Monday, July 30, 2007

Turning or "Scourging" Deaf Advocates Into Double Edged Swords

So it has been a big KUDOS to Dawnsignpress all these years! People buy their books
and products from everywhere.

Even kudos from my own vlog post! I have nothing against what they produced that's being used by the deaf peddlers for their personal income.

Their kudos goes on to a thunderous scale as evidenced below.

Deaf websites carry their stuff;

Web articles praise them;

On hitting a home run...

Even deaf blogs cheer them;

Yes it's a big kudos to Dawnsignpress for printing the small 16 page booklets deaf people have been seen selling, or you can say peddling, for their living.

Take a look at ->

The big question is; Why arent they getting the same flak as I got?

Take a look at the colorful comments at -> for having peddling cards available for deaf people to print themselves.

Unlike Dawnsignspress or DCARA, we're not even making deaf people pay for the peddling cards from our deaf center. It's free and downloadable straight from our website.

Maybe they wont get any flak because to you all, Dawnsignpress seems to be a very 'deaf enough' business based on all the great praise and patronage they've been getting all these years.

With Dawnsignpress getting all the bouquets of praise and me getting all the brickbats thrown at over publishing the peddling booklets/cards, that's just one great way to turn, or you can say "to scourge", the deaf advocates like me into double edged swords.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Feasibility Study On The Use Of Manual Communications By People Born With Hearing Impairments After January 1, 2010

There is a need for a third party feasibility study on the use of manual communications by people with hearing impairments born after January 1, 2010.

There's 2 sides of this fiery debate on whether manual communications are good for babies with hearing impairments at this time yet the evidence they supplied so far have strong ideological tones. It's time for a feasibility study to be conducted to produce the scientific evidence.

A feasibility study will help put to rest the protracted debate of of the reliability of manual communications and provide results based evidence.

The face of the hearing impaired population is changing dramatically and there will be the question of whether manual communications will be appropriate for children born with hearing impairments after 2010.

Scientific evidence will be coming from prelingual and postlingual people with hearing impairments and will reflect the impact of the communication methods on their lives.

6 main groups will be studied;

1) People with prelingual hearing impairments who use manual communications

2) People with prelingual hearing impairments who communicate orally

3) People with prelingual hearing impairments who communicate orally and use manual communications

4) People with postlingual hearing impairments who use manual communications

5) People with postlingual hearing impairments who communicate orally

6) People with postlingual hearing impairments who communicate orally and use manual communications

The study will measure the impact of the different comunciation methods on the lives of people with hearing impairments and will be used to help people decide on the appropriate comunication methods for children with hearing impairments born after January 1, 2010.


Monday, July 16, 2007

$82,000 Federal Grant Will Enable The Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center To Re-Invent C.A.R.T.

July 21, 2007 : We did it! We developed a linux based CART system in 9 days!


Last week I picked up a grant that will enable the Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center to re-invent Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) to make it more accessible to public schools.

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is the instant translation of the spoken word into English text using a stenotype machine, notebook computer and realtime software. The text appears on a computer monitor or other display. This technology is primarily used by people who are late-deafened, oral deaf, hard-of-hearing, or have cochlear implants.

The Americans with Disabilities Act specifically recognized CART as an assistive technology which affords "effective communication access."

The realistic need of CART these days is that more students are requesting it because the bulk of the newer deaf generation are being schooled without the use of manual communications. These types of deaf students will not be needing sign language interpreters. This has increased the demand of CART services and that increased the costs of these services as well.

Many schools do not have access to CART because of the high cost and the results are news like Samantha Solorzano, a deaf sophomore at Glendora High School, in the Los Angeles Area, won a lawsuit against her school requiring it to provide her with a real-time transcription of her classes.

However Glendora High School appealed the ruling complaining the $35,000 a year CART service would be an extreme solution.

