William Vicars, Ed.D. (Dr. Bill)
I checked the websites you had listed and all the questions i had
for you weren't included, so here we go (:
1. When did you find out that you were hearing-impaired?
Short Answer: 2nd Grade. Before that they thought I was
just mentally “slow.”
Long Answer: Just to let you know, the phrase “hearing-impaired” is
a phrase that is unpopular in the “culturally Deaf World.” It
focuses on the “ear” and “impairment.” It also lumps Deaf and
hard-of-hearing people together. As time goes on, more and more
people are switching from the term “hearing-impaired” to instead
using the phrase "Deaf and hard of hearing.” In the “Hearing
World” I am “hard-of-hearing.” In the Deaf World I am either “Deaf”
or “Deaf/hard-of-hearing” depending on the situation. Hearing
people think “Deaf” means “someone who can’t hear.” Deaf people use
the word “Deaf” to mean “One of us: Someone who uses sign language,
has connections to the Deaf world, knowledge of our culture, and for
whom visually-based communication is more accessible than
auditory-based communication.” If that seems complex it’s because
it is complex. Culture is complex.
Here are two questions to consider:
1. Are you one of us? = Are you Deaf? (capital “D,” attitudes,
2. To what extent are you one of them? = (language, speaking
ability, residual hearing…)
In the Deaf World I identify myself as Deaf/hh. The “Deaf” part of
that term is used to establish that I embrace the attitudes, know
the language, have various connections to the Deaf World, and my
eyes work better for communication than my ears. The “hh”
(hard-of-hearing) part of that term is used as a disclaimer
to voluntarily waive various rights in the Deaf World and as a
“delimiter” to “establish the limits of” my experience as a Deaf
person. Adding “hh” to my introduction is a way of disclosing up
front that like most hard-of-hearing folks that I can talk (using my
voice) and that I have some “hearing” ability.
2. Since you've been involved, how has ASL changed over the years?
Response: I’ve seen a return to many classic elements of the
language. Less initialization. More respect for ASL grammar.
3. What are some surprising experiences you remember?
Response: I was surprised to find out that in Georgetown, Guyana
most of the local Deaf use a signing dialect that is very similar
to American Sign Language.
4. From your experience, what are the most popular schools to learn
Gallaudet University, National Technical Institute for the Deaf at
the Rochester Institute of Technology, California State University
Northridge, Western Oregon State, and many others.
5. Which schools have you attended?
Response: Central Elementary, Mountain View Elementary, Box Elder
Junior High, Box Elder High, Utah State University, Weber State
University, IKON Technology Center, Lamar University, plus about 50
more. Seriously I’ve attended a lot of “programs.” For example, I
lived on campus at Gallaudet University while taking one of their
summer courses. I attended CSU Northridge for part of a summer as a
participant in their training for Liaisons in the American Judicial
6. What schools do you recommend to students learning ASL?
Response: I recommend whatever school is in your local area. Out of
state tuition is very expensive. I suppose if you get a scholarship
or have lot of money then you might want to consider WOSC, Ball
State, CSUN, or RIT.
7. Even though ASL is American Sign Language, do other countries
use it too?
Response: ASL is also used in varying degrees in the Philippines,
Ghana, Nigeria, Chad, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Zaire, Central African
Republic, Cote d'Ivoire, Mauritania, Kenya, Madagascar, Benin, Togo,
Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and many other places.
(Source: Grimes, Barbara F. (editor), (1996). "Languages of USA"
Ethnologue: Languages of the World, 13th Edition. Institute of
8. How does ASL compare to other spoken languages?
Response: Your question doesn’t make sense. Drop the word “other.”
ASL compares excellently to spoken languages. Languages have
numerous “characteristics.” ASL exhibits all of the characteristics
of a language.
9. What makes ASL different than other countries sign languages?
Response: Different signs and grammar.
10. How much of the population is deaf?
Response: About one out of 1,000 people are deaf.
11. How popular is ASL in the US?
Response: Very. It is the third most widely used language in the
12. How has the deaf community grown since you've joined?
Response: Many more “Hearing people” have learned ASL and gotten
involved with the Deaf Community. There has been a huge explosion
in online video blogs (VLOGs).
13. How do you teach effectively?
Response: The answer to that question could be the length of a
book. I teach effectively by engaging my students in the learning
process. I use technology, visual aids, games, online homework,
humor, and various other teaching tools.
14. How often do you learn new signs?
Response: I learn a new sign about once a month. Mostly what I
learn is “new variations” of signs.
15. Do you ever have times where you're overwhelmed and need a
break from signing?
Response: Ha! Do you ever feel overwhelmed and need a break
from voicing? Or texting? I don’t need a break from signing.
Sometimes it is nice to get a break from people, (and students like
you, heh), but not from signing.
Response (to your request below) – You might want to check out your
local library to see if they have any videos that you could check
It's perfectly fine if you can't answer some questions. Also, for my
project, we're required to have at least 4 different sources. I have
3 books (1 type of source), websites (second type of source), these
interviews (3rd type of source), and i'm still looking for other
sources. Since i already have books, websites, and interviews, i was
looking for pamphlets, booklets, videos, or anything else that you
might have available. I've sent out letters to some ASL companies
but haven'trecieved anything back. If you have anything, i would
love to recieve some information back at:
You don't have to send anything but it would be greatly appreciated.
Hope to hear back soon,
Dionna Solomon (: