The Daily Moth 6-21-2019

U.S. calls off planned airstrikes against Iran; Over $1 billion cocaine bust at Philadelphia port; Mother-in-law wears wedding dress to son’s wedding; Two deaf men walking across United Kingdom; 4th Annual National Deaf Education Conference at TSD

[Transcript] Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Thursday, June 20. Ready for news?


U.S. calls off planned airstrikes against Iran

Yesterday Iran shot down an American military drone. President Trump said it was a very big mistake and warned, "Let's see what happens."

News reports say that last night, Trump and the U.S. military were prepared to launch airstrikes against Iran, but called off the mission at the last minute.

U.S. military planes and ships were ready to launch strikes against Iranian military equipment such as missile batteries or radars, but their mission was halted. It is not clear why.

President Trump said yesterday that it made a big difference that there was not a human pilot on the drone.

Yesterday we said the U.S. drone that was shot down was worth about $220 million. It is actually worth $130 million.

Update: In a series of tweets, Trump confirmed that he pulled back from the airstrikes.

[Image of tweets]

02- Over $1 billion cocaine bust at Philadelphia port

One of the largest drug busts in U.S. history recently happened when the MSC Gayane cargo ship docked to the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal port in Philadelphia. Federal authorities raided the ship and found 17.5 tons of cocaine hidden in bags that’s worth over $1 billion.

This ship originated from Peru, then went to Colombia, then to Panama, then to the Bahamas, and finally to Philadelphia. The ship was on its way to the Netherlands.

Authorities have six people in custody. Two of them have been identified: Ivan Durasevic and Fonofaavae Tiasaga. Court documents say that the cargo ship was apparently loaded with cocaine in the middle of the night by 6 separate boats after leaving Peru. Court documents allege that some of the men were wearing ski masks.

Ivan (one of the identified suspects) admitted that he helped load the cocaine. Ivan said that he got a call from the chief officer to come down on deck. He saw nets and the ship’s crane. So, he and some other crew members helped load the cocaine. The process took 30 to 40 minutes.

The search continues and the federal authorities will have a press conference today.


Mother-in-law wears wedding dress to son’s wedding

You know the golden rule that a person cannot wear white at someone else’s wedding so the bride would be the only one who wears white? Well, apparently not for Amy Pennza. Her mother-in-law stood next to her also wearing a white wedding dress.

Earlier this week, Jimmy Fallon, a TV show host, tweeted to ask people to submit their wedding fails for his show. Many sent in fails, but one went viral. Pennza shared a photo of her and her mother-in-law standing next to each other, both wearing wedding dresses. This is what her tweet says


There were mixed reactions towards this. Some thought it was hilarious and some thought it was disrespectful.

She explained that her mother-in-law grew up very poor and was used to bargaining. So, her mother-in-law saw a nice white wedding dress that had a good price and just bought it.

In several articles, Pennza explained that there are really no hard feelings and her mother-in-law is a great person. She said it is a funny memory.


Two deaf men walking across United Kingdom

Have you ever walked across a country before? Well, there are two men who are currently walking across, not 1, but two countries in the United Kingdom. These two men are walking to raise support and awareness for mental health services.

(Video clip of Mark and Daniel walking across a small bridge and walking on a road)

Mark Hodgson: Hello BSL Save the Earth! I want to tell you something. I have not seen any trash anywhere. I drank a latte – coffee. I was finished with it, but had to put in my jacket then food and drinks, I also put in my jacket. I do not see any trash. That is what we need to do to save the earth. We do not want plastic.

Daniel Dorney: Hello! I am back to walking. Whew. With them. I cannot sleep. I give up. Got to keep walking.

Beautiful view.

Renca: Daniel Dorney and Mark Hodgson are walking from John O’Groats, Scotland to Land’s End, England. Their sign for the journey is this (shows sign). Daniel and Mark have another person on the team who is their driver, Christopher Potts.

Text: Raised so far: 6,849 £ ($8,694) Goal: 10,000 £ ($12,693)

*Based on current currency from]

A spokesperson for the two men mentioned that in the past few months there have been a number of deaf people taking their own lives because there is a challenge of deaf people having access to mental health services. So, Daniel and Mark wanted to raise more awareness about mental health and raise funds to give to charities in order for them to help deaf people in need.

