Deaf Culture: Art and De’VIA

Deaf Culture: Art and De’VIA


>>From the Library of
Congress in Washington, DC.>>Hello, everyone. I want to thank everybody
for coming. I know a few of you were at
the first luncheon that we had, and so your support is really
great and really appreciated. This one, the Library of Congress
Deaf Association sponsored this event, so I want to
thank you for that. And this was a series — first I do
want to talk about my internship. I’m an intern here at
the Library of Congress. During my time, I was
responsible for planning events, and these were the
three that I chose. Some of you came and some of you
were actually involved in the panel for that one, so that
was really cool. The first one was technology
and telecommunications. Today we’re going to be talking
about deaf art, what it looks like, what it represented, and some of
the behind meanings for deaf art. The last one will be within two
weeks, and it will be focusing on preserving American deaf culture. There is a fourth one,
and it’s not listed. It’s different than deaf culture. It’s one that’s specific
to my family. I’m of Samoan heritage,
and so it will delve into the cultures of Samoa. So now, we will be
talking about De’VIA. If you don’t know this
term, here it is. Little bit of my background on how
I became interested with De’VIA. I’m a student at Eastern Kentucky
University, which is where I came from to do my internship. And there was one art class that
had such a wide range of art. They focused on poetry, art,
sculptures, and a wide range of things, and that
piqued my interest. Before I want to show
you one of these pictures that really mean something to me, I want to talk a little bit
about my family dynamic. And I come from a family of
six brothers and sisters. And this is my older sister –>>Karen.>>Karen. And she’s awesome,
just to let you know. And she was older than me, and
probably when I was five years old, she had already gone to
Gallaudet University, and she was already a student there. So we had quite an age gap. And as I was growing up, I
didn’t use sign language.>>I watched people signing.>>But I was able to watch and be
exposed to some of the letters, some of the basic colors, and
some basic language exposure at that time. As — I’m trying to give a
summary of what happened but — at the school, they provided an ASL
class when I was in high school, probably around my sophomore year
in high school, when I went in and I started to take ASL courses. At that time, my sister was teaching
at San Diego State University, and I had asked if she would sit
down with me on a weekly basis so that I could learn more
and study more of her language and could improve my skills. She was obviously willing to do this
for me, and through our lessons, I was able to develop not
only a relationship with her but also develop my language. We were sisters and so we had
that relationship, but I realized that through more language
acquisition that our –>>That our relationship.>>Our relationship
was surface growing up because we didn’t have
the same language to use. As I started to learn, at that
time that I moved to Kentucky, and so my language classes, they
halted because I wasn’t able to work with her anymore. But then once I got to
Kentucky and settled, then we started our courses again. None of my other brothers
and sisters knew ASL. Still to this day they don’t. So for me, to be able
to have the relationship with my sister is great, but none of the other family
members seemed to learn. So understanding that there
were six of us, it’s a lot. How De’VIA really –>>Impacted me.>>Really impacted me
was by Warren Miller. This is an example and it’s
called Family Tradition. And I wanted to show this
because my sister is one of six. And so you can see
the whole family here, and then down in the corner there’s
one that seems to be excluded. All of them are having conversations
and seem to be involved, but then there’s one
that’s excluded. And it seems that that’s to be
characterized, that’s what happens in families, that there’s
always speech happening and then there’s one
that’s sort of neglected. So when I first saw this,
I was quite emotional.>>I even cried.>>And even broke out in tears
seeing this because it had such an impact and was symbolic
of the family that I grew up with, having one deaf child in
such a large hearing family. This is truly a representation
of that. Yes, I’m able to hear myself,
but the relationship that I had with my sister, I started
to embody some of the — and understand some of the
oppression through her identity.>>And understand her
as a deaf woman.>>Then to even understand
her as a deaf woman. And then everybody knows the “I love
you” hand shape, and that’s seen within this fingerprint, and
it shows a true embodiment of the deaf culture
and the deaf identity. It becomes part of who
you are, and that I want to support the deaf community,
I want to be involved, I want the language acquisition. Yes, I’m motivated to
learn the language, but it’s also to become an
ally, and within the community, and to really immerse myself in
the culture and the language. So now I want to introduce
