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Fall (Sept 2019)
FNDC values sharing information to deaf children, families, professionals and the
communities that support them. These events, advertisements and/or articles do not
necessarily reect the viewpoint of FNDC or offer an endorsement
Twitter: @FNDCandDYT
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Facial Expression – how important is it?
FNDC Editor’s Note: This is an article I wrote in June 1997 – when my daughter was only 6 years old. I was re-reading it recently and the info is still tting and a great reminder to me 12
years later about the importance of facial expression – which I admit – after all these years, I still have to work at it.
I just nished an ASL course that had a lot of emphasis
on facial expression. I entered the class thinking
that I wanted to learn more vocabulary- after all,
how important can facial expression really be?
Then I started reading an interesting book called
What’s That Pig Outdoors. A Memoir of Deafness,
written by Henry Kisor. Henry is a deaf man that
uses listening and speaking and is denitely not a
sign language user. This is was he has to say about
facial expression, based on his life experiences as an
listening and speaking deaf person:
“When I was growing up, almost all American
elementary school teachers were women.
American women, whose culture does not
train them to suppress their feelings, are much
easier for most deaf children and deaf adults
to understand than are most American men,
who have grown up in a society that values
a poker face. For a lipreader, expressiveness
must substitute for inections and differ-
ences in emphasis that shade the meanings of
spoken words. A cock of the head or slightly
raised eyebrows, for example, can mean a
question is being asked. Brows that reach the
roof can indicate disbelief. A single raised
eyebrow implies skepticism or contempt. The
sentence “it was you who said it,” can have
three meanings, depending on whether the
stress is on “was” or “said”. A nod of the head,
a jut of the jaw may be the only clues that a
word is being emphasized.”
The book really made me take a long hard look at
facial expression. I was thinking that if this man who
doesn’t sign nds meaning in expression, surely there
must be something to it. It certainly made me think.
I practiced and practiced, and lo and behold my
6-year-old deaf daughter approached me and said,
“I love your facial expression, who taught you that?”
She comments regularly about facial expression.
It’s almost like we have discovered communication
together for the rst time. When I burrow my
eyebrows down, she guesses, “You’re going to ask me
a question?” (and I haven’t even signed a thing yet!)
How do adults and children add meaning to their
sentences? Well, one of the ways is with facial
expression, but how come it took me ve years to
nally gure this out?
So, is facial expression important? I have to tell you…
from my personal experience… I am blown away by
how much meaning and tone comes from watching a
person’s face. And, I learned that from a 6 year old!
FNDC Fall • 2019
Parenting Workshop
Learning, Harmony & Fun:
Parenting our Deaf/Hard of Hearing Children
Barbara Desmarais, “The Parenting Coach,” has
many years of experience leading parenting
courses and workshops, as well as providing one
on one parent coaching. Barb’s training in the area
of early child education, as well as her personal
experience as a parent, fed her passion for the
quality of care we provide for our children. Barb
and her partner have raised four children, including
twin step-sons who are both Deaf, so she can
personally relate to our experience raising children who are deaf or hard
of hearing.
Let’s learn together to live in harmony with our kids, to find the fun and
reduce our parenting struggles!
Specific topics will include:
Having effective communication with our children
Supporting our children’s social needs
Being mindful of the needs of our other children
Discipline & setting boundaries
Thinking about what messages we want to give our children
Maintaining life balance when raising a child who is DHH
Parent Focused: This event is specifically for parents who have
deaf/hard of hearing children or youth. Our organizations believe in the
value of parent connections - the workshop will include opportunities to
share your stories, ask questions, and network with other parents.
ASL Interpreters & CART captioning will be provided.
November 16, 2019
9:45 am to 3:00 pm
BC School for the Deaf
Burnaby South Secondary
5455 Rumble Street
Burnaby, BC
Workshop: $15.00 per adult
- includes lunch
Live Stream: $15.00 per adult
- online workshop
DYT: $10.00 per child
- bring a bagged lunch
Childcare: $10.00 per child
- bring a bagged lunch
Register by November 6, 2019
For your Kids
Childcare and Deaf Youth Today (DYT) Fun Day have limited space & will
be provided on a first come, first served basis. Registration is required.
Babies to Age 5: Onsite childcare for deaf/hard of hearing children and
their hearing siblings.
Ages 5 to 12: DYT FUN DAY! A day of fun activities for deaf hard of
hearing child organized by our experienced DYT staff. We hope to have
most of the day’s events onsite. DYT values the importance and benefit of
sign language. Our staff use ASL in our program*
*Based on response to DYT programming during past joint workshops, DYT emphasizes
that staff may or may not use listening/speaking as a communication tool. This is an
individual and personal choice which DYT understands and respects. DYT will provide
interpreters so that children new to sign language feel welcomed and encouraged to join
the program. This is a great peer/mentoring opportunity for deaf and hard of hearing
children in an ASL-rich environment.
FNDC Fall • 2019
Family Network for Deaf Children has booked the auditorium for a
private viewing with open captions and interpreting.
Saturday, November 23, 2019
Movie Starts at 10:00am
(please arrive 15 minutes prior)
Cineplex Cinemas Coquitlam and VIP
170 Schoolhouse Street, Coquitlam, BC
FNDC Fall • 2019
Your Dona)ons were doubled!
Thank you to the Y.P. Heung Founda)on
Our Matching Campaign was a huge success! Every dona3on that FNDC received was doubled
through a very generous grant matching campaign with the Y.P Heung Founda3on. We raised
$25,000 and they matched with another $25,000! Your dona3ons were doubled! THANK YOU!
FNDC Fall • 2019
A HUGE THANK YOU to our donors and our anonymous donors! We
couldn’t have done it without your financial support!
Shuk Ling Wung
Arne & Barbara Mykle
Ada So
Natalie Freyvogel
Mrs. Frances Belzberg
Butchart Gardens Ltd.
Karen Fran
Dr. Frederick Kozak
Kathy Wong
David Wong
Patricia Wong-Reinhardt
Margaret Johnston
Tyrell & Megan Magel BX Mechanical Ltd.
Cynthia Bolwig
Michael Younghusband
Charlotte Enns
Sheryl Smith
Ayesha Cresswell-Clough
Jillian Ridington (In memory of Ursula Joy)
Jana Svancara
Mike Gardner
Vivian Wai-Wai Chan
Stewart & Associates, CPA
Russell Lai (STAR Lai Family)
Pamela Frydenlund
Barbara Horton
Dr. Anna Kirkbride
Fei Wong
Ann Yeung
Stuart Lai
Susan Hollenberg
Turcotte Brothers Contracting Ltd.
(Russell & Lisa)
Shelagh Bucknell
Karen Birchenall
Blair Flink
Glenna Wong
Paul P. Jeffery
Dr. John P. Lemaitre Inc. (Pauline Anderson)
Josco Holdings LTD. In memory of
Joseph H. & Frances Cohen
FNDC Fall • 2019
BC Children's Hospital opens
rst-in-Canada hearing clinicrst-in-canada-hearing-clinic-1.4486213
By CTV News Vancouver·Posted: Jun.27, 2019
Lily Palmer got a cochlear implant - a device
implanted in the brain that allows a deaf or hard-
of-hearing person to hear - when she was just one
year old.
Since then, for more than a decade, her family has
made the eight-and-a-half hour drive from their
home in Prince George to BC Children's Hospital
in Vancouver multiple times per year.
On Thursday, they didn't have to.
The rst of its kind in Canada, the clinic allows
doctors to tap into a patient's implant remotely.
BC Children's Hospital has opened a permanent,
remote clinical service for patients with cochlear
implants in Prince George.
The rst of its kind in Canada, the clinic allows
doctors to tap into a patient's implant remotely.
That means families like Palmer's don't have
to make their way to Vancouver for the routine
procedure known as "virtual mapping," a process
that essentially amounts to tuning the device.
"Now we can have a patient visit our clinic that
we have set up in Prince George, and we can
remote in and remotely control the software that
they need to be connected to while we program
their cochlear implants," said audiologist Reagen
Bergstrom, who conducted Lily Palmer's virtual
mapping session Thursday.
"They don't actually have to be physically with us
on the same site any longer," Bergstrom said.
Andrea Palmer, Lily's mother, told CTV News
Vancouver the new facility is going to make their
family's life easier and more aordable.
"I don't think telehealth will take over from all of
our visits because face-to-face is still really great,"
Andrea Palmer said. "But for the basic mapping
sessions, when we don't have any problems and
we're just checking in, it's fantastic."
BC Childrens Hospital hopes to set up three or
four similar clinics across the province over the
next two years.
Currently, there are approximately 250 deaf and
hard of hearing children with cochlear implants
in B.C., according to the hospital, which provides
roughly 35 new cochlear implants each year. More
than 40 per cent of the hospital's cochlear implant
patients live outside the Greater Vancouver area.
University of Rochester medical students
spend the day in the shoes of deaf hospital patients
Aug 23, 2019
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) — For those with
hearing, it can be hard to imagine some of the
challenges in Rochester’s deaf community. Thats
why medical students from the University of
Rochester spent the day in a “no voice zone.
First-year students were tasked with seeking
advice from sta and doctors who only used
American sign language. All the sta and doctors
were deaf volunteers.
Each student was given the ASL alphabet prior
to the event as a base. The idea is for students to
experience the same barriers many deaf people
have navigating the complex healthcare system.
“So it really shows them what deaf people
experience, and other people from other countries
who don’t speak English as their primary language,
what their experience is. So when they graduate
school and move to other places, hopefully, they
can take this experience with them and work with
these patients better, said Kelly Matthews, senior
research coordinator for the National Center for
Deaf Health Research.
The program is conducted early on in every fall
FNDC Fall • 2019
Deaf student creates more than 100 new signs for scientic termsc-terms-64691616
Posted: July 29, 2019
When Liam Mcmulkin began his studies at
Scotland’s University of Dundee, he quickly
realized a glaring oversight not only in the
program, but in British Sign Language in general:
signs for science.
As he delved into more complex topics, and
learned words such as phosphorylation or
oxidation, the signs that were used to commu-
nicate the lessons often took up an inecient
amount of time because they had to be spelled
out with each letter, he said.
“Its not easy to convey complex processes with
a few hand gestures, he told ABC News via
email on Monday. Mcmulkin , who is deaf, took
it upon himself to x the problem. "With terms
about developmental biology spring up, I made
a conscious decision to start creating signs that
I thought were required," he said. He has since
created more than 100 new signs to use in his
science courses.
Mcmulkin said creating each sign requires
following the grammar structure, hand shape and
movement of British Sign Language. Then each
term has to be agreed upon by a forum of sign
linguists, deaf people and deaf specialists. It took
him about two months.
The University of Dundee, located in the city of
the same name, plans to continue using the new
signs for years to come. “Liam’s eort towards
creating new signs is crucial to the future of the
life sciences, Dr. Marios Stavridis, the head of the
biological sciences at the University of Dundee
and Mcmulkin ’s supervisor, told ABC News in a
"If you imagine having to nger spell highly
technical terms whilst sitting in a lecture or having
a quick conversation with a colleague, you can
appreciate how taxing and dicult it has been for
Simon Harvey, a spokesman for the ocial site for
British Sign Language’s online courses, said new
terms become part of the language once they are
regularly used.
“If these scientic vocabulary signs have begun to
be used by others around the country then they
will begin to be recognised as BSL signs, he said.
Mcmulkin , now in his third year at the school,
hopes to continue his endeavor, which was rst
reported by the BBC, and help more students as
they make their way through complex science
Video Relay Service (VRS) Technology
to Empower Canadian Deaf Youth Today!
With access to video relay service,Canada VRSis creating opportunities for
Deaf Youth and Students across Canada. Young Canadians are able to build
lifelong and meaningful connections with teachers, students, friends, family
and future employers, for example. It isFREEof charge and available 24 hours
a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Registration is easy and using VRS results
in many benets.
