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As I type this, Family Deaf Camp is only a few days away and I’mnishing up some loose ends for the Deaf Youth Today programwhile they are all over at Hornby Island involved in staff training. Such a busy time of year, and we are extremely thankful for theDYT Coordinators and all the DYT staff for Summer 2019.

Summer (June 2019)
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Twitter: @FNDC andDYT
Happy summer to everyone!
As I type this, Family Deaf Camp is only a few days away and I’m
nishing up some loose ends for the Deaf Youth Today program
while they are all over at Hornby Island involved in staff training.
Such a busy time of year, and we are extremely thankful for the
DYT Coordinators and all the DYT staff for Summer 2019.
I love Family Deaf Camp because it’s always fun and inspiring
to be reacquainted with families as well as meet new families
from all over British Columbia. This year  we have  40 families
Regardless of where we live in this province, parents all want the
best for our children. We may make choices that are different
from each other, but we share common goals – ensuring deaf &
hard of hearing children have a solid and growing rst language,
a strong  sense of inclusion and belonging, access to  a quality
education  and  great  family  communication.      When  parents
meet at camp, they learn from each other, share experiences
and build friendships that last for many years, while supporting
each other along the journey.
Family  Deaf  Camp  is  a  diverse  range  of  kids  and  adults  with
communication ranging from Deaf ASL users to Hard of Hearing
auditory verbal users – all wanting to be involved in a weekend
signing  camp.    It  is  always  amazing  to  see  “rst-time”  kids
after a couple of days, involved in skits at the re and feeling
comfortable in a signing atmosphere.
We hope you join us next year! BUT, remember to sign up early
as this year  Family Deaf Camp registration  was full after one
A HUGE THANK YOU to the Y.P. Heung 
Foundation who worked with us in a “Matching Campaign”.  
We invited past and new donors to participate in this fundraising
campaign and for every dollar that was donated, the Y.P. Heung
Foundation  matched  dollar  for  dollar  (up  to  a  maximum  of
$25,000).   As  of  July  1st,  we  are  delighted  to  announce,  we
are only $500 away from meeting our goal of raising $25,000. -
meaning the Y.P Heung Foundation will match that for a total of
$50,000. SO … who wants to be the donor to push us over to
raise the last $500.
Also, a big thanks to grants from Coast Capital Savings 
and the CKNW Kids’ Fund for supporting our Deaf Youth 
Today program!

FNDC Summer • 2019
Andrea started with DYT 8 years ago as the Hornby Island Coordinator Assistant. She is very excited to
return for another summer with DYT! Her favorite part of camp is meeting all the new campers, and
seeing how much our returning campers have changed over the past year. She loves that Hornby Island
Camp is a place where campers can truly be themselves while developing lifelong friendships along the
ay.Outside of Camp, Andrea works full time as the Head Coach for Girls with Coquitlam Metro Ford
Soccer Club. She's a busy mom of three children who love to play sports, read and travel. She feels
incredibly fortunate to be a part of Hornby Island and DYT staff again this year
Bella is one of our new staff to DYT this year. She loves to play sports and brings positive energy to
those around her. Bella comes from a 4th generation Deaf family. Sushi is her favourite thing to
at! Bella is looking forward to sharing her energy with all the campers this Summer.
Benjamin is a first year staff and you can call him BEN. He has attended VCC for the past few years
and will continue at VCC in the fall. He loves sports and plays a lot of basketball and soccer and
has recently been playing on Deaf Team Canada Basketball Under 21 team and has been able to
ravel and experience different tournaments. Ben loves to talk and meet new people and is look
forwarding to meeting all the DYT campers and families this year.
This is Brittany's 7th year with DYT and she will be the Team Leader this summer! She has completed
her classroom and community support diploma with an Autism Specialty. Currently she is close to
completing her degree in Child and Youth Care and whats next? A degree in Education! In her down
time she enjoys hiking, swimming, back country camping and of course surfing on Netflix! At the age
of 16 s
he volunteered at a Camp for Children with special needs and she quickly learned what passion
eels like. At 19 she worked as a Behavior interventionist and she currently works with BC School for
the Deaf as an EA. She is looking forward to playing, having fun and experiencing personal growth at
DYT this summer!
Cameron has been working full time with DYT for the past 4 years and was a CIT prior to being staff.
He recently graduated from Kwantlen Polytechnic and now works with the Surrey School District. He is
a certified Educational Assistant and is ABA certified. Cameron recently travelled to Hawaii and tried to
learn how to surf and it was AWESOME. He can’t wait to meet new and returning faces and make
Summer 2019 the best yet!
Hilary has worked with DYT for the past 5 years in a variety of positions. She loves woodworking,
gardening, reading, enjoying the outdoors and hanging out with friends. Her first year attending
Hornby Island camp was as a staff, and now she has been 5 times. She loves learning new things
each summer, expanding her knowledge and leadership skills and most importantly to have FUN!
FNDC Summer • 2019
Isabella, also called Izzy is very excited to be on the DYT team this summer for the first time! She
will be entering grade 11 next fall. Izzy loves to play sports, read, chat and hang out with friends.
She enjoys going to new places, hiking, going to cities and traveling. A few fun facts about Izzy: she
used to be a figure skater for a few years and was born really early weighting only 1.5 pound
Marcus Lacuesta or AKA: Mark has been with DYT for 2 years. He loves learning about acting
and drama. His favourite pastime is watching Movies and playing Video Games. Ask him about
his double jointed thumbs! He can’t wait to share all the FUN activities with the kids this
Mari has not only been a staff for many years, but began with DYT as a young camper. She has
worked with DYT for over 11 years. She holds two BA's (ASL and Deaf studies) and a MA in Sign
anguage Education from Gallaudet University. She plays volleyball, loves to hike and her
favourite thing to do is hang out with her partner and their dog “Panda”. Mari is excited to see
all the returning campers and to meet all new campers.
Mia, knicknamed Skittles by her friends because of all the hair colours she has had is working with
DYT for the first time. Her focus will be to work as a Personal Support Worker to support Deaf or
Hard of Hearing children with additional support needs. Mia completed the 1 year Classroom
Community Support Progam at Douglas College and is going to George Brown College in the fall to
enter the Deaf-Blind intervenor program. Her hobby is Para Dressage and she is trying to qualify
for the Tokyo Paralympics. She is looking forward to meeting new friends and going on many
different adventures!
Nina has worked with DYT for the past two years. She/they are graduating with the class of
2019 at BCSD/Burnaby South and this September she will enter VCC. She/they has a love to
dance, ride bikes and photography and currently volunteers at Kickstand Vancouver in the
outh bike club. Nina is looking forward to another great summer and wishes everyone a warm
Kareem has been with DYT for four years. He currently is at Douglas College and hopes to begin
the Child & Youth Counsellor Program in the fall 2020. He loves to play basketball, travel, work
with kids and try different cultural foods. His family is from Libya, but was born in Canada. He
is looking forward to giving kids opportunities to flourish and have fun in the DYT environment.
FNDC Summer • 2019
Scott has been with DYT for 20 years as a camper and staff - DYT is in his blood! Scott is looking
forward to spending time at DYT this summer! He looks forward to seeing our campers grow and
become the next staff and a leader within our Deaf Community. Scott has a new family member
and would like to welcome his daughter, Quinn to the DYT family. Scott loves spending as much
time as he can with Quinn
and his dog, Bosco.
Sul has been with DYT for 3 years. He was in the Social Worker program at Douglas College,
and is interested in pursing a career in counselling . He enjoys sports and enjoys volunteering
with young children. He loves learning about different cultures and countries. He can’t wait to
have new experiences with everyone this summer!
This will be Terry's 9th year with DYT as the Hornby Island Coordinator. He is excited to work alongside
this wonderful staff and give our Campers another great year to remember! He is a Teacher of the DHH
(since 2003) and currently works as the Vice Principal for the Provincial Outreach Program for the Deaf
and Hard of Hearing (POPDHH). In his spare time, Terry loves to try new things, travelling, playing sports
and enjoying time with his family. Terry loves Hornby I
sland Camp
because it gives campers from all
across the province an opportunity to get together in a fun and positive environment where they get to
make new connections, friendships and experience new activities. He looks forward to being a Role
Model to our upcoming leaders!
Zack is returning for his second year at DYT. He is pursuing a career in Education. His hobbies
include cycling, soccer and any sports and
a bit of video game fun on the side. This year he
received an award in English 12 for Excellence and has received his cycling certification. All of his
family is Deaf, and he has attended mainstream schooling. Zack wants to improve his personal
growth this summer and make sure everyone has an amazing summer experience with DYT.
Zainual otherwise known as Zain has been with DYT for 3 years. He is currently attending BCIT in
the Architectural program. He enjoys playing chess and checkers, any sports like soccer and
basketball. He is also a fan of a good riddles, puzzles or brain teasers. Zain has always loved
climbing trees since he was a young child. Zain can’t wait to work with DYT again this summer.
FNDC Summer • 2019
Counsellor in Training
2D Animation Camp
Hornby Island Kids Camp
Swimkids Week
Explorations Week
Archery Event
Deaf Theatre Week Adventure Watersports
Hero Week
July 7 to 11, 2019
Ages: 8 to 15 years (Deaf/HH only)
$175 before June 23 | Late fee $225 aer June 24
DYT Registration
July 7 to 11, 2019
Ages: 16 to 18 years (Deaf/HH only)
$75 before July 5
July 15 to 18, 2019 | 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Ages: 5 to 7 years (Deaf/HH only)
$80 before June 30 | Late fee $130 aer July 1
July 15 to 18, 2019 | 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Ages: 8 to 15 years (Deaf/HH only)
$250 before June 30 | Late fee $300 aer July 1
July 22 to 25, 2019 | 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Ages: 5 to 12 years (Deaf/HH/CODA & SIBS)
$80 before July 7 | Late fee $130 aer July 8
July 26, 2019 (one day) | 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Ages: 10 to 15 years (Deaf/HH only)
$25 before July 12 | Late Fee $35 aer July 19
July 29 to Aug 1, 2019 | 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Ages: 5 to 15 years (Deaf/HH only)
$80 before July 14 | Late fee $130 aer July 15
August 6 to 8, 2019 | 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Ages: 5 to 15 (Deaf/HH/CODA & SIBS)
$80 before July 22 | Late fee $130 aer July 23
August 12 to 15, 2019 | 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Ages: 5 to 12 (Deaf/HH only)
$80 before July 28 | Late fee $130 aer July 29
Proudly hosted by the Tribune Bay and DYT sta! Campers will
participate in a variety of activities including paddle boarding,
kayaking, beach combing, hiking, climbing, rappelling, high
and low ropes, group games, sports, drama/skits, campre fun,
deaf-friendly activities, and interactive workshops.
