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Sunday, August 30, 2009

MMmm, fudge

I've been thinking about food a lot lately. After I work out, I can sometimes spend an hour just cooking up some new dish I read about online or in some cookbook I pull out. It's sometimes theraputic - stretching my mind in a new dimension having to manage a short task with complicated inputs and a tangible output... unlike my day job at times ;-) Plus, food is good - I tend towards the healthier fare away from fried foods and other pre-made, fattening goods.

I do have one devlish delight that I indulge in - fudge! I figured I'd post the recipe here:


Fantasy Fudge

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine (or 1-1/2 sticks)
1 small can (5 oz) evaporated milk (2/3 cup)
1-1/2 pkg. (12 squares) BAKER’s semi-sweet baking chocolate
1 jar(7 oz) JET PUFFED marshmallow creme
optional: 1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp vanilla

Heat sugar, butter and evaporated milk to full rolling boil in 3 quart heavy saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil on medium heat until candy thermometer reaches 234 degrees F, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir in chocolate and marshmallow creme until melted; stir in vanilla and walnuts.

Spread immediately in foil-lined 9 inch square pan. Cool at room temperature at least 4 hours; cut into 1 inch squares. Store in airtight container.

Now I'm looking for a recipe that can combine peanut butter and fudge.... *drool*

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I love eating food. Growing up, I could eat nearly anything - well, other than those weird stinky foods like liver and onions, brussel sprouts, and peas. Heck, one of my earliest assignments I remember doing in kindergarden was writing down what my favorite foods were, and at the time it was "Donkey Kong Cereal" or something like that, and my most hated food were "peas bla!" ;-) I had an iron stomach, a fortified constitution, and a metabolism that made me resemble a beanpole.
It used to be whenever I would go out, it didn't matter where I went - I'd just grab something that looked tasty. Fast food, breakfast pastries, dining out, no problem. Who needs healthy food when you're still a growing boy?

Two years ago, my mom told me she finally found out the source of her digestive problems. Something called Celiac Disease caused her body to be intolerant of a certain kind of protein in wheat and other grains. The intolerance was basically her immune system attacking the proteins her body was trying to absorb. That leads to malnutrition, intestinal problems, and a higher likihood of bowel cancer. Ew!

This isn't an allergic reaction, mind you - that usually causes things like respiratory distress which could lead to death by suffocation, etc. This is usually.... painful and annoying. Yes, painful to the point where someone could lose sleep, have bathroom problems, lack of energy, losing weight for no apparent reason, etc.

My mom pestered me to get checked out. I was like "nah!" because I'm a healthy guy, not having all the symptoms, and besides, I would miss my sammiches and treats. So I put it off - until I realized I had been working out for quite a while in the gym, and hadn't seen any real gains in weight lifting. I had noticed other gastronomical problems too, but I figured they're normal to guys, so I just ignore 'em.

In January of 2008, I hit up my doc for a couple of health tests, and just happened to ask him about celiac. They drew some blood and I completely forgot about it until he called me back in a week or so later. Yep! Positive for celiac's - it's genetic. No cure, only a lifelong abstination from gluten. Whoa. That hit me like a ton of bricks. How the heck was I going to cope?!

I've slowly been able to adjust my lifestyle to account for this. I rarely eat out, mostly only after I've researched what's safe for me to eat. Sometimes I get glutened anyway - fortunately, right now my reactions are mild, and I don't suffer much setback - but I do notice things like decreased ability in the gym for a little after it happens. It's in my best benefit watch what I eat.

However, it's been a good change in my life - I enjoy cooking where before I would do just microwave dinners and fast food. I've actually now made noticable gains in weight lifting and muscle mass, and I'm edging closer to my goal of hitting 180lbs. Note that I'm BELOW that weight still - I'm currently weighing the most I've ever been in my life, and that's actually a GOOD thing! I have zero problems sleeping at night, and I overall feel really really good.