I decided to look at google maps for how many miles and hours it would take to walk from (shows sign). It seems that it is 811 miles and it will take 268 hours. Wow! They started on June 5th and on the schedule it seems their goal is to reach Land’s End by August 10th.

If you want to follow them on their adventure, the link to their Facebook page is in this transcript and the fundraiser link as well. The Daily Moth wishes Daniel, Mark, and Christopher the best of luck on this journey!

Fundraiser link

FB Group


4th Annual National Deaf Education Conference at TSD

I’m here at the National Deaf Education Conference at Texas School for the Deaf. This was hosted by the National Association of the Deaf on June 20-22. Over 375 people have attended. Educators, counselors, administrators, and more have come here to share information and have a discussion.

The theme is, ‘Learn, Grow, Belong.’ The artwork is beautiful. It’s very Austin with the city skyline, and an oak tree growing. Now we’ll show you some of the conference and interviews.


This is Carlos. He’s the coordinator of PBIS.


Leadership Team.


Their leadership team at Lexington School for the Deaf in Queens, New York City.


New York City!


New York City, one and the only! He just gave a keynote presentation, a powerful, in front of an audience. I’m going to ask him a few questions.

Carlos, you emphasized the importance of celebrating multicultural values. What role do schools, Deaf schools or mainstream schools play in recognizing multicultural values and why is that important?


Schoolteachers are expected to know the demographics of the students that they serve including their backgrounds, culture, where their home country is and their native languages. You can learn all this by getting to know their families. Ask them what language their families use, what their religious and cultural values are. Ask them questions plus, as teachers, it’s our responsibility to learn about ourselves by getting to know these students and set up a program for these students and their families with accommodate their cultural tendencies, you know? Educators have that obligation to do these things.


This is Tawny and she’s one of the cofounders…




of the National Deaf Education Conference (NDEC) which was 5 years ago, right? Can you explain why you felt it was so crucial to have this type of conference?


Sure, Alex, this is how I first thought of the idea and it was when I went to an EHDI conference, Early Hearing Detection Intervention, which focuses on providing resources on newly identified deaf babies. It was a fairly busy conference that had about 800 or 1,000 in attendance. I had this observation where I knew that teachers from all over, during my travels providing advocacy and trainings, these teachers would come up to me wishing they had resources about what other schools were doing. They would ask me what other schools were doing. I would explain so many times then I brought up the idea of hosting a conference, an idea that everybody else was supportive of. I made sure to keep this in mind then, at the next conference, PJ Graham came up to me saying he wanted to host a conference too.

Okay, tell me more. A conference for teachers, we need one of these! That intrigued me and we agreed to just do it!

We got started and reached to National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and they were supportive of the idea. And the rest of history.


Stay with the light!


This is John Serrano. He is now the Superintendent of Atlanta Area School for the Deaf (AASD). He used to be the head DOAA here at Texas School for the Deaf, but has moved on since 2017, right?




H gave a keynote presentation yesterday about redefining family inclusion. Can you summarize what your presentation was about?


Sure, I presented about family inclusion which is really based on my experience growing up as a deaf person and how my hearing parents were involved in my life. My mom worked at American School for the Deaf as a family liaison and worked closely with Hispanic speaking family. I would watch her work growing up plus there’s my experience as a school administrator, as a teacher and a father of three hearing children. All of my experiences have an influence on my views, my lens of family inclusion. We need to redefine that differently in a non-traditional way. I was describing different areas focused on building relationships with families. Each family has their own stories. Their experiences help reframe how we work with students and their families. The bottom line really is all students need to have access to language. That’s one of the things I talked about. Also, I talked about communication and supporting each other, knowing their stories and building a welcoming environment. Often, we forget, when we’re running a school, to consider how our families feel when they first come here. Do they feel welcome? Feel like we’re hospitable? Think about different kinds of families, they could be hearing, deaf families and non-English speaking families. We need to think about we can serve them. It’s not just what we say, but also there’s our body language and the action behind your words. These families need to feel welcome and that’s what I emphasized a lot in my presentation. I wanted to give different ideas of how we can be inclusive of our families in a non-traditional way. It can serve as a model. Often, we assume that these families know what to do. We need to model. By reading stories or hosting an open house at your school so they can see how we interact with our deaf and hard of hearing students. These were some of the ideas I threw out there. My goal was to inspire those in attendance to start thinking about how to be more inclusive of their families.


