Good Morning!! It's Friiiiiday!!!
How about a Deaf joke to start your weekend??
A Mafia gang takes on a Deaf man to run their deliveries, feeling it would be safer having someone unable to overhear conversations. However, one day when he is to deliver a large sum of money, he never shows up with it. The mobsters track him down, but don't find the money on him. As none of them are able to use sign language, they bring in an interpreter.
Mobster: "Where'd you hide the money?" (Interpreter signs the question.)
The bag man signs his reply. The interpreter says, "He says he had to ditch it in the river because the cops were onto him."
Mobster: "I'm not fooling around! You better tell me where that money is!" (Interpreter again signs.)
The bag man signs his reply, and the interpreter relays, "He swears he is telling the truth. He had to get rid of it."
The mobster pulls out a revolver and points it between the Deaf man's eyes. "Tell me where that money is, or I'll kill you right now!"
(Interpreter signs his statement.)
The bag man, sweating profusely, signs, "It's inside a shoebox under a loose floorboard in my bedroom closet."
The interpreter says, "He says he doesn't know where it is and he doesn't think you have the guts to pull the trigger."
Enjoy your weekend!
I read this article and wanted to share it with y'all. I agree, our exposure to the Hearing World exploded with Social Media, but I admit we do have a long way to go to eradicate stereotypes.
So, what do you think? Did it help or do we still have a long way to go? Let's start a discussion in comments.
Happy New Year everyone! Our first Welcome Wednesday of 2018 is Pepperbox Coffee!
Located in Austin, Texas, Pepperbox Coffee was the creation of two Deaf men - Mario Essig and Nicholas Buchanan, whose vision where a fast service establishment via drive-through where delicious beverages was being served.
So far, their first establishment is a trailer in the Rosedale community within Austin, Texas. They are nearing their first year of operation in the trailer as a model to test drive their menu and experience.
So, check them out, and if you're in Austin, grab a coffee!
Link - www.pepperboxcoffee.com
IG - @pepperbox.coffee
FB - pepperboxcoffee
In 2001, Dr Dean Shibata, section chief of neuroradiology at the University of Washington, presented his findings on how deaf people “hear” music.
According to his research results, deaf people have a similar experience in feeling as other people have in hearing the music. This is because of both groups of population process the music in the same part of the brain.
“The brain is incredibly adaptable. In someone who is deaf, the young brain takes advantage of valuable real estate in the brain by processing vibrations in the part of the brain that would otherwise be used to process sound,” Dr. Shibata said the same year at the 87th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
Real life inspirations
Although this scientifically explained how deaf could hear music, the notion was familiar to most through the story of Beethoven. In 1796, he started losing his hearing and in 1801, he lost it completely. However, that didn’t stop him from composing and he created one of his most famous composition in that period the Moonlight Sonata and The Ninth Symphony.
Although Beethoven became an inspiration to musician since then and even today, in 1995 another person won people’s hearts. Heather Whitestone, a contestant at the Miss America Pageant danced and impressed the audience with her moves, and in tune with the music while being deaf.
Janine Roebuck, Britain’s opera mezzo-soprano, start losing her hearing while studying at the Royal Northern College of Music and then continued at the Paris Conservatoire and the National Opera Studio in London. She kept it a secret for 10 years and performed brilliantly because she was afraid she would lose the roles or get simple ones.
Tired of hiding her problem, she admitted it and left everyone in awe. Since that, she started working with the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) and became of the most vocal members of the deaf community.
How do they "hear"?
Dr Shabata said: "These findings suggest that the experience deaf people have when ‘feeling' music is similar to the experience other people have when hearing the music. The perception of the musical vibrations by the deaf is likely every bit as real as the equivalent sounds since they are ultimately processed in the same part of the brain."
The way these vibrations work is that they help deaf people feel the bass. Namely, in order for this to happen, deaf people have to turn the music extremely loud. This volume would be unbearable for those with intact hearing and they’d have to wear earplugs. The vibrations coming from the bass are giving the rhythm and deaf person can sense the tempo.
The study, conducted by Dr Shabata in 2001, included 10 people deaf from birth and 11 who had no hearing loss at all. The participants were asked to hold the vibration pipe and inform Shabata when they felt them. The Doctor used brain scans to detect the signals and their transmission in the brain. This method helped him find out that the deaf and non-hard-of-hearing processed the music signals in the same part of the brain.
Another important conclusion came out of this study, and it regards the loss of hearing or deafness in young children. Due to the same processing characteristics as the non-hard-of-hearing person, deaf children should be exposed to music as early as possible. Since their young brains are still in development, they may better adjust to the stimuli and later present improved sensation to musical themes and variations.
Emoti-Chair and the vibes of music
Prior to ‘70s, deaf people didn’t have many options when it came to hearing aid technology. However, today there are many available devices and others still in development.
In 2009, a demonstration in a small Toronto club left quite an impression on the world. News all over the globe reported the unbelievable devices called Emoti-Chairs which allowed deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals in the audience to experience the performance on stage. Since then, twelve of these chairs were used during the symphonic performance in 2013, and today they’re commercially available.
The Emoti-Chair translates audio signals into vibrotactile ones. Namely, it uses music, digital patching and speakers in the process of turning the sound into a sensation for deaf people. There are even performances specifically intended for deaf persons which use these chairs.
Visualization of the beat
Deaf people don’t shy away from music. They’ve been an inspiration to all when it comes to this type of art. They sing, play instruments, compose and even sing through sign language. Instead of deciding to give up, they started listening by feeling the beat. For example, drums are can be felt because they’re loud and give off great vibrations.
However, what helps them better identify the music is the visual aids. Many performances use lights and video representations which can help deaf people understand the music. This visualization is using lines and colors to highlights the tempo and bass which is mostly enough to garner music. There is also the BW Dance app which helps deaf and hard-of-hearing to feel and dance to music.
Liron Gino, a graduate of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, has come up with the Vibeat jewellery for the deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Actually, a device, this set of jewellery helps them feel music through vibrations. It consists of a necklace, bracelet and pin with round disk-like units. They jointly create an "alternative sensory system" used to convert music to vibrations.
“Music is one of the deepest and most primal forms of human communication, and its ability to convey emotion and expression make it into an invaluable tool,” said Gino.
In the end
The technological advancements have come a long and amazing way in the recent years. This is because of the remarkable individuals who provided inspiration and were pioneers. The perception of how the brain works and sensibility with which deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals feel the sound have helped shape the innovation process. More importantly, scientific achievements will certainly bring new and exciting ways for music to be heard even where the silence rules.
I was sent this post from the Complete Communication Blog & I want to share it with you:
Why I Will Never Stop Fighting for Language Equality
When you continually fight for a cause (or multiple causes), it can be easy to get discouraged when you see what you perceive as a lack of progress. In this post, I'm going to focus on the cause of language equality. Specifically, that all Deaf children are given full access to ASL (or the sign language of their country) as their first language from birth.
Full access to ASL from birth only happens for 1 out of every 4 Deaf children. Getting language access to those other 3 out of 4 children can seem like such an insurmountable goal.
There are doctors telling scared parents that their only option is for their child to use hearing aids or a cochlear implant and learn to lipread and speak. There are parents that become obsessed with the idea that they must "fix" or "normalize" their Deaf child. There are even entire organizations *cough* Alexander Graham Bell *cough* that are committed to denying the devastating effects of language deprivation.
Access to ASL for deaf children just makes sense. While some children may learn to speak as well, they will still never be able to fully access spoken English. How can giving someone a partial language set them up for success later in life?
So, we have to be even more committed than the forces working against us. Even more committed to continually educating ourselves. Even more committed to raising awareness. Even more committed to donating our time and/or money to organizations that promote language access. How do we stay committed? How do we keep fighting every day for what we know is right?
I was watching a few videos the other day of Deaf babies communicating in or being exposed to ASL. Little hands get me every time. I felt warm and fuzzy. When I see those types of videos or read those types of stories I know that that is the way it should be. It reminds me what I'm fighting for.
The day I stop fighting will be either:
Now, I'll share a couple of my favorite videos with you. There are plenty more as well, so feel free to search away!
This video of sweet, 22 month old Ayla is one of my favorites! This is what I'm fighting for! This is what all Deaf children deserve! There's also other videos in this series of Deaf babies signing ASL that are equally as heartwarming and fabulous.
And then we have this video of a Deaf grandmother teaching her Deaf granddaughter ASL. How sweet is THAT? This grandmother is passing on her language and culture to her granddaughter and it's beautiful.
If you would like to read more of her blog, head over to Complete Communication.
If you want to know more about ASL - contact me!