The Unreal and Real: Stories From Deafhood Journey

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Four years ago the day before today, we were selected to give a play called The Deafhood Monologues written by Ella Mae Lentz held at Atlas Performing Arts Center, one of the oldest theaters in District of Columbia that night. It was special for all of us. I was very proud to be part of the cast—despite that I am from Portland, Oregon.

That night was truly special. I was a product of Tucker-Maxon Oral School in Portland, Oregon—every oral school for the Deaf proudly proclaims that it teaches its students how to speak. Every such school proudly advertises that it does not teach sign language, nor do its students use it. Every residential oral school has traditionally had a clandestine signing subculture.

It is far more difficult for this to occur in day schools, where students are shuttled between their families and school, which is why Alexander Graham Bell thought they were the best solution to the problem of educating Deaf students. His ideal was schools where there would be a single Deaf student in the midst of the hearing majority.

It goes without saying that he never considered Deaf children’s linguistic, social, or cognitive needs. Much less than their feelings.

Denial is the first law of healing. It is the first practical step toward getting rid of your mind the mistaken beliefs of a lifetime. The word, “deny” means to “declare not to be true that that appears true.” It is important that the first law of healing, the best way to get rid of negative beliefs from your mind and rid of toxic that eats up your body. Deaf community was taught to use self-hate when growing up in a society that is in a great deal of denial.

Self-hate is a disease and the truth is that the disease is that it is also self-inflicted. Deaf people inflict their own diseases upon themselves by their fears, resentments, hate, and belittlement. Self-hate in the Deaf community is probably the number one in the circle that it carry a gross injustice, which destroys our community, sabotages democracy and it is linked to many of our social problems.

The Deafhood Monologues changed my life. Self-hate is a form of darkness that flees in the presence of light and enlightenment. The Deafhood Monologues gathers up in a circle and used ASL as a breakthrough to stop politically correct society that Deaf people should not be oppressed.

It was part of healing for The Deafhood Monologues cast how to break trough self-hate from their childhood before discovering their true Deaf identity.

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-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

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Cochlear Implants: A Legacy of Lies

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Speaking of Audism in a hospital I had endured back last February 2013, it is something that it cannot be cured. That doctor who asked me if I want a cochlear implant during my heart attack stage tried to lock me up in a cage like I need to act like hearing person. Any doctors in that day who believes in witch doctoring along with medical doctoring should not be wandering outside on her own. During my two days there, I thrived and survived, I was one of those patients of their “think-hearing” mode through doctors’ orders that they should be on endangered list. Even though I had an interpreter during the whole time, it is one thing for a doctor to subscribe to believability as a sort of death wish to make Deaf patients act and think like hearing.  It is something else that that doctor tried to make me suffer for my own delusions.

Cochlear implant is a mad fraud. The truth is that what has distinguished this smooth talking and congenial tool is that the cochlear implant companies have a plan to make Deaf patients even children suffer the worst of all.  Their plan is to make a dream and Deaf children getting their nightmares. It leads with a lie—namely to control money by spending money and false myths—the companies’ plan is clearly about lack of insecurity, not only that but making Deaf people suffer and work longer before receiving curtailed benefits, threatening their lives not to act like Deaf person anymore instead to invest more into “hearing” mode. That doctor opened my floodgates to understand and protect future Deaf children to the rapacious cochlear implant companies to feed the sharks with money to make profit.

Are those cochlear implant companies too busy to challenge the truth and also too fearful of trying to defend their lies and plutocratic values to the likes of their own theories? The cochlear implant companies also sets up complicated relations between belonging and alienation, identity and identification, subjectivation, and subjectification inside the hospitals. Deaf people’s everyday lives are articulated by and with culture. It needs to investigate how Deaf people are empowered and disempowered by the particular structures and forces that organize their everyday lives in many ways, and how their lives are also articulated to and is strongly influenced by economic, social, cultural and course, political power. Audism is at best to describe the mood there.

Perhaps the single greatest camera technique occurs at the culmination of each episode. Reversing the famed Hitchcock’s God’s Eye Shot, the camera shoots from low to high, pulling slowly up and away from the characters so that a panorama of the entire street, then the entire city, can be seen. As the street becomes visible, the viewer sees a larger area of devastation and some kind of infestation. The camera pulls away further, suggesting a view of human live as very small. If the God’s Eye Shot represents as unseen worldly omnipotent vantage point, then the inverse of this shot suggest something more sinister. The camera angle suggests a godless state, spiritual hopelessness, and no omnipresence to suggest hope for the future.

Comfort and complacency juxtaposes with poverty, myth and survival. I was placed in a hospital, emerging from a heart attack, to face a new apocalyptic reality if I receive cochlear implant. The same hospital I stayed at, it was supposed to be a place for health and healing, is now a repository for genocide to wipe Deaf people out. Society no longer responds to the needs of its members. The hospital, like society is now deserted.  The only signs of “life” emerge from a desperately quarantined room with an ominous warning on the door: “DO not open! Deaf person inside!”—I watched in disbelief and fear as the door heaves forward, opening slightly. I am not a child anymore!

Did I get a chance to emerge from the freedom accompanied by an unearthly cacophony of calling moans of the doctors? My experience had been physically and metaphorically allowed me to close my eyes to the realities of horrors in civil society. Now, in a frail human state of emotional disorientation, and physical weakness from heart attack, I refuse to become an unwitting candidate in a living nightmare for cochlear implant. I stay with Deaf identity now and forever. I shall die Deaf. I rather pick heart attack over forcing to get a cochlear implant anytime. Now this is my second time I suffered heart attack. Most recent: November 1st, 2013. This time, they did not ask me if I wanted a cochlear implant. Smart move!

-JT

Copyright © 2014 Jason Tozier

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

Media Portrayal of Deaf Identity Theft

ImageThe Missing Jigsaw Pieces by David Call

For me to write this the topic of Deaf Identity theft draws an immediate mental connection with the commercial campaign Alexander Graham Bell Association of the Deaf (AGBAD), dealing with the misappropriation of ASL by Deaf individuals posing as the true owners and using them for their communication.

The advertisements case the event in very comedic light, simultaneously giving weight to and downplaying the severity of their actions. The result is a memorable ad but a lukewarm message in that it is ultimately fails to create any action on the parts of the Deaf people needing protection. This mirrors the stance taken, if any, on the part of the local and national media.

Dismissing ASL on the topic are often so sensational that they remove the watcher from the possibly of it ever happening to them. Moreover, the ability to detect and prevent Deaf Identity is advertised everywhere in newspapers, billboards, etc as mostly passive-aggressive precaution to be taken care of by second parties. Overall, the media causes consumers to take less precaution with Deaf Identity than the ASL or crime merits.

Deaf identity theft is not limited to any human fraud. The AGBAD regards it as being anytime for degrading ASL, it is an punishment for the organization to do that toward Deaf people who have their own identity. We the Deaf people have been the survivors of Deaf identity theft. The emotional impact is similar to the survivors of identity theft. With it leaving such a strong aftertaste of disdainment one would think that it would get the same media coverage and respect Audism but this is not often the case.

Because AGBAD and its sister corporations have so many safeguards against Deaf Identity theft, it seems that Deaf identity at the local level often goes unreported in the states and local news. Often, when a Deaf baby is forced to change the way to learn how to “forget that they are deaf,” the corporations will contact the media to verify that they are now hearing something. Also, the corporations have put in place safeguards in which they refund misappropriated assets. People who are stealing Deaf identities often do not have to pay back and this causes a loss to the Deaf community as well. The prevalence of these instances would cause worry to the Deaf individuals who believe that their assets are safe with their lives in which they trust themselves.

Is it OK for AGBAD to rob Deaf people of their identity? No publicity is made on either the state or local level and it takes Deaf people years and years to rebuild their lives as Deaf people. The part of this episode could be that individuals are dishonest in seeking to take advantage of the system that allows feigning Deaf identity theft when actuality they make deals and try to reclaim money reimbursement for what they have spent themselves. The media has slowed its facts against Deaf identity theft considerably and this is in part due to more stringent safe guards and in part due to such a high prevalence of each instance that they only really give coverage to survivors that they deem worth mentioning. Deaf identity theft is hardly ever mentioned unless it is a considerable amount of money. The safeguards now in place has caused a considerable increase of the amount of money stolen due to Deaf identity theft.

This type of Deaf identity theft in the media generally does not have the same weight as those in which money is involved due to the non-financial gains of praise and acclaim.

Please visit David Call’s website: http://www.eyehandstudio.com

-JT

Copyright © Jason Tozier

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