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language and funds were provided, $1 million for critical languages and area studies programs. Now we have legislation pending now, right, authorizing language?
Ambassador BARNES. There is new authorization language in the works, yes.
Senator HARKIN. And that would be coming through both our committee on the Senate side, my committee there, and then from the House side.
Ambassador BARNES. It is a question-excuse me, Mr. Chairman—of both existing general legislation, but new authorizing legislation which would be more specific.
Senator HARKIN. Well, as I have told you before in private, it is an area that you are right on target on this. I do not know why we fall so far behind in some of these critical languages. I understand that during the Middle East crisis, it was a scramble just to find people that even understood some of these basic languages over there.
Ambassador BARNES. That is correct.
Senator HARKIN. The State Department could not even find them. They were scrambling around looking for people that understood these languages.
Ambassador BARNES. It makes every sense to try to begin to make an investment now. We should have done it some years ago.
Senator HARKIN. And in the critical areas of the Far East, where more and more—we are going to be dealing with Pacific rim countries, and those languages, as you say, are somewhat complex, although I do not think Japanese is all that complex, and maybe Chinese. But we are just not teaching those languages. So I side with you and I hope that we can get the authorizing language done, and hopefully we can keep this effort going.
Ambassador BARNES. I hope so, too. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity. It is a pleasure to see you again in this incarnation.
Senator HARKIN. Thank you very much, Mr. Ambassador. [The statement follows:)
STATEMENT OF HARRY G. BARNES JR. Mr. Chairman, those of us who have served in the Foreign Service like to believe that we learned the value of time and therefore of brevity and precision, though as diplomats we are sometimes accused of not being able to give a straight answer to a straight question. I prefer to say that we try to express ourselves as accurately and clearly as possible, and that's what I want to do today.
To put it bluntly, we Americans know too little about the rest of the world and all too often can neither understand others nor make ourselves understood. There is no doubt about the importance of Japan nor, certainly for the last eight months, of the Middle East. Both areas represent languages that are difficult to master and cultures not easy to comprehend, so that study needs to start much earlier than college. And yet there are not more than a few dozen high schools that teach Arabic and approximately six hundred that teach Japanese. I know from my experience of learning languages how much difference it makes to be able to communicate in someone else's language. And we will simply fool ourselves if we think the rest of the world will go on learning English indefinitely or that we can't sell better in another language whether it is ideas or goods and services.
There are a number of organizations which have been working to stress the importance of Americans becoming competent in other languages, such as the Joint National Committee on Languages. CLASC, which I represent, is focusing specifically on four of the most critical: Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Russian; and we have already undertaken, with foundation support, innovative programs in Arabic and Japanese. Your committee, Mr. Chairman, recognized the importance of this area in last year's bill by appropriating, funds under more general existing legislation for critical languages training, which however, the Department of Education has not yet acted upon. In addition, bills have been introduced in both houses this session with provisions to authorize more targeted attention to critical languages and area studies. Given the need for more young Americans to be able to commu. nicate around the world in areas critical to our country, I ask the committee to continue its consistent support for critical languages training and to provide funding for demonstration grants once they are authorized, hopefully later this year.
Senator HARKIN. We welcome Senator Gorton to the subcommittee.
Senator GORTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. STATEMENT OF GERALDINE DIETZ FOX, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
FRIENDS OF NIDCD, INC.
RACHEL DUBIN, STUDENT, THE PARK SCHOOL, BALTIMORE, MD
Senator HARKIN. Next is Geraldine Dietz Fox, accompanied by Rachel Dubin and Caitlin Parton, Friends of NIDCD.
Well, welcome again to the subcommittee, Geraldine. Your statement will be made a part of the record in its entirety. We want to welcome Rachel again.
Ms. DUBIN. Thank you.
Senator HARKIN. You have new glasses. So do I. And this is Caitland?
Miss JAMES. Caitland Parton.
Senator HARKIN. Well, Geraldine, welcome to the subcommittee. Please proceed.
Ms. Fox. Thank you, Senator Harkin, Senator Slade Gorton, and staff, Mike Hall, Margaret Stuart, Peter Reineke, Bobby Silverstein, Craig Higgins, Bettilou Taylor, Nancy Anderson, and Santo Manos. It is wonderful to back here. This is my fifth year of testify. ing and I am always grateful for your kindness and your generosity in supporting the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Thanks to your faith in us, and your nurturing of this Institute, this year we are expecting an explosion of 560 applications for grants. And this is double what it was when we started 2 years ago. And this will allow us a success rate of 42 percent of funding approved grants.
The professional judgment budget is $201 million and as I say, it will allow us a success rate. Our Director, Dr. James B. Snow, Jr., has said that, “We are in the midst of an accelerating period of discovery.” And my written testimony discusses all of the things that we have accomplished this year. But I have brought special guests to you, and I do not want to take a lot of time today.
