Gallaudet University: A Signing Community?

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Honestly, as three days ago, when I was at Library of Congress to see private collections of old letters hand-written by Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, Sophia Fowler Gallaudet, Edward Miner Gallaudet, Laurent Clerc, the list goes on—to help out a friend for PhD dissertation.

ASL stands for American Sign Language. They all had the goal: ASL-centered, ASL-oriented, ASL-controlled for Deaf people who comes from all walks of life. Between 1815 and 1847 letters, they all were fierce. They knew that sign language is the best and powerful to overcome intellectual oppression. The very same letters I read, where Sophia writes to T.H. Gallaudet:

I love Laurent Clerc. I love seeing his signs.”

Sophia became the matron for Gallaudet University. Without the matron of Gallaudet University, sign language would not be there. Sophia knew sign language was the pivotal moment.

That was the goal to see ASL everywhere on Gallaudet campus and that was all they wanted. That was the bottom line. That was it. Sign language changed Sophia’s life forever. That was history in the making!

Laurent Clerc and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet sailed together for destination back to America. They both knew that sign language have the power to directly represent and protect the interests. They stood true until their death.

Gallaudet University, the world’s first university for Deaf, to claim Deaf people’s intellectual life to ASL across the educational landscape and reject oppression practice; Hearing people with hearing privileges walk and talk around on the Gallaudet campus, insulting ASL that should be appreciated our language, that is ASL within the institution of higher education.

ASL is a step in the direction of intellectual equity, as the huge banner rolls out front of parking garage at Gallaudet University across from Union Market, makes an official statement that it is signing community. Can we really see Gallaudet University an ASL-centered university only? We need to make sure Gallaudet University as an ASL-centered needs to make a clear sense of what ASL is used for so that we are in a position to navigate Gallaudet as an ASL community. Signing is like mode of communication. Signing can be Sim-Com. Oh yeah, Sim-Com is still practiced at Gallaudet. It is better to use ASL instead of signing.

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Yet, there are hearing people who talk without sign language, oppressing ASL on the campus that is supposed to be sacred for Deaf people. Please look at my most previous post, Signing Community: Hypocrism at Best where seven videos were sent to me by several Deaf people who felt insulted.

Why do you think Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet went all the way to England to join in the audience and witness Deaf people signing and writing on stage, and that was where T.H. Gallaudet shook hands with Abbe Sicard—the history of all the Deaf is the most beautiful thing! Is Gallaudet University enough ASL-centered with instruction and scholarship?

The huge banner “We are Gallaudet University: A Signing Community” needs to examine more and I mean, really deep in heart. Audism is not allowed at Gallaudet University. It is a big problem! When hearing people talk on the campus designed for Deaf people, is exactly the struggle for Deaf community to feel oppressed. The latter attitude is that the term “oppression” has been most invisible mirror, oppressing ASL and Deaf people.

Should we allow language hegemony by hearing people? Deaf people had fought hard for ASL. We all cannot deny that. Is it intellectual oppression? Behind the university gates, oppression is everywhere and that is embarrassment. There is no way Gallaudet University should not allow people talking and insulting ASL, its linguistic and cultural heritage of the Deaf, period.

Again, “We are Gallaudet University: A Signing Community”–Can they really be honest with themselves? When hearing people talk on campus, they do not see ASL as a human and it continues to be oppressed. Deaf people are hurt. Deaf people are suffering. That is the real answer.

 

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We cannot forget the passion in ASL. That’s our mother tongue. After all, we are the ones to push for change. No more Audism! If they use that banner, then the major point of using ASL on the campus is to transform the language and culture to intellectual life. That’s how it is supposed to work. ASL is intellectual property and that is it matters the most……for Deaf people whose ownership is ASL first on the campus.

Again, please be honest with yourself. Gallaudet University is not a signing community. Not yet. It is better if the banner says: Gallaudet University is an ASL community.

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

 

 

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AGBell: Time for You to Heal Your Angry Brain

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Edward Miner Gallaudet (EMG): December 1881

This is one of the most powerful pieces written by EMG. It is a year after infamous Milan Resolution. I will share few of his writing. The grand opening of his article:

“The heated controversies which have been sustained for many years as to the merits of rival methods of instructing the deaf have, in part, grown out of a mistaken idea of classification, and partly out of an imperfect understanding of the capabilities of the person to be taught.”

