Wednesday, February 28, 2007

1st Vlog

Pah! I've posted my first vlog! I know there are a few things wrong with this vlog. (Hey! It's my first! Gimme a break!) I know there are (wasted) space between the top frame and my head. I'll do better next time. My partner stated that I was not myself. I guess I was concerned with my webcam. I didn't know if it would be blurry or not. So far, it looks ok. Anyways, I'm excited to have finally posted a vlog.

In this vlog, I address the issue some Deaf people making homophobic remarks and insensitive comments against other minorities, particularly against the Latinos. I just thought I'd say something and raise an awareness about our comments.

ta ta...

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Monday, February 05, 2007

CCI - Blog/Vlog Conference

Saturday, after a meeting, I headed over for the Blogging/Vlogging Conference, hosted by the Coalition for Critical Inquiry.

I was only able to make it to the very last session. It was a panel session which focused on the impact and future of blogs and vlogs. It was moderated by Allison Kaftan and the panel consisted of Joey Baer, Tayler Mayer, Jared Evans and Shane Feldman.

It was a very interesting session about blogs and vlogs. I was particularly interested in Joey's presentation about vlogs. Several times, I've considered doing a vlog. However, I was telling Chris Kaftan that I'm overly critical of my signs. By the time I review myself before posting, I find myself deleting the entire vlog post. Maybe I should just ignore and just go ahead and post.

Another interesting thing to consider was the credibility of blogs and vlogs. I forgot who (Shane?) mentioned it but I thought was an interesting point. Mainstreamed (read: hearing) blogs and vlogs are often commentaries of news that have been reported in newspapers and in television. News in newspapers and television are supposed to be verified facts.

Ok, now, with Deaf blogs and vlogs, readers often assume or rely postings to be facts. The problem is that we don't have Deaf newspapers or television shows reporting on Deaf events. We also don't have the mainstreamed media reporting on Deaf events. So, where and how can we present verified facts in our postings?

Next, we need to raise accountability in bloggers and vloggers. Bloggers & vloggers need to explicitly clarify when something is factual and when something is of their own opinions. I believe this is going to raise everyone's (bloggers, vloggers, readers, commenters) awareness of accountability and credibility. Deaf blogs and vlogs have been in the infant stage these few years. However, with the exponential growth of Deaf bloggers and vloggers, we're moving up to the next stage. The next stage comes with maturity and scrutiny, which is needed.

Like I said, it was an interesting panel session. Also, I learned the new signs for blog and vlog. Hopefully, someone will do a vlog to show the new signs.

After that, I took the opportunity to meet bloggers in person. It was so nice to actually get to know each other. The people I met for the first time were: Jared Evans, Mike McConnell, David Evans and Joey Baer. I thought it was my first time meeting Tayler Mayer but he said that we met while we were graduate students at Gallaudet. Anyways, it was nice to meet him again. It was nice to see Katie Roberts again, after so many years. (I'm not sure if she has an active blog. I do know that she's an active commenter in many blogs.) There were a few people that I recognized but did not have a chance to formally introduce myself: Amy Cohen Efron, David Fulmer and Carl Schroeder.

Hopefully, there'll be another conference next year. If so, I do hope more Deaf bloggers and vloggers will attend.

By the way, congratulations to all the Deaf bloggers and vloggers who won the DeafRead 2006 Deaf Blogs awards! *hands waving*


Thursday, February 01, 2007

PRDS Refunds Money

Peachtree Rainbow Deaf Society (PRDS) has decided to refund money after stepping down as the hosting chapter for the upcoming RAD conference. RAD had initially proposed that PRDS transfer the funds to them. However, PRDS has decided not to do so. Instead, they will encourage attendants to re-register if they are still interested.

Below is the memo from PRDS:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 2/1/2007 – Atlanta, Georgia

Peachtree Rainbow Deaf Society, Inc. (PRDS) has received a proposal from the Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf (RAD) to transfer all money collected from combo ticket sales to RAD for the 2007 RAD Conference. At the January 28th membership meeting, PRDS has decided not to transfer the funds to RAD. Based on legal advice we received, it is in the best interest of the combo ticket holders and our organization that the money will be refunded to back to the individual ticket holders. The ticket holders should receive a letter including a check of the refund within 15 business days, starting February 1, 2007.

The RAD Board is taking over the 2007 RAD Conference that will be held in Atlanta. If you still wish to attend the conference, we ask that once you receive your refund, to please make a new check in the same amount payable to RAD/RAD 2007 Host Conference and mail it to Larry Pike, RAD Business Manager, 1191 Grape Street, Denver, CO 80220. It must be postmarked on or before Thursday, March 1, 2007. RAD Board will honor the same cost for the combo ticket that you paid to PRDS.

If you need more information about the upcoming 2007 RAD conference, please contact Bob Donaldson, RAD President. His e-mail is

Thank you,

Members of PRDS


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Support Beth

Beth will be running in the Rock and Roll Marathon in Phoneix, Arizona on January 14th. She is the only Deaf person running in this marathon (as far as we know). She even has her own interpreter who is also running in the marathon. How cool is that!?!

Anyways, Beth is running for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This Society has done numerous research with the hope of finding a cure for those afflicted. Beth has been consistent with the training. She's extremely proud that she can run 20 miles and survive. So, I'm asking you all to support her in reaching her goal. You can contribute at her donation page.

