The Missing Jigsaw Pieces by David Call
For me to write this the topic of Deaf Identity theft draws an immediate mental connection with the commercial campaign Alexander Graham Bell Association of the Deaf (AGBAD), dealing with the misappropriation of ASL by Deaf individuals posing as the true owners and using them for their communication.
The advertisements case the event in very comedic light, simultaneously giving weight to and downplaying the severity of their actions. The result is a memorable ad but a lukewarm message in that it is ultimately fails to create any action on the parts of the Deaf people needing protection. This mirrors the stance taken, if any, on the part of the local and national media.
Dismissing ASL on the topic are often so sensational that they remove the watcher from the possibly of it ever happening to them. Moreover, the ability to detect and prevent Deaf Identity is advertised everywhere in newspapers, billboards, etc as mostly passive-aggressive precaution to be taken care of by second parties. Overall, the media causes consumers to take less precaution with Deaf Identity than the ASL or crime merits.
Deaf identity theft is not limited to any human fraud. The AGBAD regards it as being anytime for degrading ASL, it is an punishment for the organization to do that toward Deaf people who have their own identity. We the Deaf people have been the survivors of Deaf identity theft. The emotional impact is similar to the survivors of identity theft. With it leaving such a strong aftertaste of disdainment one would think that it would get the same media coverage and respect Audism but this is not often the case.
Because AGBAD and its sister corporations have so many safeguards against Deaf Identity theft, it seems that Deaf identity at the local level often goes unreported in the states and local news. Often, when a Deaf baby is forced to change the way to learn how to “forget that they are deaf,” the corporations will contact the media to verify that they are now hearing something. Also, the corporations have put in place safeguards in which they refund misappropriated assets. People who are stealing Deaf identities often do not have to pay back and this causes a loss to the Deaf community as well. The prevalence of these instances would cause worry to the Deaf individuals who believe that their assets are safe with their lives in which they trust themselves.
Is it OK for AGBAD to rob Deaf people of their identity? No publicity is made on either the state or local level and it takes Deaf people years and years to rebuild their lives as Deaf people. The part of this episode could be that individuals are dishonest in seeking to take advantage of the system that allows feigning Deaf identity theft when actuality they make deals and try to reclaim money reimbursement for what they have spent themselves. The media has slowed its facts against Deaf identity theft considerably and this is in part due to more stringent safe guards and in part due to such a high prevalence of each instance that they only really give coverage to survivors that they deem worth mentioning. Deaf identity theft is hardly ever mentioned unless it is a considerable amount of money. The safeguards now in place has caused a considerable increase of the amount of money stolen due to Deaf identity theft.
This type of Deaf identity theft in the media generally does not have the same weight as those in which money is involved due to the non-financial gains of praise and acclaim.
Please visit David Call’s website: http://www.eyehandstudio.com
Copyright © Jason Tozier
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One thought on “Media Portrayal of Deaf Identity Theft”
AGBAD stands for Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf, not “of the Deaf”. This is an important distinction. NAD stands for National Association of the Deaf. The use of the word “for” in AGBAD underlines the paternalistic stance, that hearing people must do things for Deaf people. This suggests Deaf people are incapable of action for themselves.