Many of you know by now that my husband and our two older boys (22 and 20 ys. old) didn't have a strong relationship due to the lack of communication. (Husband isn't fluent in ASL but he is really trying.) We've even presented on the topic, and aspire to inspire more dads to not make his same mistakes. (Which, by the way, my husband is not ashamed to share and cry in front of people.) It's part of our story.
Recently I've noticed that he really tries to have a conversation with them without my help (I've been the family interpreter since I can remember) and that really makes my heart feel full. I am sharing pictures of the '65 pick up truck they bought and plan to work together on.
I am so proud of my husband for the improvement he's made, and even prouder of my boys for finally understanding that family is always first, and for forgiving dad for taking his time to finally accept them for who they are: Two young men who were born Deaf but are capable of great things! Their deafness does not limit them, it only feeds the hunger to succeed. As parents, we sometimes make mistakes, but those mistakes help us grow and be better people. I believe our boys will be just fine and their relationship with dad will only strengthen more.
Muchos de ustedes ya saben que mi esposo y nuestros dos hijos mayores (22 y 20 años) no tenían una relación fuerte por causa de no tener comunicación (mi esposo no es fluyente en el lenguaje de señas americano pero realmente está tratando). Hasta hemos presentado sobre este tema esperando inspirar a más papas de no cometer el mismo error (y a mi esposo no de la vergüenza compartir y llorar enfrente de la gente). Es parte de nuestra historia.
Recientemente he notado que el realmente trata de tener una conversación con ellos sin mi ayuda (He sido la interprete familiar desde siempre) y eso realmente ase sentir a mi corazón lleno. Abajo estoy compartiendo fotos de la troca pickup del ’65 que ellos compraron y planean trabajar en ella juntos.
Estoy inmensamente orgullosa de mi esposo por su mejoramiento y aún más orgullosa de mis hijos por finalmente entender que la familia es siempre primero y por perdonarlo por tomar un largo tiempo de finalmente aceptar los por quienes son: Dos jóvenes que nacieron sordos pero que son capases de cosas grandes. Su sordera no los limita, solo los llena de hambre de ser exitosos. Como padres a veces cometemos errores, pero esos errores nos ayudan a crecer y ser mejores personas. Yo creo que nuestros hijos van a estar bien y l relación con su papa solo se fortalecerá aún más.
Thanks to all who recently found their way to Santa Susana High School in Simi Valley, for an information-packed workshop led by Ellen Schneiderman, Ph.D., a professor of special education at California State University, Northridge.
The goal of "Language is Brain Food for your Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing-Child," was to help conquer the age-old myth that early access to a visual language, such as American Sign Language, will negatively affect a Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing child's ability to develop listening and speaking skills. Many families with Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing children are being specifically told, by medical professionals, NOT to sign with their DHH children. Further mixed messages are presented by other professionals, teachers and society at-large. Adding to the confusion, society has long-since accepted signed language as being beneficial for hearing babies, so why not for children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing?
As Dr. Schneiderman illustrated throughout the workshop, there is absolutely no evidence that using signed language will inhibit or prevent spoken language development. Research out of Gallaudet University's Brain and Language Lab, led by Dr. Laura Ann Petito, clearly demonstrated how the language processing center of the brain is capable of processing ANY language. Simply put, our brains are not modality specific!
In addition to learning more about current research findings, attendees also had the opportunity to hear from a panel of Deaf adults who all use cochlear implants AND American Sign Language. The general consensus among panelists was, even when their spoken language skills make it easier to be understood by non-signers, many personally find it far easier to express themselves using ASL.
Panelist David Driscoll, a Los Angeles pre-school teacher, recalled using hearing aids in elementary school, which helped him follow along "pretty good" in life, but he still couldn't catch everything being said. His confidence suffered as a result. His hearing diminished further as a teenager, and he was later enrolled in a DHH program. The program allowed him to "pick up ASL at a lightening speed," which provided a major confidence boost. He choose to receive a cochlear implant when he was 31.
Finally, four parents from DEAF Project shared stories of raising their DHH children using both spoken language (aided by cochlear implantation) and ASL. Across the board, parents shared feelings of having felt "forced" by the medical community to choose either spoken language or ASL, despite their wish, as parents, to provide their children with the best of both worlds. Two parents even shared having hid the fact that they use ASL at home from their their school district just so they would remain eligible for auditory/verbal therapy from the district. It shouldn't have to be like this!