Beth is a wonderful friend of mine. Like me, she is a transplant from Texas, living in DC. I first met her at Gallaudet when we were both graduate students of ASL & Deaf Studies. We do pick on each other endlessly, yet band together when people pick on Texas. LOL She's a great person that I'm glad to have formed a friendship with.


Friday, December 22, 2006

Hervey Files for Job Back

Not long after the Unity For Gallaudet protests concluded, students at the Mississippi School for the Deaf led a protest/walk-out against Pamela Hervey and Delores Mack. Ultimately, Principal Hervey and Superintendent Mack were fired.

Hervey has filed a complaint through the EEOC and wants her job back. She's playing the race card. She said she was fired because she is Black.

Below is the article that appears in the Clarion-Ledger:

Former deaf school principal files complaint

The Clarion-Ledger

Pamela Hervey, who lost her job as high school principal of the Mississippi School for the Deaf in Jackson earlier this month, has filed a complaint through the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, according to a faxed statement from her attorney, Reeves Jones.

The complaint is “seeking redress for wrongful termination of employment based on race.” Hervey is black.

The statement says that Hervey wants her job back.

“We’ve received an EEOC complaint against the department,” said Hank Bounds, state superintendent of education. “Unfortunately, it’s a personnel matter that I can’t speak to publically.”

Both Hervey and former superintendent Delores Mack lost their jobs.

At the time, Bounds would not say if their dismissals were related to a walkout of about 20 high school students.

The students protested that four of their 26 teachers are not proficient in sign language.

The Mississippi School for the Deaf enrolls 118 students and the School for the Blind enrolls 70.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Silent Night

I wasn't able to watch CSI:NY on Wednesday night because I was teaching a class. So, I had it TiVO'd. Last night, came home, warmed up some tamales and watched the 'Silent Night' episode.

Overall, it was a pretty good show.

Of course, yesterday, I had read blogs where there were many criticism on the episode. And of course, as a Deaf person, I was analyzing everything and making comments to my partner, who was watching as well.

I was more critical on Marlee Matlin than any of the other Deaf actors. I dunno. I just seemed that Marlee just could not act in that episode. I've seen better acting of hers in other shows, such as Reasonable Doubts, Picket Fences and Law & Order:SVU. I do have to agree with some bloggers that her lines were cheesy, especially at the end. "I wish I could help you." "I speak with my hands. You speak with your eyes." *gag*

I found it interesting that many Deaf bloggers and commenters have complained about her using her voice in the CSI episode. I was like, "hello! Isn't that like her trademark?" Correct me if I'm wrong when I say the next sentence. I do not think there is a movie or a television episode where she has not used her voice.

I thought Russell Harvard did a great job. Of course, I might be biased because he's my fraternity brother. Nonetheless, he did a great job. Of course, I wished he had a bit more exposure on the show. I had to laugh because I thought "Russell, a bad guy? Toting a shotgun?"

Like I said, I thought it was a good episode. Could it have been done better? Sure. However, I am cautious and observant about how critical we, Deafies, are of the episode. Bloggers and commenters have shown concerns, disappointment and other reactions. Many were concerned about the Deaf actors voicing on the show. Many were concerned about the cop (Jerry Ferris) have a dual role as an interpreter. Many were concerned about the portrayal of a Deaf person's ability to read lips. Some were concerned about the vibrations identifying the exact murder weapon. Some were concerned about the portrayal of the Deaf family involved in a crime or their stance in assistive devices/real world.

First of all, Hollywood glamorizes everything. Do all Deafies use their voice? No. Are there cops that can interpret? I'm sure there very few. Should an interpreter from an agency be called in? Definitely. Can Deaf people read lips? Only some with varying skills. (Remember that lip reading isn't an exact science.) Can Deaf people read lips expertly at a distance, especially at night? That's like 99.9% impossible. Can Deaf people help the police and forensic crime specialists/investigators identify weapons merely by vibrations? Oh please.

But you know what? That's Hollywood. Let's look at the real life of CSI. CSI's aren't all gorgeous and model-like. CSI's don't work in offices and labs encased in glass. These lab testings and results do not occur within seconds or minutes. They take days and weeks before results are produced.

I remember reading an article about real-life CSI's. When CSI (the one based in Las Vegas) started to be come popular, many people enrolled at local colleges and universities to be a CSI. The instructors said that the work of a CSI is actually very boring and tedious. Hollywood was just glamorizing everything.

So, while we wished that 'Silent Night' could have been done differently, let's be thankful for the exposure and the use of our Deaf actors. Of course, I'm not saying let's just sit back and do nothing. Continue to write letters to Hollywood but at the same time, let's be thankful for the exposure.


Tonight is the monthly Deaf GLBT coffee social.

Starbucks in Capitol Hill
237 Pennsylvania Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20003

Upstairs (go all the way to the back for the stairs)
7pm to 10pm

Closest Metro:
Capitol South
Eastern Market

See you there!


Monday, October 30, 2006

Terps at Voting Booths

Interpreters, via video, will be placed near voting booths for Deaf voters in San Antonio, TX.

See article here from San Antonio Express-News.

This could be possibly be the first time anything like this has been done. This could also impact other voting booths across the nation.

Can anyone tell me if there's been video relays placed in voting booths before?


Meanwhile, there are mixed reactions to Gallaudet's Board of Trustees terminating Dr. Jane K. Fernandes as president.

Some are jubilant.

Some are upset.

Some are uncertain.

Some are relieved.

Yet, some are cautious if the protest is really over. Some are cautious about the future.

You can check up on mixed reactions via and