Preserving and Documenting Deaf History

Throughout history, countless Deaf and Hard of Hearing stories and experiences have not been documented or preserved. How do we change this? How do we decide which stories to tell and which materials to preserve? Join this free webinar offered by the National Association of the Deaf and the Deaf Culture and History Section. Moderator Corinna Hill will chat with panelists Carlos Aponte-Salcedo, Jr. (Council de Manos), James McCarthy (Gallaudet University Archives), and DeAnna Swope (Georgia School for the Deaf Black Deaf Alumni Segregation Experience Documentary Project) about their experiences and recommendations for best practices in preserving and documenting Deaf history. Interpreters and captioning will be provided.

Please consider a donation to the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) so we can continue our advocacy efforts and plan important events like this series.

April 26, 6-8p ET

>> Hello, there! Welcome, thank you so much for joining us tonight. We're so excited that you've joined us. This panel is going to be discussing the preservation and documentation of Deaf history. Next slide, please. All right. One of the main reasons we're hosting this event is because the month of April is National Deaf History Month, so we are celebrating Deaf history. Of course, that's an all-year event, but we try to make sure we're focusing on it during April. Many Deaf stories and narratives have been lost over the years, and we are trying to focus on making sure that those stories and narratives are documented. Those stories are really important for our community, and so tonight we're going to be discussing with three great panelists, and before we start, we want to review a few house rules with everybody. Next slide. We've got three panelists tonight, like I said. At the end of our event, the last 30 or 45 minutes, we're going to have a Q&A session. You're welcome to ask any questions, make any comments. And the best way to ask a question is through the chat section. We've got folks keeping their eye on the chat, and we will be making note of those. The chat will be open during the whole event. So you can share your thoughts, talk to each other, share information. But please make sure that we're being mindful and respectful for our event today. Make sure that your comments are appropriate as well, please. I want to acknowledge that we have gathered on indigenous land in the United States. So we want to make sure that we're acknowledging their community and elders, both past, present and future. NAD and the Deaf Culture and History Section is one of many different sections that's part of NAD's membership. We are the ones who have hosted this event. And you can join our section. We've got an Instagram and Facebook, so go ahead and follow us there. And we will soon be opening up our board. So you can sign up to run for a board position as well. Next section. Next slide. So I am Corinna Hill. I am going to be your moderator for this evening. I'm the vice-chair of the DCHS. An image description, I'm a white woman standing in front of a black chalkboard. I've got a black shirt and a blue blazer, and I have pink glasses. Now I'm going to ask our three panelists to introduce themselves. They're going to give their names, their sign names, an image description, and we'll go ahead and start with the event. Thanks again. All right. Come on up. Great. Carlos, can you please start with your intro, please?

>> Hi, there. I'm Carlos Aponte-Salcedo. An image description for myself, I've got red glasses, I have brown skin, dark brown hair. I'm wearing a black long-sleeved shirt. My background is a brick wall. And a radiator is visible behind me as well. Jim.

>> Hi, I'm Jim, I don't have a name sign. Simple enough. I'm a white man wearing glasses. I am balding. I have a blue and green checked flannel shirt. I am sitting in a room with a painting and book shelves behind me.

>> Corinna is saying DeAnna.

>> Hello, everyone. I'm DeAnna. My name sign is D on the left ring finger. I'm a Black woman. Behind me is a pink background, it's a backdrop. I am wearing black and silver earrings with black locks wrapped up in a bun with a black scarf and a red top a long-sleeved red top. I'm looking forward to this panelist discussion.

>> Me, too. So I'll go ahead and start us off. Can you please talk about the different projects that you're involved in or the different efforts that you focused on for preserving and documenting Deaf history, please?

>> Maybe Carlos, do you want to start us off? Oh, no, I'll let DeAnna go.

>> This is DeAnna speaking. Well, I have a good friend of mine, her name is Kristi, last name is Merriweather, and she told me about a book she was reading and it focuses on Deaf segregation in the School for the Deaf in Georgia. And this was based on the alumni. Her and I actually are involved in a group called Think Georgia. And we actually took a Deaf culture course, and that has been expanding. And we wanted to give a presentation on Black Deaf history, so Kristi Merriweather asked me, what do you think about this book? And I said I hadn't read it. She summarized what the book was about, and it seemed very fascinating. We developed a PowerPoint, and we actually designed a presentation. We also thought maybe we can invite the alumni to be involved. We've asked three panelists to be a part of this. And Kristi thought maybe we can collaborate some of our stories in the book, and it seems like there was a lot of differences, and a lot of information that wasn't there. There was a lot of Black Deaf students that were not interviewed. It seemed like it was geared towards the white Deaf students. So it was whitewashed, to our surprise. We were just shocked, you know, we were wondering what more is missing that's not in the book. And it's a widespread belief that people are accepting the book as truth. And so we thought, okay, what can we do. And years and years later, I thought, you know, this really bothers me. What can we do about this? So we decided to do an interview again. And we asked the alumni to see if we can actually get more than five people, and we actually interviewed about 25 people. And Kristi said, wow, this is an entirely large project. Why don't we just make it into a movie? And I thought you've lost your mind. You know, I mean. [Laughs] I mean, there's a lot of people that are involved in this, but, you know, that can be involved in this but I thought I'm not technically inclined to do this. So I contacted Martha. I know that you probably don't have any money but I was wondering if you could do this for free. And she said yes, of course. So it was wonderful. We were able to get a camera crew. We got a production crew. And we did a lot of interviews. And it was amazing. We were able to collaborate a story that was lost that has been missing, the history that has been lost. And so that's why we advantage of this opportunity to share as many stories as we could with the future generations so we do not repeat history. So this is why I am doing this.

>> Wow. Thank you for that. And when did you start working on that project?

>> The project started spring of last year. Yes. We focused on Georgia. But I mean it wasn't a rush. We're still working on our narrative that we would like to add. Because if we don't have a narrative, then people will be very confused. What is this story about? How is this connected? Where is the start, where is the middle? So we've got to put things together to make sure the story flows so it's not all over the place. We want to make sure that we have the eras, we want to make sure that we have the years. And we want to make sure that the stories are connected and all the experiences are connected as well. So we want to make sure that we're taking our time so we are preserving our history. So we don't have to talk to people and say, what about this, what about this? Because people are asking us. And I said just chill, chill, just relax. It's in the works.

>> That's great. I'm really excited to see that. And so that's a documentary regarding Black Deaf segregation and integration experience.

>> That's right.

>> Great. And Carlos, I believe your project is also involved a bit of the documentary movie?

Carlos is saying yes, this is Carlos signing. I partnered with Council de Manos back in 2014, 2015. And that organization had a different name at the time. When I joined in November of 2014, and then later on in January we had a staff retreat for the group. And one of the first projects that I was assigned with my work there was an online magazine. And we called it Manos. And so at that time I wasn't necessarily sure why they picked me. I didn't have any experience with public relations or journalism or anything like that. My background was in counseling, behavior support and involvement with education. And so I will talk a little bit about that later. But with Council de Manos and the Manos magazine, the first issue I went ahead and interviewed a former board directors from the '90s up to 2005. And so I reached out to several of them. And I asked for -- I asked them the same five questions. They ended up sending me photos and lots of different information. So I was able to create that into our first issue. And then when the organization changed the name, we wanted to set up a tagline, you know, a lot of big corporations and companies have different ways they like to be identified by a tagline. And so with many marginalized groups, our story, like DeAnna was mentioning, the stories are lost. They aren't documented, they haven't been preserved. And so we created hashtag C5 know your story. And so you can use that on any social media platform. And of course you're tagging it through the hashtag so that way Council de Manos can find your story. And so I just started advertising this in the communities and asking folks to make some little blurbs in ASL about their identity, about their stories. And so people went ahead and made some of those videos and we put them on YouTube, and we have an account with YouTube so we were able to upload a lot of those stories and still today it's not exactly what we want it to be, but they are still there. So that sort of led to a partnership with Gallaudet University with Deaf documentation with the Sherman documentation project. And I think that was before COVID actually. And so we did some interviewing with them, and they found me through my interview with my father, actually. My father is a great storyteller. He's always been. You know, he's classic Deaf storyteller. And so we did an informal three-part series, and that was how the Schuchman Center and I were able to partner. And so I talked about my experience in New York City. I think I did a Zoom presentation or webinar during the pandemic about how the pandemic has impacted Deaf people in New York City. And so my involvement with this, it's a little bit more of a hobby, just something I enjoy doing.

>> Corinna is saying yes, that hashtag is something that you guys can all check out after our event tonight. And you can see all these different posts that people have made to make sure that their stories are being spread around. All right. Jim.

