DPAN DTV News Covers Convocation Controversy & more

Deaf TV News covers the convocation controversy, administration  and ongoing activism at NTID




VIVA De’VIA events at NTID Nov 6-9, 2014

below are flyers explaining some of the different events taking place at NTID for the VIVA De’VIA weekend – Nov 6-9, 2014

All other events are open to the public except the banquet which is sold out.  Scroll down for the flyers for the various events

VIVA De’VIA – Celebrating 25 years of Art about the Deaf Experience (Deaf View/Image Art)

Events below with * have live streaming at http://www.ntid.rit.edu/live

Thursday, November 6, 2014

12:30-1:45 pm “The Deaf Union Flag and Vexillology” by Arnaud Balard in SDC 1310

Friday November 7, 2014

*2:00pm-3:00 pm Panel of De’VIA Artists (David Call, Ellen Mansfield, Nancy Rourke, Ann Silver, Jim Van Manen) and Artists booths from 3-4 pm in

5:00pm-7:00 pm RADSCC 3rd Deaf-Mute Banquet in Dyer Arts Center [note this event is SOLD OUT]

*7:00-9:00 pm De’VIA Film & “Surdism Manifesto” by Arnaud Balard in Panara Theatre

Saturday November 8, 2014

10:00 am – 11:00 am Hands on art and booths in Dyer Arts Center

11:00 am – 12:00 pm Panel of Artists (David Ennis, Randy Pituk, Tony McGregor, Alex Wilhite, and Jennifer Witteborg) in Dyer Arts Center

1:00 – 4:00 pm Tours and booths in Dyer Arts Center

6:00 – 7:30 pm Closing Reception of VIVA De’VIA Exhibit in Dyer Arts Center

*7:30-9:30 pm; Panara Theatre; “Chains of Remembrance” Tribute performancein Panara Theatre

Sunday November 9, 2014

12 – 2 pm Artists booths and Special Interest Groups in Dyer Arts Center

12-2:30 pm Deaf-Blind community event with Arnaud Balard in SDC 1310

3-4 pm Deafhood Pedagogies by Dr. Paddy Ladd in Dyer Arts Center


Monday November 10, 2014
*12:00pm – 1:30pm ASL Lecture: A Long Strange Journey: More Than a Decade of Deafhood by Paddy Ladd in SDC-1310-1300

final FULLest DeVIA weekend flyer-3

Nov 7 Fri from 2-3 pm in the SDC 1300/1310 will be a panel of De’VIA artists and booth sales afterward.

2014arnaud surdism panara nov 7

Nov 8 Sat from 11 am -12 pm in LBJ Dyer Arts Center will be another panel of De’VIA artists and various events with booth sales (see schedule for details for other events).

Tribute flyer final

paddy flyerDeafhood Pedagogy


Rochester Rocks

Rainy Rochester Rocks

I know i know im biased – its me home so i gotta sing her praise especially when she has a festival of ASL artistic expression – film, rap, performance and visual art.

The Hammer

The Hammer, the indep. film based on Deaf wrestler, Matt Hamill, is hitting movie theatres across the U.S.

A great deal of the scenes were shot in Rochester, NY and several of the actors hail from here so ya hoo.  I finally get to see it after seeing many folks tell me about the behind the scenes scene ;  ) Oct 27 – Nov 2 AMC Lowes Webster – FREE REFILLS on the popcorn and ya get to put on ur own melted butter.  [i know i know – sometimes it dont take much to make me happy]

check out the trailer and the listing for a cinema near u and make sure u think happy and thankful thoughts that the producers decided to re-cast with a Deaf actor and involve so many other Deaf actors to play Deaf characters – that came as a result of the push from our community and from the producers having a good heart and righting that wrong decision and it has paid off!  The film hits the big SCREEN – ya hoo!



Signmark presents at Rochester School for the Deaf on Oct 13, 2011.  Signmark is a Deaf rapper from Finland.  He presented and performed at NTID last spring – an inspirational fellow.

RSD flyer http://www.rsdeaf.org/news.asp?action=view&ID=611

Past People of the Eye entry about Signmark- scroll down for their music videos


Ruthie Jordan Show

Ruthie Jordan gave a benefit performance in support of Advocacy Services for Abused Deaf Victims (ASADV) Family Fun day where she had lots of audience participation from young to old.  I didn’t attend the event but folks shared how adorable the kids were participating in ABC stories and group performances.  Ruthie Jordan has many talents, one of which is letting and getting the wee things to shine and show of their grand ASL and their and its potential.

