This is How Zoom Sounds.. Can you dig it?
This is How Zoom Sounds.. Can you dig it?
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:
NAD – https://www.nad.org/
(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.
“Every Conversation I Never Overheard” – a second iteration forward.
Ryan Seslow, 2019, Multiple Channel Animated Video.
I feel that physical scale plays a role in the development, impact and sharing of works like this. I always ask myself, can it hold up on Instagram, Youtube or a website? The answer is obviously yes, but asking the question helps me give it further contexts to look into. There is an old outdated version / part of me that can still recall past teachers and mentors instructing that I shouldn’t share this new “work in progress” on the web until after I have shown it in a more traditional public art space. (How limiting) Thankfully, that is not my idea but one that was constantly shared with me (and the others around me) for many years. I never took that advice. I’m happy about that. I’m sure that I missed hearing a lot of the reasons for why or why not, and that’s also a good thing.
“Every Conversation I Never Overheard” puts an emphasis on the overstimulating visuals that I experience in my daily soundless travels through transit in NYC. As my ability to wear and use hearing aids degenerates rapidly I have been spending more and more time not wearing them at all, especially when I am alone and in transit. The less I hear, the more I see, and the more I see the more I hear inside. (re-read that last stanza) I see in narratives that seem to splice themselves together into a continuous sequence of scrolling communication. This is a first attempt at bringing together the visual aspect of the sentiment and experience.
*This art work is a part of the Ongoing Online Exhibition: “Communicating my Deaf & Hard of Hearing Self”
Vapor Wave Accessibility
A continued series of animations advocating for #deafawareness – we all need to stay mindful on how we communicate with others. We need to express and communicate what our individual needs are. Its easier said than done. This takes practice. We need to be compassionate and patient with those that need our help. This too takes practice. What if you started learning #ASL today by learning the #signlanguage alphabet?
Synthetic Ephemeral Sounds by Electronic Power
Installation Simulation, 2018, #10 Batteries, Digital Print mounted on board cut to the contour line.
Manifesting Exhibition Simulations
It is my intention to bring an electronic exhibition of Deaf Awareness works to a CUNY Art Gallery in NYC.
It is my intention for this exhibition to be a collaborative venture with other CUNY faculty members and CUNY students of all levels.
This exhibition will also simulate as an online experience here on the CUNY Academic Commons’s NET ART Website.
More to come as this progresses..
Feel free to reach out if you would like to find out more –
rseslow @ york.cuny.edu
September is National Deaf Awareness Month
How will you contribute?
Im going to be practicing ASL and sharing the sign language alphabet with all of my hearing students (Im a college professor here in nyc). Im also going to make a series of new animations (like this one above) promoting deaf and hard of hearing awareness through more of my art and graphic design work.
If I can help you or your organization please reach out!