Who is Nelly Toll and why is her story important?


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There are many paths to becoming an art therapist or counselor.  As a School Psychologist I have heard many accounts about why people have chosen these fields of study and practice. So, when I learned  about Nelly Toll – an art therapist AND a counselor who works with victims of violence –  I was a bit taken aback. You see her biography reads like a book of fiction as  Nelly was a  counselor who as a child had survived the most harrowing of times.  An artist who used her limitless imagination while forced in to isolation.  A survivor of one of the worst atrocities to befall the human race – the Nazi era and WWII.  A child who was with her mother was forced in to hiding for two years until she was able to safely get passage to the United States.  And now the newest addition to my list of heroes.

I have raised two creative kids – and I could not fathom either or both of them in seclusion – quietly – for two years.  But, that is what Nelly Toll purportedly did.  She used the deep burrows of her imagination to create a world of wonderment and normalcy in a world that made absolutely no sense to any adult – let alone an eight year old. She painted with watercolors on bits of paper and now her creations are telling a story that gives hope and inspiration to many.

While I have known for decades about the story of Anne Frank, I am embarrassed to say this month is the first I have heard of Nelly Toll.  So to get up to speed I did a bit of research and found this awesome website with learning tools for teachers. For Judaica teachers this would be a treasure trove full of information that gives balance to the story of the Holocaust – Shoah.

Also, there are efforts to bring Nelly’s story as a documentary.  IMAGINING A BETTER WORLD, The Nelly Toll Story is a film that will be made shortly about how this young girl was able to be so resilient. Now this young lady holds a doctorate, campaigns for anti – bullying programs and is a sought after speaker.

Here is how the filmmakers describe their project:

In this exclusive one-hour documentary, the viewer will travel with Nelly through her two worlds, as she leaps into her bright future, escaping her present living hell. Vérité cinematography and rare archival footage will be combined with visually stunning 2D & 3D animation of Nelly’s watercolor paintings.  Virtual reality recreations will amplify the telling of Nelly’s time in hiding and her inspirational career as a teacher, counselor and art therapist after the War.

Follow the ongoing news about the Nelly Toll Story – Imagining a Better World via TWITTER @NellyTollStory

The Race is ON! Time to #EraseMS


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FACT: Multiple Sclerosis aka MS is a serious neurological disorder.  A disease that has impacted hundreds of thousands, if not millions – worldwide.  For many the first symptoms seem akin to a case of the flu – for others much more severe and acute. Visual problems, difficulty with motoric skills- including walking, vertigo, muscle spasms, tingling of  the extremities, depressive thoughts, headaches all can be “first signs”.  Often striking those in the prime of their lives – 20- 30- 40 years of age and both males and females alike. A friend of mine recently reminded me that nearly everyone is touched by this disease. Whether a family member, school teacher or perhaps a social media acquaintance- this disease knows no limits, demographic boundaries or socio-economic parameters.

How to is the diagnosis made?

Note no single test can be definitive with diagnosing MS.  Many MS informational websites indicate that commonly an MRI, intensive physical exam, lab chemistries, and a “spinal tap” (lumbar puncture to evaluate the cerebral spinal fluid) are ordered to see if the brain has altered severely and is now demonstrating evidence of  the tell – tale signs of MS -damage / changes of the myelin in the brain. (Google search)

Current efforts being made

I know several people who have MS.  I have seen up close and personal their bravery and how they fight the disease while still trying to have a semblance of normalcy in their lives. This week I will honor my friends by dedicating my time as a social media correspondent for the Race to Erase MS fundraiser gala.  It will be my privliege to support the efforts of Nancy Davis, founder of the Race to Erase MS and so many others associated with this organization.  It is all of our hopes that someday soon we will erase multiple sclerosis from the present and put it where it belongs- in the medical history books.

Watch Jack Osborne, who has been impacted by MS in this PSA via EraseMS.org

One of the most interesting pieces of the information I found in my preparation for this article is that the Race to Erase MS organization is focused on research, treatment and medical advancements via their  Center Without Walls.  Monies donated to Race to Erase MS have allowed physicians from all across the United States to be able to work in cooperation in order to understand better this disease. In addition, they have achieved break- throughs which have resulted in advanced treatments for MS patients.

From the EraseMS.org website this quote seemed to be one of hope and demonstrate the “why” behind this organization:

The landscape of MS…There are now nine drugs with FDA approval to help stop the progression of MS and three more coming out in the very near future. The future is bright for the person being diagnosed today with multiple sclerosis.

How to support Race to Erase MS or learn more about current research efforts?

 See the watch on the top of this article?  This can be YOURS (or other groovy items) from their store. Shopping not your style?  Then check out the other ways you can help or simply share their information to educate others about MS.

Or… simply dedicate a second to TWEET support for the Race to Erase MS efforts! Please use the hashtag #EraseMS in your tweet!

