Informational Interview with the Director, Dr. Jones

Interview of Dr. Sharla Jones by Deanne Bass

RE:  Special Needs, Special Parents

For radio show on 4/15/14, KMUZ  88.5 FM


D: Welcome to the show Dr. Sharla Jones


S:  Thank you very much Deanne


D:  This is an amazing place. This is the first time I’ve been on your campus.  Is it 52 acres?


S:  It is a pretty campus, especially this time of year.  We are an old established school.  We have a rich history.  We opened in 1870 at a different location, on Turner road.  Corbin College owns the building that formerly was the Oregon School for the Deaf.  We have been on this campus since 1910 and our founding father, William Smith, came from New York.  He was a pioneer, an inventor and a Deaf person.  He worked with the state legislature to open Oregon School for the Deaf.


D:  Wow, so the first director was Deaf himself, very interesting.


S:  We’ve changed over the years a little bit.  In the hay day of the Oregon School for the Deaf we housed almost 300 students here; everyone came to the Oregon School for the Deaf.  Then with mainstreaming in the early 1980’s our population went pretty low.   We currently serve 120.  We are at a healthy number.  It fluxuates over the years but that is also contingent on how many Deaf kids there are in Oregon at the time. 


D:  Some school districts have interpreters in their classrooms.


S:  Yes some do that, and there are small programs with small enclosed classrooms with small groups in certain schools.


D:  On your current campus it seems like there are a whole complex of different organizations sharing the same piece of property.  And it is just wonderful how it is laid out; will you talk about that a little bit about that?


S:  I will.  We are lucky to be the landlords for several programs here.  We have a lovely campus.  Eagle Charter School is up on our southern end of campus.  We have JGEMS the Jane Goodall Environmental Middle School which is a middle school, Eagle Charter School K-6 and Headstart is also on our campus.  We do some cross over a little bit.  JGEMS play on our middle school team sports with our Deaf kids, they have an ASL club.  At Eagle Charter a group of our students go over and teach some of their younger kids some sign language.  We share a lunch time, we share facilities here so there is a nice camaraderie and community here.  We had a big carnival here last month and everyone participated so it was a campus-wide event which was real neat.


D:  So the Oregon School for the Deaf has elementary.  Do you have kindergarten?


S:  We have kindergarden through age 21.  So we have K-12 plus an Adult Transition Program.


D:  How does somebody get placed here?  How can parents check into your school?  What would the process look like?


S:  Thank you for asking me.  The IEP placement process is pretty detailed but every parent that has a child on an IEP who is coded 20 would qualify to be placed at Oregon School for the Deaf.  Hopefully during an IEP meeting every year throughout the child’s educational career hopefully OSD has been considered a placement.  I say that hopefully because it is not a required detail that is given to parents on a normal basis.  I’m hoping to change things.  I’m hoping that Oregon School for the Deaf will be considered as a possibility at an IEP always for any student who is coded 20.  If not for placement then for a resource as a Deaf person, to meet other Deaf kids, maybe participate in some special events here on our campus.  We serve the whole state of Oregon so a child who resides in Oregon and is coded 20 can qualify to come to OSD.  But it depends on that IEP team.  Each school district, that special education representative would make that decision whether or not to put the alternative education as the Oregon School for the Deaf.  And so sometimes we are invited, sometimes we are not.  And that is an IEP team decision that they make together.


D:  So sometimes you are invited.  So by IEP Individualized Education Plan and that is what the educational process is like for kids who have been identified has having some kind of special needs.  So you are saying that staff from the Oregon School for the Deaf can be invited to those meetings?


S:  They can be if the parent is a strong advocate, has toured the school and wants us to be an option.  Sometime they will bring it up in a meeting if the school district is familiar with us and has a history of placing students at our school they may bring it up to the parent.  But sometimes, and sadly, I get phone calls every once in a while parents will complain to me, saying “I didn’t know you existed, why haven’t I known about you and what can I do to place my child at your school?” So there is a gap in communication, and I agree with LRE that we want to place the child in the least restrictive environments, so usually that begins with the district. And if we’re not in the vicinity, hopefully the student will be served best by the district. But many times the child is isolated in a large classroom with an interpreter as their only conduit for communication, and that to me is the most restrictive environment at times because the child may or may not know how to use the interpreter, may not be a fluent signer, and may need more from the situation to really access the education they require.