I want to thank my mom for being strong, she's apparently suffered for many, many years and now she's much better, and that's helped me make sure I take care of myself. I'm just sooo mad neither of my 2 brothers have it. *grumble* ;-)

Some celiac resources:

Another thing I'm thankful for is that my friends who are close to me really are supportive of me with this. They check to make sure that whatever we do, I can eat with them, and I'm thankful they're understanding. It really means a lot to me.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

It hasn't felt like Sunday for a while

You know how sometimes days blur together and you lose track of time? It's been feeling a bit like that lately - mostly because quite a few Saturdays in a row I've been up a little bit past my bedtime, sometimes even into the sunrise.... :-)

Last night I had some great friends over to celebrate the birthdays of two people very dear to me. It was finally my chance to introduce the people I roll with with the other people I hang with. It was phenomenal having my HLAA crew meeting my gang of rambunctious rompers who don't fit in either the deaf or hearing worlds. Even parts of my volleyball scallywags made an appearance to prevent the house from burning down with all the flames from the candles ;-)

Yesterday's HLAA meeting was about "Hearing Loss and Relationships" - presented by the most poetic Shanna Groves and illustruous Melissa Frye. A topic similar to this was a hot workshop at the Nashville conference back in June - when you think about it, hearing loss forces everyone to either communicate better in a different way, or else you just give up and let things go bad. I struggled with relationships for many years because I truly never made communication a top priority. How could I? I never was taught how to communicate, how to connect with others, when I was basically in a world of my own. I was a loner all through high school - my social connection was church and volleyball, and those were both severely lacking. I never hung out with my team and I never connected in church, even though I kept going just to see if I eventually would.

For many years, I didn't accept myself for who I was - I had this negative perception about myself. There were a lot of things I got down on myself for, not just my hearing loss, and it wasn't until I overcame them that things got better, I started connecting with others and now I'm able to enjoy wonderful communication with just about everyone I meet. I don't know where or even when I really started developing a positive attitude - all I know is when I was catching myself being negative, not just to myself but also to others - and forcing myself to change it for the better, to look at things in a good way, talking about them in ever greater ways - people became willing to open up, to be patient, to meet me halfway on my needs. It's funny - I've got from high school loner to knowing so many people all over, and it's really all because of communication. I was playing by "hearing world" rules - be passive, don't inconvenience others, don't make eye contact, bluff your way out of situations, stuff like that. Now my rules are I'm gonna take charge of my needs to understand you, I'm going to look at you in the eye, I'm going to be polite when things aren't clear, and both sides are going to meet in the middle and understand where we're all coming from.

Okay, I think I've rambled on enough today. Time to get some cleanin' and gymmin' going. I'd better have time for a nap and work later..... :-)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Deaf games

I love games. Just about any kind of game, board, card, sports, video, even mental games that make you think and reason things out logically. If I had to pick a single game that I could probably play for the rest of my life, I'd be hard pressed to pick something other than chess. It's hard to think of something that has more variation over a lifetime, and it's vastly complicated - can you believe most games are done in 50 moves or less? Feels like more....

One embarrassment I'm willing to share about my game playing is that when I was in 6th grade, I was pretty much addicted to video games. I'd come home from school, ignore my schoolwork,turn on the Nintendo or Super Nintendo, play games as long as I could, and generally my grades suffered because of it. It came to a head when my report card came home and my step-dad raised holy hell - nearly destroyed my precious game systems in his ferocity. I was banned from video games for 6 months. SIX MONTHS?!!! I was so gonna die. My lifeline, my safe world where I can be victorious at a push of a button... gone.

Looking back, it wasn't so bad. I got back into reading books - after finishing schoolwork, of course. I was doing pre-algebra math, greek mythology (one project was to literally create a board game of the Cretan Labyrinth, where the Minotaur resided and eventually slain by Theseus, who was a butt-kickin' hero), and a whole lot of geography and earth science. So, I somewhat credit the whole getting weaned off video games to have helped me get better at some school subjects. I just could have done without the overreaction from my step-dad....

Now, the one kind of games I absolutely disliked playing were social games. Games where you basically have to hear and interact with people to win. Phone tree. Marco Polo. Sometimes even hide n' seek. I still remember the time I screwed up some game at a county fair when I was like 8 because I didn't hear the shouted instructions and I watched everyone else - the clown in charge came up to me and told me to leave, and he looked angry. :-(

It's not often anymore that I play with hearing people. I should, though - at least just to continue improving what I do use out of my cochlear implant. Even when I remember the "bad ol' days" I need to remind myself that things are different and better now. This one time, before getting my cochlear implant, I was at my grandmother's place and it was a fairly large party. We played Mafia - everyone being hearing, I had to sit close to the narrator and had a real hard time taking part in the debate who was the Mafia. This was with 20+ people playing, so there were two Mafia, two detectives, and two nurses to keep things rolling along, for those of you who know the game.

Earlier this week, though, I was able to hang with my friends and play a couple of rousing games that didn't rely on hearing - a game I've quaintly named "Hands" and then Mafia, modified to better fit the deaf.