Thank you!

~Louise

#TXTGen – when one single text…


louisesattler:

I have added an update inviting people interested in having real conversations about #Sexting and #Teens #Tweens to join in the #TXTGenChat via TWITTER – April 8, 2015 8p Eastern

Originally posted on Where Learning MEETS Laughter...:

UPDATE: 

For those of you who are interested in a serious conversation about sexting and teens/ tweens- please join us on TWITTER APRIL 8, 2015 at 8p Eastern Time and 5p Pacific Time.  Use the HASHTAG #TXTGenCHAT

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS PROJECT, #TXTGen – the movie-  CAN BE FOUND HERE: http://bit.ly/1DvTQy8 

Looking to have the movie shown at your site?  Comment below

Thank you ….

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Imagine finding out that a text was received by your daughter from one of her male schoolmates – of his penis.

She is horrified.  Embarrassed.  Bewildered.

And eleven years old.

Now imagine being the parents of this 11 year old who find out about this incident several months later.  What do you do to help your daughter? What should the school do since it happened on their campus?  How do you transform your anger and negative feelings about this incident in to something positive?

Meet…

View original 226 more words

#TXTGen – when one single text…


UPDATE: 

For those of you who are interested in a serious conversation about sexting and teens/ tweens- please join us on TWITTER APRIL 8, 2015 at 8p Eastern Time and 5p Pacific Time.  Use the HASHTAG #TXTGenCHAT

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS PROJECT, #TXTGen – the movie-  CAN BE FOUND HERE: http://bit.ly/1DvTQy8 

Looking to have the movie shown at your site?  Comment below

Thank you ….

11052233_421604668009116_3414763666851397504_n

Imagine finding out that a text was received by your daughter from one of her male schoolmates – of his penis.

She is horrified.  Embarrassed.  Bewildered.

And eleven years old.

Now imagine being the parents of this 11 year old who find out about this incident several months later.  What do you do to help your daughter? What should the school do since it happened on their campus?  How do you transform your anger and negative feelings about this incident in to something positive?

Meet the Setla Family – who decided that the serious matters of cyber – bullying and sexting was a discussion that needed to go much farther than their kitchen table and in  fact, in to the homes of tweens and teens – globally.

 The “mission” for this family was clear- create a film and a series of educational materials  that  would address these topics and could be available for school and home viewing.  I applaud the efforts of the Setla family and Ted’s media colleagues, all who have come together to create – #TXTGen

I have known Ted Setla for many years and agreed to help him with this film on many different levels.  Starting with this invitation to all of you …  Please accept this invite to  join the filmmakers, including Ted Setla – the dad of this true story, to a TWEETCHAT   thisWednesday – April 8th  – #TXTGen 

 Hosted by 411 Voices Influential Network and Setla Films

Beginning this Wednesday at 8pET,  5p PT

Please follow the hashtag on TWITTER for  #TXTGen

and

@Setla for Setla Films (host)

@411Voices (co – host)

@Teeco71 (moderator)

and me @LouiseASL  (moderator)

Learn more about #TXTGen- the film via their
Learn how to support this film via this website

and please let others now… about this very important topic that faces many families today. Thank you!  Louise

Coming soon – ASL videos to learn signs for travel!


Travel Sign Language - coming soon

Each year Signing Families, the company I founded nearly a decade ago, adds new videos to our free online catalog available on YouTube.   This year we are creating more sign language videos dedicated to the topic of travel!  Learn signs for countries, ways to travel and more! 

This series of videos will be focused on helping novice and intermediate sign language learners acquire basic vocabulary. Also, intended for those in hospitality management who may wish to learn how to communicate with Deaf patrons.

In addition, we will add information about Deaf travel opportunities. (Did you know that there are specific tour companies dedicated to travel with Deaf clientele?)

If you have a Deaf owned travel company or any other suggestions about this series- please comment below!

Thanks!

~Louise

Employment Opportunities – Get your resume ready!


WORK copyright SigningFamilies.com

Sign for WORK – click wrists together 2X
copyright SigningFamilies.com

In the past few weeks I have received a bit of information regarding employers seeking employees! I thought that some of you may be interested in looking at these positions. Some utilize the skills of actors while others are seeking educators, tech and biz folks or even consultants.  I thought I would take a few moments to simply list what they are and how you can connect!  (Don’t contact with me as I am just a conduit of information and have nothing to do with any part of the process.)

>> Children of  a Lesser God is coming back to Broadway! While the principal cast may already be casted – there is information to be found about additional roles (and when it opens in NYC) by clicking here

>> Houghton Mifflin and Harcourt has posted dozens and dozens of positions nation and world wide! From business to educators to web design.   Link is here

ALSO…  if you complete the process please let them know I sent you! (Greatly appreciate it as I do work as a consultant for this terrific organization.) 

