Not only has Dr. White spent decades pushing the development of the gadgets to test the newborn hearing and the promotion of their use in all hospitals in the US – he has also taken to peddling the goods aboard as a “humanitarian act.”

In the Finishing the EHDI Revolution paper – Dr. White makes it clear that the newborn should be tested so that intervention can begin as soon as possible.  Yes 3 month old for testing is not soon enough in his opinion.  (it is noteworthy that Cochlear LTD of Australia already implanted a three month old infant the results of which we can not find any glossy article or news story about several years out).  Dr. White explains in the article how folks want EARLY early early intervention due to “deafness” affecting language, social and cognitive development.  He does not note that there is a PERFECTLY good and useful language that could be provided to Deaf (and Hearing) infants that does not require prodding, poking, testing, sedating, operating, etc.

Dr. White cites his own center (NCHAM – National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management) when explaining that newborn screening was at 3% in 1993 and jumped to 93% in 2005 and explains that “the number of children under age 5 receiving cochlear implants has more than quadrupled in the last five years to over 2,000 children per year (NCHAM, 2006c)”

ie – the newborn Hearing testing (the D in ehdi) is a feeder pipe to implanting.

He also states that since kids are getting CI and high-end hearing aids earlier, it will save thousands of dollars in special education services.  The only problem with this information is – it is not true.   It has not really proven to be the case.  While mainstreaming and cochlear implants are clearly the majority, Deaf students are still requiring additional support (CART, interpreters, teachers of the Deaf, clinical services etc) especially in middle school and high school where classes become more challenging.   Rather than saving costs – the EHDI push has increased costs – cochlear implant devices and accessories, cochlear implant surgeries (of which there will be many over the lifetime of one child), intensive therapy which is ongoing, oral schools, public schools with teachers of the Deaf, interpreters, note takers, CART, etc, Deaf schools when the kids hit adolescence and can stand tall enough to say NO and enough, etc.

Dr. White laments about the lack of services for early intervention after not passing the hearing test and having surgery or being fitted for high end hearing aids, indicates that even with all the speech and audiology follow up, still more kings’ horses and men are required.

He then pulls out parts from IDEA Part C that emphasizes the cost of special education and special institutions and pushes for mainstreaming.  He then goes on assert that the probability of developmental delays due to a child’s “hearing loss” are high and thus states should argue strongly for intervention services.  This is probably why Dr. White wrote an article with Nelson and Grewe trying to discredit baby signs.  Baby signs have been proven to help Hearing and Deaf children’s language, social and cognitive development; yet, Dr. Karl White does not put baby signs and ASL front and center in his EHDI Revolution.  He goes on at length about the importance of Part C for EHDI; yet, the Department of Education does not appear to have representation and involvement in EHDI conferences of which Dr. White is a coordinator of.

Dr. White states in his paper “According to the JCIH (2000), almost all infants and children with permanent hearing loss need some form of assistive listening device (either hearing aids or a cochlear implant) for early intervention services to be effective.”

Note: those items are not required if the early intervention involves ASL.

your bias is busted Dr. Karl (and yes we saw how you used the cute video of the two signing boys to try to pretend you recognized ASL for early intervention but then you played it up like the boys had been with ASL parents since babies and thus there model wouldnt be applicable to most Deaf children as they come from Hearing parents.  I was mighty pleased to see the Hearing mom of those sweet bilingual boys set the record straight – that they did not have immediate exposure to ASL having been born in China and adopted later.  Yo stop trying to minimize, discredit, and diminish ASL as a very ESSENTIAL part of early intervention, Dr. Karl (ya busted – ur bias is sooo showing buddy).

Dr. White goes on to cite the JCIH some more “Without auditory input and consistent early intervention programs that focus on teaching language, DHH children almost always lag behind their peers in language, cognitive and social-emotional development (JCIH, 2000).”

This is not true if the intervention is ASL.  See Petitto’s research and many many others.

He also mentions the “half of all deaf children graduate from high school with a fourth grade reading level or less” – which is old and misstated.

He doesn’t mention that while CI have been around for decades now and there was that quadruple jump in Deaf kids being implanted and 86% of all Deaf kids are mainstreamed – the literacy rate of Deaf kids still lag behind Hearing kids.

All the kings horses and all the kings men folks…

ie wake up.  they be selling u false prophecies for profit for a mighty long time

Dr. White discusses the “costs to society” of Deaf people – which is creepily reminiscent of the eugenics program in Nazi Germany so he really should back off of that.  Especially since in the long term all the early detection, intervention, implantation, and mainstreaming are not gleaning the results he is promising – cost saving they are not.  He uses the “cost saving” argument and the “fix ‘em young” principle to argue that high end hearing aids should be covered under Part C.  Note – NO SUGGESTION of ASL instruction and materials being covered on Part C.

