Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Made A Mistake

Follow up on my last post,

So my son can't enter the Optimist club deaf contest because he doesn't have an audiogram proving he is deaf. I got to thinking.....

Why would he enter a contest only for deaf kids? Instead he should enter the same contest they offer for all kids.

Essay Contest
Topic: "How My Education is the Key to a Successful Future"

The Essay Contest is for students under 19 years of age as of December 31, 2010, who attend school in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean. Students residing on U.S. military bases overseas are eligible to enter using their last U.S. home of record. All Club contests are held by early February 2011. Club contest winners progress to the District level.
    Club prize:
    District prize:
      Plaque and a $2,500 college scholarship
For an application and complete contest rules, please click here.

Oratorical Contest
Topic: "If I Were Leader of the Free World, the First Issue I Would Address Would be ... "

The Oratorical Contest is for young people under the age of 19 as of December 31, 2010, who are educated in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean. Contest entry ends by late March 2011. Each applicant is required to give a 4- to 5-minute speech. Winners progress to the next level.

What was I thinking? I always tell him he can do anything he wants, why would I encourage him to enter the deaf contest when there is the same contest for all kids?


  1. I got really excited when I saw this link, but after reading more it seems your son would be too young for this part. Worth a try though!

  2. I understand you want your child to enter the contest for all kids, but I'd like to share a personal experience. I was mainstreamed, and was part of the speech and drama club. I went to one contest, and gave what I and others thought was a great speech. However, it wasn't until after I was finished that I was told the fan in the room was so loud, people could barely hear my voice. I was heartbroken. I was so angry, and I felt like the whole contest (and the whole world) wasn't fair.

    I entered an optimist club contest for the deaf, and won 2nd place. Even if I hadn't won 2nd place, I would have enjoyed the experience so much more than the one with my hearing peers.

    It'd be nice to have a balance of both deaf and hearing events that he can be involved in.

  3. Hey I really like your story.
    I remember the funeral service for my other daughter. I asked the speakers to pick their native or chosen language to present different things my family wanted included in the service. Most of our deaf frinds went up and used ASL. We had a team of interpreters from the local interpeting service donating their time. We were so grateful fo that. The stae school donated the auditorium for the service.

    One deaf friend chose to present a Tao passage we picked with her voice. She was raised orally and felt English was her native language. Her voice was not heard because she talked so soft and could not orient to the microphone. In my grief it did not matter as I silently said the passage with her in my head.

    Another Deaf friend presented an ASL poem she had created in memory of my daughter. The interpreter stepped aside. The room was silent as she expressed her grief through metaphor. I looked over and saw my hearing friend cry.

    My son has been raised in the Deaf community. By choice he is moving out to meet the world. The world is full of hurdles and barriers. He has decided on his own to audition side by side with hearing peers for school plays...he has been cast.....he has decided to make friends and include his hearing peers in his life..... he is going to the state school home coming ...... he is writing a proposal to his principal to add deaf peers from the state school to his physical theater company ..... he is not living only in a mainstream world following my wishes. He chose his school and I followed.

    My son is not a typical deaf kid raised by hearing parents. I don't want him to enter the contest. To be honest I am just laughing at how hard it is for him to join. If he enters the other contest he will sign not speak. He can only say "poop" and "Boob" and that is not much to work with when presenting a speach. I support making sure kids qualify. I just know there are othewr ways to do it that will not cause hardship to the family. I also want to point out this is a great contest!

  4. Definitely have him do it :)

    I don't know if it would be possible to add captions to his video or have someone you know and trust interpret for the hearing non-signing members who will undoubtedly be on the panel. I've had a few of my presentations botched because of poor interpreters who couldn't accurately portray what and how I was signing into spoken English and it caused the hearing members of my audience to look at me like I was an idiot. I know I'm not the only one who have had that experience. Just a thought.

  5. AliciaD oh my god I have seen some awful interpreting ! You are so right.

    I remember an IFSP meeting where Larry Fleisher who was the dean of deaf studies at Cal St Northridge ,was an advocate for my son. This was the first time I learned how to advocate for qualified interpreters He had me ask for two and requested the names before the meeting. At one point during the meeting he fingerspelled a long word and the terp guessed. She guessed wrong and Larry stopped the meeting to correct her. I was so impressed.