Parents of Deaf ChilDren
A Deaf child under the age of majority can register to use theSRV Canada
VRSapp with the authorization of their Parent or Legal Guardian. Parents or
Legal Guardians can provide authorization via Online Form or Paper Form by
following the instructions online:
sChool events
Our Community Outreach Team will come to your school and give an educa-
tional presentation on how VRS can empower your students and their
families. Students will also be able to register, ask questions, get technical
support and even share ideas with others on how to use the Canada VRS
app. Find out how to host a Canada VRS School Event at your school and
empower your students:
Canada VRS is pleased to have a Community
Outreach Specialist,
Nadine Buchwald who works closely with British
Columbias Deaf Communities. Nadine is ready to
oer information and technical support in your
Reprinted with Permission – Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, Gallaudet University
FNDC Fall • 2019
Leah began preschool with a Deaf teacher
as well as a one-to-one aide who was fluent
in American Sign Language (ASL). This
environment not only benefited our own
deaf child, but the access to a complete
visual language benefited each child in that
preschool class. Having our deaf child’s
educational needs met in the exact way we
wanted was no accident; it was a result of
advocacy and
ation first
came through
conversations with
other parents of deaf
children—parents who
had already gone
through this same
process. We learned
from their mistakes
and from their
successes. We relied on
the expertise and
kindness of Deaf
professionals, like Dr.
Lawrence “Larry”
Fleischer, who
attended Leah’s
Education Program
(IEP) meeting as an
advocate. Dr. Fleischer
armed us with research and facts, an
d he
shared his own life experience.
Originally, our school district had hoped
that providing an ASL interpreter in a
typical preschool class would meet Leah’s
needs. We explained that our deaf 3-year-
old didn’t know English, and as hearing
parents, we weren’t fluent in ASL. Leah
didn’t need someone to interpret what an
English-speaking teacher was saying; our
child needed to acquire a first language. In
rder to do that, Leah needed access to
fluent signers who could model a visual
language. Additionally, this would provide
Leah with the
opportunity to acquire
language incidentally.
We had learned that
having one fluent
signer in the classroom
was not enough; two
fluent signers were
necessary for a
complete visual
language model.
I recently sat down
with Dr. Marc
Marschark, director of
the Center for
Education Rese
Partnerships at the
National Technical
Institute for the Deaf,
who, in no uncertain
terms, expressed that
parent involvement is
paramount when it
comes to a deaf child’s success. While I
wish the research showed that everything I
chose for my own deaf child is right for all
deaf children, it doesn’t. Instead, we find
that there is no one-size-fits-all approach
Rachel Coleman is
the executive director of
American Society for
Deaf Children
(, the
oldest national
organization founded by
and governed by parents of
deaf children. She is the
Emmy award-nominated
host and creator of
“Signing Time!,” the
American Sign Language
vocabulary building series,
broadcast on PBS stations,
Netflix, Nick Jr., and
Coleman and her husband,
Aaron, reside in
Cottonwood Heights,
Utah, with the
ir youngest
child, Lucy, who has spina
bifida and cerebral palsy.
Their oldest child, Leah, is
a proud deaf transgender
person who is a senior at
the National Technical
Institute for the
Deaf/Rochester Institute of
Technology majoring in
individualized studies with
the concentrations of deaf
cultural studies, design,
and social inequalities.
By Rachel Coleman
The best IEPs
are collaborations
created by a
team of experts
who trust and
support one
throughout the
Deaf Education:
Let Advocacy and
Collaboration Pave the Way
Reprinted with Permission – Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, Gallaudet University
FNDC Fall • 2019
FNDC Fall • 2019
when it comes to educating deaf and
hard of hearing children. We must
consider the child, their strengths and
needs, follow their lead, and be flexible.
As a student’s needs change, it is
important that their IEP be reviewed
and adjustments be made if necessary.
One afternoon as the IEP team members
discussed Leah’s educational needs, they
wondered if an ASL interpreter was still
necessary in Leah’s mainst
ream high
school classrooms now that Leah had a
cochlear implant. Leah stepped into the
role of self-advocate, and as the only
cochlear implant user on the IEP team,
Leah’s firsthand experience proved
invaluable. Our child shared, “In an
ideal environment, I can understand a
good amount of spoken English with my
cochlear implant, but most classrooms
are not ideal environments. ASL works
for me in every envir
onment.” Students
who are able to advocate for themselves
play a crucial role in educating and
informing other members of the IEP
Over the years we have had IEP
meetings where we felt frustrated or
intimidated. One time we left the
document unsigned since we felt the
services listed were convenient for the
school but would fail to meet our child’s
needs. One team member pushed for
what had worked for a
different deaf
child, not realizing it would not work for
our deaf child. Remember, IEP team
members are only human; this is why an
IEP is not determined by only one
Over the years, we have also had IEP
meetings that were relaxed and easy.
We’ve worked with administrators and
teachers who stood shoulder to shoulder
with us, committed to solving and
resolving all concerns. The best IEPs are
tions created by a team of
experts who trust and support one
another throughout the process. Parents
are the experts when it comes to their
children. Students bring their own
expertise, especially if they have the
ability to self-advocate. Educators and
school administrators know which
resources and services are available.
Teachers are involved in the day to day
implementation of an IEP, and they
support stu
dents in reaching their goals.
We all want what is best for our
children, for deaf and hard of hearing
students. We might define “what is best”
differently, and that’s okay. Working
together, we can leave deaf education
better than we found it. Advocacy and
collaboration pave the way.
Join our team?
FNDC Fall • 2019
The ASL Chat is designed as one-on-one service for
students who use ASL as their first language and are
able to hold a basic conversation in ASL. The
purpose of ASL CHAT is to develop strong ASL
grammar skills and understanding of Deaf Culture
and History. To request ASL Chat, please submit
a referral request (via google forms)
Online basic ASL classes are available for DHH
students and staff working directly with DHH
students. The ASL classes teach common vocabulary
related to a school environment and give students
the opportunity to interact with each other and the
teacher via video conference. These classes are
meant to teach the basics. They do not replace
community courses nor provide certification at this
time. Current class registration is open. Register
here: ASL Online Fall 2019 Registration
POPDHH will come to your
school district and run fun ASL
Activities for your students to
get them excited about ASL and
promote a community of
inclusion. Contact us at if you are
interested in hosting ASL
Activities in your area.
FNDC Fall • 2019
ASL Online Classes and ASL Office Hours
Intro to ASL Activities (Video)
We are pleased to announce the launch of the Fall 2019 ASL Online and ASL Office Hours, as well
as video introduction into ASL Activities. Click on the posters below for details and registration link.
For more exciting updates about our ASL Programs and Services, visit our website:
ASL Office hours provide an opportunity for students’ school teams to learn ASL
vocabulary and content directly related to the topics and resources presented in
class. The purpose of ASL Office Hours is to build capacity in school teams to
deliver and follow through with curriculum content regularly in the classroom.
How to connect: visit using your web browser. Office
Hours: Wednesdays 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm & Thursdays 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
FNDC Fall • 2019
Family and Community Services (FCS)
Provincial Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
For families who have school-aged deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind children and youth
FCS offers services:
Family and Parent
Support, Children
and Youth Services,
and Language
Support in
individualized or
group settings.
Please contact
604 809 1547 (text)
if services or
sessions do not
work for you and/or
your family.
On-line ASL Classes
coming soon!
Provincial Deaf and hard
of Hearing Services
See us on Facebook
Family American Sign Language Sessions
Bear Creek Elementary School – 13780-80 Ave, Surrey
Tuesdays, 4:30-5:30PM (all levels)
October 8, 15, 22, 29 & Nov 5, 12, 19, 26
Abbotsford School of Integrated Arts – 32041 Marshall Rd, Abbotsford
Wednesdays, 4:30 5:30PM (all levels)
October 9, 16, 23, 30 & Nov 6, 13, 20, 27
Provincial Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services – 4334 Victory Street, Burnaby
Thursdays, 6:00-7:00PM (all levels)
October 10, 17, 24 & Nov 7, 14, 21, 28 (No class on Oct 31)
Adult Classes Only
Provincial Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services – 4334 Victory Street, Burnaby
“Conversational ASL: Putting in Practice!”
Wednesdays, 9:30-10:30 (Intermediate level)
Oct 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, & Nov 6, 13, 20, 27
Youth and Family Socials
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Social Club at PDHHS – 4334 Victory St, Burnaby
Fridays 1:00PM-3:00PM (Sept 27, Oct 11, 25, & Nov 8, 22)
Youth Freaky Night on October 29, 2019 (more information to follow)
To register or make a service request contact:
604 809 1547 (text) or
FNDC Fall • 2019
These Deaf Writers Couldn't Find A Community In LA — So They Created A TV Show
Posted: September 11, 2019
Behind the scenes of SundanceTV's "This Close,"
starring Shoshannah Stern as Kate and Josh Feldman
as Michael. (Michael Moriatis/SundanceNow)
In the rst episode of Sundance TV'sThis Close, a deaf
graphic novelist is asked why he didn't make his book
about a deaf character. He replies: "I didn't think it
would sell."
There's a self-referential irony to that line. Series
creators Josh Feldman and Shoshannah Stern are
deaf writers who also star as deaf characters. In fact,
they're the rst deaf writers and stars of a television
The show draws on their experiences, depicting life
in Los Angeles and how the entertainment industry
treats deaf individuals. "We wanted to tell an authentic
story not just about people, but about the city we live
in," Feldman said.
When the pair started shopping the show around,
"The number one feedback we'd always get was 'Why
[are] the characters deaf to begin with? What's the
point of having a deaf character?' They didn't see any
value in having a deaf character," Feldman said.
The original concept for the show featured a hearing
person as one of the main characters, "because we
thought that would actually be easier to sell," Feldman
"Whenever you see deaf leading characters on screen,
they always have a hearing person with them. So we
just wrote what we'd always seen — and that's the
reason representation is so vital. It really shapes our
understanding of what works," Stern added.
Josh Feldman as Michael and Lisa Rinna as Priscilla on
the set of the second season of "This Close." (Michael
When those conversations went nowhere, they
decided to make the show themselves, as a web series.
They funded it via Kickstarter and produced the pilot
for $250.
The Chances, as it was called, debuted at the Sundance
Film Festival in 2017. We caught it at a screening that
year at L.A.'s Outfest, where the response seemed
unanimous: no one had ever seen anything like it
In the two years since, the series was developed by
SundanceTV into This Close, a half-hour dramedy
about two deaf best friends navigating their personal
and professional challenges in Los Angeles.
What makes both iterations of the show so ground-
breaking is not that they feature deaf characters, but
that the deaf characters are three-dimensional.
"Typically, deaf characters are these amazing people,
or they're role models" Feldman said. "With our show,
we really wanted to make sure that [our characters]
Kate and Michael would not be mistaken as role
models. They're just two normal young adults trying
to do their best."
"There are all kinds of people in the world," Stern
added. "Deaf people can be a———-, too. It was
important for us to show Kate and Michael being
We caught up with Feldman and Stern at AMC/
SundanceTV headquarters. The two were doing press
in the lead up to the show's second seasonpremiere,
on Thursday, September 12.
Feldman and Stern's connection was palpable. They
were hugging, dancing and, at one point, an L.A. Times
photographer had them squeeze into the same chair
to illustrate just how close they are.
But when I sat down to chat with the duo, they were
quick to note it wasn't always this way.
Before meeting each other, it had been hard for each
of them to nd their people in Los Angeles.
"The deaf community tends to center around deaf
residential schools or any large employer of deaf
individuals" Stern said. When it comes to the L.A. area,
"The deaf community tends to be more in Riverside
County. People here [in L.A.] are looking for more of
a community. Because L.A. is such a spread out city,
people tend to stay in their own areas. If you live
on the Westside, you don't go to Eastside. For deaf
people, that can become very dicult for them to nd
other deaf people to interact with."
Starring in a TV series helped them create what they
couldn't nd.
"We've set a lot of new precedents with our show,"
Feldman said. "That includes casting people in front
of the camera [and] hiring people to work behind the
They have 25 deaf people, including actors, photogra-
phers, editors and hair and makeup artists, working on
the show. Stern and Feldman don't want to stop there.
