KARLA: We at DTV News are thrilled to take part in the C.A.D. Conference. What does C.A.D. stand for? The California Association of the Deaf. Yesterday, we went to see CAD’s event “200 Year-Anniversary of ASL.” I enjoyed it. Check out the brief clip.
JAC: CSD wants to quickly explain that Deaf flag.
KARLA: We met up with the C.A.D. president, Julie Rems-Smario. Exciting.
JULIE: Overall, C.A.D.’s mission is to preserve, protect and promote. Linguistics, humanity, civil rights for all Deaf Californians. Those three are the focus.
SULGHI: You all share one thing in common: responsibility.
NORMAN: Seventeen thousand children. Imagine, if not for today, they couldn’t do anything. What will become of those seventeen thousand children from here on out?
JULIE: My hope is this: C.A.D. was founded in 1906, because Deaf people were concerned with Deaf education. At the time, Oral education was taking over, pushed out the Deaf teachers, and they were teaching Deaf children only how to speak. After that, the quality of Deaf education went downhill. So that was why C.A.D. was founded. For the purpose of overseeing Deaf education. Now, one hundred and eleven years later, I wanted to go back to the heart and roots of C.A.D.-- Deaf education. That’s why it was founded, and it should remain that way. We deviated from the path, and we sort of forgot about Deaf children, wait-- we did forget about Deaf children. So, with LEAD-K, C.A.D. got very involved. California was the first state to pass the LEAD-K bill. Exciting.
KARLA: You go!
JULIE: Yeah! So now that the LEAD-K bill got passed, that was not where we would just leave things be. This is just the beginning of an enormous load of work. We all-- Deaf Californians-- we have over 300,000 Deaf Californians-- I hope to see 300,000 Deaf members sign up for C.A.D. Because the more members we have, the stronger our voice is in favor of Deaf children. I’m happy to see one hundred and twenty people here, engaged in debate on what’s next. Now that LEAD-K has passed, now what?
JULIE: What are we going to do with seventeen thousand children? So I’m looking forward to that.
SULGHI: We welcome the C.A.D. President, Julie Rems-Smario.
JULIE: Wow! It’s early in the morning, and I’m already feeling high-spirited from your energy!
JULIE: I’m gonna give you an art activity. Who likes art? Raise your hand.
RORY: As an instructor, if I can see a kid draw like that…
JULIE: The conference opens with both superintendents from the California Deaf schools, Fremont and Riverside. It’s bold opening with the both of them.
CLARK: I’ve seen so many challenges that many Deaf children undergo.
NANCY: No one is alike, but all are equally valued. All approaches are varied.
CLARK: Our schools take responsibility in small roles, but all of you are part of this and we work together. That’s the point of our presentation.
JULIE: This is done on an annual basis.
JULIE: Then we started watching all these presenters, they’re all Deaf. And they share their expertises. That’s stimulating. Who else knows better about Deaf education? We, the Deaf people, because we were born and raised, and we will die as Deaf people.
KARLA: Exactly right.
JULIE: So that was the highlight-- watching, learning and debating with Deaf people who are experts on this. So that’s the highlight for me.
SHERI: Sex, orientation, religion, and so forth. And now adding Deaf in our state laws. We did.
RORY: Seventeen thousand Deaf. That’s right. But bear in mind, those are only documented by the IEP and 504. Which only means that there could be even more.
MARLA: Language feeding. I read through it. And got it.
DAVID: They view Californians as wild. Both hearing and Deaf view us that way. They see us as strong in many ways. Which is true.
JAC: The weeds in our gardens. You just pull ‘em out, one by one. They still keep growing, but that’s ok, we got them under control.
LORRAINE: How many here are Latin teachers are teaching at a Deaf school and/or a mainstream school? Seems I’m the only one. That’s why I’m nervous. I bear an enormous responsibility.
NICOLETTE: They realize that their families are from all over the world. America is just their meeting spot, where we just happen to be.
JADE: You know, I’m deaf, we’re black and filmmakers. “No need for one.”
ANNLYNN: My name sign is A.L.
DESJUNAE: Desjunae Ross.
ASHLEA: Ashlea. My name sign is (signs name).
REV. JAMES: I agree, that...
TITLE: Deaf Californians’ Dream Group Presentations
MAN: The concept is seed.
MAN: Improve interpreting standards.
WOMAN: What’s important is not on there.
MAN: Rising above the crowd.
WOMAN: Deaf are in the middle.
WOMAN: They are sitting in a half-circle.
WOMAN: As much as 17 thousand.
MAN: We need those to get laws passed.
MAN: To have structure.
WOMAN: It’s imperfect, you have to dig deeper.
WOMAN: Choosing between your eyes and ears.
JULIE: It’s a significant day, because you all came for one purpose and one purpose alone: help us bring back the heart of all this.
KARLA: I learned so much. I was moved by each presenter that took the floor. I was touched by it, very powerful. Thank you to C.A.D. for inviting us here at DTV News to come and witness this. Now that you’ve seen what we’ve seen, would you come back to the conference next year? What do you think?