MENTAL HEALTH: Power Hunger or Power Struggle?

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Of all U.S. minority groups, the Deaf community is perhaps the most invisible. The mental health sends the message of Deaf empowerment to the public. The principle of Deaf-centric or Deaf-centered mental health is always demonstrating a passion. Or, is it a recipe for power-struggle for passion where the Deaf community needs the most in the mental health field? Especially the Deaf-centered way. 

In the highest standard of principle what it should be, a Deaf-centric or Deaf-centered mental health organization had revolutionized the stereotypical odds. It should be of, by, and for Deaf people. This “cultural awareness” in our Deaf community where we live continues to be a minority group thriving for awareness and social justice, which we are seeing in the mental health field that is sorely painful in the Deaf leadership.

 National Deaf Therapy (NDT) under the auspices of Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD). ‘Auspices’ is from the Latin, auspicium, and auspex, which mean “one who looks at birds”.

Communication Service for the Deaf: Using the ‘flying birds’ as power-hungryAccording to wiki: ‘Augury is the practice from ancient Roman religion of interpreting omens from the observed flights of birds.” (1)

Is it the wrong path where National Deaf Therapy is being heavily appropriated by Communication Service for the Deaf exercising privileges and profiting? Even in 2019. But, should we not completely surprised? Don’t we see manifestations of elitism, favouritism, and privileges every single day? Let me use those examples:

Jameson Crane III and Jonathan Soukup, both CEO and co-founder in the same business together (see link below), they have strong connections to Communication Service for the Deaf, its founder of CSD, Benjamin Soukup, and its current CEO, Christopher Soukup (Jonathan’s brother).

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As for Jameson Crane III’s hearing father, Jameson Crane, Jr. was on Communication Service for the Deaf board, now is on the Gallaudet Board of Trustees (see both links below). Social Venture Fund (SVF) has awarded National Deaf Therapy because of father-in-law’s connections as a board to NDT as well. Jameson Crane III’s spouse: Amanda Sortwell Crane, one of National Deaf Therapy co-founder.

Don’t we see manifestations of elitism, favouritism, and privileges?

Power-hunger is shown by connection to Gallaudet University? A good example, ADWAS founder, Marylin Jean Smith is on Communication Service for the Deaf board (see link below), and one of the National Deaf Therapy co-founders, Megan Erasmus is working for ADWAS while running National Deaf Therapy (see link below)Is that a big conflict of interest?

I was told that it is common for people to work full time while maintaining their own practices part-time until their practice grow enough that they can support themselves with the new private practice. Still conflict of interest?

Convo Communications: the CEO, Jarrod Musano who owns the Daily Moth and Melmira, connected to Communication Service for the Deaf, yes or no? However, Jarrod and Communication Service for the Deaf board member, Danny Lacey, have strong connections between each other.

The disability framework, a negativity bias defining the Deaf community, colonizes National Deaf Therapy. Exploring core concepts what “disability” to define ‘Deaf’–especially how the polarity of disability is culturally constructed and embodied, emphasizing the “social model”–and it shows clearly that National Deaf Therapy did not aim enough for a deepened understanding of the social, economic, and political aspects of disability as perceived and embodied in literature.

Does it mean the Deaf are defined from the American society because they are not normal healthy people as long as they must live in the medical model of disability?

Although frequently used to refer to the Deaf, this label is considered highly offensive to the Deaf. It ignored cultural identity and its use among hearing is a sign of ignorance (Roach, 2002) [2]

Ryan Commerson [3], producer of “Media, Power, & Ideology: Re-defining D-E-A-F”— Supposedly, Deaf people are labeled as ‘disability’ in the name of ideology.

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Commerson: “…the misrepresentation would still reside in your subconscious. What should you do about it?” that leads to ‘Contesting Stereotypes: Taking Images Apart’.

“…When a particular meaning in broadcast for a while, then it becomes common sense,closed, and resides in your subconscious. Life goes on as normal. However, we must go back to the misrepresentation residing in their subconscious…and reveal the distortion of the images. People might be rattled or accept this new reality. However, the problem with this is, by unlocking the meaning, it’s open for interpretation. Would everyone interpret it the same way?”

