When I saw this advertisement at Gallaudet University the other day, the administration and Gallaudet Institutional Review Board [IRB] approved the idea of “The Gallaudet CI Lab”—is another good example of oppression spiral. Perhaps the university administration started getting what could be called “bored” only in their time. Might it be connected with the oppression?
Oppression? Yes, it is! This is the world in progress. Deaf people are already in progress. Oppression is not a progress. The Gallaudet CI Lab is not a progress. This is Gallaudet University, one of the most popular places to be Deaf. Being not Deaf enough is not very clever. It is simple and serious. It is not even a rhetorical question; it is a plea for a pity—progressing away from progress. Why did the advertisement say, “Hey, CI Users! We need your help!”–yes, the kind of help to make Gallaudet rich. It is all about money.
Well, if progress means change toward the best, and being Deaf is the best, then progress means change towards ASL. Do we agree that ASL is the goal of progress? No, CI is not the progress. Bomjun Kwon—Laboratory of Auditory Perception and Cochlear Implants, encouraged The Gallaudet CI Lab idea.
Who is Bomjun Kwon? He is currently an associate professor in Hearing, Speech, and Language Science department at Gallaudet University. He published eight articles or more about cochlear implants. In an overview, Kwon writes, “We often compare experimental results across listener populations: for example, normal hearing and hearing-impaired listeners (for a further classification, hearing-aid users vs. cochlear implants users)”
In a Gallaudet website, ‘the research in the laboratory of auditory perception and cochlear implants has been funded by an NIH grant awarded to Dr. Kwon on perceptual effects of stimulation configuration of cochlear implants.’
Do not be surprised if Karl White supports this idea—and also, do not be surprised if Kwon and White keep in touch with each other. We all know that Karl White had the effect of creating a series of false images, and the dismissal of Deaf people with goals to collapse of the Deaf community. Why is that we were not informed about Bomjun Kwon? Could he be the next Karl White at Gallaudet University? Are you aware that Kwon holds two United States patents regarding coding strategies of cochlear implants? Gallaudet University must pay him a lot of money to make Gallaudet University proud. How much are they paying Kwon to create another patent?
What happened to intellectual life of the Deaf into the 21st century? ASL belongs in higher education of all the Deaf. Within probing intelligence, scholarly rigor, and humanist concern, Deaf people continue to be at the forefront of the struggle to bring the knowledge of past and present users of ASL in the rest of the world. Gallaudet University should be always—ASL-centered. Not CI-Centered or CI Lab.
Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier
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