Now, I’m with Leila from Convo. You’re one of the biggest sponsors for this conference. Why are you sponsoring this conference?


Deaf education is very important to our community. One thing we just learned, believe it or not, and I think you all should be aware of this, deaf people are actually more likely to become business owners or self-employed compared to hearing people. According to statistics, about 3.8% of hearing people all over are business owners while with deaf people, it’s 4.1%!

Amazing so that means those educators in the school system should be telling their kids that they can be self-employed, or they can set up their own businesses. They should be told that they actually are more likely to do that.


So Deaf people are more likely to set up a business and that’s very interesting!


And you’re one of them!


And Toj, the cameraman behind the camera, graduated from Texas School for the Deaf (TSD). Come here, Toj.

This is a product of TSD. Now that’s the deaf ecosystem.


That’s right and what she’s just described was perfect.

She’s exactly right and I’m a result of that, the educational system here. I moved onto college and I’m getting started with my work. Yeah, you are exactly right.


And I just wish that all deaf and hard of hearing students today would know their potential. Most of them peak out quickly, have limited expectations, don’t care or don’t see any role models out there. No, these role models are found right here and we need to support them all!


This is Petra Horn-Marsh. She is the co-coordinator of a new concept that is emerging, ASL-CIA. They want to start a curriculum for L1, those who learned ASL as their first language. With English, there are standards. You want the same for ASL as well.




You also hold another position?


Yes, the National ASL Education of Hereditary Language Learners (NASLEHLL), a 501c3 organization which ASL-CIA is operated under and which I hold the title of president.


Now, everybody here has convened for a group discussion so can you explain what ASL-CIA is to everybody here?


It’s a group work together comprised of teachers from all over the United States. ASL teachers come together every year during the summer and in fall before the ASL RT, ASL Round Table conference that’s been hosted for quite some time now. They work together developing a curriculum. Before then, we had no ASL standards and we would all pitch in until Gallaudet University finally released the official ASL standards last year. It’s about time we have an ASL standards that we can use as a checklist to identify different ASL skill levels utilizing films, signing, discussion and presentations. It’s similar to the idea of English Language Arts’ common core standards (CCS) which focuses on reading, writing, speaking and hearing.

Where’s the standards for ASL? Now we have one, but now where’s the curriculum? Many ASL teachers have limited resources forcing them to improvise. There’s no step by step process and research-based data via testing. There’s none of that and we want to do that as well.


I'm here with Claire Bugen, the Superintendent of Texas School for the Deaf for 21 years, but you've worked at TSD for a total of 44 years! You're a host of this conference. What have you seen from teachers, what have you learned from the conference so far?


It is a beautiful opportunity for deaf educators from across the country, for them to come together from Deaf schools, university programs, and from mainstream programs. It's wonderful. And of course for me it is an opportunity to showcase TSD and our role in this conference.


This Deaf school is one of the largest in the U.S. What kind of role do you think Deaf schools have in the field of deaf education?


To me, Deaf schools will always be the heart of deaf education and now more than ever, it is important that we maintain the viability of Deaf schools and I think we are doing that through collaboration. We are not isolated to ourselves. We are a part of a bigger system. And I love partnering with the community, with universities, mainstream schools, and Austin. It is a great opportunity to contribute to the Deaf ecosystem and I'm thrilled to be a part of that.


This is Kent Turner, who is from here in Austin, TX representing the National Deaf Center. He is the Gaming Coordinator and he will give a presentation about using games in education. Can you summarize what it'll be about?


Sure. The game we are developing is called Deafverse. It means one will be immersed in a universe that has Deaf issues, Deaf culture, and Deaf community sharing information. Deafverse will incorporate all of our stories, struggles, frustrations, and successes within our community and in the hearing world with different issues. The game is also a "choose your own adventure" style. There is a narrator who will sign situations and you can choose from various options and go down a certain path. You might face a situation like going to a store where there is a communication barrier. What do you do? You will have options such as pen and paper, using your voice, or gestures. That is one example. Some players will be curious and purposefully choose something different and see that it's not a good result. They can learn from their mistakes and make better choices the next time. The game can be used in the classroom where the teacher can lead a discussion on students' experiences and analyze it. They can learn what resources are in their community.


That’s all! See you next week, and stay with the light!