How Deaf People Changed Leonardo da Vinci’s Life

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I am glad to see H3 World TV, a Deaf signing centric news, to do a story about Leonardo da Vinci on December 18, 2019, under SportsDeaf Winter: Italy-Day 6. You should watch the video with the YouTube link below.

The statue of Leonardo is beautiful. The story was about Leonardo da Vinci holds a high and true loyalty with Deaf people. The definition of truth is being loyal, something that is real, factually correct, accurate or provable. Leonardo knew that Deaf people’s eyes were masterminding an invisible gate. Leonardo da Vinci was one of the greatest thinkers in humankind.

September 2013: My brother and I grabbed this opportunity to visit Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex on the Flight of Birds at National Air & Space Museum inside Wright Brothers Gallery.

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October 2015: I was honoured to give a lecture: Composition in Values: The Art and Deaf Studies of Leonardo da Vinci at Gallaudet University where we discussed how much his work was influenced by Deaf presence.

He knew that Deaf presence would become a creative biography for one of the greatest Renaissance artists, thinkers, and inventors, to challenge the status quo of culture and history how Deaf people would surround around Leonardo da Vinci’s presence to recognize the beauty of human nature.

The quote by Leonardo: “The human being, creature of eyes, needs the image.” 

The book, Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson, the New York Times had rated this book as the national bestseller for a good run and I enjoyed reading that book along with other books like Math and the Mona Lisa and How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci. His greatness influenced critical thinkers around the world among us. It is forever grateful. Although, it is too bad that Walter Isaacson did not write about how important Deaf people were in Leonardo’s life.

In 2004, while taking an Art History class for a community college, I grabbed an opportunity to write 15-page essay about Leonardo da Vinci’s artworks, and learned that Leonardo had greatest students, one of them happened to be Deaf for one of the masterpieces, The Virgin of the Rocks, known as Madonna of the Rocks in which Mary’s right hand is seen to represent the manual letter L; the angel’s hand is the letter D; and the baby Jesus’s hand, the letter V.

Leonardo believed in his two Deaf apprentices to use the eyes because he knew that their eyes are beyond powerful than nothing can measure the perception so powerful that cannot be overlooked.

At the same time, Leonardo writes in his personal notebooks: “Do you not see how many and how varied the actions which are performed by men alone are?”

For Deaf people, seeing something understanding.

The attachment of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting–Leonardo, the Renaissance painter, had observed sign language by one of his students, Ambrosio de Predis, the son of Christoforo de Predis (1440-1486), a Deaf artist from Milan. Leonardo was so marvelled that he painted his initials by using the letters from the manual alphabet, LDV–see the circled hands in this portrait to honour his own experiences with sign language and his collaboration with the users of sign language.

This work of Leonardo da Vinci is indeed one of the most amazing stories ever told.

Not only that, Leonardo da Vinci being the first Renaissance artist who imitates sign language in one of his paintings, and his influence on Raphael is also realized in his painting, School of Athens, in which sign language is used and learn from the expressivity of the Deaf.

As I learned about the School of Athens in the same art history class above and learned the Golden Ratio rule, I have been inspired to do the more serious reading and research how much Deaf people contributed to the world, especially during Leonardo da Vinci’s time only years later. How come the art world does not discuss enough how much Deaf people contributed to Leonardo da Vinci’s works that will never be at that moment?

What was the intent beneath the inconsistencies in the character of Deaf people? What would be Leonardo da Vinci’s motivation to simply reveal his own thoughts through the PEOPLE of the EYE? Respect? Stopping the practice of satire, a mockery of people of the eye?

Deaf people’s eyes will never be challenged, and society continues to stigmatize Deaf people as undeniable examples of human agency, complicity, self-glorifying in society.

At that very moment, Leonardo knew that Deaf people had been the walking, signing, living, and breathing definition of a character. It is indeed a powerful voice of reason.

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-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

Reference:

Harry Laughlin: Sterilize Deaf People!

After I learned that today on December 2nd where Harry Laughlin, a eugenicist published the most damaging paper in 1922 that went ahead and sterilizes Deaf people against their will.

Why Registry of the Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) Allow Language Hegemony?

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Hearing privileges is very serious topic in Deaf community. The world is heavily hearing population. There are hearing people who has been mocking Deaf people down their necks and distinguish between hearing and Deaf when it concerns the history, culture, and politics of “hearing” anywhere in the world. Examining the facts might help you realize there is no apples-to-apples comparison and there is no straw that will break the camel’s back and that implementing hearing privileges is unacceptable.

In a society in which hearing people with power, for example, a finalist to be CEO for Registry of the Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), is encouraging “hearing privileges”–without any knowledge of ASL, Deaf culture, and what it is to understand Deaf-centric philosophy. Do Deaf people really have to accept their growing cultural decrease because whether it comes to the sense of social Darwinism that is being promoted by ignorance?

The root of RID since it has founded in 1964, is to understand and respect that Deaf people comes FIRST. When RID CEO search, one of the finalist, a hearing finalist, it is the biggest mistake of all—-to oppress Deaf people. It is unconstitutional, shaming, humiliation, and persecution-oriented hearing privilege control list below Deaf people’s intelligence and experience. Education, standards, excellence? Hmm.

RID Search Committee is immature to allow the hearing privilege to continue chipping away at Deaf people’s most cherished legal protections and freedoms that Deaf people once had—all in the name of “pursuit of happiness” at RID. Whatever it means. It is clear that RID are devolving into large segment of allowing language hegemony in Deaf community that has no business having the power to undermine Deaf people for any reason because they simply lack discipline, common sense, and the ability to realize how other areas of their life impact their behaviors.

RID has nothing to address because it would be an admission along with a problem to face with Audism. They operate behind secret interpretations. You have just got to love hearing privileges what RID is all about today. Once Deaf people engineer a revolution to challenge oppressive tactics, people with hearing privileges will always leave the most vulnerable Deaf people unprotected, so they can undermine them.

That is how RID is justified. Again, when a hearing finalist for  RID CEO, Deaf people cannot “defend” themselves, heavily regulate and restrict them in all means. Shakespeare once wrote, “Brevity is the soul of wit”–thus a hearing finalist with ZERO knowledge about ASL, how interpreting world works, how ASL affect Deaf community each day, does not pay attention and time to listen.

Something is wrong with the picture. One of two finalists for RID CEO who is Deaf who holds Ph.D, and Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI), truly stands for which is liberty and justice for all and history has taught us that any promise of security and prosperity from powerful hearing privileges ends the same way: suffer and humiliation. This is the real epidemic out there that needs to be addressed.

Is that why RID is being the “New Invisible Hand?”

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There are series of questions that needs to be addressed. What does it mean to be “hearing”? Are “hearing” people considerably different from us? Do they learn how to be “hearing?” Or do they know they are named “hearing?” How different are the Deaf from “hearing” people? What are criteria of being “hearing?” What is a radically new understanding of what it means to be “hearing?” Deaf people are indeed different!

RID allows a hearing person with zero knowledge of Deaf life is one of the greatest frauds ever perpetrated against Deaf people because it is based on fiction, myth, and false assumptions. This is clearly unconstitutional and vindictive punishment.

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

Why Should Deaf People ‘Fall’ for Disability Scholarships?

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‘Do Deaf people view as Disability?’ written by Harlan Lane, “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.” The majority of Deaf people I know do not view themselves as disability. Deaf people have their daily calendar. It was one of the greatest ideology Deaf people deals with the stigma.

“During the Middle Ages, madness and other conditions were thought to be caused by demons. They were also thought to be part of the natural order, especially during and in the fallout of the Plague, which wrought impairments throughout the general population.”

“The European Enlightenment’s emphases on knowledge derived from reason and on the value of natural science to human progress helped spawn the birth of institutions and associated knowledge systems that observed and categorized human beings; among these, the ones significant to the development of today’s concepts of disability were asylums, clinics, and prisons.”- Braddock, David, and Susan Parrish, An Institutional History of Disability, in Handbook of Disability Studies, ed. Gary Albrecht, Katherine Seelman, and Michael Bury (Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 2001)

Why are Deaf people still viewed as demons and prisoners of the hearing colonization? Where is their greatest human right as Deaf people and their pursuit of happiness? It is a process in the healthy Deaf mind. The good news is, Deaf people will continue to discover the root causes of happy thinking heavily practiced and projected through Deafhood framework. The bad news is, the society continues to label Deaf people as disability will not able to see those “root causes.”

When Deaf people receive scholarships or awards directly from Disability organizations, they are quickly judged without conscious thought from the society. Some say it is invisible. Some say it is good thing. Some say it is a bad thing. Some say it is denial. Some is unconscious. But, within certain demographics it has overwhelmed the old politics, and there are plenty of Deaf people in this or that minority culture for whom the old-fashioned hearing politics is more relevant.

For most people of any group, including minority communities, the specifically sociological issues are a small proportion of the actually important yet it is invisible affecting Deaf people everywhere. The Disability framework about Deaf people should be pretty much extinct by now. In that sense, Deaf-centered view is quite welcoming to anyone Deaf. Is it always true? Language, communication, and deficit thinking exists in the term of denial. The reason Disability framework continues to perceive Deaf people so often wrong in that the literature has successfully evolved the status quo to guide oppressors to speculate whatever it is.

Good example: There are some people who actually think the world is flat today. What about the stars revolve around the earth to determine fate and future?

To be Deaf-centered thinking, (not a word to think “disability”) is something that begins with us. It begins in our hearts, in that place that is never separate from the living heart of ours. Between right and wrong, between night and day, and between matter and spirit.

Deaf communities around the world for so long that they have defined themselves in opposition too how the disability framework has viewed Deaf people. Deaf people have defined themselves, and had been defined—and that is the most important thing. It is important not to accept scholarships or awards from disability organizations.

 

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It takes one scholar to recognize another one. I’d like to share my short personal story about scholarships. I was offered several scholarships from disability organizations and groups in the past, and I had to turn them down because I did not feel right about how the society views Deaf people as disability.

Deaf people are being drawn away from the chain of ignorance that the state of being Deaf imposes. Why do Deaf people have to suffer social bias? The educational structure of the Deaf has faced many hardships in the form of disability framework—often invisible. Simply associating Deaf people, as disability is not fair or accurate, as disability is not attributed to a cultural identity.

When I received full scholarship from ASL/Deaf Studies graduate program at Gallaudet University, I felt right. At least I hope I was right. The disability framework is the basic ingredient of American intellectual history. From the eye gaze, the Deaf people build a community that relies ASL for information, knowledge, and communication. Along with the American stories and journeys, we the Deaf people ought to give our community identity and meaning away from disability framework. Receiving scholarships or awards from Deaf-centered organizations would make all the difference.

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-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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