"Extreme" because nobody has ever attempted to re-invent CART to make it cheaper and more accessible to public schools. We got the grant and Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center will get the chance to re-invent CART and our goal is to have very low cost CART programs implimented in at least 5 mainstreaming schools by the end of 2008. We will be creating a model of a new CART program that can easily be replicated in schools throughout the United States.

Richard Roehm

Saturday, July 14, 2007

"We Can Adapt Ourselves" - Our 2007 Deaf Awareness Education Booth Theme

This year at the Orange County Fair, our deaf awareness education booth theme is "We Can Adapt Ourselves" where we show we can use adaptive technology, and use technology on ourselves to make our lives better.

Here I start by showing the adaptive technology table, then I move on to the posters of us helping a deaf-blind guy get his eyes back, then I went on to explain a successful experiment in which a deaf-blind person can "see" with his cochlear implant.

In this experiment, we hooked up an $700 echolocation device to his cochlear implant and his cane and he was able to hear the difference between a concrete floor, a grassy floor, walls, desk, chairs, and me standing in his way. We were able to teach him how to navigate his way around the office building almost like how a bat navigates through the air using echolocation.

Then I went on to show more posters including the poster of the new brainstem implant technology and I credited my mom with the artwork. And closed it off by showing the 'sex wax' surfing wax collection at the next booth.

We do this for 3 weeks, the entire length of the fair, we will tell hundreds of thousands of people we deaf people can adapt ourselves to be able to enjoy all aspects of life offerings.


PS : Video looks better because we got a new cam for it.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Photo Archive for 'Do We Need Unorthodox Deaf Advocates?' entry.

People have requested photo evidence for the "Do We Need Unorthodox Deaf Advocates?" blog post.

And one more picture is on the way as soon as I fetch the CD archives.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Major Misdiagnosis! - Deaf People Trapped In The Mental Health Gulag

"There is no evidence to suggest that there is any greater occurrence of mental illness in the deaf population. But, poor diagnosis, miscommunication and misguided treatment programmes have resulted in the gross over-representation of deaf people in mental hospitals"

This is the result of a study by Timmermans in 1989 in which identified that whereas hearing patients had remained in psychiatric hospitals for an average of 148 days, the hearing impaired patients' average stay was 19.5 years.

Since there has never been any scientific backing of any diagnosis by members of the psychological community, it is safe to say that social politics has always played major roles in many cases involving people with hearing disabilities.

Let's move on to the stories of people from our community who have experienced these 19th century grips:


In 1959 a boy, Alberto Valdez, was misdiagnosed as either retarded or schizophrenic after taking a childhood test. He had been abandoned in state mental institutions for almost 30 yrs. His medical records showing that he had been born with a normal or even superior intelligence HAD BEEN IGNORED!!! In that time he has suffered mental and physical abuse from other psychotic patients and hospital staff and has never learned language. With no means to communicate, he'd often fight back and was severely punished for defending himself. He was kept in 3 different mental institutions even though he was neither mentally retarded or psychotic, the courts and tests have found. His sister's lawsuit against California (Alberto was a ward of the state) contended that Alberto had been improperly institutionalized. Upon finding about Alberto's case, Deaf advocates and legislators reacted strongly to it. With a Northern California Deaf Association leader calling it "a total breakdown of the system" and then State Senator John Seymore calling this an outrage and asked the Senate Budget Committee to look into Alberto's case. The Little Hoover Commission has begun to investigate treatment of the Deaf in state institutions. For a long time, Deaf and mental health advocates have been critical of hospital administrators for refusing to create oversight committees to prevent other patients from being misdiagnosed, mistreated, and abandoned. A court approved settlement provided Alberto with an annuity in which he is presently receiving $30,000 per year. Since starting in his rehabilitation, his progress was phenomenal. Alberto has worked at Goodwill Industries and according to Nancy A. Quarles, Director of Rehabilitation, Alberto has left Goodwill Industries and is now living in Northern California.