In the CIT program at Hornby Island, you will learn from DYT
Sta, participate in training and workshops, gain leadership and
communication skills, team building, interpersonal relations and
participate in campre performances.
Our morning swim lessons will help campers discover condence
and joy in the water without the fear and distraction that can
come with large, crowded swim classes. Highly trained
instructors will work alongside our DYT sta so that throughout
the lessons your child can stay focused on learning to swim.
DYT will be working with BYTE CAMP to host this Specialized
2D Animation Camp. Turn your drawing skills into awesome
animation skills on our tablets! We will show you how to make
beautiful animations as wild as your imagination. Participants
will learn storyboard skills and use some advanced animation.
Explorations Week will oer our campers rich and diverse
activities within a dynamic and safe environment. Our
thoughtfully structured program includes a day to explore at
Science World, a shing lesson at Lafarge Lake, art and water
activities, as well as play and social time outdoors.
All campers will be taught by certied instructors and learn how
to shoot a recurve bow (with the opportunity to try compound
and longbows), range safety, equipment set up, scoring, and will
develop the skills needed to become a safe and consistent archer.
Campers will be introduced to fun, interactive drama
activities lead by experienced Deaf Mentors. e camp will allow
your child to unleash their creativity through movement,
improvisation, ASL, and dance. Your child will have an
opportunity to work with Deaf Actors and Mentors.
DYT will be working in collaboration with Windsure at Jericho
Beach to introduce the campers to 3 days of Adventure
Watersports! Will be taught Stand up Paddleboarding,
Skimboarding, Canoeing and Windsurng.
Hero Week will be both on and o-site at Burnaby South. is
camp will introduce campers to a variety of fun activities and
education about our local and historic Police Department as well
as an introduction to Knighthood and medieval times.
To Register or More Details
Deaf Youth Today
Summer Camp 2019
Reprinted with Permission – Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, Gallaudet University
FNDC Summer • 2019
St. Joseph’s School for the Deaf in the Bronx, N.Y., has been
undergoing significant changes in our approach and our curriculum,
and including parents has been an informative and critical part of
the process. For decades, we employed a Total Communication
approach to educating our students. However, just over two years
ago, the administration invited representatives from Gallaudet
University’s Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center to
come and talk with the educational staff—including our teachers,
teacher assistants, speech-language/audiology personnel, and mental
health professionals—about the design and potential benefits of an
ASL/English bimodal bilingual program.
An initial six-hour training that focused primarily on theory and practice was
followed by two years of consulting with the Clerc Center, addressing the design
of effective bimodal bilingual early childhood programs for deaf and hard of
hearing children from birth to 5 years old. During this same time, the
administration hosted Dr. Amanda Howerton-Fox, a deaf education researcher
from a nearby college and co-author of this article, in a series of professional
development sessions for teachers and speech-language professionals on the
linguistic foundations of a bimodal bilingual approach. This approach, which is
Amanda Howerton-
Fox, PhD, assistant
professor of language and
literacy education at Iona
College in New Rochelle,
N.Y., has worked as a
teacher of deaf and hard of
hearing students, as a
teacher of students who
are learning English as a
second language, and as a
professional development
provider in the New York
City area. She is a certified
eading specialist and
earned her doctorate in
deaf education with a
concentration in applied
linguistics from Columbia
University. Howerton-
Fox’s research focuses on
bimodal language and
literacy development and
preparing teachers to work
effectively with students
whose languages or
dialects have been
historically undervalued by
our nation’s schools,
including students who
are deaf or hard of hearing
nd use American Sign
Photos courtesy of St. Joseph’s School for the Deaf
By Amanda Howerton-Fox and Jodi L. Falk
Supporting Families in
Program Transition and
the Hard Truths of
Early Language:
What Should We
Say to Parents?
Reprinted with Permission – Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, Gallaudet University
FNDC Summer • 2019
supported by current research in bilingual
education, emphasizes the importance of
developing both signed and spoken language
(perhaps exclusively in its written form) so that
children can use their knowledge of both
languages to support their overall language and
literacy acquisition. The word bimodal
highlights the inherent linguistic differences
between languages that use the manual-visual
modality and those that use the auditory-oral
modality, as well as the importance of
developing the listening and spoken language
skills of students for whom that is an
appropriate goal. As a result of the knowledge
gained in these professional development
sessions, the teachers asked that Howerton-Fox
continue working with them to integrate
linguistic competencies in American Sign
Language (ASL) and English into the school’s
English Language Arts curriculum.
St. Joseph’s
A Place for Families
St. Joseph’s has a long tradition of
communicating closely with and offering
ongoing support to the families of our students,
and as we adopted a new bimodal bilingual
approach to educating students, we invested
time and resources in sharing our plans with our
students’ parents via parent-teacher conferences
and Individualized Education Program (IEP)
Always an integral part of our school, families
of our students can often be seen on campus,
taking classes, meeting for parent groups, or
volunteering at some of the school’s many
special events, such as World Read Aloud Day
and plantings for our children’s garden. The
school hosts two weekly groups: one for the
families of students in the Parent Infant
Left: A father and
daughter involved in
the Deaf Role Model
Program learn how to
sign I love you.
Far left: A mother
learns the sign family
from a deaf role model.
Jodi L. Falk, PhD, has
been the upper school
educational supervisor for
St. Joseph’s School for the
Deaf in the Bronx, N.Y.,
since 2007. Prior to this
position, she was St.
Joseph’s parent-infant
teacher, an early
intervention service
provider in Westchester
County, N.Y., and a high
school teacher for the New
York City Department of
Education. Falk received
her bachelor’s degree in
speech-language pathology
from Hofstra University
and both her master’s
degree and her doctorate
in the education of the
deaf from Teachers
College, Columbia
University. Falk wears two
hats in the field of deaf
education: As an
educational supervisor, she
oversees every aspect of
school programming,
including curriculum,
instruction, personnel
performance, and student
behavior management;
academically, she teaches
as an adjunct professor at
Iona College and presents
at conferences. Commenc-
ing August 2019, Falk will
be the executive director at
St. Francis de Sales School
for the Deaf in Brooklyn,
Above: Howerton-Fox leads a parent workshop, giving
parents the opportunity to ask questions related to their
child’s language development.
Reprinted with Permission – Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, Gallaudet University
FNDC Summer • 2019
Program (birth to
3 years old) and
the other for
families of school-
aged students (preschool to eighth
grade). School social workers run the
Parent Education programs. The
programs are divided into sessions on
education and sessions for social-
emotional support. The educational
sessions include classes in ASL and
workshops on topics such as Deaf
culture, the IEP process, behavior
management, speech, language and
iteracy instruction, storytelling, and the
use of technology. Guest presenters are
invited as experts in their respective
fields. Presenters have included local
police officers, technology supervisors,
educational supervisors, and members of
the Deaf community. Mediated by
social workers, the sessions offer families
informational and social-emotional
support as they explore topics related to
raising their deaf or hard of hearing
As St. Joseph’s draws students from
throughout the Bronx, a densely
populated borough of New York City,
distance and cost can present obstacles
for attendance, so a taxi service is
provided for those in the Parent Infant
Program and a special bus service is
available for parents to attend other
meetings and activities. All sessions are
multilingual—offered in English, ASL,
and Spanish—and interpreters are
provided for parents who speak other
languages. St. Joseph’s also provides
evening ASL classes for families and
community members. Further, each
family participates in a support group,
and each family is assigned a social
worker who advocates for them and
helps them access community resources.
An on-site food pantry and clothing
collection is also available.
A TEDx Talk
A Need Exposed
ast spring, Howerton-Fox
delivered a presentation on the
importance of early exposure to
sign language for all deaf and hard
of hearing children—and the
authors realized that our parents
should be more aware of the
rationale behind the changes taking
place at St. Joseph’s. In “Language
Beyond the Sound Barrier,” a TEDx
presentation, Howerton-Fox covered the
cognitive, linguistic, and social-
emotional benefits of educating deaf and
hard of hearing children bilingually in
ASL and English as well as the
importance of exposing the youngest
deaf and hard of hearing children to
visual language. Howerton-Fox and Jodi
Falk, a St. Joseph’s educational
supervisor who is also co-author of this
article, began to plan workshops for
parents that could be integrated into the
already-scheduled parent support
groups. We asked the question: What is
it that parents of deaf and hard of hearing
children should know about language and
literacy development—particularly
bilingual ASL/English development—so
that they can not only support their
children at home but advocate for them at
school and in society? We reviewed
materials we had previously gathered,
including the content of Howerton-
Fox’s TEDx talk, information from
professional development sessions, and
the survey responses of our faculty
regarding their understanding of the
ASL/English approach. Instead of
presenting this information in
PowerPoint slides loaded with
theoretical models and research
citations, as it had been presented to the
school’s faculty, we decided that the
presentations should look more like a
TEDx talk. We redesigned the slides so
that they would be more meaningful to
ur audience of parents, the majority of
whom speak English as a second
language. We used fewer words, more
visuals, and built in ample time for the
parents to ask questions and engage in
conversations that would allow them to
connect the content of the presentation
to their own firsthand experience.
We would use our first parent
workshop from the fall to get a sense of
what parents already understood about
the differences between the Total
Communication and bilingual
approaches to deaf education and to
introduce the following five arguments
in support of the bimodal bilingual
1. Language supports language. The
ways in which bilingual learners use
their knowledge of each language to
Right: Howerton-
Fox gives a TEDx
presentation; some
of her slides, “Why
Bimodal Bilingual?”
and “The Bilingual
Reprinted with Permission – Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, Gallaudet University
FNDC Summer • 2019
scaffold their learning of the other is
well-documented in the literature
(Garcia, 2009).
2. Bilingualism is a gift. Research in
cognitive science has consistently
shown that bilingual individuals
have more cognitive flexibility and
control in comparison to
monolingual individuals (Costa &
Sebastián-Gallés, 2015).
3. Technology isn’t perfect. Cochlear
implants have variable success rates,
and the factors influencing success
re not fully understood
(Marschark, Sarchet, Rhoten, &
Zupan, 2010).
4. Early language is critical. Decades
of research indicate a critical period
exists for human language
development, after which language
learning becomes much more
difficult (Mayberry & Kluender,
5. Membership in Deaf culture is
empowering. The benefits of
participation in Deaf culture are not
only linguistic but also
psychological, social, and creative
(Bauman & Murray, 2014).
