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Presented by Outreach Services, VSDB VSDB_outreach

Tina Childress, MA,CCC-A,

Is a trainer for the Illinois School for the Deaf Outreach Program and the 2014 winner of the I. King Jordan Award and Phonak’s Cheryl DeConde Johnson Award for outstanding achievement in Educational and Pediatric Audiology.

As a result of this training, participants will be able to describe features of apps that can be used with children with hearing loss (and with adults), list sources for finding apps for no or low cost, and name apps that can be used to work on receptive and expressive language skills for children developing listening and spoken language skills and/or signing skills.

Target Audience: Speech and language pathologists, teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing, audiologists, Part C providers, parents, and consumers.

October 19, 2015      9:30 – 2:00

Register by October 12

(see attached registration form below)

J.F. Fick Conference Center,
1301 Sam Perry Blvd,
Fredericksburg, VA 22401

DOWNLOAD - TinaChildress-Oct_19_2015_flyer

DOWNLOAD - Childress_Registration_Form



More Is Possible - International

September 22, 2015

For 40 years, CSD has championed communication accessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing. This week, as we celebrate #IWD2015, we honor the diverse, vibrant sign languages and cultures that make up our world; recognize their unique contributions and achievements to their local communities; and recommit to working together for a brighter future.

Watch Video on Face Book - Same Sentence in 17 Different Sign Languages



KARACHI, Pakistan — With one national language, Urdu, four provincial tongues (Sindhi, Punjabi, Pashto and Balochi), and nearly 300 regional dialects, Pakistan’s linguistic diversity is like a beautiful carpet, interwoven with threads ancient and young. The regional languages developed over thousands of years, while Urdu came from northwestern India in the 12th century. Then, in 1947, English was made an official language as a legacy of British rule in India.

Now a small group of educators of the deaf intends to add one more language — this one not spoken. It is called Pakistan Sign Language, and its creators just may succeed in spreading its use across the country.



How do you sign "new" words? The Deaf community works as a network, collectively brainstorming new sign language terms over the web, until dominant signs emerge.

As language evolves, the powers that regulate language tend to shift. Just look at the Oxford English Dictionary, who added terms like “duck face,” “lolcat,” and “hawt” to their prestigious lexicon this past December. For the English-speaking world, these additions are anywhere from ridiculous to annoying but at the end of the day, the terms are accepted and agreed upon.

But how do these new, internet-laden turns of phrase enter the sign language community? Was there a way of expressing “selfie” in ASL, was there a sign for “photobomb?” Our simplistic question turned into a larger conversation about the nature of communication.

See interactive page & read more . . . Internet slang
(Loads very slow be patient - requires Adobe Flash)



The News Virginian
January 25, 2015

Waynesboro High School junior Michelle Smith wants nothing more than to go to James Madison University and pursue a career in social work.

To prepare, she knew she would have to keep up her grades, participate in extracurricular activities and write a stellar admissions essay. But what she didn’t anticipate was that her dream school would not accept her three years of American Sign Language credits to fulfill the foreign language requirement.

“I want to go to JMU and they’re making me take Spanish, even though I’ve taken three years of ASL,” said Smith, who enjoys learning sign language but had to make the abrupt change to make sure she can go to her dream school.

“She has her heart set on going to JMU and didn’t want to take another foreign language,” said Kristen Werle, Waynesboro High School’s ASL teacher.

With the help of her high school sign language teacher, therapist and mother, Smith crafted a letter and a petition she plans to send to JMU, as well as U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke, and U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Timothy Kaine, both former Virginia Democratic governors.

“It is a language and there are a lot of deaf people, and I think it should be considered,” Smith said. “I mean, if you can sit in class and learn it, and actually have a conversation with someone who’s deaf, then it’s a language.”

“There’s no reason for it not to be a language or to not be considered a language,” she added.


Read More  . . 



Columbus Dispatch
Columbus, Ohio
By Ken Gordon
Dec 11, 2014

Ezra Somnitz couldn’t hear the Christmas carols on Saturday, but the 18-month-old wasn’t held back.

Just minutes into a performance by the seasonal choir Signs of Christmas, Ezra — who was born deaf — began squawking and clapping with delight while perched on his father’s lap at the Grove City Library.

He was reacting to the movements of the choir, whose holiday tunes are interpreted in American Sign Language as the lyrics are piped through a sound system.

“We thought he would enjoy it,” his mother, Melanie, said as her son squirmed in her arms afterward.

“I think he did. Can’t you tell?”

The “blended” family, of Commercial Point in Pickaway County, has attended a Signs of Christmas performance for the past few years, she said.

Like her son, her husband, Chris, is deaf; their two older children, 9 and 6, are not.

The family reflected the makeup of the audience as a whole on Saturday, with about half of the 30 people in attendance able to hear and the other half not.

“It just makes sign language and deafness seem normal and not a disability and not something that separates the community,” Mrs. Somnitz said. “It brings the communities — deaf and hearing — together.”

See Pictures & Read More  . . .



Sarah Klenbort, AU
Sunday 19 October 2014

The deaf community is no utopia, but it does offer an alternative language, culture and social life to those who choose to be a part of it

When people notice my daughter and me signing in the street, they often stop and comment: “You know,” they say, “there’s this thing called the cochlear implant.” As if the mother of a deaf child could’ve missed that news.

Or they offer some hopeful anecdote: “I met this deaf woman with hearing aids from Queensland when I was on holiday in Fiji and she’s a really good plumber – I mean really good.”

Because this week is National Week of Deaf People, I feel it’s a good time to talk about the nature of Auslan (Australian Sign Language) and the deaf community. I’ve only been studying Auslan for four years, but I’ve come a long way from that first community course.

You see, I used to be one of you, one of those people who thought sign language followed English grammar. And I thought there was just one sign language – the same in every country – though if I’d thought that through for more than a minute I would’ve realised those two assumptions were mutually exclusive.

I also used to assume all deaf people would prefer to be hearing.

The deaf community is no utopia, but it does offer an alternative language, culture and social life to those who choose to be a part of it. In fact, signed languages can do many things spoken languages can’t. In fact, here’s a list of ways in which visual languages are superior to the spoken word:

Read More  . . .