|Volume 1, Issue 29||
Hello ASL Heroes!
Bill's recommended ASL pick of the month:
In a message dated 10/13/2005 2:48:33 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, nanettehuijs@_____813 writes:
In a message dated 10/14/2005 3:14:51 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, sherry@.org writes:
Each system of communication has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Signed English is useful when discussing English and for helping to familiarize Deaf people with the nuances of English.
My recommendation though is that you teach your children American Sign Language (ASL). Here in the United States ASL fulfills "foreign language requirements" at many colleges. Signed English does not.
The majority of adult Deaf people converse amongst themselves using ASL, not Signed English.
ASL grammar and lexicon (signs) are better suited to gestural articulation (being expressed through the hands) than English grammar and lexicon (words).
Dr. Bill Vicars
In a message dated 10/18/2005 2:17:11 PM Pacific Daylight Time, Katie@______.net writes:
Use "HAPPEN" for English meanings similar to: occur,
take place, befall, materialize, result, come about. HAPPEN is a way of
stating "something is being done," "something will be done," or
"something was done."
Also use "HAPPEN" for statements like, "When you go, I
want you to take your brother."
That is because what you are really saying is, "When such and such
happens, I want you to take your brother."
The sign WHEN is used to seek information regarding clock or calendar time.
The sign "WHEN" is almost always expressed as a question: WHEN-"whq" [done with a furrowed brow].
It is occasionally used to make statements like "I don't-KNOW WHEN-(neutral)," but could easily be replaced by, "I don't-KNOW TIME" or "I don't-KNOW DAY."
Understand though that language is ever changing. It is
my observation that more and more ASL users are using the sign WHEN as a
statement similar to the way HAPPEN is used. A person could say that
this is an erroneous usage. But it will only be an "error" until enough
people use it in that manner for a long enough period of time--at that
point the new usage will be "standard."
In a message dated 11/3/2005 7:19:05 AM Pacific Standard Time, regent@____.ca writes:
Hi Dr. Vicars,
Hey, that's terrific information! Thanks for sharing it. That certainly clears things up!
Hello. Sorry for the delay in responding. I've chained myself to this keyboard for most of the day and have my email list down to 62 left. Heh. I won't get them all tonight...but maybe a few more.
You asked about the best places for researching the Deaf Community.
I recommend you check with the Center for Assessment and Demographic Studies at Gallaudet University.
Here's a pertinent link:
Note: They will confirm what you've already found out...it is very difficult to obtain reliable data pertaining to this subject.
I also suggest you consider contacting:
Center for the Preparation of Educational Interpreters NTID at RIT, LBJ-1234
Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623-5604
Also, do a google for: ASL Program Proposal
and: Interpeter for the Deaf program Proposal
You will come across numerous examples of program proposals that you can glean ideas from regarding what they did.
If you haven't checked with your state's school for the deaf, I suggest you do so: http://www.msdb.k12.mi.us/msd/
Now, about live video chat...I don't know of a "go and chat" place for hearies who want to practice their ASL skills. But I suggest you visit http://www.sorensonvrs.com and www.hovrs.com to get a feel for the technology that is out there. Here is a site that I know of for "chat" but I don't know if they use video yet: http://chat.deaf.com/
I know of an ASL tutor who will chat via video for a fee. But I know of no "free" sites for that sort of thing.
Also, you might enjoy my fingerspelling site: http://asl.ms
Best wishes for your success.
(Dr. Bill of Lifeprint.com / ASLU)
William Vicars, Ed.D.
Director CCE Online and Immersion ASL Programs
CSUS College of Continuing Education
6000 J St. - Eureka Hall, Room 308
Sacramento, CA 95819-6079
In a message dated 11/2/2005 12:05:56 AM Pacific Standard Time, a mother writes:
In ASL, the sign BUG is often used to mean "ant." For example, you might spell the word "A-N-T" at the beginning of the conversation, and immediately show the sign "BUG" and from then on in that specific conversation you would just sign "BUG" to mean "ant." Also, you might notice that some Deaf choose to mouth the word "ant" while signing bug. Some do. Some don't. Personally, I'd just spell the concept and then use "wriggling bent-5 handshapes" to show how the colony moves as a whole, or a closed-G handshape to show the movement of a single ant.
There is a signed English version of "ant" that places an "A" handshape on top of a down turned "claw" handshape. Then you move the sign forward while wiggling the fingers of the bottom hand as if they were insect legs moving forward.
