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
This text may be freely coped in its entirely only, including this copyright message.
My mother and my father were proud of me graduating that day! June 2011.
[It was written in 2011]
800 Florida Avenue, NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
ATTENTION: Department of American Sign Language and Deaf Studies
To Whom It May Concern:
Thank you for the opportunity to introduce myself and to express my interest in attending your graduate program in Deaf Studies.
It has been my experience in life that the process of development requires baby-steps and growth from a place that is firmly grounded. For example, before I became a student at an university, I had no intention to attend college. It was not because I was incapable of achieving success at the university, but my immediate environment did not expect it of me. I was told then that I was incapable of succeeding at a university. Over time, my resilient nature, positive attitude and motivation helped me to rise above that expectation.
I am both a first-generation college student. My long path to intellectual freedom and academic achievement has not easy, yet it has been worthwhile I have found it to be immeasurable in the personal and academic growth that I have experienced on that path. I gave up a debt-free life for a college degree. I have balanced my job and schoolwork while subsisting on Mac and Cheese because I believe my education and personal development are worth the liberating value that comes from academia.
To me, achieving this degree is not about getting a piece of paper, rather, it is about fully absorbing what the entire Deaf world has to offer the people who compose it. It is also about informing the hearing world about its continual struggles and the diversity of Deaf culture. It is about change.
The most meaningful change in my life has been that transition from the boy I was 15 years ago to the man that I am today. My perception of myself has altered radically from a quiet, isolated adolescent to an extroverted, involved, and socially active person. I attribute this transformation of my academic skills, personal relationships and intellectual insights to provide to an university experience.
Currently, I do not have a simple answer for my purpose and long-term goals within your program, but I do know that I have a longing to express my experience as a Deaf person. I also have a conviction that at the heart with in addition to the foundation of belief, I am aware of my ability to offer my unique perspective on life. I am a human, with Deaf desires.
The Deaf are an underrepresented group in society that requires appropriate representation at the university level. Historically, Deaf persons could not attend university because of the lack of infrastructure that impeded their mere existence on a campus.
However, there are only few numbers of Deaf professors teaching at the university level, which significantly impairs the diversity and representatives that universities, in general, strive to attain. More credentialed Deaf people are needed at this level to facilitate an understanding and acceptance of Deaf people and our culture.
As an undergraduate Sociology major, my sociological perspective will help bridge the gap between Deaf and Hearing communities in order to broaden cultural acceptance. My study of Sociology has provided me within the opportunity to explore my intellectual curiosity of how people create, maintain, and am by social influences.
I have found that the study of sociology requires critical thinking, problem solving, written and signed communication and interpersonal skills. I can also say that the program at an university has cultivated my skills in these areas. I am very excited about the opportunities that sociology offers me to explore the world through a sociological perspective and look forward to expanding my knowledge with the discipline.
A Master of Deaf Studies degree with a concentration in Cultural Studies will allow me to continue my path to achieving my career goal of being a university professor teaching Deaf Studies. With this degree, I strive the reduce the stigma and discrimination that Deaf people and other individuals with disabilities encounter, which I believe is masked by “political correctness,” lack of information, and a perceived insensitivity from the non-Deaf, non-disabled community. I want to help both Deaf individuals understand their unique place in the world while also broadening the experience and understanding of those who are non-Deaf.
I believe that your program would not only help me to build a stronger foundation of knowledge and skills applicable to Deaf Studies, it will also to continue to build towards my personal and professional goals. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier
This text may be freely coped in its entirely only, including this copyright message.
Visiting Gallaudet University for the first time. 2010. I was so sure it was my name calling for my career. I was really happy.
After spending 20+ years trying to change my life around, my late mentor Carl Schroeder and I were eating lunch at his house in rural Oregon and once asked me if I was afraid of “change for success”—I said, “Yes” then he said to me, “Do not be afraid. Gallaudet will help you and determined to get healed.” He also said to me “Humiliation will always be present. It is how you handle it makes all the difference.”
Ted Baran, Department of Public Safety Director abused his calumny of his duty by using power. He did not want my letter to get to the public. There were six people involved in the picture to make sure I get punished under the worst harsh conditions possible. I became the target of being pariah on the campus. The same six people, who were supposed to keep it confidential, did not keep their word. It has spread over the campus including my former department, ASL and Deaf Studies. What about The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FEPRA)? Not only that, but Dirksen even shared confidential information with his buddy, Robert Weinstock.
Dwight Benedict, Dean of Student Affairs and Academic Support were the biggest bully of all people. Dwight is the director for Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) while Ted is the vice president of BIT. They became very successful by blackballing me. I am now in what I would call an intellectual exile. In the meeting, Dwight calls Ted, “a good man.”
One day, Dirksen Bauman, the Chair of ASL/Deaf Studies Department, wrote me e-mail and assured me that Ted will not be in the meeting. I got fooled badly. Carl assured me to trust Dirksen before his death.
Dirksen writes me e-mail on Feb 9, 2012 at 9:54 AM, “JT—I am pleased to see that you will be joining us next year. We are looking forward to having you in the program!” Then I was encouraged to apply for a scholarship and got in touch with Dirksen on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 1:55 PM. “A friend of mine told me about graduate scholarship fund, so I would like to submit some letters and apply for scholarship please. Thanks!”
The same day at 8:56 PM, Dirksen responded: “Hello JT. Please do let me know of your need. Thank you.”
A minute later, I quickly replied, “Hi Dirksen, where can I send the letter to you?” Four minutes later, Dirksen typed, “Me please.” After I got the letter accepting my application, I wrote him thanking him for his consideration. He said, “You’re welcome” and wrote to people I love the most to let them know about it. My mother and father were delighted to see that! I was feeling good…maybe it was one of the best feelings I ever experienced. It was very rare to see that inside my life. I was really happy.
Then one day, Dirksen asked me to meet up with him in a meeting along with Gene Mirus, a coordinator that time where he looked for me during Graduate Student Orientation and asked me to go with him. Dirksen asked me to withdraw from Gallaudet until further notice. I asked him if my scholarship would be affected. He said, “No” through ASL in a clear message. Boy, I was wrong and it was never safe.
I decided to write e-mail to Dirksen, making sure he kept his word. He writes me e-mail on April 1, 2014 at 7:33 PM, the day of April’s Fool Day. “Hello Jason, I am sure you will be hearing from the Dean soon. Thank you, Dirksen” and I got fooled very badly. It was pretty mean-spirited thing to do. My scholarship was stolen once from my hard and continuous work. The most damaging thing coming from Dirksen on January 20, 2014 at 3:50 PM writing from his office where he often sleeps a lot:
“We thank you for taking the time to meet with Dr. Erting and me last Friday. As we explained, we are working with the Behavior Intervention Team (BIT), with the goal of arriving at a consensus regarding to your admission to the University. We have been meeting and deliberating on this matter and had very positive and constructive meetings. We appreciate your patience; we are fully aware that this is not an easy process for you. We hope that you continue to demonstrate the resolve and determination that you have to this date…Thank you, Dirksen.”
Six people were: Carol Erting, Dean of Graduate Program and Professional Studies, Lauri Rush, Director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Carl Pramuk, Associate Director of Student Conduct, Dirsken, Ted, and Dwight. Six people: Four of them are hearing that are sound-oriented. Audism at best.
Dwight said in the meeting that he understood that I have been walking under the “black cloud”. That was very dehumanizing and offensive. Plantation mentality. Policing me around. Character assassination. Dwight made sure that I appear in a ‘black book’ of shame. The image on the below right side: Remember the book, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne?
Ted required me to inform people every time I enter into classroom as a student, giving presentation, or anywhere, telling them that I was jailed and tell them the reason every time. Dwight really liked the idea. That calls for suicide on my watch. Dirksen did not object. Carol did not object. Lauri did not object. Carl did not object. They all liked the idea of pushing more for “Scarlet Letter” on my forehead. A public shaming. Evil, revenge, and identity.
I was beyond dismayed. Of course, I objected. What do you expect? Ted said, “Why not?” and realized how much hatred he spewed on front of my face. Top of all, Dwight’s secretary, Karen Evans wrote an e-mail to me in 2014, “Be assured that the meeting will be productive” meaning—positive. Again, I got fooled badly.
My biggest mistake that I did not represent a lawyer with me that day in 2014. I got burned twice. This experience on that day has left me feeling vulnerable and unsure of the safety as a student at Gallaudet University I proudly called my own. Not only that experience makes me question if this is indeed bullying in the meeting. Questionable leadership.
My freedoms were restricted, and I cannot be sure it won’t happen again, and that it won’t happen for any Deaf returned citizens, the next time they apply for Gallaudet University for higher learning. Gallaudet University now feels cold, unwelcoming, and in the beginning stages of a Gallaudet secret bullying ground that is isolating enough from the truth in an unprecedented fashion.
High levels of hate and injustice have been felt in vulnerable stage as a student at Gallaudet University even the rest of Deaf community. Dwight and Ted made it happen with attributes that can be “profiled”—no one is safe from this type of unlawful campus policies.
Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier
This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.
Today, I recently saw a lecture held at Gallaudet University by Laura Maudlin, the author of Made to Hear: Cochlear Implants and Raising Deaf Children was worth watching! I really enjoyed it—a dynamic lecturer. One of the best lectures I had seen in long time!
You all need to know that Gallaudet University owns cochlear implant center on second floor inside Sorenson Language Communication Center (SLCC) largely all about profiting, then it is pathological, period. Cochlear implant is about human violence. It is about diversities of cochlear implant, something lacks, something missing, something wrong, something defiant, something benevolent, something pitiful. They want to have hearing to be restored, so to speak.
I am really glad that Laura Maudlin took the courage to tell the truth, no human being can restore anyone’s hearing: they can only amplify it. When cochlear implant batteries run low or expire, the state of being Deaf will be always an inevitable and that is actually the reality! That is why Gallaudet University set up the CI center to do mapping—largely because of battery economics, money, POWER and bullshit. How come Student Body Government (SBG), Graduate Student Association (GSA), University Faculty, National Association of the Deaf (NAD), Gallaudet University Alumni Association (GUAA) and numerous consumer organizations across the nation did not object ENOUGH to protest against cochlear implant center on the campus? I mean, how did that really happen?
If Gallaudet University owns cochlear implant center, would we allow genocide procedure that is widely practiced on campus? Are they attempting to destroy Deaf? Why is Deaf marginalized? Why is cochlear implant center still belonging in the schoolhouse? Is cochlear implant an amusement for academia? When we talk about Deaf, it ends up in the schoolyard. That is a big difference. What bothers me the most is that Gallaudet University is a federally funded, private institution located on Florida and West Virginia Avenue in NE Washington—it is appropriated by the United States Congress. We all know that, right? It is no secret.
The money is so powerful to coerce people (cochlear implant stock-holders) to divide up our Deaf community and instituting us as warm bodies in the same manner that the oppressors had America coerced into dividing up America and instituting private land ownership away from Native Americans, my people. Gallaudet University choose to ignore that the fact that it would vulnerable Deaf people with no money so are we and that is not very cool. [WEAK LINK, YOU DEAF PEOPLE, WEAK LINK!] Money in power that Deaf people must claim to define our language and culture. Cochlear implants are being done in any teaching spaces around Gallaudet campus. Again, not cool.
I’m glad that I got to meet Laura Maudlin and signed the book, and she wrote with heavy passion—the book was very challenging to write which I can imagine that she recognized the later attitude that the term “cochlear implant”—has always carried the scent of impropriety of Deaf and ASL discourses even at Gallaudet University. It is all about Gallaudet University administration that have been known to fail. Indeed, many of their deliverances of reason do not seem reasonable at all. Intellectuality is natural. ASL is natural. Deaf is natural. Cochlear implants are not natural. Period. It will never workable. Lies are the main spinning of propaganda all over Gallaudet University campus. It is never too late.
I look forward to read the book, Made to Hear: Cochlear Implants and Raising Deaf Children. Then I can share my thoughts when I finish read the book. Give me couple of days then. Like Laura Mauldin said, “DIG DEEPER”—in the picture. I will always carry many conversations about how the globalization of cochlear implants are greedy in the public-health regulations, and to end the child labor.
Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier
This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.