by Rhonda Savage

As a parent to millennial children, I have heard the term “shaming” preceded by numerous attributes: “Fat-shaming,” “body-shaming,” “parent-shaming,” and even “vacation-shaming.” Really, (fill in the blank)-shaming is a term that has come to be used whenever one person is perceived to be judging another. For example, one worker might say they are using their vacation days to go on a cruise. A co-worker might comment that they haven’t used vacation days in years (implying that taking vacations means one is a lazy worker). That co-worker might be said to be “vacation-shaming.” You get the idea.

Here in Sacramento we have a claim to fame - we have Sean Esson, a Deaflympics Gold Medal Snowboarder! I had the privilege of interviewing Sean on January 14, 2020, and he told me his amazing story.

But because I know that not all of you will read this article to the end, I am going to start where Sean ended - with a plea to all of you to support the Deaflympics athletes. The Deaf athletes struggle for funding. Some countries pay their Olympic athletes, but the United States does not. Yet, hearing athletes in the Olympics and the Paralympics (which collaborate now) get lots of corporate sponsors. The Deaflympics, while under the umbrella of the Olympics, is still separate, so the sponsorships don’t come. The Deaf athletes have to pay for their own travel, food, lodging, competition fees, etc. and it is HARD. Please, please consider sponsoring the Deaflympics by going to their website.

by Chelsea R. Hull, M.A. H&V Military Project

Dear California Hands & Voices State Chapter,

I want to thank you for accepting my application to the Board. Even though you knew I was a military spouse who would be moving, you let me serve. By adding me to your Board, you helped shape me into a better professional. Serving on the California Board as a regional member, on the professional advisory committee, and becoming ASTra-certified, you allowed me opportunities to continue my journey as an educator of the deaf. Spending time with the other board members allowed me to develop more insight into who I am and how I can better support families.

By: Lindsay Jack, California H&V

She’s Just Like Me: The 2020 American Girl Doll

When I first learned the American Girl Doll Girl of the Year was a doll who uses hearing aids and would be the first with any disability, I thought it was great and would be a perfect birthday present for my five-year-old hard of hearing daughter, Penelope. She already has two dolls that we bought aftermarket hearing aids for and attached them with glue to help them stay on. But this doll is different; she has a story about being Deaf/Hard of Hearing, and not just the accessories.

by Melissa Smith, Ed.D.Professor of ASL-English Translation and Interpreting Studies

Perhaps you have a child who is Deaf or hard of hearing. Even if you know a lot about the Deaf community, there are a myriad of complex factors involved in making sure your child is surrounded by rich language opportunities. Maybe your child is mainstreamed in a classroom with an interpreter for part of the school day. If so, or if you care about the educational access provided through interpreters, please continue reading!

About CA Hands & Voices

California Hands & Voices is dedicated to supporting families with children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in a respectful and non-judgmental manner regarding language opportunities, communication tools or educational approaches. We’re a parent-driven, non-profit organization providing families with the resources, networks, and information to improve communication access and educational outcomes for their children.

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California Hands & Voices is a non-profit organization that depends on the support of its members to succeed. Please consider donating or becoming a member.

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California Hands & Voices
c/o Cora Shahid
15274 Andorra Way
San Diego CA 92129

 

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