"With each season, we hope to raise that number,"
Feldman said. "We increased that number between
seasons one and two. We hope to do that going
Near the end of Stern and Feldman's photoshoot, they
received one nal direction: "Do something totally
unexpected. Do whatever you want to do."
They looked at each other, shrugged, then burst out
laughing and jumped up in the air, carefree, limbs
waving in all directions. As with the rest of their
careers, following their instincts produced the most
compelling result.
FNDC Fall • 2019
ASL courses to the public through Extended Learning
If you live or work with someone who is Deaf or
with the Deaf community, learning sign language
can help you create connections, bridge cultures
and foster inclusivity.
Our courses teach you the predominant sign
language used by half a million North Americans.
Understand how to use your hands, face and
body to communicate, and be immersed in Deaf
culture. Our instructors are native signers who use
gestures, facial expressions – and even humour
– to help you communicate condently and
Students in our classes have included counsellors,
educators, human resources professionals,
healthcare workers, rst responders, artists and
designers, and parks and recreation program
coordinators. Some of our students have friends
and family members who are Deaf, and some
come to us for the simple joy of learning a new
If you have previous experience in sign language,
feel free to contact our oce at 604 822 1444 to
nd out which level would be best suited to you.
Sign Language Beginner 1
This course is designed for those with no previous
exposure to American Sign Language (ASL). The
immersion approach is used to teach beginner
level vocabulary and grammar. You will learn how
to introduce yourself, discuss leisure activities and
learn about deafculture. By the end of this class
you should be able to engage in simple conver-
Sign Language Beginner 2
Continue to increase your knowledge of American
Sign Language (ASL)with this second level course.
You learn complex number, natural and text nger
spelling, develop narrative skills and continue to
gain insight into sign language culture. Topics
include discussing living situations, giving direc-
tions, and talking about family. Note: Sign
Language Beginner 1 (DS010) or equivalent is
required for this course.
Sign Language Lower Intermediate
In the Lower Intermediate level you continue to
expand your vocabulary and elevate your level
of language by discussing everyday activities
and learning more complex structures such as
indicating dierent tenses, sequencing activities,
and plural pronouns.
Note:Sign Language Beginner2 (DS020) or equiv-
alent is required for this course.
Sign Language Intermediate
This course coversUnit 5from the textbookSigning
Note:Sign LanguageLower Intermediate(DS030)
or equivalent is required for this course.
FOR All details go to UBC’s language website:
From the Deaf & Hard of Hearing Department at Vancouver Community Collegele/d/1x49FAMuZi0IKS6Vj67HN-2BE-6Cq4WAs/view
Posted: Sept.23, 2019
We made a short promotional video for DHH. We are undergoing a program renewal and
would like to reach out to the community to let them know we are growing and, although our
numbers are high, we would like to remind people about what a comprehensive program we
have to oer.
We appreciate your support, always!
Marcia and team
FNDC Fall • 2019
When: November 30, 2019 Time: 10 AM to 4 PM
Where: River Market, 810 Quayside Drive, New Westminster
Did you know? The Deaf-Blind community
of Metro Vancouver has hosted a Craft Fair
for 23 years?
Deaf-Blind, Deaf and other abilities crafters
offer one-of-a-kind handmade, or pre-made,
crafts, gifts, decorations, and stocking
Items are made with love and care by artists
with YOU in mind!
You simply cannot leave empty-handed!
Come spread some Christmas Cheer!
Donations are always welcome!
Want to know more? Contact Craig MacLean, Chair:
Copyright: 2019. Deaf-Blind Planning Committee
227 - 6th Street, New Westminster, BC V3L 3A5
Deaf-Blind Planning Committee
Christmas Craft Fair
FNDC Fall • 2019
StorySign helps to open the world of books to deaf children. It translates children’s
books into sign language, to help deaf children learn how to read. There are 32 million
deaf children in the world, many of whom struggle to learn to read. One of the main
reasons being that deaf children can struggle to match printed words with the concepts they represent. With
StorySign, we help change that.
Please make sure you have a physical copy of the book for StorySign to scan and bring to life.
STEP 1 - Download the app and click on the selected book from the StorySign Library
STEP 2 - Hold your smartphone over the words on the page of the book’s physical copy, and our friendly signing
avatar, Star, signs the story as the printed words are highlighted
StorySign is a free iOS app, that translates children’s books into 14 different sign languages: American Sign
Language (ASL), British Sign Language (BSL), Australian Sign Language (Auslan), French Sign Language
(LSF), German Sign Language (DSG), Italian Sign Language (LSI), Spanish Sign Language (LSE), Portuguese
Sign Language (LGP), Dutch Sign Language (NGT), Irish Sign Language (ISL), Belgian Flemish Sign Language
(VGT), Belgian French Sign Language (LSFB), Swiss French Sign Language (LSF) and Swiss German Sign
Language (DSGS).
So far, the app offers five popular children’s books for each local sign language, including much-loved best-
selling titles from Eric Hill’s Spot series. StorySign, a Huawei initiative, has been developed in close
partnership with local deaf associations, deaf schools and the European Union of the Deaf, designed by Aardman
Animations, and developed with classic children’s titles from Penguin Books.
FNDC Fall • 2019
FNDC Fall • 2019
You Are Not a Patient, We Will Not Provide Accommodations: A Father's Story
My name is Terry Hunt, and my wifes name is
Rebekah. I am profoundly deaf, but my wife is not
deaf. This is about our experiences in two dierent
hospitals and two dierent births of our children.
With this article/blog, we are hoping that it would
create more awareness and smoother communi-
cation for the deaf community.
Our rst child is our son, Asher, who was born in
September 2017 at Tampa General Hospital.
Our second child is our daughter, Ava, who was
born in July 2019 at Morton Plant Hospital.
Tampa General Hospital
We had two dierent experiences with both
hospitals, needless to say, our rst child was
the most traumatic experience for us. At Tampa
General Hospital, we were denied for interpreter
many times after we have requested it numerous
times before the pre-registration, emergency visit,
and during the day of labor. We have even asked if
they can’t give us interpreter, then could we have
video relay interpreter? Again, we were denied for
that. One of the nurse sta has made a comment,
We have the thing for the deaf, and we don’t
know where it is. It has taken up a lot of rooms
and put away in one of the closets.
Our rst visit at Tampa General Hospital for the
tour, one of Rebekah’s question was, “How do
we get an interpreter for my husband while I’m
in labor?” and their response was You won't
because he’s not the patient. The next question
was What if it was a life-threating situation and
I’m not able to make a decision, but the decision
must be made within a minute or less, and you
have a communication issue with the deaf person.
Nearly everyone in that tour was shocked to hear
the response from the tour guide, “Lets hope we
don’t go that route.
During the two emergency trips to Tampa General
Hospital, both of our requests for interpreter or
VRI was denied again.
On September 27th, 2017, Rebekah went into labor
with Asher, before we learned that she is a failure
to progress, which can’t process to give natural
birth. From the time she was on medication, and
her mind wasn’t 100% there or fully alert of what
was going on. As for me, I just sat in the corner,
always asking my wife, what are they saying?
What did that doctor say? What did that nurse
say? Most of the time, she is too focused on trying
to push out the baby, regain her energy, or trying
to take her mind o the pain. Rebekah has been
so frustrated that she would have to interpret for
me, with all the pain, and IV that was inserted in
her hand.
For over two days of labor, around 10 am on
September 29, 2017. The nurse team came in start
rushing because the situation became severe
and emergency. Rebekah was waking up all of a
sudden, and I was woken up as well because I felt
the vibrations o the oor. Nobody was letting
me know what was going on, but everyone was
talking to Rebekah. She was screaming at the
nurses to tell me what was going on, and she as
trying to sign to me as well, but she couldn’t. The
doctor came into the room and pulled her bed out
of the room into the operating room. The nurse
came into the room and gave me the operating
room outt to put on without saying a word or
telling me what is going on.
Finally, I went into the operating room and saw
Rebekah laying, and I could tell that she had some
good cocktails and prep for emergency c-section.
There was no communication or anyone to sign
to me during the operating room; the nurses and
doctors kept looking at me and trying to commu-
nicate with me with the mask covered their face.
I’m always telling them, I’m deaf, and I can’t under-
stand you with the mask covering your face.
One nurse took o her mask to let me read her lips
and know what was going on but still not a good
source of communication. Finally, Asher was born
at 11:00 am an as healthy baby. After Rebekah
has regained herself from all the medication and
had some rest, she has explained to me what
happened that morning. Asher’s heart rate has
dropped so low that he wouldn’t survive birth,
and they had to perform an emergency c-section.
Thankfully, that Asher and Rebekah are well today.
A mystery nursing sta has come into the room
with the VRI on the cart, and we thought it was
one of their portable computers that all the nurses
use. She plugged it, turned it on, and walked out
without telling us what it is. The funny part about
that, it was brought in right before the discharge.
VRI issues
When we had the VRI turned on during the
discharge discussion, the interpreter in VRI
couldn’t hear or understand the doctor. That inter-
preter was signing a lot of things that were never
said by the doctor. Rebekah caught the inter-
preter and corrected them many times. The inter-
preter constantly said, they can’t hear the doctor
and VRI couldn’t be unplugged from the wall to
be moved closer to the doctor or the bed. So
Rebekah asked them to stop interpreting, and she
will start interpreting the discharge information
to me. The issue with VRI is the internet speed was
not fast enough for the streaming, and it couldn’t
be unplugged from the wall.
We wanted to get out of Tampa General Hospital
as quickly as possible and go home!
Morton Plant Hospital
When we have learned that Morton Plant Hospital
follows the ADA laws closely and have a sta inter-
preter, Dana Kelly, at the hospital, Morton Plant
has valued the deaf community signicantly,
and Dana has gotten the interpreters for us from
AQI Agency for the after hours. The decision was
made quickly to have our second child born there
without a question to ask. We were thrilled and
excited that they have an interpreter on sta or
they provide an interpreter from another agency.
They also have a VRI equipment stored in an oce
where the nurses can nd it quickly and kept it
clean from dust.
During our pre-registration, the nurse sta
worked with us on the agency we prefer, without
debating, we accepted the on-sta interpreter
from 7 am to 3 pm and have the agency inter-
preter to come in from 3 pm to 9 pm. The on-sta
interpreter will go into the operating room with us
during the day of delivery for Ava.
First trip to Morton Plant Hospital
Rebekah started to have contractions and was in
pre-labor, we rushed to Morton Plant Hospital and
sent a text to the interpreter agency. The inter-
FNDC Fall • 2019
preter was at the hospital and waiting for us to
arrive. We were sent home because it was false
Second trip to Morton Plant Hospital
Again, another trip to Morton Plant and false
labor. However, an interpreter was waiting for us
in the lobby after midnight. After everything was
checked out, we went home again. The rst two
visits, we had an interpreter ready for us.
Happy Birthday Ava
Finally, Rebekah was ready for pregnancy to come
to an end. She was scheduled for a c-section since
she can’t progress or give birth naturally. She was
able to relax and not having to worry about inter-
preting for me or let me know what was going
on. We had an interpreter from the moment
we walked into the hospital to when we were
discharged. We also had the interpreter during
the operating room. Our stress level was the
ordinary parents going through delivery instead
of overstressed about communication or knowing
what is going on. Every interpreter that came to
interpret for us has stood by my side for every
doctor, nurses, and even food administrators that
has walked into the room.
During the delivery of Ava, we were able to enjoy
the birth and ready to take more pictures without
being stress. It was one of those happy moments.
Ava has been a smooth delivery, and better
hospital stay than Asher has been. Tampa General
need to understand the ADA laws. If we are
planning on our third child, Morton Plant will be
our choice of hospital and AQI Agency will be
our choice of interpreting services for after hours.
Both Morton Plant and AQI Agency has done an
outstanding job with communication.
The last thing I want to say is Morton Plant does
care for the deaf community if they are patients,
families, or friends. They care for everyone that
comes to Morton Plant.
Terry Hunt is the president of It’s a Deaf Thing –
Deaf Expo & ProjectDEAF. Rebekah Hunt is the
event coordinator for Its a Deaf Thing – Deaf
Expo. Our focus is to help the deaf community to
prevent any language barrier during any hospital,
doctors, or any business visits.
