A Personal Story of a Cultural Broker (MA UCEDD/LEND)

By Oanh Thi Thu Bui, Diversity Fellow, Institute for Community Inclusion, UMass Boston

September 8, 2016

In this 3-part series, a mother of a child with special needs describes how she became a cultural broker to support other families.

Part 1
"You should stop speaking Vietnamese to your daughter," the school professional told me. "It will just confuse her." The professional went on to imply that I was taking things for granted and using tax dollars for my own child's benefit.

My daughter, who is nonverbal, had been at school in the US for about two months at that point. As a single mom who was unfamiliar with the educational, medical, and social support systems in the US, I was feeling frustrated while navigating the system of care and support for my child.

I still struggle with balancing my cultural values while searching for services for my child with special needs. I don't have a support network of extended family members here, as I would if I was still in Vietnam.

But when the school professional said those words, I realized I needed to step up and help my own daughter, as well as other Vietnamese parents whose children have disability.

I established a support group for Vietnamese-speaking parents of children with special needs, called the Vòng Tay Cha Mẹ Việt (Circle of Vietnamese Parents). Armed with my personal and professional cultural experiences, and my newly gained knowledge of the US disability service systems, I became a culture broker: a connector and negotiator between the Vietnamese immigrant community, and the system of social supports available to them here in Boston.

The need for cultural brokering

When I was new to the US and overwhelmed with the complicated needs of my daughter, I attended many workshops, trainings, and support groups for parents. It was wonderful to meet and learn from other parents of a child with special needs who experience my situation, understand what I have been through, and are willing to share with me.

However, due to my cultural beliefs, I work hard to teach myself everything I can, rather than relying on others. And because I held professionals in such high regard, I never challenged my daughter's educational team.

As my knowledge of US support systems grew, I realized that following what professionals told me, and teaching myself, were not enough. I wanted to provide a strong voice on behalf of other Vietnamese women, many of whom who lack understanding of their child's disability. These mothers may also have different perspectives and expectations for their children with special needs, and at the same time feel isolated due to social stigma from their community.

I searched in vain for a support group for Vietnamese-speaking parents like me, and clearly, none existed. I learned that, here in the U.S., if you do not speak the language and you don't assimilate into the mainstream, you will be forgotten. I realized, "You can continue on this path all alone, and nobody will help unless you break a basic cultural value and reach out for help."

That's when I started the Circle of Vietnamese Parents.

Community-driven support

I established this support group in 2012. Today, it has supported more than 120 families across the state.
A big component of our program is to provide emotional support to mothers and fathers whose children have a disability, including invisible disabilities like autism, which are not well recognized within the Vietnamese community.

We also arrange for speakers to educate parents about community systems and services; the importance of parental involvement in their children's education; parents' rights in special education; and different resources across the lifespan. Concepts such as independent living, self-determination, self-advocacy, employment for people with disability, guardianship, and special needs trusts are novel to the Vietnamese community.

Through word of mouth, more and more families have felt comfortable attending the support group and reached out to me for support. I spend time to understand each family's situation and family structure, their perceptions about their child's disability, and their knowledge about U.S. service delivery systems. I also learn about their English proficiency, their education level, and the family's availability and comfort with sharing their personal stories.

Learn more about Oanh's story in Part 2 of this series, coming up soon.

 


Debugging Information
ColdFusion Server Standard 9,0,0,251028
Template /template/news.cfm
Time Stamp 15-Jul-18 04:47 PM
Locale English (US)
User Agent CCBot/2.0 (http://commoncrawl.org/faq/)
Remote IP 54.198.170.159
Host Name 54.198.170.159


Execution Time

Total Time Avg Time Count Template
68 ms 68 ms 1 top level E:\www\aauapweb\aucd\template\news.cfm
24 ms 24 ms 1 E:/www/aauapweb/aucd/Application.cfm
20 ms 20 ms 1 E:/www/aauapweb/aucd/template/header_public.cfm
13 ms 13 ms 1 E:/www/aauapweb/aucd/template/qry_menu.cfm
12 ms 12 ms 1 E:/www/aauapweb/aucd/template/inc_header.cfm
7 ms 7 ms 1 E:/www/aauapweb/aucd/template/footer_public.cfm
5 ms 5 ms 1 E:/www/aauapweb/aucd/template/common.cfm
3 ms 3 ms 1 E:/www/aauapweb/aucd/template/inc_fourth.cfm
2 ms 2 ms 1 E:/www/aauapweb/aucd/include/body.cfm
2 ms 2 ms 1 E:/www/aauapweb/aucd/template/ct_sidebar.cfm
1 ms 1 ms 1 E:/www/aauapweb/aucd/template/ct_breadcrumbs.cfm
1 ms 1 ms 1 E:/www/aauapweb/aucd/template/inc_nav.cfm
0 ms 0 ms 1 E:/www/aauapweb/aucd/include/cmsview.cfm
0 ms 0 ms 1 E:/www/aauapweb/aucd/template/ct_logpage.cfm
0 ms 0 ms 1 E:/www/aauapweb/aucd/template/ct_session.cfm
0 ms 0 ms 1 E:/www/aauapweb/aucd/template/inc_footer.cfm
0 ms 0 ms 1 E:/www/aauapweb/aucd/template/inc_leftnav.cfm
0 ms 0 ms 2 E:/www/aauapweb/aucd/template/udf.cfm
1 ms  STARTUP, PARSING, COMPILING, LOADING, & SHUTDOWN
93 ms  TOTAL EXECUTION TIME
red = over 250 ms average execution time


SQL Queries

qry_config (Datasource=aucd, Time=2ms, Records=88) in E:\www\aauapweb\aucd\template\common.cfm @ 16:47:51.051
	SELECT name, value FROM config
	WHERE
		
		host = 'remote' OR host = '' OR host is null
		
lang (Datasource=aucd, Time=1ms, Records=0) in E:\www\aauapweb\aucd\template\common.cfm @ 16:47:51.051
SELECT id, description FROM code WHERE name = 'content_language' ORDER BY orderby
page (Datasource=aucd, Time=2ms, Records=1) in E:\www\aauapweb\aucd\template\qry_menu.cfm @ 16:47:51.051
SELECT page.page_id, page.page_section, page.page_title, page.hide_search, page.hide_navigation,
	page.owner, page.template, page.browser_title, page.meta_description, page.page_filename, 
	CASE WHEN ggparent.page_id IS NOT NULL THEN ggparent.page_title
		WHEN gparent.page_id IS NOT NULL THEN gparent.page_title 
		WHEN parent.page_id IS NOT NULL THEN parent.page_title
		ELSE page.page_title END AS section_name,
	CASE WHEN ggparent.page_id IS NOT NULL THEN ggparent.page_id  
		WHEN gparent.page_id IS NOT NULL THEN gparent.page_id 
		WHEN parent.page_id IS NOT NULL THEN parent.page_id
		ELSE page.page_id END AS section_id,
	CASE WHEN ggparent.page_id IS NOT NULL THEN URL('',ggparent.page_filename,ggparent.page_id)
		WHEN gparent.page_id IS NOT NULL THEN URL('',gparent.page_filename,gparent.page_id)
		WHEN parent.page_id IS NOT NULL THEN URL('',parent.page_filename,parent.page_id)
		ELSE URL('',page.page_filename,page.page_id) END AS section_filename,
	CASE WHEN page.header_image IS NOT NULL THEN page.header_image
		WHEN parent.header_image IS NOT NULL THEN parent.header_image
		WHEN gparent.header_image IS NOT NULL THEN gparent.header_image
		ELSE ggparent.header_image END AS header_image,
	gparent.page_title AS gparent_name, gparent.page_id AS gparent_id,
	gparent.page_filename AS gparent_filename,
	parent.page_title AS parent_name, parent.page_id AS parent_id,
	parent.page_filename AS parent_filename
FROM page LEFT JOIN page AS parent ON page.page_section = parent.page_id
	LEFT JOIN page AS gparent ON parent.page_section = gparent.page_id
	LEFT JOIN page AS ggparent ON gparent.page_section = ggparent.page_id
WHERE 
	
