MENTAL HEALTH: Power Hunger or Power Struggle?

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Of all U.S. minority groups, the Deaf community is perhaps the most invisible. The mental health sends the message of Deaf empowerment to the public. The principle of Deaf-centric or Deaf-centered mental health is always demonstrating a passion. Or, is it a recipe for power-struggle for passion where the Deaf community needs the most in the mental health field? Especially the Deaf-centered way. 

In the highest standard of principle what it should be, a Deaf-centric or Deaf-centered mental health organization had revolutionized the stereotypical odds. It should be of, by, and for Deaf people. This “cultural awareness” in our Deaf community where we live continues to be a minority group thriving for awareness and social justice, which we are seeing in the mental health field that is sorely painful in the Deaf leadership.

 National Deaf Therapy (NDT) under the auspices of Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD). ‘Auspices’ is from the Latin, auspicium, and auspex, which mean “one who looks at birds”.

Communication Service for the Deaf: Using the ‘flying birds’ as power-hungryAccording to wiki: ‘Augury is the practice from ancient Roman religion of interpreting omens from the observed flights of birds.” (1)

Is it the wrong path where National Deaf Therapy is being heavily appropriated by Communication Service for the Deaf exercising privileges and profiting? Even in 2019. But, should we not completely surprised? Don’t we see manifestations of elitism, favouritism, and privileges every single day? Let me use those examples:

Jameson Crane III and Jonathan Soukup, both CEO and co-founder in the same business together (see link below), they have strong connections to Communication Service for the Deaf, its founder of CSD, Benjamin Soukup, and its current CEO, Christopher Soukup (Jonathan’s brother).

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As for Jameson Crane III’s hearing father, Jameson Crane, Jr. was on Communication Service for the Deaf board, now is on the Gallaudet Board of Trustees (see both links below). Social Venture Fund (SVF) has awarded National Deaf Therapy because of father-in-law’s connections as a board to NDT as well. Jameson Crane III’s spouse: Amanda Sortwell Crane, one of National Deaf Therapy co-founder.

Don’t we see manifestations of elitism, favouritism, and privileges?

Power-hunger is shown by connection to Gallaudet University? A good example, ADWAS founder, Marylin Jean Smith is on Communication Service for the Deaf board (see link below), and one of the National Deaf Therapy co-founders, Megan Erasmus is working for ADWAS while running National Deaf Therapy (see link below)Is that a big conflict of interest?

I was told that it is common for people to work full time while maintaining their own practices part-time until their practice grow enough that they can support themselves with the new private practice. Still conflict of interest?

Convo Communications: the CEO, Jarrod Musano who owns the Daily Moth and Melmira, connected to Communication Service for the Deaf, yes or no? However, Jarrod and Communication Service for the Deaf board member, Danny Lacey, have strong connections between each other.

The disability framework, a negativity bias defining the Deaf community, colonizes National Deaf Therapy. Exploring core concepts what “disability” to define ‘Deaf’–especially how the polarity of disability is culturally constructed and embodied, emphasizing the “social model”–and it shows clearly that National Deaf Therapy did not aim enough for a deepened understanding of the social, economic, and political aspects of disability as perceived and embodied in literature.

Does it mean the Deaf are defined from the American society because they are not normal healthy people as long as they must live in the medical model of disability?

Although frequently used to refer to the Deaf, this label is considered highly offensive to the Deaf. It ignored cultural identity and its use among hearing is a sign of ignorance (Roach, 2002) [2]

Ryan Commerson [3], producer of “Media, Power, & Ideology: Re-defining D-E-A-F”— Supposedly, Deaf people are labeled as ‘disability’ in the name of ideology.

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Commerson: “…the misrepresentation would still reside in your subconscious. What should you do about it?” that leads to ‘Contesting Stereotypes: Taking Images Apart’.

“…When a particular meaning in broadcast for a while, then it becomes common sense,closed, and resides in your subconscious. Life goes on as normal. However, we must go back to the misrepresentation residing in their subconscious…and reveal the distortion of the images. People might be rattled or accept this new reality. However, the problem with this is, by unlocking the meaning, it’s open for interpretation. Would everyone interpret it the same way?”

He used to be a scholar until Communication Service for the Deaf took him in as Social Change Strategist and exploited his views. I bet Ryan couldn’t challenge Communication Service for the Deaf because he is stuck with them.

In my previous blog post:

“The Deaf community is powerful in the human psyche. Indeed, at this level of humanity, would the Deaf community understand the painful history of what the term “disability” define Deaf people? Have the Medical Model of Disability had caused enough destruction in the Deaf community?”

‘Do Deaf People Have a Disability?‘ published by Harlan Lane [4]:

“A disability is a limitation of function because of an impairment. Deaf people are limited in some functions because of an impairment of hearing. Therefore, Deaf people have a disability.”

Justice must include human rights and compassion. It must include an appreciation of Deaf cultural uniqueness. What strikes me the most by Lane’s writing as seen in the picture:

“On the other hand, the Deaf-World is a linguistic and cultural minority quite unlike disability groups and with a distinctly different agenda. Moreover, to be Deaf is not disability in Deaf culture, and most members of the Deaf-World see no disability in their ways of being. To give up their legal rights would be self-defeating; to demand them under disability law seems like hypocrisy.”

Does that mean the Deaf community has become a pet cause for Communication Service for the Deaf and National Deaf Therapy? This is not the spirit of the Deaf community. That is the sign of power-hunger. Or, is it power-struggle?

The true leadership that steps up to the plate with the facts as they are and makes intelligent decisions on those facts only and not only on the emotionalized, oppressive of the Deaf community and the misinformed public sentiment. Why is National Deaf Therapy under the auspices of Communication Service for the Deaf pushing for a chess game?

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

References:

(1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augury

(2) Roach, Amy (2002). “Which is Correct: Deaf, deaf, hard of hearing, or Hearing Impaired?” Deaf Linx. 22 Feb. 2003

(3) https://vimeo.com/12817361

(4) Lane, Harlan L. “Do Deaf People Have a Disability?” Sign Language Studies, vol. 2 no. 4, 2002, p. 356-379. Project MUSE

Links:

http://naturaltcapital.com/

https://www.prweb.com/releases/brandi_rarus_top_marketing_communications_executive_joins_communication_service_for_the_deafs_board_of_directors/prweb16295100.htm

https://www.gallaudet.edu/board-of-trustees

https://www.csd.org/about/

Calling Out Sean Markel and Greg Hlibok

Pioneers of Deaf Counseling: Web-Based Therapy

The pioneers of Deaf Counseling are the most prominent change makers and activists join together to create first idea for transformative change in offering web-based therapy, eTherapy, and technological ways to heal of human reform, making all the difference to give all opportunities available for Deaf community.

RID got Humpriezed

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Registry of the Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) already boasts the biggest hearing privileges, that would guarantee newest CEO for RID, Joey Trapani one of the biggest flops ever to walk around.

Just for kicks, Trapani had only one year or even less in interpreting experience, and yet got RID’s highest position: CEO through a shoddy reputation that often overlooks his power as a white man with red-hot hearing privileges. Oh, he’s Children of Deaf Adults (CODA)—pffft! I do not care if he is CODA. So what? Don’t get me wrong, there are some cool CODAs and there are some not very cool CODAs.

Let’s get serious here. How could RID allow hearing privileges and oppress Deaf community? The cloak dagger continues. People are allowed to help others and it does not matter who it is. If it is their own, they are comfortable in then that is it.

The major issue of Audism exists in all of us, even RID would go into complete denial and regardless of what and who we are. The regardless of language oppression is what the RID apart and what made the RID being differed from Deaf community. RID had failed to address the underlying causes of Audism and hearing privileges and leaves Deaf community without a guidance to move forward. RID refuses to identify the roots of language hegemony. Deaf community does not need to deal with status quo.

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CODA and with only a year in freelance interpreting experience suffers numerous misinterpretations—deliberate confounding, irreversible misunderstanding can be very costly and burdensome for Deaf community, and Deaf people have personally experienced them somewhere in their life.

What really binds the Deaf together is their culture—the language and the ideas they have in common. Knowledge of cultural forms within the Deaf community is necessary in sociological concerns.

Since RID is essentially important for Deaf community, particularly in its history stages. Willard Willow wrote in 1932, “Schools have a culture that is definitely their own. There are, in the school, complex rituals of personal relationships, a set of folkways, mores, and irrational sanctions, a moral code based upon them.”

RID is not a world of its own. It is not even a world. But because RID is in the world, because it is affected by situations, and because it orients itself comprehensively in those situations, RID had something to teach, RID has offered something to bring Deaf community to higher learning of interpreting. Well, that is something to think about.

In the light of RID’s failure to hold community accountability, it is time to boycott RID. It is time for interpreters to get their money back and revoke their RID memberships.

CEO Joey Trapani and the board president, Melvin Walker, need to resign. CODA and hearing privileges do not belong well in Deaf community. They both ignited the golden age of Audism and the dominance of hearing privileges of their namesake of ignorance, which furnished RID toward the notion of educational proof and has been thrown into the mind of Deaf community since. Hearing privileges–not cool.

Isn’t Deaf community exactly the right place to exchange and debate differing concerns? Perhaps RID has lost its professionalism and respect. RID got Humpriezed. In reference to Tom Humphries, the coinage of Audism. Deaf community should not be oppressed in the name of Audism. Deaf community is a minority of one, they deserve better. RID should be Deaf-centered, Deaf-oriented, and Deaf-controlled.

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-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

Why Mental Health Awareness Month is Important for Deaf Community

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This is the making of mental health awareness month. This is the Deaf community, which aims at presenting a view of awareness of how important Deaf-centered counseling in perspective.

The theme is the making of Deaf community. The discussion will be in two parts; for instance, the tension between hearing therapists and Deaf-centered therapists: continuity and change in mental health awareness community, the principles of social respect, the society, the differences between the hearing and Deaf people.

It is important that the mental health awareness month need to be understood. Deaf centered counselors makes all the difference: how it influenced, and been influenced by, the world of Deaf-centered thinking.

Today and tomorrow we need to push and recognize higher awareness about mental health on the edge of Atlantic and Pacific Ocean to empower Deaf community in America. We need to remember that mental health awareness is representative of Deaf community.

The mental health awareness symbolizes the individual journey we each must take to find our own path. Within the mental health awareness and Deaf-centered counseling, there are two directions. Circle of life, and center of the circle, is a symbol of strength, endurance, and vision.

Can we also understand that it is important to recognize that Deaf-centered counseling signifies the renewal of life and the compassion?

Please check out the only Deaf-centered counseling:

http://www.deafcounseling.com/

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

Should Deaf Film Festival Run By Hearing Privileges?

Do you think it is fair for hearing privileges to be in charge of Deaf film festival?