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Open Your Eyes: Everyday Disempowerment of Deaf People Signing

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In National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Spring 2016, Volume 16, Issue 1 magazine, a feature written beautifully by Trudy Suggs, A Quick Look at Everyday Disempowerment of Deaf People, writes:

The word disempowerment has quite a simple definition for such a powerful concept: to take away power.

There is an important paragraph to focus on, In Disempowerment through ASL:

Are all the Deaf Studies and ASL programs in the nation run by Deaf people? No. “We advertised the position and couldn’t find anyone qualified.” That certainly could be the case. Still, such situations have ripple effects: deaf people aren’t hired, and those outside of the deaf community, in turn, continue to have beliefs and perceptions shaped by hearing people. These hearing people then believe they can educate others about us, rather than bringing in appropriate Deaf community representatives.

At Gallaudet University, the world’s only university for Deaf students to articulate their higher learning experience. The ability to acquire and write stories exclusively is valuable for their life struggles in the field, for example, ASL/Deaf Studies for their knowledge of literacy and they strive to tell their stories actively thinking about hardships they had endured of entering into the harsh world. The truth must be seen. Some people know who Dirksen Bauman is, the only hearing member of ASL/Deaf Studies who happens to be in full charge of the department.

Here are the two videos that will show you what Dirksen really have to say.

“Crazy” people in Deaf Studies who wanted to hire him–I know who it is and it was a Deaf professor who desperately wanted him in just because the professor needed his writing skills and changes the image of ASL/Deaf Studies. That is how Dirksen became a Chair after that. He should be honest with himself why he took the position first place. Like Trudy writes, “Cost-beneficial and cost-effective in the long run? Absolutely.”

The masked man became the version of Socrates. There is a story that needs to be seen. When Dirksen invited Carl Schroeder to be a guest speaker for one of his courses, Carl was signing a story about Cratylus and Dirksen briefly stopped and asked Carl, “You knew about Cratylus?” and Carl was puzzled why he was asked that question. Meaning Carl was the first Deaf person now he knows. He assumed that there was not any other Deaf person to know about it. Perhaps the interpretation might be different. Carl knew about this way before Dirksen published a book, Open Your Eyes: Deaf Studies Talking.

Then Dirksen writes, Even within the field of Deaf Studies, perspectives of Deaf people are often not valued. Many programs call themselves Deaf Studies but are actually based on an audiological model or are focused on deaf education and the strategies for acquiring English.”

Carl became well versed in an area of scholarship other than being Deaf professor, which was unavailable. He was committed himself to teach students very well as I had been his teacher assistant which was a thrilling experience for me. As it turned out, it has been difficult at the basics of the oppression in this society; The course, DST 311: Dynamics of Oppressed, the more Deaf students study books, articles, publications, they should be aware of the oppression documentations that gives Deaf students a chance to grow, and in the sociological oppression, which can supposedly help them what the original oppression were.

The originals of oppression went through a language clash with DST, but the reality is that does Gallaudet University have the originals so saying that a hearing professor have the right to be in charge of DST program? Unless Deaf professors reconstruct the originals of oppression.

Try to revert a basic question: How does it help Deaf students to say that oppression is the inerrant language of the Deaf, if in fact, we do not have a college or university oppressing Deaf students. Gallaudet University ASL/Deaf Studies is one. Once again, the question from the beginning of the post above, “Are all the Deaf Studies and ASL programs in the nation run by Deaf people? No.” In the first video, Dirksen says, “hearing person in Deaf Studies Department? No, it does not make sense.” How come he choose the change of heart?

The post is based on the meaning of the university level awareness is involved and is bit convoluted. This kind of realization coincided with the problems Deaf students encountering the more closely they study oppression. That is exactly why we need to take a quick look at everyday disempowerment of Deaf people.

It is so important that we all are aware of the rights we hold as human who are Deaf.-Trudy Suggs

-JT

Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

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

References:

Suggs, Trudy. A Quick Look at Everyday Disempowerment of Deaf People. Spring 2016. Volume 16, Issue 1.

Bauman, H-Dirksen L. Open Your Eyes: Deaf Studies Talking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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