Empower U: Learn to Access Your Deaf Rights & Disability Rights
Training on Canadian Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of Person with
Disabilities (CRPD) and its Optional Protocol (OP)
VANCOUVER – October 28, 2019
This training aims to increase awareness of how to address discrimination using more familiar
Canadian human rights laws, such as Human Rights Codes, and the newer laws, such as
international Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). This is the training for
Deaf people, and for persons with all disabilities. The training is part of the project funded by the
Employment and Social Development Canada, and it is implemented by the Canadian Association of
the Deaf – Association des Sourds du Canada (CAD-ASC) in collaboration with Council of Canadians
with Disabilities (CCD), Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW), ARCH Disability Law, DisAbled
Women’s Network, and BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS).
The event is co-presented by the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, and the Canadian
Association of Deaf – Association des Sourds du Canada.
October 28,
Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street (at the corner of 15th Avenue), Vancouver
Workshop will last from 9:00 to 17:00, with refreshments and lunch included. No Cost
What will I learn? At the end of the training you will have:
• Knowledge of how to use the United Nations CRPD and the Optional Protocol, as well as Human
Rights Codes and the Accessible Canada Act
• Understanding the systems where to seek redress for discrimination
Ability to access and navigate the system to redress for discrimination
These workshops are for people with disabilities, Deaf people, allies, human rights activists,
community change makers, students concerned with social justice, and disability support workers.
Pavel Chernousov, Project Director, Canadian Association of the Deaf.
Please register for the event at:
FNDC EDITOR’S NOTE: above registration requires “school and
program” to be completed - this is glitch in system.
FNDC Fall • 2019
FNDC Newsletter Editor’s Note: While this recent news is happening in the State of New Jersey it’s hopeful that
something like this could happen in British Columbia.
New Laws Aim to Improve Education for Deaf
& Hearing Impaired Students
August 5, 2019
Laws Sponsored by Assembly Democrats Benson, Chiaravalloti, Mukherji, Caputo, Jasey, Quijano & Lampitt
(TRENTON) –With the goal to improve education in New Jersey schools for children who are deaf,
hard of hearing or deaf-blind, two pieces of legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Dan
Benson, Nicholas Chiaravalloti, Raj Mukherji,
Ralph Caputo, Mila Jasey, Annette Quijano and
Pamela Lampitt were signed into law Monday
by Acting Governor Sheila Oliver.
“No longer will we treat deaf or hard of hearing
children as second class students or with
expectations separate from that which we
would have for any of our children,” said
Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex).
“These laws help both parents and students to
ensure they are receiving the best education
and given the best opportunities using multi-
modal means of communication at school.”
The first law (formerly A-1893) establishes a Working Group on Deaf Education to make
recommendations on issues related to early linguistic developments of children who are deaf or hard
of hearing. This group, established within the Department of Education (DOE), would consist of 12
members appointed by the Commissioner of Education.
“All our children are unique. Parents with children who are deaf or hard of hearing face additional
obstacles,” said Chiaravalloti (D-Hudson). “This law provides parents the support needed so they can
make informed decisions about the medical, linguistic, and educational management of their child.”
The group will examine, research, and make recommendations to the DOE for the development of a
resource guide for parents to monitor and track their children’s expressive and receptive language
acquisition and developmental stages toward English literacy. The group would also select one or
more early intervention assessments to be used by educators to assess the language and literacy
development of deaf and hard of hearing children.
“The hardships that parents of deaf or hard of hearing children go through are unique,” said Mukherji
(D-Hudson). “Providing a parent resource guide that will be made with recommendations from
parents who are personally putting their deaf or hard of hearing children through school will
undoubtedly provide support that may be hard to find for other parents.”
The law also directs the DOE, in consultation with the Department of Health, to develop a parent
resource guide. The guide will:
FNDC Fall • 2019
1. help parents monitor and track deaf and hard of hearing children’s expressive and receptive
language acquisition;
2. be appropriate for use, in both content and administration, with deaf and hard of hearing
children from birth to age five;
3. be written for clarity and ease of use by parents;
4. be aligned to existing instruments used by school districts to assess the development of
children with disabilities pursuant to federal and state law;
5. include a statement that the parent resource is not a formal assessment of language and
literacy development; and
6. include a statement that a parent may bring the parent resource guide to a child study team
meeting for purposes of sharing observations about the child’s development.
“This law will provide parents of deaf or hearing impaired children with vital and relevant information
so they can advocate for their children and ensure they meet their potential despite their challenges,”
said Caputo (D-Essex).
“The importance of reliable and up-to-date support for parents’ decisions is critical to the overall well-
being of their child,” said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris). “This law provides both support and comfort for
parents with a common interest — the well-being of their children and their education.”
In June, the measure passed the full Assembly 77-0 and the Senate 37-0.
The second law (formerly A-1896) establishes the “Deaf Student’s Bill of Rights.” This measure would
require school districts to recognize the rights of students who are deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-
blind to:
Provide children who are deaf, hard of hearing, or
deaf-blind with individualized and appropriate early
intervention to support the acquisition of solid
language bases developed at the earliest possible age.
Inform the parents or guardians of children who are
deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind of all placement
considerations and options available to children and
provide opportunities for parents and guardians to
fully participate in the development and implementation of their child’s education plan.
Strive to provide children who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind opportunities to meet and
associate with adult role models who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind to learn advocacy skills,
including self-advocacy.
Provide children who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind opportunities to meet and associate with
their peers in the school environment and during school-sponsored activities.
Provide direct instruction to children who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind. If that is not
possible, school districts shall provide the children with access to qualified teachers, interpreters, and
resource personnel who communicate effectively with each child in that child’s mode of
FNDC Fall • 2019
Include a communication plan in the Individualized Education Program of a student who is deaf, hard
of hearing, or deaf-blind. Where appropriate, public schools shall include a communication plan in the
educational plan prepared for a student who is deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind.
Provide children who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind placement that is best suited to the
child’s individual needs including, but not limited to, social, emotional, and cultural needs, with
consideration for the child’s age, degree and type of hearing loss, academic level, mode of
communication, style of learning, motivational level, and amount of family support.
Provide children who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind individual considerations for free,
appropriate education across a full spectrum of educational programs.
Provide children who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind full support services provided by
qualified professionals in their educational settings. The Department of Education shall work with
school districts to ensure technical assistance is available to support boards of education in meeting
the needs of children who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind.
Provide children who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind full access to all programs in their
educational settings including, but not limited to, extracurricular activities, recess, lunch, media
showings, and public announcements.
Ensure that parents and guardians of children who are deaf, hard of hearing or deaf-blind receive
information from appropriately qualified professionals on the medical, ethical, cultural, and linguistic
issues of individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind.
Ensure that children who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind have direct access to mental health
services and supporting services from qualified providers fluent in their primary mode of
Where possible, have deaf and hard of hearing adults directly involved in determining the extent,
content, and purpose of all programs that affect the education of children who are deaf, hard of
hearing, or deaf-blind.
“Around 96 percent of children with hearing loss are born
to parents with intact hearing, who may initially know little
about deafness or sign language,” said Quijano (D-Union).
“This Bill of Rights would give parents a sense of both
knowledge and security when it comes to the education
their children should be receiving at school.”
“Too often, our schools do not update their classrooms
and lack the appropriate resources to support the
communication needs of deaf or hard of hearing students,”
said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). “As a result, these
students fall behind not only in language development but
other academic areas. This law will prioritize the language
needs of deaf or hard of hearing children in order for them
to grow both academically and socially at school.”
The measure passed the full Assembly in June by a vote of 77-0, and the Senate in January, 37-0.
FNDC Fall • 2019
This Is What Being Hard of Hearing Is Like
at the Movies
Posted: August 18, 2016
I am hard of hearing and rely on lipreading. Video can
be dicult, for a variety of reasons, including camera
angle, voice-overs, sound eects, accents, and
animation. Every time captioning fails at the movies,
I am reminded of my inability to participate in activ-
ities many Canadians take for granted. I feel belittled,
squashed, unimportant.
I really wanted to seeSouthpaw. I really did. I tried.
Twice. The rst time, I got there early and arranged
my popcorn, drink, captioning device and was
prepared to be blown away by Jake Gyllenhaal.
And then about a half hour later I walked out of the
theatre with a voucher for a free movie and a free
popcorn. I tried again eight days later. But Jake had
no love for me the second time either. I left about 40
minutes into the movie, again with a voucher for a
free movie.
I left because the captioning system didn't work.
I am hard of hearing and rely on lipreading. Video
can be dicult, for a variety of reasons, including
camera angle, voice-overs, sound eects, accents,
and animation. Turning up the volume doesn't
help. If it's loud enough, I can hear noise, but my
brain can't translate that into anything meaningful.
It's likely comparable to a hearing person watching
a foreign lm with the volume turned down. You
can hear stu when you concentrate but you don't
understand what you're hearing. You need subtitles.
I need captions.
I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, when captioning
was just not available. I did my best to muddle
through. I was completely puzzled the rst time I
saw Dirty Dancing. I didn't understand that Robbie
had gotten Penny pregnant. I knew Penny had an
abortion, but the only possible father seemed to be
Johnny, and that just didn't t into the rest of the plot.
But hey, at least I enjoyed the dancing! If muddling
is the best you can do, that's what you do. But it's a
whole dierent ballgame in 2015, with (supposedly)
better technology and improved accessibility.
As far as I know, the rst closed captioning systems
(Rear Window Captioning or "RWC") arrived in
select Canadian movie theatres in the early 2000s.
Saskatoon, my hometown, was not one of the
locations chosen for the system. Although I was
passionate about bringing it here, and did my best
to reach out to those who could make it happen,
nothing came of my eorts.
So, I took in movies when I traveled -- and I was willing
to travel to see movies. I saw my rst captioned movie
in Edmonton. I still have that ticket stub fromRoad
to Perdition tacked to my bulletin board at work. I
also saw movies in Winnipeg and Vancouver. It was
blissful and exciting to soak in the whole experience
for the rst time in my life -- the darkened theatre, the
big screen, the popcorn andall of the dialogue.
I planned to see the rstSex and the City(SATC) movie
in Edmonton. I was a major fan of the television series
and had travelled to New York City just to go on a tour
ofSATClocations. But when the movie was released,
it wasn't scheduled into any Edmonton theatres
with RWC. My closest options were Calgary and
Winnipeg. In addition to travelling to another city, I
also had to manage leave from my job, and arrange
care for my two dogs. This all had to be done quickly,
beforeSATCwas cycled out of the captioned theatre.
I briey considered ying to Calgary. And slightly
more seriously considered driving to Winnipeg
with my dogs in tow, thinking to stay overnight at a
campsite and leave them at a doggie daycare while
seeing my movie. This was a little too crazy, even for
me, aSATCfan who went all the way to New York,
just to eat a cupcake from the Magnolia Bakery. In
the end, I didn't seeSATCin the theatre.
In 2012, a new captioning system was introduced
across Canada. The day I found out it was available
in Saskatoon, I played hooky from work to seeMagic
Mike. Around the point where Adam and Mike start
getting a little too deeply into drugs, my device quit
working. I left the movie to nd someone to x it. I
wasn't surprised since RWC could also be glitchy at
Unfortunately, the glitches happened so frequently
that I gave up trying somewhere between Grown
Ups 2 and Magic Mike XXL. Sometimes the device
displays a message saying that it is good to go but
when the movie actually starts playing, nothing
happens. Sometimes it stops displaying captions in
the middle of a movie. If it can't be xed, I'm sent on
my way with a voucher for a future visit. I decided
to give captioning another whirl this summer, and
to my delight,Magic Mike XXLwas absolutely glitch
free. However, my experience at Southpaw totally
destroyed any renewed optimism.
"Big deal," someone might comment, "At least she's
getting free vouchers." But here's an analogy for you
-- suppose you went to a concert. You made plans
with friends, bought your tickets, maybe had to pay
for parking, stood in line to get in, stood in line for
your drink, and got settled in your seat, all pumped
up to see a favourite performer. The opening acts are
loud and not overly good. The main singer takes the
stage and the sound equipment fails. Management
tries to x it but after a half hour, they tell you,
"Sorry!" and give you a free ticket to a future concert.
At the next concert, this cycle of failing sound
equipment and free vouchers happens again -- and
it will continue for as long as you're willing to put up
with it. How would it make you feel? Would you feel
like your complaints are being heard? Would you feel
angry or frustrated or discouraged? How many times
would you try again?
Every time I go through this process at the movies,
I am reminded of my inability to participate in
activities many Canadians take for granted. I feel
belittled, squashed, unimportant. It brings home
the idea that I am broken, and that the problem is
with me. Although accessibility is often advertised
with great fanfare, the reality is that this world is just
not as accessible as it appears to be. And I continue
to struggle to get people to understand how that
makes me feel.
"HOH Oh!" pieces by Jacki Andre explore living life with
a disability, and especially issues related to being hard
of hearing (HOH).
FNDC Fall • 2019
Captioning Quality Standards
Let's take a look at the specific elements that guide the standards of captions.
For the past 5 years, Ai-Media has been awarded a captioning quality score of over 99% by
independent auditors. But how is a captioning quality score determined? What dictates good and bad
quality captions? We're breaking down the basic guidelines that dictate how caption quality is
measured and the importance of high-quality captions for media.
Types of errors
There are plenty of basic grammatical or formatting errors that can make captions harder to read.
Anything from misspelling, punctuation, or speed of the text can impact someone’s ability to
understand what is being said, and therefore will result in poor quality captions.
The most common forms of mistakes include:
o There vs Their vs They're
o You're vs Your
o Lose vs Loose
Why does this happen? What affects the potential quality of captions? Well, there are a few reasons,
o Difficulty of the language used
o Multiple speakers
o Number of natural pauses, and
o Quality of the audio in the files provided
Caption Guidelines
Officially, many countries like Australia, the UK, and the United States, all have legislation, laws, and
bodies that review and monitor the quality of captions that are allowed to be aired on screen.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States has official regulations and rules
surrounding captioning on television to ensure that viewers who are deaf and heard of hearing have
full access. The infographic below outlines the FCC’s closed captioning standards which provide
guidance to video programming distributors and programmers.
FNDC Fall • 2019
Reading Speed
Captions assist deaf and hard of hearing viewers access video content and understand what is being
said. So, as a result, the speed at which the captions appear and how long they appear for are very
Typically, captions should not be so fast that they are difficult to read. Most companies which
produce captions for TV and cinema adhere to minimum word speeds (typically 180-200 words per
minute or about three words per second). If the dialogue is faster than this, then the language should
be condensed, with unimportant words and repetitions eliminated (such as, "umm" and “ahh”).
Positioning and Colouring
Captions should be displayed at the bottom of the screen. However, captions will be raised to avoid
obscuring any additional content on the screen including logos, subtitles, banners, news tickers or
other visuals. Captions will rarely ever appear on the centre of the screen as it may interfere with
the visual storytelling.
Captions for television are often coloured and positioned
to help the viewer identify who is speaking. Media players
depending on the type may not support or allow multi-
coloured captions. In this instance, it is acceptable for
captions to be all white and centred. In this scenario, the
two speakers are differentiated by placing dashes before
their respective lines, e.g.:
How are you?
I’m fine.
Additional ways of indicating speakers involve character names or descriptions, such as:
JOHN: Hello.
WOMAN: Hello.
Font Size
Captions must be written in a font which is large enough to be easily readable, taking into account the
size of the screen. There are no accepted standards for this, but captions on Australian television are
a maximum of 37 characters per line.
Line Breaks
Line breaks should be made where there is a natural linguistic break in the sentence (e.g. after a
comma). This helps audiences follow the natural rhythm and flow of a conversation, speech, or
dialogue on screen easier. This also applies to longer sentences which go over multiple captions lines.
Below, we see how proper line breaks can improve of the same caption:
FNDC Fall • 2019
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
Beyond the FCC and local legislation regarding quality, there is another set of guidelines that
captioning services and businesses must meet. This is called the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines,
or WCAG for short.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is a series of web accessibility guidelines published
by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). WCAG is the main
international standards for the Internet and sets recommendations for accessible content aimed at
people with disabilities.
In 2008, WCAG 2.0 was published, providing 12 recommendations organized under 4 principals. These
principals and recommendations are what captioning, and transcription services must adhere to when
creating captions for online content.
These principals are:
Perceivable: Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they
can perceive.
Operable: User interface components and navigation must be operable.
Understandable: Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.
Robust: Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user
agents, including assistive technologies.
FNDC Fall • 2019
The Rise of Deaf Architecture
September 12, 2019
Bauman, now Gallaudet’s executive director of
campus design and construction, recalls that
at one point, the group toured the universitys
existing audiology booths in the basement of
a building that would later be demolished. For
many in the deaf community, those spaces bring
back horrible memories — being tested inside
them as children and told, from a hearing person’s
perspective, that something was not quite right.
As the group walked among the booths, they
reected that the sound chambers looked a little
like gas chambers. “If you ever doubt the kind of
experiences a building can convey, these would
make you a believer in the power of architecture
to infuse emotion, says Bauman, who, though
hearing, instinctively signs in American Sign
Language (ASL) as he speaks.
Over two days, the attendees discussed what
they wanted in their new building, and their ideas
crystallized a design and architectural philosophy.
DeafSpace, as it’s come to be called, seeks to
create buildings and public areas that arm the
experience and culture of the deaf and hard-of-
hearing — for instance, by ensuring that spaces
are conducive to signed conversations.
The resulting building, the SLCC, ushered in a
new era of design at the 155-year-old university
— and today, DeafSpace principles are poised
to transform the surrounding neighborhood. In
2007, discussions began about re-envisioning
the Sixth Street NE corridor that runs along the
western edge of campus. After years of wrangling
— a community group that was suing to stop
the development lost its last appeal in March —
the school now expects to break ground in 2021.
Once completed, the Sixth Street Development
will almost certainly be the rst spot in the United
States outside the university to use DeafSpace
design and architecture ideas in public spaces.
Once completed, the Sixth Street Development
will almost certainly be the rst spot in the
United States outside Gallaudet University to
use DeafSpace design and architecture ideas in
public spaces.
Richard Dougherty is a deaf Irish architect with
Hall McKnight, a Northern Ireland rm that will be
designing part of the Sixth Street Development.
He and I communicated via video conference
recently to discuss both the ideas of DeafSpace
and how they will be applied to the project. (He
used Irish Sign Language through a female inter-
preter with a strong Irish lilt.)
Shortly into our conversation, Dougherty gave
me an example of spatial awareness dierences
between the hearing and the deaf. He mentioned
how, to him, a hearing dinner seems so formal,
with people rmly stationed at square tables. By
contrast, during a deaf dinner, people are contin-
ually in motion, switching seats to touch one
another or communicate directly with someone
across the table. “For me, Dougherty signed, “a
deaf space is a multisensory experience. Its not
just what does it look like at face value. What is
the experience of being deaf once I go through
the door? What is the experience of me getting
through the foyer? To the staircase? What’s the
lighting like? What’s the material being used in
the building?”
He then described the house he lives in with
his deaf wife and two deaf children. It is an old
Edwardian home with roughly six-foot-wide
hallways so his family can communicate while
they walk, and oorboards that vibrate when
stomped to grab someones attention.
Sign language is vital to the concepts of
DeafSpace. If you are hearing, imagine a space that
through acoustics prevented you from adequately
communicating. That’s how plenty of deaf people
feel about architecture and design that includes
narrow sidewalks and entryways, sharp angles
that limit sightlines, or terrible lighting.
You can nd several of these design aws at Union
Market, across the street from Gallaudet’s campus.
To be sure, the space is in some ways friendly to
deaf people: Many of the food vendors employ
deaf or hard-of-hearing baristas and cashiers. Yet,
when I met Bauman there on a July afternoon, I
was aware that the sharp corners of food stalls
interrupted sightlines, and that the summer light
streaming through the windows was blinding at
Bauman agreed. “See that shine out there —
that’s unbelievable, he said. “If this were a signed
conversation, I would probably have to get up. If
all of your attention is with your eyes, your eye
fatigue is wearing on you, you’re getting tired.
So much of the design principles around the
language goes back to minimizing eye fatigue.
We left the market so he could show me the layout
for the Sixth Street Development, which entails
four parcels of land, two on the eastern side of
Sixth Street, on Gallaudet’s campus, and two on
the western side that are separated by Union
Market. Gallaudet bought the lots in the 1970s,
when real estate in the area was cheaper than it is
today. While each parcel will contain elements of
DeafSpace, the two western parcels will be meant
to match the ow and energy of Union Market,
and so will likely use fewer DeafSpace principles.
Bauman and I crossed Sixth Street toward Gallau-
det’s campus and walked along a university
parking garage that will be demolished when
construction begins. In its place will be a building
with ground-oor retail, businesses run by
deaf entrepreneurs, perhaps even a theater, all
built using DeafSpace ideas. When the building
is complete, a corridor will be formed on the
Gallaudet campus between this new building and
a row of faculty housing that has been there since
the campus was rst designed by famed architect
Frederick Law Olmsted. Bauman calls this corridor
Creativity Way, forecasting that it will showcase the
ingenuity of both the Gallaudet community and
the broader deaf world — through the businesses
that set up in the space and also through possible
artistic performances. Others involved in the
project, including Dougherty, call this part of the
development “the front porch, suggesting that it
will evoke the ethos of communities — deaf and
hearing, university students and local residents —
coming together.
Jay Klug has been working on the project since
2013, when Chevy Chase, Md.-based developer JBG
Smith — where he is an executive vice president
Early rendering for a Gallaudet University building
submitted by the design rm Hall McKnight.
(Courtesy of Hall McKnight Architects)
FNDC Fall • 2019
— submitted a bid. “Part of the vision in creating
development on these sites is to perhaps create
a small village, Klug told me, “a place that will be
really welcoming to the deaf and hard-of-hearing
around the world. His colleague Bryan Moll has
been working on the project for almost as long as
Klug; neither had prior experience working with
the deaf community. So, Moll and Klug and others
at JBG Smith — which is building a majority, but
not all, of the project — took ASL classes, watched
documentaries about deaf culture, and met with
Gallaudet sta.
That education has helped them better appreciate
what Sixth Street should be like for deaf people —
from the need for adequate separation between
buildings to the importance of canopies of light at
night rather than the pinpricks of streetlamps. “It’s
not just what were designing into the buildings
or the buildings themselves, Moll says, “but
about the public realm — the spaces outside the
buildings that are really important.
Moll is keen on the role technology could play
on Sixth Street. He talks about stationing kiosks
along the street where people can learn about the
university and deaf culture, or potentially even
including holograms that could teach you how to
communicate in ASL.
If JBG Smith is creating a front porch, Dougherty
and his team at Hall McKnight are designing
what could be called the front door. The main
entrance to the university is farther east, but the
corner of Sixth Street and Florida Avenue NE may
soon become the primary gateway between
the community and the college. Bauman and
university ocials are not sure how they will
utilize this space, which currently features a blue
Gallaudet sign, a defunct Pontiac dealership and
a slab of uneven concrete hidden behind brick
and metal fencing. However, Hall McKnight has
submitted a design for a path that starts at the
gothic Chapel Hall, the administrative heart of
Gallaudets campus, and extends west across
Olmsted Green, toward Sixth, down Creativity
Way, before opening onto the corner of Florida
and Sixth. As Dougherty explained: We actually
visualized that as a long arm and a hand that
would be handed over to the city from Gallaudet
University. Its a potentially powerful symbol of
the project’s aspiration: to bring together deaf
and hearing communities in spaces designed
with deaf people in mind.
“For me,” signed architect Richard Dougherty, “a
deaf space is a multisensory experience. It’s not
just what does it look like at face value. What is
the experience of being deaf once I go through
the door?”
