In my last video, I mentioned a project that I couldn’t explain much about yet. Now I can! The project was a video I made for Ai-Media, and I talk about Americans and their relationship with the international community. I’ve linked it below, enjoy! [I won’t be making a blog post from this one, but if you really want me to, let me know.]
Hello! This is my last post/video for #DeafAwarenessMonth! But not the last ever, that’s the important thing. I explain a bit about what “A Deaf Perspective” is. If you haven’t seen all of the other ones, playlist here. I have a surprise video that will be released….soon? But it won’t be released on my YouTube. It will be released somewhere else, but I will share that on my Facebook page, if you’re interested in seeing that. I can’t say much about it right now. I hate to be one of those people, but oh well. Onward! I do want to let you know that this won’t be the last video that I make related to deaf-related topics. Of course not, because… I’m deaf, I can’t really stop advocating for my community. So to continue that, I have a series that I’ve been kind of doing for a while anyway, that fits with Deaf Awareness Month. It’s called A Deaf Perspective. Or ADP for short. For ADP, sometimes I’m by myself, sometimes with someone else. I – or we – talk about different topics related to the Deaf community. What I’ve done so far is “Deaf Culture Totally Had A Moment” from the Buzzfeed articles done by Lydia Callis. I pick out what I feel is the most important, and I sign them. I also include the full articles themselves. I’ve also done two collabs. One with Ren Putz, where we talked about ASL sign slang. Signs that don’t have an English translation. We show you a sign then explain what that sign roughly means. Another collab was with Gianna Heaviland. We talked about different kinds of assumptions we get at different periods in our lives. That’s an interesting video to watch. I suggest you watch those videos. I will continue to add to the playlist I linked above as I make anything related to the Deaf community. If you want to see me talk about a topic related to the Deaf community, or even unrelated. It can be something else, it can be queer issues, it can be equality, it can be ANYTHING. Just let me know and I will figure out something! If it’s related to the Deaf community, I will include that in the A Deaf Perspective series. And if it’s not, it’ll just be a regular video. If you’re interested in doing a collab, or working with me on making a video, let me know, I’d be happy to do that. I know it’s a pretty short video today but… This is kind of a closing for Deaf Awareness Month, and thank you all for reading/watching my posts/videos this month. I hope you continue to read/watch my posts/videos from now on. I’m hoping to have a few other “new” videos like traveling, out and about… And not so many sit-down and chat videos. I also have a few plans for artistic style videos, so I’m excited about that. I haven’t really even started filming anything for those. But I have a list of project ideas, and I’ve expanded on them. I just have to actually…do it. Again, thank you for reading/watching, and I’ll see you next time.
Whoaaaaa! A second post/video in the same 24 hours?? Well, two big things happening today — the #NoMoreCraptions campaign and #InternationalDayoftheDeaf Thus, two posts/videos! Enjoy!
Hello! Welcome to my seventh post/video for Deaf Awareness Month. I will link all of the others in a playlist here. I decided that since today is International Day of the Deaf, I wanted to make a post/video related to that. For those who don’t know, I recently studied abroad for nine months in Denmark. And it was an amazing experience. I studied in a program called Frontrunners and it’s really incredible. The school has students from all over the world. My group was the smallest in history (five people) but it was still a great group, great year, many new experiences. Really amazing. I have a few videos from that, my experiences there, and I’ll link the playlist here. So, thanks to this program, I’ve been to Denmark, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Australia. And I’ve met people from over 20 different countries. Which is really cool in itself! A lot of those people that I met, I communicated with by using International Sign. In some of my videos in that playlist, I sign in International, not ASL. So if you’re curious and want to see what International looks like, go ahead and check that out. I’ve met people from all over the world, mostly Europe, but I know some people from Central America, South America, Australia, New Zealand. It’s really cool. And the fact that I know people from all over the world is just cool! A lot of people from the States don’t have that chance, that opportunity. Just going to this school, even though it’s in the middle of nowhere, in one place – It’s still amazing, and we’re exposed to a lot of the international community.
