Tag: Hard of Hearing

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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

“Every Conversation I Never Overheard” A Soundless Video Art Commentary

“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”

The Uncertainty of Public Communication

The Uncertainty of Public Communication

Today is the last day of #deafawarenessmonth – I have learned so much and met some really amazing people! (In CUNY and beyond) This is only the beginning though, there is much work to do in bringing more accessibility and awareness to the public, and learning more about what my role is especially as an educator working with mostly hearing people. I can help “bridge” us together in the classroom and beyond. Im proud to be a part of the #deafcommunity and using my art as a medium for change and awareness.

This new #animation is a reminder that there are many degrees and spectrums of being Deaf and hard of hearing – communication can be challenging and every day it is different, every space and degree of noise can greatly effect how and what a Deaf or HofH person may experience. Be aware of this, be sensitive to this, take notice.

September is National Deaf Awareness Month

#happylaborday everyone! September is National #Deaf Awareness month. How will you be contributing? Im going to be practicing #ASL and sharing the #signlanguage 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) promoting #deaf and #hardofhearing awareness through more of my art and graphic design work. If I can help you or your organization please reach out!

SOUNDLESS ANONYMITY :: NEW WORKS

I love the immediacy of taking photos with my iPhone and using them directly as inspiration for new digital art works. The ability to shoot, capture and apply one’s own visual references in immediacy continues to fuel my desires as a media artist. In my latest new media project I have been playing with the idea of anonymity and how it can be expressed from the perspective of being deaf and hard of hearing in a large city. In this case NYC, where I spend a lot of my time. Even though one may find themselves surrounded by thousands of other people at all times constantly in motion, you may not find one familiar face in the sea of human beings. This of course does not mean that communication is not being made and or exercised. Communication comes in a different ways. Many many ways. Some of which can be totally taken for granted. Are you a hearing person with normal hearing? Perhaps on your next visit to NYC, LA or Chicago wear a pair of sound blocking earphones and walk through the busiest sections of the city through the eyes of the soundless. What new sensations will you take notice to? How will all things visual enhance and or become more pronounced? Where will your visual focus be with the removal of sound?

As a deaf and hard of hearing person I live between the world of battery operated digital synthetic amplified sound and no sound at all. Even when there is sound via hearing aids, in a big city like NYC, for me its mostly distortion and the over amplification of the things I would rather not hear, like sirens, and multiple other things competing in the same space. I have the choice to remove my hearing aids and often do so in these environments. To this day I still find it utterly perplexing that my brain functions this way. I often opt out of wearing hearing aids in certain areas to avoid distorted noises and the limitations of what hearing aids are supposed to do. I don’t mind experiencing my world soundless. Its not a limitation in my eyes, nor is it a “disability” like many refer to it as. When the void of sound is present another sense kicks in. I become acutely attuned to the vibration of people, objects and things. I can also activate this when I wear hearing aids but its a little harder to do and maintain. Especially when multiple synthetic sounds and vibrations are competing with each other while my brain is trying to convert them into comprehensible meaning. How does this all work? Im both fascinated, perplexed and inspired to attempt to explain it all.

The first piece in the series came from this photo I took while crossing the street in mid-town on the east side. Even when wearing hearing aids I miss a ton of sounds and words when trying to communicate in noisy environments, especially the city. I was never able to “overhear” our follow the conversations of other people anywhere. Hearing people are exposed to this all the time, especially in public space. You kind of have no choice to a degree. I often wonder what that is like? I could only read lips to a degree and watch the facial expressions and body language create patters of repetition. Over time this became both a visual language and an emotional one as well in and of itself. In a public space like NYC it makes what I witness visually an ongoing anonymous experience. The works below are manipulations and extensions that are derived from one single experience and one single image yet it represents so many of the others like it.. This is a metaphor and an expression of how this effects me on a sensory level. Its kind of like a paused, freeze-framed moment of ceaseless motion where some parts stop and some continue to move. I find beauty in these moments and can retain them in my mind’s eye.

The static frames above inspired the second phase of the project’s development, making videos. The videos below are my first attempts to bring together the ceaseless motion of the static images and put them into actual motion. It seeded natural to do this over time. Visual motion is experienced as a whole frame rather than the moving of the legs as the people walk. How does this effect help you engage or disengage visually? Each video is short and unlike GIF files these do not loop over and over, they have a beginning and an end.

 

I also began to think about the environment itself. Meaning, what if the architecture also had a point of view on how they communicated with those thousands upon thousands of people that anonymously interact with them. A simple reversal of roles. How is it that the largest of objects can be visually ignored and unnoticed. How we place context on this kind of communication plays a role, but this role is mostly absent. I find a connection between buildings and the body. Both are vessels and containers. The contexts are both metaphors and literal / obvious. I get a great sense of duality from this as an idea and it has pushed me to want to dig deeper into the concept. This is the first series of works below using just one image to suggest the morphing of sentiments and feelings that are mirrored between the public and its architecture. Thank you for visiting. This blog post is a first draft into the further development of this new body of works. Revisions are being made and I intend to show and display the works beyond the Internet soon. 

Online Exhibition :: Communicating My Deaf & Hard of Hearing Self – Part 1

Communicating My Deaf & Hard of Hearing Self – Part 1

Welcome to my first series of art works produced examining and identifying as a deaf and hard of hearing person. It has been a long road. This body of work is the first in a multi-part series with supporting written explanations broken down into individual blog posts. I encourage the viewer to view the gallery of digital art works above and then delve into the individual blog posts listed below.

All of the pieces have been created in 2018 and consist of Digital Illustrations, Collage, Animated GIFs & Video Art. Fragments of manipulated grainy images and re-compositions display the variation and extension of each piece. The works are visual representations for the regular distortions, missing of sounds, words and overall communication I experience daily. They represent how I feel, react, overcompensate and adjust to communication in various interactions. They are intended to be both subtle, confusing and difficult to follow. “Communicating My Deafness – Part 1” is the first installation in the series. It is first published here on my website and shared via my social media platforms. I am seeking to extend this body of work into a lecture series for both the deaf, hard of hearing and the hearing world.

Animated Hearing – https://www.ryanseslow.com/animated-hearing/

Missed Communication Continued – https://www.ryanseslow.com/missed-communication-continued/

40 Years of Missed Communication – https://www.ryanseslow.com/unraveling-integrating-40-years-of-missed-communication/

Fears Faced Continued – https://www.ryanseslow.com/fears-faced-continued-is-this-is-a-series/

The More I missed, the More I Made – https://www.ryanseslow.com/the-more-i-missed-the-more-i-made/

1970’s Hearing Test Art Machine Hacker – https://www.ryanseslow.com/the-1970s-hearing-test-art-machine-hacker/

Opening Another Door – https://www.ryanseslow.com/opening-another-door/

Responsible Communication RE-sponsibility – https://www.ryanseslow.com/responsible-communication-re-sponsibility/

Non-Auditory Sensory Other – https://www.ryanseslow.com/the-non-auditory-sensory-other/

View the entire category on my website here