Though DeafSpace is a modern idea, the concepts
underlying it have been around as long as deaf
people. Take a walk around Gallaudet, visit its
student center, attend a football game: In each
experience, you will see space used in a dierent
way from how hearing people use it. “In many
ways, DeafSpace and designing spaces around
the deaf experience is empowering, and it takes
back spaces that should belong to everyone, not
just able-bodied people, Sean Maiwald, a recent
Gallaudet graduate who worked on the devel-
opment while a student, told me via email. “I think
it also pushes a broader point about human-
centered design.
At the same time, Maiwald noted that the project
is not without pitfalls: “My concern is that this
area will become a new, trendy, hip area and
push out the deaf community, which should feel
some sense of ownership of the space. So, I am
optimistic, and I know that there will be many
things that will benet the Gallaudet community,
but there will be conicts.
On a rainy day in early August, I went to campus
to see DeafSpace in action. At Gallaudet’s newest
dorm, built in 2012 using DeafSpace approaches,
sliding glass doors open wide to allow the
entrance and exit of signers engaged in conver-
sation. The windows have retractable shades
that can help modify natural light. Meanwhile, a
sloping public space on the buildings eastern side
is terraced into four wall-less rooms. Each “room”
has a circular table and chairs where students
can study or hang out, but the uid, open design
means that someone on the fourth terrace can
easily sign toward the ground level. If a lecturer
stood at the bottom, students could arrange
themselves in theater-style seating and see the
Before leaving campus, I stopped by the Sorenson
Language and Communications Center, the rst
building designed with DeafSpace principles.
I had visited several times before, and I always
admired its broad foyer and open oor plan. But
this time, as I walked around, I remembered what
Bauman had said about the audiology booths in
the building it replaced, the ones that looked like
gas chambers, relegated to the basement, out of
sight. Here, the booths are smack in the middle of
the second oor, in an open area where light ows
freely through glass walls.
Saanich School District – seeking Interpreter
(must be uent in American Sign Language)
27.5 hours | Needed: ASAP | $23.05 per hour
9:05 am – 3:08 pm Monday to Friday, (includes 1/2 hour unpaid lunch)
10 months per year while regular classes are in session
To apply please send your application to We thank all applicants for
their interest, however, only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.
Seeking caregiver:
Looking a caregiver / supporter worker for
my  year old daughter who is deaf.
The person. Need to know sign language.Deaf or hard of hearing
or hearing anyone can apply for job as long as they know sign
language. Please call or text me 778-319-2111. My name is Jatinder.
FNDC Fall • 2019
10 tips for IEP season
(FNDC Newsletter Editor’s note: Heather Ratzla wrote this article for Adopted Families Association of BC. Heather is an FNDC member and a mom of three kids. Kiera, one of her
children is deaf. Heather and her family are annual campers at our Hornby Island Family Camp and big supporters for our DYT program).
Heather Ratzla is an AFABC adoption key worker and an
adoptive mom of three. She says she loves IEP meetings.
(Did we mention shes got a great sense of humor?)
As if the back to school routine isn’t busy enough for
families, there is also the added stress for parents of
children with special needs to participate in Individu-
alized Education Plan (IEP) meetings for each of their
children. Here are 10 tips to help you go in with a positive
attitude, a collaborative mindset, and a plan of action.
Setting up routines and schedules for your child with
special needs is key to their daily success. If your child
is fortunate enough to have been at their school the
previous year, the teacheror admin will probably be
aware of some supports and goals already. However,
many schools aren’t prepared to start initiating a
personalized support plan until their funding and sta
are in place, which typically happens in early October.
This means that the start of each school year can be
extremely stressful as the transitions just keep coming.
1) Have an interim plan
Don’t wait for the school to contact you. Send a short
email or arrange a brief meeting with your child’s
teacher and/or education assistant (EA).to give some
coping strategies for your child to get through that rst
month with the least amount of stress and disruption
for both your child and the class (dgets, break ideas,
behaviours to watch for, strategies to re-route, sensory
aides, etc.). Mention the IEP meeting at this point and let
them know you understand what that is and are looking
forward to it.
2) Prepare yourself
Take a deep breath. Have a snack. Go for a walk. Have
a bath. It can be emotionally draining to talk about
your child’s challenges. Set out your ideas on paper
beforehand. What are your child’s strengths, challenges,
and goals? Read through your child’s last IEP/report
card to refresh your memory about what goals and
challenges your child has been tackling recently. Be
realistic about the school’s ability and your child’s ability.
Make this a team meeting. You are all on the same side,
you all want what’s best for your child and the school.
3) Value the school’s time and the stas work
Schools are busy places and it’s likely that your child is
not the only one who will need an IEP. Email to conrm
that everyone will be at the meeting, including the
principal if you want them there. Bring a friend or
advocate—sometimes there is a lot of information
to process and you may need a friend to take notes. If
you are an English language learner (ELL), insist on the
school having an interpreter for you. Does your child
have a community key worker or behaviour interven-
tionist? You can invite this person to come and support
you in this meeting. They may be able to oer the school
valuable insight on what has worked for your child in the
past in other settings.
4) Get to know the Learning Support Services
(LSS) teacher
How active are they in the classroom? Do they interact
directly with your child or do they oversee the teacher
or support sta? Do they know about the role of key
workers? Have they connected with the provincial
outreach programs (POPs) related to your child? Do
they know of any new research or resources? Can they
suggest professional develop
ment (PD) day activities for teachers and support sta
that specically include learning more about supporting
children with special needs in the classroom setting? Do
they oer small support groups for reading or math or
building social skills? How are children referred to those
groups? Can your child be included in these supports?
5) Get to know the classroom teacher
Know their name, their classroom, how much experience
they have withchildren with similar diagnoses to your
child’s, and what their level of comfort with special
needs children. Try to build rapport and support
the professionals in your school. They are trained for
teaching and they wantto make your child successful.
Educate them in a warm and positive way. I had one
teacher who disagreed with my son’s diagnosis, telling
me “Hedoesn’t look like he has FASD. I tried to gently
explain that FASD looks dierent in each child. My
grandma always said “You get more bees with honey
than vinegar, and I’ve found that to be so true.
6) Get to know the education assistant (EA)
Do they have a long-term contract at the school or are
they temporary? Find out how you can support and
encourage them (owers, a note, etc.).
7) Decide how to communicate with the school
This will help to build trust and consistency between
home and school. Do you want to use a communication
book, email, text? What will work for all of you? How
often do you expect communication? What things do
you want communication about? Do you want to know
about proud moments from the day or incidents that
involved the principal? Make aplan so that you don’t get
all of one or the other. You want a balancedcommuni-
cation model.
8) Decide how homework will/won’t happen
Some schools and classrooms are more exible than
others. I haveexplained that my child exerts so much
energy keeping himself regulated at school that our
family doesn’t support doing more school work at
home. For our children, it’s not realistic. Having said that,
if mychild consistently ignores instructions or opportu-
nities to nish workduring class time, then occasionally
we will do catch-up work at home.
9) Know your child’s diagnoses/labels
Make sure that the school has copies of any assessments
or testing that has been done by professionals or past
schools. This is key in getting your school the funding
it needs to adequately support your child.Understand
the provincial funding structure and where your child
ts into this paradigm.
10) Follow up and follow through
If you say you are going to do something, make sure
you follow through. Set up the assessment, make the
appointment with the pediatrician, accompany the
eld trip. Your stability and integrity increase your
voice at the school and the school’s impression of your
family. Don’t overpromise. Follow up on what they’ve
committed to doing as well. Is the IEP being followed?
Have the behaviour interventions been implemented?
Be the squeaky wheel. Stronger together
Parenting kids with special needs is a marathon, not a
sprint. You have time to work with the school and learn
from each other. So often in this process we can become
very behaviour-centered or production-focused.
Remember that your child is a human being with all
the feelings and challenges related to needing support
or being singled out in their classroom. Assure them of
your unequivocal love and support. Acknowledge their
strengths, build on them, and have fun together!
FNDC Fall • 2019
FNDC Fall • 2019
‘She has no barriers:’ Meet Bethany Baker, UNF’s rst deaf nursing studentrst-deaf-nursing-student
Posted: Jun.28, 2019
Bethany Baker would have laughed if someone
told her years ago she would become a nurse.
Even with a family full of nurses, she still wouldn’t
have believed it.
Every person on her mom’s side of the family
is deaf in one ear, but she is the rst fully deaf
member of the family. She didn’t imagine that
career path for herself.
Baker marked another rst last summer.
At 27, she became the rst deaf person admitted
to the University of North Floridas post-baccalau-
reate nursing program.
Bakers parents discovered she couldn’t hear
when she was 6 months old. After graduating
from the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind
in St. Augustine in 2009, she went to Gallaudet
University in Washington, D.C., to pursue a history
It wasn’t until the 28-year-old moved to Tennessee
that she considered entering the medical eld.
The idea started with a 96-year-old woman —
Mama Ray.
Baker cooked for Mama Ray, helped her use
the bathroom and provided care for her in the
summer. The deaf community in Tennessee knew
the woman well.
Baker quickly became an advocate for the deaf
community there.
“I was able to communicate with her directly, and
that really hit me, Baker said.
She later took a certied nursing assistant’s class
and worked in an emergency room for six months.
After Mama Ray died in 2016 at almost 100 years
old, Baker moved back to Florida to enroll in a
nursing program.
She said she not only wants to work with more
deaf patients in Florida but also be an advocate
for deaf people who want to enter any profession.
Baker has one year left in the program and hopes
to become a labor and delivery nurse or an
operating room nurse when she graduates.
Currently, Baker shadows Flagler Hospital’s patient
care technicians with two interpreters. One
typically follows her while the other waits outside.
She joked she always has two bodyguards.
“Right now, I watch ‘Dexter, but I have also been
really into ‘Greys Anatomy, and so its cool to see
it real life, she said.
The UNF Disability Resource Center provides
Baker with the interpreters while she does her
clinicals at Flagler every Wednesday and attends
classes. She also volunteers for service learning
with the American Red Cross in Jacksonville.
Next semester, she will start working in a room
at the university that is set up like a real hospital
with life-sized mannequins that sweat, urinate
and have seizures. She will know before coming in
to the room what the condition of the mannequin
patient is so she can prepare, and will then be
graded on her performance there.
In addition, she will shadow nurses and doctors at
Flagler in the next few weeks until she can be on
her own with patients.
“Right now in the health-care profession, there is
not a lot of deaf people. Deaf people need to go
get checkups too just like everyone else, but an
issue is communication, Baker said. “Sometimes
doctors won’t communicate with them, and a lot
of times they don’t provide interpreters like they
are supposed to via the Americans with Disabil-
ities Act. So they just won’t go to the doctor, and
that’s upsetting.
Her time working as a nursing assistant in
Tennessee led her to advocacy. One man in
particular she remembered.
A deaf man at the hospital was going to have
open heart surgery and had no interpreter for
three days. While Baker was in the hospital, she
made time to check on him.
“He didn’t have a clue about what surgery he was
going to have, Baker said. “He didn’t know what
post-operation would look like, pre-operation. He
was completely in the dark.
Baker convinced the hospital to hire her inter-
preter who remains on sta now working with
deaf, blind, deaf and blind and other handicapped
As a nursing assistant, Baker learned to commu-
nicate with patients in dierent ways. She carried
a pager for the nurses to contact her and used
a tablet to access a remote sign language inter-
preter to talk to the patients if no interpreter was
available in person. Dierent lights meant they
needed to use the bathroom or needed a nurse.
She and the patients would also gesture to each
other to show her what hurt or rub their stomachs
if they were hungry.
“For deaf people, I’m hoping to start this process
and experiences and do great, and then I can really
open some doors permanently for some other
deaf people to get their foot in the medical door,
Baker said. “I’m really happy that the program took
a risk on me. I feel more empowered to do a good
job. I know that I can do it, and I want to show
them that I can do it as well.
In December, Baker will learn with the nursing
students at Chiang Mai University in Thailand as
part of a study abroad program. Workshops and
lectures will be mixed in with a visit to an elephant
sanctuary and a traditional massage.
The students will have one free day to explore.
Baker plans to visit the largest deaf school in
Bangkok on her day o.