Related link


On May 7, 1997 at the NBC's Today Show, Actress and Deaf Comedienne Kathy Buckley talks about being put in a school for mental retardation and thinking she was mentally retarded for many years because no one ever explained her hearing loss until she was in her 30's and bought some hearing aids. The experts took an unreasonably long time to discover that she merely had a hearing disability. The teachers took 2 years to realize their mistake. She says in her standup "Dont Buck With me" show "There are no limits as to what we can possibly do with our lives" and she also said "You spend your whole life being rejected from society...from something you have no control over" She said that by making jokes about her life experiences that society has started to accept her.


Martinez wasn’t charged with a crime, never has been. Nonetheless, the State of Arizona kept him imprisoned at the State Hospital for four decades. He spent years in the hospital’s infamous Cholla ward, among depraved and deranged murderers, rapists and other violent men. A doctor who evaluated him in 1993 wrote that Martinez fell through the cracks "because he didn’t have an opportunity . . . to make his case, to be understood, and to talk his way out of it." Martinez endured his nearly 40 years in custody alone and in silence. No one at the State Hospital was able to communicate with him in American Sign Language on more than a basic level. For years, Artie Martinez had no advocates--no legal guardian, no watchdog group, no friends. And after his parents died and his siblings scattered more than a quarter-century ago, he had no family to go to bat for him. On April 5, 1994, Artie Martinez left the State Hospital, probably for the last time.Twelve years before Martinez was released, a hospital psychologist wrote, "It is this examiner’s strong opinion that this patient has not been psychotic over the past few years, and probably never was so."A legislative committee approved an out-of-court settlement in the Martinez case in 1997. The sum remains a secret, though the fact that the committee had to okay it means it was for more than $150,000.


Junius Wilson, a victim of social politics, was arrested and detained for false rape charges spent 71 yrs in a mental institution. It all began in 1925 when New Hanover county sheriffs deputies dragged him away from Castle Hayne at the age of 16. He was arrested for rape. Because he was Deaf and mute, a jury found him incompetent to stand trial. They declared him to be mentally ill and retarded. They castrated him and locked him away in a squalid institution. 50 years later the charges were dropped. He had not done the crime. As bad as that seems it gets worse. For the next 18 years no one freed him even though he was innocent. He is now too old to be turned loose. He has nothing, no one and no where to go. He is now being cared for by the state in a neat little home. He has received a large settlement from the state and now is living in an apartment and cared for by a live in caretaker. Mr. Wilson is also receiving sign language instruction among a number of other things in amends for the injustices done to him.

Related Link

Do We Need Unorthodox Deaf Advocates?

I present you the question;

Do we need more unorthodox deaf advocates?

In the past 20-30 years we've had well paid deaf advocates following traditional methods to answer the question of human survival. Sure they have been swimming in big funding coffers but has the deaf communities fared any better?

What were seeing nowdays are deaf schools closing, deaf clubs and organizations crumbling, and the deaf communities completely balkanized. That's happening because these deaf entities are following traditional approaches to the human question. The 'traditional approaches' the deaf people have been taking are just like the blinders people put on horses.

When people put blinders on horses, they do it so the horses can act predictably. When deaf society goes on with blinders, the hearing people can herd them out of existance. Using many methods they do it because with the blinders on the deaf society as it is now can act predictably to the hearing people.

Traditional deaf advocates are responsible for things like deaf schools closing, deaf clubs and organizations crumbling, and the deaf communities ending up completely balkanized. They only saw what was within the blinders not outside.

Unorthodox deaf advocates are like horses without blinders. They jump easier. Theyre more reactive to situations than traditional deaf advocates. They support ideas that traditional deaf advocates wouldnt dare think of. They make the results expected of the stakeholders faster, YES FASTER!!!!!

Take this for example.

