Advertisements

Tag Archives: Deaf Culture

No Human Rights Law Shall Expel ASL Ever

unnamed.png

When I read all the letters Illinois Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (IRID) sent to the Honorable Julie A. Morrison, a senator for Illinois about SB0752 and HB1811.

IRID president, William Lee’s words: Requiring fluency in ASL does not need to be explicitly stated in the law in our opinion. It was a huge insult to ASL community that the power dynamics of Audism was allowed to oppress Deaf people. It is also a language hegemony. We do not need to deal with educational bankruptcy and struggle with human rights.

Illinois Association of the Deaf (IAD) followed up with Senator Morrison. I am deeply concerned about the ability of IRID to allow Audism against ASL. My concern has been compounded by the failure exhibited by the professionalism of interpreters to understand the nature of cross-linguistic and cross-cultural inquiry and the integrity of critical thinking in ASL.

President William Lee of IRID needs to look at these dismal facts portend a clear and present danger to the role of Deaf Education in the United States including Illinois that ASL is very important. Lee may filter this post out because it is about insulting Deaf people and witty put-downs of their language and culture. ASL that William Lee and the board of IRID should not continue to oppress.

unnamed-1.png

I am sure just like Deaf students struggling to learn but getting nowhere without ASL, Lee has no business to fulfill his own desires and the best interests of Deaf community, never realizing that his effort is the problem, not the solution. His own insecurity is the motive to attack ASL and the best interests of Deaf community in Illinois for their language and culture.

Imagine this—can you imagine that for centuries Deaf people have suffered appalling language and culture abuses and the devastating consequences of educational and economic sanctions? Can you imagine that in a climate of language oppression, many Deaf students in Illinois would be neglected without ASL over the years in Lee’s words?

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

Advertisements

Can Counseling Save Deaf Returned Citizens?

Hope-1-1160x600.png

Deaf butterflies are rooting for Deaf returned citizens FOR HOPE

From my experiences as Deaf returned citizen, having going through social rejection for more than 20+ years, I can point to three basic observations about Deaf returned citizens how they can learn that shape their lives into positive theme. I will explain in italic how my observations are translated into my experience. These observations have held true in my experiences not only as a returning Deaf citizen, but also in other environments.

OBSERVATION #1: Deaf returned citizens learn because they have questions about the subject matter. There are many different questions, practical, aesthetic, or curious–which render the subject worthy of life pursuit, but learning does not begin unless, and until, Deaf returned citizens form those questions.

How does that translate into positive learning? Before any new material is covered in your life, Deaf returned citizens first come to terms with the questions that make the material neccessary to learn. For example, how would they reintegrate back into the society, they must examine the pursuit of happiness first. Then they ask: How can they be prepared for life skills? As Deaf returned citizens try to answer this question with precision, the fact that the Deaf community must be a constant source of support that must be peripheral. 

OBSERVATION #2: Deaf returned citizens by defeating oppression into the society. Acquisition of oppression cannot take place by observation alone but by observation and engagement with people who understand struggles. There is true no less in oppression than it is in language bigotry or language hegemony where practice is essential for mastery.

How does this translate into positive learning? To master positive thinking, active learning is a core element of their learning. For example, Deaf returned citizens will benefit a lot from Deaf-centric counselors to identify their freedom, bound, and infectional, derivative or obsolete environment. Counseling will make a difference and learn from each other, using ASL for communication. 

OBSERVATION #3: Deaf returned citizens becomes best when they are challenged. They always work to the level of expectation that is set for them. High expectation and quality work will yield vivacious and inspired work, even among “vulunerable” Deaf returned citizens.

How does that translate into positive learning? In Deaf returned citizens “learning” courses, they shall design the goal and assessment for the “vulnerable” Deaf returned citizens just as much as the “more skilled ones” with a high view of confidence. Assessed work pushes Deaf returned citizens not only to master the basic content but also to express in creative and challenging ways. For example, a good exercise of counseling asks Deaf returned citizens to feel the true growing of pain. Deaf returned citizens are taught not only content but process, the methodology by which Deaf-centric counseling is generated. 

Deaf returned citizens interpretation is not only a tough challenge head-on, but also an exacting responsibility, too.  They deserve a better life in all shapes. For example, Deaf-centric counselors are trained to ensure that they receive a full support. Without Deaf-centric counselors, Deaf returned citizens would have much harder time to change their lives, that hearing counselors who proclaimed to be an expert in Deaf culture, set a good example of their own rule-governed communication system. Deaf-centric counselors have a lot to offer for Deaf returned citizens to the field of positivism.

7e863143-739b-4eef-932f-614e94cacc9c.jpg

When Deaf-centric counselers can sense it in a Deaf returned citizen’s visible delight in receiving counseling using ASL, when counselors can read the excitement in Deaf returned citizen’s process about ASL. I cannot say anything better than Albert Camus, about rebellion when he wrote: The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”  I would like now to summarize my personal experience as a returning Deaf citizen in one word: passion.

Deaf returned citizens must teach themselves to enjoy learning if and only if they have passion to restore their lives, the molding of wits. The fact that only limited counseling resources and information are available indicates a lack of awareness. The importance of discussion forwards into modern circumstances continue.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

http://www.whitecandles.com.au/cancer-search-hope/

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/how-to-restore-balance-in-your-life-1/

We All Have Struggles

Wolf-and-Moon-Cool-HD-Wallpapers.jpg

Cherokee Story of Two Wolves:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Good day, folks!

There is a new norm that there is a Deaf returned citizen is attacking a Deaf returned citizen. Since I will use the middle name to justify who the Deaf returned citizen is, the name is Nicole. I can understand Nicole’s anger. I am reading a book at this hour called Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames by Thich Nhat Nahh really made me think for days and days. I really regret that I did not read that book earlier in my life. It is better to read that book than waiting too late. Nahh writes:

“A good teaching is the kind of teaching that you can apply directly to your life, so that you can transform your suffering. When you are angry, you suffer as though you are being burned by the fires of hell. When you feel great despair or jealousy, you are in hell.”

Nicole’s anger who is full of anger makes sure I LIVE IN THE PAST and the false statements made against me was reckless and tried to make sure I taste harm or emotional suffering and harm my reputation what would be called character assassination. I do not need ANGER. Since I am part of Deaf community, I need to remind Nicole—“Community” means—it is a NOUN, as in dictionary: A feeling or fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes; interests, and goals.

My goals in Deaf community is to bring positive attitudes and empower Deaf returned citizens is my biggest interest right now. Nicole is a returned citizen, too. Do not preach DOUBLE OPPRESSION. Am I part of Deaf community? Nicole has had no authority to think that my figure should not belong in Deaf community. Attacking me is not going to work at all. Let it go. Another quote from the same book I am reading above:

“When a person’s speech is full of anger, it is because he or she suffers deeply. Because he has so much suffering, he becomes full of bitterness.”

IMG_2643.JPG

As a Deaf returned citizen working hard to change my life around, the damage is even more hurtful. I believe in hope. I have a story to tell, since activism has long been one of my passion and since I knew that to make inroads into the circles of empowering Deaf returned citizens as much as I can. Again, I do not need to live in the past. For the last time before I go, again, the wonder of the same book above shares the most important thought of the day:

“To be happy, to me, is to suffer less. If we were not capable of transforming the pain with ourselves, happiness would not be possible.”

Anger is not the answer. I became better person to deal with the growing pains first and learn how to change my life around for the betterment. It is the only way to go. I do not need to live in Nicole’s shadows.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

http://www.whitewolfpack.com/2010/11/two-wolves-native-american-legends.html

http://www.virtuesforlife.com/two-wolves/

 

My Letter for Graduate School

unnamed.jpg

My mother and my father were proud of me graduating that day! June 2011. 

=======================================================================

[It was written in 2011]

Gallaudet University
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.

Cordially,

Jason Tozier

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

My Life as a Returned Citizen

Do Not Give Up, Stand Up, and Read Up!

Political Aspects of Deaf Returned Citizens

fear.jpg

There has been a lot of political aspects of Deaf returned citizens life that are connected through their attitudes. In the society America breeds, Deaf returned citizens are being punished for their social, emotional needs and unraveling the fear.  I must first preface my state of being by asserting that I am 100% Deaf. I am not a licensed lawyer, but been beholder for quite long time after doing extensive research with my vigorous heart on this project by acquiring necessary accommodations for their optimal education experience continues to challenge Deaf returned citizens today.

Instead of exploiting myself and trying to present a life that allows people to feel tolerant and open-minded I present the struggles and triumphs of my life in a human way. There are good days and bad days. Sometimes people are insensitive. Hypersensitivity is not what Deaf people are seeking. The points brought up on the curbing of “disability” by sterilization are still pertinent to today and current practices.

It is evident from my experience that the field of Deaf Studies has not come to a head. There is more work to be done in order to make it so that the individuals who are not exploited in Literature and Film, but portrayed and seen as equals to individuals not exhibiting Deafhood. Being exposed to early literature and film makes one aware that even with vast improvements in rights and advantages that the Deaf people enjoy, there are still negative mentalities that have not been eliminated.

From Paddy Ladd, the author of Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood said that ” Deafhood is a process by which Deaf individuals come to actualize their Deaf identity, positing that those individuals construct that identity to their heightened forms by various forms such as nation, era, and class

For people who do not understand what Deafhood is—it means a process, a journey for all Deaf people. In better terms, the measurement is not required for who is Deaf or who is not. In advanced terms, it is not state, which focuses on people’s existential stances.

I would like to thank all the people who provided a support network to me as I struggle through my daily challenges. I feel overwhelmed with grief that had descended into depression. For the first time in a long time, I wonder how I would survive without the few people in my life who truly supportive.

In addition, I would like to thank Deaf Counseling Center (DCC) and it was a blessing for the center to be part of my life progress.

Without the guidance of DCC, I realized that I was self-medicating for the spiral of negative events that plagued me. Long before DCC came into my life, back in Oregon, I had difficulty finding professional counseling help to find an interpreter for me during my subsequent appointments and my appointments were delayed several weeks. With Deaf licensed professional therapists at DCC, I had been experiencing positive results with treatment, my therapy is still relatively new.

Even so, I find myself hopeful for my continued progress in my life. Today, there are thousands of Deaf returned citizens who are struggling with their lives without help of Deaf-centric counseling, they are not alone. They need to have some notion that they need to have some conceptualization of what they are to the community around us before they can comfortable live in the society. All people share this desire.

For example, they had been denied from the society along with the true sense of belonging. Their experiences have become an important part of their lives through “society” policies and laws that systematically oppressed them.

With this notion in place, the society needs to learn the social practices to centralize these oppositions and deconstruct Deaf returned citizens for the betterment of democracy, respect, and genuine appreciation of Deaf people.

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

http://tipjones.com/uncategorized/4-quick-tips-to-overcome-fear/

The Nation Was Also Built By Laurent Clerc

stritasdeafstarspangledbanner.jpg

History Through Deaf Eyes 

Today, May 1st is Immigrant Rights Day! Consider, to begin with a colonialism scene in Deaf world–especially in America that time. In 1816, Laurent Clerc to begin his journey for America knew the destiny to create in the name of Deaf Education. Clerc was the ONE who generated Deaf Education, without him, it would not be the same. It was a fate to get rid of Audism and break the colonization.

This was the time that Clerc had to articulate his teaching philosophy in America. The ability to acquire and use sign language exclusively is valuable for Deaf students in the field of literatures and Clerc strive to have students actively thinking about higher education within minutes of entering the classroom, and when communication something Clerc pushed to use as much sign language as possible.

Clerc had been teaching for long time, and I’m sure he enjoyed this work a lot. He had coordinated Deaf Education and there is no way he would realize that his presence had developed and facilitated many courses through the College-wide Curriculum Committees and Higher Education Commission. His gift for America was a huge amount of time, and through this process, he determined to boil down his teaching philosophy to higher principles that Clerc as an immigrant made a huge difference today.

The most important principle of Deaf Education is always demonstrating a passion for higher learning. Unfortunately, there is no unique recipe for passion that works for all Deaf students. While for some Deaf students it is important to know how to use ASL, others find the ideas for education in ASL interesting by themselves.

The final grade has been a top-priority for many Deaf students, but I am sure that Clerc always do his best to explain that it should an ultimate goal for acquiring skills in ASL. Otherwise, students would gain the skills in ASL after classroom is over and that is very desirable for Clerc.

So, I feel that Clerc as an immigrant with his credentials why Deaf Education is important and where it is used today and explain the ideas behind philosophy and linguistics, propagating the idea that ASL can be approached from two perspectives, science (descriptive) and art (prescriptive). Before proceeding to the theory Clerc would give a lot of examples and usually draw appropriate pictures.

Clerc’s passion is enthusiasm for acquiring and mastering ASL for Deaf students. His enthusiasm must be infectious enough to transmit to the students. In this case they would learn ASL because of ASL itself and not only because it is used somewhere else. The goal here is to share the beauty of ASL. Deaf students, I am sure that have never complained about a lack of enthusiasm.

We reinforce Deafhood every time we use ASL. © Jason “JT” Tozier 2017

Clerc might not also realize that he brought human rights of the Deaf in America. It was all about modeling and teaching professional behavior and respect. To Clerc, teaching and learning is palpable: When Clerc can see it in a student’s visible delight in acquiring and using ASL jargon; when Clerc can read the excitement in students’ essays about ASL or Deaf experience that is also part of Deaf Studies, Clerc cannot say anything better than an Irish writer, W.B. Yeats about teaching when he wrote:

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

Clerc’s energy had ignited in Deaf students a passion to learn as much as possible and be professional within the field of Deaf Studies. I can best summarize in one word for Clerc: passion. Passion helps the Deaf students engage in the course assignment, even if there is no “correct answer” in the processes of exploring the language and culture of the Deaf. Engaged students in classrooms must work hard, write about their Deaf experiences, and learn to think, respect others, and above all, have fun!

Clerc was the most important Deaf immigrant in America. Thank you, Laurent Clerc for your genius and innovations. You were the face of human rights! After all, we are a nation of immigrants. Behold the Deaf community in highest standard possible! Yes, Immigrant Rights are Human Rights!

unnamed-2.jpg

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

https://www.neh.gov/explore/history-through-deaf-eyes

 

The Stigma of a Deaf Returned Citizen

 

unnamed.jpg

12 years old kid. I do not even know what happiness meant after that.

I was just a stupid 12 years old kid. I made very poor choices. I came from a broken home. I did not have many friends. Yes, I am a returned citizen for 21 years and counting. When I was 28 years old, I decided to make major changes by enrolling at a local community college. So, I would change my life around and refused to be a career criminal.

I asked myself one night, if I did not change my life around, I would be a loser. My life is not over; Yet, I survived on $20-$40 a month for years and years. The stigma branded on my forehead where I had to walk through hatred and bullying in Deaf community. I wanted to prove myself and found higher learning/education that had saved me and gave me self-worth that makes me feel like a valuable person at least. I graduated with three university degrees with honors at the same time.

unnamed-4.jpg

I was 21 years old. That was when I began my Deaf returned citizen journey through painful times. 

I try to keep my life fiercely private, decides to break my silence and tell the bizarre background to the case. Fighting back tears, I write to give my statement over rumormongers of my life—and I am not doing this just because I wanted to be superhero. I want to stop the pain cycle repeated—in this society, it is senseless “destroying” of my soul for 30+ years.

I lock with my thoughts at this moment, should I say—the pathetic excuse for somebody to send me death threats and harassing who had been attempting to destroy my life from everything. I refuse to let someone limit my life struggles. I have been forced to live in their shadows, radicalizing in my own thinking is a lifetime struggle. The picture below was when I finally graduated from community college.

unnamed-1.jpg

I spent years and years pained in cave, if I say anything to friends I thought to be trusted, I assume would make its way concerning among them would only fault was not to resist truth, submitting to the sufferance of the cyber-bullying from Deaf people. I, Jason “JT” Tozier, with the power of truth conferred in me that I shall command my freedom to be seen.

My faults will be always judged by the failure of people with higher authority I was chosen by choice to trust with my life, I wish to present to you my defense in writing. The number of defamation has been recorded which has been made against me in the past and present, there shall be a cave of light that I choose to say that I refute the accusations through the words that reflect my conscience, in front of rightful justice. In the end, I had been left seriously wounded to prevent me from flung open the doors of truth.

From that day on, I have lived solely to exalt my mistakes and deserve a better life. We are all guilty, no matter what. Hiding the facts is often nothing more than the other face of madness. There is no justice without facts and with a role that has played without forgiveness in the criminal justice system.

Yet, today I still get stigmatized, no matter what how much hatred I get today and tomorrow. I am a returned citizen, so I do not need somebody to tell me to live by the labels. Please do not judge me on my past. Do not judge me on what you think I am. Please judge me on my achievements. I believe in second chances by rebuilding my life around and overcoming major stereotypes.

I am blessed to be an advocate, lecturer, and liaison that I will be always grateful for.

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Deaf Education in America