Friday, February 8, 2008

RE: NAD Responds to AgBell

In the NAD President's Blog, Bobbie Beth Scoggins writes:

We know that this is not the first time that AGBell has reacted in this manner to high-profile use of ASL, which AGBell may perceive as detracting from its exclusive focus on speaking and listening.

When we began our journey using the oral approach with Jordan, he wore hearing aids and we were told this buzz phrase that scared the shit out of me, so no, I did not go that extra mile to learn LIS. Also because as I've said before the language barrier with Italian was more than enough for my stressed out mind to handle. Also... couldn't find many Deaf role models around Grosseto, just a seventeen year old here and there who brought the sign language alphabet card with a stuffed animal to our dinner table asking for money because he was Deaf. I refused to see my son's life in that way and was so angry that another Deaf person was condemned to that life.

Jordan struggled with hearing aids for eight years. He was successful to a certain degree, but very, very frustrated

*He is not frustrated at all with his cochlear implant*

It's so ironic. Because I truly believe that cochlear implants give a baby enough hearing from the beginning so as to dispel that "buzz phrase" and allow that child to incorporate sign without having to worry that such sign would interfere in his/her successful speech development process. This is a key point to acknowledge in reaching some type of compromise in this dialogue - not war- dialogue...

NAD seems to accept cochlear implants in their letter:

We welcome all people who value ASL, and we promote opportunities for the acquisition and use of ASL in addition to English in its various forms, with or without the use of hearing technologies, to enable successful participation in all aspects of American society, including the deaf community.

...The premise being that the child is Deaf without the ci, so the child should learn ASL; the child is "hearing" with the ci, so av therapy is necessary to stimulate speech and language development. Obviously what I am saying pertains to profoundly deaf ci candidates, but isn't that what this is about anyway? Those kids who are profoundly deaf? If this is the premise for a program of action, this would mean that the Deaf community would have to accept the ci as a valid option in approaches to Deafness and AgBell would have to formally incorporate the use of ASL in its objectives. There needs to be some logical basis...not just passion for one side or another.

In any case, I thought the NAD letter was very well-written:

In the view of the NAD, every deaf person has a unique place in American society, with basic human rights with respect to identity, cultural affiliation, and self-expression. This viewpoint, with emphasis on diversity and inclusiveness, forms the foundation for our existence as an organization and as a community.

We expect the same respect from AGBell on behalf of the community we represent.

Their point was...Loud and Clear.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's good to know that Jordan has spoken three languages plus another one.

Italian, English and ASL and another one is Italian Sign Language (ISL)! There are four languages! There you go, girl!

Darn....I'd be envy if he/she learns ISL. I'll eager to learn some new things...of course, we'd love to learn some bad words. ooopps! ;-)

Jordan will stimulate her language/grammar skills whenever he/she goes....very lucky that he/she sees the new world and learn a great deal about many new cultures.

Glad to hear that he/she did not frustrate with all the hearing aids and CIs at all. As long as he/she knows the *four* different languages! *Lucky!*

Don't let NAD or AG Bell get to you if you disagree with the issue.

White Ghost

Anonymous said...

I am not trying to attack, although this comment probably is out of order. Sue me for taking few minutes away from your life.

First of all, I am not NAD member. I never will be side with deaf milia..oops advocates (yeah, I read HearingExchange's blog). I am not against CI people, however I am against the guidelines that every hospitals were ordered to.

Once the babies are failing pre-screening test; the doctors only will give one option - CI. The parents would be left with confusing, hurtful, and upset. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for God's gift.. my daughter and she's hearing. When I got the pre-screening test result in front of my mother in law; she jumped in joy.. I mean she was jumping literally!!!. I was disbelieved and P.O. I was thinking.. WTF?? Does she think I'm no good? Are my whole deaf family no good (ohh my parents & siblings are deaf too). My whole family are the hard-working people. My brother is a project leader for the gigantic corporation in worldwide. There is no barrier. Anyway my mother in law left me in confusing and hurtful. Thankfully, I m so relieved she is several states away from my residence WHEW!!

You stated that the av therapy is necessary to stimulate speech and language development. Once av therapy is performed, ASL or any method of sign language are banned. That is AGBell's mission statement. Just take your motherly love out of you -- step back and look at the situation. Let's foresee your Jordan in his late teens. Let's say that he probably have difficult time to identify himself. Who will he blame? parents. I know because I have several CI friends. Most CI people felt that they don't belong to the hearing world, because they are not hearing enough. Decide to go over to Deaf world -- same result, because they are not deaf enough (that s because they know nothing about any method of sign languages) Most of my CI friends had been going through that until we started to embrace them -- teaching them ASL.

I'm trying to make a point that NAD is there for everyone no matter who they are. Will AGBell be there for you when your son Jordan's having an identify crisis? That's The Question. AGBell probably will turn their faces and said its the parents' job!!!

All AGBell needs to do is "formally incorporate the use of ASL....." like you said. Just insert the ASL into the program as a back-up plan.