Parent Janell Graves, mother of a 10-month-old bilaterally implanted Deaf daughter, stressed the idea of signed language being the natural option for her Deaf child, and that, even with the implant, it's still a battery-operated device that could, at some point, fail. She encouraged parents to seek out education and research options on their own. "I feel it's important parents know you can do both."
-Rachel Friedman Narr, Professor
Special Ed/Deaf Ed, CSU, Northridge
Deaf Education And Families Project
PRESENTERS AND RESOURCES:
4:00 Welcome and Introduction
Ellen Schneiderman, Professor, Special Education/Deaf Education CSUN
4:10 Insights from Deaf Adults
Deanne Bray, MA, ASL Instructor, Literacy Advocate, Co-Spokesperson of LEAD-K. email@example.com
Matt Reinig, Student Development Specialist, CSUN, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lori Selna: DHH Teacher, Mayall Academy of Arts and Technology Magnet. (818) 363-5058
Kaila Cruz, Granada Hills HS.
Matt Reinig, Student Development Specialist, CSUN, email@example.com
David Driscoll, DHH Teacher, ABC Preschool Program, Washington Elem School, Los Angeles County
Office of Education.
Interspersed Video Clips (Looking into the brain: What does it tell us?)
Dr. Laura Ann Petitto, Brain and Language Laboratory, Gallaudet Univ.
Dr. Deborah Pichler, Gallaudet University.
5:00 Parent Panel: Deaf Education And Families Project
Rachel Friedman Narr, Professor, CSUN/ DEAF Project
Janell Graves (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sonal Sojitra (email@example.com)
Evelyn Salcedo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cynthia Soleimani (email@example.com)
Laurent Clerc: National Deaf Education Center
Resources for Families:
Resources for People who are New to Deaf Education:
Setting Language in Motion (by Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center and the DHH Program of Boston Children's Hospital) The goal of Setting Language in Motion is to foster an understanding of the importance of early language acquisition that supports robust linguistic competence and conceptual development in children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Early intervention providers, deaf educators, early childhood specialists and allied professionals, parents, and other caregivers will benefit from this resource.
7 modules on early identification, the ear and testing, hearing aids, language learning through sign, cochlear implants, communication and language in the home, family supports
VL2 Parent Package (Visual language and Visual learning)
American Society for Deaf Children
Visual Language: http://deafchildren.org/knowledge-center/parents-and-families/early-visual-language/
What a treat it was to host Flavia Fleischer, Ph.D. and Will Garrow, Ph.D.. from the Department of Deaf Studies at California State University, Northridge on Tuesday, March 28!
Our guests graciously shared their informative presentation, "Deaf Community Cultural Wealth," highlighting the Six Capitals of Deaf Community Cultural Wealth and how they help empower people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
Flavia and Will opened the presentation by helping the audience, comprised mostly of hearing parents and family members of children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, understand the idea that "deaf" does not equal "deficient." The idea that to be Deaf is to have a deficit has been constructed by the hearing majority - it's not a belief held by the Deaf community. This is a very important distinction, as it can serve to help reframe a parent's perspective when raising a child who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
Flavia acknowledged the reality of barriers, noting some are real - such as language accessibility challenges, and some are merely perceived -- for example, a student's self-limiting belief that s/he can't pursue a certain career path because s/he is Deaf. Not true! Flavia and Will explained that, while it can be tiring to routinely work to overcome socially imposed barriers, Deaf Community Cultural Wealth plays an important role in a Deaf person's ability to resist negative social messaging, develop resistance, reject society's idea that "Deaf" equals "deficit," (or recover faster from negative messaging), and ultimately, to develop the ability to thrive!
So, what are the Six Capitals of Deaf Community Cultural Wealth? They are:
Linguistic - Intellectual and social skills attained through communication experience in more than one language/style. (Yet another reason to support multilingualism! It was especially interesting to hear Will talk about one of his research findings, stemming from more than 100 hours of interviews -- that young adults who had access to American Sign Language found it easier to create authentic connections with hearing people who don't sign. Wait - what?!!? YES! The language skills acquired through ASL made it easier for Deaf students to communicate with non-signers while navigating their way through the hearing world. Access to natural language is a powerful thing!)
