AGBell’s Continued Witch Hunt

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Credit: Jeffrey Beatty

It was written by Sheri Ann Farinha and that is exactly why I wrote in my previous post: Alexander Graham Bell’s Name: Hate Speech With Spin Wheel the day (April 2nd, 2016) after AGBell President Meredith Sugar attacked ASL community.

https://audismnegatsurdi.com/2016/04/02/alexander-graham-bells-name-hate-speech-with-spin-wheel/

Open Letter for AGBell Executive Director:

https://audismnegatsurdi.com/2016/06/18/open-letter-for-agbell-executive-director/

Farinha’s words:

ALERT: “Spin is a form of propaganda, achieved through providing a biased interpretation of an event or campaigning to persuade public opinion in favor or against some organization or public figure. While traditional public relations may also rely on creative presentation of the facts, “spin” often implies the use of disingenuous, deceptive, and highly manipulative tactics”.

This is exactly what Alexander Graham Bell Association (AGB) President, Meredith Sugar and her group did the last 48 hours, using deceptive and manipulative tactics to stop a Deaf-led RI Bill that was in alignment with LEAD-K goals. They purposely spun false information, trying to make this bill to be about “Parent Choices”. In fact, this bill was not even about “which language deaf children should use”, but rather, this RI LEAD-K bill was encouraging all deaf children to have a language, period. Whether using ASL and English, both or one of these two languages – the bill’s emphasis was on deaf children acquiring a language, educating parents about using language milestones, and, for an advisory committee to recommend educator tools to use when the early interventionist does their annual review/assessment for an IFSP/IEP. AGB President Meredith Sugar announced on a closed parent group page: “the ASL mandate was removed! Point for Parent Choice”. Right there is “The Spin”. This is the kind of ugliness that is being spread to portray Deaf-led efforts as the bad guy and “they” are trying to save parents choices promoting LSL. AGB’s own Executive Director compared us who use ASL to what happened in Orlando (see Amy Cohen Efron‘s post for more info); AGB’s letter to Washington Post, and other blogs here and there also portray the spin, attacking a Deaf actor/model, Nyle DiMarco because he is in the PR spotlight, explains that there are two languages Deaf children in the USA use: ASL and English.

LEAD-K believes Parents have the right to clear and unbiased information as many parents are not informed about ASL. Whether parents want their child to learn to speak English, or want their child to learn ASL, LEAD-K supports and believes in working with all stakeholders to end language deprivation. We do not discriminate.

The focus of LEAD-K is to promote language equality & equity, a basic human right for all deaf babies by advocating for deaf children to have access to both: American Sign Language and English. Having “access and information” is not forcing anyone to use one or the other. This was the spin I watched shared on that parent page where Deaf people were discriminated and harassed for supporting LEAD-K. LEAD-K has English defined as spoken, written, or visual cues and was worked in alignment with oral option schools in CA.

LEAD-K will be sending a letter to the Alexander Graham Bell Board of Directors demanding that they send a retraction to RI Senators; to cease with the blatant lies and misinformation; to cease with their discrimination and cease their harassment and discrimination of Deaf children and adults who use ASL. As one letter to a Senator stated using “the spin”: “less than 1% of the population understands ASL, limiting communication transactions. It is absolutely fine to limit one’s social life to people who communicate the way you do, but for those who want to work and shop in a spoken language environment, being able to speak can make a difference.” The recent actions to sabotage RI bill, was like witch hunt against the Deaf-led efforts, and is in fact, an act in itself is going against the very Deaf children who need parents and educators to support their human right to language. We will not allow AGB’s history of oppressing Parents, and Deaf children and adults who want to use ASL repeat itself. “The spin” by AGB must end NOW.

Is American with Disabilities Act [ADA] provocateur for the Deaf people?

IMG_9171[Image: Me. American flag ignores my pursuit of happiness. A tattoo that says Audism Negat Surdi in Latin which means Audism looks down Deaf people. The shirt says “Audism is Ancient”.]

So, it is the Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA] theme this month—25th year anniversary. I have to write as an ADA critic this that it is really making me sick to my stomach and mind right now. The mandatory ADA does not always have an outstanding credentials to make contributions to my life—that has failed my pursuit of happiness and my safety for one, I am a returned citizen all because when I was 12 years old. The days when I was being ignored when I was abused in any form at age of ten years old—and that means I was outnumbered when ADA was supposed to protect my life.

Well, those kind of incidents that happens to Deaf children known as survivors every day in the last 25 years has been swept under the rug even though with the new conduct rules that was supposed to be investigated by authorities whom knows that ADA is the most important tool that could have saved their lives. Yep, you read that right. Guidance. And no, this is not a teaser for an upcoming episode of “Simpsons”.

There are many police agencies, school districts, and sign language interpreters that does not follow the lead of the ADA, which narrows the definition of American Sign Language [ASL] for Deaf survivors today and that is a big, big, big problem! People are out there celebrating 25 years anniversary laughing, cheering, shaking hands, clapping, hugging…. but what about crying? The cries are all over the mountains and valleys by Deaf survivors and the responsible people was supposed to take advantage of the good graces of the ADA to bring protection of Deaf survivors—is being forced to lie through their teeth and haul them around what they see as livestock.

What is more—the same school districts and sign language interpreters I lived through did not exactly administer the 25-years old ADA that the stricter rules did not define what could be legitimately treated as a forgotten survivor. That has been a problem for years and years. The school officials are not the experts and will never understand when a Deaf child is in crisis. The list of pain has strayed into the realm of the far-fetched, which is not healthy for the law’s public image. Is it painful to see the image of ADA 25 years anniversary? I believe that is, but it is a pain I should not complain, a suffering I must learn to sociologize the more I engage in it. American society sets me up to be free of this necessary pain, so I need to turn against the oppression and question why ADA is not practiced enough. It is not an easy route—at all.

I support the great change against the flawed due process and I believe that is what the change is all about, and it has two demands–to have me bow out and the oppression to resume afresh after future returned citizens.

Yes, I am a well-known troublemaker always at a distance for each position I espouse. Just mention my name Jason Tozier to those who have known or read you and me no doubt stir a flurry of controversy. I have amused some and angered others, refusing to be pinned down to silence. Some say I have never grown up, while others are sure I have been a troublemaker since birth. Some say that I have a great gift in knowledge, but I have thrown it to the winds so I could spend more time in forests to feel the wind differently when I was living in Great Pacific Northwest.

As a returned citizen, the traits in ignorance by those people who did not follow ADA properly has prepared me miserably for my life, I am the subject of an intellectual vulnerable in our American society, namely Deaf community. I needed the opportunity with my own space to reclaim and revitalize my human rights to protect my life and allow me to survive and flourish in higher education, so I could advance my future.

ADA was supposed to be the makers of meanings if you catch my drift.

I support the demands: to stop the unusual punishments and mob mentality of Deaf returned citizens. I am seriously not shamed of those demands. I do crave such systems, educational oppression, claims of the past; their words in the meeting inspired me to no end, their conduct of words to encompass human knowledge in their categories that must be corrected. ADA was supposed to be known as an integral to learning and thinking. Does Deaf people know this intuitively? Yet in our own time, ADA and education have parted ways in almost every school systems. ADA, created in 1990, had rejected many certified ASL interpreters worldwide and robbed Deaf children not only their language and culture, but also their citizenry: this is the first step in Audism—a racial term we know that it was coined in 1970s to suggest that it is better to hear and speak than not. My sociological bias makes me sure that such language bigotry is an important reason for the poor state of critical learning and thinking, which I have concerned year after year.

Is it painful to celebrate the most important landmark for Deaf people? People, who laugh, hug, shake hands, smile, mock—all that will keep wink…wink…wink…. I am a prospect of an ADA failure. You see all the images that says “Disability Rights are Civil Rights”—well, Deaf people are not disabled—they are language minority and it is time to see “Language Minority Rights are Civil Rights” or maybe “Deaf Rights are Human Rights”, or “Deaf Rights are Civil Rights”—Deaf people are overwhelmingly different from Disability Rights. Is ADA the provocateur for the Deaf people?

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Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier

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