We would focus a second parent
workshop on the changes in the
curriculum at St. Joseph’s and discuss
ways in which parents could support
their children’s learning at home.
Thirteen parents attended the sessions.
Ten parents spoke Spanish as a first
language and communicated via a
Spanish-English interpreter. One was
bilingual in Spanish and English; one
was bilingual in Arabic and English; and
one was bilingual in English and
Bembe, one of the languages of her
native Zambia.
The Dilemma of Early
What Do We Tell Parents?
Overall, the workshops were very
successful. Parents were grateful for the
information and pleased to have access
to an expert to whom they could address
their questions and concerns about their
own children’s language development.
However, a moment of unexpected
anxiety arose when the presentation
turned to the critical importance of
children developing language while they
are still very young. As discomfort
spread through the room, we thought
about the parents who had children in
middle school. For these parents, data
that showed language delayed could
mean language denied could not be
helpful; it was too late for these parents.
So strong was the reaction that we made
an on-the-spot decision to stop talking
about it; we cut short the discussion
about how people’s facility for language
learning decreases with age and about
the cognitive and social-emotional
effects associated with the lack of early
language in human development. Debra
Arles, St. Joseph’s executive director,
who was observing the sessions, came to
the front of the room to reassure the
parents that they were doing the right
things for their children, and that this
new approach included a learning curve
for everyone in the school, herself
included. A few of the parents visibly
relaxed upon hearing this.
Send Us Your Thoughts
At St. Joseph’s we remain committed to
supporting parents, and we are
conflicted about how to handle the data
on the importance of early language
learning. We believe strongly in the
importance of giving parents accurate
and complete information about
language and literacy development, but
we also understand that parents may
interpret the data as a reflection on
themselves and decisions they made
long ago. Parents who feel negatively
judged and deflated are not parents who
are likely to become actively engaged in
advocating for their children.
We would be grateful to hear the
thoughts and experiences of the Odyssey
readership on this critically important
issue. Parents, teachers, and others
involved in the education of deaf and
hard of hearing children, please contact
us via e-mail if you have a story or an
insight to share. Help us to think about
what we should tell parents, especially
parents of older deaf children, about the
importance of full language exposure
during the earliest years of a child’s life.
Contact us most directly through e-
mail: Howerton-Fox at and Falk at
Bauman, H., & Murray, J. (2014). Deaf gain: Raising the stakes for human
diversity, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
Costa, A., & Sebastián-Gallés, M. (2015). How does the bilingual experience
sculpt the brain? Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 15(5), 336-345.
Garcia, O. (2009). Bilingual education in the 21st century. Malden, MA: Wiley-
Marschark, M., Sarchet, T., Rhoten, C., & Zupan, M. (2010). Will cochlear
implants close the reading achievement gap for deaf students? In M. Marschark
& P. E. Spencer, The Oxford handbook of deaf studies, language, and education
(pp. 127-143). New York: Oxford University Press.
Mayberry, R. I., & Kluender, R. (2018). Rethinking the critical period for
language: New insights into an old question from American Sign Language.
Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 21(5), 886-905. doi: /10.1017/
FNDC Summer • 2019
BC Children's Hospital opens rst-in-Canada hearing clinicrst-in-canada-hearing-clinic-1.4486213
Posted June 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 approxi-
mately 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.
Hands & Voices Summer Play Days –
BC Hands & Voices, Guide By Your Side, BC Early Hearing Program
Come and get together with other families of deaf/hard of hearing children. Bring your own picnic / snacks, blanket and
water gear if you want to get wet! Parents are responsible for their own children at these events. Hands & Voices Deaf/
Hard of Hearing Guides (D/HH) Tara Dyck & Bowen Tang are coming to Kamloops & Kelowna – a great opportunity for your
kids to meet D/HH role models!
Fri, Aug 16 – 10:30am-12:30pm Riverside Park– 100 Lorne St., Kamloops
Sat. Aug 17 – 10:30am-12:30pm City Park – 1600 Abbott St., Kelowna
Tues. Aug 20 – 11am-2pm Grimston Park – 1900 Seventh Ave, New West
RSVP not required but watch Facebook page for cancellation notice in case of rain – any questions to
Will be posted shortly at
Northern BC Children & Families Hearing
Society Adventure Camp 2019!
Adventure Camp is back and will be better than ever. If you have a child with
a hearing loss, this one is for you! So come out and have fun, meet other
families, build connections, facilitate resources and get more support.
Adventure Camp is hosted at the beautifulNess Lake Bible Camp
located 30 minutes outside of Prince George, BC.
Join us September 6-8, 2019. Registration is only $150 per family but spaces are
limited. Act fast: sign up to avoid disappointment. Info & Registration:
FNDC Summer • 2019
The Society'sSean Berdy on ASL Representation,
Teen Activism and His Buzzy New Netix Dramaix-sean-berdy/?amp=true&__twitter_impression=true
Posted: May 24,2019
There are plenty of despicable characters inThe
Society, Netix’s newapocalyptic teen dramathat
imagines a present-day, Lord of the Flies-inspired
crisis in a small New England town. But Sam, a
deaf teenager played by Sean Berdy, is not one of
them: after the towns parents disappear, he acts
as a steady moral center as the community around
him descends into ruthlessness and egotism.
Berdy, 25, spent ve seasons playing the teen
heartthrob Emmett Bledsoe in the Freeform
family drama Switched At Birth. During that run
he became a prominent face of an ASL (American
Sign Language) community hungering for repre-
sentation. But in 2018, he announced that was
stepping away from acting due to
his struggles with bipolar disorder.
“I may look like the happiest and
silliest man on earth, but that is an
artists art of hiding, he wrote on
Instagram. “I have been hiding for
so long and I’m done with it.
The Society marks Berdys rst
major role since his hiatus. In a
phone interview conducted with
the assistance of an interpreter,
Berdy talked about returning to
acting, the atmosphere on set and
the increasing visibility of the ASL
community in lm and TV.
What parts of The Society feel most similar
to our own society? The society in the show is
actually based heavily on the politics of today.
We have this gun violence epidemic, we have
domestic violence increasing. We have social
justice and the hate for socialism. I think the
creators tried to include a lot of those issues to
bring the story to life.
Last year you wrote on Instagram about your
struggles with bipolar disorder. What have the
last few years been like for you?To be honest, I
had hidden my struggle with my bipolar situation
for over a good 14 years, I would say. It is a battle
from from the moment I wake up until the end of
the day. It feels like youre in a bubble at times and
youre trying to get out. You stretch the bubble
and want to break out of it—but youre back
inside and in the darkness at the end of the day.
That has been dicult for me. I am very fortunate
to have my family whos supported me.
How did you decide you were ready to return
to acting? I think acting is in my blood—I am
always ready to perform when I feel it. I took a
good three years to focus on myself.
I guess you don’t really know when the time is
right until the material presents itself. This script
came to me, and therefore the time was right.
When I read the script, I thought, Wow, This is
dierent. This is a story that is going to be a big
hit once it goes out into the world. I believe that.
My struggle has been up and down. Its a situation
where I live day to day. But with a daily focus and
working with such a great cast and crew who
supports me, they understand that some days
aren’t the best for me and they’re there for me.
You’ve described your character on Switched
at Birthas the deaf James Dean. How is your
new character, Sam, dierent? Sam is very
aware of the fact hes always been dierent from
everyone where he grew up. Hes the only deaf
guy in a hearing family. He thinks outside of the
box, and really cares about people more than he
cares about himself, in many ways.
The Society is unique in that virtually all of
its characters are teenagers. What was it like
lming with a cast of of exclusively young
actors? We were all meeting at this place for
the rst time and learning how to be a family. We
were away together for four months lming these
ten episodes that had all these heavy emotional
scenes and required a lot of mental preparation.
That helped us get closer quicker.
We would eat dinner together. We would have
house parties. We had a lot of fun while working
very hard. We spent four months away on the East
coast, shooting in 20-degree weather with the
wind chill factor making it maybe 10 degrees. We
were wearing parkas. We had to rent a charter bus
to sit on with the heater between takes.
It was a lot of fun, and we do feel like a family. Chris
[Keyser, the shows creator] and the producers
have given us these opportunities to run wild,
to be creative with our characters.
They believe in us. This show is a
heavy show. Were putting all of our
emotions out there and giving it
our all.
The house parties on the show
are pretty crazy. How did the
ones in real life compare? Those
parties were pretty tame: board
games, spaghetti dinners, or we’d
order Chinese takeout. They were
very traditionally oriented and
warm gatherings, as opposed
to the show, where you’d have
these wild get-downs. In the rst episode, were
partying in a church—that’s about as wild as it
gets. It’s probably about as wild a scene as I had
ever lmed.
Your character mostly communicates with
the other characters using American Sign
Language. Did the other actors know how to
sign before the show started? They literally
knew not one sign. We had an ASL coach on set
who was responsible for teaching the lines in sign
language to the cast. They had to have lessons
during their free time and sometimes had to
work extra over the weekends. I’m so proud of the
cast—Its not easy and theyre doing a great job
on the show.
I admire Gideon [Adlon, who plays Becca] so much.
She showed up cold and impressed me with
how motivated she was to learn the language.
Basically for each episode, she had a week-and-a-
FNDC Summer • 2019
half or two weeks max to learn all her lines in sign
language believably. Thats a lot of pressure—and
she nailed it every time.
How did you draw on your own experiences
with deafness to inform this character? Sam’s
story doesn’t exactly parallel my life because I’ve
always been able to hear a little bit. I love music. I
consider myself bilingual: my rst language is ASL
but I do have the ability to speak.
Has ASL visibility increased in Hollywood
since you started your career? I can say that
Hollywood has recognized ASL nally. Two
recent movies,The Shape of Water and A Quiet
Place, were both beautiful movies featuring sign
language in dierent ways.
In fact, I’m writing a movie right now that uses ASL.
Its a love story, and I hope to go into production in
the next couple years. ASL is hot right now—but
it’s my life language and it’s a beautiful language.
We have seen teenagers stepping up and
becoming activists for change regarding
issues like gun violence and climate change.
What impact can teens have on the discourse?
For young people, this world is just getting crazier
and crazier. It’s very hard for me emotionally,
personally, to see things that are happening the
world right now. I hope this show speaks for itself
and illuminates what’s happening and helps the
audience see we need to take care of some issues.
I think that young people can inspire the world by
sharing the message of love.
How would you fare in the world of The
Society? I’d lead. I’d jump right in and take a lead
position, simple as that.
Mark it on your calendar now!
Fun event to play or watch &
Forrest's 7th Annual Kickball 2019
Saturday, September 7,
Sunnyside Park, Surrey
8:30am to 5:00pm
$300 per team
8-12 players per team
3 guaranteed games
T-shirts included
Team managers: free lunch
Profits go to deaf and hard of hearing children
Find the group on Facebook:
Forrest’s 7
Annual Kickball Tournament 2019
FNDC Summer • 2019
Seeing music: Groundbreaking deaf musical The Black Drum aims to astound audiences
Deaf actors nd their voice as growing number of plays made accessible for deaf and hearing audiences
Posted: Jun 22, 2019
From left to right: Corinna Den Dekker, Dawn
Jani Birley, Yan Liu and Daniel Durant in The Black
Drum, which combines dance, movement, signed
music and a rich visual design. (Dahlia Katz/
A "deaf musical" may sound like a contradiction
in terms, but that's exactly how the creators of a
new play calledThe Black Drumare describing it.
"A lot of people think deaf people cannot appre-
ciate music, but that's not true," said lead actor
Dawn Jani Birley. "The world of a deaf person is
very dierent when it comes to music. Because
you depend on your ears to receive information
and music. We depend on our eyes."
Produced by the Deaf Culture Centre in collab-
oration with Toronto's Soulpepper Theatre
Company,The Black Drumaims to show both deaf
and hearing audiences how music can be not only
appreciated but also expressed by deaf actors
using movement and sign language.
Written by deaf playwright Adam Pottle and
performed by seven deaf actors along with three
child ballet dancers from the E.C. Drury School
for the Deaf, it combines movement, signed
music, motion capture projections and dance into
a rich visual experience for both deaf and hearing
audiences. The only musical instrument played
live onstage is a large drum that is amplied and
augmented by a prerecorded deep rumbling bass
sound track. The strong vibrations can be felt by
deafaudience members.
The Canadian actor describes how the new
musical The Black Drum shows the experiences of
being deaf.
The Black Drumtells the story of a young woman
(Birley) whose tattoos come alive and inspire her
to explore her subconscious fears on a journey to
nd her own inner music. "Many of us do have a
real ability to move and feel movement and have
rhythm and be able to take in the world visually
with our eyes in a musical way," said Birley.
Since the show uses American Sign Language
(ASL), the most popular sign language in North
American deaf communities, there is a written
description in the printed program and a voice
synopsis of the story plays over loud speakers for
hearing audiences who do not understand ASL.
There are also audio assist devices for audience
members who are hard of hearing.
Norwegian director Mira Zuckermann, who runs
the deaf theatre company Teater Manu in Oslo,
has come to Toronto to direct The Black Drum.
There have been musicals that incorporate deaf
actors, she said, but Zuckermann believes this
is the world's rst entirely deaf musical theatre
production that didn't originate from a sound-
based work.
"All our lives, deaf people always have to have
interpreters to t into the hearing world," she
said”. "This time, we thought, 'Now the hearing
world will have to t into our world, our music, our
way of showing it.' "Hearing people will have to
use their eyes. They will have to try to understand
our language, our play."
Following itsworld premiere run in Toronto,which
continues through June 29, The Black Drum will
represent Canada at France's Festival Clin d'Oeil,
the largest international deaf arts festival.
Collaboration between 2 communities'
Meanwhile in the U.S., an original musical theatre
production for deaf and hearing audiences is
in development, with the dream of eventually
getting to Broadway.StepchildretellsCinderellaas
the story of a young deaf woman named Orella,
who grows up in a society rife with intolerance.
She's locked in an attic and forbidden from using
sign language.
Music and lyrics are by David James Boyd and the
book is co-written by Boyd and Chad Kessler.The
showcombines three languages — English, music
and ASL — and every performance will be acces-
sible to deaf audiences using ASL and captioning
projected onscreen, Kessler explained. "The
whole idea of the show is about the uniting of
deaf and hearing worlds," he said.
Since the main creators are from the hearing
community, they've brought in many deaf collab-
orators, including enlisting actor Josh Castille as
associate director.
Castille performed in Deaf West Theatre's
2015 Broadway revival of the musical Spring
Awakening, which combined deaf and hearing
actors. The deaf actors used sign language
while hearing actors shadowed them onstage,
singing the songs and speaking the dialogue. The
production earned rave reviews and three Tony
nominations. "I believe that this story is really
about embracing your inner uniqueness," said
Castille, who explained that he'sne with the fact
that Stepchild originated with creators who are
not from the deaf community. "It's a collaboration
between two communities."
A growing movement
Theatre for the deaf is more established in the U.S.
and Europe than in Canada, but things are starting
to change.More theatre companies are providing
ASL interpretation for select performances and
there are increasing opportunities for deaf actors
as some theatre companies integrate them into
certain productions.
Mira Zuckermann, left, in rehearsal for The Black Drum,
billed as the world's rst deaf musical. 'This time we are not
giving hearing people an advantage,' she says. 'They have to
try to understand us.'(Daniel Malavasi/Soulpepper)
Amelia Hensley in a workshop of Stepchild by David James Boyd and
Chad Kessler. It's a new musical that combines deaf and hearing actors
to retell the story of Cinderella as a deaf young woman.(Nina Wurtzel)
FNDC Summer • 2019
Regina-born Birley said she loved acting as a child,
but she was told she couldn't be part of the drama
club at school because she was deaf. She turned
to athletics, representing Canada in taekwondo at
international competitions.When she moved to
Finland and spent time in Norway and Sweden,
Birley discovered theatre organizations for the
deaf community. That reawakened her love for
theatre and she became a professional actor.
Before The Black Drum, Birley played Horatio
in Why Not Theatre's Prince Hamlet, an inter-
pretation of Shakespeare's play seen through
Horatio's perspective. She used sign language
both for her role and to interpret the rest of the
play for deaf audiences. It premiered in 2017 and
the production toured Canada this year.
Seeing Voices Montreal has put on plays and other
events for deaf and hearing audiences since 2012
and hosted the Awakening Deaf Theatre in Canada
conference last November. One of its productions,
an adaptation of The Little Mermaid, was the
subject ofa CBC arts documentary series.
This spring,Edmonton's Citadel Theatreproduced
Shakespeare's The Tempest directed by Josette
Bushell-Mingo, former artistic director of the Tyst
Theatre in Sweden, the country's national deaf
theatre. She cast six deaf actors (out of a 15-member
cast), including Toronto performer Thurga
Kanagasekarampillai as Prospero's daughter
The deaf theatre scene in Canada has "experi-
enced tremendous growth in the past ve
years," according toChris Dodd, a deaf actor and
playwright in Edmonton who runs SOUND OFF,
Canada's only deaf theatre festival. The rise is
"thanks to an increased anity among deaf artists,
elevated support from arts funding organizations,
along with a changing narrative by mainstream
theatre companies," he said via email.
"Canada's prole for the deaf arts has never been
Save the Date!
Saturday November 16, 2019
FALL 2019
Hosted by:
BC Hands & Voices &
Family Network for Deaf Children
Details to be announced soon!
FNDC Summer • 2019
Meet a deaf art director taking the world by storm
Posted: February 8,2019
Storm Smith grew up inspired around anything
arty and creative. Today, she is taking the
world by storm as an art director and motiva-
tional speaker.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Smith lost her
hearing at the age of two to three years old. This
meant relying on her eyes to communicate with
the world. From the beginning, she loved getting
her hands on anything visual. She also loved to
express her creativity through drawing, painting,
and writing. It wasn’t long before her mom
noticed her talents.
“My mom told me that I was gifted at such a
young age at what I do, Smith recalls during her
interview with HearingLikeMe. She embraced
artistic and storytelling talents by executing
projects and connecting with people.
Smith attended Gallaudet University, a deaf-
friendly university. There she communicated in
American Sign Language (ASL) with her peers.
Today she uses a mixture of ASL and speech.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree
in Psychology, Smith undertook numerous jobs.
She dabbled in photography and lmmaking,
but never considered them for a career. That is,
until she received encouragement from a mentor
while in graduate school. She made a short lm
in a week despite not having any lm background
or formal training. When she came in fth place
in a lm festival, she quit grad school and began
making lms.
As Smith told PopSugar, she became the main
specialist, producer, and director at Gallaudet in
their communications and marketing department.
For two years, she produced content for them.
Then the new president of Gallaudet – the rst
female president in 152 years – appointed her to
“build out more visibility for the deaf and hard
of hearing community around the world. This
allowed her to build her craft as a storyteller, she
says, and is how she was recognized and recruited
by a global leading advertising agency in New
York City. Now shes an art director for the agency,
and the rst deaf female there, no less.
In the same PopSugar interview, Smith said that
because of her deafness and being a woman of
color, she’s on a mission to make the world more
inclusive and diverse. She also wants to inspire
other aspiring creatives to pursue the life of their
Proactive and positive
As part of her mission, one of Smith’s goals is
to increase awareness in the workplace, where
communication can be challenging for people
with hearing loss.
“Be proactive and make it work, no matter
how dicult, says Smith about working with
hearing loss. “You have to self-advocate and raise
awareness for hearing colleagues to meet halfway
communication-wise. This way, both worlds can
work together eectively. To communicate with
her colleagues, Smith uses technology tools such
as notes and voice to text apps.
Facing adversity and aiming high
Despite her success, Smith has faced her share of
obstacles in life. In addition to her hearing loss,
she’s dealt with racism and sexism. As a result, she
felt hurt, confused, and upset. Over the years she
discovered her true self by investing in resources,
such as therapy sessions, books, and seeking
valuable support from family and friends.
A new perspective of light, positivity, and
hope, with the declarations of ‘I love myself and
‘unconditionally accept for who I am, helped
me overcome the circumstances and become
stronger each time, she says. These strong words
of advice show how important it is to put yourself
rst, accept your hearing loss, and to “always nd
a way when you face obstacles.
Smith encourages others to face challenges
with adversity and to gain the tools needed to
overcome obstacles. We all don’t have it all
gured out and can’t always be too prepared,
says Smith. As long we have the adversity tools to
overcome, nothing will be in the way and will be a
step closer to our dreams and goals.
Motivating others
The drive she found inspired her to become a
motivational speaker alongside her day job.
She presents talks, lectures, and workshops on
popular subjects of storytelling. Her dream is to
become a producer and director for studio work.
