Viva Veditz – 33 years ago???? 1913 film commentary part II

heye all – this is a wee series to get us happy about Veditz’ upcoming birthday.  some of us will at his gravesite on Colorado Springs  on Aug 12 Sunday to ring in his new year (his birthday is Aug 13) so im posting up a few videos where i discussed parts of his famous 1913 Preservation of Sign Language film. (if anyone else takes up doing a commentary on different segments of this famous speech – pls do link me as i really NEVER feel i do George justice especially when im talking to a video lens and not other humans – George is meant to be engaged)

NOTE: the film will be having its 100th birthday next year !  ya hoo

What was Veditz referring to when he mentions 33 years ago and who are the false prophets today?

Move PLAYHEAD to 15:12 for clip of Veditz.  (im sorry it seems my commentary appears AGAIN in the middle 11:20 to 15:12 at fast speed – it was a technical glitch last year that i totally overlooked and no longer have the file to fix it)  just jump to george!

Translation of clip from Veditz is below the video box.

vlog explaining some old signs from a clip of Veditz’s speech and discussing the meaning and msg in that clip then Clip shown. Translation of the excerpt from Dr. Carol Padden:

For the last 33 years, with eyes filled with tears and hearts broken, the French deaf people have watched this beautiful language of signs snatched away from their schools.
For the last 33 years, they have strived and fought for the restitution of signs in the schools but for 33 years their teachers have cast them aside and refused to listen to their pleas. But their teachers would much rather listen to the worthless, cruel-hearted demands of people that think they know all about educating the deaf but know nothing about their thoughts and souls, their feelings, desires and needs.
It is like this in Germany also. The German deaf people and the French deaf people look up at us American deaf people with eyes of jealousy. They look upon us Americans as a jailed man chained at the legs might look upon a man free to wander at will.
They freely admit that the American deaf people are superior to them in matters of intelligence and spirituality, in their success in the world, in happiness. And they admit that this superiority can be credited to – what? To one thing, that we permit the use of signs in our schools. The French deaf people base their inferiority on one thing, the fact that oralism must be taught in their schools. They have eliminated fingerspelling; they have eliminated signs. But we American deaf are rapidly approaching some bad times for our schools. False prophets are now appearing with news to the people that our American means of teaching the deaf are all wrong. These men have tried to educate people and make people believe that the oral method is really the one best means of educating the deaf.
But we American deaf know, the French deaf know, the German deaf know that in truth, the oral method is the worst. Our beautiful sign language is now beginning to show the results of their attempts.
They have tried to banish signs from the schoolroom, from the churches and from the earth. Yes, they have tried, so our sign language is deteriorating.


Viva Veditz B-DAY & 1913 commentary part I

George W. Veditz’ Birthday (Aug 13) is approaching and folks will be gathering at his gravestone on Aug 12 sun at 10:30 in Colorado Springs for a Day of the Deaf picnic so im posting up a series of vlogs i made last year to discuss Veditz the man, the NAD Motion Picture project and Veditz’ 1913 Preservation of Sign Language film.

totally wish someone else would discuss his film – cuz i get all excited and want to discuss so much and then always run into the challenge that some folks already know this and others haven’t even met George yet smile

but the bloke has definitely been hitting the big time lately – PAH!  Sorry we slow George and THANK YOU for always nudging us.  Coming to see u SOON!
PART I – Veditz Priceless Clip and Birthday (vlogged last year but got hidden when i did the SOPA / PIPA protest / black out and forgot to re-public it and when i did then it shows up as if just loaded yesterday – oh well smile)