the expert here of De’VIA — that’s not me. I’m a student, still learning, but
Lenore knows so much, and she’s able to in-depth explain about
De’VIA and what it is. She has some historical
context about what the art is, and some of the importance of it. And –>>Do you remember what [inaudible]?>>Hello, everyone. Let me introduce myself briefly. I’ve worked here for
quite some time, for –>>Eight years.>>For eight years, and
many of you know me. In graduate school, I took courses
and I have a degree in art history.>>European American art.>>And I –>>European American art.>>And studied European
American art. Now, I have been here at the
Library of Congress for eight years, but I’ve been in Maryland
for about 20 years. I graduated from Gallaudet
University, and as I moved here from Pennsylvania, I
ended up staying here. This is my home because of
a very large deaf community. I went to Western Pennsylvania
School for the Deaf in Pittsburgh, and when I moved here,
I decided to stay here, you know, for cultural reasons. I don’t have deaf in my family as
well, and in my small hometown back in Pennsylvania there’s
not a deaf community. And so this is like home for me. So let’s talk a little
bit today about De’VIA.>>And the multiple
perspectives [inaudible].>>We’re going to look at multiple
perspective about deaf artists. Oh, thank you, Michaela,
you’re quick on the draw there. So deaf artists have a long
tradition of creating art, both traditional and
contemporary art. And deaf art incorporates
the language and culture of deaf artists. So there are so many different
aspects of culture and history, our bodies, our sign language,
that are all included in De’VIA. So there are many components of
De’VIA, and these are listed here: high contrast colors and
images, facial expressions, [inaudible] the movement of our
hands, our eyes, our mouths. You’ll see so many different
things incorporated in our art. And oftentimes, you’ll
see us talking about other people’s
focus on our ears. But deaf art, it’s focus is
on American Sign Language.>>Hello again. This is kind of a short
timeline that depicts De’VIA from its original start until today. So the first box, it talks about the
time in the 1960s when they started to realize that there
was a divergence and kind of a difference in
the art in that time. It was in the ’60s, and there
wasn’t too much of an established and announced culture at that time. So there was one group,
the deaf art movement, and a group of deaf students came
together and they started to analyze and look at what is art
and what is the impact? And that’s where they
came up with De’VIA. A few years later, a person — a woman named Betty Miller,
and that was in 1972, Betty Miller, she was known
as the grandmother of De’VIA. And the reason for that was it
was the first all-deaf art exhibit that she had curated. And it was called The Silent World. And that was in 1972. Then in ’89, in deaf art, there
were a group of nine artists that came together, and they
really wanted to look at, how can we make this more profound? How can we make this
have more of a movement? They looked at what the manifesto
was, what the murals and what kind of impact that they wanted De’VIA
to have on the overall culture. Another organization, Deaf
Artists of America, DAA, they created an entire exhibit –>>Gallery.>>It was a full gallery
of different –>>Artists.>>Art, different preservations
and different exhibits that were curated at that time. And then the big celebration
came at the 25th anniversary. What I was really excited
about, though, was this, the Kentucky Deaf Fest. And so like I said, I was
from — I am from Kentucky, and I was there during this year. So the Kentucky Deaf Fest,
it’s a biannual festival, and when I saw De’VIA, I didn’t
really know what it meant at that time, that it was so
all-encompassing of other facets. It also had skits with different
artists, there were comedians, they told stories, and they had
different child exhibits as well. So it was a full range of activities
for all of the participants. So if you ever have a chance
to go, they have food as well. So. So the 2012 was two
years prior, and then –>>In 2014.>>Then they had the next
event which was in 2014. And this is where it continued to
grow into numerous other events and continued to celebrate
the culture. There was one example at this event
is when they highlighted De’VIA, and it was a true festival at that
time, and they really were able to spread the word about De’VIA
and what the arts impact was.>>If you wouldn’t
mind, I’d like to talk about the timeline a little bit. The curator of De’VIA and the
different exhibits, it’s hard — you know, time has
flown over the years. I don’t have exact
dates and times in mind, but I went to a deaf De’VIA. Within three years, folks are hoping to organize another De’VIA
exhibit in the next three years. So hopefully the timeline
will continue.>>I know it’s a lot, but if you
want to go ahead and read this, this was really important
about who Dr. Betty Miller was and the creation of De’VIA. And then –>>The quote from her.>>This is the quote from her,
and it really talks about her art. So this was who we had
