” The phoenix must burn to emerge.” – Janet Fitch
This is a personal memoir of a Deaf survivor from mainstreaming life in the making.—Jason “JT” Tozier. My writing is a skill that must be tried if I were to spread my experiences and struggles during my “probationary” times in mainstreaming style. There are so many political points and positions that I wish to advance a springboard for study at length. Mainstreaming schools for Deaf students should not allow their state government to enact this political oppression in each state.
Last night, September 24, 2014—Brown University has offered a live-streaming presentation given by Mark Drolsabugh—the author of Madness in the Mainstream; I realized that it is important to tell the readers first about myself. In fact, I am doing the same thing by writing two books about my childhood, my adult experiences and myself. One of two books will be about mainstreaming stories.
First of all, Mark’s lecture has given me many ideas to write about the greatest tragedies and profit-making system from education tiers what mainstreaming is really about. It is making Deaf children think HEARING-alike such a sad part of our existence. From my experiences, right after I was pulled out of Tucker-Maxon Oral School going straight to hearing school for next couple of years—all I can say that it is purely an oppressive environment, and breeds Deaf children like puppets to fight with.
Within alarming number of Deaf students now is being placed in mainstreaming style, the question is that those people who works for, supports, or donate money for Alexander Graham Bell Association are nutty enough to have another Milan Resolution, and true to their own manic of ignorance, are they even aware of it?
For the next 12 moons of my life as a mainstreamed student, I was forced under great amount of stress to use any kind of amplification under audiologists’ orders. Amplification is one of few things that made school districts happy and rich. I object to any sort of effort by those people to humanize Deaf children in preference merely to continuing to punish and occasionally brutalize themselves seem not to have learned that those such efforts will not work. It is merely wrong.
It is evident very much that from Harlan Lane’s book, Mask of Benevolence, mainstreaming made me to hide from myself and others the poison of sound prejudice festering in my own soul. Thank you, Alexander Graham Bell Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AGBDHH) for exposing the lies and truly representing the failure of Oralism is heading down for the trash-heap of history. It was a discovery of my own infection of Audism. I still can remember all those names that had bullied, ostracized, ridiculed, humiliated, excluded and treated as a leper in my classes.
My biggest concern is that the mainstreaming programs in the future would empty out and learning and teaching ASL would grind to a halt, at least the ones promoting the Deaf no one would make voluntarily. The First Amendment that protects our forms of speech and expressions would be largely ignored. Think about how many Deaf children suffer lack of storytelling and language playing just for their own sake. What if that kind of activity could provide proper education for Deaf children in mainstreaming style? No guarantees! I am pretty sure that our Deaf ancestors, George Veditz in particular, could see us today, Veditz probably would be upset about their efforts and horrified by others, but he surely would not be delighted that there is no First Amendment promise for Deaf children to protect their language and culture. Mainstreaming built this world with ignorance and certain obstacles that they would be surely being better that what Deaf students struggle with their academic lessons.
When I first discovered ASL through vlogging, I laugh more. I crave more for ASL story telling because growing up in mainstreaming world, my mind did not train to laugh at Deaf jokes. Deaf children today need laughter. It is being used to liberate their humanity. It is important for me to maintain an attitude of acceptance—it is the hardest part of all. Mainstreaming had forbidden me to have the real contact with Deaf world; I read somewhere that our earliest traumas can occur during childhood. Mainstreaming abuse mold my personality and character that took my life away.
During Mark’s lecture, he mentioned about first and second choices. First choice: Mainstream. Second choice: Deaf School. That brought my memories back. Three years ago, in 2011, when I was visiting my father, he said that he wished that I would be placed in Deaf school. Why now? He said that the audiologists, doctors, and teachers lied to him. I was shocked to see him say something like this. It’s so rare that he does not want to talk about it. Mainstreaming is all about shifting to the political fascist group like AGBDHH. That leads to a good example of physical and emotional symptoms. I remember I did not have a Deaf-centric counselor or advocate when I was in school going through difficult times. The school district where I was part of is in the guise of bullying that they never add NOTHING to keep Deaf students safe. School elected officials gave my family very little in the way of adding public safety benefits for my education.
Copyright © Jason Tozier
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