Or…to Act as Judge?

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Word of the Day on January 24, 2019 by Merriam-Webster:

Adjudicate: to settle judicially or to act as judge

Did Deaf community ask Alexander Graham Bell to adjudicate whether American Sign Language (ASL) is the best language for the Deaf? Think about it. Even today in 2019, AGBell still acts as a judge to divide up ASL for the best interests of Cochlear Implants, Cued Speech, Listening and Speaking, and Oralism.

142 years ago on January 24, 1877: AGBell writes a letter to his father, Alexander Melville Bell:

“We are ready to do something with Visible Speech at once if type could be forthcoming. I propose issuing an introduction to Visible Speech the expenses of which will be paid by its publication in the Annals of the Deaf and Dumb—at least I hope so. Dr. Hill has spoken before the last Convention of Teachers—urging the introduction of Visible Speech into the school-system of Massachusetts.”

That’s where it became so successful that built AGBell headquarters in Washington, D.C. ever since; Remember, AGBell’s father was the pioneer of Visible Speech and he was a teacher of the Deaf and showed that his writing system to help Deaf students to learn spoken language which would be ORALISM. AGBell followed his father’s footsteps and successfully destroyed ASL and Deaf community even today in 2019.

So, Cued Speech would improve English greatly…even some Deaf people are supporting the idea of Visible Speech today. And what does all this have to do with AGBell opposing ASL in Deaf community? Plenty! When evil in AGBell’s words is seen as a temporal human phenomenon, it becomes relatively easy to vilify and make Deaf people as scapegoats of that which one does not understand or which one fears. Most importantly, fear creates powerful stereotypes: make ASL unknown, the misunderstood, the old ways, and give AGBell more power to access and make sure ASL would be destroyed, so AGBell and its followers and its Deaf scapegoats could “live happily ever after.”

With the emotional level—especially the level of evil, AGBell would go unpunished and make ASL get punished instead. That is the perfect source of the power of evil. We need to understand why AGBell behaved the way it did in the past and present tense with the greatest effort to eradicate ASL, the language and culture of the Deaf from the truth. Think about “OR”—that would give them more power to destroy ASL.

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

Links:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day/calendar

https://www.loc.gov/resource/magbell.00500304/?sp=4

https://www.omniglot.com/writing/visiblespeech.htm

 

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The Illusion of a Poll: Fact and Fable in Deaf Community

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What would it like not to live without history that reflects all of us who Deaf people are? The history of idea of creating “poll” goes back to George Gallup who defined the American information to give voters the right to democracy, and most importantly, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) gives any person has the right to seek access for information at the request including the right to poll.

Guaranteed. Deaf people have seen the Gallup Poll sharing national news with anchors talking about it on national television, there is no way to miss this. It has changed the history of American politics including our own Deaf community.

It is a poll that Deaf people have right to gather their opinions for the fact of the matter is voting that creates truth to understand the power-struggling experiences and should not hide the emotional suffering in denial, and somehow suffering and does not know it.

Remember the times where there would be a tent with pollsters asking someone to taste the hidden drink which it would be COKE or PESPI. If you are right with the chosen drink brand, you get a prize. Come on, we cannot forget that. I did that. I like Pepsi. It is a simple and democratic poll. We are created as statisticians because we have the right to vote even for a poll.

We are strong believers in polling, too. When someone Deaf writes: “Deaf Life is abusing its powerful influence in the Deaf community.” That’s far fetched.

That is a one-sided perspective and never read diverse variety of information chewing influence away, and the poll created by DEAF LIFE is simple, harmless and a human right for anyone to vote in a poll when it comes to LEAD-K and Alexander Graham Bell. Would you react differently if it was George Veditz partners up with Alexander Graham Bell? What about truth partners up with toxicity? Would it go quietly deliberate and depend on the information to create their own viewpoints in polling? Do Deaf people have right to get Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), too?

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There is the subscription in truth for freedom of information act and Deaf community should not deal with Alexander Graham Bell getting away with the fear of having a different opinion from the rest of Deaf community like us. Within polls like this one in Deaf community, we would want to fit in society without fear and hatred from Alexander Graham Bell. That kind of thinking does not develop social justice that shows many survivors who experienced language deprivation from the biggest oppressor, Alexander Graham Bell.

That is the kind of justice that is rightfully important to all of us and we need more people like us that are courageous enough to vote in a poll to stand up against what is wrong in society we deal with every day, and it starts with us to make a better place for all of us to live safely as much as possible, and that starts with a poll that is historic enough.

It sends a wrong message with final answer: Because Deaf community continues to live in Alexander Graham Bell’s America where its American citizens gets their news from known-sided organization like AGBell filled with propaganda and disinformation which best option for a language to learn other than rejecting American Sign Language off the book to control Deaf people’s use of the powers of emotionalism to allow modes of communication like Cued Speech, Oralism, Cochlear Implants all are Alexander Graham Bell’s favorite tools that will improve English in listening and writing far skyrocket…..the very same fear in and of themselves that ASL is powerful and best choice of all languages.

It should concern all of us that we continue to ignore the facts and follow our emotions when it comes to give Alexander Graham Bell the crown like a king. What should public opinion like this poll be based on? Should it be based on forgotten experiences? What would it mean to us in the eyes of educational polling? It also abuses its powerful influence of journalism that is often not enough discussed in Deaf community.

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

 

 

Why Open Captioning is a Fundamental Right

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Attention: Councilmember Charles Allen

Council of the District of Columbia

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Suite 110

Washington, DC 20004

December 30, 2018

Bill B22-0957: Open Movie Captioning Requirement Act of 2018:

Sir, and the Council members for the Council of the District of Columbia:

As a member of DC Deaf community, the understanding of social, political, and sociological fields, what is justice, and the human rights, and the public eye is becoming a common means for what a life in District of Columbia to make sure Deaf citizens receive fair accessibility for communication, information, and knowledge.

Open captioning is a fundamental right even in the constitutional document itself; The First Amendment: the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances;

The Ninth Amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The rights for open captioning cannot be violation of Deaf people. Neglecting Deaf people’s public spaces for years and years have been enabled and promoted are counterproductive, Un-American, anti-factual, and diversionary. The First Amendment—freedom of speech, peaceably to assemble, and petition the Government for a redress of grievances, protects Deaf people. Why?

“Government of the District of Columbia. The Government of the District of Columbia operates under Article One of the United States Constitution and the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, which devolves certain powers of the United States Congress to the Major and thirteen-member Council.”

However, Deaf community shows the true hope and human society within cultural changes in District of Columbia, and the greatest mission of open captioning for Deaf community requires our resistance to the frustration of being denied for a full theatrical experience at any cost.

Open captioning would rekindle ourselves as the Deaf community to claim literacy rights in higher learning. Open captioning becomes highly sophisticated in our language and culture in the same manner as our hearing counterparts in their own language, English.

Happy New Year!

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_of_the_District_of_Columbia

Celebrating the Bill of Rights

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227 years ago today, the Bill of Rights was shown to the public eye. The people of the eye are also protected by the Bill of Rights. As I wrote this column for DEAF LIFE: Our Constitutional Crisis in April 2018 Issue. Permission was granted to share this column.

“When Deaf people are facing a time of crisis, it is extremely important that they understand their Constitutional rights.

For the past five years, I’ve been asking Deaf people basic questions about the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution)—and considering what’s been happening, a basic knowledge of the answers to these questions could be life-saving. But during these five years, I found only one Deaf person who knew all ten amendments.

Only one? What happened to what we learned about democracy in school? Were we ever taught that the Constitution was written and ratified to resist the tyranny of the ruling minority? Were we taught about the Bill of Rights, discussing each amendment, so we could understand the principle of equal protection?

We can ask—but won’t get any answer—why Deaf students didn’t learn about this before graduating, or why Deaf schools or mainstreamed programs failed to teach them. How can we hold schools accountable for these results?

The U.S. Constitution is a “living document” that can be interpreted, as legal protection should Deaf people face excessively harsh treatment by law enforcement. Recently, one Saturday night, I attended a Deaf social gathering in Washington, where a Deaf woman was sharing her experience with me about an encounter with local police, and how an officer, who knew a little bit of ASL, told her, “I am cold, I need to come in,” and forced himself into her house without her permission. She told me that she felt violated.

Then I asked her if she knew anything about the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. She said, “No.” I explained to her what the Fourth Amendment says: Prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any search warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.

I told her that her Constitutional rights had indeed been violated. Certainly, it’s not the first time that a police officer entered a citizen’s house without a search warrant. It is perfectly legal to tell the police that they cannot come in without a proper search warrant. You have the right to say no, and they don’t have the right to barge in. It is your home. It is your property. (Even if you’re renting an apartment or saying at a friend’s house, you have your property with you.)

The key is better education about our Constitutional rights. If it’s impractical to enroll in continuing education classes, you can get access to the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and study them carefully. And reread them every so often so you don’t forget. The text of the Constitution and Bill of Rights are posted online, can be borrowed, in book form with commentaries, from the public library, or can be purchased. It’s a good investment. Booklets containing the text and amendments can sometimes be obtained free of charge from nonprofit organizations.

Parents of Deaf children, Deaf members of locally elected Deaf school boards, teachers of the Deaf, Deaf advocates, and grassroots Deaf community members should recognize that we’re responsible for ourselves and our fellow Deaf citizens. Empowerment begins with education. We need to teach each other and educate the uneducated about why understanding our Constitutional rights is crucially important, and a survival skill we all need to know.

If we believe that our rights have been violated, do we understand what those rights are? Do we understand what the laws are?

Shouldn’t we?”

Subscribe: www.deaflife.com  

-Jason “JT” Tozier is a former Gallaudet University graduate student living in Washington, D.C; He was a scholarship recipient for ASL/Deaf Studies with emphasis in Cultural Studies at Gallaudet.

He is Chair of Deaf Political Action Committee—District of Columbia Chapter, Chair of National Deaf Consumers United, Director for We the Deaf People, Inc.’s District of Columbia Chapter, member of National Deaf Task Force on Police and Emergency Services, and Founder of Deaf Access Justice.

In his spare time, he loves to play cribbage and chess, reading books, lecturing, and blogging.

Laurent Clerc: United Nations Human Rights Prize

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70 years ago on December 10th, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was brought up with the idea to recognize that as humans we adopt equal rights, freedom, and pursuit of happiness.

I just read the winners for 2018 United Nations Human Rights Prize who deserve an award. From the United Nations website writes:

The United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights is an honorary award given to individuals and organizations in recognition of outstanding achievement in human rights.

In the past, United Nations Human Rights had given to someone who passed away such as Eleanor Roosevelt. Why not Laurent Clerc? He contributed to Deaf community in the heart of human rights. Establishing the first American Deaf School in Hartford, Connecticut. For next 50 years, the school had trained many Deaf students in the field of educators to teach Deaf pupils to be successful. Laurent Clerc’s spirit embodies the self-determination of the newly Deaf space; his thoughts are still considered the strongest influence in Deaf people’s bodies, minds, and spirits.

Laurent Clerc’s quote:

“A knowledge of history is extremely useful; it lays before our eyes the great picture of the generations that have preceded us; and in relating the events which passed in their time…it lays before us the precepts of the wise…of all ages…”

There was no “rehabilitation” program or education for Deaf students. Laurent Clerc predicted the importance for future of the Deaf citizens to preserve and perpetuate in the language and culture, protecting and promoting ASL. French influence upon American Sign Language (ASL) and intellectual life of the Deaf has become quite pronounced as the result of the contact between Deaf people to seek for higher education. Not only in America, but influenced Canada as well, too.

Last September 2018, United Nations recognized its first International Day of Sign Languages, and it is a huge step. There was more than 70 million Deaf people living world wide, according to the World Federation of the Deaf, the higher education is pretty difficult to grasp, only two percent out of 70 million Deaf people have the human right access to a formal education.

Since Laurent Clerc’s arrival in America, his mission has been to provide quality individualized education honoring the talents of Deaf students, making sure they were given the highest opportunities to acquire academic skills necessary for success.

Making sure the long journey, the dark moments of doubts and struggles, going through series of emotional, mental and physical—and the feeling in a life time would end up being over, until Laurent Clerc’s arrival made sure it was never over. It was very much part of human right. Being the state of Deaf is a human right in the highest form of freedom.

Honestly, I do think Mr. Laurent Clerc deserve United Nations Human Rights Prize, the largest honour of lifetime work. What do you think?

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-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

References:

https://usdeafhistory.com/tag/laurent-clerc/

https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/news/dspd/international-day-sign-languages.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Prize_in_the_Field_of_Human_Rights