referred to previously as the grandmother of De’VIA. And I also wanted to mention
that she did just recently pass.>>So I’d like to expand on De’VIA
through looking at actual artwork. Here you see two hands
that are chained and fingers that are mangled. And this was about the prohibition
of American Sign Language. For so many years,
American Sign Language even in deaf schools had
a focus on oralism — people learning to hear and to
speak — and not on sign language. And Betty Miller, remember
her age and at her time, this was a very prevalent –>>And unfortunate experience.>>And unfortunate experience
in the deaf community — not one that I have experienced. Now, in deaf schools it’s
very common for folks to — teachers and audiologists to focus
on our ears and on our speech, and so hearing tests
were a daily part of life and speech training was
a daily part of life. But it was very arduous, because
the sense was that if you’re going to out in the big wide world,
you need to be able to speak, you need to be able
to use your hearing. And I have, you know, education in
math and all of my regular studies, and I enjoyed those classes but
I hated going to speech training. I just — I can’t tell you
what that experience is for me.>>I can’t imagine her
experience [inaudible].>>And I can’t imagine Betty’s
experience at that time. Now, this is Chuck Baird. He’s a deaf artist and one
of the founders of De’VIA. He passed away two years ago. So here’s his All-American
Breakfast. Can you see it here? Now, some deaf people — I think
you can see this and you’ll catch on pretty quickly, but the
syrup is in the shape of a hand.>>De’VIA is about
showing the sign language.>>De’VIA incorporates sign
language into the artwork itself. And so, when we sign “syrup,” the artist actually depicted
the hands as the bottle. Now, in this one, art number two,
again, a focus on sign language. You’ll notice that it’s backlit by
the heart, and it’s focusing on art. These are — you may not be able to
see them, but they’re paint brushes and pencils and so forth. Now, this is artwork
by Paul Johnston. He’s a professor at
Gallaudet University and one of my professors, and
a great teacher. I really enjoyed him as a
professor and also as a friend. And he’ll be retiring this May, and
he is thrilled to start travelling and now being able to focus
on his one art in retirement. So this piece, Poetic
Hand, shows the expression of American Sign Language in not
just conversation but poetically and musically and rhythmically. And I think you can see the
movement in the picture itself. It really focuses on the beauty
of American Sign Language. In this piece, the
Theory of Language, there are five factors
that are included –>>Features of De’VIA.>>As features of De’VIA. So the hands, and of
course your mind, your eyes because it’s a visual
language and a visual art form, and of course we all still
have this struggle with speech that often gets represented
in the artwork itself. But mostly the incorporation of
hands and not focusing on the ears but focusing on the eyes. And so these are the kind
of the building blocks, the features of De’VIA, the theory
of language itself using the eyes, the ears, the hands, the
mouth, and the brain.>>And they all [inaudible].>>And they all come together in
a theory of language, all right? This is Susan Dupor. She lives in Wisconsin
and she’s an artist there at a deaf school in Wisconsin.>>Teacher [inaudible].>>And as a teacher, she thinks
and incorporates the experiences of children in her artwork. This is Deaf American. And you’ll notice what’s
in her hand. She doesn’t look really happy. She says, “I don’t know. This is what it have,
a hearing aid.” And it shows her contempt for
the hearing aids being forced. And that was a similar experience
for me for so many years. Everyone was focused on me wearing
hearing aids that were just noise to me, and I really have enjoyed
the day that I was able to get rid of my hearing aids and
enjoy peace and quiet. Now, this is entitled
The Family Dog. Now, this is maybe her view of her
family or maybe cousins or being at a family gathering
that she feels fenced off and not a part of the family. And Susan depicted herself
as a dog while everyone else in the family is participating
in conversation and the business of the family, and she had
felt left out and ignored. And this is her stark portrayal
of feeling like the family pet. And I need to say that this was an
experience that I had in my family as well because my
family had no experience with deaf people nor the language. My mom would finger spell
and she had home signs. For example, [inaudible]
she would — in ASL, this is the sign for school. My mom’s version of it was
this because she thought, “Oh, you go to the place
where you hold books.” So that was her sign. And so at Christmas or at
Thanksgiving, you know, the family is all there together but
it was still a lonely time for me. And you know, I would talk
to the family and say, “Hey, what are you guys talking about? Could you tell me?” And it was really hard for them. And even to this day, you know, families that don’t sign don’t
