Tag: Accessibility

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September is Deaf Awareness Month!

September is Deaf Awareness Month!

Here are some things that you can do to help spread Deaf Awareness at your campus, in your department, in your classroom and beyond.

This month you can help spread awareness about Deaf culture, what it means to be Deaf & Hard of Hearing (HofH) or experiencing the various spectrums of hearing loss. You can get involved and proactive, here are a few ways to take-action:

Understanding comes through Awareness.


1. Learning, Sharing and Informing your Family, Friends, Colleagues and Students:

First, spread the word by sharing this post! Simply talking about Deaf Awareness Month is also a great start. Let other people know by reaching out. This can easily take place in a department meeting, in the classroom, via a group e-mail or by creating an event or meet up to discuss.

In your department, reach out to the Human Resources office and ask about the resources your campus offers. This may mean connecting to a specific person in charge or the office of disabilities on or off the premises. If there aren’t any current resources, (and sadly, there may not be) then it is time to create them! Let this post be a guide and a starting point. Again, awareness is everything!

Obviously, the Internet is filled with tons of resources, here are a few to help get you started:

NADhttps://www.nad.org/

American Deaf Culture

Deaf Culture – Wiki

Sign Language – Wiki

What Does it Mean to Be Deaf/ Hard of Hearing?

 

(translation – the subway cars above read: “Deaf Awareness Month Graffiti”)

1. Learn A Sign Language: It’s time to learn a sign language! Here in the USA we use ASL, also known as American Sign Language. ASL is beautiful! It is an official foreign language. Even learning the basics of fingerspelling and the ASL alphabet goes a very long way. I’m a big fan of smartphone applications like The ASL App, Dr. Bill Vicars and for those of you here in NYC I highly recommend taking classes at the Sign Language Center – Several CUNY colleges also offer ASL classes at the beginner level (did you know that?) Take a peek at your college’s course catalog or do a search for ASL / CUNY online.
 

3. Join or Create a Sign Language Group: All college and university campuses have an allotted “club-hours” time each week for clubs on campus. Does your campus already have a Sign Language group or club? Inquire! If not, perhaps you can use the club-hours time to form an ASL club and practice learning Sign Language together. Learning with a friend or a group of people is a great way to inspire, encourage and motivate each other. 

4. Support! Reach out to your local Deaf & Hard of Hearing Communities: This means, People, Businesses, Organizations and Groups! Once again, by reaching out to your HR dept. and or office of disabilities make an inquiry about how to get involved and who the contact names are for various groups, communities, events and businesses.

5. Creativity – Go on and Create Something to Express Yourself: I made the animations in this post specifically for Deaf Awareness Month. You can get creative too! This can be done individually or in your classroom, it can be done with your department and fellow faculty members, administrators and staff. Collaborate! Make a sign, make a flyer or a poster. Hang them up around your department offices and in your classrooms! Im going to launch a CUNY wide project soon to bring further awareness, I will be reaching out to YOU!

Contact me! Want to learn more, chat, connect and create some kind of an awareness based creative project with your students, class or faculty members? I’m here to help.
 

e-mail me – rseslow@york.cuny.edu or rseslow@bmcc.cuny.edu

Back to Teaching Reminders from Net-Art

I would like to ask my fellow teaching colleagues far and wide to consider this information as you begin teaching your courses this fall.

Whether you are teaching 1 course or 7 (like myself), this applies to all.

Keywords – Patience, Empathy, Compassion, Creativity, Accessibility, Inclusion & Community

1. There is no ego in teaching. Be an example of patience, compassion, empathy and understanding. Make this your mantra. Your energy is contagious! Meaning, your vibration carries information to each and every person in the classroom. The emotional state of your vibration creates rapport between people. You can set the vibration for the semester in your first-class meeting by expressing your gratitude, excitement, appreciation and enthusiasm for teaching and meeting your new students. Again, this is contagious energy!

2. Take acute awareness that your course(s) holds all of the potential to be an incredibly unique learning experience in and of itself. I mean this far beyond any of the specific course content that will be covered throughout the semester. Acknowledge, we are all human beings coming into the course from various places and stages in our journey together on this planet. There is always a part of each and every one of us within each other. Whether it is an example of who you once were, relate to now, or a reflection of the future you to come. There you are.

3. Think about the fact that yourself, and the group of incoming students will be having a new experience in the same physical space, at the same time for the next 15 weeks. This experience, with the exact same people, in the exact same space and time frame will never happen again. Discuss and discover your similarities and collective strengths as a class and how those individual characteristics form the modular fragments that make up the whole. Every class is a community. It will function as one with great energy if it is declared collectively.

4. Create a community! Every course holds the potential to be platform for collaboration and community building. This means, setting up a series of dialogs early on for learning about each other. What are the passions, concerns and ambitions of each student, how are they taking steps to realize those things? Remind yourself before, during and after each class; what roll do you play as a leader and facilitator of inspiration for your students?

5. Realize, our students are teaching us far more than we are teaching them. (read that again if you need to) If you have a classroom of 20 students, then a minimum of 20 new potentialities, solutions, variations and iterations will be generated, worked on, crafted, discussed, written, spoken, presented uniquely and shared back to you (and the class itself) for each assignment. That is a tremendous amount of information and energy. Remember, there is no EGO in teaching, so whether these outcomes please your expectations or not, you have been exposed to a new opportunity to help, learn, grow and see things from another’s perspective. The sum total of awareness from openly experiencing things from another’s point of view is the diminishment of competition-based thinking, and the humble transition into seeing infinite creativity.

6. Do you really think that you are going to inspire your new students this semester by spending the first-class meeting time reading the entire syllabus? Place an emphasis on our collective human-ness first and foremost. Your class(s) are communities awaiting the declaration of its potentiality. Introductions should be the first thing that happens. Learn each other’s names, share stories, connect and learn about each other.

Keywords – Patience, Empathy, Compassion, Creativity, Accessibility, Inclusion & Community

Have a wonderful Semester, and feel free to add to this thread in the comments section below!