	page.page_filename like '%template/news.cfm%' /* 5 */
	
	AND page.template NOT IN ('ITAC','NGSD','ECP')
ORDER BY page_id
getrole (Datasource=aucd, Time=0ms, Records=1) in E:\www\aauapweb\aucd\template\qry_menu.cfm @ 16:47:51.051
	SELECT code.code
	FROM link_page_role INNER JOIN code ON link_page_role.code_id = code.id
	WHERE fk_id = 806 
parentinfo (Datasource=aucd, Time=1ms, Records=1) in E:\www\aauapweb\aucd\template\qry_menu.cfm @ 16:47:51.051
SELECT page.page_id, page.page_section, page.template, page.page_title,
	CASE WHEN ggparent.page_id IS NOT NULL THEN ggparent.page_title
		WHEN gparent.page_id IS NOT NULL THEN gparent.page_title 
		WHEN parent.page_id IS NOT NULL THEN parent.page_title
		ELSE page.page_title END AS section_name,
	CASE WHEN ggparent.page_id IS NOT NULL THEN ggparent.page_id  
		WHEN gparent.page_id IS NOT NULL THEN gparent.page_id 
		WHEN parent.page_id IS NOT NULL THEN parent.page_id
		ELSE page.page_id END AS section_id,
	CASE WHEN ggparent.page_id IS NOT NULL THEN URL('',ggparent.page_filename,ggparent.page_id)
		WHEN gparent.page_id IS NOT NULL THEN URL('',gparent.page_filename,gparent.page_id)
		WHEN parent.page_id IS NOT NULL THEN URL('',parent.page_filename,parent.page_id)
		ELSE URL('',page.page_filename,page.page_id) END AS section_filename,
	gparent.page_title AS gparent_name, gparent.page_id AS gparent_id,
	gparent.page_filename AS gparent_filename,
	parent.page_title AS parent_name, parent.page_id AS parent_id,
	parent.page_filename AS parent_filename 
FROM page LEFT JOIN page AS parent ON page.page_section = parent.page_id
	LEFT JOIN page AS gparent ON parent.page_section = gparent.page_id
	LEFT JOIN page AS ggparent ON gparent.page_section = ggparent.page_id
WHERE 
	
	page.page_id = 964 
qry_menutop (Datasource=aucd, Time=7ms, Records=90) in E:\www\aauapweb\aucd\template\qry_menu.cfm @ 16:47:51.051
	SELECT page.page_id, page.page_title, page.page_section, page.orderby, page.meta_description,
		ifnull(parent.page_title,page.page_title) AS section_name,
		URL('',page.page_filename,page.page_id) AS page_filename
	FROM page LEFT JOIN page AS parent ON page.page_section = parent.page_id
	WHERE ifnull(page.hide_navigation,0) = 0 AND page.live = 1 AND
		parent.page_section is null
		
		AND page.orderby <= 70000
		AND (parent.page_id in (2,3,25,26,27,28,1,507,489) or 
			(parent.page_id is null and page.page_id <> 514))
		AND (SELECT COUNT(*) FROM link_page_role WHERE fk_id = page.page_id AND code_id = 113) > 0
		