Social - Networks of people and community resources that provide instrumental emotional support to navigate one's way through society. (Access to Deaf role models, opportunities to engage with a peer group using natural language, etc. At this point in the presentation, an audience member, Matt Reinig, who is the Student Development Specialist at CSUN, came forward to share how access to Deaf summer camp was so important when he was growing up.)
Familial - The cultural knowledge nurtured among familia (kin) that carry a sense of community, history, memory and cultural intuition that engages a commitment to community well-being. (Teach your children about your culture!)
Aspirational - The ability to maintain dreams for the future, even in the face of perceived barriers. (No limits!)
Navigational - The ability to maneuver through spaces not designed for Deaf people. (Will stressed the need for hearing parents to let their Deaf children gain experience navigating the hearing world -- try not to be too over-protective; let them learn to order their own food, etc.)
Resistant - The knowledge and skills fostered through oppositional behavior that challenges inequality. (Teach your children to self-advocate!)
In ending the presentation, Flavia reminded parents to hold high expectations for ALL of their children, and to become and remain well-informed. She also cautioned parents to be careful of believing in the idea of a "Deaf World" and a "Hearing World." In reality, it's all One World - we're all human. BEAUTIFUL!
Finally, Flavia and Will encouraged parents to be brave and venture out in an effort to get to know the the local Deaf community. Don't worry if you only sign "a little," or even not at all ... use gestures! Remember that the Deaf community is used to interacting with hearing people who don't sign - they're good at it. "It will all work out .... it will be OK," she said.
Deaf Education And Families Project
How wonderful to see so many families eager to learn from Flavia and Will!
Thanks to all who came out to enjoy this special presentation.
Nosotros estamos manteniendo un ojo vigilante a la nueva Secretaria de Educación, Betsy DeVos, y la dirección que tomará la educación pública. Su papel como la escogida del Presidente Trump para la posición fue disputada por muchos dentro de la comunidad educativa, porque ella no tiene ninguna experiencia en educación pública, ninguna significativa experiencia organizativa o administrativa, y es una defensora abierta de los programas de bonos y las escuelas Charter como la reforma de la educación.
La educación de programas bono permiten a las familias a enviar a sus hijos a escuelas fuera de sus barrios - incluyendo a escuelas privadas y religiosas. El dinero para estos bonos proviene de los fondos que podrían haber sido utilizados para educar al niño en la escuela pública. En la actualidad, sólo 14 Estados ofrecen programas de educación de asiento tradicionales. Los proponentes de vales de bonos dicen que ellos alientan una sana competencia entre las escuelas públicas vecinas y entre escuelas públicas y privadas, obligándolos a mejorar a fin de mantener la inscripción y por lo tanto el financiamiento. Los opositores argumentan que la educación no es un negocio, y ver la capacidad de los niños para aprender como una mercancía es fundamentalmente erróneo. Además, donde las escuelas de bonos pueden poner restricciones a la admisión, que de hecho les permite "elegir" a quien educar, las escuelas públicas son los encargados de educar a todos los estudiantes, y deben atenerse a las normas gubernamentales, muchas de las cuales existen para proteger los derechos de los niños con necesidades especiales.
El empuje para programas de bonos nacional ya ha comenzado. El 23 de enero de 1996, el Congresista Steve King (R-IA) presenta H.R. 610, las "Opciones en la Ley de Educación de 2017.” Este proyecto de ley pretende establecer un programa de vales que permite que se utilicen fondos públicos a las escuelas privadas o escuela en casa. A los Estados se les darían fondos para bloquear, y dado amplia discreción sobre cómo gastar los fondos. Esto significa que la educación pública podría ser aún menos financiada de lo que ya es, y las escuelas privadas podrían financiarse con dinero público.
