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.

 

 

 

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A Response from the Chair of Canadian Hearing Society Board

11707799_948890385133805_8342857237519442975_nAround 8 PM this evening, I got an e-mail from the chair of the board for Canadian Hearing Society [CHS], Mr. Timothy Andrade himself including a duplicate of a document or an e-mail with two board members, Mark Wafer and Mary Lau-Brennan after I wrote an open letter to the CHS dated July 4, 2015. Keep in mind that the e-mail is very short-lived which means an insult to the Deaf community. The e-mail written through wireless smart phone by Timothy below:

July 9, 2015. 7:55 PM.

Hello Jason,

This is a quick note to thank you for taking the time to write and share your concerns with us. As chair, I have the utmost confidence in the wisdom and decision of our board. Best wishes for a great summer!

Sincerely,

Timothy Andrade

My response for Timothy as well as Mark and Mary Lau,

Dear Mr. Timothy Andrade,

The Deaf community, and there is one, needs to meet and vote no confidence for yourself to be removed from the board. As I have the utmost confidence in the wisdom that it is painful to protest CHS. I believe that is, but it is a pain Deaf people should not complain, a suffering they must learn to sociologize the more they engage in it. Hearing community like yourself shall set Deaf people up to be free of this necessary pain, so Deaf community need to turn against the oppression and question why it is practiced in the decision of the board. It is not an easy route—your wisdom meets the perfect criteria as written below:

Those who are already wise no longer love wisdom–whether they are gods or men. Similarly, those whose own ignorance has made them bad, rotten, evil, do not strive for wisdom either. For no evil or ignorant person ever strives for wisdom. What remains are those who suffer from ignorance, but still retain some sense and understanding. They are conscious of knowing what they don’t know.” -Socrates in Plato’s Lysis, 218b, fourth century B.C.

Deeply influenced by Socrates, I believe that once each person gained sufficient knowledge, he or she would become committed to excellence in it. CHS board did not understand the nature of sensitivity in Deaf community that the CEO does not excel in ASL, Deaf Culture nor Deafhood framework, so the CEO would excel itself in it. To do so is very much part of human nature to excel in what CHS knows and posses.

I still believe that it is time to protest against the flawed due process by CHS board and I believe that it is what the protest is all about, and it has two demands—not to hire Deaf-centered CEO and the oppression to resume afresh after future generations.

The ignorance does not meet the highest trait of education, which is a noun form for “to educate”, meaning to train someone for whatever it is. After all, it is board-centered, not community-centered. As an activist demanding for Deaf-centered CEO, again, I have the utmost confidence in the wisdom and the decision of the Deaf community. All the board members CC’d in the e-mail are hearing and one of them is proclaimed to be disability expert does not understand the full capacity of Deafhood framework. How come Deaf board members are not CC’d in the letter? Please educate yourself more and minimize your ignorance.

Sincerely,

Jason Tozier

CC: Timothy Andrade. Mary-Lu Brennan. David Hass. Janice Taylor. Stephanus Greeff. Linda Campbell. Roger Carver. Diane Gregoris. Arista Hass. Gerard Kennedy. Catherine MacKinnon. Ethan Poskanzer. Rohan Smith. Mark Wafer.

Is It Right Time To Be An American in Deaf Community?

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A proud owner of this art!

Good morning! So, today is America’s 239th birthday. I shed a tear right now in my eyes. Deaf people today are still unemployed and underemployed, the worst minority group of all around 80%. In the same land of America created a learning environment that would grow into discrimination each day. Deaf people were taught to depend on their hearing relatives, friends, or neighbors because they heard information firsthand and that Deaf people always get it secondhand. It would be nice if America develop Audism in the list of discrimination, you know when people learn how to recognize common types of discrimination, retaliation, and harassment—and what to do if they become survivors. Well, Deaf people are the biggest survivors of all—it is a proven fact.

There are many stories that Deaf people suffer bullying, retaliation, threats, and other factors in the workplace today. How come the employment did not follow the policy? It is important to understand that the organizing principle of power wherein culture can be studied through technologies of power—not progress, not education, not conflict, not struggle, and not resistance.

For someone who have the great pride of being an American, power is a strategy attributable to functions, neither economy nor politics. Power creates truth, and this truth produces a function of power. Does America teach the need to heal from the traumas of living in less than a just, sacred and sustainable country and to resist the further destruction of Deaf community? Legal protection for the Deaf people is not without precedent. The unemployed and underemployed on Deaf people will have only the most marginal of impacts on hiring them—in reality, any company worth its salt will never make any job offer until all references and decisions are thoroughly completed and verified.

By that point, the likelihood is very high that the being Deaf will have come to light anyway—at that stage, and depending on what the employment involves then it is judgmental call. It is time to address the question no one asks as means to poke holes in critical attitudes towards Deaf people. Despite the obvious existence of negative portrayals of Deaf people in high regard, it is better to think that way that Deaf people are definitely changing for the better. Varying ideas of Deaf-owned businesses are coming into consideration, more than anything.

Although, I experience the most severe bullying in the name of the book, there are times that I struggle as an American. Yet, I celebrate America’s birthday for three reasons today: Bill of Rights, the intersection of social justice, and diplomacy of Deafhood framework. The fireworks are in the order. Happy birthday, America and American Sign Language, too!

-JT

Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier

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