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Author archives: Adam Stone

iPads at 347: The ASL Location Parameter

With this lesson, I wanted to use iPads as a recording tool instead of being the main focus. My class is exploring the different parameters of ASL: handshape, location, and movement. There are two others (palm orientation and non-manual markers) but I’m saving those for a later unit. I have a funny relationship with the ASL parameters. Sometimes I feel this topic acts like a crutch for ASL-as-L1 teaching. You [...]

ASL Literature, Reborn on the iPad

In addition to being a first-grade teacher, I’m also the geekminister for 15 brand-new iPad 2s at P.S. 347 The ASL and English Lower School in Manhattan. This is the first in what I hope will be a regular series on how my students and I are using the iPad to learn, read, create, and watch. Last spring, as soon as my principal and I discussed the possibility of having [...]

Way to Represent!

Countless deaf people tuned in last night to watch the finale of Celebrity Apprentice for one reason: to find out if Marlee Matlin won. Ah, Marlee. If she and the deaf community declared on Facebook that they were in a relationship, the status update would read, “and it’s complicated.” On one hand, she is our emissary in Hollywood; far more successful than any other Deaf actor, she is the go-to [...]

It Gets Better - on National TV

It all started with Teresa’s article last fall, “It Gets Better. It Really Does.” She called for deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing people to make similar videos IN ASL for deaf youth everywhere. I took her idea and ran with it, making my own video. 25 more videos soon followed. And then my video somehow made its way into a Google Chrome commercial featuring the It Gets Better project, [...]

Stuff Deaf People Like #6: VP Numbers

Deaf people often possess a painstakingly curated collection of videophone numbers. This is more a reflection of the highly fragmented video relay service (VRS) industry and its practices than any predilection towards numerical hoarding on the Deaf person’s part. The FCC requires that any person who uses a videophone must register for a telephone number compliant with the North American Numbering Plan which gives us (xxx) xxx-xxxx. And that number [...]

25 ASL "It Gets Better" Videos

While the zeitgeist has long ago shifted to TSA pat-downs and now the interesting juxtaposition of renewed conflict on the Korean peninsula and the Wikileaks release of top-secret diplomatic cables, DeafEcho has managed to keep collecting It Gets Better videos in ASL. Now we have 25 videos–the latest by the Ontario Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf. When was the last time you saw 25 ASL videos all with the same [...]

It Gets Better - In ASL

Teresa wrote a fantastic article discussing Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” project on YouTube. There’s more than 100 videos by people who have experienced or seen others experienced bullying, harassment, or general bad experiences because of their sexual orientation. She also expressed the need for the Deaf and signing community to make similar videos for Deaf LGBT youth, especially as they might be doubly isolated in hearing mainstreamed environments. Let’s [...]

Black Sand

Caution: some plot spoilers ahead. Don’t read if you plan on watching Black Sand! Each item in Mark Wood’s ever-expanding repertoire of ASL films is better than the last. However, he continues to stick with his tried-and-true formula for making crowd-pleasing suspenseful thrillers. As in “Wrong Game” and “Legend of the Mountain Man,” Wood’s films feature a group of Deaf people vacationing in a strange house, preferably surrounded by many [...]

CaptionFish iPhone App Released

Old-timers, gather for some reminiscing! Remember those captioned movie listings on They were updated every Thursday (or was it Tuesday?) and showed RWC, DTS, open-captioned, and subtitled movies playing in D.C., Maryland, and northern Virginia. By 2004 standards, it was a slick setup, programmed from scratch by Tayler Mayer, but it was also all manually entered. That’s right, part of my job description included typing out every single captioned movie, [...]

YouTube Video: Deafhood the Journey

Check out this gem of stop-motion animation by Paul Ososki: I’ve never seen anything like this before: a video where ASL, as used by the story narrator, becomes a deuteragonist in a two-and-a-half-dimensional animated setting. The video’s message is clear. ASL is what enables the character to scale the various obstacles in his path. Taking the video’s title in consideration, this animation becomes an argument for the use of ASL [...]