Random Thoughts and Musings by moi

Musings by a feisty, opinionated Deaf gal who wants nothing but the best for her community and her people

jeudi 1 mars 2007

The Real Info about CMP direct FROM CMP and an apology...

Today proved that I really am all too human. I’ve always held myself to a high standard when blogging here, trying to make sure it comes across when I’m simply giving my opinion and by making sure of my sources when I report on things. Guess when I slip up, it’s a doozy. *sigh*

This entry is going to do two things - set the record straight about CMP with information directly from the guy in charge and to try and explain where I was coming from. I’m doing both in the interest of transparency - I want to be open and honest about the whole situation, ensuring that you all have accurate information - without offering a bunch of excuses.

Yesterday was kind of a bad day for me (but *nothing* compared to today. *rueful chuckle*) So when I got that e-mail about CMP closing its doors from someone who was definitely in a position to know, I was somewhat more upset than I probably woulda been, tho' I woulda still been quite upset. But I asked several questions, both via e-mail and in person, to ascertain that I wasn’t misunderstanding. The answer I got in person - “TRUE BUSINESS. C-M-P FINISH DECIDE CLOSE. ALL VIDEOTAPES G-O THROW-OUT BYE.” When I asked about the possible move to Internet films, “NO. C-M-P FINISH CLOSE WILL. NOTHING LEFT, M-A-R-C-H 30 LAST DAY FINISH.” Unmistakable, hein? I also asked questions about how CMP was planning to inform those who depend on the program, where they would go for captioned films, yada, yada, and the answers all made it clear that the *entire* program was going to be history as of March 30th. The source was unimpeachable, and no, no names or hints. I’m not going to do that to someone else. But I fired off an e-mail to the guy in charge, asking for more information anyway. I always go directly to the source if at all possible in order to ensure that my understanding is accurate.

I left work upset and stewed on this information all evening. I love CMP so much. I want nothing more than to support it and be one of its cheerleaders. I talked with a friend about it last night. She helped me get my fighting spirit back, because if this was really happening, I shouldn’t take it lying down, and neither should any of you who respect and value the program. That conversation made me determined to blog about it because the more people who act on it, the better chance we had of a Hail Mary pass to save CMP. I turned it over and over in my head, checked my e-mail several times to see if Bill had gotten back to me yet, and realized I wasn’t going to sleep until I got it out of my system. So I blogged for over an hour, reviewing notes I’d made last summer, refining the wording, and so on. Then I clicked “Publish,” something that I now regret. I should’ve saved it as a draft. I think I was thinking the community needed to know. I don’t care about “scooping” anyone - never have, but gosh, there’s not gonna be any Hail Mary pass without people being aware of the closure. Hence the decision to publish, both because people should know and because my source seemed infallible.

I woke up to a lovely e-mail from Bill, saying, no, CMP was definitely not closing its doors and here was what was happening with the program. After my initial elation faded, I felt sick to my stomach. WHAT HAD I DONE??? I immediately replied to Bill, thanking him and asking for permission to post what he had sent me. I also got in touch with higher-ups at work, asking them to make sure everyone on campus had accurate information about CMP, because others were talking about it too - and they sent out a flurry of clarifications. I had nary a minute to myself all day, but I broke my personal “no blogging at work” rule for the first time ever because I realized a retraction had to be made ASAP. When I had a few minutes between classes, I banged out my retraction and published it quickly, knowing that it would not undo the damage but maybe it would help somewhat.

Truth is, I feel just *sick* about the whole thing. I’ve spent the whole day trying to figure out what exactly went wrong, and I think it was the moment I clicked on “publish” instead of “draft.” I mean, I asked tons of questions when I first found out and I got in touch with the best possible source right away. I carefully - very, very carefully -evaluated the validity and reliability of the person who first told me. I carefully wrote my post, checking the accuracy of what I had learned last summer, edited it several times, and believed I was doing what was best for the community. But my mistake was publishing without waiting for verification. I accept responsibility for that and I apologize to you, my readers, the deaf community, and to CMP. I never wanted to hurt you or CMP in any way - just the opposite, actually. But no excuses. I’m sorry. No words can express how sorry I am.