>> Okay. So I'm director of Gallaudet University's archives. Really, I'm a little bit distracted by both of your stories, because one of my professional interests is in developing community archives that naturally tend to be waived in marginalized communities. So both at Gallaudet and in the archivism field, it's quite hearing centric. There's what I would call silences. And so this comes up as an issue over and over again, because documentation tends to happen within specific groups that are in power at the time. So mostly male, mostly hetero, mostly white. And so people interested in this field have been writing chapters and books. And I think Gallaudet University's archives are an example of one of the silences collections that I think eventually led to the development of a program where we get staff into different communities to train their communities on how to preserve their own cultures, because right now, everybody's trying to send it to the University, and what's happening is they no longer have access to their own community's archives. So we are trying to develop a diversity of archive centers, not only placed within Gallaudet University proper. And so listening to your stories, let me talk about preservation of Deaf history. We're going through a cool period of transition, I would say, because I would call this period of time -- we're trying to decide whether either to renovate or replace about 15,000 cubic feet of things that have to come off the Gallaudet campus. We have to remove them. And a lot of these materials, that requires a lot of work. And so this Thursday is the first batch of things leaving the campus. And in this process of, you know, evaluating the archival materials and then packing them up and making plans for their shipment, what we're seeing is we've gotten an increase of materials over the years. And that caused us to revisit our policies about the materials. So this whole process was really fascinating to see how it happened. And hopefully it will wrap up some time in September.

>> Can you talk a little bit more about what the goal is for that space for the archives? Is it going to be in the same building? What is that going to look like?

>> Well, my first goal is to create a place that is more accessible to people. One of the things that may seem very simple, but I feel is quite critical, is talking with the architect who's designing the space about what this building would look like. We would like to be enclosed with large glass walls so people walking by can see the collection we have. Right now they're hidden in boxes and closed-off rooms. We would like glass walls. And that's especially important to me as an art collector, especially. We have about 2,000 pieces of Deaf-created artwork, and it's the largest collection in the world. Nobody sees it. It's hidden away. And I felt that is not right. We need to open the collections up, let people come in, see them, use them, learn and grow. And that's where change will come from. And that's my goal with this new space.

>> Yeah. When I've been to the archives, I've noticed it's always in the basement and dusty and dark. And yeah, it would be really great if it was much more lit in a space that's encouraged for folks to visit. I know that you all have different projects going on. And so now I'm wondering what drives you. And what sort of has inspired you into this work? It looks like some of you are doing it in a volunteer method, some of you do this in your line of work. What is your goal and your desire with this, with these efforts?

>> Well, I would say part of the thing that it would be something that can change the community. You know, I grew up, I was taught to advocate for others who cannot advocate for themselves. And I see that as an opportunity where I can be a part of a hearing wisdom, you know, because more so nowadays, the kids just don't care, you know? I want to take advantage of the experience, be able to take in what I've seen and learn and be able to remind myself not to repeat these things, and thank those who have fought for us, and people who have gone through those struggles. Because I can see myself in their shoes, especially within the Black community, the Black Deaf community, because we have similar struggles, and some different struggles. I'm not trying to compare, but trying to see how others are surviving through it. And what are their tips to give me a sense of how do I build resilience. You know, this is something I learned in third grade, and you know, when I was placed in the School for the Deaf in Georgia, they denied access. And I was confused. They said I was too advanced, I was too smart for the school. And that gave me mixed feelings, that that was their decision that I can't go in there? Because I wanted to go in there and be able to learn about my Deaf identity, but I lost that opportunity. But hearing their stories, wow, you know, my life would be so different. Would it be different as in better or would it have been worse? I'll never know. But to be able to be a part of history, to produce and create their stories and be able to pass it down to younger generations and be able to teach them they should be grateful for what they have. Not everything has to be about money but taking in the value of history. That's what's important to me.

>> Wow. Yeah. That definitely sounds like a lot of work. Carlos.

>> Hi. This is Carlos. I think one word that I would pick to describe my experience or my journey is that, journey. And that started when I was born. My father's a Deaf man. And he is a product of language deprivation in Puerto Rico. He was born poor, he was born on a farm. He didn't have access to health care. He was born in 1949, and there was no electricity in his area. He always tells me when he moved to New York, 1957? 1958, 1957? And then later on after he moved to New York, I was born. And so when I was growing up, I was mainstreamed, yes, and that was because the doctors encouraged my parents to put me in a public school setting with other hearing children so I could be exposed to spoken English. And so lip-reading and speaking was always very heavily emphasized. My family loves stories. And now he's still telling me stories all the time. And so those stories are a part of who I am. I love stories. I love social studies. That was my favorite subject in school when I was growing up, especially middle school. And so if we fast forward to my work with Council de Manos, so regardless of my background when I was growing up, I always identified as Deaf. And when I went to Gallaudet in 2008, when there was a big movement, in 1988, that's when a lot of the protests were happening with Deaf President Now and my involvement with Council de Manos and all of that, and being raised in New York City and my identity as a Puerto Rican, and with the placement of the recent Supreme Court justice, I felt -- I learned the term Nuerorico. My family is from Puerto Rico but I was born in New York City. So that term really resonated with me. So I think that with our history and our food and our culture and maybe we are often moving within the systems of our culture, but we may not always see it up front. It may not be explicit to us. So I know that my family during Christmas, we would always sort of gather together. And I never fully understood why we would do that, and my dad never did either because of language deprivation. So he would just say it's important that we do, it doesn't matter why. With my involvement with Council de Manos, I was able to learn some of those missing links. So that's my reason, that's my why, about why I do this volunteer work. Stories matter. The hashtag that I was talking about, we have another one, authentic representation or representation matters. Yesterday I started reading Nyle's book. And in the beginning of his book in the first chapter, he talks about our identity in the community is so important. We share our stories, and we need to preserve our history. And it was really nice for me to see that in his book, you know, in today's TV shows and comic books and novels and memoirs, I'm gay, I'm deaf, I'm Puerto Rican. And those identities and those stories that resonate with me are so important for me to be able to see the representation in the world. And we need to continue to produce those so future generations have the same. What my parents have given me and past generations as well are equally as important. So that's what I'll say about that.

>> Corinna is saying, yes, we often only see one type of Deaf person. So having many different types of representations of Deaf people is important. Jim.

>> Hi. This is Jim speaking. I want to add a little bit to Carlos' story about empathy and compassion. The same with DeAnna. I also was mainstreamed going to school. And my parents were pretty good making sure that I was involved with the local community and different events that they would take me to. However, I didn't really begin to understand what it truly meant to be Deaf until I started working at Gallaudet back in 2008, well, after graduate school and college, all of that, you know, that didn't happen till much later. And then 14 years later, I am still unpacking what all of that still meant to me, feeling all the different layers that continue to unfold in terms of my identity. And so when I worked at the archives, I realized I have even more to unpack. And Gallaudet in the '50s was a very different campus than it is now. The Deaf community that existed back then and now are quite different. So we want to track that history that exists until today and looking at all the different exciting projects such as what Carlos and DeAnna are doing, I realize now that the Deaf identity is precious. And it's ever-changing. It evolves. And that's what's so fascinating. And feeling that responsibility to be stewards of the history, past, present, and future, and documenting it and sharing it. I mean, obviously it's not been official until such time it can be used by somebody. So I feel a strong sense of responsibility to my Deaf self, to maintain that. And that's really what pushes me and puts me in this kind of position.

>> This is Corinna. Yes, Jim, when you said something that really touched me about responsibility. How do we make sure that Deaf history and all of those stories that we're talking about, how do we make sure those are being documented appropriately? I was watching a coworker show a movie with Deaf holocaust survivors. And they were interviewed by a hearing filmmaker. So the deaf holocaust survivors were talking about their stories, about their exodus out of the camps and everything, and of course the hearing filmmaker only showing the face of the person. They're not showing their full hands. You can only see a little bit when their hands move up towards their face. So I had to use the captions when looking at deaf people signing ASL. So how do we make sure that those Deaf stories are being documented appropriately? And like we've mentioned, there are many different identities within the Deaf community. And this responsibility, like you mentioned, Jim, do you mind expanding that or your thought process behind that work?

>> Jim, here. I see similar situations as to what you're describing. I think also it can shift another way. Sometimes Deaf filmmakers will frame things just perfectly, but then they sometimes forget that captioning is required. And when that happens, it goes over the signing. You can't see the signing either. So they have to remember these kinds of filming techniques. And so having Deaf representation in these projects is why that's so important. And we see it not only in the archives, but in the history of the community. A lot of folks who are trying to preserve the history, those groups aren't really -- individuals aren't members of those groups. Individuals tend to be working alone, and they may be not aware of what kinds of cultural issues are arising or the stories and narratives that are arising. And sometimes we'll miss the original intent of the comment, because they're not following up in a way that can draw that out. So having Deaf representation and Deaf involvement will help bring those to the forefront.

>> This is Carlos. I don't necessarily know if I can answer your question, Corinna, but I have a follow-up. Our videos on YouTube that I was mentioning, those videos, we have included a transcript. And on the video, we have embedded, I believe, most if not all have two languages in captions, English and Spanish. And so a person is signing in ASL, so those are accessible to people who know ASL. And then the captions are available to those who read English and Spanish. If those who don't do well with reading English or Spanish, that's where I feel like the loss is at. Those who rely on auditory stimulus. So Latinx people who were raised with a Latinx family who were hearing and had a Deaf child, maybe they struggled a bit with receiving ASL. And so for that kind of work, I don't want to call it work, because money is involved, but I'm hoping that there's sort of grant that we can have voiceovers on those videos. Because that would become even more accessible for folks that don't know ASL and can't read the captions. And that way we can spread our stories even wider.

