Kat Reading

Kat Reading

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I am lucky enough to be attending the national EHDI conference this year, and I am VERY excited. There are so many interesting and informative sessions that I had trouble narrowing down which to attend.

Unfortunately, there are going to be some protests outside. That disappoints me. If those protesters had taken the time to actually investigate the conference, they would see that there are MANY pro-ASL, pro-bilingualism sessions. Also, if these people had ATTENDED the conference, they would have the opportunity to give feedback and help IMPROVE the system, rather than just railing against it. This kind of waste and anger makes me sad. I wish that we could work together to improve the world for our kids instead of standing outside and yelling at people. 


theHolism said...

I agree with you. Protesting is all they seem to know these days. They can't seem to read and understand recent legislative bills either. They seem desperate these days, waging wars and battles that are so ineffective. It's not going to change anything except for how the world sees them.

Don G. said...

MANY pro-ASL/bilingualism presentations? Really? Can you name 10?

Anonymous said...

here you go, Don. I did your homework for you.
Howard Rosenblum
Gina Oliva
Darla Schwehr (parent of Deaf student)
Michele Tompkins (teacher of Deaf)

some of those presenters are giving more than one workshop.

these are only the names I recognized - there might be more who are pro-Deaf and pro-ASL that I don't know.


Anonymous the First

Valhallian said...

looking at the program book this is where I see it supporting ASL then again I dont want to judge a book by its cover but here are some examples.

1) Parents's Legal Rights in Education System
2) Knowledge is Power: Parents Legal Rights Outside the Classroom
3) What works for your child is what makes the choice right...but how do families know what's working?'
4) Resource Materials Guiding Decision-Making: How Do They Measure Up?
5) Minnesota Deaf/Hard of Hearing Birth to Three Data Outcomes Reporting Pilot
6) EHDI Data Systems: Designs for Change
7) Raising a Successful Deaf Child the Bilingual Way
8) Deaf Role Models: making the Family Support Puzzle Complete
9) Ensuring High Quality Early Intervention Services
10) Looking Back...If I knew Then What I know Now

While the all these titles may not reflect pro-ASL.biligualism but some of these are also where we can educate others FAR BETTER than a rally would. I will not only see your 10, but I will dare raise you 10 more.

11) Working with Parents: Family-Centered Care Delivered with Compassion
12) Rapid Fire Session: Involving Parents and Families in EHDI Programs
13) Supporting EHDI Parents through Home-Based Intervention Services
14) Advocacy for Children Using the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
15) Parent Advocacy Training
16) Supporting Collaboration in Early Intervention
Collaboration: How to Provide Effective Parent Support Through Collaboration
16) Outcomes of Children with Mild-Severe Hearing Loss
17) The Foundation of Every Relationship: The Importance of Caregiver/Infant Bonding
18) Connecting with All- The OUtreach and Support Services Coordinator's Role in a Clinical Setting
Language Choices: exploring Diverse Pedagogies of Language in Education
19) Family Support Programs
20) Plenary II - The Power of Participation

Furthermore, all of the above are ALL on Monday. There are likely as many beneficial workshops where we can help others by attending these seminars but many of these seminars are also at the same time. Now if those rally participants feel so strongly about what they believe in they should be participating in these seminars and share there experiences but in a positive and respectful manner without specifically degrading another communication option. Tuesday has just an many good seminars and even John Egbert with DBC is giving a seminar and rest assured that he is not the only deaf person that is giving a seminar.

Don, I suggest that you actually take a look at the program book and you can find it on their website. EHDI and its organizers are more than willing to hear us out, as a matter of fact they have said that "EHDI will be stronger if we have all the stakeholders at the table and everyone is working together to make EHDI programs better" and I am directly quoting them on that. The best way to do this is that we ALL treat one another respectfully, as he mentioned and he is right about that. Making demands, setting up marches and rallies are NOT the way to do it.

If anything, these people at the rally should actually be complimenting EHDI on the progress it has made with ASL although there is still more work that needs to be done, as long as it is done respectfully from all sides.

Now Don, I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Anonymous said...

Miss Kat, you should read Dr. Gina Olivia's sad book, "Alone in the Mainstream". Here's a link.

Why must your daughter suffer for your selfishness!!!!????

Take the chains off your daughter's wrists NOW!

Dave said...

"Those People"? Really? It's "THEM" vs you is it?

