I would like to share my reflections about World Mental Health Day yesterday (October 10th). My apologies not for finishing up a post on time. It is very important to share more awareness about mental health that impacts Deaf community—especially Deaf returning citizens in Deaf community.
Depression is part of mental health; the stigma connected with Deaf returning citizens is unbearable. The public consciousness about Deaf returning citizens has been a failure of an evolving cultural understanding of mental health among them.
The phrases may haunt them each day. All these years later, they may be struck with shame. The state of being Deaf returning citizens was an “easy job” to ignore and not reported as violating their human dignity and thrown away on the side of the road where the cars would run over them. There was no raised questions from mental health professionals who are hearing who claimed that they are experts in understanding Deaf world. It makes things worse.
Today, there is ONLY ONE Deaf-centered counseling center in America, Deaf Counseling Center. Without Deaf mental health experts (bless them!), Deaf returning citizens would feel paralyzed whether to share their struggles or not. There is a quote that should be seen:
Should you find yourself the victim of other people’s bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities. Remember this, things could be much worse. You could be one of them.”-Unknown.
Mental health awareness helps to distract all the negative labels in their lives by getting themselves involved with educational jaunts, and Deaf-centered licensed therapists. Is it fair to use a distasteful mental image to prove a point, even if that mental image relies on stereotyping of Deaf returning citizens?
Labeling hurts the most. Mental health awareness can make all the difference to understand the gravity of their experiences. In the Deaf community, there are plenty of hardships that Deaf returning citizens suffer and even think it is OK to bully other Deaf returning citizens who were going through what they had been through. Deaf community ranks one of the highest percentage—lack of mental health awareness and educate the most serious consequences they would face with.
Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier
This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.
When I read all the letters Illinois Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (IRID) sent to the Honorable Julie A. Morrison, a senator for Illinois about SB0752 and HB1811.
IRID president, William Lee’s words: Requiring fluency in ASL does not need to be explicitly stated in the law in our opinion. It was a huge insult to ASL community that the power dynamics of Audism was allowed to oppress Deaf people. It is also a language hegemony. We do not need to deal with educational bankruptcy and struggle with human rights.
Illinois Association of the Deaf (IAD) followed up with Senator Morrison. I am deeply concerned about the ability of IRID to allow Audism against ASL. My concern has been compounded by the failure exhibited by the professionalism of interpreters to understand the nature of cross-linguistic and cross-cultural inquiry and the integrity of critical thinking in ASL.
President William Lee of IRID needs to look at these dismal facts portend a clear and present danger to the role of Deaf Education in the United States including Illinois that ASL is very important. Lee may filter this post out because it is about insulting Deaf people and witty put-downs of their language and culture. ASL that William Lee and the board of IRID should not continue to oppress.
I am sure just like Deaf students struggling to learn but getting nowhere without ASL, Lee has no business to fulfill his own desires and the best interests of Deaf community, never realizing that his effort is the problem, not the solution. His own insecurity is the motive to attack ASL and the best interests of Deaf community in Illinois for their language and culture.
Imagine this—can you imagine that for centuries Deaf people have suffered appalling language and culture abuses and the devastating consequences of educational and economic sanctions? Can you imagine that in a climate of language oppression, many Deaf students in Illinois would be neglected without ASL over the years in Lee’s words?
Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier
This text may be freely coped in its entirely only, including this copyright message.
Watching Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump is like a set of movies in order or perhaps a sequence. Cutting 9.2 Billion dollars for Education is a big insult to the American people. LBTQA and Black students including Deaf students are America’s future students that should not be demoralized and oppressed!
Since Alexander Graham Bell (AGBell), America’s Master Spymaster in Deaf Community declared in his words that Deaf people are no longer they are Deaf—appeared to close match as it had opened—with sprees of human violence directed against Deaf people. It is perfectly good example of hearing privileges. The bigotry of American Sign Language (ASL) all stand as reminders that hate crime that kills are much more than an unfortunate chapter in American history—forgotten history. To date, hate crime has tended to be very secretive in its focus—making sure Deaf people are forgotten is exactly what AGBell wanted.
The wave of hearing privileges has been all over with the hashtags—#hearingprivilege is what we need to continue to challenge against AGBell’s lies. A great many of us the Deaf are disappointed by Deaf education which states too pathological these days because it is all about hearing privileges. Poor flexibility and excessive laxity within Deaf Education today that is failing Deaf people today, for example, lack of proficient ASL skills among administrators, educators and interpreters, can all contribute to the overall educational mediocre among Deaf people—wait, hearing privileges, hmm?
Do Deaf people today even with struggle to crave such systems, educational oppression, claims of the past, their words in the meeting inspired them to no end, their conduct of words to encompass human knowledge in their categories that must be corrected—all because of hearing privileges they have to deal with this everyday?
Socrates: the same holds true of written words: you might ask them what they mean by anything they simply return the same answer over and over again.
It is incredible that Deaf people are fighting to preserve ASL and Deaf culture today—overcoming hearing privileges. We need to appreciate the wisdom of Deaf people who enjoyed thousands of years in a land subsistent culture, in harmony with nature. Deaf culture flourished, because they took what they needed and no more, and gave back to the Mother Earth, replanted, replenished, and left enough for the other inhabitants of the Earth. Deaf culture also had been flourished until Western industrialization, capitalism, and poor environmental knowledge resulted in practices that forever harmed and changed their landscape, and subsequently, their lives—thanks to AGBell.
Yet, these land-based informants are the perfect “informal” teachers that can assist Westerners in understanding relationships between Deaf people and their planet. These Deaf people are wealthy in knowledge, and they are a rich educational resource that is devalued and under-utilized. Our future depends on the ability to understand these relationships, to learn to live in a way that does not deplete or make poor or inefficient use of limited resources, to live in harmony and maintain a rich quality of life that supports our local economies.
Just as I have evolved in my understanding to sense of moral responsibility, I believe that ASL can bridge the disconnect that people feel with nature and develop a sense of stewardship to protect and preserve our Deaf culture, ASL, our air, our trees, and the list goes on. Probably the most direct impact that environmental learning has had on me is its effect in learning about my interconnections with the Earth, its inhabitants and ASL.
AGBell is piece of shit. Hearing privileges is nothing now.
Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier
This text mat be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.