1) Hands is somewhat difficult to explain. You have a group of people in a circle sitting at a table, and you put your hands on the table, overlapping each of your neighbor's on both side's hand. Then the game is a series of slaps and double slaps (variations includes adding fists and double fists, and the next variation I'm gonna introduce will be the palm up and double palm up... :-D)

-A slap means the next person will slap
-A double slap means reverse; the person who just slapped before you, now has to slap again. Keep in mind they can double slap right back!
-A fist means "skip" - in a situation where a slap would mean you have to slap, your hand will be skipped and now the hand after you must slap.
-A double fist means "back skip" - and the person who slapped BEFORE the double fist is skipped and now the person behind them must slap

-Palm up is going to be my new experimental move. Palm up means now the person who is next must FIRST slap your palm, like giving you a "five" THEN they can slap. So it'd be like *palm up* *slap five* then *slap*
-Gotta have the double! Double palm up means the person BEFORE you has to *slap five* then they must slap.

Tricky! This is gonna be so funnnnn!

2) Mafia for the deaf

Mafia is really fun. Especially so for the narrator, who gets to tell the most fabulous and gruesome ways people get "hit." The main thing to do here is instead of calling out "Mafia wakes up" - you slap the table or ground once. When the Mafia goes back to sleep, the narrator gives two slaps for "Nurse wakes up." Then after the nurse sleeps, 3 slaps will wake up the Detective. When all is said and done, a rapid series of many slaps wakes up everyone, then the real fun begins. ;-)

When I played with hearing people before I got my CI, I could only hear the narrator if I was right next to them - there was a party going on in the background, people would talk in ways that made it sound like the narrator was talking - made me nervous as heck I was missing out on something important! But now I really like social games - my friends really make it easy and fun. Thanks, you guys!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Brains vs Brawn

I've always considered myself somewhat of an intellectual. The mind, the thoughts of others, deep insights, and revelations are things I consider to be valued. People who use their noggins are people I'm drawn to, that can hold a discourse on a varied myraid of things from the validity of deafhood rejecting Cochlear Implants to the minutae of why the Ansible in Ender's Game would not be possible due to the physics of quantum entanglement. But the rest of the book was quite spot on in terms of General Relativity. ;-)

Lately, though, I've been spending quite a lot of time in the gym, lifting weights and staying true to my goal of participating in the volleyball games for Deaflympics in 2013. Sound like it's a long way off? It is -- the 2009 Deaflympics are happening THIS MONTH in Taipei, Taiwan. How come I'm not going to this year's Games? Well, I missed out on the tryouts in Rochester in 2008 which I was informed of about 3 days before they were to begin - I couldn't get away from work commitments and plane tickets were pretty stiff, and it just wasn't a mess I could handle on such short notice. So, it became a dream deferred - I'm not one to let my dreams slip away from me. I'm where I want to be in my training, practicing vball and keeping on my fitness goals.

The weird thing is, I'm really liking this "best of both worlds" stuff. I've always felt negatively about those "gym rats" who I saw growing up as those who couldn't hack it mentally, spent all day looking at themselves in the mirrors, preening. My biggest challenge actually is making enough time for everything I want to do -- read Anne McCaffrey books, bench press my body weight, study books on Asperger's, do 150 elevated situps a day, write blogs and book material, and cook delicious gluten-free meals. Where have my time management skills gone?!

I still hope I'll be known for my thoughts, perceptions and tendency to listen to what others have to say, rather than for my making time to lift hunks of metal over my head. I do admit it is a nice boost to get called "Mr. Fit" from your buddy though. ;-) My ego's already big enough as it is!

So which is better? Muscles, or intelligence?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dumbo deaf?

Look at that cute little elephant face! Disney rocks - I grew up on a diet of both Looney Tunes cartoons, Disney features, and lived a scant few hours away from Disneyland and Disney's animation studios. There are a number of modern movies that I like, such as Monsters Inc and The Incredibles - but they're all so shiny, so lustrous, that it's almost as if the magic just isn't there. Or, maybe I'm just getting a case of "back in the day..." ;-)

I guess I never really paid complete attention to movies when I was a kid, so I grabbed the chance to experience Dumbo with all my senses last night. What surprised and shocked me was, not how great the animation holds up, but how times have definitely changed since this movie was made in the 1940's.