Why would you take such an antagonistic approach towards other parents (like myself) - that's a really ignorant and angry posting you have there... and I feel equally sorry for you. ASL is a critically important method of communication in my children's lives, and your disdain for it and for people who support ASL programs only illustrates where your head is at... (not in a positive place obviously)

By the way... "those people" you accuse of "screaming" (before the demonstration even starts?) ARE ATTENDING the conference, or are you assuming that it's only non-deaf and anti-ASL people at EHDI 2012?

I only hope on day that you can find peace, let go of your anger, and see the value in including the deaf community and ASL in your journey. Until then, try not to preemptively attack other parents who care enough to show up and speak their mind.

Here's some information on the rally that's planned...

theHolism said...

Miss Kat, here's the obviousness.

Don G. is incapable of doing his own research so he had to ask the $2 question. It took two people to explain that to him.

Anonymous is so obsessed by a single book called "Alone in the Mainstream", thinking it's the ultimate truth for every deaf child. LOL. Anonymous also assumed that your daughter was suffering but fell short of explaining how she might have suffered because he or she could not possibly know. I'll call that pathetic.

Dave calls your approach antagonistic towards other parents (like him) and called it really ignorant and angry posting by you. However he fell short of pointing how and why your approach was antagonistic, ignorant and angry. Just bunches of words thrown at you does not give his argument any credibility. Furthermore you never mentioned any disdain for ASL and those who support it. Having said that it's clear whose head is not in a positive place (Hint: his head)

We hope that these pathetic people will begin to find the peace that Dave spoke of. We hope they can begin to let go of their anger and see the value in including all communication options as part of their journey.

Candy said...

I found many that involves folks who are professionals or represents sign language/ASL/Bilingual approach in the EHDI brochure. More than ten, in fact.

I can list more programs and names that were not listed above, but, I think it's best for everyone to look at the schedule for themselves.

It seems some here think MKM does not support ASL and that her daughter does not use ASL. They're wrong. Obviously they're just jumping in to bash her without really knowing who she is (probably their first time here.)

Candy said...

Here's the link (be sure to read it all!)


Don G said...

Hello Val, long time....

Much of the workshops u cited have nothing to do with ASL or bilingualism, for example, the parents legal rights one. I did go into the schedule and found very few workshops/presentations where I would say ASL would be brought up. There were others, like the one by Kevin Nolan, who I know is Deaf, but his presentation was about outreach services, where ASL might tangentially come into it. But I would grant that anyway, since it's a Deaf presenter. But even so, I counted maybe 8 workshops/presentations that would be pro-Deaf.

So, let me ask you this:

1) what do u think the relative attendance will be for the pro-Deaf presentations vs those relating to medically and auditory interventions

Don G said...

(iPhone keyboard locked up and wouldn't let me make changes)

And 2) what does it say when out of 100+ presentations, less than 10 can be said to be coming from a Deaf perspective? This is not even 10%!

theHolism said...

Don... you are an embarrassment to the society. A disgrace. Let me tell you why. You asked for names of ten pro-asl/bilingualism presentation. Val and one other individual provided you with that information. So what did you do? You turned around and said that was not even 10%. Excuse me but you asked for ten names. You didn't ask for 10%. Where did you go to school?

Miss Kat's Parents said...

Yes, US (those attending the conference, wishing to make a difference through the system in place) vs THEM (those who are protesting rather than making an active change). Not hearing vs Deaf.

Also, my daughter is not mainstreamed and we know and use ASL. (For those who didn't bother to actually find out anything about me or my child.)

Anonymous said...

It shows how ignorant Miss Kat's parents are! We will be coming to her and say HELLO!

Anonymous said...

The demonstrators are going to make a statement that oral-only philosophies are wrong and that ASL should be included in every deaf child's program at least in the beginning. I don't see anything wrong with that as it includes parallel teaching of oral-aural skills.

It is possible some may view it as infringing on parental decision if they want oral only approaches. Again, this is wrong, because usually these people don't have a good grasp of the risks involved and don't have the perspective of Deaf people who experienced that upbringing. The book "Alone in the mainstream" is a good example of the Deaf experience that is overlooked. How can a balanced decision be made without input from those who experienced oral-only approaches?

I won't be there, regretfully, so ask that EDHI attenders at least take off the "extremist" glasses to meet them personally and listen to what they say. There is a serious message there and it comes from the heart of those who have lived through it or worked with people who experienced it. You can't get anything more relevant than that.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for omitting my sig above. The attitude that the people going to "protest" are negative and don't make active changes is also erroneous...the people who are going are Deaf professionals, Ph.D's who are actively involved in teaching and advising the field.

Anonymous said...

DianRez and others: with respect, it's my opinion that protesting outside the EDHI venue is not going to educate anyone. Protestors carrying signs and bringing an aggressive, hostile, "my way or the highway" attitude aren't exactly a welcoming sight.