Because of Frontrunners, I was able to meet people who have different experiences growing up. In the States, we have some of that, kind of, little differences depending on where we grew up in the States. But in Europe, it’s completely different, because each country has its own culture, its own language. Its own everything! It’s really cool, being able to meet people like that. They have completely different experiences growing up. I personally think everyone should go out of their own country at least once. Doesn’t matter, I don’t care if you’re from Europe or not. I know some Europeans who have never actually been out of their own country. So I want to be clear, this is talking about anyone. American or not. I don’t care. Anyone that hasn’t left their country. You should do it at least once, and no, going to the country just over the border does not count. For example – I live in a town that’s a hour, hour and half away from the Canadian border. I don’t count Canada in that case. Unless you have actually gone and stayed, seen the city. Not just drive there and back. Or if you drive from Rochester to Toronto or Montreal – three hours and five hours respectively – I would count that. Because you’ve actually went into the country and not just border-jumping. That doesn’t count, please. Also, I don’t count it if you go to only the “tourist” spots. Take Mexico for example. I know some people who say that they’ve been to Mexico, but after some questions… Ah, they went to the resort. I don’t consider that “true Mexico.” That’s Mexico for tourists. For me personally, I would count it if you’ve gone to parts that are actual Mexican cities, not only the resorts. Because resorts are “perfect” places and just… Boring. Hm. Boring. Well, maybe not to some people but to me… Going to a country so you can say you’ve been to another country, then you stay in only the tourist spots? Like, that’s not the whole point of going to another country. The whole point of going to another country is to see their culture, immerse yourself in it, see their language, see the people who live there, see a different way of life there. That, to me, is kind of important. To get different perspectives, and expand your worldview.
Would I want to go back to Europe? Absolutely, 100% yes! Yes! There’s so much I haven’t seen. When I was there, I was mostly in the north. I haven’t seen any of the southern or eastern countries. So yes, absolutely, I want go back to Europe. When that will be, I don’t know. Up in the air. If someone’s willing to sponsor me, I wouldn’t say no. Do I want to go back to Australia? Yes. I still haven’t seen all of Australia. Really, I want to travel as much as I can. To… Anywhere, really. I love traveling. I know most people complain about the flight, long train ride, blah blah. I don’t mind, really. Usually when I fly, I fly by myself. It’s nice to have that time to really just… Be by myself, and think. I like travel. I just do. Even if it’s a short weekend, out to go camping or go to this area to sightsee, and come back. That, I enjoy. Just seeing new places, new people, new everything.
I know this video was a little all over the place, but I didn’t have a script for this one so there’s that. Happy International Day of the Deaf! And for this day, you should go ahead and check out places like WFD (World Federation of the Deaf), Frontrunners – see what the program is about, anything else that’s to do with the international community. I hope you enjoyed this post/video anyway, even though it was all over the place. I will see you next time!
Sixth video for #DeafAwarenessMonth! This is a very personal topic for me, and it’s really important to me that this is successful or at least sparks some change. Feel free to share with anyone!
Hello and welcome! If you haven’t seen all of the other five videos, you can find a playlist linked here. Today’s video is about #NoMoreCraptions. It’s signed [CRAPTIONS-NO-MORE]. This is very different from #CaptionThis. It’s a very different thing. There are a few ways to sign this hashtag. You can sign [CRAP-tions no more], or [LOUSY-tions no more] just another way of saying crap. Some of you may be “…what are you talking about? Craptions? What?” That’s the name that we deaf people have given to the auto captions on YouTube. If you know, generally… They’re kind of… well, crap. It depends on how good the sound quality is, really. Sometimes, if the sound quality is amazing, really good, they’re not THAT bad but still has errors. It’s not perfect. And if the sound quality is even just a little bit ehh, that’s it, forget it. The captions are pfft. Hence the name, crap. Let me back up first. This campaign started because we were just sick of having horrible captions. And a lot of YouTubers would say, “Oh no, we do have captions, the auto captions.” So we have to go and explain what they don’t understand – those captions are awful. We often have to tell them to watch the videos themselves, and see how awful it is. So this campaign really started as a way to fight for better captions on YouTube, ACTUAL captions. Not just… Craptions.
This is so, so, so important. Not just for the deaf community, for other people who have auditory processing disorder; people who are learning a second language, and using those captions to help them learn it; and plenty of other reasons. It’s even good for kids who are starting to learn how to read. Captions help you improve your reading skills, and reading quickly too, not really slowly. So, having actual captions is really important. Not just auto captions. It’s not enough. One big benefit of having actual captions is you will get more viewers, more foreign viewers. Because the captions can be translated to another language, and be of a better quality than the craptions.