understand that experience.>>[Inaudible] we’ll tell you later.>>Oh yeah, tell about the
whole, “We’ll tell you later, we’ll tell you later” concept.>>Right. I think that’s an
important thing, Michaela. Oftentimes deaf people in a
family or group will say, “Hey, what are you talking about?” They’re like, “Oh, don’t worry. We’ll tell you later.” And that’s such a common
experience that often happens to us in hearing families, and you know — now, Pete, you all
know Pete Richey here. He is really fortunate. He comes from a family
where his father is deaf — you know Alex Richey,
and his mother is deaf, and they come from a deaf family. And there are hearing people
in the family who do sign. But as a deaf person, Pete never
would have had this concept of a family because he
comes from a deaf family with a full language intact. So you know –>>I wish my parents were deaf.>>I wish my parents were deaf. Now, let’s talk about the history of deaf education in
Milan in the 1880s. American Sign Language
was under scrutiny. There was an announcement
in the education world that sign language would
forever be forbidden in the education of deaf people. And that was the theory that
was being promoted at that time, that the best thing for deaf
people was to hear and to speak, and not to use sign language that
separated them from the world. And so there was a large
educational influence at that time by Alexander Graham Bell,
and I’m sure you know of him. Now, let’s look over
at this painting here. Do you Goya’s painting,
The Third of May? Okay, and this is an actual event. This is the depiction of an
actual event tht happened where people were being murdered,
and you understand that history. And this deaf artist
incorporated that, said that this was
almost the murder of ASL. It was almost the time that American
Sign Language had its demise. And this is by artist
Mary Jane Thornley. She has seen that artwork and
she got the idea of, “Wow, I could portray something like
that using American Sign Language in my art.” Now, this is Nancy Rourke. She’s a well-known artist
and she lives in Colorado, and she and I are good friends. And I have much of her
artwork in my house. I have some of Chuck
Baird’s pieces as well. And I really value those
because since he has passed. But this is Nancy Rourke’s artwork. So this one on your left says
The Fifth Grade Experience.>>It’s a portrait.>>It’s a self-portrait. And the artist is portraying herself
as a doll with the eyes crossed out with a large box,
which is her hearing aid. Her –>>Button eyes.>>With button eyes, and a mouth
that’s closed in stitches as well. And the focus was for her not to see
but to actually focus on hearing.>>Big FM systems.>>And these FM systems, the
phonic ears, they were so bulky. Can you imagine being a little
kid out in the playground, and trying to play ball
with the other kids and having this phonic ear
on you, bouncing around and the ear piece is falling out? So this is her depiction
of the hearing community. Now, she was in a mainstream school,
meaning that she was a deaf person in a regular classroom
with all hearing people, and this was her identity that the
other kids would make fun of her because she had to wear
this big plunky hearing aid, and she had really felt
alone and depressed, even being in a mainstream school. Now this piece is called
Coalition Peak. And Coalition Peak is
a concept about De’VIA. And in France, they also had –>>Sortiss [phonetic] in France. Sortiss.>>They have a movement
of the sortiss in France, the deaf community. And so they were talking
about the deaf art movement and the American art
movement being in coalition. And so they took an image here
of V-ditz [phonetic] who was from the National Association
of the Deaf and their view of American Sign Language as
showing, needing to survive. And so here’s the word “defend,”
and portraying that we need to defend American Sign
Language from the waves of oralism and depression. And those waves, for so many years,
often affect the deaf community and continue to affect the deaf
community, and it’s the work of artists to build a mountain
that protects the deaf community from these waves of
oppression and oralism. And so, again, that’s the word
“defense,” preserving our culture, defending our culture and
cherishing it as a value of ours. Oh, okay. This is Tony Landon McGregor, a deaf
artist who is also Native American. He incorporated not
only his deaf experience but his Native American
experience in his artwork. His art is so beautiful, it’s hard for this PowerPoint
to show this to you. This is a gourd, and
he has decorated it in the Native American
style and themes with American Sign Language
incorporated into the images.>>[Inaudible] animals.>>So you can see the animals, and this is very typical
of Native American Art. Here’s another depiction
entitled ASL Eagle Painting. Again, a Native American
experience of incorporating animals and nature, natural themes. He now lives in Texas.>>This is a landscape in Texas.>>And you’ll see the landscape
here, and then these are hand shapes that show not the word “eagle” but
the forms of the wings, the claws, and the head and the