I agree with Miss Kat's Mom. The way to open minds and hearts is to actually be a part of the proceedings. Yes, there will be some people representing the medical treatment and oralism approaches. Why not go to a few workshops outside your comfort zone? (I realize this is probably comparable, on an emotional level, to asking a black person to go to a workshop on the benefits of white separatism.) who knows, you might learn something. If not this year, how about next year?

In every subgroup of the deaf community, there are adherents to a particular language, communication, educational, cultural, etc. approach. I would say that about 90% of us accept the diversity among families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing, and have no problem with anyone using any language or technology they choose.

MKM, I've been following your blog for years and applaud your commitment to your child. I think you're a great example of a parent advocate for the bimodal approach. I can't wait to read what you have to say about your EDHI experience. have a good one!

Anonymous the First

Anonymous said...

DianRez, you said: "
It is possible some may view it as infringing on parental decision if they want oral only approaches. Again, this is wrong, because usually these people don't have a good grasp of the risks involved and don't have the perspective of Deaf people who experienced that upbringing.

I find this comment to extremely egocentric. The reasoning is faulty. Simply because you, or others that you know, experienced frustration and failure with an oral approach, does not mean that all others will too. I suspect you haven't met many oral deaf adults who are successful. You will probably never know that they even exist, because they are integrated 100% into hearing society and doing very well, actually.

Another thing: to say THEY are WRONG is the height of arrogance with respect to parents and professionals who chose the oral route. How would you feel if the situation was reversed? If someone were to say ASL and bilingualism are wrong, because deaf children exposed to those methods are failures because they do not achieve at grade level? And you know what, they wouldn't be wrong. The evidence is out there. The evidence is also out there that oralism isn't appropriate for some deaf children either.

I would *never* presume to tell someone they are WRONG. Each person's perspective and experience are unique and deserve to be heard. Telling someone they are WRONG is the one sure way to make someone stop listening.

Anonymous the First

WisDeaf said...

@Anonymous First, I do concur with the statement in regarding that everyone is unique and have the ability to adapt well depending on their ability to speak and/or signs. Each individual's needs are different from another. Well said.

Anonymous said...

"Each person's perspective and experience are unique and deserve to be heard. Telling someone they are WRONG is the one sure way to make someone stop listening."



Miss Kat's Parents said...

The problem with protesting is that it is UNinviting. I have already had emails from parents concerned about their safety. The impression, even if it is mistaken, is that these individuals are angry and that they are going to be pushing their opinions on others. There is concern because of what happened at the last conference, (the sit-ins and the interruptions) and people don't want to have to deal with that.

Wouldn't it have been far more useful to set up a booth, or give a presentation? Sit on a panel? Actually reach out and try to make a difference?

Anonymous said...

We are not threatening anyone. We want to make a statement and show them that we respectfully disagree with those programs happening at EHDI.

We are just the same deaf children that went through oral deaf education.

We are part of the process so we are just sending message about our concerns.

You, people, are exaggerating about our anger.

What about those 13 colonies who did revolutionize to americanize America? You call them angry people? Boston Tea Party? Paul Revere's midnight ride? George Washington? You call them angry people???

You are certainly wasting time worrying about our protests. It is a First Amendment right for us to express our opinion about the flaws in deaf education as well as exposing lies.

See you tomorrow!

A concerned Deaf individual

Anonymous said...

good point. its healthy for anyone who will be standing up. its freedom to express, not embarrassment to the society. there is no consistent standard of living in the country, but improving at what it can cost. americans fought against UK for the land of the brave. now within the land of free, they breed and fight for the best quality or choice.

Anonymous said...


hey, as an American citizen, I'm all for free expression. make any statement you wish to, any place you like.

My point is simply this: if you want to effect real system change, the way to do it is to participate in the proceedings. Don't be shy. Howard Rosenblum will be there. Yes! the president of NAD himself! he's so nice, so approachable, and very charismatic. What an exemplar of a leader and a fighter for Deaf rights.

I'm truly puzzled why someone would go to the trouble and expense of traveling all the way to St. Louis, only to hang around the perimeter of the conference, to make a statement that no one will hear or see, because they will be inside attending workshops. While your DEAF leaders are inside, being role models and spreading a positive message for hundreds of people.

Anonymous the First

Anonymous said...

Your role models at work, promoting ASL/English bilingualism.


theHolism said...

To anonymous...

You claimed that we were exaggerating about your anger. Based on previous rallies done by AFA and these so-called militant deaf people I think everybody pretty much saw them as an angry group of unproductive people.