Bakers favorite part about the job is inter-
acting with the patients. Last week, she met an
80-year-old deaf woman who attended Gallaudet
The patient couldn’t believe she was there, Baker
“I’m really looking forward to seeing more of that.
If a nurse tells me there is a deaf patient in there,
Bethany (Bebe) Baker is the rst deaf ursing student at the
University of North Flordia. [Will Dickey/Flordia Times-Union]
FNDC Fall • 2019
I’m denitely going to make time to go say hi,
Baker said.
Dr. Li Loriz, UNF School of Nursing director, said
the university has had to change the way it
teaches in some ways since Bakers admittance.
She has access to closed captioning for her classes,
interpreters and specialized equipment, like a
stethoscope that connects to her mobile phone
so she can see the sounds others hear.
“Initially, the rst reaction is people say, Wait a
minute. A nurse that can’t communicate? That
won’t work, Loriz said. The thing is that there is
so many dierent roles for nurses that you don’t
have to have hearing in order to t all those roles.
And as you can hear from her, she has no barriers.
Other hearing-impaired students have been in
the program before, but Loriz said none were
completely deaf. The University of Central Florida
and Jacksonville University also had hearing-
impaired students who were able to speak. This
was dierent.
Next semester Baker will go to Brooks Rehabili-
tation and work with psychiatric patients at either
University of Florida Health or Baptist Health.
Those will be some of the challenges that clini-
cally we’re going to face. But you see her and shes
bubbly and she’s funny and shes just out there. So
I don’t think she’s going to have those problems,
Loriz said. “I’m really excited that we are going this
extra distance.
Drop in GYM is open!
Basketball – Wednesday Nights
Where: South Slope Elementary School
Address: 4446 Watling Street, Burnaby
Time: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Pickleball – Thursday Nights
Where: South Slope Elementary School
Address: 4446 Watling Street, Burnaby
Time: 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm
FNDC Fall • 2019
BWW Review: Historic Deaf Theatre Piece THE BLACK DRUM
Shines In Every Aspect Of Its Production
By Isabella·Posted: Jun.24, 2019
THE BLACK DRUM is a multi-sensory examination
of oppression and self-expression that shows just
how necessary deaf theatre is. Produced by the
Deaf Culture Centre and Soulpepper and directed
by Mira Zuckerman, the story, written by Adam
Pottle, draws from classic tropes - placing a down-
and-out hero in an unfamiliar world, good facing
o against evil, and a group of sidekicks with
wildly dierent personalities - to great eect.
The audience follows Joan (Dawn Jani Birley), a
woman grieving her wife Karen (Agata Wisny)
as she is transported to an in-between world
controlled by a sinister leader, the Minister (Bob
Hiltermann). Relying on the friends she makes
in the netherworld and her newly-come-to-life
tattoos, Buttery (Yan Liu) and Bulldog (Daniel
Durant), Joan must learn to utilize her skills, move
forward without Karen, and face o against the
Minister to bring colour back to the world.
As I am not familiar with American Sign Language
(ASL), I was worried that it would be dicult to
follow the story, but thanks to scene synopses
delivered through pre-recorded audio and a
comprehensive summary in the show program,
THE BLACK DRUM ensures that anyone can partake
in the performance. Even without those resources,
the entire cast is able to convey emotion through
strong facial expressions and each actor leverages
their entire body while signing and dancing to
ensure all audience members understand what's
happening in the story.
. As the heroine of the story, Birley delivers a power-
house performance throughout the show. From
her rst appearance at her wife's grave, it is unmis-
takeable that Joan is a woman in mourning. She
has great chemistry with each of her colleagues,
although she shined most in her incredibly tender
and highly moving reunion with Wisny.
Liu and Durant make for a charming odd couple
with Liu's owing, delicate movements contrast
Durant's swagger to great eect. Portraying
animals come to life poses an interesting
challenge, and it's one that Durant excels at in this
role - everything about his movements, character-
izations, and even subtle actions like lifting a leg
during a good head scratch scream puppy dog.
The residents of the in-between world are
brought to life beautifully, from Hiltermann's
commanding presence and sinister facial expres-
sions to the dance teacher Ava's (Corinna Den
Decker) character progression, transforming from
a nervous woman overseeing her wards (ballet
dancers Jaelyn Russell-Lillie, Sita Weereatne, and
Abbey Jackson-Bell) to a brave ghter.
Setting a story in a fantasy world comes with its
own challenges, but THE BLACK DRUM's creative
team certainly goes above and beyond to make
it convincing. Lighting (Chris Malkowski) is
incredibly striking, with stage lights and LEDs
at all levels and angles allowing for quick scene
changes and moody moments. The costumes
(Ruth Albertyn) of the netherworld citizens are a
great contrast to Joan and her tattoos, blending
steampunk and Victorian pieces in a way that
screams goth and emo aesthetic in the best
possible way.
The projections (Laura Warren) are an ecient way
to set scenes, although at times they seem more
like computer screensavers given the stylistic 3D
design. However, the use of a sheer curtain (set
and props design byKen MacKenzie) to create a
3D eect helps create an interesting depth to the
various environments.
Although the production is completely signed,
sound design (Adam Harendorf) plays a crucial
role. Using an onstage drummer (Dimitri Kanaris)
to create vibrations and boosting the sound and
bass through speakers makes the room shake,
adding to the concept of the drum's power in the
Minister's world.
THE BLACK DRUM is, at its core, a ground-breaking
piece of Canadian theatre for the deaf community
that will hopefully prompt other artists to come
forward and share their stories and talents.
On board soon: Employee uniforms to include Sign Language option
Posted: July 17, 2019
On the heels of being named "Best Place to Work
for Disability Inclusion" for the fourth consec-
utive year, Delta will soon be rolling out a uniform
language bar option for over 300+ sign languages
around the world.Delta is the rst U.S. airline to
oer this option; and with this improvement,
customers and qualied employees will immedi-
ately be able to visually recognizewhen they hold
sign language as a common connection.)
"Our mission is to connect the world, which starts
with making travel easier for all people," said Ed.
"It's a small step on our journey, but a powerful
change as we seek to make the world a smaller,
more inclusive place."
This initiative came to life as a direct result of
feedback from Delta's customers, ABLE Disability
Business Resource Group for employees
and Advisory Board on Disability (https://
Customers can expect to see uniformed
employees sporting the new language bars later
this fall.
FNDC Fall • 2019
Queer ASL helps various Metro Vancouver communities become more deaf- and LGBT-
Queer ASL helps the deaf become more inclusive
by using gender-neutral language. What would
you do if you were the only person using the only
means of communication you use?
The mother of invention paid a visit to Zoée
Montpetit when she was the sole signing deaf
person in Victoria’s queer community. After
Montpetit started hosting an ASL (American
Sign Language) club in her living room, she soon
recognized a need for queer people to learn ASL
in safe spaces.
Montpetit began Queer ASL as a drop-in club in
Victoria in 2009. After she relocated to Vancouver
in 2011, she continued to teach ASL and developed
a curriculum in 2012 that has since been taught
by a total of six teachers. Montpetit explains, in
an email interview, that their primary focus is to
teach ASL with an “anti-oppressive framework.
She says they emphasize gender-neutral
language, avoiding things like teaching the signs
formanorwomanby pointing to students.
“Mainstream ASL classes also tend to include
activities where students go around assuming
people’s gender identities, which leads to misgen-
dering, she says. “In Queer ASL, we only identify
each other as a person, and introduce gendered
signs using iconic images and characters, such as
the Flintstones, instead of assuming how students
Queer ASL also oers workshops for queer
businesses or organizations seeking to become
more deaf-inclusive by examining some of the
cultural tendencies that may be considered
appropriate or inappropriate by people in the
deaf community, Montpetit says. In addition,
they also oer workshops for the general deaf
community and organizations on becoming
queer- and trans-inclusive, including how to
become less oppressive. Kim Palmer, who was a
Queer ASL student in 2012 and became a teacher
in 2016, says by email that they teach deaf people
vocabulary such asqueer, lesbian, trans, intersex,
cis, androgynous, and more.
Both Montpetit and Palmer identify several ways
queer communities can improve access and
communication for deaf people. Montpetit sees a
need for more consultation and engagement with,
and promotion of events within, deaf commu-
nities. She also thinks ASL interpretation is often
undervalued by event planners and organizers.
Palmer also points out that needs can vary among
deaf people.
“Hard-of-hearing people may benet from
assistive devices, deaf-blind people often
require additional interpreters or intervenors,
and nonsigning deaf/hard-of-hearing folks may
benet from real-time captioning, she says. “I
would love to see more recognition that access is
an ongoing process that can always be improved
on, and it starts with consulting and listening to
disabled people about their needs.
Palmer, who identies as an asexual cisgender
woman, also sees many parallels between being
deaf and being queer. “Both deaf and queer
communities can be tremendous sources of
culture, identity, and pride, while simultane-
ously having to ght against oppressive politics,
she says. “It doesn’t surprise me that so many
hearing queer folks feel compelled to learn ASL;
they know what it’s like to be marginalized and
often recognize aspects they can relate to when
learning about ASL and deaf culture.
Language Line Video Interpretation - Now Available!
The YVR Blog team·Posted: Sept 10, 2019
YVR welcomes millions of passengers from all over the world every year—
and with them a wide variety of languages. In keeping with our commitment
to deliver an outstanding customer experience, we strive to oer services
to meet the needs of all passengers, including our popular Language Line
which oers phone interpretation in over 240 languages.
Recently we launched our latest service: real-time video interpretation,
available 24/7 in 36 languages including American Sign Language. The new
service, which passengers can request through our frontline sta, comple-
ments the existing Language Line and allows us to better serve passengers
who are deaf or hard of hearing. It supports YVR’s goal of greater accessibility
by making the airport a more inclusive and welcoming place for everyone.
To learn more about our accessibility initiatives, go to
FNDC Fall • 2019
Advocacy and Conflict Resolution for Students with
Disabilities in BC Education
The BCEdAccess Society is an entirely volunteer, parent run organization. We provide peer to peer support for
parents of children and youth with disabilities and complex learners, advocacy training and education, and we
do systemic level advocacy for equitable access to education.
be consulted about theplacement of theirchildren
be involved in theplanning, development &
implementation of their children's educational
be informed of their children's attendance, behaviour
& progress in school
examine all records kept by school board
pertaining to their children
register their children in an educational program
through a school district, independent school,
home school, or regional correspondence
appeal the decision of an employee of a board if it
significantly affects the education, health or safety
of a student
Parents have the right to:
receive annual reports about the effectiveness of
educational programs in the school district
How does funding work?
What is an IEP?
The government provides supplementary funding to
some categories of students with disabilities and
complex learners. Others do not receive supplementary
funding but are still funded through the base per
student amount.
Funds are not attached to individual students, rather
school districts pool the funds received and decide how
to allocate those funds at the district and school level.
An I
ndividualEducation Plan (IEP) is a document that
features a student's strengths and areas of challenge.
Goals and objectives are developed in consultation with
parents/guardiansto support student learning.
An IEP is not a legal contract and does not require any
signatures. The Principal of the school is responsible for
ensuring the IEP is implemented.
Who might be supporting my child at school?
Depending on your child's needs, he/she may be
supported by: a Teacher;an Educational Assistant; a
Youth Care Worker; a Learning Support Services
teacher; School Counsellor; District Staff; Occupational,
Speech Language, Physical Therapist; or others.
Engage in honest & clear communication
Start a binder and organize your documents-
notes, emails, IEPs, assessments
BCEdAccess Society -Information and peer to peer support for families of students with disabilities and
complex learners, systems advocacy
Inclusion BC - Individual advocacy support for school and community issues for children and adults with
disabilities www
Family Support Institute - Individual navigation support, training and more for families of children and
adults with disabilities
BCCPAC - British Columbia Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils, offers advocacy support to
District PAC -May offer individual advocacy support to families, will be a great source of knowledge on
District Policies and Procedures Check your local School District website for information on DPAC
Advocacy: Where do I start?
Regardless of funding or category, all students with a
disability have the right to the accommodations and
supports they need to equitably access their education.