“I want to incorporate representation and the
human experience that really reects all of us,
she told PopSugar. “I want that to be on screen,
for that to inspire people — especially deaf youth,
deaf youth of color, deaf youth who are girls of
color — to have them to see that and go, ‘Wow, I
can go just as far as you can, Storm.'”
Recently she was invited to speak at a creative
summit about “Visual Accessibility and Maximizing
Audiences with Creative Captioning. Her presen-
tation provided new eye-opening perspec-
tives and a new way of thinking, especially for
Its incredible to see Smith using her platform as a
way of inspiring, educating and raising awareness
to others. Speaking publicly enables her to give
back to communities by sharing my experi-
ences and resources that they deserve to thrive
for bigger things in life, she says. Any types of
disability, including a range of hearing loss, is a
massive struggle in this society, Smith adds, “but
as long we tap the relatable stories and resources
with the light of possibilities in the distance,
nothing can stop us. We become warriors.
Smiths main motto remains clear: Always
remember – any types of obstacles you face does
not dene who you are.
FNDC Summer • 2019
Many deaf children lack early access to American Sign Language.
This woman is harnessing tech to change that.
From apps to digital books, Melissa Malzkuhn is dedicated to making ASL accessible — and fun.
Posted: April 15 2019
Growing up, Melissa Malzkuhn cherished story time,
squeezing on a couch or bed with her two siblings
while their mom read them their favorite books.
Following along in the Malzkuhn household went
beyond looking at words and pictures on the page.
Like their mother, the Malzkuhn children were born
deaf. As she ipped through the pages, Malzkuhns
mother read the stories aloud using American Sign
“My mom would just open up a book and just start
signing the book, Malzkuhn said.
Malzkuhn's mom did the same with TV, translating
captions in real time as the kids watched cartoons or
movies. The exposure paid o. Before long, Malzkuhn
was able to read on her own.
Malzkuhn’s experience and early exposure to
signing, and therefore reading, is unfortunately far
from the norm. As the third generation in her family
born without the ability to hear, she grew up learning
American Sign Language. But more than90 percent
of deaf children are born to hearing parents. Many of
those children lack early access to ASL, a language
used by hundreds of thousands of members of the
deaf community that is celebrated every April 15
onNational ASL Day. As a result, many deaf children
experiencea language decit early on that can set
them behind on learning and literacy.
“Language deprivation really means that someone is
set on a path of continued struggle, they’re always
catching up, Malzkuhn, who signs, said through a
translator. Theyre missing a lot.
Malzkuhn doesn’t think that should be the case. The
37-year-old advocate, artist anddigital strategisthas
spent the last decade-plus leveraging her passion for
art, technology and creative storytelling to increase
exposure to ASL and, hopefully, close that gap.
These days, that work is happening inMotion Light
Lab, a research center Malzkuhn runs at Gallaudet
University in Washington, D.C. Core to its mission is
using the power of visuals to improve learning and
language for the deaf community — The lions share
of information comes in through the eyes.
How does that impact cognitive processes?” she said
of the question driving the center’s work — and even
the building that houses the lab reects that. It’s airy,
with wide hallways and open spaces, and the hallway
leading to the lab is lined with colorful posters. Those
posters depict the cover art for a series of digital
childrens books Malzkuhn built for iPads so families
can follow along as actors sign the words. Every
aspect of the digital books, from the technology
to the illustrations and storylines, was specically
designed with a deaf audience in mind.
“Our whole approach was very organic, she said.
“How do you create the reading experience for deaf
children? How do you create an experience that’s
bilingual and seamless visually? And then we also
needed to develop the actual story.
The books, which have been translated into multiple
languages, have been a hit among both kids and
their parents.
A lot of parents will struggle with feeling like they
don’t sign well enough. And we have to tell them,
like, actually it’s okay. Its okay even if you don’t
sign perfectly, she said. This has turned out to be
an amazing way for parents to feel a little bit more
condent about signing with their kid. They’re able
to point things out and still engage, and there’s that
reading experience.
Malzkuhn is now building on the success of that
concept with projects like anapp featuring nursery
rhymes signed by cartoon avatars and new exper-
iments involving articial intelligence and early
learning. The work to make those ideas a reality
happens inside the one-room lab, which looks like
a cross between a classroom and a commercial
studio. Chairs and tables are mixed in with photo
lights and giant monitors. A black track suit covered
in motion sensors, which Malzkuhn and colleagues
use to record the movements they’ll turn into signing
avatars, hangs on a mannequin. No fewer than 16
cameras are mounted around the room to catch the
gesturing from every angle.
“Our goal is to create signing characters, and we
need to gure out a technology that can do that, and
do that in 3-D, she said. “We need to see what that
looks like and the complexity of signing, like how
much detail do you need in the ngers? How much
do you need to use the right facial expressions?”
While promoting early learning and literacy is a
central focus of Malzkuhns work, her products
aren’t just for kids. Over the years, shes launched an
award-winning iPhone ASL app that teaches users
how to use ASL to communicate common phrases
(“You’re cute, That’s a cool shirt”); she created GIFs
that translate key Washington, D.C., words (“The
Capitol, The monument”); and she brought ASL to
group chats everywhere with a series of Apple iOS
stickers signed by Americas Top Model alum Nyle
DiMarco. The stickers include slang like “Omg” and
“Lol. High demand has led Malzkuhn and her team
to add even more vocabulary categories to the ASL
app since its initial launch.
“We found that our audience ended up being so
much wider than we had ever expected, she said.
Malzkuhn’s groundbreaking initiatives have already
snagged her time on a Ted Talk stage and a spot
in the Obama Foundations
inaugural two-year
fellowship class. But her work is far from over. The
lab is now experimenting with 3-D avatars, articial
intelligence and more cutting-edge technology to
further its mission. She just launched a new edition
in her childrens book series. And a recent grant from
Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation will allow her
to spend the next three years training members of
the deaf community to make storybook apps of their
In recent years, Malzkuhn’s commitment to early
exposure to language and literacy for deaf children
extends well beyond work hours. After her own son
was born deaf, she found herself bringing her exper-
iments into his life. He loves the apps and books his
mom created. And, of course, shes continuing the
tradition of interpreting shows and story time at
(Courtesy of Melissa Malzkuhn)
FNDC Summer • 2019
Posted: Jun 7, 2019
YOU MAY HAVErecently watched the movieThe
Upside, with Brian Cranston ofBreaking Badfame
in the co-lead as a paraplegic who hires a tough
ex-con to wheel him around in his chair. They both
learn a lot from each other and it’s a real feel-good
story, one Hollywood took from the French Les
Its the kind of movie—see also Me Before You,
Million Dollar Baby—that makes Dr. Adam Pottles
blood boil.
Cover image of Voice
courtesy of University of
Regina Press.
Its what he and other
people in the Deaf and
disabled community
call inspiration porn.
They see it every day
around them, the
same old stories of
people overcoming a
disability of some kind
to really start living.The
Upsidefeatures an able-bodied actor in the role of
the paraplegic getting his gritty lessons, while the
injured in the other two movies realize that their
now disabled lives aren’t worth living.
For Pottle, a lifetime of deafness is something he
has learned to live with and from which to draw
strength. His new book, Voice: Adam Pottle on
Writing with Deafness, is part memoir of growing
into a life of education and writing, and part notes
on craft—the benecial side of his deafness.
“I wouldn’t be a writer if I wasn’t deaf, he says.
With my deafness I have a bivouac around my
imagination. No distractions, and my mind is free
to roam “For me, he continues, deafness has
kept alive the child-like part of me. Its helped me
maintain my curiosity. And, he says, it’s helped
develop his empathy and helped him be mindful
of other people.
Pottle, whos originally from Kamloops, B.C., earned
his rst two degrees at the University of Northern
British Columbia in Prince George. He completed
his PhD at the University of Saskatchewan in 2016,
working with English professors Dr. Kathleen
James-Cavan and Dr. Kevin Flynn while writing
on how deafness and disability are portrayed
in Canadian novels since 1984. They were very
patient with me, he says, “though they did have to
warn me a few times about how long I was taking.
It took him just under seven years to complete
his doctorate. While thats hardly a record for
longest time to complete a degree, it’s not as if
Pottle was sitting around waiting for inspiration to
strike. While he worked on his PhD he completed
his rst collection of poems, Beautiful Mutants,
including poems such as “Deaf Speech in which
he worked at test(ing) the limits of language …
both by disrupting the structures of English and
by embracing (his) inability to hear properly.
After that came Mantis Dreams: The Journal of
Dr. Dexter Ripley, a novel in which an academic
chooses a life as a disabled person so that he
may give all his energy to research and writing.
The title character views disability not just as a
physical, mental or intellectual condition, but as
a philosophy. Mantis Dreams won the 2014 City
of Saskatoon and Public Library Saskatoon Book
Pottles second novel,The Bus, rolled around in his
head and heart for eight years, starting while he
was working on his MA. Its about a little-known
story from disability history in which 275,000
people were exterminated by the Nazis between
1941 and 1945. He travelled to Germany to visit the
euthanasia centre in Hadamar, where he spent
10 days going through patient les and, in some
cases, simply sitting in the gas chamber for hours
to absorb the voices of disabled people sent there
to die.
During this time he was supposedly devoting
himself to his doctorate, he also wrote and had
performed his rst play, Ultrasound, by Cahoots
Theatre/Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto. Not
coincidentally, considering his trip to the eutha-
nasia centre, it’s a play about genetic screening,
only in Pottles case he reverses the common logic
and asks, what kind of person would abort a child
because it was normal? Because deafness is the
world he knows and is comfortable with, the deaf
husband in this play wants a deaf child.
Considering all that Pottle talks about in the
rst section of his new book, Voice, in which he
describes at length the agonies he went through
simply trying to be an ordinary kid who happened
to be deaf, it’s not surprising that he would view
deafness as his norm.
One of the most poignant and aecting sections
in Voicecomes when Pottle describes the dier-
ences between his master’s thesis defence and
the one for his PhD. In the rst, despite all his
preparedness, including PowerPoint presenta-
tions, his external examiner was unable to make
it to town and was then set up on a conference
call through a tinny phone speaker. Pottle could
not hear her. His anxiety exploded and he couldn’t
attend to the other examiners in the room. He
passed, but he says he felt like a fraud. He hadn’t
been able to be true to his material or the way he
wanted it to come across.