Rachel, you know. And she is hear to introduce 542-year-old Caitland Parton. Rachel?
Miss DUBIN. Good morning, Chairman Harkin. Today. I am pleased to be here for my third appearance before this subcommittee. I will be introducing 5-year-old Caitland Parton, the youngest cochlear implant recipient in the world. Caitland lives in New York City. Caitland lost her hearing at 23 months of age from H-flu meningitis. She was angry and precocious and that added fire to her hearing loss.
At first, Caitland tried conventional hearing aids which did not help. Then she had a 22-channel cochlear implant placed in her cochlear in an experimental operation in January 1988 at the university medical center. She now used the cochlear implant in conjunction with an FM auditory training system. Intensive speech therapy and auditory training to decode the sounds she hears have been beneficial to her.
Caitland loves to read lots of books and enjoys art work. So also loves swimming, dancing, and playground activities. Caitland has been successfully mainstreamed in the preschool program. This fearless, bright little girl has outstanding achievements. She has been featured in videos, public service announcements, and was the 1988 recipient of New York's Better Hearing and Speech Month Award.
It is an honor to introduce another young hearing impaired person who is also working very hard to achieve success in the mainstream_world. She is accompanied today by her mother, Melody James Parton.
Thank you, Senator Harkin, for allowing me to participate on behalf of funding research programs at the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communications Disabilities.
Senator HARKIN. Rachel, thank you very much. You are becoming a veteran.
Ms. DUBIN. Thank you.
Senator HARKIN. I am beginning to mark the years by your growing up and your increasing maturity.
Ms. DUBIN. Thank you.
Mrs. PARTON. Thank you, Senator Harkin, for allowing Caitland and I to appear here today.
Caitland, with your long hair, Senator Harkin cannot see your implant. Can you show it to him?
(Ms. Parton reveals the device.
Mrs. PARTON. Would you like to tell him a little bit about how it work? How does it work?
Ms. PARTON. Well, this is the cochlear implant, and I have—this helps me and this is what I can hear with. And what I can do with it, I can—when I cannot hear this well, I can turn it to any number to hear much better. And that, and if you are on and off, if you are off, it is zero.
Mrs. PARTON. Off is zero. All right. Do you sleep with it?
Ms. PARTON. No; if I take a bath with it or swim with it, it will not work. If it gets water in it, it will not work.
Mrs. PARTON. No; what do you hear when we take it off?
Mrs. PARTON. But when we put it on, you do hear. What are some of your favorite sounds to listen to?
Ms. PARTON. Birds.
Mrs. PARTON. Pigeons. We have a lot of pigeons in New York, do we not?
Ms. PARTON. Yeah.
Mrs. PARTON. People do not realize how hard you have to work to speak as well as you do, so let us show the Senators some of the exercises we do at speech therapy, three times a week.
I am going to cover my mouth so you cannot see what I am saying. And you use your concentration to hear. Really listen, OK?
Ms. PARTON. All right.
Mrs. PARTON. Good. And who chases Peter Pan and does not like him?
Ms. PARTON. Tinkerbell.
Mrs. PARTON. Oh. Well, that is an interesting interpretation. (Laughter.)
You are right. You are right. She gets angry at Peter does she not? That is good. Where do you live?
Ms. PARTON. I live in an apartment building.
Mrs. PARTON. Right. Good. And what do you like to do? What do you like to do?
Ms. PARTON. Where?
Ms. PARTON. I do not know.
Senator HARKIN. You visited the Children's Museum yesterday?
Senator HARKIN. How did you get here from New York? Did you
Senator HARKIN. Oh, you rode the train down. Oh, I see. Was it fun? Was it a fun ride, did you enjoy the train?
Ms. PARTON. Good. I do, too.
Senator HARKIN. I used to live in a town called Dexter, IA. And I did not know they named a cat after it. (Laughter.]
Well, thank you very much, for coming from New York.
Senator HARKIN. Very bright. And obviously—you were the youngest child to ever receive a cochlear implant. That is pretty remarkable.
Do you feel like a pioneer?
Senator HARKIN. Well, you are very brave and you are very precocious and very bright, and I know you have got a great future ahead of you. If you study hard.
Ms. PARTON. Thank you.
Senator GORTON. Ms. Fox, I understand that some of my staff have been in touch with you with respect to some deafness research, and your friendship with Dr. Rubell at the University of Washington.
I wonder if you could tell me and the committee about the potential for that specific research.
Ms. Fox. The potentials for what, sir?
Senator GORTON. I understand that we have talked with you about Dr. Rubel's research at the University of Washington Department of Otolaryngology. Evidently he feels that there are already enough experts in related fields with respect to the cure and the prevention of deafness.