Years ago I went to one of the Employment Development Department (EDD) office in Santa Ana. It was in the Santa Ana Transportation Center facility where the buses and trains makes their stops. The Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness (GLAD) had the deaf employent counselor's seat in that particular EDD office and I asked him the train station has 12 pay phones and none of them has a tty with it. I explained to the deaf counselor my plan to get the tty there. He responded that he had been trying to get that done for the 2 years he's been working there and my plan was 'not the professional way' (I never forget that) that he was 'the professional' to do it and he can get it done for me. He distinctively sounded more like a talker than a do'er. He really had the blinders on himself.

I executed my plan and 3 months later I got a tty there. Yes right under GLAD's nose. Whats the difference? 2 years failure using the traditional approach? Or 3 months success using the unorthodox approach? Which one gets the results faster? YOU BE THE JUDGE!

Of course the unorthodox approaches do not come without flak. Take a look at the results of my "Playing The Deaf Card In The Free Enterprise Game" blog entry. The approach really works, people dont like it because its too unorthodox. The people who reacted negatively to the blog entry are the types that are responsible for the demise of deaf schools, deaf clubs, deaf organizations, and the internal rifts in the deaf society. That's because they dont support unorthodox deaf advocates they prefer the deaf society to go on with the horse blinders on.

Interestingly the traditionalists reaction to my getting a TTY right under GLAD's nose was strong too. They copied my face from the pictures I used to brag about this particular TTY success and pasted them on pornographic images. This is how the traditional deafies react to the successes of unorthodox deafies.

It's really time to take the blinders off the deaf society and let the unorthodox deaf advocates do their things their way because it leads them away from the situations already faced by deaf schools, deaf clubs, and deaf organizations. And they can do it faster too!

Now do we need more unorthodox deaf advocates?


Richard Roehm

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Let's Push For Captioning Or Subtitling On TV Links

If we can all launch a concerted effort, we can get the programs and shows on TV Links captioned or subtitled. TV Links lists and plays many television programs, movies, and documentaries. I see this as a potential doorway to watching TV on your monitors.


Monday, July 02, 2007

Playing The Deaf Card In The Free Enterprise Game

About 10 years ago I went to a meeting at a pizza place. The meeting was about free enterprise the deaf way. The business itself was called "Destiny Telecom" where the hearing impaired were buying what they thought was a lifetime of economic security. The hearing impaired players saying sad stories of them trying to find jobs , discrimination, being homeless, then they were saying beautiful stories about their homes, cars, beach trips after investing in Destiny Telecom. The admission to this free enterprise was $200. Sure I saw a lot of hearing impaired people shell out $200 out of their meager SSI check. Thats 1/3 of the handout in California. I took the 'wait and see' approach to this investment opportunity.

The folks there invited me to another meeting at a hotel and they sweetened it up to let me make a short presentation on the hard journeys most hearing impaired people have to go through their lives. Basically I was used as the deaf card to a free enterprise program that later turned out to be a scam. The the 'wait and see' approach I took was a smart move.

Then these other scams came out Futura, Future Strategies, Valuefax, VIP-CLUB, Pentagono, PPBG, and the list goes on even today to include overpriced herbal pills and even diamonds. It isn't long after they shell out their hard earnings they get their burn notice. They're not going to get their money back nor will they get a lifetime of economic security either. They're completely abandoned.

Now I have a suggestion of a free enterprise opportunity that comes with a built in deaf card.

It's all in this PDF file ->
Just copy both sides into a single card stock copy to make 4 cards and sell them. This one works and it costs pennies to start. You keep it all yourself and give me nothing.

I've had a number of roommates making themselves a decent living with these deaf cards and one will brag of earning $700 a single morning in one of the skyscrapers of Los Angeles. I've got hundreds of clients happy with this choice. These cards got hearing impaired people off the streets, got them food on their table, and even got them school education to get themselves better opportunities to gainful employment and there's more!

Some of you will see this economic opportunity very differently, but then it's 4th of July.