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Tag Archives: Educational Hardships

World Mental Health Day: The Modern Struggle For Deaf Returning Citizens

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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.

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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.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

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Hearing Privileges and Hate Crime

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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.

-JT

Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

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

Gallaudet University: ASL/Deaf Studies and Intellectual Property Problem

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Many graduate even undergraduate students at Gallaudet University does not know how to protect copyright their thesis and term papers to be protected their works by notarizing through legal notary. Do you know that Gallaudet University professors can use students’ work without their permission and use it for their own benefit? Since in few weeks, Gallaudet University is about to start soon.

One “so-called” professor in ASL/Deaf Studies was caught by stealing Deaf student’s work and got suspended for a year without pay. There was never “health problem” at all. It was embarrassing and insult to the intellectual property–that become a big problem today. The chair of the department came to save the professor’s face and appealed to have the professor to be allowed to be back into the department and teach again, the professor still ask other students if the professor can use them. That professor is no scholar!

There is a wonderful quote: “…What societies really, ideally, want is a citizenry which will simply obey the rules of society. If a society succeeds in this, that society is about to perish.” James Baldwin, A Talk to Teachers in 1963.

What this means is, if ASL/Deaf Studies project that students fail, they indeed might. But if they encourage and educate them, especially to take the occasional chance and challenge existing knowledge, they could truly advance as a society. This is ASL/Deaf Studies about education of Deaf people. It was found in a study that many Deaf people dreamed of becoming better role models, a profession that requires intellectual property, not mental attributes.

This trend is thought to be because it is so important that Deaf students could never achieve the sort of scholastic success that it would require, for example, to be a professor or a lawyer. Additionally, there are Deaf professors in ASL/Deaf Studies department, yet still retain denial what they knew about this so-called professor. While the chances for anyone to be a Deaf professor are minimal at best, this glamorous image encourages Deaf students subliminally to resign to the intellectual property in their pursuits.

Also, there is a strong education in effect that Deaf students should protect their paper works, that they are perhaps destined for a life of success. This typecast “intellectual property” actually foretells the actual future, because it does not give one a chance to realize their full potential before branding themselves with failure.

The unification of Deaf students doing homework and study hard, there might be a greater encouragement of Deaf culture’s youth to pursue academia, and also an increased higher educational awareness required on the part of the professors. I would support it myself.

Educators, especially at Gallaudet University need to be aware of the consequences of intellectual property, so that Deaf students will get a fair chance to learn.

-JT

Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

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

Gallaudet University: Hopes and Aspirations

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Recently, President Bobbi Cordano sent out a letter with 2016 agenda for Gallaudet University. The most important keys are the last three statements:

“Racism, discrimination based on different identities, and other forms of systemic oppression, invest in and strengthen learning and discovery through academic programs, research, and community engagement efforts and celebrate the success of our students, staff, faculty, and alumni.”

Long before becoming president for Gallaudet, Bobbi was a former lawyer whom made a huge difference in Minnesota’s court system to make sure that a policy to provide ASL interpreters for Deaf people in courts is a huge key—but the problem is that there are many bad interpreters who does not even sign fluently or not at all and often ends up putting Deaf people in jail because of their gross negligence. It happens every day in American courts today and tomorrow.

There is plenty of Racism happening in courts where Black Deaf defendants could not defend themselves—on the lack of ASL interpreters. For example, Erica West Oyedele gave a presentation called “Missing Narratives in Interpreting and Interpreter Education” at Registry Interpreters of the Deaf (RID) Conference 2015 in New Orleans discussing lack of diversity within the predominantly White in RID—88% of RID interpreters are white and only 12% of Black or People of Color interpreters.

That raised a huge red flag. When Black Deaf defendants in court use their ASL, would White interpreters understand their language? No, I do not think so. Does White interpreters completely understands Black culture? No, I do not think so. Often Black Deaf would end up in jail by not receiving full accessibility to their language. So are Deaf White defendants, too. They often do not understand due process and end up thrown away without listening to their stories.

