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Tag Archives: Deaf Culture

Can Deaf Returning Citizens Exist Without Deaf Community?

 

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Can Deaf returning citizens exist without Deaf community? I do not think so. I believe that is important for information, knowledge, and communication. No one can take away the attribution of success and breach human rights. Bringing awareness about the term of “Returning Citizen” would make all difference.

No more “felons”—no more “convicts”—no more “offenders”—no more negativity. Returning citizen is a positive term. Can Deaf returning citizens deserve to be let alone to resume their life without the haters breathing down their necks? It goes way too far in the continuous punishment. As a nation, I believe that the failure of ignoring hard facts and expert opinions to be discussed in many public policy issues even in Deaf community.

When you see someone bully a Deaf returning citizen, how will you react to it? Does it make it an impressive train wreck? Makes you feel good about it?

I can bully and make Deaf returning citizens ashamed….I bring hatred to their faces…I make them cover their faces by how cyber-bullying can solve problems. I am the greatest bully, and they are inferior. I can do a good job by teaching bullies because it is awesome feeling to do this!”

Have we forgot about the importance of liberty and justice for all? Remember, the society has been trying to teach us the awareness of how to stop bullying including cyber-bullying and end the same way: suffer and humiliation. Do we really understand the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution: Cruel and Unusual Punishment?  This is the real epidemic out there that needs to be addressed and examined. Break the stigma.

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Please be aware about October as National Bullying Prevention Month. If you know someone who is a Deaf returning citizen who is in need for counseling for well-being, please feel free to get in touch with Deaf Counseling Center for more information.

http://www.deafcounseling.com/contact-us/

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

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National Bullying Prevention Month: Deaf Returning Citizens

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I would like to focus on writing about Deaf returning citizens and how to support them instead of bullying them. Deaf returning citizens recognize the society’s described behavior as a form of bullying which is and has been normalized in Deaf community, like competition over sharing. It is important to call out bullying as the social sickness it is.

That said, the Deaf community is now exposing the emotional hurt of their world and in this writing, tied it into fear of bullying drivers. As a member of Deaf community and a returning citizen who had experienced bullying and dealt with the bulk of the public accusations were kicked off in a style. October is National Bullying Prevention Month.

Since the bullying popped into my life scene and become part of my social and professional landscape. My life routinely overlaps at events and social media. I say hello friendly to each other in the way that you are friendly to someone who shares your goals and a generous portion of your friend group, but maybe not a lot of mutual respect.

To me, bullies have always been a pitch-perfect caricature of the haters. While I truly respect some people’s energy, and most of their goals, I have found their political tactics clueless, and their grasp of bullyinh tenuous. Some of my friends recognized this, too, and either steered clear or took an “it takes all kinds…” attitude towards those people with privileges.

This is a hard lesson here. Deaf returning citizens need to be more vigilant and protect themselves and their allies, but they hope not to lose trust and not lose their edge by building walls that protects them from the utmost extreme bullying at all times. We need to break down bullying dominance of Deaf community and look at their own behaviors that contribute to it, protect it, or are simply just bad behavior.

Working harder to break the social norms can go a long way. And what happens when we have a person or acquaintances that callously do not follow that rule in our midst? Then we protect others, as we would want to be protected. We do it with courage and tenacity. It starts all with you.

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Shame? Guilt? Revenge? Anger? Hate?

Upon the community initial call-out, the bullying is not accepted and encourages the community to take full responsibility if they ever wanted to continue to play in a role in the community. No body has really come forward.

1) Especially in a time of transition, Deaf returning citizens are very important part of the Deaf community.

2) Can Deaf community embodies the qualifications, character, and commitment to empower Deaf returning citizens that are essential to success and high achievement?

3) Will we empower Deaf returning citizens as members of the Deaf community to see the present is a new opportunity for bold change that cannot imitate the past if it is to ensure the future?

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

Le Toudjida Allara’s Open Letter

From: Le Toudjida Allara, MPA
Gallaudet Alumni UG’11 & G’14

To: Gallaudet University Board of Trustees 800 Florida Avenue NE,
Washington, DC 20002

Subject: My Concerned Letter to the Gallaudet BOT Related to President Bobbi’s Recent Appointment of Mr. Benedict to be our Alma Mater’s Historic Vice President of Student Affairs & Community Engagement

Dear Honorable Members of the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees,

Good morning,

When I just learned that President Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano has made a surprise announcement with her decision to appoint of Mr. Albert Dwight Benedict to be Gallaudet University’s first and history Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Engagement who will start effectively on the Sunday, October 1st, 2017, I have been so concerned and disappointed to receive this news due to several essential reasons.

As a former English Language Institute (ELI) Student and ELI Student Organization (ELISO) Officer (Vice President, President & SBG Student Congress Senator) from February 2004 to December 2005 and Spring 2008, I had a long fight to:

  •   Eliminate the SBG’s intention to restrict ELI Students participating in various student activities and their eligibility to vote any president candidates during SBG Election Weeks provided by Campus Activities because SBG and Student Affairs could not justify with my challenge on why we should not participate in those activities even though we International Students did paid the school’s unit fee.
  •   Eliminate SBG’s policy to prevent ELI Students participating in sports activities and represent Bison during Gallaudet/NTID Rockfest and Brickfest weekends
  •   Open door to numerous ELI students to enjoy SBG Spirit Weeks, recreational activities provided by Gallaudet Intramural staff and so forth before I transferred to Rochester Institute of Technology for my studies in Microelectronic Engineering in March 2016.When I returned to Gallaudet University in Spring 2008, I discovered that SBG continued to limit ELI Students who were eligible to participate in its activities (including the 2008 SBG Election Week) and I took a prompt action to challenge SBG officials on the repeat election issues before they changed their plan to allow eligible ELI students to participate in the election in the very last minute.
  • When I was recruited to work for Campus Activities as Front Desk and Staff Assistant during Aug 2008-Aug 2009, I discovered that Campus Activities had a list of eligible students from Student Affairs to vote for any candidates in 2009, but there was no eligible student from ELI on that list. I assisted the Campus Activities to ensure that ELI students who did pay their unit fee to Gallaudet University were included on the list and eligible to vote for candidates during the election weekAs a former 2010 SBG Presidential Candidate and finalist, I received numerous complaints against the SBG Election Week Committee, the election was rigged with a number of duplicated paper votes, oppressed and prevented UG and Graduate students to willingly assist ELI students who asked more info about candidates’ background and identification. After I was defeated by my SBG opponent, I decided to write a letter to Gallaudet Administrators by demanding them to change the SBG election system from paper to electronic and demanding them to deal with the oppressive climate against international and diverse students who were victimized during the 2010 Election Week. That was where the Gallaudet Administrators were involved and took a serious action on this election situation.

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Then, later, the SBG president who won the election against me was in several government classes with me, he was asked to leave professors of the classes due to his tremendous absence and his disrespect of classes’ syllabus policy. However, he was granted to stay in classes and passed with a good grade despite of his continuing absences. Suddenly, the 2010-2011 academic year, he coercively asked me to serve the SBG Election Week Reform Committee (EWRC) to be part of the SBG and 2011 SBG Election Week Committee as a member-at large. I said no but when I was called for a meeting with the Campus Activities Staff, SBG advisor and the SBG election week committee, I agreed to take my voluntarily service for the sake of the diversity community at Gallaudet and the improvement of the election’s effectiveness. Then, the 2011 SBG Election Weeks was so successful and effective with the new and historic election system.

As the longest student-member ODES/Keeping the Promise (Program), we including students of colors (SOC) had over hundred discussions on lack of support from Student Affairs toward SOC victims in various issues on campus and lack of reasonable/fair punishment toward SOCs who admittedly violated Gallaudet University Student Conduct, and frequently shared concerns on diversity, institutionally systematic and unwelcomed environment, and many more. ODES/KTP has been a so important educational program at Gallaudet that have saved numerous SOCs who were victimized, innocent and guilt. Without ODES’s assistance and resolution, Student Affairs would have targeted and put most of those SOCs on Persona Non-Grata (PNG).

 

During the Business Bowl in Spring 2011, Mr. Benedict came next to me where I stood in the back of audience and watched the business competition game participated by qualified students. When he then asked me in person about my job application for the Coordinator of Residence Education (CRE) position and told me that the Director of Residence Life met him and was concerned with my application. He told me that he would work with her concerning my application situation. In fact, I personally considered this very unprofessionally and unethically because my application should be kept confidential and handled between him and the Human Resource Office. Otherwise, he made me to increasingly suspend on why I have not trusted him on his hiring decision on any candidate who have contributed to Gallaudet working for the department of Student Affairs under his leadership.

On the hand, with the evidence of my playing experience as a student-athlete for three seasons (2005, 2008-2010) and of my contributive employment record (Jan 2010 – May 2013) for Gallaudet University Men’s Soccer Program, I was victimized of Athletic Director’s malicious intention on my employment record and prevention of my job promotion. Why? Prior to hiring, my supervisor (Head Coach Luis Gendive who was part-time and depended heavily on my assistance for the soccer program), already made it clear to Athletic Director that I worked 40 hours a week as his assistant coach with various responsibilities during both Fall and Spring semesters for three years even though I got a limit of stipend (up to $5,000) per years without signing nor seeing a descriptive contract.

When I was informed that my application for the opening position of Women’s and Men’s Soccer Head Coach/Program Coordinator were not considered in Summer 2014, I asked the EEO Director to investigate on why I was screened out even though I had a record of services that met the positions’ job description so perfectly. Unfortunately, the EEO Director replied me back with her email below:

Hello Allara,

Thank you for your email. I have had an opportunity to review your inquiry.

My preliminary investigation found that information on your application that was not accurate. I was informed that you did not serve as assistant coach in Gallaudet’s Athletic Department but as a graduate assistant and not in a coaching capacity. The minimum requirements for the position are several years of actual coaching experience. I am happy to meet with you to discuss this further.

This was not only unacceptable and very offensive for me but also destroyed my record of service for the Athletics Department. Then, this put me to collect all my record of services at the department and fill a EEOC complaint against Athletic Director for his malicious intention that has ruined my career in soccer coaching at Gallaudet University. From there, I found out about two hiring letters, written by the Athletic Director and formally signed by Albert Dwight Benedict, I got from Gallaudet Payroll concerning my salary record, the letter showed that I was supposed to work from September 1st to October 31st (just up to two month and nothing more) for the specific stipend per season.

That was when I got that the Athletic Director lied to me by saying that I had to work for the soccer program during Fall and Spring semesters both with paid (20 hours per week till the stipend was out) and volunteering (other 20 hour per week without paid and then later “full-time” without paid when the stipend was out). As you may know, working for Gallaudet without getting paid is considered as a wage thief, and it is violated the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) of the United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD). Fortunately for Gallaudet, I was told to drop my case against Gallaudet even though I got a right to sue letter from EEOC against Gallaudet University and an EEOC agent highly suggested to go for a lawyer after her agency reviewed my case again.

My point here is that I have served Gallaudet under the unit of Student Affairs headed by Mr. Albert Dwight Benedict for more than 10 years as (1) various officer positions of student organizations for at least 7 years; (2) tutor, Supplemental Instruction (SI) leader and Math Coach at Tutorial & Instructional Program (TIP) for 8 years, (3) Front Desk, Staff Assistant and (New Student Orientation) Week Bison Leader at Campus Activities for 1 year; (4) Student Conduct Board member at Office of Student Conduct for 2 years, and finally (5) men’s soccer program assistant coach at Athletic Department, I and many members of the Gallaudet Community have never trusted in Mr. Benedict’s leadership at Gallaudet because he has done with numerous inappropriate actions that haven’t protected me, SOC and other victims; inappropriate approaches with us, and inappropriately managerial decisions within the Office of Student Affairs. Also, he has avoided his greater accountability for his leadership failure and produced misleadership within the department and at our beloved Alma Mater.

Therefore, I as a Gallaudet POC and International Alumni do express my greater concern regarding of the 11th and historic female President’s decision to appoint and promote Mr. Benedict to be Gallaudet’s new and first-ever Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Engagement despite of his long record of misleadership and without conducting the national search.

By respecting of Gallaudet Mission and Vision Statements, I hope you honorable members of the Board of Trustees will consider this so soberly and work with President Bobbi, the Human Resource Office and external consultant(s) to terminate Mr. Benedict’s high-level appointment/promotion and readvertise the valuable job position by conducting a national search if you really care about your promise to see Gallaudet in the process of transformation for the greater good of our community, for the better protection of all students and staff of Student Affairs, and finally for the better community engagement.

I hope you will get a correct candidate with an excellent leadership record and excellent outcomes of higher education’s effectiveness & efficiency and excellent achievement of his outstanding student life program. Plus, s/he will produce all students and staff toward the greatness in academic, the greatness in professional Development and the greatness in school accountability. Mr. Benedict is definitively not the answer!

Thank you.

So Unpleasantly,

Le Toudjida Allara, MPA Gallaudet Alumni UG’11 & G’14

Cc: Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano, President of Gallaudet University

Carol Erting, Provost/Chief Academic Officer

Samuel Sonnenstrahl, Gallaudet Office of Alumni Relations Executive Director

Donalda Kay Ammons, President of Gallaudet University Alumni Association (GUAA)

Elavie Ndura, Chief Diversity Officer (CDO)

Edgar Palmer, Office of Diversity & Equity for Students (ODES) Executive Director

Olubenga Aina, Diversity and Equity Programs Director

LEAD-K: Deaf Centered or Bimodality Centered?

Where is the ACTION by Oklahoma Association of the Deaf?

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I am still numb about Deaf man’s death in Oklahoma City. He was unharmed–no weapon (gun or knive)– he was shot to death by police because he was Deaf. Where is the intelligent capabilities in police academy?

I am having difficult time trying to understand how they went ahead and kill him with a weapon on his own property and literally outnumbered by police officers. Today, the requirements of becoming a police officer is not required an university degree.

As becoming a police officer in Oklahoma, the requirements would be: being administered a psychological evaluation and been evaluated by a psychologist licensed by the state. How will the police officer deal with psychological evaluation when it comes to dealing with Deaf people? The fact that the deceased is Deaf–passing psychological assessments: it is also lack of sensitivity training about Deaf people. Of course, a high school diploma or a GED is not making things safer. I strongly believe in higher education and awareness. It is a HUGE. HUGE. HUGE difference.

The most important question, Where is the ACTION by Oklahoma Association of the Deaf (OAD) to speak out on his behalf? OAD should immediately stand up for Deaf community right away. OAD should confront the problem in this urgent hour should be clear message. Will the killings of Deaf people continue to be ignored? Will killings once more become an official government weapon against Deaf people without constitutional rights?

Honor Madgiel Sanchez.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

What Was Laurent Clerc Thinking That Night?

Do you Support Transformative Healing?

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It takes the greatest amount of strength to overcome the world’s evil motto: Stigma.

Every day in the life of an American, while the life expectancy of the average American is almost 79 years, those who lack awareness to understand hate. Deaf returned citizens, in body, mind, and spirit would most likely have difficult life and expect shorter lives. Should we believe in necessity of the healing will allow them to live longer life—how does the transformative healing happen with Deaf returned citizens? They can become better people. Better wisdom. Better mentors. Better teachers.

We can make all the difference today in Deaf community by becoming part of collective family. Can we make their lives to change every day because of Deafhood networking like you? A good change is good! Reminding them to live in the past does not solve anything. Stigma is not the answer.

Bodies do heal, emotions are expected to lift, courage returns are best thing, and those Deaf returned citizens were once broken in body and spirit because whole, strong people. Trees are part of our soul-searching. They are the powerful tool to heal us! Appreciate the eyes of trees every day. Your contributions or support would be appreciated and make this possible.

 

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Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

Forgotten Survivors: Deaf Children Who Experienced Sexual Abuse

Can We Stand Together Against Hate?

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Alexander Graham Bell (AGBell) wants to normalize hate ideology. Many parents of Deaf children fell prey to his tactics. AGBell is a hate group in many eyes. American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf culture has been threatened through horrifying words invoking the truth.

We need to send a strong message to AGBell loyalists who encourage hate/violence and stop them by using Internet platforms as weapons of intimidation. We also need to help ASL community who will be targeted by hate and discrimination in AGBell’s Regime. Do you agree that AGBell, the number one in leading hate against Deaf people?

Enough of AGBell followers to intimidate ASL/Deaf culture. How many AGBell chapters in America today? AGBell is a dangerous breed and a huge reactionary agenda. Remember the justice that we have human rights to use ASL anytime.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

http://wjla.com/news/local/gallery/jewish-muslim-and-indian-american-communities-stand-in-solidarity-against-hate

No Human Rights Law Shall Expel ASL Ever

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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.

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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.