Follow up face to face meetings and
conversations with an email stating your
Be an active partner in planning and
decision making
Avoid labelling and/or blaming
Show your awareness of unique strengths &
You are not alone! We encourage you to reach out for support & assistance at any time.
What does the BC School Act Say?
FNDC Fall • 2019
Student Rights in Education
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Article 24 - Inclusive Education
Prohibits discrimination against children with disabilities and mandates the right to an inclusive education
Focused on removing barriers to participation in typical classrooms in public schools
Countries are specifically charged with obligation to ensure access to inclusive general edu
cation with non-
disabled peers
The Parliament of Canada and each Canadian province have ratified the Convention and the optional
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit
of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin,
colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability
Ministerial Orders
(1) A board must ensure that a principal, vice principal or director of instruction offers to consult with a parent of a
student with special needs regarding the placement of that student in an educational program.
(2) A board must provide a student with special needs with an educational program in a classroom w
here that
student is integrated with other students who do not have special needs, unless the educational needs of the
student with special needs or other students indicate that the educational programs for the student with special
needs should be provided otherwise.
[en. M397/95; am. M32/04; am. 235/07]
Ministry of Education Special Education Policy Manual
"All students should have equitable access to learning, opportunities for achievement, andthe pursuit of excellence
in all aspects of their educational programs."
Must - requires compliance - no option
Should- encourages or provides incentives but is optional
May - enabling statements but still optional
Legal Precedents
Moore v. British Columbia (Education)
The Moore Decision states that:
"Adequate special education (or an accommodation)
is not a dispensible luxury, but a "ramp" to access
the statuatory commitment to education made to
all children..."
When denying accommodation "...the service
provider must show that it could not have done
anything else reasonable or practical to avoid the
negative impact
on the individual."
Hewko v. British Columbia (Education)
The right to be a part of the IEP collaborative
Meaningful Consultation
Instructional Control
Hewko v. British Columbia, (2006 BCSC1638):
"Reasonable accommodation is an integral part of the
duty to consult. Reasonable accommodation in this
case involves providing the best available teaching
staff for Darren Hewko in the school. In Darren's c
as in that of all children, special needs ornot, the best
teaching staff are persons who can demonstrate
instructional control of him."
In the Policy Manual, Must, Should and May are words used to qualify the directions that are given.
Example:All school boards must have appeal procedures to help resolve disputes.
Example:For children in care, boards should ensure that the guardian is receiving relevant
information from the school.
Example:The IEP may be brief, or it may be more detailed and complex, depending on the complexity
of t
he student's needs.
The Hewko decision established:
FNDC Fall • 2019
When things aren't working ...
Read Provincial and District Policies & the
School Act, for guidance on what you can
expect, and reference these items in meetings
and communication
Follow up meetings/hallway/classroom
doorway chats with an email - summarize, seek
clarification, make new requests
Document everything
Bring someone with you to meetings - to act as
a witness, take notes and provide emotional
Address concerns by email and make clear requests
Give deadlines for response - 1 week if relatively
routine, 2 business days if important
Is it urgent? Send an email, then follow up with a call
or even an in person visit to the principal
Discuss concerns with Teacher;
follow up in writing. If no resolution,
go to step 2
Send email with concerns to
Principal;if no resolution,
go to step 3
Send email with concerns to
appropriate District contact;
if no resolution, go to step 4
Find and review your District's appeals process.
Follow next steps as outlined. If no resolution, go to
step 5
Steps for Resolving Concerns
Appeal to Board of Education
Find and review your District's process for a Section 11
Appeal. If no resolution, go to step 6.
**Check your school district website
to learn more about who to
approach for step 3
Appeals at this level are limited. Please consult:
At each level, Districts have policies and
procedures to resolve concerns at school. If
you skip a step in the communication ladder,
you will be sent back down to complete it.
Following protocols will show your willingness
to engage in the process, and that you've made
the necessary effort to resolve the issue.
"NEVER STOP FIGHTING. Your child is entitled to what they need in order to be
successful in school. NEVER LET THEM TELL YOU OTHERWISE! Keep going up
the ladder until your child gets what they need!"
Ministry of Education
Appeal to Superintendent of Achievement
Successful parent advocate
What can I do if language is a barrier?
Ask your school or district for an
interpreter, or to be referred to a
cultural/settlement worker. For more
information, see pages 22/23 of the
Special Education Policy Manual.
FNDC Fall • 2019
Options for Filing Complaints
There are times when you may determine that the best course of action is to file a formal complaint. You do
not need to wait until you have completed the whole appeals process in your District to take these actions.
Here are some the avenues to explore.
BC Human Rights Tribunal
The role of the BC Human Rights Tribunal is to address discrimination.
Complete the easy, online
The Office of the Ombudsperson
The role of theOffice of the Ombudsperson is to address administrative unfairness.
BCCPAC recommends you contact the Ombudsperson when you decide to file a Section 11 Appeal
with your District
BC Teacher Regulation Branch
The role of the BC Teacher Regulation Branch is to review the con
duct and competence of educators.
Parents may submit a complaint regarding either teacher conduct or incompetence
First Nations Caring Society / Jordan's Principle
First Nations children are to receive the public services they need
(including education) when they
need them.
Special Education Services: A Manual of Policies, Procedures and Guidelines; Ministry of Education
British Columbia School Act
Helpful Resources
Supporting Meaningful Consultation: BC CASE, 2008
Everyone Belongs in Our Schools:Inclusion BC 2014
Connect with us!
FNDC Fall • 2019
The Government of B.C. is asking British Columbians to help define future legislation that will make
B.C. a more accessible and inclusive province.
The B.C. Government is committed to developing new laws, standards, and policies to better support
people with disabilities to live with dignity and to meaningfully participate in their communities.
Accessibility legislation would empower government, persons with disabilities, and the broader
community to work together to identify, remove, and prevent barriers.
Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, would like your feedback in
preparation for the development of new laws, standards and policies. The opportunity to provide
feedback will be open from September 16 to November 29, 2019 at 4 pm. Participate by:
Completing the online questionnaire available at;
Sending comments by email to or leaving comments by phone
844 878-0640 (toll free);
Participating in a virtual town hall. Register at;
Community groups, libraries, and other organizations can access resources of up to $2,000 to
host their own conversations and provide feedback. More information is available online at http://
Organizations, self-advocates and advocates can make a formal submission on the Framework
for Accessibility Legislation. Information about formal submissions and accessible versions of the
Framework can be found at;
Attending an in-person session. Register at to take part in a
meeting in one of nine locations around the province.
Tuesday, October 15 – Fort St John – 5 pm to 7:30 pm
Wednesday, October 16 – Surrey – 6 pm to 8:30 pm
Friday, October 18 – Comox – 5:30 pm to 8 pm
Saturday, November 2 – Vancouver – 2:30 pm to 5 pm
Tuesday, November 12 – Kamloops – 6 pm to 8:30 pm
Wednesday, November 13 – Penticton – 6 pm to 8:30 pm
Supports are available to help you participate including ASL & CART captioning, funding for child-
care support, transportation, as well as other disability and health supports.
After the consultation period ends, the B.C. Government will provide a summary of the feedback and
input that has been received. Your feedback and input will be used to inform the development of
accessibility legislation for B.C. We hope you will participate and look forward to your contributions.
Accessibility Secretariat, Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction
FNDC Fall • 2019
Burnaby Public Library
Join a Deaf storyteller and a children’s librarian for stories, songs, rhymes
and crafts presented in both American Sign Language and English.
Interpreters will be present.
Free drop-in for children of all ages and abilities,
together with a parent or caregiver.
FOUR SATURDAYS, 2:00 – 3:00 pm
September 14 October 26 November 9 December 14
Follow us:
Burnaby Public Library
Tommy Douglas Library is on the north side of Kingsway, just west of Edmonds Street.
Take the Millennium or Expo line to Edmonds station, or take the 106, 112, or 129 bus.
Free parking underground: enter off Arcola Street, which is off Walker Avenue.
For more information, e-mail Randi at the library:
FNDC Fall • 2019
2019 – 2020 CAEDHH- BC Conference
For Educators of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students
and their allies
Erin Finton,
Workshop Series:
Language Deprivation: Literacy
Instruction in the Classroom
Language & Literacy Development
In Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students
Sandra Gillam,
Workshop Series
Supporting Knowledge in Language
and Literacy: A Narrative-Based
Language Intervention Program
Visit: for details
FNDC Fall • 2019
FNDC Fall • 2019
& Parent Social (appetizers)
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Annual General Meeting of Members of FNDC The FAMILY NETWORK FOR
DEAF CHILDREN (the “Society”) will be held on Friday, November 15, 2019 at 7:30 pm at Firefighter’s Club, 6515
Bonsor Avenue, Burnaby. We have a semi-private room booked for the AGM, then followed by an appetizer
social (appetizers provided by FNDC), beverages paid by individuals.
The purpose of the meeting will be to transact the following business:
1. To receive and consider the Report of the Directors and the financial statements of the Company for the fiscal year
end March 31, 2019 together with the report of the Auditors thereon;
2. To determine the number of Directors at ten;
3. To elect Directors of the Company to hold office until the close of the next annual general meeting.
4. To appoint Auditors for the ensuing year April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.
day of September, 2019.
President and Director
Members in good standing are all members who have paid their annual membership for 2019/2020. Voting
members are parents or legal guardians that have been a parent or foster parent of a deaf or hard of hearing child,
youth or adult.
All members of the Family Network for Deaf Children are encouraged to attend this important meeting.
Interpreters will be provided.
PLEASE RSVP (so we can plan for the appetizers)
Email: before November 8, 2019
FNDC is a non-prot society (S-33351) that was founded in March, 1995 to bring together families of deaf children in British Columbia who share
common concerns. Federal Registered Charity Number: 88622 5655 RR0001. Deaf Youth Today (DYT) is a program administered by FNDC.
What is FNDC all about?
Deaf Youth Today (DYT), is FNDC’s summer social/recreational program and is committed to providing
recreational experience and leadership opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing youth in British Columbia that use
sign language for all or part of their communication or who are interested in learning sign language.
FNDC Board of Directors
Hester Hussey ...................................................Mentor, Advisor
Colleen Peterson ..................Board President |
Nicki Horton ..................................................................Director
Karen Jackson ................................................................Director
Charlie Coyle .................................................................Director
Joy Santos ......................................................................Director
Gwen Wong ....................................................................Director
Laura Batista ..................................................................Director
Leigh Chan .....................................................................Director
Dan Braun ......................................................................Director
Bobbi Taylor ..................................................................Director
Pauline Anderson ...........................................................Director
The Board of Directors are parents of deaf children.
FNDC Staff
DYT Staff
Cecelia Klassen .......................................... Executive Director |
Bella Poato ......................................... Executive Assistant |
Scott Jeffery ............................. Info Tech Manager FNDC/DYT |
Jason Berube ......................Newsletter Tech & IT Support |
FNDC ..................................................................General Inquiry |
DYT (General Inquiries) ...................................................................
Membership (Paid)
Join Our E-Mail List (for free)
Contact Us
Membership is open to those who support
the goals of our Organization.
* Our membership is open to individuals, schools, and
organizations. Parents/guardians of deaf and hard of
hearing children are eligible to vote.
Join our email list (for free) and receive:
* Our newsletter (which is published four times a year)
* Email Updates regarding upcoming workshops
and courses, children & youth programs as well as
community updates
Contact us below and be added to our email list
or to request a membership form:
Family Network for Deaf Children
P.O. Box 50075 South Slope RPO
Burnaby, BC V5J 5G3
604-684-1860 (voice/text message) (website) (e-mail)
Family Network for Deaf Children (FNDC) is a parent run, non-prot, charitable
organization supporting families with deaf and hard of hearing children that use sign
language or are interested in learning sign language.
Even though technology and methodology have changed over the years, we seek the wisdom
of parents, professionals and Deaf/HH adults so that common themes of “access, equity
and a sense of belonging” continue to be highlighted in areas such as: social/recreation,
leadership, education, employment, general services and community involvement.
What is Deaf Youth Today?