Chris Wagner’s NAD and TMOS

75378_459088817478785_646258843_nThe painting was done by Yusuf Yahya

It has been a month when I made a v-log challenging Chris Wagner’s leadership, about ASL for Deaf children both at our first school and alumnus, Tucker-Maxon Oral School (TMOS). It is the best-kept secret in town. Colin Powell, a former Secretary of State of the United States coined a quote, “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.”

As I read this above line, I began to realize how much important of a leadership to influence our ways of thinking today. Wagner needs to realize that his leadership becomes our adventure and active our vision. It is evocative of oppression that Deaf community could easily and readily identity. Perhaps it could not evolve in the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) mission for that matter because of its hidden agenda that defines Wagner’s leadership of “new order of Deaf people”—the part of NAD touches its most manifest aspect, namely, NAD’s symbolism that supports cochlear implant companies. Remember, NAD is the Deaf people’s consumer organization.

As for the new readers on this post,  in 1985, TMOS has become the world’s first school-based children’s cochlear implant center in conjunction with the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles. Then in 1992, three years after death of 12 Deaf children during cochlear implant surgery, cochlear implants receive approval from Federal Drug Administration (FDA), getting more Deaf students to receive cochlear implants. A Tucker-Maxon Board member, Dr. Alexander Schleuning has chosen to perform surgeries.

When I took Renaissance Literature years ago, there was a reference to “The Castle Spectre”, this was a play that created a psychological nightmare, taking the audience deeper and deeper into the darkness and despair. The professor questioned whether the spectre was even really needed in the play. This play was a bit shocking for its time because of the use of the spectre. It was believed that ghosts were related to the devil. It was also bold and shocking to have Angela stab Oswald, as women were deemed to be weepy and incapable of inflicting bodily harm. Women were not supposed to wield swords or knives. This play was a masterpiece of theatrical production.

Let’s be honest. NAD is an adventurous place. From a social media director/specialist for NAD helping a father of 15 years old boy who has a cochlear implant to find the right tool for his wake-up bed call few days ago. Please see the picture below. NAD has more time to answer for anyone who has cochlear implant than answering questions about ASL for Deaf children, for one, Tucker-Maxon Oral School. They do have adventure-ness in spades.  Most of us are preoccupied with what is politically feasible right now. Even NAD leader takes ideas for Deaf babies that have been around for a while and prefers to get enough acceptance to be proactive: Cochlear Implants. It is NAD’s position statement on Alexander Graham Bell and Deaf babies. What are some of the political ideas we should be thinking about today, in hopes that they would become possible for Deaf children at Tucker-Maxon Oral School?

NAD CINAD is instrumental in shaping Deaf students’ wits that permeate the “culture” of our community. Whether Deaf students are taught with a basic sense of self-efficacy, they need to be motivated about higher education. Students who have a capacity for producing a desired effect are generally more psychologically prepared than are students who are limited to “sitting at desks studying how to speak and hear”- Learning ASL is very important and needs to provide a variety of strategies—evaluations, trainings, workshops, in-services and so forth—to make higher education accessible to all.

The skills and knowledge in ASL required in higher learning must enable all of Deaf children to take change and growth in stride. In order to thrive in this ever-changing society, every Deaf student at TMOS will need to grow in these three goals:

1) Be a creative problem-solver. 2) A lifelong learner, and 3) An effective communicator.

Each student at TMOS must also know how to use and understand ASL, work effectively in-group situations, and be a responsible and involved citizen. In order for students to be well prepared, TMOS must teach these skills and knowledge and prepare students for the real-world applications. Oralism does not work at all.

Deaf People, the undersigned, and we the ASL users hereby demand that Tucker-Maxon Oral School Curriculum Committee develop and facilitate an exploratory American Sign Language studies. The term “studies” suggests a broad field in academic and interdisciplinary inquiry to focus on the following four objectives:

ASL studies shall aim to examine its subject matter in terms of the language and culture of the Deaf, ASL shall be to analyze the social, political, and economical context within which it manifests itself, ASL shall aim to be both an intellectual and an academic enterprise, and finally, ASL shall attempt to expose and reconcile the division of knowledge to serve the city of Portland, to articulate between intuitive knowledge based on ASL and objective (universal) knowledge to assume a common ground between the knower and the known, between the observer and what is being observed, and between the researcher and what is being researched.

Will Wagner make some points and positions that are so intricate and complex that they can be advanced, followed, and criticized? TMOS students need to have their own length, leisure and liberty to learn ASL. Higher learning and teaching happen for a change and growth. Oralism will never succeed. I will never support the alumni halls of TMOS.


Copyright © Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

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