September 2007

Evening, everyone.

The protest has come to an end, a good ending.

At the highest point today at about 3pm to 4pm we had 103 people. It is estimated that we had a total of 120-130 people who came and went.

We sent out about a thousand flyers to people driving by and sure did impact a lot of people. Lets hope we created a strong ripple effect, however we are certain we had the power of influence during this rally.

Today’s rally was pretty mellow yet educative (and lots of “catching up” with each other. No problems with the police nor the hotel managment. We had decided that being aggraviating on the hotel premises is not the
message we want to send out. Gettin arrested there just to get media attention or something just wasn’t the right time nor the right place to do so – even it just wasn’t the right reason. We are educating people “out there” not necessiarly the AGB folks which is unlikely to change
their minds. So we kept our focus to the unknown and who knows if they end up having a deaf baby themselves or a sibiling that does – we’ve
educated them.

In the mid-afternoon, that lady that I had a heated discussion with yesterday came out again with someone else, a deaf lady with a cochlear
implant who was more educated on AGB’s belief. We both had a good healthy discussion but ended up that we’ll have to agree to disagree. She ended up understanding our reason for rally and respected that but still felt a deaf baby shouldn’t learn ASL as a baby, only later in life. I could go on here on why this and that but the bottom line is that she’s just another “AGB product” that AGB takes and shows people around how successful she was. Turns out she was born hearing and lost
her hearing at a later age after having a childhood as a hearing person with English as her language but acts as if she were deaf all her life.
She had to go back after a good 45 minute discussion but came back to get my email address to show me research backing AVT. I look forward to her email.

Everyone at the rally felt empowered and wanted to do “the next step” whatever that is. Hopefully we can make some significant process on a
state level and prosper.

We thank all those who sent in their support. It was greatly
appreciated. There are some of you guys that wanted to order t-shirts because y’all loved the shirts we had. We ran out of shirts but got orders from more people and will make another order. If you wish to buy one, please contact me immedately to make. some kind of payment where we can send you a shirt via mail.

We hope to have a vlog that recaps our rally weekend and once that is out, we will get word out for you all to observe.

Now, the Texas chapter of AGB is having a conference in Dallas mid October. Lets encorage them to have a rally and support them!


(Ella’s note; this link shows the result of the observation at CSD, Fremont described in the press release described below… Seeing that my alma mater has done this in dignity as a practical lesson in civics for its students brings goosebumps to my arms. Thank you, CSDF!)

PRESS RELEASE from CSDF on Thursday, September 27
California School for the Deaf Staff and Students Will Celebrate International Day of Deaf People and Signed Languages
Fremont, CA – Friday, 28 September 2007 – The World Federation of Deaf Congress in Madrid, Spain last summer declared Saturday, September 29, 2007 as the International Day of the Deaf, or as some say, International Day of Signed Languages, or International Day of Deaf People and Sign Languages.
At the California School for the Deaf, students and staff will gather on Friday, September 28, 2007 in the outdoor amphitheater for a program planned by David Eberwein, American Sign Language/English Bilingual Teacher Specialist and Doralynn Folse, Student Diversity Teacher Specialist. The Friday event will include student skits, explanation of the World Federation of Deaf’s announcement of the Day, and more.

A community leader and California Association of the Deaf Board member Ella Mae Lentz explained, “It’s a day to collectively express hurt, grief, and anger at the fact that thousands of Deaf babies and children are being denied Signed language.”

David Eberwein said, “In Northern America, American Sign Language (ASL) leads to English proficiency. Scores of research have backed that.  ASL also helps Deaf students grow into full human beings so every Deaf child should be given an opportunity to learn ASL.” 

Ella Mae Lentz further explained, “We all know Sign Language is best for us Deaf people just like it is very beneficial for hearing babies who are being encouraged to use sign language. We know that it was Deaf people, who created all Signed Languages in the world, and that Sign Language and Deaf People are always linked together, and the most ideal communication between Deaf people and hearing people is in Sign Language.

On the International Day of Signed Languages, the following are being considered: support the Deaf babies’ right to sign language, support Deaf children’s right to gather with other Deaf people, support their right to feel positive about being Deaf, and remind each other that each of us is accountable to future Deaf generations and the welfare of their positive identities.  

Participants are advised to be wearing black t-shirts all day that day everywhere they go that day, publicly exposing the concept of the injustices now being done to Deaf youth whose language rights have not been given or been taken away in some countries.