beak and the eye. Mary Rappazzo grew up in California, and a lot of her artwork
is shown in many galleries. She’s hard of hearing but she
has an experience of being deaf, and she considers herself a
person who lives in two worlds. So she talked here about deaf people
in a march and coming together as one voice to support and to
speak out about the diversity of deaf culture, and to
relinquish oppression. [Inaudible] And so this was one of the marches. And the deaf community
has marched so often in its history for its rights. So this is something that
talks about the importance of people coming together and
speaking up with one voice for issues they believe in. This one is called
the Learning Circle. And here are people that are
talking as they’re studying. But if you’ll notice here,
the other person is reading, and there’s a person outside of the
window, and they want to be involved but they can’t be involved in
the educational experience. And so they feel — this is
artwork that depicts someone feeling as an outsider, [inaudible] and
it’s similar to the other theme that you saw earlier in
the family dog painting.>>One voice [inaudible]. And how also talking about like DPN, the Deaf President Now,
and how that relates. [Inaudible]>>So people may not know
about DPN, Deaf President Now, and that was what — in ’88, ’89? The spring of — right. And if you were here
in D.C. at that time, you knew about the
Deaf President Now. So a little bit of history about
that is that there was a president of Gallaudet who was a person who
is hearing and not a deaf person. And when they were
electing a new president, they decided to hire
a hearing person. And the deaf people were enraged,
and there was a huge protest covered in national and international news. And the deaf people had to speak up with one voice to
get what they wanted. They wanted a deaf person
to lead a deaf institution. And so Deaf President
Now prevailed, and I. King Jordan was named as
president of Gallaudet University. And so that was definitely one
great example in the history of the deaf community of people
coming together with one voice. This is Ellen Mansfield. She lives nearby in
Frederick, Maryland. She graduated from New York
Art College and had moved here and has lived here,
continuing [inaudible], working in various art
forms and art genres. She knows that some deaf
schools, the education — or a mainstream school puts
a person out on the streets if they don’t get a
quality of education. And so she has really
been a proponent of using American Sign Language
as a way to teach deaf children. Not to use what’s called TC
— total communication — where you sign and
speak at the same time. And so what she’s saying is that
this is the result of oppression, that over time, you can
actually be out on the streets and end up being a beggar. And that’s one of the effects that
deaf people do know in society. And the goal, from
this artist’s view, is to have American Sign
Language for full inclusion and education of deaf people.>>This is her self-portrait.>>So this is her self-portrait,
I Will Never Forget.>>She was going to
mainstream school and –>>She went to a mainstreaming
school and it was — and she was a product
of oral education. She terms itself here, the
victims of oral education. It was an experience that
was engrained on her, that Sign Language was not valued — that only speaking and only
hearing was valued in society.>>It wasn’t until way later –>>And it wasn’t until many
years later, where she learned about American Sign Language. Now, she had the experience — and other deaf people have had
the experience of being wacked on the hands with wooden
spools and things, rulers, to>>For signing. For signing.>>To punish them for signing. Now, at Western Pennsylvania
School for the Deaf in Pittsburgh, that I went to, I heard
that there were the days where classes before me had gone through that kind of
corporal punishment. And when I came along much
later, fortunately for me, they used American Sign
Language in deaf education.>>So this is the last slide
and the last art that we had. But I really wanted to focus on this
and to really look at the art here and to see the multiple
perspectives, to figure out what the
feelings are when you look at this type of painting. When you look at this
hunger for ASL, when you hear about the Milan
conference in Italy from 1880, and you really see the emergence
from where ASL was previously banned to now an inclusion in education. So you see how it’s
affecting getting jobs, how it’s affects everything. And the oppression of the
language really affects your life and pursuit of happiness. The language and the culture is
everything and understanding, for so many, culture is their life. So now would be a great time. We can field some questions
if anybody has any. And we would ask that if anyone
is going to use Sign Language, that they could come up
to the front of the room. [Inaudible] Hello, everyone. My name is Lacorum [phonetic], and I am from South San
Diego here in California. I was really excited to be
a part of this and to — it was a great presentation. But I was really excited. What does it mean here, to see