Now some of you may be “Okay, I want to do captions but how?” I can refer you to two sources. One is… Google. No seriously, Google has a lot of resources explaining how to do captions on different platforms – Facebook, YouTube, etc. The second one that I will link you to is Rikki Poynter’s video “Three Different Ways of Captioning.” You can watch that, and pick whatever method you prefer. To be clear, if you decide to do community captions, (which means the community can do captions for you) you have, have, HAVE to review the captions. Because, unfortunately, there are some people who abuse that, and will put their own commentary in that, jokes, or completely unrelated things in those captions. That is an abuse of that service, and that blocks us from having the proper access to your content. So make sure you review those captions!
A big reason why I’m doing this video, specifically for me personally, is that I really really really want creators to do captions on their videos. Because unfortunately, there are a lot of creators I don’t follow. Specifically because they don’t have captions, or even craptions on their videos. There are SOME, very few, that I actually do still follow because I really enjoy their content. I really like their videos, and they do have craptions on them most of the time. I tolerate it and watch those, but… Most of the time, my thinking is – Nah. Not worth it. Not worth my time watching it, trying to figure out what you’re even saying. Because sometimes the captions are way off base, and it’s like… What? It will sometimes have complete gaps. You’re talking, but there’s no captions because they’re craptions! So… Please, please, please caption! The more you caption, the more likely you will get people following you. Like me. There are some people that I wouldn’t mind following, but I don’t because they don’t have actual captions on their videos. I’m not going to waste my time with them. Which is kind of sad, and it sucks, for both me and for you. So seriously, please do captions! Please, I’m begging you! Do real captions! Okay, that’s all I have for you today. Hope you learned something new. If you didn’t know about craptions before, now you do! And I will see you next time.
Fifth video/post for this month! Don’t forget to check out the playlist for the other videos! You might be going “Wait, what??” over the title. I may have click-baited you a little bit. What I really want to talk about today is yes, a bit about Nyle. However, this is not to glorify or praise him. I feel like there is enough of that out there. Absolutely, Nyle is really a great person. I’m not saying that he’s awful, or saying negative things, none of that. Just that I see a lot of people praising him, saying he’s so great, dah dah dah, but what they often forget is that… He isn’t the only one. There are plenty of other Deaf people out there, plenty of other PEOPLE out there doing great things for the Deaf community. And… You just don’t see them, maybe because they work in an organization, and don’t want their names out there, or maybe they do have their name out there but they’re just forgotten about. I want to remind you that Nyle is human, just like all of us. He can’t do all of the advocacy work by himself. He needs our help. That’s the same for any advocate in any community. They can’t do it all by themselves. They can’t do it without the community’s support. And yes, I know many of you already support Nyle, but… How do you support him? By just going “Woohoo! I support you!” Or do you actually get out there, and do something? Advocates don’t just need the community to support what they’re doing. They need the community to also actually do something and not just sit there going “Woohoo!” They don’t need a cheerleading squad. They need people who actually get out there and do something. Or at the very least, this! Writing blog posts, posting on social media, YouTube, making yourself seen.
Really, there are a lot of people out there that are doing a lot of great advocacy work. One person for example, is Rikki Poynter. I’ve mentioned her before in some of my other videos. She’s a big advocate for captions on YouTube, mostly. This is a little hint for my next video/post that will be out on September 25th. And there will be plenty of other videos on September 25th. Mostly because of this specific topic, and the second reason is it’s International Day of the Deaf on the 25th, so… I might do two videos/posts for that day, I don’t know. We’ll see, we’ll see. Anyway. Another person that may not be as well-known, but is still kind of well-known, is Jules Dameron. She’s a Deaf female director. She is pushing for more Deaf women in film. That’s a pretty tough job. Why is that? Generally, the film world is male-dominated, regardless of being Deaf or hearing. So… Pushing more Deaf women to get involved with film, that’s a very big job. That’s one of her goals. They have a Facebook page: Deaf Women in Film.