There were definitely tones of racism - black laborers were depicted as underpaid and slaving away with the elephants in setting up the big-top tents. The crows that later befriend Dumbo in the movie are jive-talkin' in the manner stereotypical of southern blacks. The mouse in Dumbo's hat was a tough talkin' Italian scrapper. But the biggest item of all was an eye opener for me and Kel - was seeing just how one could interpret Dumbo as acting like a deaf/mute.

Dumbo's ears were the cause of his ridicule, his shunning from the proud elephant group. He had ears "only a mother could love." Dumbo never spoke a word the entire movie - he only expressed things through his face and through his trunk, depicting (to me) sign language. When he got a job with the clowns, his face was not of a clown, but of a mime (his face was very plain, while the clowns were very expressive).

Now, clearly, Dumbo could hear - there are plenty of instances where others spoke into those big ears of his. But the alliteration, to me, was that his ears were essentially "broken" and he was isolated except for his mother and his one friend because of them. To me, it appears that the movie didn't hold back - doing these kind of things, the racism and drawing out of stereotypes - would be very noticable in this day and age. And as kids we didn't even notice them as negative things!

So, is the movie "Dumbo" racist, audist, or oppressive? I think it warrants looking into further.

As a side note, the movie had some whacked out stuff going on. Ever seen the pink elephants scene? Someone must've been off their rocker for that! I found a short list of other Disney movies that were pretty, well.... psychedelic..

Monday, August 10, 2009

Deaf volleyball team

When I went to CSUN, I stayed in the deaf dorms on campus. These were the dorms on the furthest north end of campus, literally being the furthest away from all the classrooms while still being on the school grounds. I noticed that there were a number of people who chose to live in the deaf dorms - not because they knew sign, not because they wanted to meet deaf people, but because they thought that deaf people would be quiet.

Srsly?! Wha?!

Um, no. I learned early in life that hearing loss in fact makes you LOUDER. One morning while I was a teen, I woke up early on a Saturday morning at my Dad's house. I snuck downstairs, sneakily as can be, tiptoeing past my Dad and evil Stepmom's bedroom. I turned on the large TV as quietly as a can, getting a short burst of static while cranking down the volume to zero. I'd turn on the Nintendo and try to start playing a game - and inevitably, my Stepmom at the time would come stomping down the stairs in a huff ordering me in hushed tones to get back to bed, some people are trying to get some sleep, heavens be the neighbors are going to be woken up! I never did find out what I was doing that was so loud, but I did become somewhat paranoid throughout my teens that I was being loud all the time and didn't know it.

Aside from that, deaf people in general do listen to music louder than others, slam doors, stomp on the floor to get attention, hoot or yell to get people to turn around, and generally rate quite high on the dB generation scale. :-) So, yeah, those people who chose the deaf dorms - you had it coming!

That loudness has transferred over to volleyball. I'm a pretty spirited player - I'm enthusiastic, supportive, energetic, and uplifiting. I'll give everyone high fives, call out the other team's players, yell when I've got the ball, and generally unnerve the other team into losing. But those tactics were learned by playing with hearing teams - my strategies now need changing if I'm to play with a deaf team. I did play a bit of club ball at CSUN, because they eliminated the men's vball team the year I started due to Title IX issues. The club teams were both hearing and deaf players - so I'm going to have to re-learn my deaf team tactics. It'll be fun though!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I'm guilty of deaf against deaf.

No, really, I am. When I was growing up, I was disappointed that my deaf peers, the ones that rode on the short bus with me, didn't seem to be on the same level, intellectually. I interacted with them occasionally using rudimentary signs, but otherwise I would be on that bus bright and early, reading whatever books I stuffed into my backpack that morning. My textbooks were crammed full of algebraic equations or essays on King Tutankhamen, which was never something I could discuss with those on the bus.

I got forced into "Study Hall" with the deaf teacher in my freshman year at high school, where I realized just how far behind these kids were. The teacher, even full well knowing I was taking advanced classes, still told me to "go play on the computer" which had rudimentary math games or other busywork. Even at the highest difficulty, I merely entertained myself timing how quickly I could complete a set of problems, lamenting that it was now only a few moments closer to getting out of class. So what was I learning?

I asked myself - was this the same for all deaf kids? Being doomed to un-intelligence? How could I associate myself with that? I'm clearly not one of them. So... I had begun down the road of thinking myself better than those who used sign.