>>School Psychologists and Educational Consultants needed around the country.  I found this opportunity to be one of interest for those who like to travel! via DeSalvo Inchttp://bsdesalvoinc.com

GOOD LUCK!!

Note – this is just because I like to share and be helpful.  Please do your due diligence before applying to any of these positions! 

Dear Burlington County Times,


I wanted to write this blog as a way to say thank you for posting the recent letter to the editor titled, “Signing Specialists are a Distraction”.  Not only was your post from Mr. Muccolini a real “discussion starter” about the role of American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters, but also generated thoughts about all the rights we have as Americans.

You see by posting Mr. Muccolini’s rant, albeit in my opinion narrow minded and a few other choice adjectives, it demonstrated that we have an amazing right  in the United States for freedom of speech.  This right has been one of the backbones of our country and often valued above others.  Blood has been shed to uphold this freedom and I for one am thankful for the right to speak my mind.

I also thank you for the opportunity to shine a spotlight on another set of rights known as  the American Disabilities Act aka ADA. (Please go here to fully see them outlined)  Ahhhh…. this is where I get to be an educator and discuss how important these rights are for ALL.  It seems perfectly logical that the right to information meant  for the general public is one equally valued and needed by both hearing and deaf.  So, I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around anyone who suggests that the right to a sign language interpreter, used to ensure equal access of pertinent safety information,  is a “distraction”.

In fact, I challenge any hearing person who doubts the value of the ADA laws to walk around with noise cancellation ear muffs and see how much of what is being said  can be understood.  Accept my challenge for an hour, a day,  or a week.  Were you feeling “left out”, “ignored”, “uninformed”, etc?  Perhaps after this exercise it will seem as clear as crystal why the Deaf may need to have access to interpreters.  And, do note that not all people with hearing challenges require the same accommodations.  Just as those with visual acuity problems don’t require the same extent of corrective lenses, etc.

Next  I offer to  people who think that “sign specialists” are nothing more than a nuisance another  challenge to learn about the hard work it takes to become a certified interpreter. In fact, it requires just as much college experience to be a certified ASL interpreter as it does to become a chemical engineer.  A four year degree and several exams later this “sign specialist” is allowed to “leave the box” and be a conduit of information for those who need this assistance. (Learn more about sign language  interpreters here at RID – the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

And, I challenge those who doubt the effectiveness and need for ASL interpreters to chat with those who needed them when their lives were disrupted by disasters.  These victims of disasters are in towns all around America.  In Joplin, Missouri, throughout Oklahoma, Northern California, and even near Burlington. Remember Superstorm Sandy?   It is because of ADA laws that interpreters can be readily available to any of our  community members who need their service. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that some people who are hearing, but have some communication challenges, may also require the assistance of an interpreter to facilitate communication.

You see, this is my field of expertise – helping build communication bridges between community members, including emergency responders, and those who use sign language as their primary language.  I have seen the faces of those who are thankful for  interpreters who have helped in the aftermath of a disaster. These interpreters often leave their own families to help others. They should be applauded for their dedication and commitment.

Why as a hearing woman do I write this note to you?  First understand that I proudly sit on several committees that help with disaster preparedness and response for those with access and functional needs. It is my passion to do so.  I welcome an opportunity to share educational resources with those who are in need of some enlightenment about the reasons why ASL interpreters are essential to our communities.  After all, ASL is in the top five of the most used languages in the United States.

Thank you for reminding us that our rights as Americans are to be treasured and that we still have so much to learn as a country about equality.

Lastly, thank you for allowing me to exercise my right to freedom of speech.

Respectfully submitted,

Louise Masin Sattler, Nationally Certified School Psychologist

SigningFamilies.com

STOP! I got Freedome and 241 hackers didn’t get my private info via my iPhone! (Plus a #Giveaway)


This winner to this Giveaway has been announced and awarded. Thank you for your interest.

~Louise Sattler March 5, 2015

Earlier this week I wrote a blog that introduced  FREEDOME – a new technology by F-SECURE that uses VPN to stop hackers and phishing on your mobile devices.  I installed it earlier this week and five days later I am shocked to learn that 241 tracking attempts on my iPhone have been blocked. (See the slideshow below for snapshots of what a tracking “window” looks like on this app) I am duly impressed with this app and that is why I agreed to hold a sponsored giveaway contest to encourage my readers to at least look in to FREEDOME and see if you too would like some extra layers of online security.