Summary from last year: Veditz 150 birthday on Aug 13 – excerpt from his Preservation of Sign Language film – translation by Dr. Carol Padden “Indeed, our National Association of the Deaf has raised a fund of $5000 for this purpose. We have made a number of films. We have films of Edward Miner Gallaudet, of Edward Allen Fay, of John B. Hotchkiss and Robert MacGregor and many others. I regret that we do not have $20,000, for we could have used it all. If we had this amount of money, we could have performances in sign language, sermons in sign language, lectures in sign language. And not only would we American deaf enjoy the benefits of this, but no — deaf people in Germany, in England, in France, in Italy would also see these moving picture films. Fifty years from now, these moving picture films will be priceless.”
Links to:
info on Veditz
full Veditz Preservation of Sign Language Speech…
Other NAD films from the Moving Picture Project – click titles
info on the library of congress National Film Registry selection of George’s “Preservation…” film…

Canada knows not Joseph? Audism out Audism

Oh Canada – Out Audism Out

NOTE: text in red is from George Veditz’s Preservation of Sign Language Speech (1913) as translated to English by Dr. Carol Padden. (move playhead to 11:53 to see Veditz sign it)

“‘A new race of pharaohs that knew not Joseph’ are taking over the land and many of our American schools.”

Can you spell audism? I know, I know some folks can NOT but most folks can and KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

Audism is attitudes and practices based on the assumption that behaving in the ways of those who speak and hear is desired and best. It produces a system of privilege, thus resulting in stigma, bias, discrimination, and prejudice—in overt or covert ways—against Deaf culture, American Sign Language, and Deaf people of all walks of life. ~ Audism Free America

Some evidence of audism in action in Canada –

1. a Principal with no sign skills and a degree in “special education” is hired over a bilingual-bicultural Deaf candidate for the post at Centre Jules Léger (CJL).

“They do not understand signs for they cannot sign. They proclaim that signs are worthless and of no help to the deaf.”

students three demands

Canadian Association of the Deaf (CAD) letter of support of the three concerns of the students

ASL vlog on the protest and demands:

LSQ vlog on the protest and demands:

ADDED JULY 2011 – the students’ protest is successful – there will be a NEW qualified director in the fall

“Enemies of the sign language, they are enemies of the true welfare of the deaf.”

2. Ontario is giving out FREE cochlear implants – (see

– was The “VOICE” organization behind this? – the equivalent to the AG Bell Association a la Canada

(See Dr. Snoddon’s rebuttal to this action–ear-implant-decision-raises-questions)

“…As long as we have deaf people on earth, we will have signs…”

3. there are no Deaf superintendents of Deaf schools in all of Canada – count ‘em folks – none, as in Zero, as in nada

see CAD’s statement re: employment

hmmmm so much for “nothing about us, without us – Canadian Deaf schools”

4. The Newfoundland School for the Deaf has been closed as a doctor gleefully predicted it would (and “should” in his opinion).


It is my hope that we all will love and guard our beautiful sign language …

ADDED: link to an AD taken out calling for the investigation into the closing of the NSD

5. Newborn Hearing Screening –

…as the noblest gift God has given to deaf people.”

Do not let a new race of Pharaohs that knew not Joseph take over the land.

We need not let this bad history REPEAT itself.

Say unto the 2nd Wave of Oralism and Neo-Eugenics, Out Audism Out!


*** Biodiversity, linguistic diversity and cultural diversity are interconnected. Cut one and u will be cutting down the others and dooming us all

*** Data showing % of Deaf children in Oral-Aural-ONLY programs sharply declines around adolescences when dialogue and discourse is much more complex and bilingual-bicultural programs sharply increase at this time to accommodate for the influx of oral-aural-ONLY survivors

***Report re: secondary education Deaf students

George Veditz’s typed transcript of his famous signed “Preservation of Sign Language” speech (1913) – note some word choices and ordering is not the same as it appears in the film. Read it and ask what they faced then, do we face now?????

