Waiting for Transformation

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While visiting Washington, District of Columbia from Oregon, I remember watching: Gallaudet: The Film in 2010 with late Carl Schroeder, it was the very day before we visited Gallaudet University. I could not exactly understand the social phenomenon that time because I was not a student at Gallaudet University.

When we entered on the campus from Florida Ave NE by car, I still remember the feeling when I stepped my shoes on the Gallaudet soil, it was something I would never forget. It was the path where we walked that way entering into Sorenson Language and Communication Center (SLCC) to find Department of ASL/Deaf Studies.

The passage of second wave Oralism to legalize oppression of American Sign Language (ASL) has been showing both films: Gallaudet: The Film By Facundo Element and Our Deaf Community | Celebrating Gallaudet By Convo has sent a signal to embrace ASL and Deaf culture. The Pandora Box has warned all of us.

I saw the film premiere by Convo last October 2019;

What’s the deal between Facundo Element and Convo? Between Gallaudet University and Convo? What about Gallaudet University and Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD)? What is the difference between Communication Service for the Deaf and Sorenson Language and Communication Center (SLCC)?

As University budgets continue to be slashed, Deaf-centered philosophy for the award-winning Deaf space, anti-bias resources had been lacked, and that is the problem of the Gallaudet system. When you enter Gallaudet University as a student, you would be colonized, good or bad. Whether you want to challenge or be a bystander; I now understand the social phenomenon.

The mentality of Gallaudet. I became a student in graduate program on a full-ride scholarship in ASL/Deaf Studies in 2013; Even though the first time in 2010 when I saw Gallaudet: The Film, it has not inflicted me that time. Again, because I couldn’t understand that time. So, I had to watch that film again, and that is where it hit the lighting. Just like Ben Franklin using the kite to test and see if the lighting strikes the kite.

Can we learn ourselves of oppressive Gallaudet University by conversing the university anew to preserve and promote ASL and Deaf Culture? That is exactly what Carl taught me on the plane back home from the Deaf Community (DC) to Portland.

He explained: Gallaudophobia to describe of oppression at Gallaudet University and elsewhere. Of course, we are not experts in curing Gallaudophobia; do you think it is a serious phobia? Is it the culture of fear an outgoing problem: Gallaudet-style oppression? Let me give you few examples of phobias:

Eleutherophobia: fear of freedom

Mastigophobia: fear of punishment

Epistemiphobia: fear of knowledge

Let’s turn our thoughts to the oppression. It strikes me that the program of Gallaudet University is more ideological more than phenomenal rather than generosity. Its ambition is to weaken or destroy ASL and Deaf Culture.

The Deaf space is the hottest market where Deaf scholars are treated with honour. Imagine Board of Trustees (BoT) who sits together in order to share wisdom and advice with the Gallaudet campus. Imagine going to this Board the moment you first recognize your own language there. Imagine sharing your concerns with the Board, the Deaf members like yourself who listen to you with respect. Imagine how you would feel about yourself if you could call on this Board’s guidance when you need it.

Wake up! Do we really have this kind of imagination at Gallaudet University today? Do we understand that the Board of Trustees is powerful? Have they failed to live within the goals now?

Hansel Bauman, the leading-architect for the Deaf Space at Gallaudet University, as I learned later that Janet Pray would typically say that sign language users are an “increasingly small” percentage of the deaf population.

In 2006, from GallyNet-L where a comment by Deep Eyes wrote:

“king and jk plan to meet with washington post editorial board this
afternoon. they will try to manipulate public info & perception. make
sure deaf people get correct info to the media

let world know that board voted 7-5 initially – 7 votes for jk and 5
votes for steve weiner. king then came into the picture…. manipulated
boardies like puppets and get ’em to go 12-0 for jk. illegal? No! But it
stinks!! king is now a fair game

look at king’s compensation package and perks. very similar to the mess
at american university which actually forced him to retire

DPN in 1988 belongs to all deaf people, not to king. remember that cuz
king and his people forget that”

About SLCC, there was a committee of university constituents (approx. 2002) who were discussing plans for the new building and the committee decided that the name should include the word “culture” as in “Sorenson Language and Cultural Center”–however, Irving King Jordan, Janet Fernandes, and Janet Pray ignored that and changed it to “Sorenson Language and Communication Center.” Some people think that when Janet Pray typed the minutes for the committee meetings that she sneakily changed what the committee decided.

Brian Riley wrote in February 2007: “Breaking News–Web page for SLCC taken off Gallaudet.edu”:

“According to one reliable report, Gallaudet’s Faculty and students (in committee) had originally objected to the plan to use the word “Communication” in the name of the building and favored the word “Cultural” instead. However, the wishes of the faculty and the students were ignored. The decision was made by Paul Kelly, Irving Jordan King, Jane Fernandes, and Catherine Sweet-Windham to bypass the committee’s decision. They overrode the decision and took their illegitimate decision (to use the word “Communication”) to the Board for approval.

Question have also raised about the legality of the contract between Sorenson and Gallaudet. The contract reportedly gives away patent rights to Sorenson for any new inventions or innovations created in the planned building.  Such an ill-conceived contract is probably not legal, since Gallaudet is registered as a 501 (c)(3) with the Federal Government and is required to reinvest all profits from campus activities and ventures back into the non-profit corporation of Gallaudet itself.”

In its place comes a sort of biblical oppression that would be in Christian name, EPHPHATHA. Through this Christian word on the official university seal, there would be no freedom of expression, no freedom of religion, no independent academic disciplines, and no place for scientific progress. In short, it would be our worst nightmare.

1) Home again at Gallaudet University;

2) The acceptance of ASL in the academy;

3) The nature and persistence of the linguistic research;

4) The power of ASL to influence and shape the human mind;

5) The character of faculty as it shapes intellectual life of the Deaf;

Is Gallaudet University a place of safety, where ASL becomes the focus? Is ASL home or fading?

The understanding of an economic system that oppress ASL and Deaf people be replaced with a system that meets the needs of the Audism. To that end, ASL pays tribute to Deaf people. It is the voice of thousands and thousands of everyday Deaf people who are fighting to preserve ASL and Deaf culture in crisis.

14 years ago. October 31, 2006. Washington Post editorial: Gallaudet Loss. Don’t we all remember that Post article or have we forgotten it? We need to review that again and again.

Despite more aggressive and often dishonest tactics, Gallaudet University public relations are encountering resistance on campus, not only students, but also faculty, staff, and alumni.

That leads to a newspaper letter, The Examiner written technically a letter to the editor by once again, Brian Riley in 2006: Protestors are trying to save Gallaudet University for the future has proved social problems today.

What happened to Gallaudet University unique because it is where ASL is best used comparing between 1988 and 2020? There are so many areas of scholarship in Gallaudet University that cry for betterment, and we need more insightful leaders to create a Deaf-centered path for all of us to be hungry for.

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The film differences between Facundo Element and Convo is something we need to do serious critical thinking how to save Gallaudet University for the future. One of the more powerful films we need to stumble upon block of stone that sits on the “sacred ground of the Deaf” in Washington, D.C., the problem is that it is still struggling to be as Deaf-centered University.

-JT

Copyright © 2020 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

References:

https://tinyurl.com/sf3a9uf

http://gallyprotest.org/DC_Examiner_LTE.pdf

http://gpli.blogspot.com/2006/10/letters-to-editor-examiner-oct-19-2006.html

 

Observing Cochlear Implants: The Human Cost

ImageArtwork done by Joseph N. Artino

NBC’s TODAY’s Health News made a huge headline few days ago that says “Defective cochlear implants shocked kids—even though company had been warned” (please see link below) about Advanced Bionics, the second largest manufacturer of cochlear implants (CI) acknowledging that they implanted defective devices in children and adults for Y-E-A-R-S even though many devices had failed, that is rare to see like this! The media has been hiding the truth for years about marketing cochlear implants to parents of Deaf newborns that the lifestyle is wonderful. You see, our American society is far from shy when it comes to realizing that those who are cochlear implant survivors DO NOT hear the way hearing people normally do. They do it with an ugly reason “we must fight against their being Deaf” and that is very much clear message that it is an implicit act of discrimination against Deaf people everywhere. Being Deaf is incurable, irreparable and irreversible. Once you were tested Deaf, it is a permanent thing! By the way, it was never an amazing medical device at all. It was more like a punishment device for Deaf children.

People who work for Advanced Bionics are chosen for ignorance and feeble mindedness. For example, a dear friend told me a story few years ago when he met a guy who had a terrible story about CI that he had a serious illness that required a CAT scan on his brain but since he had a CI, they removed it with a promise of a new replacement. After his surgery recovery, he got new CI, he could not recognize his mother’s voice anymore and thought she was another person. What? Of course, sounds heard through CI are synthetical and they are not biological enough (hearing enough) They told him that his new CI was better than the other but his mother never got better. He and his mother became strangers to each other. He could hardly stand her mother speaking. He said she sounds horrible.

Stories like his must be told to every corner of the world. What we really need from CI folks are stories as sidewise arguments in literature that CI is a huge hoax. Since Gallaudet University has a CI service, we must protest and we must not silent about it.  Abraham Lincoln: It is a sin to be silent when it is your duty to protest.

Silence is likely to occur numerous times throughout the Advanced Bionics process; it will mean that a great deal of suffering is inevitable. We must not be silent, is it because we did not know which way to go. It is a kind of gamesmanship in which we spar silently to see who can hold out longest without making noises. I am safely assuming that Gallaudet University—an university of our own will silent about Advanced Bionics and that is a shame!

Such silence can be deafening roar unless a leader breaks in and provides us the relief we need. Alan Hurwitz cannot do this job and Gallaudet would not allow him. What a catch-22 situation! When Americans won the Revolutionary War, they became determined for learning. Ben Franklin founded Pennsylvania State University. Thomas Jefferson set up the University of Virginia. Abe Lincoln signed the charter that made Gallaudet University for Deaf people. Are we the Deaf set up for their medical arrogance that practices cochlear implant at the University?

The public needs to look for the truth in a very big way. It helps parents of Deaf babies draw the line between perception, which could involve gruesome struggles and reality. But what precisely are the realities of having a goal to have cochlear implanted babies? More to the point, what is life like for those cochlear implanted babies and what options exist for parents who want to give their babies a lot of work than they realize. It takes years and years to prep even for 20 second near native pronunciation scene; again, it is the share of the hoax.

There are stories about their struggles within our society that is generally hostile toward their practice. I firmly believe that we are open to hearing people but we were often meted out by something unknown and unfamiliar—the world of sounds. We are unable to produce these sounds spontaneously so we sound “funny” to them in the same manner that their skills in American Sign Language (ASL), for example, look “funny to us.” Until the day we practice the Martha’s Vineyard Island communication system in which signs and words were never merged into a single discourse, we will have healthy objectives and goals. Telling Deaf people to come to hearing people is like telling Native Americans to come to White people.

When the Deaf gather together, economics will be used to break them up. Language and the culture of the Deaf, for example, need to be violated by introducing cochlear implants. That is breach without question. We need to focus on literature that reflects the diverse ways in which our society currently defines and measures Audism. The extant literature generally treats the definition of Audism as problematic. That is widespread consensus that legalistic definitions of being Deaf and ASL are as unacceptable and inadequate as they appear so. Thus, the parents and guardians are advised if their babies should fail the federally mandatory hearing screening tests, and the Deaf babies should be transferred to some social services for counseling and cochlear implants, that is becoming the problem. The big pictures come in with this massive problem.

The administration at Gallaudet University allows so many flyers and images about encouraging cochlear implants on the “advertising” board. It is covered up and I had witnessed the “yes-man” atmosphere there. They accept information with questions that confirm the same information. Damn it. It is not about literacy. It is about liberty and democracy. It is “human-doing” to assert that CI is an option and to waste so much education for Deaf children whose mind is wired as Deaf mind from the very breath of life. CI is a permanent token of mourning that being Deaf is inevitable. Why are we the Deaf are different?

In 2010, there was a French study about cochlear implants that showed ten percent (10%) of complications and let me copy and paste from the link you can see below—“The study included 434 children in France who were followed for an average of 5.5 years after they underwent cochlear implantation. Complications were classified as early (within eight days after surgery) or delayed (more than eight days after surgery), and minor or major (requiring hospital re-admission and/or extended hospital stay) Forty-three patients (9.9 percent) experienced complications, including 28 with delayed complications, with an average delay of 2.2 years. Of those 43 patients, 13 (30.2 percent) required cochlear re-implantation.  

See that?! 30.2%! It was an EPIC FAILURE and that was in 2010. Now four years later, I bet you that the stats are higher than reported in the media world. The power of media without giving you all sides of an issue is dangerous and wrong and causes extreme harm. It can come from television that cochlear implants are amazing medical devices before parents of Deaf babies has time to learn a wide and have knowledge of life.

Have the Audists lost the ability to disagree that being Deaf is sinful? What about respecting Deaf culture with civility and respect? Of course, Audists finds a way to lose civility and show lack of respect to have only increase more threatening our Deaf nature of democracy.

If the society is so concerned about fixing Deaf children, then it is time to focus on the big criminals: Cochlear implant makers, cochlear implant companies, and investors who make a lot of money off cochlear implants, they are the liars of the society. Deaf people have every right to seek their quest for their freedom and safer society. Let’s repeal Advanced Bionics and its cousins and stand up to fight for our own freedom from the mad fraud companies across the country and international waters. Shut them down for good!

Make sure you sign the petition underwritten by Audism Free America (AFA) before you finish reading this.

http://www.petitiononline.com/petitions/AFA62509/signatures

-JT

Copyright © 2014 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

Link:

http://www.today.com/health/defective-cochlear-implants-shocked-kids-even-though-company-had-been-2D79371793

http://consumer.healthday.com/health-technology-information-18/hearing-aid-news-350/voice-control-needs-time-to-develop-after-cochlear-implant-635028.html