D: That makes sense. What is your website?




D: Okay, thank you. I have looked at the website, I hadn’t memorized the address, but there is a lot of great information about your services and your facilities here. Do you have pamphlets that you send out to each school district to make sure each SD is aware of the services you provide?


S: I’m on the Regional Management Team, and as a new member (I’ve just been in this position 8 months, so I’m new this school year. It’s been wonderful I’ve learned a whole lot.) The regional teams that serve students with disabilities are aware of us, and I advertise our events through them. But it kind of filters down, and so coming from a regional team or ESD going to an itinerate teacher, or a principal who may have a Deaf person in their  school district or school, it kind of gets filtered in that way.


D: I see. OK so, for a student to be placed at your school they would need an IEP, an eligibility code 20, there’s always a number attached to different kinds of disability. So in Oregon for example for listeners who may not be aware of these numbers, Specific Learning Disability has a code 90 and someone experiencing Autism Spectrum Disorder has a code of 82 and Blind or vision impairment might be a 40? Now I’m wishing I wouldn’t have said that because now I’m getting my numbers mixed up!


S: There’s also a general, Other Health Impaired, that’s a big one that’s an 80.


D: So, would a student just have a code 20 or are they just on IEPs for hearing loss?


S: No in fact, we have Communication Disorder is a big one. They usually come to us with the 20 and the 50. I think that’s the right one?

D: Yes, 50 is the Communication Disorder.


S: Right. And sometimes it’s just removed here, because they are fulfilled communication wise just being in the environment of the Oregon School for the Deaf because there is direct instruction from the instructor, not through an interpreter.


D: I see.


S: All the teachers are teachers for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. We also have a population, my favorite, Deaf plus I call them, and that’s the portion of the student body that have additional disability as well as being Deaf. So we have a small classroom in High school and a small classroom in middle school that are the Deaf plus group. And they are the kids who are probably geared towards a Certificate of Completion, so not a regular diploma or a modified diploma, but they are involved with some really exciting things on campus. We have a huge garden, and they have several cottage industries on campus. We have Helping Hands, they do a lot of office work, they are teacher aides, they grow vegetables, and sell organic chopped lettuce to restaurants. They are very industrious and are gaining a lot of experience - job experience that in the future they will probably most likely do.


D: How many kids do you think are enjoying those kinds of projects?


S: Small classroom in the high school, I’d say 9-10 kids qualify for that and in the middle school I’d say, 7-8. So they represent a good portion of our kids that are out and about and visible to all of our kids. It creates an atmosphere of kindness and tolerance, and I think it’s good for all of our ‘mainstream’ Deaf kids, our regular Deaf kids to have those kind of relationships with these students.

D: Right, very strong community building. So, do you happen to know the rate/incidence of Deafness in Oregon?


S: No not for Oregon, but the national statistics show that one out of 1,000 births. Early intervention and early detection can tell you exact stats.


D: As a special education teacher, my class room is a learning resource center, a LRC so I spend a lot of my time teaching people that have been identified’ as having autism spectrum disorder or a health impairment or a specific learning disability and a lot of times those students also have a communication disorder. It’s very rare for me to have a student accessing my services because of a hearing impairment so that’s kind of my reason for asking that question.


S: Yes, it’s a low incident disability.


D: So, you have a lot of different kinds of staff, yes? There are teachers, support staff. Can you talk a little bit about staff and what their jobs are like and what their education is?


S: We have a very unique faculty at Oregon School for the Deaf. I say unique because we’re the only school in the state that (and I boast about this) that about 2/3 of our staff are Deaf adults.


D: I see


S: They are the role models that I love to present to the children of “This is what you can become.” There are a lot of adults that have their Masters degrees. All of our teachers have their masters in Deaf and Hard of Hearing, their credential. They are from a variety of countries; I have many ethnicities represented in our staff.


D: Oh really?