Secondly, you asked about those 13 colonies who revolutionized to americanize America? Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere's midnight right, and George Washington. You wondered if we'd call them You call them angry people. You didn't seem to know what you were talking about because these people fought for new ideas. They didn't fight to retain the old world and the old ways. The old world belonged to the Kings and Queens who wanted to control their people. The old world belonged to white men who wanted to enslave the blacks. The old world belonged to those who didn't want changes. And that is exactly what you are fighting for. You're fighting to keep the old world... the old ways. Deaf culture and ASL is not new. CI and some of the technologies are new trends so what's your point? You are the one that's whining about new changes that are happening.

Dave said...

All this talk of "waging wars" and angry screaming people, of disengaged parent activists... it's just spreading Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt in my opinion. The truth is that there are issues, there are parties who are acting in bad faith (Karl?) and there are parents and deaf people who feel that there's a need for more transparency and fairness.

As for this being some rogue group of angry shouting people, that's silly. The ADA, the DBC, and the NAD are engaged constructively to address the problems.

Thankfully, while you and others may cast your derision on fellow parents, deaf, and allies, there are those who are busy getting things done. While you whine and moan and complain your days away, people are hard at work to bring fairness and transparency to state EHDI programs...


Dianrez said...

There are both inside and outside Deaf leaders; we also see one or two outspoken ASL supporters on the inside. Good; but there are not enough of them.

There were several very reputable Deaf professors who were turned down for presentations. Why, we still have to figure out. Some theories are: limit ASL-centered presentations; exclude those with connections to Deaf advocacy groups; any mention of bilingualism. An examination of over 140 meetings will show that less than 10 percent mention ASL, bilingualism or Deaf self-determinism.

This is embarrassingly inequitable and illustrates the medical orientation of the conference.

We need them both on the inside and the outside. Those on the outside are after something different: public awareness and exposure of the conference's exclusion of a 50-50 balanced approach to education of deaf infants. Without them, people will not be asking questions.

Dianrez said...

The nameless commenters above aren't credible in hiding behind their anonymous signatures when they criticize my viewpoint.

I was not saying that people who choose pure oralism were wrong; I am saying the METHOD and its assumptions are wrong. That some do succeed are not due to oralism's premises; but due to some childrens' adaptability to learn despite the difficulties.

Even oral-favoring research reports state that the more intelligent the child, the more likely they will succeed in oralism. The same for children who have partial hearing. Exactly. The brighter/or more hearing kids are better able to overcome the shortcomings and wrest learning from otherwise difficult situations.

However, at a certain point (usually around third grade) oral methods fail to support the increasingly complex school demands and social interaction.

I was an orally brought up child; my insight is drawn directly from my experiences AND those of peers who did not make it. Did I succeed? Yes. Because of oralism? No. I had what it took to overcome the inherent problems and have the scars to prove it. I have seen both sides and am telling it for those who are intelligently willing to listen.

Is it worth it for most Deaf kids to fail to obtain a decent literacy level and a decent education in order that a few be given the chance to "succeed" despite the challenges of oralism? What is wrong with giving every child and his family a comprehensive program in the beginning?

Dave said...

+1 What Dianrez said...

Miss Kat's Parents said...

But Diane, you are quite mistaken. The research is showing that the vast majority of kids today (80%) are testing at the appropriate language levels and make appropriate, grade level progress (all the way through high school, not just 4th grade.) That was one of the highlights of a speech given at the conference. Did they say that all language issues are gone, no, but the myth that huge amounts of kids are getting to their late school years without language is indeed false.

Also, I attend the conference and at least a full 50% of my sessions were in ASL, by Deaf presenters. Just because ASL was not in the title, does not mean that it didn't support bilingualism. Just as one example, I attended a session called "Resource Materials -Guiding Decision Making, How do they measure up". That session was presented in ASL. It was completely about using a positive tone about all methodology choices and how to find unbiased, research based information to present to families.

I have at least 5 more similar examples. My point is that just because only 10% of the sessions say ASL, does not mean that ASL is only emphasized in those sessions.

And again, if people had attended the conference, they would have known and seen this.

Dianrez said...

"The research is showing that the vast majority of kids today (80%) are testing at the appropriate language levels and make appropriate, grade level progress (all the way through high school, not just 4th grade.) That was one of the highlights of a speech given at the conference."

MKM, I am amazed that a careful researcher would say that and hope you can supply the reference for that. Please give name, title of paper or presentation, and any way I can find and read it for myself. If I can verify that, I will be willing to change my position.