By Bill Vicars, Ed.D.
A Tale of Two Trucks
Cultural Deafness is a choice. I have a hearing loss, but I am culturally Deaf by virtue of the fact that I choose to be. I choose to sign. I choose to work in a Deaf-related field. I married a Deaf woman. I choose to attend a Deaf Church. I choose to have Deaf friends. I set up an ASL website. I choose to immerse myself in this world.
I'm proud to be a member of the Deaf community.
Physical deafness is defined as "partially or completely lacking in the sense of hearing" (dictionary.com). This definition includes two groups or subsets: those who are "completely" lacking in the sense of hearing, and those who are partially lacking. Both groups are, by dictionary definition, deaf.
I am one of those in the "partially" lacking subset. People in the partially lacking subset" are typically referred to as "hard of hearing."
To help you understand how a person can be hard of hearing and yet be "deaf" lets consider for a moment the word, "truck." There are two main kinds of trucks: 2-wheel drives (2x4) and four by fours (4x4's). Both are trucks and for everyday purposes we refer to them as trucks. When we announce that a neighbor is moving, we ask people to show up with their trucks to help with the move. We do not say, "bring your 2-wheel drive trucks and your 4x4's." We just say "truck."
There are times however when we specifically refer to 2-wheel drives or 4x4's. Two examples are when discussing:
1. Ability: When we are discussing actual physical ability that has an application to our needs. For example: It is snowing and we need a 4x4 because a 2-wheel drive would be more likely to get stuck.
2. Pride: 4x4 owners are proud of their machines and occasionally it shows. They put stickers in their windows proclaiming their status as a 4x4. Two-wheel drives are of lower status and do not advertise their status.
Hard of hearing people are the 2-wheel drives of the Deaf world. We are still trucks. We are still Deaf. Just of lower status.
A 2-wheel drive truck owner my decide to "rice out his wheels" (make his truck fancy). A custom paint job, lots of chrome, expensive accessories, and a lift kit or hydraulics. The owner of such a 2-wheel drive truck will manage to garner quite a bit of respect. In the city anyway. That's like me. I'm of a lower status because of my subset (I'm hard of hearing) but I have various degrees and certifications which help out some.
The problem though, is if the owner of a fancy 2-wheel drive truck starts acting like he is hot stuff...the proud 4x4 owners will quickly begin making comments like, "Yeah, but it'd look better with some mud." Meaning, that if it were a "real" truck (4x4) it could go up in the mountains and splash around in the mud, but since it isn't a "real" truck it can't get any mud and therefore is not as good as a 4x4.
There is another label that is of interest to me. It is the "slash" existence. Deaf "slash" hard of hearing, or "Deaf/HOH." Sometimes when I introduce myself or in response to someone's questioning I refer to myself (in sign) as "DEAF HOH." This is an attempt to establish my cultural affiliation but to not overstate my status. I'm not alone in this. I've seen many other "slash" people out there. If I introduce myself as being Deaf (without the "slash" HOH) that immediately cues the other person to start asking which deaf school I went to or if I went to Gallaudet. This is natural because it provides a means of quickly establishing connections that will help us exchange information about classmates and mutual friends. By adding the HOH to my introduction my conversational partner will be less likely to waste time searching for assumed connections that don't exist and will instead focus on finding other connections.
The fact is I am both Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Deaf (slash) HOH
What is the slash? What are the factors that determine when I'm functionally Deaf and when I can function as a hard of hearing person? Check it out:
I am deaf in these situations:
o background noise
o light behind speaker
o speaker has accent
o speaker has speech impediment
o Air Conditioner is running
o Small child's voice
o Hearing Aid battery is dead
o Person on TV is "off camera or not facing the camera." Also if the TV is more than a few feet away.
o Person is more than a few feet away or speaks at below 60 decibels
o Person covers his mouth or turns to write on the blackboard.
o You are standing on my right (85 decibel loss)
o It's time to take out the garbage
I am Hard of Hearing in these situations:
o Quiet environment
o Appropriate lighting
o Clear view of mouth
o Amplifier on phone
o I have my hearing aid on
o Standard American English articulation
o Person is within a few feet and speaks at 70 decibels or above.
o Person isn't chewing gum, smoking, or eating.
o Person on TV is facing the camera, his mouth movements can be seen, and the volume is at 70 decibels
o Some song lyrics if they are dominant and the graphic equalizer is set at a reverse "cookie bite."
o you are standing on my left (55 decibel loss)
o It's time to eat.