S: Yes, and I’d say it’s a very healthy mixture and variety of languages and backgrounds, and it’s a very eclectic group that make OSD. It’s very neat if you could see our faculty. I just kind it funny and ironic that I’m on a radio talk show for the school for the Deaf. But this is for parents and hearing parents, about 90% of Deaf people come from hearing parents. So only 10% have a genetic Deafness and come from Deaf parents. So we work with mostly hearing parents who are learning how to educate with us and raise their Deaf children. A lot of them look to us for guidance and support and communication with their children.  I think the piece of parent education is the most important thing we can do to serve our community. We have a small parent group forming right now, and in the future I would like to put some money into a preschool and more early intervention association to reach those children earlier with better support.


D: So it must be a really big help for parents --especially if you only have one child, and you are raising your only child that happens to be unique by not being able to hear, and maybe their own child is the very first person they ever met that has hearing loss. So that must be very helpful for them to see a whole community functioning in a healthy way and learning and living in a joyful way.


S: I’ve been told by parents periodically, usually around graduation time, tearfully thanking me because before they knew of us and what we were doing here, they felt very hopeless about their Deaf child thinking they would be a very disabled person the rest of their life. And they meet these Deaf adults through the school and they see people who graduate and go on to go to university and lead very fulfilled lives and they never pictured their child being that type of person. So it’s really an education for the whole family.


D: You are listening to Special Needs, Special Parents and I’m your host Deanne Bass. You are listening to an interview with Dr. Sharla Jones who is the director at Oregon School for the Deaf and we are taking a break here. The Adaptive Riding Institute, ARI is proud to present the Inaugural Kentucky Derby Week May 1st – 3rd to raise awareness about the benefits of equine assistant therapy and the funding of therapy programs. The 3 day celebration includes a client and volunteer appreciation party,  a derby prelude party, and a one of a kind Kentucky Derby Benefit party. ARI is a nonprofit organization that provides equine assisted recreational therapy for children and adults living with disabilities in the Willamette Valley. For tickets or more information call 503-743-3890.

Now back to our interview with Dr Jones at Oregon School for the Deaf


D: You were mentioning that this is a radio show and we are talking about the Deaf community and services. But it’s so important to have info and to be able to share the information with everybody no matter what their abilities or disabilities are because information is the way of the world, really.


S: and you may know someone who has a Deaf child and who is struggling on how do we go about educating this child in the best way.

D: Yes, and a lot of times, people won’t ask or may be curious about someone’s experiences but may feel awkward and not want to ask questions


S: Or might not know the right questions to ask.


D: Right!

So we have talked about your wonderful campus and how to access services, and if a student is on an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) and they have a code 20 which is the federal code for hearing impairment, they are eligible to come here. At what cost?  What would it cost a parent to have a student at OSD?


S: We are a public school, so that means we are tuition free. This is a free and public education.


D: And you have services for people k-21?

S: Yes k-21, we have a dorm program, residential situation for students who live outside the vicinity of Salem Keizer. When transportation becomes an issue, if you are on a bus over a certain amount of time per day it becomes a hardship on the child. So we provide a residential program which is a full – I think it dovetails off of our educational program. We have afterschool homework help, and I have a great cadre of volunteers that come from all around but really I focus on Western Oregon University. It has a wonderful interpreting program and ASL studies so we have these great college kids that come and want to volunteer at OSD from CCC from PCC – Portland City College -  ASL students that are learning ASL – so hearing people who are learning American Sign Language and want to practice their language skills with sign language, and in return they are offering our students some good tutoring. And setting an excellent example as well because we want our kids to go to college.

In the Dorm, we have homework help mandatory 90 mins a night, we have sports. Our Athletics Department belongs to the CASCO league, so we are competing against other small schools – other hearing schools. We are a 1A level. We are doing track right now – and I hear we did pretty good at a meet in Estacada. We did well today! So I heard we came in 3rd maybe in some events- On the 400 relay? I was excited to hear that! A lot of our sports teams, we may not do very well but we have a lot of spirit! Proud Panthers! And I’ll tell you why our kids struggle – a lot of them come to us late middle school or high school. Our HS is about 85 kids which compared to our ES at 14. So you see there’s a large influx in HS. A lot of these kids were never able to play sports before in their lives. They come to us because they’ve been in mainstream programming without a coach they can communicate with, without an interpreter that can stay after school, what-have-you in their mainstream programs. So they may come to us as natural born athletes but with no real rudimentary training, and so then they have a Deaf coach here.  They have teammates that communicate very clearly with them and so they may take off and do wonderfully, but you know getting that basic training down. They struggle a little but man do they have heart and they love to play sports here.