the black hands at the bottom? What is your take on that? What do you think that means?>>Well, these are hands —
the hands of oppression and — oh, and I’m sorry, I need to be over
a little bit better for the filming. Thank you. All right. Let’s see. So these images show the
[inaudible] depression, the anger — the negative aspects. Because they weren’t
allowed to sign. They were starved for ASL.>>And it’s almost
like [inaudible] dead.>>And it’s almost like
the hands are dead, that they don’t — they’re lifeless. [Inaudible] And you’ll notice
again this other image is framed in darkness as well.>>Yeah, I did notice
that dark at the side. Thank you very much. Other questions? If anybody — I know there are
several members of the audience that are deaf, so if anybody
wants to comment, they could. Fred, you want to come up? Yeah, please. Hello, everybody. You know, as I’m looking at this
art, I think this is really great. I know there was the
one with the family that showed everybody was just
talking while this deaf person stands at the sidelines
and isn’t included. And that happens when
people, as I was born — I was born deaf, and
I was a military brat. And I tell you what, that
experience was even more incredible. So it was –>>And I was a brat –>>Really, and speaking of
military brat, I was a brat. You know, I often spoke out and
was in New York and when my mom — when we got there, it was in
Ellis Island and the family, we were in New York and
we tried to go out — my whole family’s excited to go
out one day and do something. But I was deaf and
so was my brother. And so what I would do,
I would start to pick on people to get attention. You know, it was the way
that I had to act out so that I could get attention. And so every member of my family —
that was my way to get attention. I would just pester
and pester and pester, until I could finally get
attention and get access to what people were saying. [Inaudible] You know, no one
enjoyed that, but it was only way that I could get attention. In Providence, Rhode Island
my experience for education with signing was banned as well. It was all speech-focused. It was — it’s called
an oral approach, and so we had to just put your
hands down and practice speaking. And people often said, you know, I had a deaf voice
and things like that. But I learned Sign Language
way later, probably –>>Not until I was 14 or 15 –>>No sign language exposure
until I was 14, 15 years old. And so thank God for
Kendall School for the Deaf, which is in Washington,
DC, near Gallaudet. So happy that, you know,
I could finally embrace and find peace with a deaf identity. Like Lenore said about
this FM system, this big box with these
bulky ear things, to finally just get rid of that. And to see — I don’t know
how you hearing people deal with the sounds every day. But you know, I am deaf, I am
proud deaf and I was born deaf, and so I know how happy I am. So thank you. Other comments? Yeah, come on up. [ Inaudible ] Hello, everybody. I’m Alex Richey, and I was born
and raised in a deaf family. I went to a school for the
deaf, and it was in the ’50s. I was six at the time
when I was in first grade. And we were able to
sign at the deaf school. We did practice speech
reading every day and we did do the headphone things, but there was one teacher
specifically that I remember that really struggled with me on how to pronounce the L. I
just couldn’t get it. And she would get mad at me, and we would fight, and
I would get spanked. I got pulled over the knee so
many times, and I would sob until the two chairs
would go together. They would get all of the
students together and throw all of their clothes in
together and would cover me with all of these clothes. And that was really
traumatic for me. And I could never still
forgive that teacher for the humiliation at that time. And that was one of the really
negative experiences that I had. Still to this time — I
know every once in a while, over all of these years, I still
feel, you know, humiliated. What she did to me in front of
all of the other students and how that has still affected me. And so, you know, I never wanted
to tell my parents about that, because I knew that my father
would go after that teacher. But I never told, never
did anything. But that was one of
my bad experiences of growing up, learning oral. Other comments? Or does anybody want
to share anything else? Is there — I’m curious if everybody
understands what — I’m sorry. Make sure I’m in the right place. It’s interesting, deaf
culture, right? How we have to figure out where
to stand, how the lights go. So I was wondering if
people understood when — if the interpreters, when the
sign for TC, total communication, if the interpreters really
portrayed what that means. And if not, I want to go
through a little bit of that to explain what this means. This total communication. It means that the voice
— you’re trying to speak, while you’re signing,
at the same time. So you’re liked focusing on your
vocal cords, the mouth patterns. And so there’s a situation
where you’re trying to –>>The voice always dominates –>>Your voice always