Fourth post for Deaf Awareness Month! Another mini history lesson, enjoy! Before we start today, I want to remind you that if you want to see me talk about a certain topic or anything, let me know so I can have time to figure out something before this month ends. Now, let’s get going. A lot of information today! Quick reminder: today’s the 19th, which means it’s the first day of International Week of the Deaf. That’s all, moving on.
Today we’ll be talking about two key things in Deaf history. Starting with Martha’s Vineyard, a “Deaf Utopia,” the perfect world for Deaf people. Martha’s Vineyard is an island off the coast of Massachusetts that was settled a long time ago. Many of the early settlers carried the gene for deafness. Over the years, with generations after generations being born, many deaf people were born. At one point, there was one out of four people born deaf! That’s a pretty high percentage! On Martha’s Vineyard, there were so many deaf people, mostly in one town called Chilmark. Many deaf people lived on that island, so many that they developed their own sign language, Martha’s Vineyard Sign Language (MVSL). The whole island used MVSL, so communication was never an issue for deaf or hearing people. If people moved to Chilmark, they were required to learn sign language so they could be part of the community. Being deaf was so common there, it was never seen as a handicap, or lower-than, or a disability. They were always considered and seen as equals. It was simply a different way of life, a different way of communicating. Unfortunately, nowadays, most of MVSL is gone because back then when it started to grow, American School for the Deaf was established and many deaf people started moving to the mainland, so MVSL faded out. But! It’s not all 100% gone. It has a legacy. When ASL was being created, it mixed LSF (French Sign Language), MVSL, and home signs. [Edited: Along with Plains Indian Sign Language, British Sign Language, and others.] Some signs today are still from MVSL. That’s a really, really short history of Martha’s Vineyard. There are several links below the video [beginning of post], so if you’re interested in reading more, seeing more information about it, check them out.
Moving on from Martha’s Vineyard, now I want to tell you about a key point in Deaf culture and history. It happened in the year of 1988: DPN, Deaf President Now! I’m sure some of you are going, oh yes, I already know this! You should, if you’re very involved in Deaf culture. This is a pretty big part of Deaf culture, also one of the key points in general history, really. What is Deaf President Now, DPN? It was a student-led protest that lasted over a week at Gallaudet University. The protest was about a hearing person being selected as the president. To be clear, this rally was not a small one. Over 1,000 students (university, high school, elementary), faculty, staff, and the Deaf community were involved. That’s a lot! The first rally was getting people to think about having a hearing person candidate for Gallaudet presidency, aren’t we tired of it always being a hearing person, this is enough, we need to have a Deaf president, this is a Deaf university, come on! So, students started camping out in the front of the president’s home, on the lawn. They were saying, we want the hearing candidate to withdraw their candidacy for being the president of Gallaudet. The spark that ignited the real protests happened on March 6, 1988. The spark happened when the board of Gallaudet announced that they had selected the hearing person, Elisabeth Zinser, to become the president of Gallaudet. Now, the reason for the anger was before this date, the deaf community had already told the board that they wanted a Deaf president, and they STILL selected a hearing candidate. The deaf community already told them that they wanted a deaf president, and still selected the hearing person. A big reason why this was a disappointment was that they had three candidates to be president. The first was Zinser, who’s hearing. The other two were deaf. So why not pick one of those two? They still picked the hearing one? Come on. The board had selected the hearing person despite requests otherwise, so the students went ahead and protested. They drove school buses and parked them in front of the school entrance, let the air out of the tires, and closed down the whole campus for a few days. They told the board that they had four demands that have to be met, before the protest is ended. After a while of protesting, the demands were met, and the students got a victory. By the end of that week, they announced the new president of Gallaudet – I. King Jordan. The eighth president, and first Deaf president of Gallaudet. Again, this is a really summarized history of DPN. Not very detailed, but I wanted to give the basics. If you’re interested and want more information, there are a few links in the video’s description. There’s plenty of info out there about it. There’s even a video of the protest itself, speeches, and so on, it’s really good. I encourage you to watch it.
I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit of history about Deaf culture and Deaf people. I want to remind you again, today is the first day of International Week of the Deaf. There’s plenty of other people making videos for this week, also Deaf Awareness Month. I will link two that I know of for sure, Rikki Poynter and ASL Stew, in the description. If you know of anyone else who’s doing videos for this month, please let me know and I will add them in the description. A lot of links today! Ah well, that’s what happens when you give a little history lesson. Anyway. I want to remind you if there’s a topic you want to see, seriously let me know. I will look over it and do something, if I have the time to do it before this month ends. And… I will see you next time!