D: Very cool. And you guys not only have teams you must have the facility, because you’re hosting Estacada.


S: Yes, the small 1A schools, they come to us. We have a lovely gym. A not so nice track, I’m trying to find funding for a track but we do have the facilities here on campus.

D: Tracks are always in need of some kind of upgrade!  We were talking a little about staff – you have counselors?


S: We have a counseling Dept. – A Elementary/Middle Counselor, a high school Counselor, and a school psychologist. Currently we have a job opening because our school psychologist is retiring sadly, and so finding someone with that licensure plus the ASL experience and knowledge of the Deaf community that’s tough to find. So I’m putting the word out there!!


D: Ok! You are looking for a person who is qualified as a school psychologist, knowledge of the Deaf community, and sign language skills. But it’s not a requirement that they be Deaf?

S: No. I was also going to say, we also have an audiologist full time, on staff.


D: So what exactly does an audiologist do?

S: Because they are on an IEP, he gives annual hearing checkups, he checks their hearing aids, and he checks their cochlear implants. He doesn’t do mapping, but we have about 20% of our students who have a cochlear implant – a hearing amplification device. He sees if it’s working, he does speech pull out, he’s also a very experienced and licensed teacher for the Deaf and hard of hearing. So, we like our audiologist very much!


D: Ok, and that brings me to a question I was thinking about. Do you have to be totally Deaf to attend?

S: No, you don’t. You could be partially hard of hearing with a 35 decibel loss. The thing about OSD is we are a bilingual program. So the way we communicate is American Sign Language. We do pull out for speech, and there are plenty of oral kids here on campus. Some do speak and sign. We represent a large continuum of communication. The common ground that we find is the need for English. We need to teach our children literacy skills; in this life and in the academic world you need to read and write. And that’s a challenge for the Deaf people in general because you don’t learn to read and write phonetically.


D: Spelling is different, right?

S: You learn visually. You learn to read and write through what looks right, what feels right, instead of how we learn as hearing people – what sounds right. It’s different. A lot of memorization, a lot of memorizing of skills- practice, practice, practice. And it’s through reading and through writing that you learn and get better. The child comes to us and their toolkit of things they have to learn with – if they are auditory learners, if they use speech- we will use what they have to become literate people. And I think our school; we provide a bi-literate approach. So not only are they learning with whatever skills they have, they are also using American Sign Language and picking up a second language to communicate through to the world and to their friends and to interface with everyone. ASL is different then English, it’s a complete language in its own, it has its roots in French actually – the grammar is more conceptually based.


D: Oh really, I didn’t know that.


S: Yeah. It’s not related to English. You fingerspell a little bit but the grammar is more like a romantic language with the adjective later, after the noun. So it’s a different syntax, a different grammar then English. So instead of “the big blue house,” it would be “the house is big and blue” So those markers go after the noun, that sort of the thing. So writing English may not come innately, it comes through practice and study and sometimes not naturally, because if they don’t have the auditory to hear the incidental learning around them, Deaf students need to learn through practice on paper visually.


D: Because they would be writing the word in a different order than they were saying them, signing them. That would be difficult.


S: You’re not signing words, you’re signing really concepts. ASL is a very conceptual language. Very full, very emotive, very descriptive. Very complete. But it’s in a different word order, so it’s not a natural translation


You are listening to Special Needs, Special Parents on KMUZ  88.5 FM. Which airs every other Tuesdays at Noon and on off Tuesdays we have down on the dirt with Diana.

*Music Break*

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S: And what we’re doing here at OSD, we are creating interpreters. We are creating a school of children that can ‘code switch’ between signing and reading/writing in English. And if they also have the Oral skills we are also going to use that too.


D: So do you teach students to lip read, or does that come naturally to people?

S: that’s an additional skill that our pull out – we have an SLP that we contract through our ESD for, she comes… I think we have her for a full day once a week. And she works with those students who have a code 50 communication disorder and whose parents really want them to retain what speech they have at OSD. Because there is a natural inclination for students to just blossom with ASL because they are surrounded by it, their teachers are Deaf, that kind of thing. If the parents want to retain those oral skills it is complementary and additive. But it is very difficult.


D: Lip reading?

S: Yes, or else more Deaf people be able would do it.


D: People have different kinds of lips!


S: Yes and mustaches! The best lip reader gets about 20% of what is actually on the lips, and they assume the rest. If you do the math…


D: That could be a dangerous conversation!


S: There are some very good lip readers. But if you have a natural affinity or talent for it, but most people don’t. It’s a skill you practice very hard at. And if you’re practicing really hard lip reading, what are you missing out on if you spend your whole day trying to pronounce and lip read words and sentences. You’re missing your whole education on math and science and history.


D: Right, that wouldn’t be a good use of time.


S: So, I would rather a visual means of communication that is easy to have a dialogue with a person. So we’ve found with ASL it creates an easier opportunity to become literate because they are reading and writing in English but are getting the information quickly and efficiently in ASL.

D: So you have counselors, you have speech and language pathologists, you have an audiologist, and transition specialist?


S: We do, in High school one of our counselors is specifically for transition because we know there is life after OSD. We want to make the transition successful for the students. We have created a relationship with VR – they actually have an office on our campus.


D: Vocational Rehab?

S: Yes, Vocational Rehab. They have counselors there for the Deaf and they will open a file here for the student that will follow them wherever they go in Oregon. We have a relationship with Chemeketa Community College, for our ATP students that are not quite to college level ready to transition to college so they will do some remedial work. They will go there through the school day and then come back to us for the tutoring and support at the dorm in the evenings.


D: So they get job experience through ATP and that is Adult Transition Program?


S: They do get job experience out in the community, volunteer experience; we have placements at the library, at Food 4 less, that sort of thing. There are job experiences to be had. There is a high percentage that go on to higher education. Probably 2/3 or even more, ¾ of our students go to some kind of program after high school graduation. There’s a beautiful welding program in Salem so some of our students who are a little more hands on, more visually based, they love to attend things like the welding program. Chemeketa Community College is a great resource for us. We have students every year that go to Gallaudet University in Washington DC which is the only Liberal arts college in the world for Deaf students.


D: In the world, really?!


S: Yes. We have students who go to NTID which is a part of RIT. NTID is the National Technical Institute for the Deaf and so they have a charter type school programming for the Deaf on their campus. It is very popular, especially for our science based kids that are really into computers and that sort of thing. Visual arts is big at Oregon School for the Deaf, our most popular elective is video editing. So these kids are film makers. We just had our fist annual film festival at the Salem Cinema and we had an excellent turn out and it was student made film that was adjudicated and judged on. It was wonderful! It’s becoming very popular, the visual arts which makes sense. We don’t have band! But hey we do have extracurricular activites in the dorm - it’s called BEAT – Bold Expressive Arts Theater. So the kids who love music, turn it up really loud and sign to the music and create these dance performances - it’s like performance art and we have two nights in May. Happening in our gymnasium on May 21st and 22nd at 7pm – called BEAT – Bold Expressive Arts Theater. Look on our website and it’s free admission and we hand out earplugs because I’m telling you, it’s really loud!


D: It’s really loud?! And what’s your website again?

S: It’s  Mostly high school students but some middle and elementary. But they love music! Which is surprising to some people!


D: And they’re going to put on a program, that’s so exciting! So you’re listening to Special Needs, Special Parents on KMUZ  88.5 FM and I’m Deanne Bass and you are listening to an interview with Dr. Sharla Jones who is the director at Oregon School for the Deaf and we have been talking about so many different things. Have we talked about dorm life?


