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Tag Archives: DPN

Rightful Presence in Justice: Challenging ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620)

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I am writing this out of my great concern to respond what Congress wants to pass so-called The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Education and Reform Act of 2017 [H.R. 620] this coming Thursday, September 14th. From the moment of its passage in 1990, it has quickly reached an unprecedented global scope, overwhelming the human rights formed by Deaf people because of Deaf President Now (DPN) in 1988 to the waves of marginalized people from shore to shore in America upheavals of earlier decades.

ADA became important for everyone including Deaf people and Disabled people. The doors were open. They were left out for generations. It reminds me of a movie called Music Within based on a true story. Richard Pimentel who lost his hearing during war in Vietnam then comes home and became oppressed after that then he became a disability rights advocate. One scene where he and his friend in a wheelchair went into a restaurant in Portland, Oregon and the waitress asked them to leave because they were not “standard” people according to a law called “Ugly Laws” so controversial that made people hate people who had disabilities.

The law continued to practice for almost 100 years from late 1860s until 1970s– several American cities followed the law where people were “unsightly” or “unseemly” to appear in public then it was removed from the law books. ADA of 1990 recognized the growing pain of ugly laws and gave those people with disabilities to have rights. No more hatred. Sandra Fredman in her book, Discrimination Law in 2011, writes:

Individuals with disabilities are a discrete and insular minority who have been faced with restrictions and limitations, subjected to a history of purposeful unequal treatment, and relegated to a position of political powerlessness in our society, based on characteristics that are beyond the control of such individuals and resulting from stereotypic assumptions not truly indicative of the individual ability of such individuals to participate in, and contribute to, society.

Tyler Ray, Americans Civil Liberties Union [ACLU] Washington Legislative Office and Vania Leveille, Senior Legislative Counsel writes on September 6, 2017:

H.R. 620 would completely change the way in which a business is required to comply with the ADA. Instead of requiring that a business comply proactively, the bill would place the burden on the individual who is being denied access. This bill proposes that after an individual with a disability is denied she must first notify the business owner, with exacting specificity, that her civil rights were violated, and then wait for six months to see if the business will make “substantial progress” toward access, before going to a court to order compliance. 

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The key word: “would place the burden on the individual who is being denied access”—isn’t that the same thing that applies to so-called Ugly Laws? The civil rights would be violated in the highest sense of oppression. The disabled people are at a higher risk of rejecting in a bias-motivated attitude. Why should Deaf people and disabled people suffer and deal with Eighth Amendment “nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” in the United States Constitution?

As bad as Congress brought the idea about wanting to pass unlawful H.R. 620, we must remind ourselves that the old-school politicians have since the last removal of Ugly Law in 1970s, at least moved in the direction of making strongest effort possible, through the eyes of public policy, to reduce inequality for Deaf and disabled people. We must also be aware of 1964 Civil Rights Act, and ADA that has carried the legacy in our society to keep and protect the rights of all our citizens. No matter what the cost is. The H.R. 620 is unconstitutional and inhumane!

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

Fredman, Sandra (2011). Discrimination Law [2nd ed.]. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 96.

https://www.aclu.org/blog/disability-rights/congress-wants-change-americans-disabilities-act-and-undermine-civil-rights

 

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At The Rim: Here Comes the Rimshot

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This post is to honor the author of At The Rim for your leisure. You know, being colonized and deny the journey of your own Deafhood, the same term before your eyes, is your last hiccup that recognizes your weakness to embrace Deaf identity.

Dude, the 1988 greatest story, has forever radicalized the original root of Deaf culture. Why do you think Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet wanted to create college for whom? Did the same Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet have a vision for hearing people? That was not his vision.

My fellow radicals who were supposed to pass on the torch of experience and insights to a new generation just were not there.”-Saul Alinksy

Tick tock. You need to work on your attitude more often. There is a word that might remind you would want to learn “self-hate” and that is where it begins. It does not mean it hates hearing. Do you hate Deaf? There was no such thing as “hearing hate” as you claimed. It is the bed of personal growth. Look at us, Deaf to Deaf!

As the author of this post, I do not hate hearing either. I come from hearing family. It is how hearing system work, it starts with the community accountability. Imagine this, what if there was none of stories about it in 1988 that never existed? What would it looks like today? Come on, history is for reason, born for America values in Deaf Education, and hold the key strong! Forget all the flat liners.

All the DPN activists had the same cause to protest as all of them have the constitutional rights, First Amendment, “or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” All of DPN had not committed any criminal incidents as you claimed. The only picture I once saw in a book about DPN itself where the bus tires were slashed, it is only misdemeanor.

