DBC Special Announcements

Audism Free America Rally
April 3, 2009 11:00 am – 9:00 pm

Make Plans to Attend the Audism Free America Rally in Washington, DC on April 3rd. Ideas for Communities to be Involved.

See the Video by going to http://www.audismfreeamerica.blogspot.com.

Birthright of Deaf Babies and Children Petition

If you support Human Rights for Deaf Children, sign this Petition today!

View the ASL petition. Go to http://www.dbcusa.org/

View the text petition. (see link below)


DBC Upcoming Events

* DBC Booth at Minnesota Deaf Nation: March 28th
* Roundtable at Gallaudet University: April 6th, 9:00 a.m.
* DBC Retreat: April 23-25, Fremont, CA

ASL Tales Introduces Innovative Books for Deaf and Hearing Children and their Families
by Tiffany Silverberg

American Sign Language is a complex, beautiful language that has often been portrayed simplistically in books and classrooms, resulting in a misperception of the depth of its vocabulary, syntax, grammar and structure.

An audition tape of Curious George, by Pinky Aiello, became the inspiration for a new kind of children’s book. When signers and non-signers alike were able to follow the plot of the story, it became clear that storytelling, so fundamental to ASL, is the perfect way to expose hearing children to the language and bring Deaf and hearing family members together.

In February 2008, Pinky and Laurie Meyer, interpreter, put together a team of volunteers committed to the possibility of making books so magical that every library in the country would buy them, giving all children access to native ASL storytelling. As Pinky, who first learned ASL at age 14, says in the first book, “This work is dedicated to the possibility of the world seeing the value of ASL so that no Deaf child will ever again be denied this amazing language.”

ASL Tales published The Princess and the Pea, its first book, in the fall of 2008 and its second, Rapunzel, in the winter of 2009. Each book includes an ASL DVD with English captions and voice recordings in seven languages. The book, DVD and web-tools teach specific aspects of Deaf culture and a solid introduction to ASL vocabulary, grammar and syntax. ASL Tales has made a commitment that each book will be a joy to read, ensuring the books can stand alone as great children’s literature.

A core philosophy of the company is that children and families best reap the benefits of ASL by being exposed to native ASL storytellers. In addition, ASL Tales feels a deep responsibility to the Deaf community and is committed to the work of linguists and Deaf educators who promote the value of ASL in children’s education.

Through beautiful literature and lively signing, parents and siblings enjoy these books with their Deaf family members. The back cover of Rapunzel includes this quote from a parent: “…it captivated my two-and-one-half-year-old Deaf daughter, introduced her to eloquent storytelling so indelible that she repeats entire phrases, jokes and styles after watching the DVD only three or four times. She and her hearing seven-year-old sister enjoy it together, each of them learning different aspects of Deaf culture and language.”

With the goal of achieving Pinky’s dream, ASL Tales is offering free electronic versions of the book and ASL story to all Deaf children for their home use. The company also recommends, when possible, that families take advantage of a 50% discount offered to purchase the full package for their children’s personal library.

The company’s new line of books, ASL Tales for Tots, is designed for a slightly younger audience. The first book, projected to debut this summer, is titled Annie’s Tails. Rosa Lee Gallimore, Deaf performance artist, will present the story. Other books, products and courses are scheduled for summer of 2009.

With the development of Annie’s Tails comes an exciting opportunity. ASL Tales is sponsoring an art contest for Deaf and hard of hearing kids ages 4 through 10. The winning entries will be featured in the pages of Annie’s Tails. In addition, winners will receive five autographed copies of Annie’s Tails. This contest ends May 1, 2009.

For middle and high school, Deaf and hard of hearing students, ASL Tales is sponsoring a storytelling contest. Students are asked to submit their own original ASL translations of The Princess and the Pea and Rapunzel books. ASL Tales will arrange for winners to make a studio recording of their translation. The winning recordings will be featured on a DVD in the ASL Tales Storyteller’s Collection for either The Princess and the Pea or Rapunzel. Best of all, 50% of the proceeds from these Storyteller’s Collections will go to the Deaf Bilingual Coalition. This contest ends June 1, 2009.

For contest rules, entry form and more information, please email [email protected]

ASL Tales has countless other projects coming up! To stay up-to-date with the latest news, go to www.asltales.net and register to receive the newsletter.

Deaf Mentor Summer Course at Gallaudet University

There will be a Deaf Mentor Training seminar offered during the summer at Gallaudet University.

This is a three-day training seminar for currently practicing Deaf Mentors to acquire an understanding of the role and functions of mentorship following the linguistic and cultural model, as well as foster a network of education and training support to these Deaf Mentors who will provide mentoring services to Deaf/hard of hearing children and their families in the home, community, and education settings.

For more information, open PDF file here:

Click to access Deaf_Mentor_Class.pdf

©2009 Deaf Bilingual Coalition, all rights reserved.

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