S: We have talked about dorm life. I wanted to mention about in the classroom. Our classroom sizes are very nice. Optical education for the Deaf is 10-15. After 15 it’s hard to engage in eye contact if you have more than 15 pupils. So our class room average size is 8-10.


D: Oh wow!

S: Yes, it’s lovely. Some of the PE Courses and art can go up to 25 but we like to keep our classrooms small just because of the logistics of teaching a Deaf child you need to engage in eye contact at all when you are disseminating information and dialogue with a child in American Sign Language. And also, you don’t want it visually distracting- you want the environment quite calm. For that peer interaction you usually have a horseshoe shape of desks because you want the visual access to the teacher and to each other because you need to see what everyone is responding with.


D: I see, everyone needs to be in the visual realm.


S: Right. You don’t want to be sitting behind anyone because it blocks out the signing.


D: So you have the Elementary classroom that has 8 or even 9 kids?


S: Yes.


D: Wow that is a great ratio!


S: When you get to high school, it does hover around 15 which is I think max. I want to keep the ratio around 10 - that would be optimal. That also gives a lot of 1-1 time with that teacher.


D: Yeah a lot of time! Because you’re talking about a full class – a school?


S: This is a completely academic program. We teach the Common Core State Standards, we take OAKS and we will be taking the Smarter Balance. We are gearing up for that. A lot of critical thinking skills we are developing, so that 1-1 time with a licensed teacher is just so important.


D: So now there are 135 students?


S: 120 presently. When I got here 5 years ago there were 92 so we’ve had a slight increase, and we’ve remained the same staff wise so our classrooms have grown a little bit, but I think we’re doing quite well. I think it’s a healthy number. Any more though we will need more teachers!


D: I’m wondering if the whole invention of Cochlear implants… do you think that Cochlear Implants are a reason your population has been reduced?

S: It could be – at the onset, say the younger. Cochlear implants are an excellent tool for auditory learning. They are a tool though; they are not a ‘cure all’ and so even a child with a Cochlear implant will be missing the incidental talk/background noise. They’re focusing and training on what they are noticing and hearing. It does take a lot of therapy and practice to use a Cochlear implant.


D: I’ve had a lot of conversations with people, and I get the impression that the thought is that Cochlear implants are a fix all.


S: It won’t eradicate deafness but it is a help to a certain population – it does not cure all deafness, it helps a certain type of deafness.


D: I see


S: A lot of our kids to use hearing aids though and about 20% are Cochlear implanted. But they’re still here using sign language and getting full communication.


D: And what’s your vision for the school?


S: Well I mentioned briefly that I would like to have more parent education. I’d like to have more input on the 0-5 population. I’d like to open a preschool. I’d like to have parent intervention at birth to three. Those important years when American Sign Language may not be considered the option they are going to go with. I think there’s been some misnomers, some myths. I’d like to debunk some of that and have parents openly exposed to Deaf adults and the Deaf community in general. I think sometimes it might feel a little scary, a little daunting when you think of a whole new language that I’ve got to learn if I’m going to communicate with my kid? It’s a little scary sometimes. But I see some parents who have the most success with their teenage children if they started young trying to learn to sign and they develop a relationship of understanding and communication.  It takes years, and it takes dedication but I love to see parents that are comfortable communicating with their own child. I’ve been to too many IEP meetings, seeing the frustration of a parent who has kind of missed the boat. They’re now figuring out that their child has moved on without them. They’ve progressed as a person and the parent feels like they don’t know their child and don’t know how to help their child. Because school – you need the family support to have success in school. Not even additional disability - I’m talking about just Deaf. So the Deaf child, if they have no other disability, they’re a normal functioning person, they need to have that tie, that emotional bond with the parent so I recommend parents learning ASL  as early as they can so there’s another venue, another way to communicate clearly with their child.  And then I see the relationships blossom when that happens; it’s really exciting to see that.


D: So you have met parents that for some reason they’re not real excited about learning another language or ASL?

S: It feels daunting, sure. We have a very large Latino population, so these parents may not sign or speak English – the home language is Spanish. So that adds another layer, because they’re not comfortable helping with homework at home, they’re not encouraging the child to read in English because they don’t really have that affinity. But I have met some parents who are Spanish speakers who go to American Sign Language classes and have the initiative because they love their children so much – every parent loves their child, I don’t see that as the barrier. It’s the language that’s daunting but it’s nothing to be frightened of. Sign Language is a beautiful language and it’s possible for anyone to pick up and become conversant within a year or two.

I just want to thank you for the opportunity, Deanne. This is great and I am really supportive of parent education, I think that is the key. Parents, like I said, love the child and want the very best for them. And regardless of their uniqueness, whether the child is Deaf or hearing, has additional disability, parenthood is a tough gig. But as a school at Oregon School for the Deaf we have a lot of resources we want to share with parents who have Deaf children.


D: So give us your website address one more time, because I want everyone

to have the information and good news about Oregon School for the Deaf.


S: It’s


D: Thank you, Dr Jones for having this interview with me. I think you have answered a lot of questions for a lot of people and I appreciate it!


S: I’m so glad! Thank you.


D: You are listening to KMUZ  88.5 FM and I hope you enjoyed the interview with Dr. Jones, I certainly did. I regret not having a member of the Deaf community on the show today. I look forward to hearing from people who are interested in talking more on Deafness, and I spent some time on the internet. I was looking at Oregon’s Deaf and hard of hearing services at – they have a lot of information about the Deaf community, and I’m going to go ahead and share some of the information. The source is unknown it is about the Deaf culture history and importance. It says “Many people think of hearing loss as a disability, but many members of the Deaf community do not see it that way. Deaf people in this country are a linguistic sub culture. They identify themselves as Deaf” (and are using the uppercase D). “as an ethnic identity and not a physical condition. People who identify themselves as Deaf belong to a proud and distinctive community. The uppercase Deaf is used to identify those who are members of the Deaf community. They feel they are simply a linguistic minority and are no more in need of a cure for their condition then are Haitians or Hispanics. Composed of people who use American Sign Language as their primary means of communication, the Deaf community has over the past 150 years developed a rich and social life and folklore through their own efforts and their own needs. Deaf people have organized a national and international network of social, religious, athletic, dramatic, scholarly and literary organizations serving national and international memberships. Every 4 years for example the World Games for the Deaf – the Deaf Olympics brings together deaf athletes from many countries to compete for international prizes.”

There is so much information provided on this site, and again I regret not having a member of the Deaf community on the show today. Hopefully in the future I can interview someone from the Deaf community. If you are a part of the Deaf community and are interested in being on Special Needs, Special parents you can email me at

One thing that I wanted to let you know was in Dr. Jones’ interview she was adamant that we try to have the interview transcribed so her students and members of the Deaf community can be aware of the contents of the interview.

So I was looking at the Northern Lights Theater Pub and was noticing that they now have closed captioning movie for the hearing impaired. The next closed caption movie will be “Robo Cop” on Tuesday, April 22nd at 6pm. A fee is charged for that, it is a new service that they are able to provide. It says “Thanks to recent upgrades, we now have the capability to show movie with closed captions. The Dolby Digital Surround Sound will still be on and we will show movies with CC movies will be presented on our digital projector.”


With more surfing on the internet, I found more information that listed itself as facts about the Deaf. It says there are approximately 22 million hearing impaired persons in the US. Deaf people have safer driving records then hearing people nationally. and here’s an interesting fact. The huddle formation used by football teams originated at Gallaudet University, a liberal arts college for deaf in Washington DC to prevent other teams from reading their sign language. The man who invented short hand, John Greg was deaf. Here’s another fact: A deaf center fielder for the Cincinnati Reds William Hoy invented the hand signals for strikes and balls for Baseball. This is information that I’ve located on


Here’s a fact that is listed on the site, in Deaf culture, it is polite to talk (that is, sign) with one’s mouth full but speaking with ones hands full is not done.

So anyway I hope you enjoyed today’s show and please let me know if you have any special requests for show content on Special Needs, Special Parents. Next week of course from 12 -1 will be Down in the Dirt with Dianna on KMUZ 88.5 FM. And you can join me, your host Dianna Bass for Special Needs, Special Parents.