Last night, I went to a Deafhood Foundation presentation in KC. Two ladies came out from Northern California to present, in brief, what is "Deafhood" and what is the Foundation serving it. Two courses on Deafhood have been offered Ohlone College in Fremont, CA. I think it's great that we're going around and educating people about "one's journey to come to terms with their deafness." I firmly believe in the quote from the Greek philosopher Socrates, "know thyself." Someone who cannot come to terms with EVERY part of themselves, even their hearing, cannot truly be comfortable with their place in life. Facing the truth of having a hearing loss and then deciding what to do about it is what every deaf person needs to do.

What I'm concerned about is that this Deafhood presentation was SO anti-hearing, so negative about non-signing, and so laden with conspiracy theories. A number of items that were talked about that disturbed me:

1) Hearing people out to rid the world of deaf culture, by assimilating it and oppressing the remainder.
2) Hearing people are only out to make a profit off of deaf people under the false auspices of curing deafness, such as hearing aids, CIs, and speech therapy.
3) Hearing people are out to take away jobs from deaf people by doing things like the Milan Convention of 1880 and AVT.
4) Deaf people who are "assimilated" into hearing culture come into the deaf world and cause friction amongst other deaf, making all deaf fight each other, allowing the hearing world to divide and conquer.
5) All these inventions like hearing aids, CIs, etc - all invented by Hearing people! No inventions that "cure" deafness are made by deaf person, ever!

A lot of examples were used comparing this to Colonialism (i.e. British Empire taking over India, Columbus finding the New World in 1492, American Indians being conquered by settlers) and Slavery (African-Americans being oppressed, African-American families being split up, and different African Americans from different African tribes with different languages forced to work together and not able to communicate, keeping them unable to band together).

I'm sorry, but I while I find the analogies interesting, I don't come anywhere NEAR equating them. Deaf people benefit from hearing people. Without hearing people, deaf culture would degenerate and collapse. Most kids are born into families who are hearing, and in an environment where the family will be using spoken language to communicate, in most cases the kids will benefit from non-sign language options. There is no great conspiracy for deaf people and oral people to fight and become weak so that hearing people can swoop in and "fix" deaf people.

There's so much more, but I'm going to put out a few absurd examples I saw being used last night:

1) The presenter posed a situation where a deaf person goes into a restaurant and wants to order something. The deaf person INSISTS on signing. Of course, the hearing waitstaff doesn't understand sign. The presenter argued that the restaurant NEEDS to do everything possible to understand the deaf person, it's their responsibility.

2) When a new baby is born and given a hearing screening test, the presenter posed the situation that "in most cases, a doctor will tell the family 'I'm sorry, but your baby is deaf. Here, get them a CI and speech therapy' as the diagnosis." The presenter then went on and stated that "we don't want that to happen, we want deaf people to tell the parents 'Oh! Congratulations! Your baby is deaf! This is great!' and sell them on the benefits of sign language."

I have my thoughts on these examples, and I'll go into them in my next post.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Write about right writing

My friend Shanna has put out a challenge to me and a bunch of others at Hearing Loss Nation (, an affiliate site related to HLAA. This writing challenge involves putting down my thoughts and perspective on something personal related to hearing loss. I'll post a portion of her post here:

I am looking for hearing loss experience stories to be featured online and/or in e-book form. When more funding becomes available, a print version would be an option. We have no budget, just willing volunteers. :)

Length should be 350-1,000 words typed and embedded into the body of an e-mail, along with your name, address, and e-mail address, to:

Deadline: August 28

Below are some prompts to get your writing started:
- The day you were diagnosed with hearing loss: What was that day like for you?
- The journey for information: What have you learned about your hearing loss?
- Finding peace: How did you accept your hearing loss? Describe the process.
- If Hearing Loss were a person, what would you tell him?
- The road to acceptance: What steps have you taken to educate friends and family about your hearing loss?

Please select a topic from above, or come up with your own.

Other writing tips:
- Write in first person (I, me) to make the story sound more personal.
- Include interesting quotes and setting description. For an example of this style of writing, read "The Princess with Broken Ears" at

You retain first rights to your stories. This means that you are the owner of your stories.

Please let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to reading your submissions.

Shanna Groves
Editor, The Hearing Loss Story Project

I've always loved to write, putting my thoughts onto "paper" as it were, and this is definitely a topic I know by heart. So why am I having a difficult time picking just one story to submit?

Then it struck me. Why only submit one? Surely I don't want to overwhelm the editor with gazillions of little ancedotes I've experienced, but I was having a hard time choosing between three stories. I can write about all three, and see which one is liked the most, which one is the most heartfelt, which is the one that readers would connect to. So, I've outlined three instances of personal experience to post:

1) My very first memory, my earliest memory, which is upon where I woke up recovering from spinal meningitis and had no hearing;

2) My experience bridging the gap between deaf and hearing people, showing that I'm hearing enough to be in one world yet deaf enough to get Deaf culture;

3) The time when I accepted my deafness in college, and began to immerse myself in the "other world."