In a message dated 10/23/2005 6:29:21 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, Dorsey writes:
It could be argued that men have it better off in society than women.
For example, there is research showing that men on average receive higher pay than women for the same amount and type of work.
So then--since being male is advantageous--do you wish you were male?
Note: In response to Dorsey's message (above) the following email was submitted 12/27/2005, reisak@_____.net writes:
Sadly the hearing will never hear a rainbow or know what a smile sounds like.. I pity them - for my silent world allows my eyes to see what no mans ears can.
In a message dated 10/25/2005 7:57:40 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, sphs_be@____.org writes:
You are right on in your method of dealing with English slang.
Hey, thanks for the words of praise.
Where is your high school? Maybe I'll be in your area someday.
In a message dated 10/28/2005 11:27:39 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, Christopher_Prinz@___.gov writes:
Hi Bill My name is Chris B. Prinz due to an acoustic neuroma I'm 100% deaf on the right side at the age of 45, Is it to late for me to learn ASL it seems to be pretty intense? an how would be the easiest for an old goat suck as my self.
I won't lie to you and tell you that it will be easy to pick up a second language at age 45.
It can certainly be done. People can learn ASL at any age--it just becomes much more challenging the older we become.
The more exposure you have to the language: classes, books, videos, study groups, ASL socials, etc. the faster you will learn it.
But the real question is: At age 45 are you in a position to change your "culture?" You've spent 45 years making friends and interacting with hearing people. Now you apparently are being forcibly thrust into a new world of silence. It is a world filled with interpreters, ttys, sidekicks, relays, video-phones, captioning, and flying fingers. Even if you never pick up on the flying fingers... you will still benefit from VCO (voice carry over phone relays) or "Captel" (captioned) phones. You should certainly take at least one or two ASL classes to see how you like it. Then after you've learned some survival signing...attend a few Deaf socials in your area.
If you haven't done so, check out your state's "division of vocational rehabilitation" because they might be able to pay for your ASL training, plus send you back to school to learn new job skills.
Also, visit your library and check out any ASL/Deaf-culture related books.
In a message dated 10/28/2005 3:58:30 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, cynkaniski@______.com writes:
Dr. Vicars (Bill)
In a message dated 11/1/2005 5:21:11 AM Pacific Standard Time, emma@.ca writes:
In a message dated 11/23/2005 8:45:12 PM Pacific Standard Time, Brenda writes:
I wanted to get back to you much earlier on this...and as it is, I've only just now managed to get a "bell" page done.
Specifically, the answer to your question is to do the initial clap of the bell, and then drag the clapper through the air a bit showing the reverberation of the ringing in the air. (Sort of like the sign "green" heh).
2. Good "WILL" to men.... What is the concept of "WILL?" I have my thoughts but will refrain from stating so as not to influence you. smile
To deal with that phrase, we need to adjust the quotes. Instead of quotes around "WILL" we need to think of it as a phrase "good will to men" and figure out the meaning of the phrase.
"Good will to men" means to honestly want the best for other people. To genuinely hope that things go well for them in their lives.
The tempting thing to do is to simply sign GOOD _________ OFFER PEOPLE and fill in the blank with "something" like ENJOY-(appreciate). Such a construct flows well with the music and stays within a Hearing caroler's comfort zone of producing one sign for each voiced concept.
It is a compromise. (But, the fact is, most successful intercultural relations are built on compromise and a willingness to meet halfway.)
An interpretation you might want to consider is:
"INSPIRE ALL PEOPLE"
or my favorite:
"GOOD FEELING ALL PEOPLE"
I'm interested to find out what variation you used.
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and that the ASL 3 performance party went well.
In a message dated 11/17/2005 5:42:27 AM Pacific Standard Time, obrienk2@ writes:
I want to teach kids in my class to say "We Wish you a merry Christmas
I have created a video clip for you.
Or for a bit larger version see:
I recommend you use the "index finger" version of the sign WE.
Yes, there are many ways to sign those particular concepts, the way I demonstrate in that file is a very solid approach.
The MC version of Merry Christmas is very casual. For the song I recommend the larger "HAPPY CHRISTMAS" version.
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