A Deaf Santee-Sioux

My slideshow is an interactive “scrapbook”. I have clickable text throughout the piece to add in or justify or to provide further information on pieces or ideas I crafted for my person. I also used this method to cite my sources. Due to file space, adding special effects makes the data larger, so I opted for no special effects. When you see a , you will know that this is a note for a barrier, and it’ll be discussed.

 Born

on Rosebud Reservation located in South Dakota.  Birthday: 6/18/85  Mother: Single, named Mary Mae Wanbli  Siblings: 3, 2 sisters 1 Rosebud Indian Reservation - WikiImages brother.  Deaf from meningitis at age 3.

Image taken from California Indian Education’s parade page.

According to his audiogram, Rick is hovering at moderate to some severe. Meningitis is a disease that commonly results in deafness.

 At

Rosebud, EI services are non-existant, and sometimes borrow from Pine Ridge’s EI services.  Elders at the Rosebud did know Plains Sign Language, and many Northern Cheyenne relatives brought them over.  A cousin of Mary Mae Wanbli’s helped her with signing, as did Mary Mae’s elderly mother (whom remembered some as well).

 Rick

attended St. Francis Indian School that is located at Rosebud. He was put in a SPED class that had mildly inadequate service. The two aides he worked with, one was ASL using and the other Signed English. He was inapplicable for the South Dakota School for the Deaf, due to jurisdiction, and Mary Mae not wanting Rick to live off-reservation.

Education – Limited professionals and the poor condition of reservations leads to poor EI and education. School systems can remain inadequate with limited knowledge and enforcement of policies.  Poverty – Due to the lack of funds, Rick’s mother could not afford the residential costs of a deaf school. Also in high-poverty areas, poor or limited access to quality education exists as well.  Rick was put into SPED classes; basically with mildprofound disability students that may or may not be deaf as well if not a small group of just-deaf children. Having deafness remain in Special Education can cause problems in terms of not receiving adequate services and attention, since attention/care is given to more severe disabilities.

Deaf Schools – Even though there is a jurisdiction issue of tribal children going to state schools, Mary Mae could have sought legal services and argue that the Deaf school was the best education option for Rick. However, that would mean living at the school, and with the limited resources of his family, it may not have been a viable option.  Amy Marie – Rick’s sister who went on to become an interpreter also became a resource. Other family members as well helped and supplemented with signed languages easily and afforded Rick communication.

 Rick’s

family helped provide signed languages (Plains Indian Sign Language and ASL), which helped him build communication at a young age.  By providing a means of communication, adjustment to social situations at school and his family were easier. Support of the signed languages was also extremely important to help keep him stimulated during toddler years.

 Rick

continued to sign mixes at home, one older sister took an interest in ASL and went to college in North Dakota State for their Interpreter Training Program.  His family encouraged signing, and thought really nothing ill of it.  At the age of 10, Rick was put in foster care. His two sisters were not notified, and his brother (age 16) was also put in foster care.

Mary Mae became addicted to alcohol soon after a miscarriage that happened when Rick was 4. Rosebud uses state provided social workers, instead of having their own like Pine Ridge. The social workers deemed the house not suitable, and Rick and his brother lived with his grandparents for a while.  Soon his grandparents were deemed not okay due to their advanced age. His biological father, who is from Pine Ridge, signed away his parental rights when approached.

 Pine

Ridge social workers were unable to intervene due to the father’s signing off of parental rights. It then became an issue of jurisdiction.  Rick was applicable for adoption, while his brother simply stayed at various friends’ and cousins’ houses.


family from Scranton, PA were interested in adopting Rick. They were the typical suburban middle class white family.

Photo taken from The London Sector

 Rick

moved to Scranton at the age of 11, and attended the Scranton School for the Deaf. He participated in athletics as a productive coping mechanism to the rapid changes. His favorite sport is Baseball, but he did attend the Basketball team as well.

 His

adopted mother had some sign knowledge, though his adopted brother and sister were minimally interested in signing in public. The father was mostly working.  Most of the family relied on Rick’s speech reading, which he started learning more at Scranton School for the Deaf.

 Rick, like

most kids, had a hard time adjusting with hormonal changes, family life, etc. He came in contact with his sister who is an interpreter (named Amy Marie Wanbli), which did help some.  At the age of 14, Rick was caught in the locker-room with another male student who was on the basketball team.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful