I would like to offer my congratulations for you to win America’s Next Top Model, the highest award you can bestow in the industry that is known for failure in presenting hard facts and expert opinion to be brought in Deaf education. To be quite honest with you, I am no fan of modeling myself for couple of reasons, for one, the industry is so inflated with misinformation, emotion, and a complete lack of basic public health information that no wonder the media are such an impressive train wreck.
However, you walked through the hall of Audism in each episode you had encountered with. Much of the social history of the Deaf, over the past three centuries, has been a history of replacing spoken language with signed language. It got worse after the 1880 Milan resolution banning the use of signed language for instruction of the Deaf.
I was so impressed with the show’s determination that did not allow Alexander Graham Bell Association to take over and throw you out—like what they did to Bob’s House about two Deaf guys driving in a truck looking for the right house and realizes that all the houses are all in dark and the driver uses the horn to see which the house where Deaf person lives and realizes the house did not flinch lights while all other houses did during a television commercial in older Super Bowl games—it was pure bigotry what they did!
AGB folks—those people who have encouraged the creation of, or have refused to denounce, witch hunts that target Deaf people for harassment, in the tradition of AGB’s witch hunts, modern government myths are unfair and un-American. I mean, look at those Deaf people were celebrating all over America—it is very rare to see this so much happiness through social media in long time. Smiles were like, impossible to replace. Try to imagine a day without smiles. Never mind a day; try to imagine getting through the first hour without smiles: no time, no date, no TV or newspapers, no bank accounts to check. It is not clear exactly where you are waking up either, for without smiles, the show from last Friday, December 4th would not exist.
What you may have had taught the media and the industry that the history of failure and disaster of Deaf education has neither discouraged Deaf people nor discredited them—thank you for your hard work and courage to make media THINK! There is a need for Deaf people to take up specific, clearly defined models of Deafhood, to live with them!
There is a Sonnet 60 that William Shakespeare writes,
Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
The key word in this above passage is “toil”–hard and continuous work…to strive to make yourself understood.
When JT became Deaf, he had to suffer a lot of language aversion where IEPs (Individual Education Plan) by audiologists, speech therapists, and teachers told his family that JT would likely never be succeed in college and unable to tie his shoe laces. But they were sorely, extraordinarily mistaken.
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