Can mathematics (in terms of ASL/Deaf-centric thinking) become Deaf community’s best friend?
I need to admit that it is not easy for me to write this. When you know someone who is a sound-oriented professor, who also “inspires” Deaf people, is extremely rare to see. Deaf students at Gallaudet University are referred to as the future of Deaf community, but without support and opportunities, some fall through the cracks. I am questioning a critical examination done by hearing privileges.
Now, more than ever, we, the Deaf must make a priority to share their experiences to challenge the issue of Audism. To see Deaf people being oppressed invisibility do not have the ground to discuss Audism when hearing people are given higher privileges to talk and use their voice. Is Audism, an invisibility cloak around Deaf people at Gallaudet University?
The state of being Deaf continues to be in the state of an object that cannot be seen. It does not take an expert to understand the detrimental effects that Audism are hurting Deaf people’s well being. From the public standpoint, Audism has provided a serious social problem in Deaf community including Gallaudet University to the point that it affects the way Deaf people learn and thrive.
When Deaf people receive positive academic experience, they should not fear for the oppression from a professor who is hearing, it undoubtedly has a huge effect on the success of Deaf students and Deaf educators alike.
The fact remains that Audism, so easily targeted as uninformed and misguided are becoming the stronger group that would lead the future. How do you feel about someone who used human voice with hearing spouse/partner and refused to use sign language in front of Deaf people? It is not the first time.
Audism Unveiled, Audism: Exploring the Metaphysics of Oppression, Audism and Deaf-Gain—seemed promising to me when I first read the book, I found a powerful statement: “The road less traveled, however, is still a road and is becoming more and more traveled as time goes on……the Deaf community faced the fact that the hegemony of the “voice” and “speaking” was precisely what they wanted to ‘speak out’ against.”—Introduction: Open Your Eyes: Deaf Studies Talking
Scenario one: Two hearing people walk into Gallaudet University, sit down, speaks with their voice and is allowed to oppress Deaf people and use the power of hearing privileges. Outcome: Audism.
Multiple reports of Audism occur on Gallaudet University campus. Outcome: Audism. No action against hearing people.
Scenario two: Two Deaf people walk into Gallaudet University, sit down, signs to each other and the outcome is unknown. Think about it.
Over the past decade when I read many books, watched presentations, lectures, and workshops about Audism even I had given my own lectures about Audism few times have changed my life and complete the cultural competency and inclusion. It is best to learn from Deaf people who experience Audism themselves.
The world’s only Deaf Studies Department—-where did Audism begin? Audism begins and ends with language. That is how it is examined and discussed. Would the chronicle of higher education deny the existence and evidence of Audism because it has never heard Audism before? It can better understand the resistance of the Deaf if it understands the critical events of Audism and other oppression are very much part of language hegemony that supports the power of hearing privileges. Ignoring Audism is unconscious bias. Outcome? You guess.
The question, is what is the effect of Audism on Gallaudet campus? Vulnerability? Is it the vulnerability of Deaf people being oppressed by hearing privileges? Isn’t Audism a human resource to oppress Deaf people’s health and mind? The problem, however, Audism has never taken a clear position enough at Gallaudet University.
Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier
This text may be freely copied 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.