>> This is DeAnna signing. So this is why I said earlier, I don't want to rush through this production, because I want to make sure it's accessible, not only for the Deaf but as well as the hearing population to make sure that they're involved. Somebody who can do voiceovers, somebody who can actually be responsible for the captioning to make sure that matches up with the sign, if there's any errors they can make sure they can fix those errors. I plan to have it captioned as well. So that's why we're relying a lot on donations to make this project happen, because without the donations, I'm sure nothing -- nothing would be happening except for just the signs on this documentary. So I want to preserve the alumni's experience, you know, because a lot of their experiences are very important to share, because the struggles are very real. And it has not been shared. They weren't able to hear, be heard. So I think that's why I want to make sure a hearing audience is able to have access to this so that they can have an impact on them. Maybe their former classmates, maybe their former administrators, so that they're able to hear and listen to their pain so that they can also heal. And this is where we need to actually push for our chance to heal together for them to become accountable for causing so much harm, because not everyone is an expert in ASL. Some may sign English, PSE. There's a variety of sign languages. And I'm just trying to think of, okay, if I want to make sure that this documentary is accessible, I want to be able to provide it in so many different lenses and make sure that that information is not lost so that it does make an impact for all of us. So we're thinking about so many different things. We're making sure that there's voiceovers, there's captioning, subtitles, you know, is there music in the background? I don't know. I don't know how to add that into the documentary. So we're going to have to find people to do that to make sure that people are engaged and are fascinated by the work that we have created.

>> Yeah, Jim, go ahead.

>> This is Jim. I think something we often see is that not everything can be perfect to everyone. It's not a one-size-fits-all. Whether we're talking about the old file formats or old folders or inaccessible to certain groups of people, especially those who are not likely to have translations made available to them. I think all we can do, and all anybody has really been doing is their best. But I think the key is to get the stories out there, you know? Like DeAnna said, coming from hearing families and then learning the stories, not realizing what had been happening among the various family members, how would that experience have impacted them? What if they had had an opportunity to watch a video of their family member speaking their truth? So that's why family stories are so important to get out there.

>> Yes. You made me think of something. Who is your primary audience? And does that impact how you're doing your work? I think there are many different populations. So now I am wondering. Who is your primary audience?

>> This is Carlos. So, yes, Jim, you mentioned that we do our best, right? Of course. And for me, I work primarily in Deaf education. And there are many resources, meaning books, videos, and with those don't come a lot of Deaf representation. So Council de Manos, we are sharing as much as we can with students at my school, I know for sure, and I'm sure at many others with other directors who are partnered with those schools. And videos like Three Kings Day and what is that, and making sure that our signs are clear for the student body at that school and if a high school student is doing a history project, making sure that they have the resources for Deaf history. And so for deafblind and deaf disabled and deaf Latinx students in the United States and in Latin America, making sure those resources are available.

>> Corinna. Does that impact how you do your work? I saw DeAnna move your hand. Did you want to answer?

>> I'm sorry. What is your name sign again? Carlos. Okay. I'm so sorry about that. Thank you. I agree with Carlos. Really the priority, the focus needs to be deaf and hard of hearing. That is my main target audience. But at the same time, you know, the second audience would have to be the hearing members of the community, because I want to make sure that we include everything in this documentary. Let's not rush through this. Like hold on, and step back and go, oh, we forgot to add this and we need to add this information. We need to slow down. We want to make sure that we don't miss anything. We don't want to release it and then have regrets and say, oh, we're done, we want to make sure that, you know, we do it justice. Because the story is not something we should take lightly. We want to make sure that we're thorough from A to Z and that the story is released and it's heard. So the target audience will be the Deaf. And then also for the hearing members of the community to be able to understand the story.

>> If I could. This is Jim, here. DeAnna, you said something about keeping all the raw footage united together. You know, and then editing them and distributing them. What's important is always keep your raw footage. Don't, please, ever get rid of it. People sometimes will make projects and once it gets turned in, if you ask them for the raw footage, they've already gotten rid of it, because the project's over. And that's a missed opportunity. So I think it's important for everybody, keep in the back of your minds, always keep the raw data.

>> Thank you.

>> And then the question about who is my audience? That's hard for me to say, because I believe most people tend to look at the Gallaudet archives as being for the entire Deaf community. At least they think that we think that we are for the entire Deaf community. But actually our primary points of interest are very similar to other archives where we record institutional knowledge. So we're focused on Gallaudet history, how the institution has operated and evolved over the years, especially today. That's important. Because Gallaudet is going through some big changes right now. And so that's our primary audience. And then secondary, I would say community wide, because we recognize there has been issues with preserving Deaf history. And we have a specialized audience of researchers as well, both hearing and Deaf, like for example Corinna. We have a whole research community, and people share information from all different fields like Deaf disability history to hearing person who is maybe grandfather graduated from the University and they're curious to know during their grandfather's time what was the University like. Maybe see a couple old issues of the buff and blue. So research people who have an interest in history and really want to understand why it is that we are where we're at at this moment, what led up to this. So I know it's a little bit abstract, but.

>> This is Carlos. Yes, for Jim, I have one comment and one question for you. So one thing I learned a year or two ago, supervisor at my school said that we need to make sure that we send things to Gallaudet. And so I wasn't necessarily sure why. And now that you're talking, I understand why. Now, my question. For archives, for researchers, for history, for everything, is that available for students who are still in primary or secondary school? What does that look like? How would they be able to have access to your collections?

>> This is Jim. It actually, it varies. For example right now there is a project happening with the Kendall Elementary School, which is the school on campus, where they have found some materials pertaining to the history of Kendall. So one of the staff members at the archives are working with teachers and presenting to the classrooms, I want to say third or fourth grade, but presenting some of this information to the classrooms that these materials are coming to Gallaudet's museum. We display them. We show the students how we put together an exhibit from their materials. And really we have people from across the country and the world, students of all ages who will contact us, wanting to do research on specific topics. And they end up researching something -- well, a specific example. NASA, you know, you could do some research on the space race, and you find that back in those days, there were some Deaf people involved. So what will happen is that researcher will contact Gallaudet and want to know about the Deaf people that were involved. Another issue is like Brown v. Board of Education, and in their research they'll come across something about Gallaudet, something about Deaf people, and they'll contact us. Now, remember, that court case was a supreme court case back in 1953. And so in many ways, we are finding ourselves showing up in American history, and so we get more students contacting us, wanting to know about the Deaf history part of that. So, yeah, absolutely, we offer the opportunity for K-12 students.

>> This is Corinna. Jim and DeAnna, you were saying something that made me think. I often struggle with decide deciding what to document or what to preserve. And so sometimes, like Carlos and DeAnna were saying, they are recording so much rich history and narrative. How do you edit? How are you choosing what to cut and what to keep? And so I know, Jim, you're working with physical materials, papers and books and things like that. So how do you decide what to keep and what to set aside? What is your thought process behind that?

>> This is DeAnna speaking. That's a challenge. It is.

>> Really?

>> We have to make sure that we keep it under two hours. I mean, really. Under two hours. I mean, we want to add. We want to add more people. But then we're like, no, no, no, that's enough, that's enough. If we have more people, then the movie's just going to go on and on. And I am not trying to be one of those producers that has those long Titanic movies, okay? I'm not trying to do all that. Not that three-hour movie. But at the same time, I want to -- I don't want to edit certain people. So that's the challenge where I have to make sure that it flows with the story that I am trying to make. And it makes sense, that it's not -- it's very clear. There's a story, and there's a flow to it. We don't want to rush through it, because we don't want to edit things, but we also want to make sure that things are preserved. We want to make sure that we make an impact. And that's impossible. Then do we make a part one and make a part two? Or do we just have one movie? That is the challenge right now. You know, it's like I want that, and I want a little bit of that, and I want a little bit of this and a little bit of that. So what is that game where -- yeah, eeny, meeny, miny, moe. That game. That's the game I feel like we're playing. The four of us have to make that decision. So this is where we're at right now. And I don't know. But yeah, we are struggling with that.

>> Yeah. It's nice to have that team effort to make those decisions together. If you have so much footage, and you're trying to keep it under two hours, it seems like a reasonable task. But I can only imagine how difficult it is.

>> Yeah.

>> If I may.

>> Yeah.

>> Jim speaking. It's a hard question to answer. I think for us often it's fairly easy to say keep everything, just keep it all.