Please take a look at other universities, pardon me, hearing universities, there were plenty of riots and done real criminal damage, it is huge difference what DPN was all about. Stop living in hearing mind.

It was only a temporary. Look at Jackson Police Open Fire on Protestors from website, “killing 2 students and leaving 12 injured. Many more sustained minor injuries from broken glass in the incident, wherein 30 seconds of gunfire and 140 shotgun rounds left every window along one city street shattered.” It was 1970. Mississippi.

As I checked last time, there were no injuries in 1988. DC lights flocked overnight in good faith.

No more than half hour drive depending on traffic, you would see University of Maryland in College Park, in 2010, 28 arrests, as for DPN, zero arrests, no? Unless I am mistaken. Two years later, University of Kentucky had won a basketball game against archrival, University of Louisville; there were a lot of riots and fires. None of them are like Gallaudet. There was no such thing as riot as you claimed.

The final note: DPN was a peaceful rally. Riot and rally are much different.

You are still living in the past. Accept the fact that Deaf people won. It is simple. You are correct that it is 2017 because the last time I checked, the president is still Deaf. Sorry to ruin your day but your hearing superiors don’t work well in here.

Dude. I am telling you that today Gallaudet University, President Bobbi Cordano has changed the leadership and make it more like Deaf-centered as possible, it is not full-ride centered yet, but it is going in the right direction.

Would people also think it is time to have Gallaudet University, Deaf-centered, Deaf-controlled and Deaf-oriented one day in the future? It may be possible. [I support that idea, myself.] I am sorry that you are being colonized and hope you will realize that you would need to heal your pain.

Let your extremism go. Being Deaf mind is the center of your heart. The heart is very precious and they control your destiny. Do not wait too long. The Deaf Mind I possess is not extremism. It is progressivePlease visit this page in 2013, Mirror, Who is the Fairest?

https://audismnegatsurdi.com/2013/06/16/mirror-who-is-the-fairest/

American values are the most beautiful and complex tools of all time, at the same time, you need to realize by insulting American values on an American soil, it is nothing greater than Gallaudet University. You know, “Make Gallaudet Great” in ’88. The same principles we recognize the mystic flying birds, today is 2017 and the beauty of Gallaudet’s spirits are evolving.

The making of DPN made the wave of social movements, from civil rights to the rights of “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Deaf students had every right to petition the Government for all grievances. It does not mean they are rioters again as you claimed. Remember, it is not too late to begin your Deafhood journey that you will always grateful for in the long run.

That’s the beauty of life! Self-hate by being Deaf is not going to work anywhere. My blog is all about tough love. Also, my blog is not to be kicked around. When I visited Seattle to attend Paddy Ladd’s presentation at University of Washington in 2012, it was a method to see the love to embrace state of being Deaf and that is where you need to see the rim shot.

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At your last hiccup.

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2013/01/biggest-college-campus-riots-in-history/kentucky-students-flood-lexington-streets-in-celeb

https://attherimmm.blogspot.com/2017/03/deaf-v-deaf.html

https://audismnegatsurdi.com/2017/03/22/powerful-diversion-in-deaf-community/

https://audismnegatsurdi.com/2013/06/16/mirror-who-is-the-fairest/

 

 

My 1988 Story in ASL

1988: The World in Unknown Journey

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1988 was one of the most remarkable years of the 20th century for Deaf community. All across the world, Deaf people were signing in American Sign Language (ASL), filled the streets and took up arms to arms in a way to win their freedom.

Why was it special that year? Deaf President Now (DPN). I was 14 years old, struggling my journey as the state of being Deaf in Eighth grade at a hearing school, getting in fistfights with people who were bullying me and made fun of my condition as Deaf. It was awful that year. I even got kicked out of school three days before school ends for the summer. Hearing people made nasty comments on my yearbook.

I had no idea about Gallaudet University or DPN at all. No news. Deaf program at Wy’East Junior High never talked anything about DPN. They thought it was not important to discuss about it and made sure I do not belong to Deaf community. The hearing world I was forced to live in, my hearing teacher who ran Deaf program even interpreters had campaigned against DPN by promising a pack of lies to fool Deaf students including myself in the classroom. Hearing teachers are sound-oriented. I was not. That is why I did not bond very well with any of them. Interpreters betrayed me at times, too!

It was all about blunt political agenda. I did not know anything about DPN until at least 19 or 20 years old and did not really become interested to understand why it was important to know about DPN. I had no motivation. I wonder why. Finally, around in my 30s, I grabbed a book called Deaf President Now!: The 1988 Revolution at Gallaudet University by John B. Christiansen and Sharon N. Barnartt and realized it was a game-changer. My views about Gallaudet University have changed.