Nancy Rourke and Warren Miller

Nancy Rourke and Warren Miller will have their Deaf View / Image Art (De’VIA) works exhibited in the NTID Dyer Arts Center at the end of October and into November. Both of them have produced  powerful, dynamic, colorful, and informative works.  Hope you can come and see.

In addition, Sander Blondeel, of Belgium, has his photography work on exhibit now and Matt Daigle, Deaf cartoonist will have a show up soon also.

Viva artistic expressions of Deafhood whether it be via film, rap, performance, or visual art!.

Rainy Rochester Rocks

NTID’s New President

Heye all –

as probably most of u already know Dr. Gerard Buckley is to be the new president of NTID.

Dr. Gerard Buckley has been at NTID for over 20 years as well as being a graduate of NTID/RIT.

While i personally like Dr. Buckley i was hoping for Roberta (Bobbi) Cordano –

why did i want Cordano?  Well, it would be nice to have a Deaf Woman Lesbian president at NTID – a many firsts for us and cuz her presentation to the community rocked – in me opinion.  Why did it rock – cuz she thinks like i do, cuz she believes like i do, cuz she hopes like i do, cuz she approaches situations like i do – or least how she spoke was familiar to my own ethics, beliefs, values and aspirations for human kind.

It is unclear if Cordano was offered the post of president of NTID by RIT and opted for her newly announced post as Vice President of Programs at the huge and important Amherst H. Wilder Foundation in St. Paul, Minn. http://wilder.org/fileadmin/wilder/pdf/media/VP_Programs_Release.pdf

It is my hope that RIT did offer her the post in looking for new blood, new thinking, new direction, new energy, newness and shattering some ceilings since the sound barrier was broken when we had Davila in our highest position at NTID

Why would Cordano go with the St. Paul post instead of moving to LOVELY Sunny (sometimes) Rochester?  Well, cuz she kinda has strong roots in Minn. and her kids r in a good school there and……

So boo – our loss me think.

Now regarding Dr. Buckley – he has long wanted this post and it has been apparent to many for a long time.  It is unclear to me what he will do with the post.  Now i admit that some of the appeal of Cordano’s presentation to our community, her vitae, her track record, and her personal value set is very much in sync with my own.  She is a she as is me.  She is a strong and positive advocate for bilingualism-biculturalism.  She is not afraid of facing conflict with love.  She does not come off as aloof-  up above with the ivory tower academic folks or the politikians and the ole boys network etc.  Reports from me Deaf pals in Minn. is that Bobbi went out amongst the people and got her hands dirty, lifted tables, carried boxes, sat down and talked to everyone from all walks of life.  She also has put herself into good causes beyond education, language and human rights and also into the sticky realm of health care.  Most notable to me is her work in trying to get Deaf hospice set up.  I can not tell u how many end of life stories are less than pleasant because the people in the field of end of life care do not know sign language and fingerspelling (this has even been true of a Hearing neighbor of mine who was dying of complications of AIDS – when i went to visit him in the ICU he was fingerspelling something – he was always mixing up his letters but with some decoding, i guessed what he was trying to spell was the name LAURA and his partner burst out crying saying – “oh honey you want me to tell Laura to come visit” and he nodded his head yes.  (He was no longer able to speak) And his partner said to me – “im so glad u came – he has been fingerspelling to me all day but since he is on so much medicine he is messing up the letters and i dont understand well enough fingerspelling and….”   Then he made the call “Laura pls come” and me friend smiled

Now back to Dr. Buckley – we are different in many ways – he is an XY and i am an XX.  His persona strongly communicates that he is “running for office” and sometimes that can make folks feel like he is less than authentic, turn taking in conversations could be enhanced and he has not shown a great deal of advocacy or activism in bilingualism-biculturalism and human rights or equality of condition, however, i do not think he is a mean man or a bad man or an unkind man or a dangerous man or an ignorant man or an unjust man.

This could be the beginning of new beginnings for him and us if he can commit to recognizing any privileges he has (as Cordano did when addressing Deaf professionals and saying well, we have to recognize that I can and do at times use my speech and in doing so that allots me a certain measure of privilege so for others who do not we need to examine things to make sure things are fair and….. (this is not a direct quote but the gist of it me think).  Dr. Buckley should also gather close to him folks who will be honest and loving to him and tell him things that are his strengths and his weaknesses so he can assess what to do and not do.  What is fixable and what is just what it is.  And how to make him, NTID, the STUDENTS, our community etc shine.  Also, getting out amongst the people with ease and not as if campaigning would be a real plus.