Dr. White discusses stakeholders which he means to be pediatricians, family physician, neonatologist and ear, nose and throat specialists – NOT Deaf folks themselves.   He is concerned that they (the specialists and professionals) don’t advocate that hearing devices be worn as early as 1 month old.  (i had trouble fitting my kids with cloth diapers at one month – i cant imagine trying to keep hearing aids or cochlear implants in place while nursing and wiping up messes – newborns are very messy)

He also cites the JCIH sharing that only 9% of professionals indicated they would refer the child to a geneticist.  Oh gosh Karl.  you are really amazing me with this article.  Your love affair with the JCIH and all things eugenic-like are like WOW.   So uncool.

That whole page is a bit Brave New World-ish.  Social and psychological engineering – he has got.

NOTE – Dr. White’s expertise and training is not in audiology or speech pathology or hearing device technology.  Those are just the wares he is peddling.  His expertise is really in psychology.  Ahh – now are you all waking up a bit?

In this “revolution” paper – Dr. White repeatedly plays the town crier of “the Cochlear Implants are coming, the cochlear implants are coming.”  He asserts that due to the increase in early detection and early intervention via cochlear implantation, the “revolution” needs to be finished by getting funding from Part C for devices and clinical services, having more teacher training programs be oral / aural in orientation and having health care professionals trained about oral /aural only intervention.

“Completing the EHDI revolution will require systematic and sustained attention to providing comprehensive, up-to-date early intervention services to children identified through newborn hearing screening programs.”

All of this without any attention given to the importance of visual language (and tactile if Deafblind).  And he calls himself neutral and unbiased.  WOW.

Karl White.  Might does not make right.

We are the stake holders because we know what is at stake.  LIVES karl.  Real Lives.  Lives that have the right not to have to work for their words all their waking hours.

We don’t need no kings horses nor kings men to be put back together again – we were fine from the beginning.  You just need to believe us.  WE ARE THE STAKEHOLDERS and we have detected you have a hearing problem and this is part of your intervention.  With your position and profession, you have an obligation to ensure that EHDI is about a Early Healthy Deaf identity.  And if you can not work to this end, you should resign.

im sure i have typos and will hopefully tidy up soon – for those of u who made it this far – thank you and congrats and see you at the real revolution.

NOTE: as always – the people place is not a space for bashing – truths and feelings are welcome.  Dissing the Dr. based on what he may or may have not signed before a video started recording is not the issue.  the facts and nothing but ’em.  and love.  Love is always good.

link to petition for Dr. White to resign from EHDI.   http://www.change.org/petitions/resign-dr-karl-white-from-ehdi-and-leave-the-deaf-community

Genetic nightmares: is the battle being lost?

this IMPORTANT blog entry is from Dr. Stephen Emery at TigerDeafie


Because my reply to a Facebook friend’s post was too long, it has been turned into a blog entry.

To try to paraphrase the original message: the near future is looking like this:

Genetic testing isn’t going to focus on single genes any more, but to test all 20 or so thousand genes in our body. It’s simply cheaper and more cost effective, and enables patients to choose what they want to know about their DNA.

The testing of a deafness gene can therefore be offered as part of this ‘package testing’ – done through a process called sequencing. Deafness could be in there as part of a ‘medical conditions’ test.

All this appears to be being pushed through with very little consultation with the Deaf community (nor, indeed, any community); nor do they take into account whether such a practice is ethical.

“I get a sense the battle is…

View original post 1,141 more words

Viva De’VIA in Olathe Kansas

Olathe De'VIA Mural 2013

De’VIA Mural 2013 – created during the Olathe, Kansas three day De’VIA: Past, Present, and Posterity retreat. Photo from Nancy Rourke

Greetings all –

just wanted to share how awesome the De’VIA retreat in Olathe, Kansas was.  The Retreat, Festival, and Gala were organized by Jeanne Ewald and her superb team of volunteers – really just EXTRAordinary folks.  Thank you thank you thank you for making those events possible.

for those of you who do not know what De’VIA is-

De’VIA –  stands for Deaf View / Image Art and is visual art about the Deaf experience.

In 1989 a group of 9 Deaf artists met before Deaf Way I in Washington DC to have a think tank about what to call art about the Deaf experience and thus coined the term Deaf View (as in point of view / perspective) Image (as in some form of visual art representation ) Art.
(see powerpoint with examples of De’VIA at https://handeyes.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/building-the-mt-the-2nd-wave-of-devia/)

They coined the term in ASL first signing it as: Deaf View (look at) / open hand as if a canvas (represents the word concept for Image) then Art
They then abbreviated it to be De’VIA – De representing the word Deaf but not fully spelling it out so it had a foreign feel especially with the ‘ and also to bump folks out of their locked thinking of “deaf” as a pathology.  De in French means “of” so this is artwork “of” Deaf people.  The French appeal is also a nod of appreciation to Laurent Clerc the French Deaf man who came to the US to help found the first permanent bilingual Deaf school and imported in French Sign language.

The creators of De’VIA do not have to be Deaf but they must intend to represent the Deaf experience in their work and hence De’VIA is most often created by Deaf folks themselves.

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Kansas School for the Deaf with De’VIA Banner on front lawn (artwork by Diane Squire on the banner). Photo by Jenny Witteborg.

The summer of 2014 will mark the 25th anniversary of De’VIA.  When De’VIA’s 20th anniversary had been approaching Chuck Baird, one of the most well known De’VIA artists and one of the signatories of the De’VIA manifesto, had wanted to see some type of retreat and celebration but alas at that time people did not express a strong interest.  Sadly, Chuck Baird died on February 10, 2012 of cancer and did not live to see a De’VIA re-treat.  Nor did Dr.  Betty G. Miller.

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Photo of De’VIA retreat t-shirt and name tags with Ellen Mansfield’s artwork.

Chuck had bestowed upon Betty G. Miller the title of the mother of Deaf View/Image Art because of her steadfast devotion and commitment to art about the Deaf experience – from her teaching, the first one woman show featuring works of truths about the Deaf experience – both affirmation and resistance, to her buying property in Austin, Texas for the Deaf artists colony, Spectrum, to be run, to her hosting the 1989 Deaf View/Image Art think tank, to all of her De’VIA works and her encouraging of up and coming artists.  It is a just right and good title.  Sadly too Betty G. Miller has recently passed of a toxic bacterial infection on December 3, 2012 and was not able to be at the De’VIA retreat this past July in body but both, Chuck and Betty, were surely there in spirit.

If Betty is to be known as the Mother of De’VIA perhaps Chuck shall be come to be known as the King of De’VIA.  He was at Spectrum, the Deaf artists colony and not only created art, acted, and worked on the newsletter, he also constructed the summer festival tents, renovated the horse stalls and barn into workable conditions for the artists, he has also served as artist in residence for many Deaf schools and programs all over the US, was one of the signatories of the De’VIA manifesto, coordinated the international artists and shows for Deaf Way II and has encouraged many many emerging De’VIA artsts.  He also performed in many National Theatre of the Deaf productions, including the King of Hearts where every night on stage he created artistic scenes live during the performances.

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Deaf Cultural Center (DCC), directly across from the Kansas School for the Deaf in Olathe, Kansas, features a museum, gift store, several artworks by notable Deaf artists, and a beautiful meeting place. Photo by Jenny Witteborg.

So while we deeply missed their presence at the Olathe, Kansas De’VIA retreat 2013 – I know they would be thrilled with what transpired.  Kansas School for the Deaf in Olathe was the perfect place for this retreat as Chuck graduated from this school and it is overflowing with GREAT De’VIA pieces.  Not just works of art by Chuck, but many beautiful pieces by students (see bottom of this entry for examples).  it is wonderful to see a school that values De’VIA so much.  I am sure without a doubt that Betty and Chuck would be VERY pleased with the three-day De’VIA retreat.  Everyday was busy from sun up to sun down.  i wish i could accurately describe how truly wonderful of an experience it was.  Not only was it a time free of audism, it was also a time free of egos.  Folks were there to share, care and CREATE.  It really was amazing.  The guardian angel of the retreat was its primary organizer Nancy Rourke – i used to call her the Den Mother of De’VIA cuz she is always right there finding emerging artists and simply and PURELY encouraging them.  Giving them faith in themselves while challenging, stimulating, encouraging, and creating.  i do NOT know how she does it and hence her title has been upgraded to guardian angel of the 2nd Wave of De’VIA.

H Kasher betty g miller 2013

Betty Miller by Hinda Kasher. Photo by Hinda and used here with permission.

