The campaign for The American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) 30 years ago [July 26, 1990], was considered the one of the most important reform movements in the United States. Its participants believed that it would be important to achieve economic, social, and political equality.
“In politics, being deceived is no excuse.”–Leszek Kolskoedki
In the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the fight for Deaf people’s rights is still a struggle today. Deaf people’s rights are still ridiculed, patronized and dismissed by the “protection” of the ADA. The passage of ADA examined the country’s commitment to democracy, and politicization whose dehumanization on the table and shaming on a mass scale being advanced by perfection.
Was ADA supposed to build a movement to examine the voices of Deaf from all walks of life, social and political change?
And yet, the psychological and sociological roots of Audism in the courthouses across America. Remember Carl DuPree? How the prosecution of the four DPS (DOSS) officers was messed up due to a mistake by the interpreter.
The ADA was just getting started. A year old. Maybe less than a year old. Was it masterfully crafted for its perfection in the passage of the ADA?
The ADA hijacked many of the functions formerly belonging to ignorance in many ways adding an insult to injury for the Deaf community, in its arrogance, tweaking the sentencing guidelines so often that terrorize Deaf people’s lives. A chance to get all of the truth out in the public eye. It would dominate everything in its path, hiding anti-democratic by its very nature.
First and foremost, the language oppression in the courtrooms around the country is out of reality, and what needs to be done? The last 30 years, the shaming and humiliation, and doing nothing the most for the public safety, that also weakens the human vulnerability of the Deaf, is long overdue. It has destroyed democracy and resulted in a damaged society.
And from there, struggling is of a political power. Is it not democratically equal? Over time, the eyes of the people transfer the truth produced by truth to the power of the people. Fear gets away with a key point: refusing to provide certified Deaf interpreters is a damaged image of human vulnerability. Acknowledging the painful truth is the only way the Deaf community can begin to move forward.
I would like to share my experience. When I was 19 years old more than 25 years ago, I was asked to show up for court, the judge was extremely pressuring my brother then 17 years old to interpret for me, I remember looking at my brother sitting in the audience, and he did not want to interpret, I told him, stay there. Do not interpret.
Because he was not certified by the Registry of the Interpreters (RID) The judge was combative, my brother interpreted for a few short minutes, looking not very comfortable, and I told my brother to back off right away and sit back there. He walked away.
The judge was not happy. It was not my brother’s fault at all. Courtrooms are required by the ADA to provide reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. Oppression was an institution, and the state of being Deaf as the object. With this unlawful practice, violating ADA rights existed when the authoritative white and hearing privilege conferred this status quo to oppress Deaf citizens.
ADA demonstrates the fractured trust that is suppressed and denied in the oppressive structure of language deprivation. The Deaf community struggles to redefine themselves apart from white and hearing dominant culture, to rebuild language and respect.
The forgotten stories of ADA being denied attempt to reframe their history by piecing together their fragmented stories from their personal experiences. Only when they can reinterpret themselves apart from socially oppressive historical interpretation can Deaf community from all walks of life strengthen.
Their experience creates a dissociative state and fragments their sense of self and identity. Non-certified ASL interpreters in the literature are emotionally, physically, allegorical and effectively traumatized Deaf citizens’ past to surface.
Only if Deaf citizens who experienced oppression would be the best to confront the oppressors are they able to come to peace with the present and secure a future. Their fragmented memories present themselves; the courage to own and integrate these memories creases a sense of self, which allows them to re-join the Deaf community.
The ADA is a metaphysical allegory. ADA embodies a death and rebirth of a shared consciousness that must be bridged in order for the Deaf community to find meaning from their pain; this shared meaning will allow healing, and their place in the community, to take place.
ADA rights being denied in the courtrooms create shame, and in the process, become greedy and demanding of all the parts of language oppression—Deaf citizens’ memories. The re-memories and stories, fractured and incomplete, mirror the legacy of the ADA.
The fear of providing reasonable accommodations and its fragmentations keeping them from putting the stories together into a meaningful whole. The power to cause language deprivation in the courtrooms derives them of their language in order to hurt fragments into a storied order, like an overpowering force. The forgotten literature in the courtrooms of sorrow and hope must be told.
Can the Deaf community heal from the stain of ADA that shouldn’t be erased?
Copyright © 2020 Jason Tozier
This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.