The California School for the Deaf (CSD) has an international reputation for its quality K-12 education. CSD is a state-funded public school for students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing living in Northern California, The school also provides services to the entire family of the students. Community and Family Education programs are offered on campus and in other parts of Northern California to increase awareness about persons who are Deaf. Please contact the school at (510) 794-3707 for further information or visit the student-produced website:
# # # #
Tentative Schedule:
12:50- Kick-off by Doralynn Folsé
12:55- Superintendent Klopping on his trip last summer & World Federation of Deaf
1:00- ASL Teachers Kelly Krzyska & Nelly Hencker on “quick facts”
1:05- (Elementary) 5th Grade rendition of select scenes from CSUN Deaf Studies’ “Stone Deaf” play
1:15- (High School) David Call’s art class displays & explains (select) art-work
1:20- (Middle School) Principal Advisory Council leaders’ message
1:25- International Sign Languages “parade”- all copy the signing
1:35- group picture (Meta Metal)

(Ella’s note-this wraps up the first day of DBC:Colorado’s rally at the AGBell Conference in Denver. I believe they plan to have their own blogsite up if they have the chance. Meanwhile, I’m happy to relay messages from the frontline as soon as possible.)
Now it’s 8:30pm. The end of conference was at 7:30 and we got agressive when people started to come out of the conference. We had flyers, signs, etc all ready for them. The hotel security asked us to leave. We cooperated and then the police arrived. They told us to stay on the sidewalk and left. A few of us, about 6 people decided to go back to the main entrance and stay there. The police arrived again and spoke with us. We decided to save our strong stand until tomorrow where, hopefully, we’ll have media people present. We called it a night to get a good rest for a challenging day tomorrow.

An hour ago, two guys came to us with spray paint to help us make our signs more visable in the dark with some reflectors. They were hearing guys who knew nothing and just got educated about our cause. They supported us with this and wanted to contribute in their way. Sweeet.

Earlier in the evening, a lady who is profoundlly deaf with no knowledge of ASL or any sign – came to us asking why we were against AGB. The 20
minute discussion between her and myself got a bit heated but ended on a good note where that lady had a better understanding of our cause, yet she still thinks it’s unnecessary for her to learn sign language.

We got a lot of honks. Seriously, a lot! We also got quite a few people just pulling over and asking us more about our protest. They all ended up supporting us.

It was a good prodctive day with about 40 people. We expect more people tomorrow and already sold over 100 shirts. We’ll probably sell out tomorrow – I wish we ordered more. It’s a collector’s item in deaf

Tomorrow we start again with a small crowd at 10am and the crowd will get big between 1-2pm until 4pm which is when the climax of this protest
will occur.

We all thank those who have emailed us for support. It gives us more energy to keep rallying for this good cause when we get support from others nationally.

Till tomorrow!


(12:35 PM Central Time)
Our rally here in Colorado has started. The hotel’s property makes it complicated to pass out flyers because the parking lot is between hotel and sidewalk (public property). Already within 30 minutes, there are hotel employees outside watching us. I tried to enter the hotel and they
only let me because my son had to go to the bathroom but they are here watching us in the bathroom!!!!!!!

More to come!!!!!!

It’s almost 5pm. We’ve been out here for 5 hours now. There’s about 30
of us here and we expect more within the next half hour.

Media (fox news) and another local news channel have confirmed coming
but we are still waiting on them.

Paul Simmons is entering AGB conference unmarked with an interpreter,
Lynda Remmel and someone is filming this. Paul is an AGB member, lets
see what it turns out to be. We are getting A LOT of people pulling off
the road to inquire us for more information.

We are in front of a very busy street which gains a lot of visiability
and getting “too many” honks from drivers passing by. It can be heard in
the conference so they are “hearing” all the support we are getting.

About 15 minutes ago there were 4 police cars driving around the hotel
checking us out. Apparently the hotel or AGB has notified the police. We
have already communicated with an attorney who was present with us
earlier today and with the poilice chief of this city of our protest.

I got near the hotel when quite a few people were coming in and out to pass out flyers and actually had a bunch come to me and ask questions until security kicked me out of their parking lot, back onto the sidewalk.

Will keep you all posted more. Lots of yellow shirts here. We’ve sold over 100 shirts already.


Guest Vlogger DAVID O. REYNOLDS explains the reason for wearing the black shirt and the purpose of the three mini-rallies that will happen in Fremont and Sacramento.

1) 40% of USA’s school aged children are being taught by oral method only.
2) another 40% of the children are taught with a mixture of oral method and some signs.
3) rapidly rising number of babies and children are now going through the Auditory Verbal Therapy which bans American Sign Language because of its belief that ASL interferes with the babies and children’s speech/hearing learning.
4)with the popularity of hearing babies learning signs for so many advantages to them, it’s ironic that those advantages are not allowed for Deaf babies.

