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The Politics of Audiology at Gallaudet University

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Few weeks ago, Gallaudet University held a graduation for 2017 graduates—and I attended and received the 147th Commencement Ceremony “catalog” ranging from Order of Exercises [Processional to Conferring of Degrees and to Recessional]—there was one page that caught my eyes very much. Doctor of Philosophy where students received their Ph.D in field: Two in Education, two in Critical Studies in the Education of the Deaf Learner, three in Interpretation, two in Linguistics, two in Psychology, seven in Education Specialist, six in Specialist in School Psychology……..23 in Audiology.

That’s a lot, 23—and do you think Gallaudet University is allowing the practice of Audism? It is an engrossing study of the nature of American Sign Language and the subtle ways in which it gets oppressed. The language war (battling between signed and spoken languages) is set for the Deaf deliberately by audiologists and cochlear implants advocates for example, sometimes, it is set inadvertently by ourselves. The Language war——creating all the faces of Audism explains three general areas: why, how, and what.

Day after day we the Deaf people struggle against Audism, a hegemony of being able to hear a little over being profoundly Deaf in our society. Deaf people are treated to more and more euphemisms that dismiss our being Deaf as being bad, being inconvenient, being deficient. Not All Deaf Students wants to be cured. We encounter innumerable ambiguties and indulge in a few ourselves. We need to explore the “oral” minefield, and explains how to spot a language and sound war—and how to avoid the face of Audism.

The burning question, since 23 people received Ph.D in Audiology at Gallaudet University, does the Department of Audiology gets commission and money flowing and help them rake up the politics of Audiology and applying the pressure on Gallaudet University should be willing to pool some cash for the Department of Audiology to get space ready to branch out? But what about ignoring Audism at Gallaudet? Is either Department of Audiology or Gallaudet University getting rich after handing out each Ph.D? What is allowed in that Deaf space?

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President Lincoln was the first Patron for Gallaudet University did not need his dollars rolling over at Gallaudet Univerity for Audiology at all. Lincoln made this a big dream for Deaf students to get higher education, nothing more!

On a side note: Why not Gallaudet University create Ph.D program in ASL/Deaf Studies? University of Bristol in England Deafhood Studies was 100 times better than ASL/Deaf Studies graduate program at Gallaudet. More Social Philosophy. More human rights. It is more Deaf-centered. Deaf students only. No Hearing students in the cohort. Why are Deaf people being plagued with lifelong damnation? In some instances—I am sure that is valid, but is there no process in place to clear up one of oppressing Deaf people on the campus of Gallaudet University?

There are the new 21st century elitist, American exceptionalism at its finest, progressive cochlear implant industries who are extremely dangerous as a group. They are fearful, uninformed on any true facts and not interested in receiving any factual information. They would rather believe in a “miracle” to cure Deaf people even in the dark just waiting for the big cash to flow into their bank accounts.

Because when people watch television, read newspapers that give one-sided, fact-free, fear based information, our educated minds will immediately go to the most primitive part of our brains and people will pull out the DNA implanted fear driven, emotionalized—“the big dinosaur is going to eat me” tape. Independent, questioning individuals are few and far between as we all want to be liked and be part of a group think environment.

During my GSO (Graduate Student Orientation) in 2013, I remember talking with a graduate student that was telling me a story that when she bumped into a graduate student who was majoring in Audiology, does not know ASL at all and she offered to teach her ASL, that person said, “NO THANKS!” and she asked her, “Why are you here at Gallaudet University for if you do not want to learn ASL?” and that person said, “Because Audiology is cheap to get degree at Gallaudet.” and that was pretty insulting to say that thinking that Deaf people are cheap and easy to fool them. Why do Gallaudet University really need Audiology for when the university was designed for Deaf-centered environment only? Battery economics?

The most dangerous and unthinking part of giving away 23 Ph.Ds in Audiology is that when you take away the voice for all facts to be presented, and decisions are designed through only emotions, when basic constitutional protection for ASL guaranteed in the Constitution under the Bill of Rights, did Gallaudet University turning a free society into something that in later years that Deaf people will suffer for? It would be SUPER COOL if there are 23 Ph.Ds in ASL/Deaf studies instead–of course, for Deaf students only.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

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