By contrast, when he defended his PhD thesis,
his external examiner not only made it, but his
department enabled him to have every back-up
plan ready, including a captionist who typed
everything that was said or asked of him. Seeing
FNDC Summer • 2019
the examiner speak the words in a quiet room and
reading what was said gave him the condence he
needed to do the best job he could. Responding
to Pottle’s thesis on “the most dynamic portrayals
of disability in Canadian literature, the graduate
chair in English said, “People were very positive
about your oral defence. They said you did a stellar
This is what happens when the right tools are
marshalled and people are given a chance to do
their best work. Its whatVoiceis all about: a mans
struggle with nding who and what he is and,
having found that, putting in place what he needs
to be his best—what he calls his most expressive
self. Pottles prodigious output speaks for itself.
Deaf student wins school's rst Female Athlete of the Year Awardrst-deaf-students-award-le-yi-deng-grade-12-burnaby-south-secondary-bc-provincial-school-for-the-death-1.5174954
By CBC News·Posted: Jun 16, 2019
Deng asked coaches to communicate through
writing and gestures
Le Yi Deng won the B.C. School for the Deaf Female
Athlete of the Year Award after getting involved in
as many sports as possible. She wants to inspire
other deaf students to do the same.(Evan Mitsui)
The school year is nearly over, and Grade 12
student Le Yi Deng is beingrecognized for more
than just her academics.
Deng is the rst deaf student to win the Female
Athlete of the Year Award at Burnaby South
Secondary B.C. Provincial School for the Deaf for
playing in several sports this year.
And she wants students to know that being deaf
doesn't determine what you can or cannot do.
"I wanted to do everything that I could before I
graduated, I didn't want to regret not doing every-
thing that I could," Deng says.
She runs cross-country and track, wrestles, dances,
plays volleyball, basketball and ultimate frisbee.
Making time for team practices and games was a
challenge, but Deng says she gured out how to
balance her responsibilities. "I organized myself
and my homework to make sure that I was doing
everything without feeling overwhelmed and to
make sure that I handed in all my homework."
Le Yi Deng won the B.C. School for the Deaf Female
Athlete of the Year Award after getting involved
in many sports. She wants to inspire other deaf
students to do the same.(Evan Mitsui)
In Grade 4, Deng was diagnosed with Usher
Syndrome, which causes deafness and progressive
vision loss, which meant that she would also
gradually loseher sight.
At the time, she decided she would stop playing
sports. But once she entered high school, she
couldn't deny her love of athletics, so she jumped
into it.
She saysnot everyone at her schoolbelieved in
her abilities to thrive in sports, so shewas deter-
mined to prove them wrong. "I really want to
prove my worth and my skill that you don't need
to be able to speak in order to fully participate in
these teams or these sports. Body language is so
valuable," says Deng.
She began advocating for herself, and asking the
coach to communicate with her in writing and
using gestures as opposed to speaking. "You
should try your best regardless, if you think it's
hard or not."
Deng wants to attend Vancouver Community
College in the fall, and then transfer to the
University of British Columbia to prepare for law
Reprinted with Permission – Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, Gallaudet University
FNDC Summer • 2019
A critical part of parental advocacy is being informed. Sometimes this means
educators must stay on top of research and share what they learn with parents.
This may be especially important in the case of research on early language
Exposing our youngest children to language—whether it is English, American Sign
Language (ASL), or any other fully developed language—is essential. Early language
experience leads to stronger kindergarten language ability, which is one of the best
predictors of later academic success (Pace et al., 2019). This is the reason that educators
advocate using ASL with deaf and hard of hearing children. Through use of ASL, deaf and
hard of hearing children are ensured full access to a full language. Research indicates,
however, that it is not only the use of a language but also the amount of the language and
the way adults use that language that is critical to the child’s development. In fact, studies
done with hearing children indicate that it is the quantity and quality of the language that
children receive that affects their cognitive and academic outcomes (Gilkerson et al., 2018;
Marchman & Fernald, 2008).
Language Quantity, and Quality
What the Science Shows
Studies with hearing children showed that the quantity of language—the sheer number of
words that a child experiences—varied greatly among families. In a day’s time, 2- to 4-
month-old infants heard an average of 15,071 words from adults, but there was a difference
of almost 6,000 words between the infant who heard the greatest and the infant who heard
Photos by Matthew Vita
By Todd LaMarr and Lisalee D. Egbert
Todd LaMarr, MA,
is a professor in the
department of Early
Childhood Education at
American River College
in Sacramento, Calif.
He received his
bachelor’s degree in deaf
studies and ASL and his
master’s degree in child
development from
California State
University, Sacramento.
Previously, LaMarr
taught preschool and
worked with elementary
and high school deaf
and hard of hearing
students. An alumnus of
Gallaudet University’s
Science of Learning
Center on Visual
Language and Visual
Learning, LaMarr has
worked at the University
of California, Davis and
Stanford University,
researching the language
and brain development
of children learning
American Sign
The Importance
of Quantity and
Quality of ASL
with Young Deaf and
Hard of Hearing Children
Reprinted with Permission – Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, Gallaudet University
FNDC Summer • 2019
the fewest number of words (Gilkerson et al.,
2017). These day-to-day differences in the
quantity of language exposure added up and
compounded over time, leading to a difference
of potentially 30 million words received by a
child’s fourth birthday (Hart & Risley, 1995).
This difference had early and long-lasting
effects. Parents who exposed their children to a
larger quantity of language at 18 months had
children with larger vocabularies and faster
language processing six months later (Hurtado,
Marchman, & Fernald, 2008). Children who
heard more words in the first two years of life
demonstrated better language and cognitive
abilities eight years later (Gilkerson et al.,
While quantity is important, so, too, is the
quality of language to which children are
exposed. Researchers have found that quality
of language—the way parents use language
with children—also differs among families,
and these differences also impact later abilities.
One measure of language quality concerns how
children experience language. Hearing children
can experience language when their parents
talk directly to them and when they overhear it
being used in their environment. Hearing
children who more frequently experienced
language through being talked to directly had
larger vocabularies and faster language
processing abilities than other children
(Weisleder & Fernald, 2013). Another way to
measure the quality of language is through the
amount of turn-taking that a child experiences.
Turn-taking is the intimate exchange of
communication between the adult and the
child that occurs in conversation. For the first
year of life, infants and parents engage in about
00-300 back-and-forth interactions per day
(Gilkerson et al., 2017). Hearing children who
experienced more conversational turn-taking
with their parents gained more vocabulary
(Cabell et al., 2015) and exhibited greater
activation in language areas of the brain
(Romeo et al., 2018).
Research with Hearing Children
Implications for Deaf and Hard of
Hearing Children
The lessons learned from research with hearing
children can easily be applied to deaf and hard
of hearing children. While educators have long
advocated early use of ASL for deaf and hard of
hearing children in order for them to
experience the benefit of full language access,
Above: One unique strategy Deaf parents use with
their deaf or hard of hearing child is to make the signs
on the book itself or on the child.
Left: A father and
daughter involved in
the Deaf Role Model
Program learn how to
sign I love you.
Far left: A mother
learns the sign family
from a deaf role model.
Lisalee D. Egbert,
PhD, is a two-term
member of the Maryland
Governor’s Office for the
Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Advisory Council and sits
on the Maryland Cultural
and Linguistic
Competence Committee
related to mental health
services for deaf and hard
of hearing individuals.
Egbert received a Civic
Engagement Award for
service in social justice,
diversity, and equality. She
also serves in the Early
Hearing Detection and
Intervention (EHDI)
Program for the Maryland
Department of Health and
for the Parents’ Place of
Maryland as well as the
EHDI Screening and
Beyond Advisory
Committee. She and her
husband are deaf, and they
have two hard of hearing
and two hearing children.
The authors welcome
questions and comments
about this article at
Reprinted with Permission – Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, Gallaudet University
FNDC Summer • 2019
we should also advise parents and
educators of young deaf and hard of
hearing children to increase the quantity
and improve the quality of the sign
language to which their children are
exposed. This means taking advantage
of opportunities when together and
signing more. It also means signing to
the child directly and engaging in turn-
taking that encourages children’s
participation in conversation.
The discussion of ASL quantity and
uality can seem very intimidating,
especially for parents who are still
learning ASL, but parents do not need
to be fluent signers to do this. Research
has shown that even for parents who are
still learning ASL, the quantity and
quality of their sign language
interactions with their deaf or hard of
hearing child can make a substantial
positive difference in their child’s
development (Allen, 2015; Allen &
Enns, 2013). Furthermore, we can
encourage parents to turn their daily
routines and chores into rich language
experiences. For example, before going
to the grocery store, they can help their
child create the grocery list, learning the
signs for each item of food they expect
to buy. Once in the store, parents and
children can discuss the color, size,
shape, weight, and texture of each
product as well as their differences and
Further, resources exist to help both
parent and child learn new signs and see
ASL used by skilled native signers.
These resources can help increase the
quantity of signs and the quality of
signing to which a child is exposed as
well as allow parents to enjoy materials
with their children. For example:
A free library of ASL signs,
including an ASL/English
dictionary (
Children’s stories produced in ASL
Bilingual English/ASL story apps
developed for children
The Visual Difference
Mentors and Reading
One of the reasons that hearing parents
may be hesitant to sign more and engage
in quality interactions with their deaf or
hard of hearing child is that this requires
visual and language strategies with
hich hearing parents are often not
familiar (Lieberman, Hatrak, &
Mayberry, 2014; Spencer, Bodner-
Johnson, & Gutfreund, 1992). A way to
improve quality language interactions is
to elicit the support of Deaf individuals
to serve as mentors to hearing family
A Deaf Mentor can model strategies
for engaging young deaf or hard of
hearing children, such as getting and
keeping their attention. They can also
rovide Deaf cultural knowledge and
strategies for signing. In one study, after
Deaf Mentors visited their homes,
hearing parents learned important
strategies, such as getting a child’s
attention, and strategies to improve
quality language interactions. Families
who were visited by a Deaf Mentor had
deaf children who demonstrated larger
vocabularies and more advanced English
skills compared to deaf children whose
families did not work with a mentor
(Watkins, Pittman, & Walden, 1998).
Reading is a great way to increase the
number of signs a child is exposed to
and offers opportunities to practice
high-quality strategies unique to reading
with deaf and hard of hearing children
(Swanwick & Watson, 2005). To
increase sign exposure, parents can learn
the signs beforehand to introduce new
signs to the child. A few unique
strategies Deaf parents use are to make
the signs on the book itself or on the
child and to sit across from the child so
the child can easily see both the book
and the parent signing.
Resources exist to help parents learn
visual strategies for interacting with and
reading to their deaf or hard of hearing
children and help them increase the
language quality that they provide.
