Friday, September 25, 2009

AFA: International Day of Sign Language Celebration 2009

*International Day of Sign Language Celebration*

Greetings, AFA thrilled to share with all of you about IDSL- The International Day of Sign Language Celebration. Some states in USA are hosting events to celebrate IDSL to demonstrate how much we cherish our sign languages. In California, there are different local events being planned in celebration of IDSL. . CAD- California Association of the Deaf just made a vlog about IDSL/ASL and you can look at it on YOUTUBE. All of the IDSL events celebrate all that is awesome and inspiring about ASL!

International Day of Signed Languages! How to celebrate? Start with this video below....

  o if you participate in a coffee shop gathering or Deaf
  Professional Happy Hour, take some time to discuss ASL
  o wear black shirt and/or a blue ribbon
  o host a Blue Ribbon Ceremony with others. Text for the ceremony can be found at
  the back of Ladd's book, Understanding Deaf Culture: In search of Deafhood
  o share ASL poems or stories--live or on film
  o Twitter and post in your Facebook notes to remind everybody to take
  a pause and appreciate, smell, see, feel, love our glorious
  language(s) and the people who created them.

  Share this with folks you know.

  CAD board 2009-2011
In California, the California Department of Education (CDE) in Sacramento is hosting Deaf Awareness Week by State Superintendent of Public Instruction- Jack O'Connell. DAW will educate and expose people to information about ASL as a language and Deaf culture.

  The Deaf Awareness Week activities are being coordinated by Andrew Laufer, an Education Administrator with CDE’s Special Services and Support Branch that houses the State Special Schools and Services Division. The free activities this week at CDE include a poster contest, lobby displays, a student skit developed by Deaf students, panel discussions, and a film about Deaf culture.

For more information on the Deaf Awareness Week activities, please contact the Communications Division at 916-319-0818 or visit For more information on the California School for the Deaf, Riverside, please visit or for the California School for the Deaf, Fremont, please visit

Also, in San Diego, California- Jon Lenois, who has interviewed with Bruno Moncelle about his vision of International Day of Sign Language (IDSL) celebration, is involved with DAW (Deaf Awareness Week) in San Diego to spread information about ASL, Deaf culture, and to gather to celebrate Deaf unity. There is his vlog you can watch--

Bruno Moncelle being interviewed by Jon Lenois can be viewed at:-

Jon Lenois shared about DAW event-


There is another local event in the east--specifically, here in Rochester, New York. We will have IDSL celebration this coming Saturday, September 26th. It will be at NTID's Panara theatre on the NTID/RIT campus and people are invited to come to join us in celebrating ASL. We will also have guests speakers--- some discussing differnt International Sign Languages, ASL performances, ASL poetry, and Deaf folklore. It will start at 3pm and last until 7pm. This will include a celebratory march beginning at 5pm. We will walk together in deep thought--about the preciousness of ASL, about how we cherish our eyes, hands, signs-- through vision, smell, feelings.... We also need to express our thanks and gratefulness to our Deaf ancestors who have passed down to us our glorious language.

IDSL is to inspire people to stand up and to appreciate our treasure of language--our glorious gems...that can ripple out to all people and ensure that our sign languages will be protected for future generations...

Let freedom Roll!!

PS Let me show you something that expresses how I really cherish ASL and wish to spread this passion for the IDSL celebration--

"LOVE in our ASL hands"

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

AFA's Letter to Gallaudet BofT and PSAC

15 September 2009

Greetings to the Board of Trustees of Gallaudet University and the Presidential Search Advisory Committee,

Congratulations on naming the four final candidates for the position of President of Gallaudet University. As a grassroots community organization, Audism Free America (AFA) was encouraged by the fact that feedback from the campus community as well as the Deaf community at large has been solicited. Input from the stakeholders about each finalist has proven to be very important for the past two Gallaudet presidential searches. Hopefully, the input you receive will not be dismissed or ignored nor will there be attempts to stifle free speech and freedom of assembly prior to the final selection. No matter how qualified the person selected may be, s/he will not be able to govern the University effectively with out the support of the students, faculty, staff and alumni.

We request that Board Members remain mindful of the fact that Gallaudet University's Mission and Vision Statements include a commitment to an ASL/English bilingual educational environment. Given this, it would be of utmost importance for the Board to consider the record of commitment each candidate has made to bilingual education in her/his career, and choose the candidate who would best represent and uphold that commitment.

In addition, it is clear that the next President of Gallaudet University needs to be a person willing to take on the challenges of audism, both inside the University and as an ambassador to the outside. Thus, the Board should actively examine each candidate's history related to advocating against policies and procedures which have systematically discriminated against Deaf individuals. Many of us who work inside Deaf educational institutions have found--despite appearances to the contrary--that audism and hearing privilege are particularly rampant in these settings.

We wish you the best in selecting the finalist who will best fulfill the University's mission...and bring about real CHANGE at Gallaudet University.

Let Freedom Roll,

Monday, September 14, 2009

International Day of Sign Language

International Day of Sign Language

Rochester, NY

September 26, 2009

3 pm to 7 pm

Blue Ribbon Ceremony and Celebratory March

Panara Theatre, NTID

NOTE: tentative schedule

Questions? Contact coordinator Pam Conley at prcnge @


If you have plans for IDSL in your area and would like us to announce - send the information to audismfreeamerica @

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Celebrate IDSL !

Hello. AFA wishes to make a special announcement to all. One of AFA’s values is to cherish Deaf people and our language—ASL—which shows we are truly ‘People of the Eye.’

We are thrilled to notify everyone about an important event next month, in September. It is the IDSL celebration!

A French Deaf man named Bruno (opps!) Moncelle invented the idea that Deaf people from all over the world should come together celebrate sign language—IDSL, International Day of Sign Languages. Over the years, folks in Europe have gathered together on the International Day of Sign Languages, holding rallies and marches. This celebration has only recently made its way to America. Over these past few years, there have been IDSL celebrations in a number of places in America: California, Rochester, NY, and Michigan. People who have joined these celebrations have been Deaf, hearing, hearing parents of Deaf children, teachers and a diversity of people have gathered to collectively celebrate: our precious sign language, our history, the literary arts inspired by our language (poetry, storytelling, ABC stories, folklore, humor, jokes, plays, etc.).

Really ASL is awe-inspiring and beautiful! These feelings of appreciation for our language need to be spread throughout the land. We will not let these feelings die away.

We encourage you in your communities to take up a local celebration of some kind—big or small—on September 26th the last Saturday of September. One suggestion of how to celebrate: Friday night organize a ‘Blue Ribbon Ceremony” (see information about this ceremony in the back of Paddy Ladd’s Understanding Deaf Culture book or see The purpose of the Blue Ribbon Ceremony is to praise Deaf people of the past who have struggled through the dark ages of oralism, a rejection of sign language, and the oppression caused by audism. The Blue Ribbon Ceremony can end with an evening candlelight vigil to remember these dark times. As the day dawns on Saturday, it is time to celebrate the light and the warmth that ASL/the sign languages of other countries and the freedom to sign has brought into our lives---spreading festive feelings in our own communities, our country, and throughout the Deaf World. Saturday, September 26th you are encouraged to take up an event, which will serve to continue the growth of this tradition of celebration.

Next year, the year 2010 we can dream --of a huge march blocks long, with an enormous group of people--held on International Day of Sign Languages. Hearing people will take notice and recognize Deaf people on Earth as their equals—humans with their own unique language---sign!

AFA wishes to thank the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) for promoting the vision and idea of IDSL. AFA values all People of the Eye.

AFA supports IDSL celebration

AFA supports IDSL celebration: (For Text go to