There is nothing better to write something like this at the grand opening. The rival methods would be between American Sign Language (ASL) and Oralism: Alexander Graham Bell’s favorite work.

EMG writes: “First of all, the class should be always be spoken of as the deaf.”

ASL is the staunch language of the deaf. In that same paper, EMG writes: “when Pedro Ponce de Leon, three centuries ago in Spain, taught children “deaf from birth to speak, to read, write, and keep accounts to repeat prayers, to serve the mass, to know the doctrines of the Christian religion, and to confess themselves viva voce.

Today in 2019, Alexander Graham Bell’s doctrine continues to teach Deaf children to speak and collect all accounts by Oralism methods to remember his legendary to serve the master and give him the power to control ASL in the name of authority.

EMG writes: “Other teachers meeting with pupils who could not master speech have accounted for their failures in various ways, many most unjustly assuming that all who failed to acquire the power of vocal utterance were deficient in intellect;”

We all know that AGBell’s Oralism practices very much the power of vocal utterance has failed for years including 2019. Because we all know that ASL is WAY MUCH INTELLECT language. That’s too bad that the truth still hides in the dark. We know that ASL is the human brain that will never be defective with the final written statement by EMG:

“Defective brain power,” referred to by Mr. Kinsey, must not be understood to mean only imbecility, for the term is applicable to imperfect or weak memory, lack of the imitative faculty, slowness of apprehension, nervousness, and other conditions familiar to those who have had to do with the deaf.”

It is not hard to know that AGBell’s national emergency: his own defective brainpower. He is still exploiting ASL and the Deaf even in the future. It starts with us that we can stop his future.

ASL changes our lives, as we cannot deny this in our painful journey where we were once survivors of AGBell’s hateful practices. ASL is more successful more than anything, and will need each other to achieve our goals.

In Deaf community, AGBell’s brainpower is the national emergency in order to bypass ASL and fund a powerful Oralism than ever, and it is only beginning that we are starting to learn that how badly AGBell has been messing the Deaf community up. Today, we are asking you to make a choice.

Within two critical priorities, which would, best for Deaf community, and your choice is to eliminate one.

Recognizing ASL to carry that intelligence to pass on to futurism.

Criminalizing ASL to support Alexander Graham Bell’s legacy.

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

 

The Washington Monument of Higher Education for Deaf Students

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130 years ago, on October 9, 1888—the Washington Monument finally built after 40 years of battles. It was also a battle for Deaf people during that time from 1848-1888.

Imagine in 1848, Deaf people would have struggle with learning enhancements in higher education and hungry for Deaf education, and it was a battle for sure. National Deaf-Mute College (now Gallaudet University) did not built until 1864. Between 1848 and 1865, the politics were heavy invested, standing up for America’s values while dealing with Civil War must have been mind-boggling on Deaf non-students and Deaf students.

The Washington Monument was built in honor of first American president; it was also world’s tallest stone structure and tallest obelisk, it stands 555 feet high. Imagine Deaf students from Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb went down there and took the courage to walk all the way to the top and see the view of Washington, D.C. including the sighting of world’s first college for Deaf students. What were their thoughts when they grabbed the opportunity to see the beacon of higher education?

At the same time, think about pain and struggles what Deaf people had gone through. One year before the Washington Monument was opened to the public, Alexander Graham Bell founded Volta Bureau, the center to teach Deaf to erase their identity by controlling their lives for profits. Eight years before the Monument, Oralism spread the fires and banned sign languages around the world, and what would it look like when it happened during the days of Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb in 1880.

Picture this. The Oralism Monument: 555 feet high—the dominance of Deaf people’s lives. College Hall: The elevation is 75 feet. 75 feet x 7.4=555 feet.

It would take 7.4 ‘College Halls’ to overcome the power and influence over Deaf people to make Alexander Graham Bell happy. During that time, president of the college, Edward Miner Gallaudet stood fiercely strong against Alexander Graham Bell’s push for Oralism.