These include:
A collection of research-based briefs
for families and educators, from
Gallaudet University’s Science of
Learning Center on Visual
Language and Visual Learning
(, that
includes topics such as “Visual
Attention and Deafness” and
“Family Involvement in ASL
A free webcast, “Language Learning
Through the Eye and Ear,” from the
Laurent Clerc National Deaf
Education Center (http://clerccenter., for parents about
By increasing the
amount of ASL deaf
and hard of hearing
children experience
and ensuring we
engage our children
directly with visual
strategies, we have
the potential to impact
their early language
and cognitive abilities
and, later, academic
Reprinted with Permission – Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, Gallaudet University
FNDC Summer • 2019
how deaf and hard of hearing
children acquire language and
supportive strategies
Advocating for Language
Quantity and Quality Matter
As both educators and parents, we
believe that as we advocate for the value
of sign language in the lives of deaf and
hard of hearing children, we must also
explain and advocate for the importance
of increasing the quantity and
improving the quality of the sign
language that our deaf and hard of
earing children receive. It is essential
that we support parents as they learn
new visual strategies for interacting with
their deaf or hard of hearing children.
We must make parents aware not only
of the importance of learning and using
ASL but also of the importance of using
it more often and more effectively. This
means understanding the significance of
“quantity” and “quality” of language
exposure and explaining it to parents.
As simple as it may seem, the science
is clear: By increasing the amount of
ASL deaf and hard of hearing children
experience and ensuring we engage our
children directly with visual strategies,
we have the potential to impact their
early language and cognitive abilities
and, later, academic achievement. We
owe this information to parents so that
they can more effectively advocate for
their children.
Allen, T. E. (2015). ASL skills, fingerspelling ability, home
communication context and early alphabetic knowledge of
preschool-aged deaf children. Sign Language Studies, 15(3),
Allen, T. E., & Enns, C. J. (2013). A psychometric study of
the ASL receptive skills test when administered to deaf 3-, 4-,
and 5-year-old children. Sign Language Studies, 14(1), 58-79.
Cabell, S. Q., Justice, L. M., McGinty, A. S., DeCoster, J.,
& Forston, L. D. (2015). Teacher–child conversations in
preschool classrooms: Contributions to children's vocabulary
development. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 30, 80-92.
Gilkerson, J., Richards, J. A., Warren, S. F., Montgomery, J.
K., Greenwood, C. R., Kimbrough Oller, D., ... & Paul, T.
D. (2017). Mapping the early language environment using
all-day recordings and automated analysis. American Journal
of Speech-Language Pathology, 26(2), 248-265.
Gilkerson, J., Richards, J. A., Warren, S. F., Oller, D. K.,
Russo, R., & Vohr, B. (2018, October). Language
experience in the second year of life and language outcomes
in late childhood. Pediatrics, 142(4), e20174276.
Hart, B., & Risley, T. R. (1995). Meaningful differences in
the everyday experience of young American children. Baltimore:
Paul H Brookes.
Hurtado, N., Marchman, V. A., & Fernald, A. (2008). Does
input influence uptake? Links between maternal talk,
processing speed and vocabulary size in Spanish‐learning
children. Developmental Science, 11(6), F31-F39.
Lieberman, A. M., Hatrak, M., & Mayberry, R. I. (2014).
Learning to look for language: Development of joint
attention in young deaf children. Language Learning and
Development, 10(1), 19-35.
Marchman, V. A., & Fernald, A. (2008). Speed of word
recognition and vocabulary knowledge in infancy predict
cognitive and language outcomes in later childhood.
Developmental Science, 11(3), F9-F16.
Pace, A., Alper, R., Burchinal, M. R., Golinkoff, R. M., &
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2019). Measuring success: Within and
cross-domain predictors of academic and social trajectories
in elementary school. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 46,
Romeo, R. R., Leonard, J. A., Robinson, S. T., West, M. R.,
Mackey, A. P., Rowe, M. L., & Gabrieli, J. D. (2018).
Beyond the 30-million-word gap: Children’s conversational
exposure is associated with language-related brain function.
Psychological Science, 29(5), 700-710.
Spencer, P. E., Bodner-Johnson, B. A., & Gutfreund, M. K.
(1992). Interacting with infants with a hearing loss: What
can we learn from mothers who are deaf? Journal of Early
Intervention, 16(1), 64-78.
Swanwick, R., & Watson, L. (2005). Literacy in the homes
of young deaf children: Common and distinct features of
spoken language and sign bilingual environments. Journal of
Early Childhood Literacy, 5(1), 53-78.
Watkins, S., Pittman, P., & Walden, B. (1998). The deaf
mentor experimental project for young children who are deaf
and their families. American Annals of the Deaf, 143(1), 29-34.
Weisleder, A., & Fernald, A. (2013). Talking to children
matters: Early language experience strengthens processing
and builds vocabulary. Psychological Science, 24(11), 2143-
FNDC Summer • 2019
10 Conversation Strategies Highlighted in the Father-Son Viral Video
Posted: Jun 14, 2019
Watch this baby have a full convo with his dad! 58
VIDEO can be viewed at:
The viral video of a conversation between a father
and his young child that has delighted viewers
highlights 10 keyconversation strategiesspeech-
language pathologists routinely share with
families. The interaction in the video demon-
strates key skills needed for speech, language,
and communication development.
SLPs oer these 10 tips to help parents enhance
conversational interactions with their children:
1. Take turns when talking.Start conversations with
children from birth. Pause after you nish talking to
signal it’s the child’s turn to communicate. This gives
your child a chance to respond and initiate conver-
2. Respond to the content and intent of a child’s
vocalizations.Respond to any attempts at conver-
sation, including cooing and babbling.
3. Follow the child’s lead to establish joint
attention.Talk about what the child sees and does.
4. Pay attention to verbal and nonverbal communi-
cation.Use meaningful gestures when you talk. And
respond to your child’s gestures, like pointing.
5. Encourage communication interactions when
your child watches TV or uses digital devices.Talk
about what is happening and tell stories.
6. Use dierent types of communication. Appro-
priate use of greetings, comments, and asking
and answering questions, all help a child learn that
talking serves dierent purposes.
7. Use “child-directed speech, also known as
“motherese” and “fatherese. Parents (and older
siblings too!) naturally use exaggeration, higher
pitch, and relatively simple grammar and vocabulary
when they talk to young children. The melodic pitch,
repetitions, and questions encourage attentive
interactions. But don’t simplify all talk. Model more
complex language and new vocabulary words to
build speech, language, and conversational skills.
8. Use expansions.Repeat what your child says and
add to it.
9. Show your excitementwhen your child vocalizes or
uses words. A positive, engaging interaction creates
the context for enhancing conversation skills.
10. Practice conversations in multiple languages.If
your child is being raised in a multilingual home,
create conversational opportunities in all languages.
Use the language or languages you feel comfortable
The video shows interactions using spoken
language. These tips are also applicable in other
language modalities, such as sign language.
FNDC Summer • 2019
Island Deaf & Hard of Hearing Centre (IDHHC)
IDHHC is happy to welcome the Family and
Community Services team from Provincial Deaf and
Hard of Hearing Services (PDHHS) for a one-day
summer event for families with deaf and hard of
hearing children under 6 years of age and their
families! This one-day event will include:
Morning ASL classes for parents
Afternoon workshop on Advocacy, and Deaf Culture
Programs for deaf and hard of hearing children, and their siblings
Sunday, Aug 18
, 9am-4pm
Location To be determined
Register: Leslee Scott at IDHHC-Victoria: or 250-592-8144 to register and
for further information. Spaces are limited, families MUST pre-register to attend!
One-day Summer Event for the Whole Family - NANAIMO
Island Deaf & Hard of Hearing Centre (IDHHC)
IDHHC is happy to welcome the Family and Community Services team from Provincial Deaf
and Hard of Hearing Services (PDHHS) for a one-day summer event for families with deaf
and hard of hearing children aged 8-12 years old and their families! This one-day event will
Morning ASL classes for parents
Afternoon workshop on Advocacy, and Deaf Culture
Programs for deaf and hard of hearing children, and their siblings
Saturday, Aug 17, 9am-4pm
Location: Nanaimo Child Development Centre, 1135 Nelson Street (near Nanaimo General
Regional Hospital)
Register: Alex Walker at IDHHC-Nanaimo: or 250-753-0999 to register & for
further information. Spaces are limited, families MUST pre-register to attend!
FNDC Summer • 2019
Canada recognizes American Sign Language (ASL),
langue des signes québécoise (LSQ) & Indigenous Sign Languages (ISLs).
FNDC Summer • 2019
1. NewDSM-5criteriafordiagnosingautism
2. Redflagsindicatingapossiblediagnosisofautismspectrumdisorder(ASD)
3. Evidence-basedtreatmentmethodsforDHHchildrenwithASD
4. Modificationstoevidence-basedtreatmentmethodsforDHHchildrenwithASD
5. SensoryconsiderationsforDHHchildrenwithASD
6. Familycenteredservicedeliveryforbirthto3DHHchildrenwithASD
7. MulticulturalconsiderationsinservicedeliveryforDHHchildrenwithASD
8. SupportforDHHpeoplewithASDthroughoutthelifespan
9. OccupationalandrecreationalopportunitiesforDHHadultswithASD
1. Won'tyoubemyneighbor?HowMisterRogers'Neighborhoodcangiveustheanswers
2. BeTheirAdvocate:AmplifyingtheNeedsofYourDHHChildwithASDbyRosangela
3. RedFlags:ThePresentationofASDinChildrenwhoareDHH&Considerationsfor
4. OpeningtheDoorthatGotStuck:ExploringPathwaysofCommunicationforChildren
5. UnderstandingtheDSM-5DiagnosticCriteriaforAutismandBestPracticeAssessment
6. Evidence-basedTreatmentforChildrenandAdolescentswithAutismSpectrum
FNDC Summer • 2019
Deaf printers once helped create every days Washington Post newspaper
From the Washington Post, June 24, 2019
On a March night in 1988, Janie Golightlys boss — a
man namedPaul Poteat— suggested that she and her
colleagues take o work, leave the building and watch
history being made.
The workplace was The Washington Post. And the
history? Students at Gallaudet University were marching
to the Mayower Hotel to confront the school’s board
of trustees, who had just announced a hearing person
would be the school’s next president.
Poteat wasn’t deaf, but Golightly is. So were many of
her co-workers at The Post. They were printers, the
people who laid out the type for the news stories,
made up the advertisements and got the pages ready
to be transmitted to the presses.
Golightly recalled that episode at a recent reunion of
more than a dozen deaf printers who once worked
at The Post.
“If I’ve done my math correctly, you represent more
than 350 years of experience, saidBrian Greenwald,
a history professor at Gallaudet, the university in
Northeast Washington where the meeting was held.
He and his colleagueJean Bergeyrun theSchuchman
Deaf Documentary Center, which is creating an
online exhibit about deaf printers.
This was a brainstorming session on what that exhibit
should include.
Janie Golightly, a deaf printer who retired from The
Washington Post in 2001, signs the word for “sub,” part of
the printing jargon she and others used. A sub was a part-
timer chosen to work a shift, signied by moving his or her
card onto a board. (John Kelly/The Washington Post)
“We’re the last, said
Golightly, whose
husband,Mike, was also
a printer. There is no one
else after us. We want to
preserve this history.
Its important for future
The printers are all in their 70s now. Some had started
in the days of the Linotype machine, when lead was
melted and molded into letters: hot type. They transi-
tioned to cold type, when text on lengths of photo-
graphic paper was cut and pasted onto lined boards.
And then they witnessed pagination, when computers
could create entire pages on a screen.
All that type, all that wax to hold it down, all those rolls
of line tape for making boxes and borders, all the X-Acto
blades to cut it — all replaced by a computer program
and a hard drive. But for decades, being a printer was a
very good job.
“Schools for the deaf encouraged students to work in
certain elds, saidSteve Moore, who worked at The Post
from 1968 to 2001. “Printing went to the more advanced
Post printers were members of the International
Typographical Union. To be hired as a journeyman
printer, they had to pass what was known as the DUPE
test, neatly laying out a full page of multiple ads in four
Not all workplaces were the best for deaf people, the
printers agreed. Some composing rooms had bad
reputations. Not The Post’s.
The Post has a real love for deaf people, said Daniel
Krpta,who worked as a printer for The Post for years.
The paper oered educational opportunities for its deaf
printers — and American Sign Language classes for
hearing editors who worked with them.
Being deaf was not without its challenges. To enter
darkrooms where photos were developed, printers had
to walk through blackened, rotating doors designed to
keep light out.
“Imagine trying to do sign language in complete
darkness, said Jan DeLap, who worked at The Post for
27 years.
Like any profession, printing has its own jargon. The
printers demonstrated signs they used, like the one for
“proofread”: one hand horizontal and at, like a piece of
paper, the other passing over it with a pointed nger.
There was “RC”: the letters R and C, signed in succession
to indicate RayComp, a primitive, computerized
ad-layout system.
And there was the sign that meant “sub”: pointer
and middle nger extended, like a Boy Scout salute
turned horizontally. It looks a bit like a rectangular
badge, and it comes from the paper name cards
indicating who was working that day. A sub was a
part-timer chosen to work a shift, signied by moving
his or her card onto a board. (My thanks to able inter-
pretersElla FagoneandJamie Yost.)
“Do not forget the pranks, DeLap said. “Holy moly,
the things that went on down there.
Once, Janies husband, Mike, left two paper cutout
hands on her chair so they would become taped to
her bottom when she sat down.
But there was great camaraderie, too. And pride. Said
DeLap: “I knew working alongside hearing colleagues
that we made the same money, and that was good. And
like anyone who worked at The Post, they got to witness
history. Sometimes, that history was personal.
When stories on the Deaf President Now — or DPN
— demonstrations came down to the composing
room, “We kept our eye out to make sure they used
the right wording, said Mike Golightly. That meant not
using “hearing-impaired, a term disliked by the deaf
The DPN movement galvanized the student body at
Gallaudet and brought worldwide attention to deaf
culture. On March 13, 1988, university ocials announced
thatI. King Jordanwould take the top job at Gallaudet.
The headline on Page A1 of the next days Post read:
“Gallaudet U. Selects First Deaf President; Board Chief
Resigns; Student Demands Met.
Bergey signed a question: “How many of you kept that
front page?”
Up went every hand.
Deaf printers who once worked at this newspaper ngerspell “The Washington
Post” at a gathering June  at Gallaudet University, which is creating an
online exhibit about deaf printers. (John Kelly/The Washington Post)
FNDC Summer • 2019
or the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Boys and Girls
All skill levels welcome!
Age 8 to 18 years old
Cost $50.00
including nutritious lunch, t-shirt and surprise items
WHEN: August 26 to 29, 2019
TIME: 9:30am to 2:30pm
WHERE: Byrne Creek Secondary
7777 18
Street, Burnaby
Registration Deadline
August 7, 2019
Maximum 24 Students
The students will learn variety of basketball skills and have some fun
scrimmage games taught by deaf coach, Devin Aikin.
Interpreter will be provided.
Please contact BC Deaf Sports for more information and to register
#4-320 Columbia Street, New Westminster, BC, V3L1A6
FNDC Summer • 2019
FNDC Summer • 2019
K-12 Education.
Explore the app.
An app for families of children who
are deaf or hard of hearing
attending IEP meetings, 504
meetings, or other meetings.
Families of deaf and hard of hearing children
attend meetings—Individualized Education
Program (IEP) meetings, 504 meetings, and
other types of meetings. What are these
meetings about? How can you be the best
advocate for your child? The Parent
Advocacy app helps you to understand your
child’s rights and to prepare you to work
with the school in the best interest of your
Note: Apple version videos will open in
your web browser. The next update will
allow the videos to open within the app.
The Parent Advocacy app is a collaboration between:
© 2019 by Gallaudet University | Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center. All rights
2019-06-25, 7+51 PM
Page 1 of 1
FNDC Summer • 2019
BC Buddies (ages 8-15)
There will be two sessions offered:
1. SatJuly20th11amto3pm
2. SatAug24th11amto3pm
FNDC Summer • 2019
Classes typically begin three times a year: September, January, and April.
The course meets once per week, for 10-12 weeks.
The class times are typically Monday afternoon or Monday evening (depending on demand) and
Tuesday afternoon. Afternoon classes are held from 1-3:30. Evening classes are held from 7-
The course meets at the VCC Broadway Campus at 1155 East Broadway in room 2550. There is
ample pay parking and some free street parking. There are several pay parking/handicap spots
quite close to the classroom. We are on the Broadway bus routes, and there is also a VCC sky train
You must receive permission from the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Department (DHH) before you
can register. You will receive a permission letter from DHH after you have communicated with
Lisa Dillon Edgett through a phone, email or face-to-face conversation.
Registration is based on a first-come, first-served basis.
Friends and family members who do not have hearing loss are also encouraged to register with
you. They must also pay the registration fees.
Class sizes are small (usually a max of 8), and there is an amplification system in the classroom to
help you hear the instructor and other students.
Students must be able to speak and read English. Handouts are given to support class discussions.
Each week, we learn about speechreading (lipreading) and do activities to practice
speechreading. Some activities use a video, and we also practice with your classmates.
Other topics include: how we hear, what things affect our ability to communicate, how to
communicate better on the phone and in a restaurant, how to handle difficult situations, being
assertive, and much more.
At this time, tuition for the course is $265.36. Financial support may be available for seniors and
low-income applicants. We will work with you in hopes of getting a tuition waiver or grant to
cover some of the required fees if you meet the criteria.
FNDC Summer • 2019
Revised June 3, 2015
Speechreading for deaf and hard of hearing adults
Speechreading (lip reading)
Advantages and limitations of speechreading
How to combine what you see with what you hear
How to identify the factors that affect your ability to communicate
How to use a variety of strategies to communicate more effectively
How to behave assertively in difficult situations
Tips for stress reduction and relaxation
VCC’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing department (DHH) offers 12-week speechreading courses
on Mondays and Tuesdays. Evening classes may be available. Sessions begin in January,
April, and September.
Students must have good spoken English and be 18 years or older. Friends and family members
are encouraged to register along with students who are hard of hearing or deafened. An interview
with the instructor is required.
Financial services may be available.
Contact us—we’re here to help!
For more information, please contact:
Lisa Dillon Edgett
Speechreading instructor
604.871.7348 (voice)
FNDC Summer • 2019
What do past students from the Speechreading course say?
I have learned to have a more positive attitude in helping myself and in communicating to others
what works best for me. It is important because it will keep me better connected with family and
“I have more knowledge about my hearing loss to explain to family/friends/co-workers/general public
what I need/what helps in communication. I use this knowledge daily!”
“The most important thing I learned was “to advocate for myself and assessing environments and
changing circumstances to hear better”.
“I really enjoyed our group. It was nice to be with people who have hearing problems like me as they
understand the problem.”
“I have put in use the strategies and knowledge that I have gained in this course. My family and I are
less stressed and have more meaningful conversations.”
“This is an essential course for anyone with hearing loss.”
“It helps everyone involved with me and fills me up to live less isolated, therefore could give so much
more back to this world”.
“A wonderful class- clear and effective instructor; caring and sharing classmates, and a safe and
open environment to talk about our hearing loss.”
“I find this class is helpful to how I deal with my hearing loss in effective ways. Also I realize a lot of
people have the same problem as I have. I am not alone.”
“Knowing and understanding hearing loss and its impact on my daily life. It is important because
when I understand it better I can find better solutions for difficulties.”
“I wish I had known about it a long time ago, as I could have benefitted greatly.”
It was much more than I expected as the course includes social, physical, environmental approaches
rather than just lip-reading techniques.”
“Assertiveness helps move emotions aside. I’ve had ongoing unrealistic expectations of how I
“should” hear. This caused much disappointment, heart-ache, and even lower self-esteem. The
class helped me to move into yet another stage of acceptance.”
“I’m lipreading a bit better. I’m helping people assist me MUCH better. It hadn’t occurred to me what it
would be like being in a class with other hard of hearing folks. The communal impact was huge for
me. I didn’t expect to be so well supported and accepted.”
“…I have become more aware of my attitudes towards others. I dont hesitate to let them know what
works best for me as well as compliment them on any changes they have made to help me. For
some, I need to take more time to explain how severe the loss is because they really dont know.
The class provided much more than I anticipated and proved to be so much more than reading lips.
Very highly recommended!!
FNDC Summer • 2019
Designed for administrators and professionals in deaf
and special education
Participate in discussions related to policy, best
practices, and innovation related to education of deaf
and hard of hearing students
Administrators are encouraged to bring deaf and hard
of hearing high school students from their schools
and districts to the youth summit that will be held
concurrently with the professional summit.
The free sessions will be conducted in American Sign
Language and spoken English.
Hosted by the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education
Center and Gallaudet University
February 25, 2020
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 |
..................................................................General Inquiry |
DYT Hornby Island Coordinator (Terry Maloney)
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?