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Marie Jean Philip

Share your thoughts on what you have learned about Ms. Philip and how her story has inspired you.   What do you think could be done at your college to continue her legacy?


11 Comments to Marie Jean Philip:

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Kirsten Mattson on Thursday, March 09, 2017 9:35 PM
I find it interesting that she is the oldest of three and the family was all Deaf. Growing up in a Deaf family she had the foundation and knowledge she needed to become a strong independent woman who was part of the Deaf community. I loved her quote “… I came to understand we are all human. That changed my perspective of hearing people.” This was nice and refreshing to know that she was able to look at her experience at a hearing college as a positive learning experience. I was impressed that she had the courage to become one of the first advocates to help people realize ASL was its own language. She also was a positive role model for the Deaf community. Marie Jean Philip was a noble soul who helped changed the perspective of her culture and language for the better. I think if we continue sharing our knowledge and understanding of ASL we could educate the general public. Bringing awareness is something that Marie Jean Philip was all about. I admire her selflessness and willpower as well as her bravery.
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Francisco Garcia on Thursday, March 09, 2017 10:19 PM
I'm glad she did have a positive experience in college. I can't imagine how it was for her. I would have been as surprised as her parents were when she told them that she wanted to attend a hearing school. I cant stress it enough that we should educate the general public because they need to know about it.


Meghan Auclair on Thursday, March 09, 2017 11:01 PM
I agree that her quote about how "we are all human" was very powerful. I think there's often a disconnect between the hearing and the deaf communities because oftentimes hearing people will look down on deaf people. Especially with the "dark ages" of ASL and the way many parents go straight for cochlear implants and don't expose their kids to sign language. She seemed to have a very effective approach to bringing together the hearing and the deaf.


Lex Saunders on Friday, March 10, 2017 9:47 PM
Kristen, I also loved her quote: "I came to understand we are all human. That changed my perspective of hearing people.” I think it's so important to remember the ways in which we are all "human." It helps us to understand where different people are coming from. I think it's a positive start for us to continue sharing our knowledge about ASL and deaf culture with our friends and the people we encounter as a step towards better educating the public.


Francisco Garcia on Thursday, March 09, 2017 10:15 PM
Marie Jean Philip was born in 1953. She was the oldest of three deaf daughters born yup deaf parents. She went to school at American School for the Deaf in hartford, CT. What inspired me the most was that her parents taught the daughters to always be independent. And to basically always follow their dreams so they can be whatever they want to be. All the parents do that to the children. They want them to pursue their dreams without someone telling them that they can't do it. In her junior year she decided to attend school at a hearing one. She had a positive view of people at the school. She said "I knew I would be scared to come to a hearing college: I didn't realize that they were scared too..." She grew up to become an advocate for the Deaf. She wanted people to know that ASL should become it's own language. Something that can be done in the college to continue her legacy is speaking more of her. Not many people know who is Marie Jean Philip and what she actually did for the Deaf. I always believe that people should be educated on ASL just because what if a Deaf person wants to go to school of hearing. How would they treat them? We always need to think about everyone and not just ourselves. They need to feel as comfortable as everyone else in the classroom.
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Meghan Auclair on Thursday, March 09, 2017 11:10 PM
I found your idea that everyone should be educated on ASL interesting because it seems like it would be a very effective approach. If everyone knew at least a little bit it would make for a much more welcoming environment. Especially if it were just taught to children when children entered elementary schools considering they pick up language so easily at this time, and there are plenty of other reasons others who were not deaf would need a non-spoken language as well.


Lex Saunders on Friday, March 10, 2017 9:35 PM
Francisco, I also felt really inspired reading about her parents supporting independence and the choice to be what they wanted. So many parents don't teach their children to think for themselves and I wish more parents taught this to their children. it really seems like this upbringing was so important and helpful in Marie's life and going on to do all the amazing work that she did. I definitely think she should be spoken about more, so more students can know that history and become inspired too.


Meghan Auclair on Thursday, March 09, 2017 10:52 PM
I think that Marie Jean Phillip was an extremely brave and strong person. I know that I personally would not even be able to attempt what she did in trying to go to an almost, if not completely, hearing school if I was her. After going her entire life in deaf schools and with an all deaf family that would be absolutely terrifying to be surrounded by so many people who didn't understand or speak your language. And the way that she spread her message so far that she had people fly over from around the world just speaks to how big of an impact she had. I think that a great way to continue her legacy would be by having all events interpreted on campus. I think there is already a pretty good job of this done at the school, but it definitely provides accessibility to events for those who need it as well as awareness to the language itself.
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Francisco Garcia on Thursday, March 09, 2017 11:44 PM
It sure would be terrifying to attend an all hearing school. They wouldn't know how to communicate with her. That sounds like a great idea having the events being interpreted. People will be able to learn some ASL by watching the interpreters do what they're best at doing.


Kirsten Mattson on Thursday, March 09, 2017 11:37 PM
I agree that it would be absolutely terrifying to attend a school that didn’t use your native language. I also agree with the fact that I don’t think I would have been courageous enough to go through with it. I love the idea of having events on campus interpreted. This will ensure that all school activities are accessible to all. It also helps educate the general public about ASL as a language and that is what Marie Jean Phillips was all about.
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Lex Saunders on Friday, March 10, 2017 9:20 PM
I was recently reading about the injustice behind the spread of spoken language versus signed language at deaf schools in the late 1800s. I found it really inspiring and interesting to read about Marie Jean Philip, who was a very important part in fighting for the use of signed language. I’m pretty amazed at how much she accomplished in her lifetime. I was inspired by her openness when she attended Oberlin. She went to a school that lacked accommodations for her as a deaf student and yet she still found an open and positive outlook toward people through this experience. It's intriguing to read about the challenges she faced, while still seeing the positive side and inspiring many of her classmates along the way. I believe one of the biggest proponents in change is through education. It would be great for there to be more education around deafness to hearing students, professors, and staff. I believe with that knowledge and even just teaching everyone some basic signs, many would go on to learn more. I believe people would become inspired to become fluent in ASL, work with deaf people, and become better allies. The school could work towards doing more outreach as well as making events more accessible.
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