--Anon or Deaf Mil.. (oops, I did it again) Advocates will jump on me because I am from deaf family.

A Deaf Pundit said...

Jodi, whoever told you that learning sign does interfere with speech development?

Because I've looked and looked for research that shows that, and I cannot find any.

Hetha said...

I was reading Berke Outspoken yesterday and was led to the NAD letter. I thought it was extremely well written and respectful. I'm find it very bizarre that AGBell went after Pepsi that way, they seem very insecure if a commercial has their feathers all ruffled.

I think that taking an extreme stance on either side of the issue is counterproductive. If AV worked for your child that is AWESOME, but I don't like to see parents advocating to other parents to drop ASL and I especially get angry when they start citing "research". You can find research to support any point of view if you look for it. Parents who are out there pushing the anti sign mentality by this method are basically scaring new parents of deaf babies into thinking that if we sign with them we are failing them. That is how I felt on Ci Circle in the early days, until I got wise to it. I just think it must be nice to be so sure of yourself that you are willing to make others feel inept if they make a different choice.

(sorry for the rant, but you seem pretty tolerant of rants here Jodi :-)

Anonymous said...

*apalled*

Did you know there are thousands of hearing homeless begging for money? Did you know that there are many hearing peddlers that act like deaf person and sell alphabet cards?

Did you know poor hearing mothers walking around with a sign, "food for my children" and begging for people to give them money?

Should I declare all hearing people should become Deaf so that way hearing people will not condemned to that life?

One person doesn't mean as a group. I want to make sure you understand that clear.

I got a tone from your posts that you are being in denial. I hope one day you will realize it is ok to be Deaf like it is ok to be Hearing.

Jodi Cutler Del Dottore said...

Appalled...How strange that I never saw it from that perspective...thank you, really interesting comment, Jodi

Jodi Cutler Del Dottore said...

Hi A Deaf Pundit,
I was told that by my speech therapist and audiologist here in Italy. There have been studies posted on the Ci Circle or Listen Up (I can't remember) where children in total communication environments score less on comprehension and language skills than children mainstreamed...I tried to find them to pull them up, but as of yet, I have been unsuccessful. I'll keep trying, anyway those were the research findings that I remember recently. Jodi

Jodi Cutler Del Dottore said...

Anon,
What a horrifying experience about your mil, really wrong and ignorant, I'm so sorry you had to live that. I appreciate your comment - humor- and serious side, and I agree with what you've said...thank you, Jodi
btw, Jordan will be so overanalyzed by me by the time he's an adult that he will have NO problem with any identity *smile* and without a doubt, he will blame me for everything, that's what kids all ages do best *grin*

Jodi Cutler Del Dottore said...

White Ghost,
Currently Jordan speaks Italian and some English while he also studies French. I'm the one trying to go about learning LIS, he does not want to learn - no time- if I am able to find someone to come to the house, I'll organize it so we can do it together. My life is insane right now...thank you again for always reading and taking the time to become a part of our lives...even from a distance, Jodi

Jodi Cutler Del Dottore said...

White Ghost,
Currently Jordan speaks Italian and some English while he also studies French. I'm the one trying to go about learning LIS, he does not want to learn - no time- if I am able to find someone to come to the house, I'll organize it so we can do it together. My life is insane right now...thank you again for always reading and taking the time to become a part of our lives...even from a distance, Jodi

Jodi Cutler Del Dottore said...

Hetha! Get it all out, girl! I can rant and rave with the best of 'em. Thank you for your heartfelt comment...hugs, Jodi

anna s said...

Jodi said:
"I was told that by my speech therapist and audiologist here in Italy. There have been studies posted on the Ci Circle or Listen Up (I can't remember) where children in total communication environments score less on comprehension and language skills than children mainstreamed..."

I say:
Thatis some what true BUT this information is misleading. I work in a Total Communication educational environment. My child is CI and bilingual/bicultural. He is mainstreamed FULL DAY. He has no delays in any area academically. In fact, his teacher uses him to

What I meant by misleading information is that most of the TC classrooms are special day classes stationed in a public school separated from regular education. Most ofthe kids in SDC DHH classes are significantly language delayed even with CIs. It is easy to blame sign language for causing speech delays. They were given sign language because they're already delayed.

I know of several CI kids using Total Communication out in regular education who are doing well speechwise,but they are a minority.

I bet my life that the studies out there (thatu have seen) are based on CI oral kids from private schools or in regulareducation with highly involved parents and Ci kids in Total Communication Special Day DHH classes. The research outthere are not something I would believe to be valid.

BUT I know for sure that if sneding a CI child to a state school for the deaf where ASL is utilized all day long in the classroom the child's speech will not progress as quickly as if placed in an auditory rich environment for the full day supplemented with or without sign language. That is why I chose not to send my kid to the state school as I want him to develop his listening/speaking skills. He is doing very well and has high self esteem, probably partly because I allow him to embrace his Deaf identity by having him use ASL/CASe whenever he wants.

Sorry, this is long winded.