Speech Pathologist Resources

About 1 in 20 Americans have some sort of profound hearing loss. There is no denying that among all the people in this country who have hearing loss or are deaf, at least a portion of them have the opportunity to develop speech. Finding an accurate ratio of so called ‘oral successes‘ is difficult. However, it’s appropriate to say that there is a significant percentage of deaf individuals who will never become oral (to speak “properly”).

I once read, as an example how difficult it can be learn speech, to place your hand in front of your mouth and say “thank you” and “popcorn”. Notice the difference? It’s subtle, but it’s barely there.

With all that said, there is a portion of deaf and hard of hearing individuals who will be able to become oral (or who have become deafened later in life). However, for all involved it will take a long process through a discipline called ‘speech pathology‘:

Speech pathology is an important field that deals with various speech disorders and disabilities. A speech disorder is an impairment of voice and the articulation of speech sounds. Maintenance of fluency is often difficult, and conversation tasks can be both daunting and overwhelming. Those who suffer from a speech disorder often face obstacles like stuttering or a lisp. A speech pathologist helps in the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders. They study effective treatment plans and provide appropriate information to patients and their families.

I’m convinced that the lack of speech pathology has resulted in the degrading moniker “deaf and dumb”. One must realize not everyone can develop speech and it has NOTHING to do with their intelligence. For example, one can be an elite engineer while not being able to maintain audible speech. In addition, please don’t believe the ignorant, common misconceptions of the deaf.

So it was with honor that this site was selected as a top resource for speech pathologists according to Online Speech Pathology Programs. This website wants to equip people studying speech pathology (helping people with their speech) with all the resources they need including the realization that not all will achieve it — many will opt for communicating via Sign Language.

I applaud their holistic effort and am humbled to be included as a resource for a proper education of deafness and hearing loss.

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What’s Not To Like About Marlee Matlin?

Wikipedia summarizes Mrs. Matlin with:

Marlee Beth Matlin (born August 24, 1965) is an American actress. She is the youngest, and only deaf performer to win the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, which she won for Children of a Lesser God. Her work in film and television has resulted in a Golden Globe award, with two additional nominations, and four Emmy nominations. Deaf since she was 18 months old, she is also a prominent member of the National Association of the Deaf.

Her book I’ll Scream Later was quite a success as well as some of her acting gigs:

In 2010, Mrs. Matlin was a keynote speaker for Authors@Google: Marlee Matlin

And in 2012 a guest on the Jeff Probst Show.

She’s an advocate for the Deaf, supports a charity that equips deaf and HOH children in Developing Countries with hearing aids.

Below is a plethora of MM videos (not all CC — sorry)…

And my favorite is when MM teaches Deaf rapper Sean Forbes to Mambo (or Tango or Rumba or something about Jake’s Piano)….

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Deaf Man Beaten ‘in the name of God’

Benny Hinn – ‘faith healer’

As a Christian, I’ve learned to discern between people who say they walk with God and those who actually walk with God…in other words, really follow the humble, caring spirit of Jesus. And that’s why I’m disturbed about the following story…

Recently Benny Hill, a famed Christian healer, and his entourage were in Brazil for a ‘healing’ meeting. It would not be surprising to find hopeful people with ailments to attend. After all, Mr. Hinn offers a special anointing from the Lord that could/should/will heal their ailments.

So what happened when Hestephenson Araujo, a deaf man, approached Mr. Hinn with a bottle of water?

It’s believed Mr. Araujo brought the water so that Mr. Hinn would ‘bless’ it and perhaps cure him of his deafness(?). However, those were not the thoughts for Mr. Hinn’s bodyguards and son. According to the Christian Post:

21-year-old Joshua Hinn, Caleb Shirk, 26, and Konstantins Konstantinovs, 34, apprehended Hestephenson Araujo as he approached minister Hinn during his sermon with a bottle of water. Araujo had reportedly attended the miracle healing crusade on Saturday at the Provos da Amazonia arena in hopes of getting a blessing from Hinn, who claims to have an “anointing,” or special power from God, that gives him the supernatural ability to heal people.
Hinn, Shirk and Konstantins allegedly grabbed Araujo, 21, whom they thought was going to throw water at the minister. They are accused of taking the deaf and dumb man to a trailer where they interrogated and beat him, the Daily Mail reports. Araujo was eventually rescued by police, who had been called to the arena by “concerned members of the public.”
Although the three men were detained on suspicion of torture, no charges were filed. They reportedly told police they did not know Araujo, who was treated at a hospital for his injuries, was unable to hear or talk.
Araujo’s father claimed he made a deal with Benny Hinn’s representatives to refrain from pressing charges allegedly in exchange for a “large sum of money,” the Daily Mail reports. However, local authorities reportedly plan to continue investigating the alleged attack on Araujo.
Joshua Hinn and the ministry’s two body guards left the country without incident and returned to the U.S.

Okay, let’s get a couple things out of the way right now…

  1. For the sake of all things holy, stop calling people who can’t speak because they are deaf ‘dumb’. Really? I don’t know anything about the ‘Christian Post’ but what a profane choice of terminology. We are now in the 21st Century and we have ‘new’ vocabulary to help describe people accurately and in a non-offensive way. Look it up.
  2. Okay, perhaps Mr. Araujo was out of place for the timing of his approach and the guards needed to act accordingly. I’ll give them that, but the alleged treatment was WAY over the line! But, hey, at least Mr. Araujo got a ‘large sum of money’ to dismiss his mistreatment.
  3. I guess since there was a ‘large sum of money’ given to Mr. Araujo in Brazil, the perpetrators won’t have anything to worry about now they are back in the USA. Well played.
  4. We should extend the benefit of the doubt to Mr. Hinn. Perhaps his son and bodyguards acted contrary to the teachings/feelings/actions of Mr. Hinn. We must be fair here.