		 
	ORDER BY page.orderby
getnews (Datasource=aucd, Time=1ms, Records=1) in E:\www\aauapweb\aucd\template\news.cfm @ 16:47:51.051
SELECT 	news.*, code.name
FROM 	news
	LEFT JOIN code ON news.type = code.id
WHERE 	news_id = 12124 
author (Datasource=aucd, Time=0ms, Records=0) in E:\www\aauapweb\aucd\template\news.cfm @ 16:47:51.051
SELECT first_name, last_name, title, email, phone
FROM person INNER JOIN link_news_person ON person.person_id = link_news_person.person_id
WHERE link_news_person.news_id = 12124 
parentpage (Datasource=aucd, Time=0ms, Records=1) in E:\www\aauapweb\aucd\template\inc_header.cfm @ 16:47:51.051
	SELECT page.page_id, page.page_section, page.header_image,
		CASE WHEN gparent.page_id IS NOT NULL THEN gparent.page_title 
			WHEN parent.page_id IS NOT NULL THEN parent.page_title
			ELSE page.page_title END AS section_name,
		CASE WHEN gparent.page_id IS NOT NULL THEN gparent.page_id 
			WHEN parent.page_id IS NOT NULL THEN parent.page_id
			ELSE page.page_id END AS section_id,
		CASE WHEN gparent.page_id IS NOT NULL THEN gparent.page_filename 
			WHEN parent.page_id IS NOT NULL THEN parent.page_filename
			ELSE page.page_filename END AS section_filename
	FROM page LEFT JOIN page AS parent ON page.page_section = parent.page_id
		LEFT JOIN page AS gparent ON parent.page_section = gparent.page_id
	WHERE page.page_id = 
		964 
submenu (Datasource=aucd, Time=3ms, Records=5) in E:\www\aauapweb\aucd\template\inc_header.cfm @ 16:47:51.051
SELECT page.page_id, page.page_title, page.orderby, 0 AS sub,
	URL('',page.page_filename,page.page_id) AS page_filename
FROM page
WHERE page.live = 1 AND ifnull(page.hide_navigation,0)=0 
	
		AND ifnull(page.page_section,0) = 26 
UNION
SELECT page_id, page_title, orderby, 1 AS sub,
	URL('',child.page_filename,child.page_id) AS page_filename
FROM page AS child
WHERE live = 1 AND ifnull(hide_navigation,0)=0 AND
	
	ifnull(page_section,0) = 964 
ORDER BY 3,2
menu_network (Datasource=, Time=2ms, Records=0) in E:\www\aauapweb\aucd\template\inc_header.cfm @ 16:47:51.051
SELECT * FROM qry_menutop
WHERE section_name = 'Network Resources' AND page_section > 0 AND page_filename not like '%nirs%'
ORDER BY orderby
menu_home (Datasource=, Time=1ms, Records=0) in E:\www\aauapweb\aucd\template\inc_header.cfm @ 16:47:51.051
SELECT * FROM qry_menutop
WHERE section_name = 'Home' AND page_section > 0
ORDER BY orderby
issub (Datasource=, Time=2ms, Records=1) in E:\www\aauapweb\aucd\template\inc_fourth.cfm @ 16:47:51.051
	SELECT sub FROM submenu
	WHERE page_id = 964 
fourth (Datasource=aucd, Time=1ms, Records=0) in E:\www\aauapweb\aucd\template\inc_fourth.cfm @ 16:47:51.051
	SELECT page.page_id, page.page_title, page.orderby,
		CASE WHEN ifnull(page.page_filename,'') <> '' AND locate('?',page.page_filename) > 0
		THEN concat(page.page_filename,'&parent=',page.page_section)
		WHEN ifnull(page.page_filename,'') <> '' AND locate('?',page.page_filename) = 0
		THEN concat(page.page_filename,'?parent=',page.page_section)
		ELSE concat('template/page.cfm?id=',page.page_id,'&parent=',page.page_section) 
		END AS page_filename
	FROM page
	WHERE
		
		1=2
		
	ORDER BY orderby
	
related (Datasource=aucd, Time=1ms, Records=0) in E:\www\aauapweb\aucd\include\body.cfm @ 16:47:51.051
SELECT page_module.link_id, page_type, page_module.title, page_module.orderby,
	page_subtype, page_topic, page_layout, page_criteria, replace(module.type,' ','') AS type,
	module.subtype, rssaddress, topic.topic_title, replace(page_module.custom,',',' ') as custom,
	'' AS rss,
	
	concat_ws(',',page_module.detail1_id,page_module.detail2_id,page_module.detail3_id) AS detail_id
	 
FROM page_module INNER JOIN module ON page_module.page_type = module.type AND (module.sidebar = 0 OR module.sidebar is null)
	LEFT JOIN topic ON page_module.page_topic = topic.topic_id
WHERE 
	
		page_id = 806 
ORDER BY page_module.orderby
related_sidebar (Datasource=aucd, Time=1ms, Records=0) in E:\www\aauapweb\aucd\template\ct_sidebar.cfm @ 16:47:51.051
SELECT sidebar_module.link_id, page_type, sidebar_module.title, sidebar_module.orderby,
	page_topic, page_subtype, page_layout, page_criteria, replace(module.type,' ','') AS type,
	module.subtype, rssaddress, topic.topic_title, sidebar_module.custom, sidebar_module.content,
	'' AS rss,
	
	concat_ws(',',sidebar_module.detail1_id,sidebar_module.detail2_id,sidebar_module.detail3_id) AS detail_id
	 
FROM sidebar_module INNER JOIN module ON sidebar_module.page_type = module.type AND module.sidebar = 1
	LEFT JOIN topic ON sidebar_module.page_topic = topic.topic_id
WHERE page_id = 806 
	AND position = 'R'
	
ORDER BY sidebar_module.orderby


Scope Variables

CGI Variables:
AUTH_PASSWORD=
AUTH_TYPE=
AUTH_USER=
CERT_COOKIE=
CERT_FLAGS=
CERT_ISSUER=
CERT_KEYSIZE=256
CERT_SECRETKEYSIZE=2048
CERT_SERIALNUMBER=
CERT_SERVER_ISSUER=C=GB, S=Greater Manchester, L=Salford, O=COMODO CA Limited, CN=COMODO RSA Domain Validation Secure Server CA
CERT_SERVER_SUBJECT=OU=Domain Control Validated, OU=EssentialSSL, CN=www.aucd.org
CERT_SUBJECT=
CF_TEMPLATE_PATH=E:\www\aauapweb\aucd\template\news.cfm
CONTENT_LENGTH=
CONTENT_TYPE=
CONTEXT_PATH=
GATEWAY_INTERFACE=CGI/1.1
HTTPS=on
HTTPS_KEYSIZE=256
HTTPS_SECRETKEYSIZE=2048
HTTPS_SERVER_ISSUER=C=GB, S=Greater Manchester, L=Salford, O=COMODO CA Limited, CN=COMODO RSA Domain Validation Secure Server CA
HTTPS_SERVER_SUBJECT=OU=Domain Control Validated, OU=EssentialSSL, CN=www.aucd.org
HTTP_ACCEPT=text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8
HTTP_ACCEPT_ENCODING=x-gzip, gzip, deflate
HTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE=
HTTP_CONNECTION=close
HTTP_COOKIE=
HTTP_HOST=www.aucd.org
HTTP_REFERER=
HTTP_USER_AGENT=CCBot/2.0 (http://commoncrawl.org/faq/)
PATH_INFO=/template/news.cfm
PATH_TRANSLATED=E:\www\aauapweb\aucd\template\news.cfm
QUERY_STRING=news_id=12124&parent=964&parent_title=View%20All%20News&url=/template/page.cfm?id%3D964
REMOTE_ADDR=54.198.170.159
REMOTE_HOST=54.198.170.159
REMOTE_USER=
REQUEST_METHOD=GET
SCRIPT_NAME=/template/news.cfm
SERVER_NAME=www.aucd.org
SERVER_PORT=443
SERVER_PORT_SECURE=1
SERVER_PROTOCOL=HTTP/1.1
SERVER_SOFTWARE=Microsoft-IIS/7.5
WEB_SERVER_API=
Client Variables:
cfid=22453821
cftoken=59094852
hitcount=1
lastvisit={ts '2018-07-15 16:47:51'}
timecreated={ts '2018-07-15 16:47:51'}
urltoken=CFID=22453821&CFTOKEN=59094852
Cookie Variables:
CFID=22453821
CFTOKEN=59094852
Session Variables:
cfg_admin_directory=/aucd_admin/
cfg_article_url=../resources/digest/issue.cfm?article_id=