 F-Secure is offering an opportunity for me to hold a giveaway of a iPAD MINI 3 and one year of a FREEDOME subscription

HOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY THAT MAKES YOU ELIGIBLE! STEP 1: Simply go to my SIGNING FAMILIES FACEBOOK page and comment about FREEDOME and/or online security concerns you may have. STEP 2: Then go to TWITTER and FOLLOW @FreedomeVPN WHAT ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW? If you wish watch the video in #ASL for further instructions You must live in the United States to enter this giveaway. One person will be selected after the contest ends on March 5, 2015 at 9pm PACIFIC time. The iPad Mini 3 and Freedome subscription will arrive via F-Secure. No family members may apply (sorry Mom!) AND… You can get started now by getting your FREE TRIAL by simply clicking here and using this PROMO CODE:  qsf257  Read more about my experience with FREEDOME, how to access the F-Secure videos that explain the technology and much more here

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“Did someone say SAFETY?” – Count me in – FREEDOME!


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About a month ago I read via TRIBERR about an online security system campaign that helps to detect if someone is zooming in to your personal devices via public WiFi connections. It was called Freedome.   I was intrigued enough to click on to their youtube video that explained how lacking in security most of us are in public places!  Need convincing? Curious? Read on!

I soon learned that F-Secure, the company who created Freedome,  was looking for bloggers who had some measure of knowledge about this space.  Now if you know me and my background – you will understand that I have a passion for keeping people safe – especially via prevention.  Freedome is an easy preventive measure – it simply uses a VPN with anti-virus, anti-tracking and anti-phishing all in just one button. It can be installed on your iPad, iPhone or Android device.   I gladly accepted  the opportunity to be one of their brand ambassadors and this week I will be sharing some fun .

Are you secure when online? Watch this video to see why most of us are NOT!

FREEDOME GRAPHIC TRIBERR

What steps did I take to install Freedome?

The first part of my process to learn about Freedome was to watch their video.  As a social media correspondent and one that travels all the time (yes, I am so close to calling LAX my home), I was shocked to learn on this video how exposed my devices were in the public milieu. The video highlighted my vulnerability, but more importantly also made me realize that teens and tweens with phones, tablets and computers are so very much at risk too! YIKES!

After watching the video I received my link to begin my free trial Freedome subscription.  It was fast and easy to install (less than five minutes) and the tutorial was very helpful.  The information on the tutorial was made very easy to follow thanks to graphics that were clear to  comprehend. Directions are text and not voiced – so it is easy for all to understand who speak English and accessible to my Deaf friends, as well. And for all my friends who are “youtubers” – making those videos at your local coffee shop is not a great idea unless you are secure with your WiFi!

Want to be protected, too – FREE?

I would love for you to join me in this journey of being invisible online.  A free trial subscription is available and quite frankly the paid one year subscription is less than the price of a  few lattes.

Simply use this LINK to get started for your free trial!

USE THIS CODE to get the FREE TRIAL: qsf257

COMING SOON!

In the next few days I will be writing about a great GIVEAWAY of a iPad Mini 16 GB Wi-FI and a free year of Freedome, which protects all your devices.  All the information will appear on my SIGNING FAMILIES FACEBOOK page and appear at my other various platforms such as TWITTER.  Be sure to stay tuned for fun and a few little surprises…

Thanks for reading!

~Louise

The Power of #YouTubers


I have had the privilege of being invited as a social media correspondent to the Vanity Fair and Access Hollywood  pre-Oscar event this week.  As a result of this assignment (and one given to scores of others) – I had the opportunity to meet, greet and laugh with three “youtubers” – iJustine,  Joey Garceffa and Tyler Oakley.  They couldn’t have been nicer to this 50+ year old woman.  And, I learned a lot- which is not surprising considering that each have millions and millions of views on their videos.  (I get excited when I have 500 views on one of my videos!)

What I found interesting during their panel discussion that kicked off the Vanity Fair Social Club (VFSC,) was their candor and recognition that times are changing in the world of media.

Do they watch TV?  Not much.

Have they been to a theater recently? No not really.

What about their families – are they encouraging and supportive to their endeavors on YouTube and beyond?  Absolutely- agreed all three.

How about bullying and haters? Each had a different take on this topic – Now my interest really was piqued! Justine and Joey both agreed that part of the “job” were the haters.  But, Tyler took the topic one step further with his discussion of the TREVOR PROJECT – a program that was implemented to put the spotlight on helping those who feel emotionally desperate and/or suicidal.  (Now this IS the power of Youtube- helping others- #SocialGood)

Read more about the TREVOR PROJECT here.

What really interested me was that these three were on totally different paths and found that creating YouTube videos, that started as a casual “hobby”, resulted in a very marketable entertainment brand for each and everyone of them.

Justine, Joey and Tyler all have different platforms on their videos.  Usually discussing current events and the “state” of their world.  Learn more about the insights of this dynamic trio by clicking on  these links to get a look in to their channels:

Justine

Joey

Tyler

Happy Oscars everyone!  Stay tuned for more random musings, including photos, from the desk of this social media correspondent!  Follow me all week via the Vanity Fair Social Club on TWITTER as @LouiseASL  #VFSC

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