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A Whirlwind: 2015 in Deaf Community

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Year 2015 has been difficult for Deaf community in DC and the rest of America except Oregon. The majority of Deaf community’s Christmas present got delivered this year. In fact, you could say Deaf community got served with BIG RED MARKER: REJECTION.

Last October 2015, the city of Portland, Oregon—where I am proudly come from has required ALL the TVs be captioned in restaurants, hotels, gyms, anywhere—and that is what it should be! America is home of 250+ millionaires, and strange politicians. Washington, DC—the city councilors fails to understand that DC is strong as another “DC”—Deaf City/Community, even some people said “Dysfunctional City” and is home of Gallaudet University, the strong provider in the world that serves Deaf students was told with many stories about Deaf people’s gifts and struggles in higher education.

Portland, Oregon has pronounced the top city in the country to provide closed captions ON all the time–anywhere or face $500 fine is a great honor! In the intellectual world, Portland has topped DC, which is like outdoing Los Angeles in movie stars or Beijing in pollution. How come DC or maybe even the Deaf community did not fight harder and push for laws that require captioning in DC?

I was so impressed by how seriously Portland takes this as a golden opportunity. You know how important for people to eat breakfast because it is the most important meal of the day—and Deaf people in Portland would not have to worry anymore and live in peace and harmony. Whether Deaf people visit Portland or not, they will take it as a rich experience they will never forget.

Nothing surprises me that Portland is number one in many areas. Keep Portland Weird! Over the past 30 years—and there was a time when Washington, DC, despite being located at the intersection of Florida Avenue and West Virginia, students were struggling to get full accessibility in communication, information, and knowledge. Politics in DC has been driven not only by our attitudes but also by our atmosphere, and some of that atmosphere did not change right beneath our tables.

If DC wants to serve and respect Deaf community with captions ALL THE TIME, it would give them greater advantage to minimize the power dynamics of Audism when Deaf customers had to deal with so many issues ranging from “Sorry, the remote is not working, I do not know how to do it, other customers would complain, try and lip read them, and others” worrying that they will lose customers. It is all about managers being paid to make customers happy expect Deaf people.

DC needs to change of ownership and give Deaf people the total accessibility. It would be a human wise to do it. Stop being a policy maintaining the quality of customers and whiners and it is time to give Deaf people the same accessibility as hearing customers do when they pay taxes, too. The whiners are a toxic people caused by lack of awareness and education. Would you imagine what DC would be like when all the restaurants, hotels, gyms, buildings, museums, and many others become an imaginative shape as when Gallaudet University was built in 1864 to give Deaf people life——displaying the awareness of our Deaf culture. Can it enrich our experience, it would take DC to set a good example like the city of Portland, Oregon did for Deaf community?

Look at this way: Washington, DC was founded in 1790, and has 672,000+ people as of 2015, and Portland, Oregon, founded in 1845, and has 620,000+ people as of 2014. That’s only 52,000 people greater or lesser in both cities. Quite embarrassing for DC to set a good example, right? One of the largest Deaf communities in DC and its greater area.

Washington, DC set a ripple effect for Deaf community in 1990: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) approved and that was a huge change in human evolution! Yet, 25 years later, no changes in the same city it was approved with the same ADA home page that provides access to ADA regulations for business, state, and local governments, technical, and the list goes on.

Come on, DC, bring the entire showcase and make DC happy! Why people are making Deaf people suffer dysfunctional these days? Regardless of “DC” stands for. You decide. Maybe this is the agenda for 2016 and makes changes!

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-JT

Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier

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

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