Now that I've got my outline set up, time to put the nose to the grindstone and keystroke away. Heave.... ho.....

On the bright side, I did find out there was a really cool play earlier this year that I missed out on - "Pippin," one of the longest running Broadway shows in history, was performed in conjunction with Deaf West Theatre in a similar manner as "Big River", where the entire cast signed and it's accessible to both those who can hear and read sign. Of course, that still leaves out us who can't hear nor know sign... ;-) Both shows were brainchildren of choreographer Jeff Calahoun. Big River was phenomenally enjoyable, and Pippin looks to be on the same level. Hope Pippin becomes a traveling show!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Confusing new words

Ah, the wonders of the English language. Even before Google turned 10 years old, it earned itself an entry into the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, which is pretty much the authoritative English dictionary in my book. The act of "googling," verb, was to use a search to find information on the Web. That was back in 2001.... Google was incorporated in a garage near Stanford University, California, in September 1998. Talk about changing the world at light speed!

Now, in the hearing loss world, there's also new words being created all the time. One of them, that's actually been around for a while but is being adopted by the capital "D" deaf community is "Deafhood" Coined in 2003 by Paddy Ladd, the term has been aggressively used to rail against audism, which is a form of racism and discrimination against people who are deaf. I really want to talk about deafhood, but to understand deafhood, one must understand audism first.

Audism is currently being used as a rallying cry to fight back against "the man" as it were, the hearing world at large and those who view being deaf or having hearing loss as inferior to being able to hear. I've seen a lot of anger towards the hearing world stem from those deaf people who went to oral deaf schools growing up - such as Central Institute for the Deaf or St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf, both in St. Louis, MO. I don't believe that kind of anger is healthy, or even rational, and it pains me to see this anger being perpetuated by those loud deaf extremists.

There are absolutely audists in the world - those who think deaf people need to be "saved" from themselves, incapable of taking care of themselves, needing hearing people in order to do even basic tasks. Even interpreters are guilty of this - I know of people who grew up with the same sign language interpreter from elementary to high school, and the interpreter controlled every aspect of their life, from making sure they did their homework to filtering information to the student such as adding religious overtones to get the kid to go to church and stuff, thinking that is what everyone around him/her is saying. Can you imagine being told by a teacher "you've been bad Johnny sit there and think about what you've done" to the intepreter adding "sit there and pray and ask God for forgiveness." That's what I'm talking about.

I've gotten a little sidetracked. So, audism. The actions of some hearing people have lead a movement of deaf people to try a grassroots approach of "Deafhood." Deafhood has kind of taken on a bunch of different meanings to different people. I've seen:

1) Preservation of the uniqueness of Deaf Culture, especially as more deaf kids are being born to hearing parents
2) Protecting ASL from fading away, hindered by the Milan Convention of 1880
3) Fighting back against the evil oppressive hearing world

#1 and #2 are organic and will either thrive or decay based on, honestly, the population of hearing loss perpetuating themselves. We're not yet at the point of curing deafness, and at best we have tools to help give a leg up. I myself know sign, wear a cochlear implant, am a member of NAD/HLAA/AGBell/what have you. Some people will fit in better in other ways.

But #3 scares me. I'm uncomfortable with anger that, seems, frankly, misdirected. So maybe someone had a bad experience with one or more hearing people, or even other deaf people who don't consider themselves deaf (Ah - another term - "DeafLess" - used derogatorily by "D" deaf to put down someone they consider not to be a part of deaf culture). But that doesn't give license to, say, stage a 2nd "Deaf President Now" protest at Gallaudet University because the incoming President isn't "deaf enough" or that oral deaf schools should close down because it's preventing choices to deaf kids who will grow up resentful of what their parents did.

Oh, what brought this all up? This Friday in KC, there's a Deafhood Foundation meeting. I'm hoping it's not going to turn out to be a rally against the hearing world.... hopefully just a positive discussion on how to raise money and spread awareness. We'll see!

The world of hearing loss is a beautiful place. Sign language, music, visual poetry, captions, all that stuff - I love it. 10, 20, 50 years from now, I think we'll barely recognize deaf culture as it is today. The world has changed - the deaf community needs to change with it. I'm glad I got to see what an amazing world I live in!