>> That's ideal. [Laughs]

>> Ideally, right. But you do reach capacity. And when you do, what do you do? Nobody on my staff or nobody that I'm aware of can anticipate or predict the future 50 years from now, what will be important to researchers then. What will they be interested in? Will they want to see program books from the NAD conferences over the years? Will they care about the president's office budget reports? It's difficult to say. We try our best to evaluate every item based on what we think the historical value of that item will be. And that's always very subjective. Because what you're deciding, truly, is that even though something could be very humble, something from home, it is a representation of everyday life. This is an item that people cared about and used and will researchers in 50 years be curious about that? We don't know. So we're just trying to use our best judgments. I think it's also important for us to remember that when making decisions about what to keep or to get rid of, you're actually kind of writing history in doing so. You are in this role of picking and choosing what gets to be kept and what doesn't. What will last, what story will get told. And you have to be very cognizant of that. Mistakes can happen in the telling of the story. And that's not intentional. But it happens due to the materials that were chosen to be kept. So in 50 years, there may be a lot of assumptions made about things that are inaccurate. And it's only based on what they are seeing. So for us, that's always important to keep in the back of our minds.

>> Carlos, do you have any thoughts on that?

>> This is Carlos. My work with Council de Manos is a bit different. It's not necessarily an ongoing project. It's based on when the community feels comfortable. And that's one of the biggest challenges, because sometimes people don't like having the camera on them or they would be rather be in control of recording themselves. And when I was in Council de Manos 2015 to 2019, that was before Zoom became a thing, and, you know, I wonder, you know, back in the day if we had that, what it would look like, people could just join a meeting and we could the record it. It would be a different set-up. And so there's no lost footage with the hashtags, you know, sometimes people send us material, and it's raw to have edit it and we add a title slide or a title page, add some captioning, and that's the end of it. But, DeAnna, I know, your work is a bit different. You're doing a lot of editing and cutting.

>> Thank you.

>> Corinna is saying yes, you have an ongoing -- a series, and DeAnna has more of a movie setting where it's a two-hour documentary. Do you mind talking about that, about why it's not a TV series or a program in that sense instead of a two-hour long stint?

>> This is DeAnna. As I mentioned, well, the original plan, Kristi and I were planning just a couple people. Again, just for our presentation that we were planning. And that was it. But when we asked Jude, who's a Georgia alumni, I wanted to talk to a senior. I wanted to reach out to her. And so I said, okay, so it's better off asking an alumni to join us and build the trust with the alumni. And she can build trust with us, you know, and then we would be ready to ask any more questions of the rest of the alumnis that we want to speak with, maybe 20 or 25 people. And at that time I was like, we weren't counting. We just thought we were just going to do a presentation, that was it. That was the intent of it. But then we thought about it, well, if we did interview 20 to 25 people, we could turn this into a documentary. Okay, all right. So that's where it started. But I thought with what money? What money? I mean, because, you know, I'm not Mrs. Jones. I'm not -- I don't have that money to do this project. And we thought, no, you know what, why don't we just send a GoFundMe page, and just see. And see if people will donate. And people were donating left and right. It was amazing. We were like, okay, okay. We can afford to do this documentary. Okay. So money kept coming in. People started sending in pictures. We did interviews. And we were filming. And we were able to document all of their work. And we wanted to make sure that all the people that were donating, we wanted to show them the work that we've been doing, because we wanted to ensure that we weren't just taking their money and not doing anything. So, but we have a lot of things coming in, a lot of pictures, a lot of information. And we're like, okay, that's enough. So we're thinking maybe, you know, like maybe doing an Indie film. I don't know. We're not sure. We're just playing it by ear at this point. So we'll see how it goes from there. I don't know. Maybe we can do something where we can preserve it at the museum. But we want to focus on one thing at a time than just throwing ourselves into this other project. I think we need to slow ourselves down and focus on one thing.

>> This is Corinna. Yes. So your goal is to administer that film very soon. It looks like Carlos is trying to continue his series. And Jim is still working on editing his collections. So now I'm wondering what are your goals in terms of accessibility. We already talked a little bit about that very briefly before, and Jim did mention about 50 years down the line, what should we keep. Just like with DeAnna's movie, how do you cut, how do you decide what you're keeping. So how are you making sure that what you have is consistently accessible? And that's not easy. So how is that approached with your team?

>> This is Carlos. How to make things more accessible ongoing for us I think is adding the voiceovers. So that it's accessible to the hearing community as well. That's one way. Another way could be Council de Manos is a nonprofit organization. Everything is volunteer based. Everything is done when we have the time. When I left Council de Manos briefly that project was put on hold. And hoping that we can maybe partner with some specialized media group or something of that sort or maybe even Gallaudet archives, so, you know, we were collecting these stories, and being able to sort of have them sit somewhere and be available to the public and hopefully that could be online so that schools can access them, elementary, middle and high schools can access them, early intervention can access them, and families can see the stories of Deaf people. And I would love for Latinx communities with hearing parents to be able to see those stories so that they can lift up their kids and show them that really in Los Angeles there is an office called Deaf Latino Family Organization. Council de Manos hosted a conference in L.A., and that organization was who invited us. And we went to her home, the director of the organization. And she is a mother of three Deaf boys, she is Mexican. She hosted us. It was really lovely. We had a lovely meal with them. That organization really is just so beautiful. And I think that for Deaf Latino groups can partner with American Deaf society with children, they can focus on this. And I know that oftentimes there's not a lot of representation or talk of Deaf people in the classroom specifically. So I think that can also be changed.

>> This is Corinna. So you were talking about how the project was put on hold. So how are we making sure that that project is still active online? Was anybody still monitoring it, making sure they were still live and that five years down the road there were no bugs in the system or anything that barred people from seeing them?

>> This is Carlos. Yes. That's a great question. All the videos are on YouTube. And Council de Manos has a channel that is open. It's free to watch. So it's on our website on our Facebook page, and there is a little YouTube logo photo there. And you can click on it, and it opens up the channel. And there's different play lists ready, showing each series. So there's the share your -- know your story, the stories about schools for the deaf specifically, different play lists for specific themes. And the director of media relations is the one who runs all of that. So that is something that is often passed along between the volunteers.

>> We'll make sure that after this we'll release the recording so that we can actually add the list of all your projects so that we can contact Jim for his archives, contact DeAnna for the documentary that she's working on as well. Any thoughts, Jim?

>> This is Jim speaking. Yes. Thinking about how we can make sure things are accessible 50 years from now is a big challenge for us. Ironically, it is much -- it was much easier before the digital era to do so. Easier. You know? You pack the books into a box and you store them. Of course the boxes must be acid-free to avoid deterioration. And then people can just show up and look in the boxes. That was a nice way to work. Fast forward to 2022, my office has this five and a quarter inch floppy disk binder. Remember that floppy disk you used to stick in your computer?

>> Oh, my goodness, yes.

>> What do we do for that? We have no technology that can read a five-quarter inch floppy disk. Should we keep it? Should we not keep it? We're not sure. So then that means to really, especially for digital information, to make it accessible you have to invest, the money, the time, the manpower, the people power, into converting all this information to a digital format. We have the capability, but it requires financial resources. So that's one issue. Another issue for us is that because it is so easy now to create Google Docs and spreadsheets, it's really easy to create these. So folks are making them, you know, on your hard drive you look at your files, and you're trying to figure out which file is what, and you really can't find things? People are not thinking about how important it is to preserve documents. And often what they're looking for is at the bottom of the list. And you could max out your space on Google Docs and they make you delete stuff. And we see that happening from time to time. Now, we've been in talks with a student organization at Gallaudet's campus, because they recently had some pretty serious changeover in their leadership. The whole club basically graduated in one year, and the next year it was all different people. So they weren't sure about how the new folks weren't sure about how they could host events. Was there any information on former events, and if so where do they find that information and is it accessible? Well, I had to tell them, it might be on the Google drive somewhere, but they talked about ownership of the specific drive they used was very confusing, and that's where the challenge comes in. It's not only the type of information, but it's the format in which the information lives. And that will be continuous consideration. You have to think about in the future is this a format that I will be able to use and need. And that's hard to predict.

>> This is Corinna. Yeah. I just found an old mixed CD from high school. I used to burn CDs. My laptop these days doesn't have a CD drive, so I can't play it anymore. But right, yeah, you have to think about how can we constantly update our collections and make sure that things are accessible, even to us. Yeah. Volunteer work, that is a lot. And we want to make sure that we're keeping those stories and not creating that tension there.

>> This is Carlos. I want to go on with what Jim was saying. And what I experienced at my school. The change of leadership and the turnover in different positions, with social media and our platforms, like for example Instagram, one person created a page for our school, and that person left. Now we can't find the password. And now we're changing over different people and different clubs want to create their own Instagrams and now we have like 10 or 15 accounts. How are we keeping track of those? Making sure that there's one central place that would be accessible to anybody who's in that position at the school. I think, yeah, that's definitely a gap in how we're documenting history. For schools and organizations, a piece of advice may be, like our password for Council de Manos is the same from 2015. And so those records, including Google drive, Instagram, Facebook, it's the same -- well, Facebook is different, I think it's through your personal account. But anyways, it's all the same password. So that's one way to make it easy, with the turnover, to make sure that everyone has access there, to centralize one piece of it. But Deaf history, different people in the community we need to make sure it's preserved within the community.