The Edward Miner Gallaudet Residence, which now as House One where Gallaudet University presidents live there, imagine what EMG was sitting there on a chair thinking how to make now Gallaudet University an ASL-centered more than ever. The biggest question, did EMG ever visit the Washington Monument and grabbed the view at the top of 555 feet and understood the higher education and protect ASL for Deaf students today and tomorrow? Which place would be first thing for EMG to look for on the top of world’s tallest building? Or was Washington, DC filled with trees that cannot see the view of now Gallaudet University?

It must have been high road for Deaf students to walk all the way to the top of Washington Monument to defy odds and show the world that Deaf people can do anything. It was all about unleashing the hidden power of language bigotry and hegemony.

One more thing, the reason behind Washington Monument came together in our neighborhoods, universities, workplaces, and communities to keep the dreams open for Deaf students of understanding, personal interactions that will make them better educators and share their life experiences to build higher education and human connections in any shape.

The tallest university obelisk goes to Laurent Clerc who inspired Deaf America today and tomorrow. Can it ever be funded?

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-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

 

 

AGBell: His First Collegiate Degree

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“….the fact remains that the first collegiate degree received by the famous inventor of the telephone came from the National Deaf Mute College.”-[Atwood, Gallaudet College: It’s First One Hundred Years]
 
Red flag. What does it mean Alexander Graham never received a formal college degree nowhere–but only National Deaf Mute College? What does it mean? Is that why Gallaudet University is still Audist? What kind of profiting is that? Bell’s contribution becomes top secret in Gallaudet’s money. What does it mean when a college degree becomes guarantor of audist-class existence?
 
We need to be vigilant and resist against Audist mazes. The million question: Who awarded Alexander Graham Bell the degree? Was it Edward Miner Gallaudet?
 
We need to be vigilant and resist the mazes of Audism.
 

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

ASL: The Meaning of ‘Justice for All’

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There are millions of visitors who visit District of Columbia, the nation’s capital. What I did not realize that today on this date, July 16, 1790 when DC was picked as nation’s capital while the first American president, George Washington signed The Residence Act that made a city.

There are indeed still consequences in today’s Deaf community. The fracturing of the social media takes a larger scope and understands that it is not OK to attack Deaf community.

District of Columbia’s motto: Justia Omnibus, which means Justice for All. When President Abraham Lincoln signed the bill to create higher education for Deaf people: National Deaf Mute College (Now Gallaudet University) in Washington, DC; Deaf people have the right to carry rightful justice that they have every aspect of human right to use sign language for communication, knowledge, and information. That was the main topic. Simple.

The creation of the university was built by many stories you cannot imagine how much it meant to them. DC was only 74 years old city when Gallaudet University founded. As Alexander Graham Bell was 17 years old living in Scotland that time, did you ever think what would AGBell think about that day, 8th April, 1864? Did his father or grandfather tell him the news? Did AGBell have a plan to destroy “all for justice” policy and erase sign language in favor for oralism? Was it the plan to preserve Bell family’s name and legacy to destroy an American motto at what highest cost possibly be?

Exactly 100 years after the founding of nation’s capital, AGBell had the nerve to set up American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf now known as Volta Bureau, AGBell’s headquarters in the same city. AGBell challenged Edward Miner Gallaudet on the sacred ground of Gallaudet University that can be found in a book, Never the Twain Shall Meet by Richard Winefield. Help ourselves understand. The American democracy is not easily misunderstood.

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Justia Omnibus, is an American motto, which means NO ONE CAN TAKE THAT AWAY FROM DEAF PEOPLE in 1880 and the next 100 years today. AGBell do not have the authority to prioritize and revoke all for justice in Deaf community’s favor of ASL.

The District of Columbia gave Deaf people a life to grow and teaches that justice for all to overcome Audism at Gallaudet University. Why cannot the Board of Trustees [BoTs] flesh out all the connections between AGBell’s headquarters and the university for dirty money? Make it ASL/Deaf-centered, ASL/Deaf-controlled, and ASL/Deaf-oriented. What’s wrong with that? Today, we will stand by human rights to use ASL—Justice for All! Justia Omnibus! ASL wins!

Happy birthday, DC! ASL JUSTICE FOR ALL.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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