Things i do know to be true about Dr. Buckley – he does care for NTID – it is something very near and dear to him.  He would not want to harm or tarnish it and i do not think there is much risk of him doing that.  We are at a VERY important juncture in our history where there is a high turn over rate of older timers at the Institute – possible Brain Drain? – lots of folks retiring.  With this brings an opportunity or a vacuum.   We are also at a time where folks r pushing a cultural battle ground that need NOT be there.  Where folks are painting things to be ORAL only extreme (which is still alive and well in many quarters despite the ICED 2010 New Era agreement saying “not cool, not cool oral only”) and ASL only extreme (there is no such thing – never has been never will be – there is NO Institution or environment that i know of that forbids English for Deaf folks yet there are plenty that forbid ASL).  So as folks continue their feverish fear of “the cochlear implants are coming the cochlear implants are coming” (and yes Dr. Buckley has one) it is imperative that we look at the facts:

1. most of the students coming to NTID/RIT that have CIs are signers

2. the # of purely oral/aural only students coming to NTID/RIT is still a very small number

3. the majority of our students self-report being sim-commers

4. the next largest group of our students are ASLers

We must continue to welcome ALL of our students if the GRAND EXPERIMENT that which is NTID/RIT is to meet its original goal of having Deaf and Hearing students beneficially co-exist on one campus.

The way we welcome is by respecting what the students, faculty and staff bring to the table and by promoting and fostering our multi-lingual and multi-cultural communities.

Our Deaf students who were raised with ASL-English have much to teach us.  Our students with CIs have much to teach us.  Our Deaf students who were raised oral/aural only have much to teach us.  Our Deaf students who were raised with some type of English signed system  (sim-com, cued speech, etc) have much to teach us.  Our Hearing students who were raised with ASL-English (CODAs or siblings) have much to teach us.  Our Hearing students who have never met another Deaf person in their life before coming to RIT have much to teach us.

We have much to learn and love about.

Cordano, I wish you all the best with ur new post and I’m glad u r out there doing the good things u r doing.

Dr. Buckley, I’m happy for you and wish you all the best.

NTID / RIT – my alma mater and the place i have spent 20 + years and the place i was married at and the place me kids might attend – u got some areas that could use some improvement (as do i) and u got some really beautiful things about ya – we just need to let them shine, shine, shine more.

Much peace,


NTID/RIT announces finalists for President Post

RIT/NTID announces finalists for President post:

Sent: Thursday, September 16, 2010 4:12 PM

To Members of the RIT Community

Subject:  NTID Presidential Search Finalists

On behalf of the Search Committee for President, NTID and Vice President/Dean for RIT, we are pleased to announce the three finalists and dates during which they will be on campus to meet with members of the RIT/NTID community.

Very brief snapshots of finalists’ backgrounds are provided.  We expect to post more extensive information about each on the RIT website by Friday, September 24.  All three are deaf/hard-of-hearing.  All have significant and varied experiences in their communities and with external organizations, and all have been externally recognized for their outstanding leadership and service. The finalists are:

Gerard Buckley, Ed.D. Dr. Buckley has over 30 years higher education experience with the most recent 20 serving in a variety of capacities at NTID.  From 1990- 1993 Dr. Buckley served as Chairperson and Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Outreach at NTID, followed by five years as Center Director, Center for Outreach, NTID and Assistant Professor, Social Work Support Team at RIT.  From 1998 to 2003 he served as Associate Dean for Student Services, NTID.  Since 2004, Dr. Buckley has held the position of Assistant Vice President for College Advancement, NTID.  An alumnus of NTID and RIT’s College of Liberal Arts with a B.S. degree in Social Work (high honors), Dr. Buckley holds an M.S.W. from University of Missouri and an Ed.D. in Special Education from the University of Kansas.  Campus visit Sept 29-30.

Roberta J. Cordano, J.D. Ms. Cordano’s career includes experience in government, higher education and health care. From 1990 to 2000 she served as Assistant Attorney General for Minnesota working first in  the Consumer Division and subsequently in the Charities Division.   From 2000-2008 at University of Minnesota she served first as Director of Disability Services, Office of Disability Services, followed  by  Assistant Dean, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.  Most recently she served as Vice President of Park Nicollet Health Services in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, and Interim President of the Center for Healthcare Innovation at Allina Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis.  Ms. Cordano  holds a B.A. degree (Cum Laude) from  Beloit College, Wisconsin, with a major in sociology  and a J.D. from University of Wisconsin Law School, Madison, WI.  Campus visit October 4-5.

John C. Wyvill, J.D.     Mr. Wyvill’s  career initially was in private law practice in Arkansas and  subsequently spanned  administrative positions in Workforce Education, Health and Human Services, and  several government positions, mostly in Arkansas.  From 2006 to present Mr. Wyvill is a Public Member of United States Access Board appointed by the President of the United States.  He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Kaplan University in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Since 1996, after practicing as an attorney for four years, Mr. Wyvill served  three years as Assistant Legal Counsel, Office of Governor, Arkansas,.  Between 1999 and 2007 in Arkansas  Wyvill held positions first as Commissioner, Arkansas Rehabilitation Services, and  second as Director, Arkansas Department of Workforce Education.  From 2007-2009 he served as Director, Nebraska HHS Division of Developmental Disabilities in Lincoln, NE.   Mr. Wyvill holds a B.A. in political science (with distinction) from Hendrix College, Arkansas, and a J.D. from University of Arkansas Little Rock School of Law.  Campus visit October 7-8.

Visit schedules (including a videotaped open forum in Panera Theatre) are being finalized.  We look forward to this important phase of the search process with the finalists.


Jim Miller, Co-chair                     Chris Kurz, Co-chair

Who’s It Gonna Be? The Next Prez of NTID

NTID is looking for a new President

(pix of Carl Zollo’s The Split Cube in front of LBJ bldg – photo by P. Durr)

Yep a few years ago NTID upgraded its top notch post title from CEO / Vice President to true biz “President” mostly cuz it was just too dang confusing. Folks were always asking – “if so-n-so is the vp – who is the president of NTID?”

Answer – “there is no president of NTID – all the VPs of RIT (of which NTID is one of eight) report to the president of RIT.” But since so many folks see NTID as a separate entity within RIT and because it has all those nice federal relations and obligations due to its funding source etc and to reduce the confusion of who is the president of NTID – 2 years ago the title was finally changed to prez.

Its a lot better than the director/dean/vp/CEO title that used to dangle after our top administrator’s name. Past NTID “the buck stop here” holders have been:
Dr. Robert Frisina (Hearing), Dr. William Castle (Hearing), Dr. Robert Davila (Deaf), Interim – Dr. James DeCaro (Hearing), Dr. T. Alan Hurwitz (Deaf), and Interim – Dr. James DeCaro.
(pix of Alan and Vicki saying goodbye to students. Photo by shawn Dowd from NTID News website)

Dr. Alan Hurwitz left his post as President of NTID to become the 10th president of Gallaudet this past year. A consultant firm was contracted and a search committee was set up by RIT President Destler.
(pix of Dr. Destler from RIT website)

From the Search for the President of NTID – The Opportunity page

The new President will join NTID at an important juncture, following the successful tenure of Dr. Alan Hurwitz, a deaf leader in the deaf education community and long-time NTID faculty member and academic leader. NTID looks to recruit a new head who will build on the strong foundation in place, accelerate the institution’s positive momentum, and enhance its critical national and international position in the education of deaf and hard-of-hearing people. The NTID campus community is currently finalizing its 2010-2020 strategic plan and preparing the groundwork for its next President. NTID seeks an accomplished and collaborative leader, who ideally brings experience in academic administration, government affairs, and external relations, and who can inspire NTID to new levels of achievement with vision, energy, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a deep passion for and commitment to the Institute’s mission.

Its been pretty dang quiet since the search was launhed and the qualifications and Challenges and Opportunities were released . Deafeningly quiet – dead quiet. Not sure what that means or why that is.

But i know folks are anxious.

Quacking shaking anxious. Cuz who is at the head can affect a lot of things and because NTID will be facing that long awaited brain drain academia has been dreading – u know when the mass hires of yester-years make their mass exit.

Large numbers of folks exiting and entering at the same time – can be a good thing and/or a bad thing.

but it is guaranteed to mean ONE thing – …..


You can argue that a President/dean/ceo/vp – whatever title we wanna top on their hat – is largely a figure head and wont make a big impact but i would have to disagree.

Cuz even when leaders are status quo folks – that shapes and informs an Institute – that determines that the Institute is determined to be in “maintenance mode” with some of the traditional and safe aspirations – increase enrollment, improve graduation rates, and keep those big bucks rolling in.

It would kinda be awesome to see our leading Deaf Institutions take the lead away from only having “eyes for our ears” and start to have “ears for our eyes.”

