All right, this is it. Drolz Uncensored is the place where caution gets thrown to the wind. As a former columnist for three national Deaf newspapers, I had a lot of fun... but I also had to behave myself. Not anymore.
There's no limit to what might be said in Drolz Uncensored. Initially there'll be some blasts from the past, favorite articles that were well-received and thus re-posted here.
You'll also find my own twisted perception of current events going on in the deaf community and the world in general.
Does "uncensored" mean keep the kids away, there'll be language that would make a longshoreman blush? Absolutely... NOT.
Instead, you'll find articles and commentary that are thrown in as written, on the spot, without any editing or concern about whether or not it's politically correct. It'll be more risky, and therefore more fun.
One of the most controversial books on Deaf education is back – the 2nd Edition of Madness in the Mainstream is now available! With its brutally honest assessment of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the chaos that have resulted from misinterpretation of Least Restrictive Environment, this is a book that shows how mainstreaming affects Deaf and hard of hearing students worldwide.
Madness in the Mainstream has created a stir due to its ability to show what goes on behind the scenes.
Parents of Deaf and hard of hearing students often say "Why didn’t anyone tell us this before?"
Deaf readers often say "This is what we tried to tell you before."
Legislators and educational administrators often say nothing. They still don’t get it. But Madness in the Mainstream is a book that just might get through to them, especially considering the way it’s riling parents up (in a good way—the reviews from parents have been fantastic).
Madness in the Mainstream 2nd edition is available in both paperback and ebook formats. Enjoy the madness!
Madness in the Mainstream takes a close look at ongoing misinterpretation of Least Restrictive Environment. Chaos ensues.
Has accessibility improved since the early days of the ADA? Yes. Have attitudes towards the Deaf community improved? Not so much.
In spite of vast improvements in accessibility, deaf education has taken a step backwards
An article featuring excerpts from Mark Drolsbaugh's Madness in the Mainstream presentation
A deaf little leaguer's letter to the Hall of Fame on behalf of Dummy Hoy
An overdue rant on cell phones and distracted driving.
Dummy McDeffie gives mainstream media a lesson or two on how to cover deaf news.
Mark Drolsbaugh faces off against Justin Halpern in a clash of publishing styles. Halpern wins.
This morning I treated my kids to some goodies from Dunkin' Donuts. As the clerk rang up my order, he mumbled something I couldn't understand.
"Eh? Whazzat?" I said, pointing to my ears to emphasize I'm deaf.
The young man smiled and started signing. "Oh, sorry. That'll be $3.40."
I know this was just Dunkin' Donuts and it was just a transaction for four donuts. But this guy freaking made my day. Without missing a beat he nonchalantly switched gears from voice to ASL. How beautiful was that? I'm on Cloud 9.
Two thoughts immediately come to mind:
One, it's things like this that prove without a doubt that ASL classes are a valuable resource in high school and college classes all over the country. They should start offering it on a regular basis in elementary schools, too. Might as well teach it all across the board if it's so popular with hearing babies and college students.
Two, it just feels right. I mean, how many deaf kids are busting their butts by spending hours upon hours in speech therapy, CI training, and all of the audiological testing that comes with the territory? It's a lot to ask of deaf kids. So it's all the more inspiring when we meet hearing people who take the time to meet us halfway.
The guy at the Dunkin' Donuts sure did, and in my eyes he's their Employee of the Year.
Answering "why not use both ASL and a cochlear implant?" in a way that can be understood from the hearing perspective.
ESPN Magazine columnist Rick Reilly spends a weekend observing what it's like to be a deaf sports fan. Hilarity ensues. Check the link below for some of the craziest closed captioning foul-ups, bleeps, and blunders.
A deaf kid who attended an all-hearing camp in 2008 attends three deaf camps in 2009. The difference speaks volumes.
In a caffeine-induced stupor, Drolz explains why a deaf advocate's job is never finished.
One kid, two different experiences, and a picture that says a thousand words.
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: Am I the only one who's offended? A name change might be in order...