This story burns me in so many ways. Maybe my mind is going wild here, but I imagine a man innocently seeking what a ‘faith healer’ was offering but instead received an escort to the back where they were out of sight. When he couldn’t answer questions because he apparently hasn’t had extensive (Portuguese) speech therapy that all profoundly Deaf people would require in order to speak fluently, it was held against him as if non-speech was a choice he made. He might as well been able to speak Mongolian — it wouldn’t have mattered if the perpetrators didn’t understand Mongolian. So, in retaliation he was, uh, shall we be kind and say ‘examined’ buy these buffoons?

I hope this is examined further. I’m glad that Mr. Araujo got a ‘large sum of money’. But he needs more than a pay-off. He needs to understand that Jesus would have never treated him that way. I hope he realizes that not all followers of Jesus would act that way towards him. I hope he grows into the person he currently is and achieves success in spite of whatever troubles he thinks he has. I hope the Brazilian Deaf community embraces him. I hope true followers of Jesus meet him via the communication skills he’s currently equipped with.

And if all of this is true, I hope the perpetrators are held to accountability on this side of Heaven as well as the later.

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Deaf YouTube Channels

What are your favorite Deaf YouTube Channels? Here’s my list…

Bjorn Storm

CODA Brothers

Dirty Signs With Kristin

Every Day ASL

Keith Wann

Sean Forbes

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NAD + CBS = more access to Deaf

No Closed Captions NeededThere’s no bigger sports event than the Super Bowl. Normally, access to the game is limited to the hearing. However, this year, parts of the pre-game, commercials, and game will be signed:

…for those viewers wanting to watch the signing of the National Anthem and America the Beautiful prior to the kick-off, CBSSports.com will offer a camera angle titled “Fan Choice” whereby actor John Maucere will perform these iconic songs in American Sign Language.

Additionally…

CBS has made all the preparations to ensure that the Super Bowl and all in-game national commercials are captioned…

…I love this quote from the NAD:

Captioning is an inexpensive way to ensure that the entire televised Super Bowl experience is fully accessible to all. At least 48 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States rely on captioning to have the same experience, and many others such as those watching the game in public places such as bars and gyms also benefit from the captions.

I would love to read your review of your Super Bowl captioned experience. Please comment below.

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Obama’s Inauguration Closed-Captioned

President Obama’s second inauguration will be available in closed-captions on smartphones.

…attendees will be able to read closed captioning of the proceedings on their smartphones. It is one of several innovations that organizers say will make this inauguration more accessible than any before. The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies says it is working diligently to make this an ADA-friendly inauguration.

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Quite possibly the cutest ASL child

I don’t know about you, but this is possibly the cutest video of a child using ASL ever!

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Being Deaf as from a Blind Guy

Of course I understand being Blind is completely different from being Deaf, but I think those learning about the Deaf community could learn a thing of two from this hilariously humble Blind dude…

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ASL at TED

I love watching TED talks and I’ve wondered for years when they would feature an ASL presentation.

Finally it happened at TEDex in Amsterdam, Netherlands by CODA Lissa Zeviar (video is both ASL interpreted and spoken in English).

Hooray!

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Angela McCaskill

In a world where minorities are marginalized, it’s almost amazing that a Black, Deaf, woman could ever advance in society. Against all odds, Angela McCaskill became the first Deaf Black Woman to earn a pHd from Gallaudet University. Not only that, but she was appointed the prestigious position of Chief Diversity Officer for Gallaudet University. By all accounts, it appears that Dr. McCaskill has been nothing but professional in her role promoting diversity on Washington, DC campus.

Meanwhile, the state of Maryland has passed a law that will allow same-sex marriage beginning in 2013. However, Marylanders have the opportunity to revoke the law in November’s elections. The state of Maryland’s laws have no bearing on residents of Washington, DC, but Dr. McCaskill signed a petition against the legalization of gay marriage in Maryland.

It is at this point that the Gallaudet-Diversity situation has taken on national attention.

As an American, Dr. McCaskill has every right to hold her own beliefs and express her personal opinion on a variety of issues. As long as her personal opinions are not in conflict of her University responsibilities nor affect her ability to promote diversity as according to her job responsibilities, she deserves her role with the University.

However, on Tuesday of this week, Dr. McCaskill was placed on administrative leave because she signed a petition of the Maryland law. Of course this raises many questions:

1. Can Dr. McCaskill objectively serve her role as Chief Diversity Officer?
2. Does Dr. McCaskill’s free speech rights allow her to take a personal stand for anything she personally believes?
3. Does Dr. McCaskill’s actions (signing a petition) compromise her ability to lead?

I for one would argue that she has the freedom to believe and act according to her personal beliefs and that should not affect her job. I understand the concern of the opposition that perhaps Dr. McCaskill isn’t fully unbiased, but if she has no disciplinary actions against her concerning equality, then I don’t think it should have any bearing on her job and responsibilities.

I respectfully acknowledge the views of Planet Queer and others who want her personal beliefs to align with her personal responsibilities, however, I’d argue that her personal vs. professional opinions do not necessarily need to be aligned for effective job performance.

So I say, personally, “Lay off Dr, McCaskill. She can personally take on issues interdependent of her professional responsibilities at the University of Gallaudet’.

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