Los proyectos de ley como H.R. 610 son potencialmente devastadores tanto para la educación pública en general y, concretamente, para los niños con discapacidades porque, actualmente, las escuelas privadas no están obligados a seguir el Acta de Educación de Individuos con Discapacidades (IDEA). IDEA es la ley federal que garantiza que los niños con discapacidades tengan acceso a una educación pública apropiada y gratuita que se adapte a sus necesidades específicas. Es por eso que su familia comenzó a recibir los servicios de intervención temprana de aprendizaje para su bebé o niño pequeño DHH. Por eso IEPs son necesarios para garantizar que las necesidades de un estudiante DHH sean cumplidos. Es por eso que los educadores deben buscar el ambiente menos restrictivo a la hora de crear un plan de ayuda a un niño DHH, y por qué el equipo de IEP debe considerar factores especiales en la colocación de los estudiantes DHH incluyendo el lenguaje del niño y oportunidades para la comunicación directa con los compañeros (IDEA, 2004). En general, el objetivo de IDEA es proporcionar a los estudiantes con discapacidad las mismas oportunidades de educación que los estudiantes sin discapacidad.
Mientras la Secretaria DeVos se asienta en su nuevo rol, todos debemos permanecer vigilantes y estar dispuestos a elevar nuestra voz colectiva en apoyo de la educación pública y la importancia de salvaguardar el acceso a una educación pública de calidad para estudiantes con discapacidades. En el Proyecto de Sordos (DEAF Project), trataremos de mantener a las familias informadas de los nuevos acontecimientos a través de nuestra página de Facebook y este blog. Mientras tanto, una de las mejores cosas que usted puede hacer es mantenerse en contacto con sus representantes. Ellos necesitan escuchar las historias personales de los mandantes acerca de los que es navegar por un sistema educativo público ya subfinanciado. La escuela de su hijo/a ha intentado negar el acceso (o denegado el acceso con éxito) a un servicio de apoyo, alegando que no tenían los recursos? ¡Dígale a su representante!
Como padre, usted tiene el poder para ayudar a hacer una diferencia. Compartiendo sus historias no sólo ayuda a fortalecer el compromiso de los representantes a la causa, sino que también les proporciona convincente, "mundo real" historias para compartir mientras debaten temas con sus colegas en toda la isla", en Washington DC.
Desafiamos a cada uno de ustedes de apartar 20 minutos para reunir sus pensamientos y hacer una llamada de teléfono. Puede ser algo tan simple como, "Mi nombre es _____________, y yo soy el padre de un niño que es sordo o tiene problemas de audición. Estoy preocupado por el futuro de la educación pública y a la habilidad de mi niño para obtener los servicios que necesita. Estoy pidiendo el la Senadora Harris (o la senadora Feinstein) a hacer todo lo que pueda para ayudar a proteger a los niños como el mío, por oponerse a H.R. 610." A usted probablemente le pedirán su código postal, y le darán las gracias por compartir sus pensamientos y eso es todo. Si usted quisiera compartir un relato más detallado, puede enviar un correo electrónico o carta. Encontrará la información de contacto a continuación. (Nota: En un reciente entrenamiento de abogacía, hemos aprendido que cada representante ve cada llamada de teléfono como 3-5 votos, cada carta por correo de 10 votos, y cada visita a la oficina como 100 votos. Cartas de forma enviadas por correo electrónico no son muy convincentes. Básicamente, entre más mayor sea el esfuerzo que un constituyente invierte en la toma de contacto, más en serio se toma el contacto.)
¡Gracias por adelantado por hacer su parte para ayudar a proteger la educación especial!
- Rachel Friedman Narr
Coordinator, DEAF Project
Professor of Special/Deaf Education
California State University, Northridge
Many of us are keeping a watchful eye on the new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, and the direction she will take public education. Her role as President Trump’s pick for the position was hotly contested by many within the education community, because she has no experience in public education, no significant administrative or organizational experience, and is a vocal advocate for voucher programs and charter schools as education reform.
Education vouchers allow families to send their kids to schools beyond their neighborhoods – including to private and religious schools. Money for the vouchers comes from funds that would’ve otherwise been used to educate the child in public school. Currently, only 14 states offer traditional voucher education programs. Proponents of vouchers say they encourage healthy competition among neighboring public schools and between public and private schools, forcing them to improve in order to maintain enrollment and thus, funding. Opponents argue that education is not a business, and viewing kids’ ability to learn as a commodity is fundamentally flawed. Additionally, where voucher schools can place restrictions on admission, effectively allowing them to “hand pick” whom to educate, public schools are charged with educating all students, and they must adhere to government standards, many of which exist to protect the rights of children with special needs.