Third video/post for Deaf Awareness Month! Enjoy and don’t forget to let me know if you want to see me discuss a specific topic!
My second post for Deaf Awareness Month! Don’t forget to let me know if you have any topics you want to see me talk about! Enjoy!
Let’s begin. If you haven’t seen the first one, go watch/read that, click right here. Today’s post will be talking about sim-com. For those who don’t know what sim-com means, it’s an abbreviation that stands for simultaneous communication. I will talk about that and why it’s an extremely bad idea to do it. Basically what simultaneous communication, sim-com, is… This is when people will sign and verbally speak at the same time. Now, some of you will be “I don’t see the problem with that, I don’t get it. It seems to be fine, and would work.” Some of you will be “Oh gosh, yes! Yes, do not do this!” Generally, it’s not encouraged to do sim-com – in general. Some people will still do it. This all depends on the situation, and why you’re doing sim-com. Generally, sim-com is kind of acceptable if it’s one-on-one, or in a small group. Kind of acceptable. But in large groups, a presentation setting, class – teaching class or presenting for class – nope. Not acceptable. I will explain a few reasons why it’s not acceptable and why it’s just really a terrible idea.
First, I want to give you an example, so you can clearly and quickly understand a little bit. Would you expect someone verbally speak Chinese and also verbally speak English — at the same time? No. You wouldn’t. Because it’s physically impossible. Now, that example is pretty clear why you can’t do sim-com, it’s impossible. But some of you will be asking, “but what’s the problem with signing and voicing, it’s different because it’s using hands and voice. While in the example, English and Chinese both use voice, so that obviously wouldn’t work. Sign and hands vs. voice are different. That’s fine, it can be done.” Here’s a key term: modality. Modality is the method of how something is expressed. Examples are writing, speaking, signing, and for some of you – cued speech. Some of you use Signed Exact English (SEE). Those are examples of different modalities. Modality does not necessarily equal a language in of itself. The reason why I’m saying that is English, the language, has two modalities. Verbal and written. Two different modalities in the same language. For ASL, the modality is sign, no writing. Well. There is a written system but that’s for a whole another video. There’s no verbal speaking or spoken words in ASL. The modality is via the hands. Now, the big reason why many people feel like it’s fine to speak and sign at the same time is because they’re a different modality. Alright. However. The important thing to understand here is that ASL is its own, separate, recognized language. It has its own grammar, syntax, linguistics. All of the things that make it its own language. Yes, it’s true that ASL is another modality, but it’s also another language. You can’t express two languages simultaneously. I know some of you will say “Yeah, but I see some people sign and voice, and they seem fine. Voicing well, or signing well. The voice’s good and matches up well.” Eh, not really. There are some people who have the skill to be able to sign almost perfect ASL and voice everything. That’s a really rare, very rare skill. Sometimes you will see some people doing a “pidgin.” It means a mixture of two languages. If it’s just a way to express yourself, get your point across, that’s fine, sure. Go ahead. But when you’re in a professional setting, presenting to an audience, or group work, or the such — Pidgin generally isn’t accepted. For a good reason. Pidgin is not sim-com. Sim-com is trying to use two languages at the exact same time. Which can’t be done.
Now, I’m going to explain another word in linguistics: code-switching. Code-switching happens when you move from one language to another. Or even within the same language. Let’s look at an example in English. If you’re chatting with your close friends, using a certain way of speaking, then… You switch to talking with your boss. When you’re talking to your boss, you wouldn’t use the same terms, you wouldn’t use the same way of speaking as you would with your friends. That’s code-switching. It also happens when you switch from German to Russian, it’s also considered code-switching. Changing from one way of expressing to another way of expressing. It’s a perfectly normal thing for people to do. It’s like a switch, hence the name code-switching (really more of a dial, moving between multiple ways). It’s using this language, then stopping and switching to that language. That means you can’t do two languages parallel, you can’t. It’s more like this, that, this, that. Our minds cannot focus on two things at the same time. Now before any of you say, “But what about multitasking!” Shh! That’s not a real thing. Science. Multitasking has been proven to not be real. It might feel like you can do multiple things at once. But reallllllly, no. Your brain is just switching its focus from one task to another. Which is what you do when you switch from one language to another. It has been shown that multitasking is really not effective. It ruins your ability to really be able to do something effectively. This is why sim-com doesn’t work. With sim-com, your brain is actually switching very rapidly from one language to another, and forth and back. That’s not really an effective way to express yourself. If you’re just trying to get your point across to that person, fine. But when you’re doing a presentation or whatever, don’t. Just don’t.
I’m going to discuss a bit about my experience with sim-com. I have many, many experiences with sim-com. I even do it myself sometimes. But generally, I don’t. Partly because it really helps people learn sign better, even understand sign better, if I just turn off my voice. Because then they’re not taking in two languages at the same time, trying to process both languages. Typically, with sim-com, it will cause a “loss” of one language. Typically, it will be that person’s second language. Example: you grow up with spoken English only, and no sign. You go into school, maybe college, and decide you want to learn sign, great! You learn it, then sign and try to sim-com… Usually, your brain will focus on your first language, English, and when that happens, your brain will start to forget to sign too. ASL and English have very different grammar structures, it’s nothing alike. Nothing! ASL’s grammar structure is a little bit more like Spanish or Italian. So, that’s partly why you can’t sim-com. Generally, sim-com is not a good idea. That’s all I have for you today. I hope you learned something from this post. I hope this helps you think again if you decide you want to do sim-com, and really think about why you’re doing sim-com. Now, I want to be very clear here. I’m talking more about sim-com in a professional environment such as class, presenting, that kind of thing. I’m not talking about if you’re with your friends, or in a casual environment. That’s up to you and your friends, that’s fine. But for teaching, work, and so on. Hope you enjoyed, and I’ll see you next time!
Wow! I’m on a roll, two posts within a few days! What’s up? Yeah, I’m a horrible Deaf person. No, honestly what happened was that I didn’t even connect that this month is a pretty important month for Deaf people. That would be Deaf Awareness Month (DAM). The month of September is DAM. Since September is DAM, I thought that I should go ahead and make a few videos related to being Deaf, the history of deaf people, and so on. I’m going to give you some information, history, facts about DAM, day, week, whatever.
International Week of the Deaf (IWD) tends to be the last week of September. This year, it’s September 19-25th. The 25th is on Sunday. Why’s that? That’s because the International Day of the Deaf is on the last Sunday of that month. Which is on the 25th this year. I’m going to give you some history of how this started. The first International Day of the Deaf was celebrated by WFD (World Federation of the Deaf), in 1958. I’ll explain a bit about WFD for those who don’t know. WFD is an international non-governmental organization (NGO), recognized by the UN to promote the rights of Deaf people internationally. There are over 130 national associations of the deaf represented under WFD. That’s a lot of associations! Why is International Week of the Deaf during the last week of September? September was when the first World Congress was hosted by WFD in 1951. That’s why it’s in the last week of September. Many countries will celebrate that same week, some will celebrate during a different week for whatever reason, but most celebrate during the last week of September.
WFD usually has a theme every year for that particular year of Deaf Awareness week. This year’s theme is: With sign language, I am equal. That’s the history of IWD, moving on. Why celebrate DAM? What’s the big point of this? The purpose of DAM is promoting awareness of Deaf people, their culture, history, and unique language. Also to promote the rights of Deaf people all over the world, including education, access to information and services, using sign language, and human rights in developing countries. It’s used to recognize the achievements of Deaf people as well, including famous people. For educating people about the misconceptions out there of Deaf people, and the challenges we face in our everyday lives. Teaching about the different types of being deaf, degrees of deafness, causes of being deaf. Expanding exposure to sign language, and different ways deaf people communicate with the world. Raising and promoting awareness about different kinds of programs, support services, and resources available to the Deaf community. Increasing better understanding of Deaf culture, and helping people understand that Deaf people are just as capable and intelligent as hearing people. The only difference being how we communicate. Also that many of us don’t view ourselves as handicapped or disabled. Just a different way of doing things.
So, I hope you enjoyed that first post for DAM. I do have a few other ideas I want to do, but if you have anything you want to see about the Deaf community, about sign language, about anything related to Deaf people, let me know! I’ll be glad to think about and figure out something! See you next time!