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Department of Interpretation Scandal at Gallaudet University #2

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Dr. Metzger,

I am writing an email about what happened in the cafeteria on November 10th at 7:45pm.

While we were eating and we were offended by seeing other table with all senior interpreter students speaking to each other and using Sim-Com. There’s that certain girl, AK, who talked all the way without signing. Our group had a discussion how to make the right approach without cause a lot of hassles because we already knew several stories about AK and her attitude problem.

KO, who is currently on her second year at Gallaudet for the interpreter programs, was willing to tell them to sign without finger pointing. She waved to get their attention and told all of them to nicely please sign for our equality access of communication in the public. However, AK’s lack of responses ended up hurting us even more and she only replied, “Do you have problem with that?” KO ended up again told her to please sign in public. AK decided to make an unnecessary attack statement, “She has a right to use English because it is her first language.” I looked away because it did really burn me off. I tried to figure why she would want to become an interpreter if she refused to respect Deaf culture. Why would she want to be an interpreter in the first place with all Deaf people here?

After three deaf students stood up and told her repeatedly to respect us and use sign for the sake of our equality access. We also friendly mentioned to her of how we understood that English is her first language. She got silent and we thought the argument was over. However, she rolled her eyes and continued to talk with voice, just to rub in our faces and that made me even more upset. I stood up, out of my anger and told her, “This is not first time. Can you just simply respect us? How is that so hard for you?!” She smiled….disgustingly smiled. To be honest, I didn’t remember what I said to her that much because I was very angry. I told her that she clearly is only coming here for money and didn’t care about Deaf culture. I told her bluntly, “Look at KO, she also is an interpreter student and she never uses her voice around us, ever. Oh, you didn’t know that? This exactly is what we need from interpreter that really into deaf culture, not just for money!” At that point, KO jumped in between of us and told her, “Why wouldn’t she sign and Gallaudet is the only Deaf university in the world and she can’t sign…?” She yelled at us, “You can’t tell me what to do because I am here for 5 years!!” She literally tried to walk toward to me but the person who sat beside her intervened. The argument gradually became out of control. The nice guy stopped our argument and explained to us how he understood our feelings. That was when everyone cooled off. After that, we decided to leave the table in peace.

That is why I felt this entire argument was unnecessary.  All of this went out of control just simply because of her disrespectful attitude. We cannot tolerate that. She just doesn’t care about our feelings or living as Deaf people. She doesn’t care about this very much. If she could have the privilege of getting a well-paid job as an interpreter but does that change her behaviours? No, it doesn’t because it’s irrelevant to the profession of interpreting. We Deaf people are experiencing much pressure on language barriers, discriminations and such in the hearing world on daily basis. We do not want her to feel she has the privilege to oppose our well-valued culture. Again, we cannot tolerate that.

This contrasts to the goals of Gallaudet University where everyone, both hearing and Deaf, lives together and preserves our Deaf culture and language. It would be reasonable if she can set aside her own language for some time and socialize with the Deaf people on campus with sign language. From what I’ve heard a lot of stories about her unprofessional behavior including my recent situation, that proved to us that we cannot trust her as an interpreter for the sake of our community in future. What is the point for her to continue studying and become interpreter if she’s still being disrespectful with unprofessional behavior as an interpreter? Suppose if I go to see doctor with her being there as an interpreter, it would be considered highly inappropriate in regard to the issues of trust and attitude. Therefore, I am certain that an interpreter with attitude problem like AK is unsuitable for the future job. PERIOD.

Sincerely,
RP

-JT

Copyright © Jason Tozier

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

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6 responses

  1. @DeafProducer: @GallaudetU Nothing NEW! Same thing happened to me & others: look @ my vlog YouTube “Audism at Gallaudet” #shouldigiveup? #hearingwins

  2. Most Gallaudet students are going to know exactly who you mean by AK. Everyone has a story about her disrespecting deaf students. I don’t know how she expects to succeed in interpreting. After all, look at what happened with Travis Painter. Everyone blacklisted him, and a lot of people refused to hire him as an interpreter. I have a feeling that the very same thing is about to happen to “AK.”

  3. They are not ready to graduate. They need to stay one or two more years, they MUST show respect to their future employers – the DEAF community before being awarded degrees.

  4. AK has been there for 6 years now. She has always sat with hearing interpreting students the whole time and most of them would talk or sim com. From my understanding the Gallaudet interpreting department had a strict rule about talking in public on campus and can kick you out of the program but they refuse to do so because most of their students do it.

    The Deaf community needs to rally against AK. She has tried to make herself into a martyr for the Deaf and Disabled community to the point that she is a hypocrite for scolding others about disrespect while she continues to disrespect as well.

    She has no place in our community and should be booted back to Michigan!!

  5. whycantwegetalong | Reply

    This student “AK” clearly has devoted a significant amount of time of her life to not only interpreting but being an interpreting student at Gallaudet who apparently eats on campus which likely means she lives on campus which means this person has devoted a significant amount of time of her life not only studying, learning, living in a deaf space but she is being forced to LIVE LIKE A DEAF PERSON. if she is a hearing person who spent all her life reacting to things verbally then cant you understand that sometimes it slips? I would feel just as pissed off as you for the attitude but seriously why does it bother you? think about it.

    “sign in public please” ok well as a full time interpreting student living at gallaudet doesn’t that mean shes always “in public?” so you’re telling a hearing person that they are never allowed to speak as long as they are on your campus. whaattt?? wouldn’t you be annoyed if someone was in your face in the middle of your meal, interrupting your conversation with passive aggressiveness?

    I went to Gallaudet and one of my hearing friends came to visit with no knowledge of sign or any of the complexities and rules involved and regulated by the deaf community. he went outside to smoke a cigarette and talk to his mom on the phone about DC and how beautiful it was and how Gallaudet was to interesting and amazing. when out of the bushes comes some bored deaf person on a power trip who just start signing frantically to my oblivious friend who was on the phone with his mom unsure of what this person was doing why they looked so angry and what he should do..

    he came to my dorm room and told me what just happened and I instantly realized what happened and how stupid these “rules” are. what the fuck kind of backwards logic is this? you punish the person for using their native language because they know better but you also just punish people who use their native tongue who know nothing. He just arrived a few hours prior and since we had a lot of catching up to do I didn’t think it would be so pressing to give him an extensive deaf culture lesson before he stepped on to the campus grounds.

    “She has no place in our community and should be booted back to Michigan!!”

    ew what? really? what kind of thing is that to say? you said you weren’t even sitting at her lunch table so why are you worried about what is being said or what medium its being said in? is that really a reason to be “booted ” out??!! As a hearing person AND A DEAF PERSON sometimes its just second nature to use your voice. I know SEVERALLLLLLL DEAF PEOPLEE who like to use their voice AND sign. where is all this hostility coming from? why are you so angry? it has nothing to do with disrespect. Sometimes and considering this person has been in college for 6 years this means she must be at least in her mid twenties .. thats a lot of time to be alive and so used to talking. For some talkative people its difficult to just stay quiet.
    there are many judgements being made but perhaps you should look at it from all angles.
    -human nature
    – slip of the tongue (accident)
    -the need to make noise ( I know several deaf people who don’t even really use their voice to talk just to moan or grunt throughout the day) that feeling of the vibration or whatever it is it is just instinctual for some people. some people have an easier time just staying quiet for long periods of time

    learning a second language is hard and sometimes when youve had a long day and your brain is fried and checked out sometimes you just need a fucking break. a coupe muttered sentences in hopes that there isnt any bored and angsty deafies on the prowl looking for hearies to scream at.

    CHHHIIILLLLLLLLLL DUUUUDDDDEEEE

  6. This really confuses me. I can certainly understand if the speaking people were seated at the same table as the deaf students. That would be unacceptable indeed. However, other tables should be able to have private conversations among themselves.

    Hearing people are not privy to conversations going on at other tables, nor do we want to be, and if my friends and I are discussing something at our table, we certainly don’t want to share it with strangers. Besides that, when hearing people speak it isn’t likely that other people are going to hear what is said; when the deaf talk, all other deaf people know what they are saying.

    This is no bad reflection on deaf people, I just don’t understand why this person wants to know what conversation is going on at other tables when it doesn’t concern him/her.??

    I have a dear friend who is deaf and a sweet cousin so I am not completely ignorant to the deaf community. I sent this to my friend and asked her opinion; she said whatever they were talking about didn’t concern her – she didn’t care if they were speaking.

    When these deaf students get out of school and are active in the hearing world, they will probably find themselves many times in a restaurant or other public place where people are speaking and they aren’t going to know what is being said. Nor should they.

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