cfg_authentication=HTML
cfg_client_full_name=AUCD
cfg_client_id=247
cfg_client_short_name=AUCD
cfg_database_type=mysql
cfg_dateformat=m/d/yyyy
cfg_doc_extension=doc,pdf,xls,txt,wpd,rtf,jpg,jpeg,gif,bmp,png,ppt,pps,mp3
cfg_doc_path=/docs/
cfg_ecp_feedback=bkaufman@AUCD.ORG
cfg_ecp_share=bkaufman@AUCD.ORG
cfg_editor_path=/tiny_mce/
cfg_email_actearlynews_submission=agriffen@AUCD.ORG, oklimova@aucd.org
cfg_email_council_cis=
cfg_email_council_coca=
cfg_email_council_core=
cfg_email_council_mcc=oklimova@aucd.org
cfg_email_council_ncedc=
cfg_email_council_ntdc=
cfg_email_developments_submission=lvaldez@aucd.org
cfg_email_digest_submission=acostalas@AUCD.ORG
cfg_email_hdd_submission=jminor@aucd.org
cfg_email_lend_application_submission=jperry@AUCD.ORG
cfg_email_pmu_submission=ynikola-lisa@aucd.org
cfg_email_spotlight_submission=cpariseau@aucd.org
cfg_email_stimulus=oklimova@aucd.org
cfg_email_website_feedback=oklimova@aucd.org
cfg_encoding=ISO-8859-1
cfg_evaluation_review=agriffen@AUCD.ORG
cfg_has_article_dept=Yes
cfg_has_article_issue=Yes
cfg_has_article_issuedept=Yes
cfg_has_article_type=0
cfg_has_crm=No
cfg_has_document=0
cfg_has_event_topic=Yes
cfg_has_feature_home_page=0
cfg_has_friendly_urls=No
cfg_has_issue_number=Yes
cfg_has_issue_summary=Yes
cfg_has_issue_volume=Yes
cfg_has_module_heading=Yes
cfg_has_new_topic=Yes
cfg_has_news_author=1
cfg_has_news_topic=Yes
cfg_has_person_address=0
cfg_has_person_board=Yes
cfg_has_person_country=0
cfg_has_person_custom=Yes
cfg_has_person_department=1
cfg_has_person_fax=Yes
cfg_has_person_photo=Yes
cfg_has_photo_expiration=0
cfg_has_sidebar=0
cfg_has_topic_parent_id=0
cfg_has_xml_import=0
cfg_live_default=No
cfg_log_number_of_months=4
cfg_mail_from=aucdinfo@aucd.org
cfg_mail_server=
cfg_module_detail_options=3
cfg_ngsd_about=681
cfg_ngsd_email_notification=oklimova@aucd.org,drudolph@aucd.org,beckmanncc@umkc.edu,spalmer@ku.edu,walkerla@umkc.edu,ericecook@sbcglobal.net,gottog@umkc.edu
cfg_ngsd_events=685
cfg_ngsd_join_listserve=687
cfg_ngsd_links=686
cfg_ngsd_news=684
cfg_ngsd_resources=683
cfg_ngsd_topics=682
cfg_ngsd_training=680
cfg_paging_count_landing=3
cfg_paging_count_list=15
cfg_path=
cfg_path_include=
cfg_paths_relative_to=root
cfg_person_notes_label=Notes
cfg_photo_album_view=JavaScript:openNewWindow('../template/slideshow.cfm?album_id={{id}}',800,750);
cfg_photo_path=/images2/
cfg_remember_login=1
cfg_rtoi_year=2012
cfg_search_resilience=per session
cfg_show_error_details=0
cfg_sidebar_positions=Left,Right
cfg_specific_items_days=730
cfg_specific_items_sort=Name
cfg_title=Content Management System
cfg_type_link_to=code
cfid=22453821
cftoken=59094852
sessionid=AUCDWEBSITE_22453821_59094852
urltoken=CFID=22453821&CFTOKEN=59094852
URL Parameters:
news_id=12124
parent=964
parent_title=View All News
url=/template/page.cfm?id=964
Debug Rendering Time: 39 ms