Even though ASL has amazingly survived all those recent setbacks as well as those the past 127 years especially after the Milan Conference in 1880, its imperative that we all band together to give our language the preservation and protection.


Come to one of the three mini-rallies that will happen just before the three showings of the new ASL Films (a Mark Wood company) movie “Wrong Game”.

First two showings will be at the California School for the Deaf, Fremont, Little Theatre. Friday night, Sept. 28, it starts at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday afternoon starts at either 12:30 or 1:00 p.m. (These are hosted by the Deaf Awareness Week Committee. Check the Deaf Awarness Week flyers for other details).

The third showing will be hosted by NorCal Center on Deafness in Sacramento at the Natomas High School (check for more details).

Those mini-rallies won’t be the first ones. There will be several more rallies coming up in the near future. Be sure to sign up at those mini-rallies to get information about future rallies.

It is fitting to have the rallies along with this film “Wrong Game” made by ASL Films…as George Veditz said in his film in the early 1900’s, the best way to preserve our language is through the moving films (media).

Come enjoy the new ASL movie and participate in the world-wide celebration of International Day of Deaf People and Sign Languages!

(Ella’s note: I got this from Paul Simmons and I thought it was fitting to share with you all…another way to look at our system and with that increased consciousness, we can go ahead and get the banana! Thanks, Paul!)


The Monkey Cage

Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs underneath it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the other monkeys with cold water. After awhile, another monkey makes the attempt with the same result – all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will prevent it.

Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace that monkey with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and another attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another one of the original monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. the previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth.

Everytime the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked. Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they are not permitted to climb the stairs or why or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey. After replacing all of the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana.

Why not?

Because as far as they know, that’s the way it’s always been done around here.

And that, my friends, is how the “Status Quo” begins…


Now, with the above tale, we could easily envisualize: “cold water” to be AGBell, “stairs” to be education, and the “banana” to be ASL in Deaf Education. No wonder the Deaf community in general is apathetic to fighting for change in promoting ASL to be used widely in Deaf Education. So let’s move forward and BREAK the current Status Quo…

Paul Simmons

September 29, 2007 has been declared by people at World Federation of the Deaf Congress in Madrid, Spain last summer as the International Day of the Deaf, or as some say, International Day of Sign Languages, or as I prefer, International Day of Deaf People and Sign Languages.

This link below shows how a Deaf man from France contacted Deaf leaders from various countries to aim for marches and celebrations all over the world on the same day, in the time frame of 2 to 4 pm.

It’s a day to collectively express our hurt, grief and anger at the fact that thousands of our Deaf babies and children are being denied Sign Language because of serious AUDISM problems. We all know Sign Language is best for us Deaf people just like it is very benefical for hearing babies. We know that it was Deaf people who created all Signed Languages in the world, and that Sign Language and Deaf People are always linked together, and the most ideal communication between Deaf people and hearing people is in Sign Language.

I encourage as many Deaf communities all over USA as well as other countries to organize marches with at least black shirts and slogans on the shirts or signs.
One fantastic possible sign is Moe Klusza’s cartoon of a Deaf baby and a hearing baby. (check to see it and get permit to use it for your march) If you are organizing a march, be sure to get the proper permits from the city to ensure a peaceful and safe route with police help.

If a march is too late to organize this year, try a rally at a certain place where people can flock to and stay for up to two hours preferably 2-4 pm but a different time should be ok. Try the State Capitol, a City Hall, or a place renown for its banning use of Sign Language in Deaf babies or in Deaf children’s education. Be creative (and mindful of local regulations regarding rallies) like tying black ribbons around people’s wrists, using black T-shirts with slogans, doing a chant or a program celebrating Sign Language.

Time may be against us this year and since that week is already the Deaf Awareness Week for many places and there is probably an already scheduled event or two that day. If so, try and see if you can insert some time during that event to share some information about the plight that our Deaf babies and children are experiencing and mobilizing the local people for future activism for that cause.

Another choice is for those who are not able to join with others. Wear the black t-shirt, preferably with a powerful slogan, all day that day everywhere you go that day, publicly exposing the concept of the injustices now being done to our youth.

If the above doesn’t work….ask for a moment of silence in any Deaf-related activity between 2 and 4 pm that day. A moment to be reminded of this ongoing injustice and to pledge ourselves to action during the coming year such as getting involved in some political activism, writing letters to protest or to educate, donating money. Pledge ourselves to:


Be sure to VLOG/BLOG your group’s preparations, goals, and actions on that DAY. (no mention of this on the vlog, but DONT FORGET THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA!)