>> This is Corinna. Yeah, I see the chat is very popular today. There's lots of wonderful questions. I think we can go ahead and start with some tips. Jim or DeAnna do you have any specific tips that you wanted to share with other people like Carlos just did? And then we can move on to the Q&A. Any specific advice or tips for folks who are interested in doing their own preservation work?

>> This is Jim speaking. I did see one question in the chatbox about folks who would want to donate to any of the different projects that we're working on. There are different ways that things can be preserved. And one of my suggested tips would be, because this is an issue that comes up again and again is watch your temperature and humidity of your storage. If you keep things in the garage that gets hot in the summertime, you basically have destroyed the material. There are some places with air-conditioning, something with humidity control, I would say is priority. The second tip is always keep the original of whatever the material is. It applies to video but also other types of media. If, let's say, you have an original draft of a book, keep it. Don't throw it away, even if the book gets published. Show the edits. You'll have the final product, but that's not the end all. Keep the original, because that contains some of that knowledge and history that can be perpetuated to future generations. The same thing with footage. Keep the original footage. You can edit it all you want and you'll end up with a final version, but document all the steps that you used in this process. So those are my basic tips.

>> This is DeAnna. For those of you who are wanting to help preserve history, make sure that you spread awareness. The Deaf community is so small. Make sure that we can actually find a good place where we can share the information and not just in one location. But to spread that information. Because all Deaf children have a right to this information, not just adults, but Deaf children as well. Maybe in several different museums, not just one, because it's not going to be fair to other Deaf children who do not have access to that information. When I was growing up, I didn't have access to Deaf history or Deaf culture information until I was much older.

>> Me, too.

>> So, you know, let's change the narrative. Share that information nationwide. If there's no BIPOC, let's share it with them. There's no BIPOC community, let's make sure that we are not overlooking communities. So, we want to make sure that we are more visual in a diverse community. Make sure that we spread the word as often as we can. Because right now the information is not being shared frequently. And let's make sure that it happens more often than not.

>> This is Corinna. Yes. We need to see the worth in the stories. I know some people think, oh, these aren't worth anything, I'll just toss this way. No, we have to keep everything. Everything has a story to tell. It doesn't matter that it was old and that it's out of date. Some of those things really just tell the story of what happened back in the day, you know, we need to show all the humanities. Everything has value. Traditional archives in museums sometimes don't always see the value in Deaf stories, especially in Black Deaf stories, and so I absolutely agree with you, they need to be added everywhere. So I will go ahead and sign some questions from the chat. How do you find funding to document Deaf stories? If folks want to do this for their local communities, where can they look for funding support?

>> I can jump in, here. This is Jim. The first thing that comes to mind are grants. Admittedly, grants are not very accessible. To successfully write a grant takes a certain level of understanding about how grant systems work. Even I occasionally will struggle with understanding what I'm being asked in terms of developing a project that will get funded and how to make that happen. You might have some available expertise in the community. But, again, those systems aren't always accessible. Most of the time it's actually much easier if you look for grants and funding from -- on the local and state level. State archives sometimes will have funding available that individuals can apply for, and the state will help give financial support to those funds. Another way to get money is like DeAnna did with her project. Get the community to support it. Really, the community will fund it, because they are invested in their own history. And it's important that people see value in it. And when they do, they will pay for it. If they don't, they wouldn't donate money to support it. And so those are the two big factors that come to mind in getting funding.

>> This is Carlos. Hmm. Maybe donations to a certain organization. And you can often mark what that money is supposed to be for. So Council de Manos has that kind of project, so you can say that it's for hashtag C5 know your story or an interpreting agency to donate hours for interpretation for, voiceovers for a documentary, donate money to run certain projects or for resources like interpreting services. And as well as writing transcript and translation from ASL to English. And organizations can often pay for those services. So you can mark that down when you're making donations. I think that's how you can contribute.

>> This is DeAnna. Like Carlos and Jim, I agree with both of them. Carlos was just mentioning, like maybe an interpreting student that may need to volunteer, maybe they need hours in their interpreting program. That would be a great opportunity to lessen the financial burden when you make a movie. Also reaching out to different organizations who are willing to be involved pro bono, do a GoFundMe account. That worked out for us. But make sure you inform the community consistently. Because I want to make sure that I want to be able to use the GoFundMe, because right now it's on pause, but make sure they're informed about what has happened to the money that they've donated.

>> Sure. Yeah.

>> And also, I mean, it's amazing if you just partner with the community, because once you're done, you're done. You're going to lose that story. So you have to make sure that you find other ways to connect with the community, do a Facebook or do a hashtag, something that they see, a tagline, something over and over again where they actually remember the name so that they actually know your story more. So, you know, they'll be like, oh, I heard a little bit about your story, and they may want to reach out, and that's how you can pull interest.

>> Yes. I did watch the interview that Carlos had with his father. I love it. I highly recommend it.

>> I'll check that out.

>> So DeAnna, do you mind if I build off of that? So GoFundMe, is that easy to use? Do they take off money for fees? Do you recommend GoFundMe as a tool?

>> It is, actually it was quite simple. It was very clear form that you had to fill out, connect it to a bank account. Not everyone wants to donate because of the fees. So that was an issue. So we had to be willing to accept other forms of payment methods. It could be PayPal, it could be a cash app. So we had to move that money into the GoFundMe account. So it was time-consuming but we had to be very flexible. For anybody who wants to donate money. The GoFundMe was very clear, very simple, easy to use, and we were able to send information and share information with the public, and we were able to say thank you to our donors. Because we want to be able to honor them, honor the community who has been donating. We want to make sure that everything is covered.

>> Yeah. Supporting the Deaf ecosystem. We want to make sure we're supporting that and contributing to that. Sometimes we need to step up in ways we didn't even realize. Absolutely.

>> Definitely.

>> Okay. The next question I see here someone asked can you talk about everyday people and how to empower them to tell their stories in documentation without waiting for someone official to go ahead and ask them to do so? How can we encourage people just to share their own story without any sort of official reason? And what could that process look like?

>> So, when we changed our organization name, we wanted to know the stories of our community. And the directors went around and just went ahead and talked about what they wanted to say. There's no script, there was no format. And we wanted to put out through social media all of their stories, the directors. And during that time on Facebook, we had a Facebook group. I can't remember what it was called. Deaf Latinx group, something, and we shared the stories there. And we did have one T-shirt fundraiser. And we collected over $10,000 worth with this T-shirt selling. And folks would put their T-shirts on and tell their stories. Sorry. Yeah, so people would put their T-shirts on. And that was another way. It was just organic. People would buy the T-shirts and want to tell their stories. And, yes, Council de Manos is a national nonprofit organization, but it doesn't need to be any sort of official group telling you. It's community-based. Community-based. That's my opinion how you can get people in.

>> This is Jim. Honestly, often this kind of thing can start with just getting -- you found a couple boxes in your garage or your basement. Maybe you personally were involved with some organization, and you kept some of their materials, and you forgot it. It's now 20 years later. You or a friend, one of your kids maybe found and box and asked. And they started asking more questions, and you start telling the story behind the materials you've been holding onto. They want to know who it was we talked to and sharing names and places. And often that organic process will lead to the beginning of a project like this. We see that happening more and more within archives. Realizing that it actually could be quite easy for people, let's say, who went to graduate school, they have a master's degree, they have knowledge, expertise. Feeling like they own the archives. And the idea of preserving history belongs to them alone, because they went to school, and they know all the important information. Actually, more and more, we're realizing they don't always know better. Sometimes the community knows better about how to take care of their own history. Sometimes an outsider trying to come in and dictate to the community is not going to work. It's okay to support, but what we're realizing more and more is that it is our responsibility to make sure that history is being preserved, regardless of who's doing the preserving. We don't care who's doing it. What's important is it gets preserved, because that will help it maintain in the long run, especially, I would say, for my field here.

>> This is DeAnna. Empowering is a consistent conversation. I think that's where I found the wealth of information is having conversations with people, learning about it through my good friends, Kristi, for example, I wouldn't have known the history had she not shared that book. And we decided to share our history by making sure that we take on the responsibility to share and empower ourselves with that information. And if we give it to somebody who's just not going to embrace it, then we need to take it back and preserve it. We need to make sure that we pick the right people to preserve history. We can't just leave it in anybody's hands. As it was mentioned in the schools, I mean, we can just give it toll school, but then they own it, and you can't take it back. We can preserve history by doing presentations, you know, we can travel across United States, like Carlos mentioned with YouTube, we can do something in that format. We can go to schools. The alumni of that particular school, to make sure that we have accessibility instead of being limited in places that we can and cannot go. We want to make sure that we are honoring our history, and we continue to have this conversation, to inspire others to preserve and continue our history through publication, articles, they could be a series. It could be a book that's being published. Updated version of that particular book in a different point of view from a Deaf Black alumni, authentic story telling. And this is where we need to start with, authenticity, to make sure that the story is being told, that it's not being lost. Because they can get them the opportunity to tell their stories. So I think, again, really it starts to -- it starts with having conversations with people.

>> This is Carlos. I think the question was how can we grab attention. And I think DeAnna answered it beautifully. Have a dialogue about it. And that process builds trust. And then the discussion of what will happen with those materials will happen. And I think Jim said something that -- or maybe Corinna said something, that people won't make stories about another community if they're not involved in that community. And I think that's partially true. So the people who are involved will develop that trusting relationship. The film called Coda, not necessarily talking about the politics of the movie, but the actors said the director really worked closely with the actors to build that trust and get their perspectives on being Deaf. And I think that is a great telling of it, to invest time you need to earn the trust of the community in which their history you're documenting.

>> It sounds like this needs to be discussed. So the community has different perspectives, and you know what's missing. So something as simple as a person who may be a regular person off the street, but you may notice that a particular community is not being represented. So I think those people often think, oh, well this person knows best, maybe that person knows best. But actually getting involved and seeing hey, my story is not being told. So even though these other people said it, you can also share your story as well. Speaking from that official place, one person had asked, the Library of Congress or other federal institutions provide archives of history related to the Deaf community or is it just Gallaudet University at the clerk center, at the national association for the deaf. Can anyone answer that?

>> Jim.

>> Yes. This is Jim. Of course. No, not just at Gallaudet University. I mean, mostly at Gallaudet. We do have the largest collection in the world. But the Library of Congress does preserve some things like the original Veditz film about documenting ASL that was early, early 20th century. That's at the Library of Congress. Also there is a subset of library preservers who are collecting documents regarding that specific area. I would say that perhaps we would be number one, Library of Congress, and then maybe the National Association of the Deaf might have some things. I don't know what they -- I don't personally know what they have. But I would assume they have some materials. So it's kind of a mixed bag as to where these materials are. It's kind of difficult to clearly explain, like identifying what's within the Library of Congress collection versus Gallaudet's, because there are different materials. But it's in the manner of how the materials are collected or done differently. At the Library of Congress, I would assume it's more of a hearing culture perspective on Deaf people, whereas here at Gallaudet, we're much more interested in what is meaningful to us as the Deaf community. And there are issues that impact general society that are also important to us, but putting those issues aside, we need to look at ourselves and think about who we are as a people, as a culture and how do we spend our resources. When we're talking about having many subgroups that are all not the same. It's quite diverse. Library of Congress is a large institution, though, that seems to view the Deaf community's homogenous. So that's another difference in the ways that Library of Congress may collect versus how Gallaudet University would.

>> This is Corinna. I see questions specifically for Carlos. One of them being what are some additional struggles you have had as a member of the Deaf community and LGBTQ+ community. Have you been in a situation where either community hasn't understood the other, even though both are marginalized groups? Is this something you wanted to share about?

>> This is Carlos signing. Yes, that is a heavy question. But the answer is very simple. Yes. Intersectionality of course plays a part in this, how I communicate in one community would be different in another. How I am talking tonight at this event is different than in my queer community and in my Latinx community. And I think that, hmm. This is difficult. When Jim was talking about the Library of Congress and Gallaudet, I started to think about how I had gone to a School for the Deaf in Connecticut. I'm not going to mention it. You know what I'm talking about. They have a museum that is not on the campus. And I learned so much. Of course you have to know that of course I love history. And the history there was very rich. And I learned through other people that their history is not exactly right, that it wasn't the first Deaf school and all these other things. And so there were lots of inaccuracies. And many museums don't always include the full story, as in they're not including marginalized groups like people of color and indigenous groups. And so I definitely experienced this conflict that's being asked. And I think when it depends on the space I'm in, like tonight, my space is about stories and histories, so that's what I'm sharing tonight. But I know -- and because of this event, and the specificity of it, I know who my audience is, and depending on a different event, if it's a queer event, I would talk about that. And of course if I'm in a Latinx community, I would mention my Catholic background. So depending on how they mix together, they may clash. So yes, there definitely is a conflict.

>> This is Corinna. Would you say it impacts how you approach your work, that you're being pulled in different directions, that you need to be careful about how you present yourself or about how you are editing material?

>> This is Carlos. Hmm. For Council de Manos, the end goal is justice. And our primary audience is deaf, deafblind, deaf disabled, latened deaf, Latinx communities. And the individual in their communities. So our primary goal is the person. And so matching what their goals are and their values, where they went to school, their families, and their own personal histories. And so for Latinx person that could also be a trans person, and so we need to make sure that we're spotlighting those people as well. So we're really focusing on the individual. And maybe we're not always sharing those stories with the School for the Deaf or for our different platforms, but we need to make sure that we're in touch with the schools through mail chimp, and that is a great tool for us to attract different audiences for our group. We need to be mindful of how we're sharing information and who we're sharing information with.

>> So DeAnna, someone is asking you specifically. This is Corinna. Someone is asking you specifically, decade of state administration of Georgia and former Georgia state senator, governor, 39th U.S. president Jimmy Carter, did Jimmy notice Georgia School for the Deaf about the past situation and did he help support what GSD needed? Did he neglect the school during the segregation period? Do you know anything about that? I'm not necessarily sure if I fully understood the question but I did my best.

>> This is DeAnna speaking. No, I'm not going to answer something that I don't know. But I'll look into it and see if there was any involvement or did he not get involved. But to my knowledge, I think that was more a special education school. It was run by the special education program. So I don't see how he could be involved. So that's to my knowledge, but I'll look into it. But that's a good question.

>> Sure. Yeah. I guess that means you all have to watch the movie when it comes out.

>> Yes.

>> Okay. We have lots of great questions here. I'm going to go ahead and find some more. One question says what are some challenges and opportunities with our increasingly digital world? Of course some of them are increasingly advantageous and some are very difficult. I've got a lot of stories and videos on my phone, and on my Instagram account. How do I make that a part of Deaf history? How do I approach that?

>> This is Jim speaking. This goes back to a little bit about what I was talking about earlier as to how do we deal with this problem of new formats and old obsolete formats that are no longer supported like the floppy disk I talked about. There are no longer drives for it. In terms of digitizing, we know that this is something that the archival field in general is concerned about. There are different cadres of groups. I'm not sure how to explain that. But some folks look at web archives, for example, keeping like a Wayback Machine, sort of. This is, yes, I know, this is something called the Wayback Machine in concept. It's a website that archives other websites. So if you want to see what Google's home page looked like on December 27, 2003, the Wayback Machine will have that. It's not necessarily considered a complete record, because it could only capture so much at one time. Sometimes it's just the home page. And if you try to click on links they don't work. If that page had a video file on it originally, it may not run, because the video's missing now. They didn't keep the video along with the web page. They just kept the page architecture. So it's not a perfect process yet. But I think it helps, even though it's not perfect, it's the best we can do at the moment so that we make it easier to preserve the information. So one of the things I would suggest is try to keep everything in the Cloud. However, that is a problem, if you are saying let's imagine you're using Google, and Microsoft has their own Cloud services. Google's a little special because they're actually famous for being a free service provider. And what had happened was they took away that function and switched it to a new platform. And what happened was a lot of companies can look up information about different web pages and talked about what you will see online. And basically they're using it as a way to make money from you. So it's not a perfect solution. I think the Internet, especially in the United States, has become really overly dominated by just a couple of companies. I mean, the good thing is they're big, rich companies and they probably will last a long time so you can keep digitizing and storing things on the platforms they offer. I think that would be the one benefit from that approach. So I think I would say currently that's one of the best solutions we have. Not the best, just currently is using the Cloud storage solution.

>> This is Corinna. Yes. So if the stories on their social media account, and it's eye private account, what should that person do? Should they download the photos and videos? Do you have any thoughts on that, Jim?

>> Well, in thinking about like Instagram in particular, they typically don't keep stories after, what, 24 hours, anything posted there disappears. Is that correct?

>> This is Carlos. Yes, on your profile, there's different options. I can't remember what it's called. But it's a little module that you can pick, a little i icon. One of them is called archives and you can go in there and look at your past stories.

>> And Corinna is saying if you don't go ahead and save those, those will be gone? Carlos is saying, that's correct.

>> I think somebody just said in the chat, Instagram stories, you can archive them.

>> Yeah, you can use those for highlights. Yeah.

>> One of the comments, however we feel, we all know about Elon Musk buying Instagram, and if he gets rid of everything.

>> On Twitter?

>> Taking all that time and effort. So we want to get this stuff together. And if so, how do we put it together so it makes it easier to find at a later time? All my Instagram stories about 2016 get filed away in a certain manner. And that requires time and effort.

>> Yeah. I wanted to answer your question about opportunity. So when Council de Manos, when we're sharing these stories, we're able to have three -- five, six, seven, eight -- we had contact with eight different schools for the deaf. And that was absolutely rich experience, very rewarding, lots of brown, Deaf children that we were able to talk to and brown blind students as well. And the community in which the schools reside, invited me and our organization to talk to the students and meet with their families and they brought food. It was wonderful. And when I was growing up, like DeAnna and Jim were saying, I was mainstreamed. And I had family at home, but I didn't see culture at school in the curriculum or in the hallways. And seeing, you know, seeing that in the hallways for them, oh, and NAD's board retreats, they would go and visit different schools for the Deaf. I think that's absolutely so important. Seeing that history. History doesn't only exist in text and video. History can walk down your hallway. And I think that that is extremely impactful for the youth. And so that's one of the opportunities I was thinking about. I really value that.

>> So anymore in the future, maybe 50 states. You got more states to go. Maybe Georgia might be next.

>> Come on down.

>> DeAnna, did you want to add anything?

>> Hashtag technology. No. No. [Laughs] I'm not good on that. I'm not going to answer on it.

>> This is Corinna. Yeah, I think in regards to what was just being said about the audience recognizing that your story matters. And you've all been saying that so far. And so I think like Jim says, it takes time to preserve that. And maybe that means uploading it to a Cloud, you know, saving that letter that your grandma wrote you years ago. Your materials and your possessions matter. And people will care about it in the future. It is history. And I know it sounds funny, that 30 years down the line, someone might be reading my text? Is that Deaf history? But how we text today and what those look like might be history in 30 years down the line. So your individual stories have worth. And there might be different ways they can be preserved. Maybe they could be in physical materials or somewhere on the Cloud. But tell your friends and family to keep those. Those are really important.

>> This is Carlos. I wanted to expand a little bit. I think that in 2020 or 2021, the Schuchman Center came and asked about our experience as Deaf individual living in New York City with the hospital situation and the masks and everything. And that recording is available. And now COVID, you know, we're two years in and people really don't want to talk about it anymore, but maybe 30 years down the line, someone might find that of interest. And seeing those stories from the Deaf perspective in New York City will be extremely valuable. And the '80s, I didn't have access to anything like that when I was in school.

>> This is Jim speaking. I also wanted to add to that. Your story is valuable. It is important. For example, recently I received something simple from a student who used to be at Gallaudet. An Asian American woman who was a student, once upon a time. And there wasn't much information about her available. There were thousands of biographical pieces of information about Deaf people in general in the archives. When a Deaf person's name shows up in the newspaper, there was whole files like that. This woman's file was very thin. There wasn't a lot of cited material. But there was one piece in particular, which was a Xerox copy of a TTY conversation where it used to be on paper.

>> Oh, my gosh.

>> The old teletypewriters. Yes. Yes. But the problem there is the print will fade over time. So if you find old pieces of a collection, if you find old TTY paper, sometimes it's blank. So this person was smart. They Xeroxed it. They scanned it and wrote some notes. This is a woman who grew up in Hawaii and she actually lived in Honolulu. And she was I want to say deafened at the age of 7 to 12. But she was 12 when Pearl Harbor happened in World War II. So the TTY conversation was about her experience about the bombing of Pearl Harbor and knowing that she had friends and family, and there were people's homes that were destroyed. Shops that used to be on the corner were demolished. And she talked about her experience as a Deaf kid in a hearing family and how her parents explained to her what had happened. Friends from her school were gone. And it was just this one brief TTY conversation, piece of paper in a file. And then over 60 years later, we have information from an individual who lived that day and was sharing their perspective on it. That gives me goose bumps.

>> I've got goose bumps.

>> Right. So the story's important. The story matters. Just like everybody's here.

>> Yes. And Jim, I want to mention, you've gotten a bit dark. I want to see if you can turn a light on there.

>> Sure. Better?

>> So, we have 15 minutes left. And we have lots of more great questions. I'm going to try my best to regurgitate as many as I can. In your opinion in recent times, do you believe that there has been a decline or an increase in preservation and passing down of Deaf stories?

>> This is Carlos. I have to say an increase. I think the hashtag representation matters, having been able to see so much of me in my different intersectionalities on television and books, like Nyle's book Deaf Utopia that I'm reading right now. I just finished watching a Netflix show heart stopper, a new TV show that just came out. It's originally a graphic novel that just turned into a TV show that's being filmed in the U.K. And I didn't have that kind of representation. That book and now TV show represent the queer community. And I know that I saw someone say something that this recording will be saved, and NAD has lots of different recordings saved of their different webinars and panels and things to be watched at a later date, and those are Deaf history right there. And I think nowadays we have even more, not enough, but a lot. Compared to 40 years ago, much, much more. I'd say in the last three years, three to five years, there's absolutely been a boom of that. Yes.

>> Yeah. Tonight's discussion will be recorded, and it will be available online with captions. And we'll have voiceover as well. So I wanted to mention that.

>> If I could add to this discussion. This is Jim speaking. What Carlos was talking about. It's not only normal people stories who are being preserved but new stories that are being told in public, in fiction, on television, in the movies. Like the movie Coda, for example. It's not only that our personal stories are drawing more interest; it's that these stories are becoming more intentful, making these stories available to others to see. And it will be important to watch how that happens over time. We see articles, time and time again, being written about folks who had worked somewhere or had worked on something, and so we see more and more of this happening. And so I agree with Carlos. It's increasing ever so.

>> DeAnna, what about you? Do you feel there's been an increase or a decrease?

>> This is DeAnna. I agree with Jim and Carlos. I've seen that people are actually hungry for knowledge. And that's the beauty of seeing, watching our stories and being able to know the value of our history. Like I said, these conversations that are started. Hey, what did you say? Can you expand a little bit about that? So that's what we're continuing to do. Just even with just one word, one idea, you know, I think that's the beauty of today compared to the last four years. It really has impacted us as a community.

>> This is Carlos. I would like to talk a little bit more about that. Yeah, the Daily Moth. I think in Georgia there's something, Sign1News.

>> Yes.

>> And with -- after COVID hit, I think there's a group called Asian signers that set up something, and they've been signing stories. Different communities are creating their own spaces. They're making their own platform. They're signing stories. They're making classic American news accessible or international news accessible. Interviews with community members. Alvera’s got her show. Yeah, I definitely think there's been an increase.

>> Yeah. As you mentioned, Carlos, there is a lot more stories that we need to tell. So we encourage you, you know, ways that we can have you contribute to the community. Yes. Please do that. And as DeAnna said, I mean we're hungry. We have obviously a list of questions in the Q&A. People want to know more. So, I mean, we could spend another three, four, five hours. I'm not sure if I can listen that long, but maybe I can ask one more question for the panelists. I have a list of questions. Um. Let me see. Sorry. I want to make sure that I'm going to select the right question, here. Okay. I think this will be the last question. How do we make sure that you aren't excluding a specific group or experience, especially when deciding what to keep or include? What are your thoughts for your audience before we go for tonight? How do we make sure that we're not excluding certain groups or experiences?

>> This is Jim speaking. For the Gallaudet archives, I think for us the biggest thing has been about being more acknowledging of other groups who have not, up until this point, been represented in the archives. They just haven't been there. And I think part of the reason is because historically, we've been very passive as a community, I mean as the archives, Gallaudet has just accepted whatever donations they were given, with a neutrality policy. But in practice, we're not really neutral, because there are groups of people who feel comfortable giving us their stuff. So in the policy it says we're neutral, but the result is we're not actually neutral. So we need to look at our collection, see what's missing, and reach out for those missing things. But unfortunately, the groups that we're missing their material, don't trust us as an institution. And that's understandable, that we have to start figuring out how to develop trust with them in other venues, in other ways. And I think we can offer something to the community, something more than just being the keeper of the archives. We can advocate, we can support. There's so much more we can do. But I think being more decisive about it and deliberate about it is what's important.

>> This is Carlos. I've got three words: Time, space and intention. So I've got two specific points I want to make. So we've got Latinx. What about afro Latinx, Black Latinx, and those intersectional communities? They often feel marginalized because of antiblackness and colorism. And that requires folks who are light-skinned brown, making space for them and inviting them in, making sure that there's an opportunity for them to share their stories. And I think in regards to language level, how I make my sign accessible to people, I need to be intentional with how I'm doing that. In 2017 when I went to that conference in Los Angeles, I was the director for two years at that point. Someone came to me and said do you feel comfortable in Council de Manos? And so I said yes. And that person was in the LGBTQ community but was sort of excluded because of that. And I had a bit of luck when I came in. There were three other LGBTQ members at the time, and Council de Manos had a big reputation of being sort of led by men. And straight men. And knowing that marginalization was happening. And so now with deafblind, deaf disabled, black or dark-skinned folks, sometimes there is still lack of trust there. And so making sure that we're including those groups as well in Council de Manos is really important.

>> DeAnna, any thoughts? DeAnna, you're on mute. We can't hear you.

>> they didn't consider the Deaf people valuable in the book. That's where they lost their chance. Some of them didn't even know about this book. So we said the book's right here. They saw pictures of themselves, but they didn't have interviews of these alumnis. So, they had black faces, but they didn't have their words, their truth, their story. But it was written by a white man and I think a white woman. But I think technically, the authors had excluded those members, and they needed to identify and recognize them and give their power back to the alumni so they were able to share their story. So like I said, this is stories that are missing, even with the deafblind. But again, you know, the seniors, you know, they're slowly leaving our community, because they are passing, and the administrative staff want to reach out to the alumni, but as they're getting older, we're losing these members of the community. So the memory and being able to have their stories shared, that's what really matters, really.

>> This is Corinna. Yeah. Unfortunately, it's time for us to start wrapping up. So I want to go ahead and first of all thank you three for your time, your expertise, everything you've done. And like DeAnna said, time is of the essence. Like they say in English. So your stories are extremely important. And make sure you're spreading those in a timely manner. Whatever your project is, make sure you're remembering to take the time to preserve your stories. Because they're important. And over time, lots of things have been lost over the years. And we don't want to perpetuate that. So make sure that we're caring for and keeping our stories and attending this panel was one of the great ways to do that. So we'll go ahead and add your information as well when we go ahead and send out the recording for this. So thank you again for your time. Thank you to everybody for attending and watching. Sorry we couldn't answer all of our questions for tonight. But we can go ahead and see what we can do about making some connections. I see there are a lot of great questions that we haven't been able to address yet. So we'll see about what we can do with those. Thank you so much. And have a good night, everybody.

Support: Welcome to tonight’s webinar! You can turn on CC in the Zoom menu bar or you may use https://www.streamtext.net/player?event=NAD-Deaf-History as a separate browser.

Ada Cinar: Very excited to be here today!

Eiott Flores Medrano: hello everyone!

Ada Cinar: OMG hi eliott :3 happy to see you here

Eiott Flores Medrano: hey ada lol right back at ya

DCHS Chair - Amelia Dall (she/her/hers): Hi everyone! Reminder: please do go ahead and ask your questions in chat OR in the Q/A at any point during the panel, and your questions will be answered at the end of the panel discussion. Ask away! 😀

Trent Wade: Does the Library of Congress or any other federal institutions provide for any archival documentation and history of any segment of Deaf community as well? Or is it just Gallaudet University's Clerc Center and NAD?

Deborah McKague: What do you recommend on preserving pictures, video, newspaper that I have and donate to deaf archives?

Support: We’re keeping track of all your questions and will bring it up with the panelists soon!

Support: In case you’re interested — a recording of this webinar with transcript and link to Slides will be available after the webinar and emailed to you. We also have a page of all our webinars available at http://www.nad.org/resources/webinars.

Jane Sutcliffe: When you send out the transcript and video, please include a way to contribute/donate/support their projects! Thank you!

Support: Great feedback, thank you Jane — noted!

Ciara Edwards: What could public education institutions do better to help spread these stories?

Trent Wade: Can one of you confirm whether there will be a documentary or film made on the actual events of DPN in 1988 as produced by Nyle DiMarco?

Isabel Drey: How do you decide your medium and method of gathering and preserving these stories? How does it change depending on your target audience, or subject?

Trent Wade: Good question by Isabel!

Nicole Harris: What can hearing people who can't sign do to help the process other than by donating?

Jannelle Legg: Resending to everyone, not just panelists 🙂 Planned Obsolescence by Kathleen Fitzpatrick is a great book on the challenge of preservation and digital humanities for those interested in challenges/solutions

Erica Chapin: Carlos can you share your hashtag again?

Support: #C5KnowYourStory

Jennifer Witteborg: NAD's 1880 movie was chosen as one of Library of Congress 's archive https://www.loc.gov/item/mbrs01815816/

Jennifer Witteborg: (sorry NAD 1913 - not 1880)

feta fernsler: wayback is not 100% reliable

feta fernsler: they don't always record several sites/pages even the free web accounts online

Support: You can “archive” your IG Stories via Highlights yes

Andrea Berry: darn, gotta go. But wow, great presentations!! Big round of applaud!!

feta fernsler: still got some saved and its still good but good idea. Really long 'transcripts'

Jennifer Witteborg: Thank you thank you thank you for this program NAD, Connie, DeAnna, Jim, and Carlos, Jr!!!!! THANK YOU!

Dayanira Salazar Sanchez: Thank you!

Vicky Stockton: Thank you soon much!

Jannelle Legg: Thank you for your thoughtful discussions! Good work everyone

Kennedi Pierce: Thank you all for the presentation!! it was wonderful.

Natalie Miller: Thank you!

Tawny De la Cruz: thank you for this interesting webinar!

Ciara Edwards: yes thank you

Katie Sullivan: Thank you so much!

Abigail Nava: Thank you!

Cierra Jackson: Thank you!!

feta fernsler: thank you

Eliza Gomez: thank you!!


Corinna is smiling.Originally from Texas, Corinna is a Deaf historian based in Rochester, New York. She received her BA degree in History from Gallaudet University and a MA in History from the University of Rochester. She is currently a PhD candidate in the history department at the University of Rochester. She is in the final stages of completing her dissertation which studies five different friendships between Deaf and Hearing Americans from 1840-1920. She teaches Deaf Culture and Deaf History as a lecturer in the Department of Liberal Studies at NTID/RIT.
Carlos is smiling.Carlos is a proud Nuyorican (a Puerto Rican from New York). He has Deaf parents (and extended Deaf relatives on his father’s side). He is married to Ramón. They have been together for over eleven years and married for six. They have two dogs, Hazel (9) and Bear (soon to be 2). Carlos is the Supervisor of Student and Family Engagement at Lexington School for the Deaf. He oversees four divisions – Counseling and Behavioral Support, Residential, Family, and After School Programs (including Athletics). He is also involved with the Multicultural Committee and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) Council. Carlos, nationally certified counselor, passionately believes in equitable access for Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, Hard of Hearing and Late Deafened (DDBDDHHLD) people, particularly for those with marginalized identities. After being involved with Council de Manos (C5) as Board of Directors for four years, Carlos rejoined the organization in 2020 as a member of the Advisory Board. Being involved with C5 has transformed him when he realized its tremendous impact towards empowering Latinx youth and adults. One of his most rewarding experiences as part of the organization was his contribution to the #C5KnowYourStory series with his father.
Jim is smiling.A native of the Tampa Bay area of Florida, Jim received a BS in Professional and Technical Communications from the Rochester Institute of Technology and an MLIS (master’s in Library & Information Sciences) from the University of South Florida, focusing on archives and special collections. He got his professional start as a newspaper archivist at the Tampa Bay Times in St. Petersburg, FL, before becoming an instruction and reference librarian at Gallaudet University. After some time in Rochester first managing a grant-funded program, then managing marketing and communications for RIT/NTID's Office of External Affairs, he returned to Gallaudet in 2021 as the director of the University Archives. His professional interests include digitization, forensic analysis of obsolete file formats, writing and editing, and project management with a focus on planning and logistics. His personal interests include science fiction, art history, Gothic cathedrals, and people-watching. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, his son, and their three cats, and no matter what is happening around him, he would much rather be traveling.
DeAnna is smiling.DeAnna Swope is a community advocate at heart and has been involved in different fields. She is currently working as a program director of BRIDGES, a Deaf-led domestic violence program in Georgia, CEO and founder of Diamond Speaks LLC, and the Host of the Be Bold and Be Heard show. DeAnna has obtained BA in social and criminal justice and MA in public administration. She is a happily married mother of five children. DeAnna is one of the four producers on an all women team for the GSD documentary focusing on Black Deaf Alumni's segregation experiences.

Webinar Policies

We value access and strive to make our meetings accessible and welcoming to all participants. The NAD is committed to access and all of the presenters have been provided with guidance on making their presentations accessible. We also provide accommodations to meet individual needs during the webinars. If you have a question about an auxiliary aid or service you requested on your registration, please email [email protected]. All webinars will be in American Sign Language (ASL) unless specified.
  • Our webinars are intended to be a safe, secure, and learning environment for all participants with the purpose of encouraging productive discussions
  • All participants are expected to conduct themselves in a professional and courteous manner, and to show respect to everyone at all times without any form of harassment.
  • The NAD does not tolerate harassment of any kind, including but not limited to: race, national origin, age, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, religion, or political affiliation. The NAD reserves the right to expel any person who engages in violations of this conduct policy, and also reserves the right to ban such person from future events. No refunds will be given to any person who has been expelled from the conference for violating this conduct policy.
  • Anyone can report harassment or inappropriate conduct. If any person’s behavior has made you uncomfortable, or if you witness inappropriate conduct towards someone else, please immediately contact any staff or security affiliated with the NAD.
By attending a webinar, you agree and understand that you are giving permission to the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) to obtain and use screenshots, audio, and video recordings at the webinar, without restriction or limitation for such use. You also agree and understand that you will not be compensated for the use of such photographs, or audio, or video recordings. You further agree and understand that if you do not want to be photographed or recorded in audio or video, you will notify [email protected] before the webinar.
NAD webinars may be free (with a charge only for CEUs) or might have a cost for registration. Any payments made towards registering for a webinar and/or the CEUs are non-refundable except for a medical emergency or a death in the family (written documentation is required).