Dorothy Wilkins’ Visit to Veditz’s Gravesite

Vlog by Dorothy Wilkins explaining her visit to Colorado for Deaf Women’s Snowshoe Retreat in Aspen, CO and her visit to George and Mary Veditz’s tombstone.  Includes pictures and short clip of Veditz’ Preservation of Sign Language film

Lot #236 Evergreen Cemetery 1005 S. Hancock Avenue Colorado Springs, Colorado

(there is about 1600 spaces in this block but it will be somewhere in the middle rows in Block 236)

NOTE: Henry Sanders via fb provided the specs re: Veditz’s burial place which i passed on to dorothy and she took the great initiative to visit the site.

photo by Dorothy Wilkins

Happy Centennial to the NAD Motion Picture Project

Heye All

Of course we were all thrilled to learn that George W. Veditz’s classic “Preservation of Sign Language” (1913) ASL Presentation made it into the top 25 cut (out of > 2,000 nominated films) for the 2010 Library of Congress National Film Registry).

Veditz was INSTRUMENTAL in getting the funds and momentum going for the NAD Motion Picture Project, which ran from 1910-1921 (click for link to all the videos with text discriptions) (to see the first one made- EM Gallaudet go to Gallaudet Video Library).  It is a thrill to see the NAD Motion Picture Project  receive this big honor and recognition via the National Film Registry selection as the the films celebrate their centennial.  The NAD Motion Picture project began 100 years ago!

I had a few questions about the Library of Congress’ press release about this year’s National Film Registry (it stated Veditz’s film was 2 min when its actually > 14 min long) and I wasn’t clear about what the Registry is since it was my understanding that the NAD Motion Picture Project had already donated all their films to the Library of Congress sooooo  ….

I VPed and emailed Stephen Leggett at the Library of Congress and low and behold he replied promptly and positively.  Got lots of good answers below so I hope folks will take a moment to read it so we have the FULL picture about the NAD Motion Picture collection and the Library of Congress and the big honor of selecting Veditz for the 2010 National Film Registry.

Biggest thanks to Mr. Leggett for his response, for all the work he is doing at the Library of Congress and for caring about Veditz, ASL, Deaf Culture, and film.

Before i give u Mr. Leggett’s reply – let me give u a suitable quote from good ole George:

‎”We possess and jealously guard a language different and apart from any other in common use – a language which nevertheless is precisely what all-wise Mother Nature designed for the people of the eye, a language with no fixed form or literature in the past, but which we are now striving to fix and give a distinct liter…ature of its own by means of the moving picture film.” George Veditz 1910

Reprinted here with permission:

From: Leggett, Stephen C
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2011 14:43:18 -0500
To: Patti Durr

Subject: RE: National registry 2010

Thanks for your call about George Veditz’s Preservation of the Sign Language–I was just finishing up an email reply.
We will be recognizing the 14-minute version.

The films in that series would not have been given to the Library at that time, owing to the fact that most films during that era were issued on flammable nitrate stock.  Until 1942, film owners gave LC a copy to gain their copyright and have it registered; the Library then returned the films.  Thanks for your list of the 16 films.  From a quick check of the card catalog, Gallaudet Univ did give the Library copies of 14 programs (a 16mm projection print and 16mm master positive of each) in the series in 1947 (everything but Glimpse of Battlefield and Irishman Flea and…).   16mm film stock was not introduced by Kodak until 1923 so there may be 35mm versions out there somewhere.  We will likely check around and see if other copies (35mm, negatives etc.) exist because one of the things  we do after a title is named to the Registry is to ensure that it has been preserved to the best possible quality.

A film does not have to be in the Library of Congress film collection to be named to the registry.  Selection of a title to the Registry means that the Librarian and National Film Preservation Board consider the film important in American film history.
Glad to honor and recognize the film–we felt it was an extremely worthy addition to the Registry, given the film’s historical and cultural significance.
I have cc’d Donna Ross who also works with the Registry.  Feel free to contact Donna or I if you have other questions.  Happy New Year!
Best, Steve leggett

Steve Leggett
Liaison Specialist/Program Coordinator
National Film Preservation Board (NFPB)
National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB)
Library of Congress
Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation
19053 Mt. Pony Road
Culpeper, VA  22701

Also visit the web site of the NFPB’s charitable affiliate, the National Film Preservation Foundation at
And coming soon: the National Recording Preservation Foundation