The Wine and Cheese Soiree in the Deaf Cultural Center was very enjoyable as it gave me more time to explore this wonderful museum and it allowed for several of the artists to share their works with the community.  I will forever treasure seeing Hinda Kasher explaining ALL of the symbolism in her four piece artwork honoring Betty G. Miller.  It is just a pow pow piece and Betty and Chuck were all about promoting new and up in coming De’VIA artists.  To see such a young person CARE and DARE as much as Hinda does ! and for her to honor Betty such – well i just KNOW Betty would have gotten a big WOW out of it.  Much gratitude to Hinda for honoring Betty’s herstory and dedication to the Deaf-world and ASL.

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De’VIA totem. Photo by Tracey Salaway


Probably one of the biggest high lights of the whole retreat was the creation of the De’VIA mural at the Olathe retreat.  I hope at another time to be able to do a blog entry about the 1989 Mural and the 2013 mural so wont go into detail here except to say it was an EXCEPTIONAL experience.  Just completely fascinating to see the process and to SEE how the organic kept emerging.  How folks negotiated concepts, ideas, visions, spaces to all come together and just shock the socks off of all of us.  Just wow.  The same is true of the De’VIA totem yet on a smaller scale since it had less room to work with but still almost everyone who had worked on the mural contributed to to the totem also – just not everyone at its side at the same time.  Just as the totem has a nod to De’VIA’s for-bearer via the sun logo – IE – Spectrum, Deaf Artist colony – the 2013 De’VIA Mural has a reference to the 1989 De’VIA via the Pyramid figure.

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Lovely Ruth Ann Wilding, Chuck Baird’s sister, share a bit of her brother with us. De’VIA mural corner in the background. Photo from DCC.

Then to see the totem and mural displayed at the Gala honoring Chuck Baird – front and center and beautifully lit up – i think all of us were just like WOW.  It was incredible.

The Gala was a truly touching tribute to Chuck Baird.

During the live auction – there was a very hot bidding war for a painting that several of the De’VIA artists had created during the Olathe art festival earlier that day (the paint was probably still wet).  When we saw Hardy was one of the bidders and how much he truly truly wanted that work – it was a beauty to behold.  And to see him win it, well that is what art is all about – stirring up the heART.

Ruth Ann Wilding, Chuck Baird’s sister, shared a bit of her baby brother with us.  She really just made everything so much more important and dear to me.  Her presence at the retreat and the gala just made Chuck’s presence all the more real.  I love when she addressed him cuz i was like “yep – hi chuck.  We miss you.”  And im sure i saw him chuckling his sweet CHUCKle.

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Noah Buchholz performing at the DCC Chuck Baird Gala. Photo from DCC.

Later on Noah Buchholz re-told jokes and stories Chuck had told him.  He did a spot-on job imitating Chuck’s style & quirky humor.  Noah did a beautiful job explaining Chuck’s explanation of his Left & Right artwork (see http://www.chuckbairdart.com/uploads/4/1/1/2/4112403/1790245_orig.jpg) – especially the witness chair and how we are all called to “take the stand” and testify what we know of the Deaf mind.

Noah also performed a powerful story that had been told to him by his Deaf grandmother about a Deaf girl who had died at the hands of Deaf education simply for signing and how we are called to STAND and testify these truths.  Our truths.  He did this via his artform – ASL storytelling – which Chuck too excelled at and loved.

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Ruthie Jordan with shadow imagery on the De’VIA mural as she spontaneously incorporates it into the tapestry of her live performance tribute to Chuck at the DCC gala in his honor. Photo from DCC

Ruthie Jordan also rocked the house by sharing her experiences with Chuck, performing live her lovely ABC tribute to Chuck Baird (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEKeFvUAGXM) and then bringing the motifs and themes from the 2013 De’VIA mural to life by having these images leap off the canvas and on to her ASL hands to become part of the tapestry of Chuck’s life & work and that evenings gala.  It was priceless when Ruthie ended with signing TAKE A STAND and the audience did – they all STOOD up.  Just so thrilling.

English doesn’t even come close to honoring what these two performance artists gave to us and Chuck’s memory that evening.  I know im not explaining everything and i know im not giving recognition to everyone – its not cuz it or they aint important – its just cuz its impossible to tell ya all how much i love ya and how much i truly truly truly appreciate having had the opportunity to be part of this amazing experience.  [i havent even mentioned the midnight ER trip ; )]

NOTE: The Deaf CulturalScreen shot 2013-09-01 at 7.28.57 AM Center Foundation even printed out a great De’VIA 2014-2015 Calendar

I could go on and on but you get the point –

it was grand and im forever grateful i could partake.
To all who made it possible – THANK YOU.

gratitude is the memory of the heart ~ jean massieu

Video of KSD art teacher, Takako Kerns, explaining children’s mural at KSD (other short videos of KSD art at this pdurr youtube channel)