Start to “listen” to what Deaf folks have to offer to human diversity, investigate and excel at how to do for the eye what folks have been doing for the ears (ya know kinda like Veditz’s innovative, way ahead of the game ole plea to AG Bell – see bottom of the letter). Think out of the box, grab your Deaf lens and take a leap and SOAR.

Deaf colleges are INSTRUMENTAL places of bio-diversity. Without them, one of the last rich agents of socialization is removed from a Deaf person’s life. The Deaf child, now young adult, is regulated to “always trying to pass” – in their “mainstream” college classrooms, their “mainstream” workrooms, their “mianstream” neighborhoods, their “mainstream” living rooms, etc.

and we know what most folks do in the “mainstream” – they drown (see Dr. Lane’s Mask of Benevolence and Dr. Oliva’s “Alone in the Mainstream”) and without Deaf spaces (ie colleges) the flood of “being something you are not” would be crashing upon all our shores.

Deaf colleges are kinda like a port of last resort – that one last opportunity to “be” D E A F.

So a President of these Institutions faces some important decisions. Do i try to shape this Institute to be less D E A F in spirit (i.e. > audism) or do i try to shape this Institute to be more D E A F in spirit (i.e. < audism). (See AFA’s letter to the search re: Audism)
(or do i play switzerland and claim neutrality when status quo is ANYTHING but neutral – not an option folks – so not an option in 2010 when neo-oralism and neo-eugenics are pounding on the doors – they got battering rams folks – time to regroup and get busy)

The choice should be obvious and easy but i have seen some VERY bonky thinking in my many years of deaf education, which pretty much has so often been founded on the belief that to fix the problem one must fix the child instead of what does this person bring to the table
ya know additive model versus deficit model,
ya know “its time to break the “bank”ing model of education (see Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”)
ya know “For educators to deny deaf students the opportunity to maintain or acquire ASL essentially represents an attempt at cultural genocide, since the only identity option offered to students is to become a stigmatized member of the majority society.” (Cummins and Danesi, Heritage Languages, p. 95).

So who’s it gonna be?

Who is gonna apply?
Who is gonna be in the finalist pool?
Who is gonna be selected?

Its important folks. Its real important.

Deaf education is at a threshold – it can go the oral / aural route that has been used forever and more to very little consistent, reliable, just, and humane gain, or it can go the status quo route – eclectic education – anything goes, throw in some signs here and there if you absolutely have to, or it can go the bilingual-bicultural route (an inclusive and egalitarian approach for people of the eye).

Or we can all stand idlely by and wait and then… pounce and pout and poo poo once the finalists are announced and we ain’t so happy.

I have been appealing to some good folks to consider applying.

Most have replied – “happy where i am.” “love what i do here so no thanks”

No one has told me it is too cold yet.

Rochester is cold sometimes (i ain’t gonna b.s. ya) but pretty dang warm in spirit. We got some real good souls here. It is also a VERY DEAF FRIENDLY town.
NY Times Articles on the Deaf community in Rochester
6 part series on the Deaf community in Rochester (D + C paper)

For those folks who think ugh about updating their resume, going through the screening process, feel daunted by the prospect of their name in fame – PLEASE OH PRETTY PLEASE apply.

At least throw your name in the hat so we can see just how JUSTLY this process is gonna work.

I want to see a DIVERSE finalist pool. I wanna see folks of color, I wanna see XX chromsomes, I wanna see “out and about” folks, I wanna see Deaf and Hearing – what i really wanna see most of all – is someone who believes in what we “can be” instead of what we “should be.”

I don’t want to see finalists who can not honor the community value of signing in public places – we got lots of folks – Deaf and Hearing alike – at NTID who just can not muster the memory to remember to “sign please.” Just seems too hard for them. For those folks – perhaps being President might be a wee bit to taxing.

I truly do HOPE some new and brave and good faces will apply for President.

NTID deserves the best.

Our students deserve the best.

So who’s it gonna be?



Larry Fleischer – Deaf Cultural Studies Guardian

short video clips of Veditz and Dr. Lawrence Fleischer which was shown at the Tribute to Larry at the Deaf Studies Today! Utah April 2010 conference.

Dr. Fleischer passed away suddenly from an aneurysm on Nov. 1, 2009 when he arrived home to Burbank, CA after the ASLTA conference in Pheonix, Arizona.

Video clips from:
The Preservation of Sign Language by George Veditz 1913 and Dr. Fleischer’s ASL Lecture Series presentation at NTID 1993.

On-Line Tributes: