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The last episode of IN Focus aired August 2013; the page below is an archive.

The WFIU/WTIU news team continues its coverage of local and regional issues
in a new weekly program, Indiana Newsdesk.

April 26, 2012  

The Transfer Of Deaf Student Services Away From ISD

Comments (22)

  • Cubsman61

    And we saw HEAR Indiana being giddy about this. They stated that this had been 40+ years of their making. Watch for more behind the scenes action by HEAR Indiana. I know. 

  • DEAFisdparent

    this is really sad. we are being oppressed big time. 

  • Scudisgod

    Awesome show…..parents need an equal presentation of choices in Indiana….

  • Indiana Public Media

    Here is a question we didn’t get to in the show.

    If an individual has never been a hearing person before receiving a cochlear implant, can the brain interpret the signals received?- Don Katter, Ft. Wayne 

    And some more…

    1. Why is leadership supporting the move of Screening Services from the Indiana School for the Deaf, to HEAR INDIANA, being lead by the OMB Director, instead of the State Superintendent of Education, Dr. Tony Bennett?

    Dr. Bennett has been very directly involved in all of the educations reforms for the last 3 years.

    2.  WHAT, WHO, AND WHY – is this drastic change in service providers from ISD to a Private, Not For Profit organization?
    3.  Why is the HEAR INDIANA being given preferential consideration – when there is limited statistical data to demonstrate real success?

  • Patrick Cassidy

     No, they cannot. That is what those “fix-it” people (CI people, like organizations like HEAR Indiana, etc) portray CI as the ultimate solution to be able to “hear” again. This plays right into people such as parents of deaf children who are desperate for their child to be “hearing again”. There really is very limited data disbursed on the so-called success, and they do cherry pick the results. No one is really discussing the negative consequences of CI, which would include lower self-identity.
    I know HEAR Indiana. I grew up around those people. They really had disdain for Indiana School for the Deaf culture, and they have expressed ASL as a language that is beneath them. I was one of those poster child that used hearing aids, and spent hundreds and hundreds of hours (if not thousands) of hours in speech therapy. The more I find out about HEAR Indiana and those like them, the more I get disappointed.
    Are they really getting preferential treatment? I believe they have slowly cultivated their influence with the political establishment to get what they want, played with emotions and feelings of desperate people to be “hearing ” again, and worked with people who are into the fix-it attitude.
    OMB has NO business in this, and they have been unduly influences. HEAR Indiana needs to be exposed for their TRUE AGENDA. I have been in this field personally and professionally for over 30 years, and I know what HEAR Indiana and those like organizations are like. To make it simple, they are devious. Sorry I have to be blunt but that is how I see them. 

  • Patrick Cassidy

    And I find it ironic that HEAR Indiana is afraid to have a fruitful and deep debate about this situation. They prefer to do this behind the scenes and let their influence with the political establishment do their “dirty work”. It is really a sad situation.

  • Alan Delary

    There is a very tight knit group of people that worked to make this happen. They include private Speech Pathologist and AVT therapist Amy McConkey Robbins who has close personal ties with Mitch Daniels; Stephanie Kervada who is Daniel’s legislative assistant who’s mother works in the business office of St. Joseph’s school for Deaf and Hearing Impaired children and her son works with Connie Lawson; Adam Horst, Director of OMB whose wife is involved with HEAR INDIANA; Pete Miller worked with Adam Horst and got the nod to replace Connie Lawson when she moved up to Secretary of State; Kelly DiBeneditto who is the Director of Indiana Hands and Voices (HV) who sought funds from HV Board members at an “unofficial” meeting to pay for a lobbyist for the bill. Most of these people stand to gain personally from the creation of a state agency that will direct public dollars to pay for their services. Hence the “contractor” provision in the bill.

    I’d be curious to hear the opinion of the State Ethics Board on these matters.

  • Indiana Public Media

    We’ve got the video up with captions. Let us know what you think!

  • Cubsman61

     Wow, I am amazed at this web of deceit with those people. I grew up around people in the realm of HEAR Indiana, in time, I found them wanting to be in control and THEIR WAY is the way. The State Ethics Board should investigate this. I am sure those mentioned cohorts above will try to maneuver that out of the way.

  • Cubsman61

    I am NOT impressed with Rep. Cindy Noe. She acts like she has all the answers, hides the true facts, and cherry picked information to bolster her case. I have met people like her that they feel they are right all the time. And they will steamroll people who “oppose” her with real facts. Sad.

  • Abcohende

    Naomi Horton quoted at last 60 seconds of the program, “I think we need to recognize Oral Deaf Education was a mess, there were bad things that happened to deaf people. Deaf Education today is no longer child abuse, these kids can listen, play piano, sing. We need to put that behind, move on.”  Then, Greg Katter also commented in last 60 seconds that he believed, “greater involvement from people in the Deaf Community how have an interest in making sure their voices are heard.”

    So basically,  Horton asked us, including me, to move on and put in trust in new ‘Deaf Education” that kids can listen, play piano and sing. My interest in this issue and my voice are not heard.

    So, Ms.Horton… you want me to listen, play piano and sing… but not speak up my mind? Interesting…

  • Anonymous

    This is an exciting period for the deaf and hard of hearing in Indiana.  What is critical, is tracking and monitoring of all students which will eventually provide valuable data.  All panel members indicated problems of various degree, thus, this new center will have the opportunity to tackle them earlier.  Currently the new center isn’t appealing to some, however, over time success will be reaped.  It’s time for Listening and Spoken Language and American Sign Language to be accepted as language acquisition choice(s), either as a stand alone choice or combined choice as a result of parental decision making process.

  • Leala Holcomb

    I’m disappointed with the set-up of the panel – why are they speaking for Deaf people? Deaf people can tell you about their educational experiences themselves. This is like the congress making decisions about women’s body without women.

  • Marla Hatrak

    Awesome performance by Mr. Greg Katter. He understands that this issue is about meeting the child’s needs and about being concerned about the ultimate outcomes. For every successful “star” student that Ms. Naomi Horton mentions, there is a greater number of students who are not achieving in ways that they could and should. That’s who we need to focus more on…those children who are not making it and usually the reason is because they do not have “adequate language development and skills” to achieve in the classroom. It is an easy problem to remedy, but because of ideological bent like those promoted by the HB1367 proponents, we continue to have this discussion. Ms. Horton discussed the low IStep scores. I am not sure I understand why and how she thought her way was the way to remedy the academic scores. That’s what needs to be asked…her ideological bent has been “same old same old” rhetoric that really should not get the “official public policy” that it got in Indiana. 

  • Christie Loyd

    This Hear Indiana is pathetic, really pathetic, YOU hearing have misconcept big time. YOU need to lay off, and do your study harder such be aware with accesible language as at least 80 percentage. Bi-Bi language does make it different, and however, Cochlear Implants is NOT best optional on all deaf babies/children.  LAY off for deaf baby/children that YOU have no right to control to make them struggle while their dysfunctional develope because of you, such they did not choose but YOU did it to them. Come on, you need learn to acceptence and let them to allow themselve to focus on their own natural method. Trust me, in someday, they will be angry at you because your forced them to. We will be always feel so sorry for them because of your destroy their natural self esteem.  

  • Ben Smith

    It’s clear you don’t know the facts about Miller and how he came about replacing Connie Lawson. There are several other untrue statements here, so I’d suggest more research on your part. 

  • Twelch07

    How do you interpret: “You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall lfear your God: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:14)?

  • Anonymous

    Wow! Faster closed caption’s speed but my deaf eyes scanned as they did not bring about ASL as language also need more explanation as data. Where were for failed students from
    the mainstreaming schools? The deaf student services has good eyes to identify each student’s movement, but to a new center so there is big problem ahead also new budget – I need to review with Greg Katter again on slowed closed caption or buy the printed article. Wait for now.  

  • Indiana Public Media

    We apologize for the closed captioning speed. It’s a new process for us, so we’re still working it out.

  • Jacpeppermint

    I would like to have them to write everything what they said in their interview, so I can print and read them to understand better.  Can you do that? Thank you

  • Alan DelRay

    Please, enlighten us all as to which statements are untrue and tell us what the truth is. I, for one, am always interested in learning where I have made an error so that I can correct it.

  • Alan DelRay

    I heard a wonderful analogy to answer the battle cry for an “unbiased” center. Compare it to shopping for a new car. You travel to each brand’s lot and listen to their biased pitch on why you should buy from them and then, after you have heard from enough of them, you make your own choice.

    The trouble in this case is that the success of using American Sign Language along with early amplification is such that the oral only option pales in comparisson. That is why HEAR Indiana and St. Joe’s want to see ISD out of the game. They can’t compete with ISD on results.

    “If you can’t be part of the solution, there is good money to be made in prolonging the problem.”