The push for nationwide voucher programs has already started. On Jan. 23, congressman Steve King (R-IA) introduced H.R. 610, the "Choices in Education Act 2017." This bill seeks to establish a voucher program that allows public funds to be used for private schools or home-schooling. States would be issued block grant funds, and given wide discretion over how the funds are spent. This means public education could potentially be EVEN LESS FUNDED than it already is, and private schools could be funded with public money.
Bills like H.R. 610 are potentially devastating to both public education in general and, specifically, for children with disabilities because, currently, private schools are not required to follow the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA is the federal legislation that ensures children with disabilities have access to a free, appropriate public education that is tailored to their specific needs. It's why your family started receiving early intervention services upon learning your infant or toddler was DHH. It's why IEPs are required to ensure a DHH child's needs are appropriately met in the classroom. It's why educators must look for the Least Restrictive Environment when creating a plan to support a DHH child, and why the IEP team must consider special factors in the placement of DHH students, including the child’s language and opportunities for direct communication with peers. Overall, the goal of IDEA is to provide students with disabilities the same opportunity for education as students without disabilities.
As Secretary DeVos settles into her new role, we must all remain vigilant and be ready to raise our collective voices in support of public education and the importance of safeguarding access to quality public education for students with disabilities. At DEAF Project, we will try to keep families informed of new developments via our Facebook page and this blog. In the meantime, ONE OF THE BEST THINGS YOU CAN DO is stay in contact with your representatives. They need to hear constituents' personal stories of what it's like navigating an already under-funded public education system. Has your child's school tried to deny access (or successfully denied access) to a supportive service, claiming they didn't have the resources? Tell your representative!
As a parent, YOU HAVE THE POWER to help make a difference. Sharing your stories not only helps strengthen representatives' commitment to the cause, but also provides them with compelling, "real world" stories to share as they debate issues with colleagues "across the isle" in Washington DC.
We challenge each of you to set aside 20 minutes to gather your thoughts and make a phone call. It can be as simple as, "My name is ______, and I'm the parent of a child who is Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing. I'm concerned about the future of public education and my child's ability to get the services s/he needs. I'm asking Senator Harris (or Senator Feinstein) to do everything she can to help protect children like mine by opposing H.R. 610." You'll likely be asked for your zip code, thanked for sharing your thoughts and that's that! If you'd like to share a more detailed story, you can send an email or letter. You'll find contact info below. (Note: At a recent advocacy training, we learned representatives view each phone call as 3-5 votes, each “snail mail” letter as 10 votes, and each office visit as 100 votes. Emailed “form letters” are not very persuasive. Basically, the more effort a constituent invests in making contact, the more seriously the contact is taken.)
THANK YOU in advance for doing your part to help protect special education!
- Rachel Friedman Narr
Coordinator, DEAF Project
Professor of Special/Deaf Education
California State University, Northridge
Happy Holidays from all of us at
Deaf Education And Families Project!
My 12-year old son has a progressive hearing loss. He has gone through all stages from normal hearing at birth to now being profoundly deaf. At age 2 ½, he started using hearing aids, never wanting to take them off. For school, we added an FM system, eventually switching to a Roger Pen in 5th grade. (To parents of newly identified kids, I think of FM and Roger systems as bringing the teacher’s voice directly to your child’s ear.) As time passed, his hearing loss slowly marched down the audiogram, and before the age of 10, he received his two cochlear implants. He has done well with his CIs, adjusting to them with minimal need for intervention.
My son is a skilled compensator for his hearing loss. At 2, before we knew he had a hearing loss, he always wanted to be held and would physically turn my face towards his. Little did we know he was advocating for his needs and using beginning lip reading skills. I write all of this not to brag (although, of course, I am a proud mama) but to help explain that even with how well he can understand spoken language with his CIs, his speechreading, and his brainpower, he still misses things. Sometimes he is able to “fill in the blanks,” but I know that takes a lot of effort all day long. He makes it look easy, but it must be exhausting. And sometimes he just plain misses things. We have conversations like:
Me: “What did your teacher say about the math assignment?”
Me: “WHAT?!?! She must have talked about it today since it is due tomorrow.”
Now, sometimes it is probably true that the teacher or coach forgot to talk about whatever I was asking about. But when this scenario has repeated itself many times over the years, I’ve grown to accept that as good a listener as he is and as skilled at compensating as he is, he misses parts of conversations that he is not aware of. That is one thing in 2nd grade, quite another in 7th. Enter TRANSCRIPTION! Transcription in a nutshell is converting speech to text.
At this point, some readers may be thinking, "my child is successfully using an ASL interpreter at school, why would transcription be needed?" In that case, it likely isn’t needed. If your child is accessing the curriculum successfully with quality interpretation, then transcription could be a redundant service.
In our case, as we prepared for middle school, my son’s IEP team agreed that he could use the support of transcription in most of his academic courses. In our school district, transcription is provided through TypeWell. C-Print is a similar service to TypeWell. Both TypeWell and C-Print provide a meaning-for-meaning transcript. Typewell’s website describes this strategy as “conveying the essential meaning of what is said, without false starts, redundant phrasing, and other extraneous text.” Other districts might use CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation), which provides a word-for-word transcript. Think open captioning.
How does it work? A transcriber attends each of my son’s designated classes in person (in other districts, the transcriber could also be located off-site). She produces the essence of the discussion in clear English text, which appears immediately on a laptop (provided by the transcriber) on my son's desk. Critically, this includes both what the teacher is saying but also any comments other students make. Now, he can focus on learning the material being taught and not using his brainpower to “fill in the blanks." It is now ok if the teacher is talking while writing on the board. My son doesn’t break his neck swiveling in his chair so that he can read the lips of whomever is speaking. He can access the comments of the soft spoken classmate who sits across the room. If he isn’t quite sure what was said, he merely has to look at the laptop, see what he missed and continue learning. Later he may look back at the transcript to find that he misunderstood or completely missed a portion of the lesson. I asked my son what he thinks about transcription and he answered, “I like being able to see what they say.”
I am often asked if the transcript is saved and provided after the class. It can be. After class, the transcriber may clean up the transcript to remove irrelevant or incorrect information. We had one teacher who reviewed it each night to approve for accuracy (now that is dedication we appreciate!). The transcript can be emailed to the student, posted to a website, or saved to GoogleDocs to name a few options. Some teachers could decide to make it available to other students who also have unique needs or even to the whole class. Why not? It already exists.
Transcription is something that should be addressed with your child’s IEP team. To start with, you need to evaluate whether your child is ready for transcription. Are her/his reading skills strong? Is s/he able to juggle utilizing the transcript while still participating in what is happening in the classroom? For us, this happened around 6th grade, but could be earlier or later in your case. You’ll also want to hone in on the classes where transcription will provide appropriate benefit (and this can change year-to-year). For example, a science class where most of the material is taught through lecture might be a good fit for transcription. A class consisting mostly of small group projects may not. Discuss these and other related questions with your IEP team to figure out if transcription is suitable.
Some might think transcription is an unfair advantage. It is not. If my son is absent, the transcriber doesn’t attend class in his place. It merely levels the playing field, allowing my son to access his educational curriculum in a manner that works with his unique needs. Will transcription be useful for everyone? Of course not. But it might for your child. Check it out!
For more information, visit the links throughout this blog post (noted in green text) and check out this easy-to-understand explanation by Hands and Voices, as well as this info offered by the National Court Reporters Association.
Here's to an accessible and successful academic year!
DEAF Project Parent Mentor
I want to share with all of you an amazing experience I had a couple of weeks ago. My son Gerardo participated in the 2016 West Regionals Academic Bowl, hosted by Gallaudet University. This year, it was held at California School for the Deaf Fremont, and 17 schools participated. This competition is held every year for Deaf or Hard of Hearing high school students.
The competition consists of students answering questions from different subjects. When Gerardo was selected to compete for Marlton’s team, I was super excited -- it was a proud momma moment! It’s a great feeling to know that your son was one of four chosen from among Marlton high school students because of his academic merit.