Inclusiveness is more complex and challenging but that is Gallaudet University we are talking about. We used to think of inclusiveness in terms of more than six principal groups——Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, CI users, Oralists, ASL users, Black Deaf, Deaf with another Disability, etc.; however there are over 1000 independent thinking students on campus who happen to be Deaf. We have to think about inclusiveness in a totally different way; a more complex approach but I think ultimately far more rewarding. Let’s not just throw out the concept of inclusiveness; let’s question it and more to a more sophisticated and develop approach.

What about Deaf returning citizens? A Returning Citizen is when they re-enter into the society with a second chance whether they are wrongfully convicted or not. At Gallaudet, Deaf Culture is as much a part of the inclusive landscape as anything else and it is ridiculous to try to ignore our language. Deaf Returning citizens cannot be ignored. They have been severely oppressed by Gallaudet University based on discrimination based on different identities, and other forms of systemic oppression.

How come Gallaudet University refuses to invest and strengthen learning for Deaf returned citizens and not to celebrate their success? They view Deaf returning citizens as menace to the society. They practice stereotypes and prejudices without question.

Let’s take a look at Institutionalized Oppression Definitions from Wiki.

“Institutions are fairly stable social arrangements and practices through which collective actions are taken. Examples of institutions in America include the legal, educational, health care, social service, government, media and criminal justice systems.”

The key word: Educational.

“Institutional Oppression occurs when established laws, customs, and practices systemically reflect and produce inequities based on one’s membership in targeted social identity groups. If oppressive consequences accrue to institutional laws, customs, or practices, the institution is oppressive whether or not the individuals maintaining those practices have oppressive intentions. ”

The key word: Oppressive intentions.

Gallaudet University uses overt forms of oppression may be secret, hidden, and not openly practiced targeting Deaf returning citizens. How do we combat it without a notion of what inclusiveness is? Deaf returning citizens live our language, ASL. We can call it Deaf Culture but basically inclusiveness is talking about opportunity for oppression of ASL—the inability to include our language and culture with some kind of meaning. There are not enough academic line that is going to take us through to anything that we feel is worth accomplishing in our own language. That is an oppressive intention.

Inclusiveness is a welcome mat: Everybody is included; of course, it helps a lot if they were white, and hearing. Now I seem to be talking about white and hearing people’s power but that is what we are actually talking about. The fundamental question for inclusiveness is about dividing Deaf Returning citizens.

Inclusiveness is not a failed experiment. It is silly. However, we have to look at it as a reality to be dealt with in terms of white people’s power, which I realize, is a real fallacy, and then there is no real mutual respect. No one at Gallaudet University shall take Deaf returning citizens’ right to higher education away. Labeling is not cool.

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-JT

Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

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

 

Deaf Mainstream and Suicide

ImageAristotle known as the Audist Philosopher

Nothing haunts us like the things we don’t say”-Mitch Albom

I have some more to write about my childhood experiences, especially in mainstreaming settings, after I read about Fautso’s death, which I admit, is still haunting me to this date. I realized that I had experienced a plenty of subsequent educational hardships all those years and the likelihood of graduating from high school was difficult after receiving many threats, harassment, bullying, and faced adverse consequences including stigmatization and differential treatment. During my senior year in high school, a month before graduation, I wanted to drop out of high school like everybody in my family did until my father got a phone call from somebody at the school that I was about to drop out, but my father got off work early and drove 30 miles to show up at my high school and caught me in a hallway and begged that I will not give up my education. He said to me, “Son, do not follow my footsteps and you are better than that”. At first, I was disgusted with my father’s appeal because he did not understand what I was going through then I realized that my father was doing the right thing for me. “Be a leader’, he said.

I skipped classes so many times during second semester and partied much and that is where I was couple of credits short from graduating high school. That was where it did not stop me from achieving my goals to graduate from high school. I ended up being in the “fifth” (senior) and skyrocketed my grades by getting five A’s and one B’s during first semester then second semester, almost got perfect grades only because I did not do well in pottery class and ended up getting B for the class. My grandmother said if anyone got perfect grades would receive $50. I really wanted $50 then my grandmother saw what I was going through, she decided to give me $50 for my efforts! In my previous blog, “My Personal Struggles in Mainstreaming America” in which I mentioned the CODA interpreter who interpreted for me in fifth grade until she moved away. We reunited again in my “fifth” year senior. That made a huge difference. Yes, even I got suspended that time for five days after getting in fight with a bully student named Kevin. My brother was there and he was in awe how much I suffered social satire everyday in hallways. He would hear other students’ mocking at me while I walked by. They just did not know that I was his big brother. I had to set an example for my brother at some point. I could not let bullies and bigots fail me and made sure that my brother could not ignore my education’s fundamental premise.

Mainstreamed Deaf students have as much right to seek higher education as non-Deaf students do. There is no secret that mainstreaming system is very much one-sided and the system has alluded Deaf students’ dignity from becoming normal and full Deaf-minded students. Mainstreamed Deaf students should not get characterized by their neglect, I am sure that the stress is so great that affects families as well, too that they experience similar social stigma what they were going through with greater personal isolation.

Is Audism part of conservatism? Definitely yes, Audists know it because they oppose to the idea of radical changes. They play dumb, but they know it! There is so much ignorance in the mainstreaming settings that leaves Deaf people very much invisible what they had been profiled around. Why not Deaf students grow up with a strong mind and ASL? Mainstreaming settings are meant to keep Deaf students from looking at hearing students in their eyes. The problem is that it is not a Deaf cultural thing, but it is a hearing supremacy thing. The Audists are out in force today. Deaf people’s existence causes a cognitive dissonance in their eyes. Many Deaf schools are closed in North America and other parts of countries. The systematic denial of receiving resources for Deaf students in mainstreaming settings still exists.

Aristotle was the one who said Deaf people are incapable of their intelligence. Thanks to Thomas Aquinas, a philosopher and a priest in 12th century, found Aristotle’s work after buried deep somewhere since third B.C. because Aristotle had committed suicide, the Church did not recognize his work. Imagine if Aquinas did not find Aristotle’s work, would the world be different and treat Deaf people with respect and dignity? We need to stand up in the public and continue to reinforce the fact that mainstreaming settings is not the answer. Let’s make an example of the problem.

Denying Intellectual Audism is in a new vogue. How can Deaf people not deal with enormous sense of shame and stigma by being Deaf? They should not felt demoralized at all. Mainstreaming has become a collateral consequence to Deaf people’s lives. Audism makes sure that Deaf people are liable for their consequences for their actions no matter what happened to them in the classroom. Various factors have contributed to many more problems. Remember Paddy Ladd’s research in his book, 80% of Deaf children do not have formal education on the earth. Audists would say that Ladd’s published research findings are false and disagreeable. They need to think that “listening and speaking” is individualistic, like playing some musical instruments.

In the United States, we need to utilize the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to change discriminatory state laws that affect Deaf students in mainstreaming system. In U.K., 96% of Deaf children are mainstreamed and in Canada, high percentage as well, too. We will not become Aristotle’s children. I know that there is high percentage of Deaf children who committed suicide and yet it is invisible in the media world. We need to collect newspaper clippings even if they say “hearing impaired” instead of “Deaf” and other documented information to prove that suicide among Deaf young people exist. Educators of the Deaf today are completely trained under the powerful influence from 1880 Milan Resolution Conference to make sure mainstreamed Deaf children are overlooked and dismissed as nonexistent in the society.

Ladd’s quote, “…parade a single Deaf ‘success’ in order to exemplify the miracle made flesh, and to thus claim all Deaf children were capable of these achievements. That the examples in question were usually drawn from deafened or partially Deaf children was something that was hidden from view” and his other quote, “Isolated from contact with other Deaf people, the experience resulted in ‘academic success’ but was traumatic both socially and emotionally” both quotes were written in 1979.

-JT

Copyright © Jason Tozier

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