dominates the Sign Language, and so the signing is no good. It’s lax.>>It’s muddled.>>So the person that can sort
of hear, you know, I can do that. There are other people
that are similar to me — you know, if they have a hearing
aid or they consider themselves hard of hearing, I can lip read
and look very closely, but once I turn my head, I have
no access to that information. And so that specifically only
works for that situation. So for this total communication
approach, you have to meet people that are exactly similar in
that mode of communication. If a deaf person is on
the sidelines watching us, they have no idea what’s going on. And they have a very
hard time understanding. So that’s why that
mode isn’t effective, and ASL is something
that I cherish as well. Taking off those hearing
aids is fantastic for ASL. And you must, because once I take my
hearing aids off, I’m out as well. You know, I have to think, what
happens if my battery dies? Then I have to write back and forth,
and I struggle with communication. And it’s the same people that
I communicate with fine today, tomorrow I could be
completely in the dark. So just try to imagine that, with
these deaf children in schools, and most of the teachers that
they’re growing up with — even if they were at
a deaf school — that approach of total communication
and their signing and trying to speak at the same time, these
children are not able to hear. You have to be able to hear some and
have some hearing ability for that, as well as English awareness.>>And other people won’t
have the exact same experience as you as well. Let me add to that. Total communication, TC, was a method of education
that was used in deaf schools, but you really didn’t
get an education. There were signs, but it was
still following English word order and word structure. And it was still left to the
deaf person to do all the work.>>And so understanding that we have
organizations that are out there that are really supporting and
advocating for deaf children as they’re born to right away give
them access to a visual language. Imagine being — and I know I
already explained some of that — there was a workshop with Craig
Anderson that had happened before. I know [inaudible]
there was one PowerPoint that explained that
— a baby is born. They immediately have access to
language, so imagine a deaf child — and other members of the family are
all hearing, and they’re all talking and communicating, while this baby
has no absorption of any language. They’re not able to pick
up anything from them. So there are years
of miscommunication. And that’s why there’s such a
delay in education for deaf, as well as the development
of language. These skills that we’re noticing
in language are so behind and when they’re able to get into
a school, they finally are able to start learning and have
exposure to education and the way that things around them work. [Inaudible] And notice they’re here,
they’re starving for communication, and it’s because of the void
that they’ve had for so long. Often we see that the
English skills — we notice it looks like a
second language learner. And like, oh, this person who is
deaf is writing in broken English, and that’s not proper grammar. Well, because they didn’t learn
it until way later in life. They didn’t have access to it until
they were five, six years old. So it’s terrible when we see that. So I just wanted to
mention that, so that’s all. We got an applause –>>So we need to close.>>One last comment. Sorry. It will be real
short, real short. So as we watched what
she just said — did you see her facial expressions
and the way that Ellie was when she was talking, you can look
and see how animated she really is. That right there is the
portrayal of deaf culture. You know, when you can point
— some parents are like, oh, don’t point at me like
that, you know. That seems to be a faux
pas in hearing culture. But there’s the directness
that happens within and the facial expressions
and the animation that happens within the deaf culture, that
that’s how we portray things, and that’s how things go. And when a hearing person is
not animated, we see no gesture. We miss out on some
of that communication, because it’s within the voice. And a lot of people misunderstand
deaf when we are really animated. But that’s part of the language. Sorry. We have to wrap up. There’s other people that
are trying to use this room. [Inaudible] Because it’s — their was a topic from
the audience that –>>Would be a whole new discussion.>>Needed a whole bunch. So okay. I wanted to
cite my sources. There was no plagiarism. And so remember I told you that
there were other upcoming events? There was one more that
is deaf culture-focused. And the person that’s coming
here will be Max Williamson, and he will be coming and helping
with the presentation and be talking about the past and other
movies and the preservation of the language, as
well as deaf culture. So thank you so much. That is it. And hopefully see you
at the next one. Thank you everybody. Bye-bye.>>This has been a presentation
of the Library of Congress. Visit us at LOC.gov.

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