Being there physically to support my son and the rest of the team was truly priceless. I was there for each match, seeing how nervous they were and how hard they tried. Marlton won the Sportsmanship Award. What made this award so meaningful was that their own peers voted for them.
We also had the opportunity to meet the president of Gallaudet University, and the owner of Mozzeria, a Deaf-owned restaurant in San Francisco. It was great meeting them. Everyone there was so helpful and very attentive. It made our stay there a great one. It was so nice to meet so many wonderful, caring individuals.
This experience is one I will never forget. Seeing my son so happy and already talking about going next year fills my heart with joy. I’m super proud of Gerardo and the Marlton team.
I want to take this opportunity to remind parents how important it is to always encourage your kids. No matter how hard something might be, or how much they are struggling, always remind them that they can achieve anything they want. Gerardo has had many challenges in his life, but I always tell him that he can do anything if he works hard and has a positive attitude. The sky is the limit!
“I had an amazing time at the Deaf Academic Bowl. This was my first time going to a competition like this. I learned so much. I’m happy Marlton won the Sportsmanship Award. I’m also happy I made a lot of new friends. I really liked competing and hopefully I will compete next year. It was a great experience for me.” - Gerardo
Quiero compartir con ustedes una experiencia extraordinaria que tuve hace algunas semanas. Mi hijo Gerardo participo en la competencia, 2016 West Regional Academic Bowl, realizada por la universidad de Galludet. Este año la competencia se llevó acabo en California School for the Deaf, Fremont y 17 escuelas participaron. Esta competencia es realizada cada año para estudiantes sordos o hipoacusicos que están en la preparatoria.
La competencia consiste en que los estudiantes deben contestar preguntas de diferentes materias. Cuando Gerardo fue seleccionado para competir para el equipo de Marlton, yo me emocioné mucho, fue un momento de mama orgullosa. Es una emoción bonita saber que tu hijo fue uno de cuatro estudiantes en toda la preparatoria seleccionado para ir a competir.
Estar ahí fisicamente para apoyar a mi hijo y al equipo de Marlton, fue de lo mejor que me a pasado Estuve ahí para cada ronda, viendo lo nervioso que ellos estaban y lo mucho que lo intentaron. Marlton ganó el Sportsmanship Award. Lo que hizo que este premio fuera significativo fue que sus mismos compañeros votaron por ellos.
También tuvimos la oportunidad de conocer a la presidenta de la Universidad de Galludet y a la dueña de Mozzeria, una mujer sorda que tiene un restaurante en San Fransisco. Fue un placer en conocerlas. Todos durante la competencia los ayudaron mucho y estuvieron muy atentos con nosotros. Hicieron que nuestra estancia ahí fuera muy agradable.
Esta experiencia es una que nunca se me va olvidar. Ver a mi hijo contento y hablando de ir a competir el próximo año me llena de alegría. Estoy muy orgullosa de mi hijo y del equipo de Marlton.
Quiero tomar esta oportunidad para recordarles a todos lo padres lo importante que es el motivar a nuestros hijos. No importa si están pasando por una situación difícil o si tienen dificultad con algo, siempre recuerden les que ellos pueden lograr cualquier cosa que ellos desean. Gerardo a tenido varios desafíos en su vida, pero you siempre le digo que él puede lograr lo que él quiera si trabaja duro y tiene una actitud positiva.
Me la pase muy bien en Deaf Academic Bowl.
Esta fue mi primera vez en ir a una competencia como esta. Aprendí mucho. Estoy contento por qué Marlton ganó el premio de Sportsmanship/compañerismo. También estoy contento porque conocí y hice muchos amigos. La verdad es que me gusto mucho competir, espero poder competir el próximo año. Gerardo
Have you seen the surge of #whyIsign videos on Facebook and other social media platforms? The campaign was started by Stacy Abrams, in support of families with DHH children/family members, to encourage people to recognize American Sign Language as an important part of one's Deaf identity.
The campaign went viral between March 13-15, and the message is timeless. For more information, check out WhyISign on Facebook, visit the website at www.WhyISign.com, or search #WhyISign on any social media.
In the meantime, we'd love to hear from you! Post a comment below to tell us why YOU sign! Don't forget to use the hashtag #WhyISign.
- The DEAF Project Team