Now, what’s the real deal with CMP? The entity known as CMP *is* legally closing its doors, BUT the PROGRAM lives on. It is going to, for all intents and purposes, become the Described and Captioned Media program, as I described here and here. Information about its new mission is also found on CMP’s home page, which will now be www.dcmp.org. Here is a paragraph describing the mission that I got directly from Bill at CMP today:
The Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) provides services designed to support and improve the academic achievement of students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind. These services include (1) a library offree-loan described and captioned educational media, (2) a clearinghouse of information related to educational media access, (3) a gateway to Internet resources related to accessibility, and (4) a center for training and evaluation of any service provider desiring to appear on the DCMP’s approved lists of video description and captioning service providers. There are no user registration or service fees. The DCMP is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the National Association of the Deaf.
Here is the original e-mail I got from Bill this morning:
Hi (my name removed)!

Hope you are well. Seems like it was just yesterday we were in Utah!

This is not really a sad time. Here is a summary:

*Your school will keep all the videos you have now. They will be for
use on your campus (your teachers, dorm staff, parents, etc).

*All mailings will be made from a centralized depository in Oklahoma.
But because we are moving to DVDs, all shipments will be made first class. It is cheaper to mail them a fast way that to mail videos the old slow way. Media will be delivered faster than ever to people in California or anywhere else.

*We are going digital in big ways. We must do this in order to effect faster delivery of services deaf kids need. Delivery through Internet streaming will be emphasized. But we are also going to make it possible for anyone to download a title on their computer hard drive or burn it to disk. No more waiting to receive a title in the mail! Isn't that neat? (If it is mailed, it will be DVD and first class. It will get to clients faster).

So, it is all going to work out well, (my name removed). Change is always hard for people, but the best is yet to come. Teachers of the deaf need the best possible service and need to be on the cutting edge of the digital world. That is our goal for them.

You take care. Please ask me any other questions you might have. - Bill
And when I asked Bill if I could post this on my blog, he replied with the mission paragraph above and added more information here:
Here is a link to a one page flyer about the new DCMP: http://www.cfv.org/flyers/dcmp/nadf301.pdf .

Sure (and thanks!) tell everyone that the individual libraries like CSD-R will not be mailing out things, but we will have this national library at the Oklahoma School for the Deaf: http://www.cfv.org/caai/nadh6.pdf . Captioned DVDs will get to everyone cheaper and faster. And also that our push will be to bring Deaf kids into the digital age through Internet streaming and digital downloads!

Take care. Thanks for all you do. Bill
To sum, CMP is changing, not closing down. It will now serve both deaf people and blind people. How will this affect deaf users? DCMP is going to focus on those who provide services to deaf people and individual deaf people will not be able to borrow titles anymore. No more videotapes. DVDs will be stored at (and mailed from) the Oklahoma School for the Deaf, and all titles will be available for viewing online.

I hope this helps clarify the situation and I apologize again for my post last night.


  • At 21:31, Blogger Todd said…

    I'm glad to see you taking quick corrective action and owning up to your errors in distributing CMP information.

    That said, you have worked hard in the past few months, building up credibility of your blog, and I know I shouldn't, but I came to rely on you as a reliable source. Understandably now, I'm a little bit gunshy.

    Undoubtedly, through your renewed vigor to your blogging efforts, I'm sure you'll have no problem in regaining your lost credibility in no time.

    Looking forward to your future blogging efforts, and I'm glad to see you still continuing your positive outlook despite your recent setback.

  • At 08:49, Blogger Jared Evans said…

    I'm impressed by your willingness to stand up and admit you were wrong. Since you took the time to correct any misinformation, you still have a lot of credibility in my eyes!

    People will always make mistakes! After all, we're human and not machines! Keep it up!

  • At 13:46, Anonymous Mr. Sandman said…

    I think it took a lot of integrity and courage to do what you have done, and that is to admit a mistake. I think regardless of the error about CMP closing, you have alerted people as to what's happening with CMP and how it has changed over the years. In the long run, we now have more information than we did before, and that in the long run is better for the community as a whole.

    Thanks for owning up to your mistake, but as you said, you're human, as are we all. It happens-- don't beat yourself up too much about it, and DO KEEP BLOGGING!


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