When I read all the letters Illinois Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (IRID) sent to the Honorable Julie A. Morrison, a senator for Illinois about SB0752 and HB1811.
IRID president, William Lee’s words: Requiring fluency in ASL does not need to be explicitly stated in the law in our opinion. It was a huge insult to ASL community that the power dynamics of Audism was allowed to oppress Deaf people. It is also a language hegemony. We do not need to deal with educational bankruptcy and struggle with human rights.
Illinois Association of the Deaf (IAD) followed up with Senator Morrison. I am deeply concerned about the ability of IRID to allow Audism against ASL. My concern has been compounded by the failure exhibited by the professionalism of interpreters to understand the nature of cross-linguistic and cross-cultural inquiry and the integrity of critical thinking in ASL.
President William Lee of IRID needs to look at these dismal facts portend a clear and present danger to the role of Deaf Education in the United States including Illinois that ASL is very important. Lee may filter this post out because it is about insulting Deaf people and witty put-downs of their language and culture. ASL that William Lee and the board of IRID should not continue to oppress.
I am sure just like Deaf students struggling to learn but getting nowhere without ASL, Lee has no business to fulfill his own desires and the best interests of Deaf community, never realizing that his effort is the problem, not the solution. His own insecurity is the motive to attack ASL and the best interests of Deaf community in Illinois for their language and culture.
Imagine this—can you imagine that for centuries Deaf people have suffered appalling language and culture abuses and the devastating consequences of educational and economic sanctions? Can you imagine that in a climate of language oppression, many Deaf students in Illinois would be neglected without ASL over the years in Lee’s words?
Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier
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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?
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.
Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier
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“Ow, ow, OW! On my ear you are!”- Master Yoda
In 1984, the first cochlear implant surgery has been approved, arguing that the sound-oriented is more important than sight-oriented. In 1970, Milton Friedman wrote a famous essay for the New York Times Magazine, pushing that “there is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.”
Since 1984, the Friedman point of view prevailed; the job of a corporation is to serve its shareholders. Although what the cochlear implant makers are doing is illegal, Audism, and forced labor persists in many forms around the world. Many cochlear implant corporations are not aware of these facts and enforce codes of conduct at industries around the world through regular monitoring. They did not follow human rights groups, and actively seek to find the root causes of these abuses. There are certain services so vital to the human rights where Deaf people choose to have right to be Deaf in our society that they do not controlled by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA is our criminal justice system is perhaps the easiest target on Deaf people.
The largest of cochlear implant companies are privately traded, meaning that ordinary investors, including mutual funds, participate in their growth, vote on governance matters, and generally align themselves with their oppressive long-term success. The vision of Sorenson Language Communication Center (SLCC) at Gallaudet University where they mix with departments in there—with one of the most crucial department that serve Gallaudet very well. It is well-known controversial department on campus: ASL/Deaf Studies Department. There is a cochlear implant center inside the same building—on second floor where they map cochlear implant users—making a lot of money to finance Gallaudet University today. There are plenty of ignorant people who think that it is no use to bear a dead horse because embracing human rights includes deficit thinking. Well, let’s tell them that deficit thinking is not the pursuit of happiness. The toughest part is that the deficit is neither a half full cup nor half empty one and it does not hold water well.
Cochlear implant center inside SLCC—there is no curriculum anywhere that includes objectives and result goals for deficit thinking. There is no educational research that taps into someone’s talent in deficit thinking. Nor is there an university like Gallaudet that bestows an honorary degree upon someone for deficit thinking. You see, it is a fact that deficit thinking is abnormal and it is not a choice. It is all about following the legal obligations to their shareholders and is driven by the pressures of the private markets to increase their profits—they do not care about Deaf people. Period.
Gallaudet University was built in 1864–—16 years before 1880 Milan Resolution, an iron-fisted, anti-sign language proposal passed by the International Congress of Educators of the Deaf. The proclamation went to all government agencies and schools for the Deaf to stop using sign language for Deaf people. The proclamation’s most controversial provisions make it a shame to use ASL in the United States and most Canada that time, and it still does in America. Something obviously is not right within the Deaf world. We are listening to things and could feel the panic. And we know the cause was 1880.
The importance of ASL among people, Deaf Studies department at SLCC and the surge of energy and affirmation that spreads through the Deaf community can be a joy to behold. The thrust that energizes these users of ASL and Deaf Studies opens social consciousness sends thrills to open doors. Aren’t we all going to experience it? Why not? The hardest part is that the innocence and transparency are essentially Deaf virtues—by which we use ASL and realize that we can use it because we are not guilty of fundamental language bigotry. Cochlear implant does not carry information, knowledge, and communication, which is the greatest trait of all. That is an enormous societal problem—at SLCC. These people at SLCC are suffering a lot.
Master Yoda, the wisest Jedi of all, said:
“Hmm In the end, cowards are those who follow the Dark Side.”
Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier
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During the Graduate School Orientation (GSO) week at Gallaudet University where I am beginning my academic journey, I participated in an activity, 25 Questions Activity, that allowed me to get acquainted with another graduate student I had not met. It was a learning fun for both of us and I wanted to blog about it.
We shared by telling each other who we are, what school we are in, and what improvement we would like to see at Gallaudet. I graduated with top honors and I am in the School of Deaf Studies/American Sign Language (ASL) Studies. My activity partner (her name withheld) is an interpreter-turned-teacher student who is very proficient in American Sign Language (ASL).
I complimented her skills in ASL because I was shocked to learn that there are many hearing graduate students who are not. She then told me she ran in an Audiologist student who has refused to acquire ASL. She asked why she came to Gallaudet, and her reply was: “Cheap!”
We discussed and agreed that Audism is prevalent in the graduate school at Gallaudet University. We attended a lecture about the university Sim-Com (simultaneous communication, meaning signing and speaking at the same time). The speaker explained that it is the university faculty that is a stronghold of this Sim-Com policy, this language bastardization.
From this GSO activity, we agreed that ASL is not a sound-oriented language. Signing and speaking at the same time means a language marginalization. Even a hearing individual sounds funny and ungrammatical when following the Sim-Com policy.
I knew, now I know, it is going to be an uphill battle if we were to accomplish the bilingualism mission at Gallaudet University. However, the first impression is lasting, and I’m disappointed.
Copyright © 2013 Jason Tozier
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