Academic Freedom: How deaf children (or any children, for that matter) ought to be taught in the classroom.
George Carlin checked out too soon - amidst an eerie coincidence - and will be sorely missed. But he's leaving his mark on deaf literature.
An interesting parallel between Deaf culture and Indian culture, political correctness be damned.
Welcome to the Olympics: A Clash between Cultures, Values and Greed
A deaf parent is told that his deaf child may be an ideal candidate for a cochlear implant. He then decides to...
There's more to the squelched NCSD protest than we could ever imagine. A lot more.
The future president of Gallaudet University -- a deaf militant in training -- makes sure she's deaf enough for the job.
A quick update regarding the Deaf Again autoresponder course: It's been totally overhauled (format-wise, not content-wise).
Instead of getting seven lengthy emails, subscribers will now be redirected to password-protected web pages that are a lot easier on the eyes.
This material is from the actual Deaf Again presentation that's drawn rave reviews for the past ten years.
Why am I making this private material available for those who want to access it?
Because it's damn good, and I don't really have the time to go on the lecture circuit anymore. I'd rather have this material available online for the time being instead of gathering dust in my office.
For the ASL teachers out there who are incorporating Deaf Again into your respective curriculums, you might want to direct your students to this autoresponder course for an up-close look at the issues in the book. There's a lot of great behind-the-scenes topics for discussion.
Click the link below and have fun!
A People to Call Home reveals the intangibles that hold the Deaf community together
A 7-part autoresponder course based on Mark Drolsbaugh's popular Deaf Again book and presentation
A brief interaction obliterates deficit-thinking from the mind of an 8-year-old deaf child
Yes, it's THAT time of the year. Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season. It also marks the beginning of a period where deaf people everywhere often gather with friends and relatives who don't know ASL. It can be a maddening, thumb-twiddling experience.
Fortunately, there's a solution to this annual mess. By popular demand, I'm re-posting last year's Deaf Thanksgiving article. Click on the link below and have a GREAT holiday season!
At the recent National ASLTA conference in Tampa, FL (Oct 25-28), I had the honor of attending both the keynote address and the closing address by Ella Mae Lentz. Sure, I'd seen her vlogs (one of my favorites is "Elephant in the Room") but... to see her in person, WOW!
There's no way I can repeat everything she said in my humble little blog. Let me just say I haven't picked my jaw off the floor yet. She was absolutely mesmerizing and thought-provoking.
I will, however, give you one little tidbit. Perhaps you've read some of my earlier blog entries related to the Deaf Bilingual Coalition. Or, most likely, you've probably seen DBC blogs and announcements here and there. And, no doubt, most of you have seen Amy Cohen Efron's famous "Greatest Irony" vlog.
But during Ella's closing address, she mentioned a statistic that made me realize "The Greatest Irony" is greater than I ever thought.
We all know it's ironic how hearing parents are now teaching their hearing babies ASL due to research-proven benefits such as early language acquisition and cognitive development (the irony being that many deaf babies -- who need ASL the most -- are often denied such an opportunity).
But it's not only babies. From 1998 to 2002, Ella pointed out, enrollment in higher-education ASL classes increased 482%!
Now we've got hearing babies and hearing college students signing everywhere. Awesome, I love it.
But let's keep making sure our deaf babies and deaf students don't slip through the cracks.
ASL is a beautiful language. For everyone, deaf and hearing alike.
8 Year Old Darren Drolsbaugh shares his thoughts about going deaf and getting kicked out of the 2007 AG Bell conference
Is it really appropriate to have famous deaf athletes named "Dummy?"
Highly recommended books from the creators of Deaf Culture Online
An argument in favor of incorporating sign language classes in schools everywhere
A resource page for parents of deaf children on Mark Drolsbaugh's Deaf Culture Online website
Tales from a deaf kid in a hearing school and a hearing kid in a deaf school.
A unique perspective of baby sign language from Mark Drolsbaugh, a deaf parent of hearing children
An article on the importance of signing with your deaf baby