Then I purchased a book; The Week the World Heard Gallaudet authored by Jack Gannon and found some interesting pictures including my mentor, Carl Schroeder who gave an important speech for students that evening. It is like a game, Jenga in which players attempt to remove blocks from a tall tower without causing the tower to collapse.

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To me, DPN was very much like that tower. Is that not a game-changer?

In 2012, I got to meet one of the leaders for DPN and had good talk about how much Carl influenced the leader. 25 years later after the DPN, I grabbed the golden opportunity to attend DPN 25th Anniversary at Gallaudet University where I attended most of the events: From Civil Rights to Human Rights, DPN Student Leaders, Comparative Civil Rights Panel, History of Women at Gallaudet and DPN, and Our Time: The Legacy of the 20th Century.

I was blown away. At the same time, I was saddened not to know anything about it or why I was not part of Deaf community that time. It was the same year that really made my life harder. Five months after DPN, I got invited to attend a camp called Camp Taloali located in Stayton, Oregon, about an hour drive from Portland —my very first Deaf camp and last as well, too. It was supposed to be filled with fun, excitement, adventure, challenge, friendship, memories and much more than has been stated in camp’s goals. It was supposed to be my Deafhood journey. It was supposed to empower my own Deaf identity. It was supposed to be a Deaf-centric camp as far as I can remember. I could be wrong.

Camp Taloali is now Youth Leadership Camp (YLC) today.

It has ended up with worst guidance on my journey forever. I remember traveling down in my father’s car going on a road trip for Camp Taloali from a small town in Washington State. The length of the distance was no more than one hour and 45 minutes, maybe two hours unless stop at mini stores for refreshments. The adventure has begun. There was a tall man with gray hair sporting mustache with a hat and he was a fast signer. I never had seen that fast before, especially from a Deaf man. The tall man was a camp director welcoming me to the camp with a warm hospitality.

Then the camp director had assigned me to a cabin to sleep for next two weeks. I was walking down to the cabin and got greeted with the camp counselor that became a bully. For the next couple of days, it has become my dark adventure wondering why my camp counselor was a mean-spirited attacking, belittling, and condescending in every sense of word. I apologize for forgetting his name, but I do remember the look.

I realized that I was bullied severely because I was mainstreamed. One day, there was a horseback riding lesson for the campers, learning how to ride and appreciate horses for their powerful shift in camper’s sense of normalcy. The lessons were done for the day, my fellow campers (they were all from Deaf schools) instructed me to stand back of the horse where a camper snapped the horse causing to kick into my stomach. The campers actually laughed for their ego-bruising task. My own camp counselor even laughed and supported them. I was in shock. It could have killed me right there on the spot. It had actually happened.

My camp counselor was drinking on duty even sporting a bottle of whiskey in the cabin where I slept. I could not understand. I tried to explain to the camp director but laughed at me and told me to get lost. I protested and got punished and made me to sit in the corner during lunchtime front of all the campers, camp counselors, and the camp director. I remember the feeling of being humiliated more than anything.

The worst part is that few hours later, I got out of a swimming pool and took shower, then realized that my basic necessities were missing: a towel and my underwear. There was nothing else to cover it up then saw my underwear was on the flagpole and became upset about it and decided to climb all the way to get my underwear back.

There were several campers including the staff that actually laughed. I was in shock. My two weeks stay was cut to one week instead and called my cousin to come and pick me up. I became a camp villain. Remember the fun, excitement, adventure, challenge, friendship, and memories theme? Not anymore. My father never got a full refund for my two weeks’ leisure. I tried to explain to my father, but he does not understand ASL and put the blame on me, so it was time for me to write a story–about time, really.

The best part of my camp experience: Getting second place for “wood” Olympics.

1988 was my unknown journey. If the DPN has made all the difference five months before I attended the camp, I thought 1988 was supposed to be a remarkable year of the 20th century for Deaf community to stage for all the freedom and pursuit of happiness that should not allow bullying at a campsite. Policing me around. Think about many mainstreamed children being manipulated in schools, too.

That was my story. My story will become their story, which is the point. It is my quest of Deafhood. Yes, Deafhood transforming my life. I was shocked that I never knew about YLC, Jr NAD, and others–today the leaders who was already part of YLC and Jr NAD in 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, they are lucky.

I learned that even moving 3,000 miles away from Pacific Northwest, the former camp director is living only one hour away from me. I have not seen the camp director since 1988 and would like to tell the director one day,

Thank you for humiliating me all these years“.

That was my 1988. At the same time, it made my life stronger. It is a story worth written and examined.

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-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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