He used to be a scholar until Communication Service for the Deaf took him in as Social Change Strategist and exploited his views. I bet Ryan couldn’t challenge Communication Service for the Deaf because he is stuck with them.

In my previous blog post:

“The Deaf community is powerful in the human psyche. Indeed, at this level of humanity, would the Deaf community understand the painful history of what the term “disability” define Deaf people? Have the Medical Model of Disability had caused enough destruction in the Deaf community?”

‘Do Deaf People Have a Disability?‘ published by Harlan Lane [4]:

“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.”

Justice must include human rights and compassion. It must include an appreciation of Deaf cultural uniqueness. What strikes me the most by Lane’s writing as seen in the picture:

“On the other hand, the Deaf-World is a linguistic and cultural minority quite unlike disability groups and with a distinctly different agenda. Moreover, to be Deaf is not disability in Deaf culture, and most members of the Deaf-World see no disability in their ways of being. To give up their legal rights would be self-defeating; to demand them under disability law seems like hypocrisy.”

Does that mean the Deaf community has become a pet cause for Communication Service for the Deaf and National Deaf Therapy? This is not the spirit of the Deaf community. That is the sign of power-hunger. Or, is it power-struggle?

The true leadership that steps up to the plate with the facts as they are and makes intelligent decisions on those facts only and not only on the emotionalized, oppressive of the Deaf community and the misinformed public sentiment. Why is National Deaf Therapy under the auspices of Communication Service for the Deaf pushing for a chess game?

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

References:

(1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augury

(2) Roach, Amy (2002). “Which is Correct: Deaf, deaf, hard of hearing, or Hearing Impaired?” Deaf Linx. 22 Feb. 2003

(3) https://vimeo.com/12817361

(4) Lane, Harlan L. “Do Deaf People Have a Disability?” Sign Language Studies, vol. 2 no. 4, 2002, p. 356-379. Project MUSE

Links:

http://naturaltcapital.com/

https://www.prweb.com/releases/brandi_rarus_top_marketing_communications_executive_joins_communication_service_for_the_deafs_board_of_directors/prweb16295100.htm

https://www.gallaudet.edu/board-of-trustees

https://www.csd.org/about/

Nyle DiMarco: Can You End Stigma?

Nyle DiMarco: Do Deaf People Have a Disability?

 

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Today, December 3, 2019: International Day of Disabled Persons. 

When my state of being Deaf had been taught all my life, being told, and being controlled by the medical model of disability, I refuse to live in the negativity bias. Being Deaf is no longer viewed as a disability. What is negativity bias?

It was known as negativity effect (1), also known as the negativity effect, is the notion that, even when of equal intensity, things of a more negative nature (e.g. unpleasant thoughts, emotions, or social interactions; harmful/traumatic events) have a greater effect on one’s psychological state and processes than neutral or positive things. (2,3,4)

Do you tend to dwell on bad memories and experiences? It may be due to the negativity bias, because being colonized and taught that Deaf people are disabled.

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The Deaf community is powerful in the human psyche. Indeed, at this level of humanity, would the Deaf community understand the painful history of what the term “disability” define Deaf people? Have the Medical Model of Disability had caused enough destruction in the Deaf community?

‘Do Deaf People Have a Disability?‘ published 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.” (5)

We already know that Deaf people who embody rather healthy traits of higher learning, the pursuit of happiness, and respect, but sadly, though, they are often being colonized by the disability model. Consider the plight of the oppressed of today. Lane writes in, Constructions of Deafness:

“As a social problem, deafness can be variously construed. Each of the primary constructions of deafness today – disability and linguistic minority – has its archetypes but most deaf children match neither of them.” (6)

Why must Deaf people come under a disability label, despite the vast differences, would the Deaf community stop being labeled by the disability model, would they do so with a commitment to developing a healthy task to overcome indifference, a show of human compassion, that plagues the Deaf community?

Nyle DiMarco writes:

“My Deaf identity is not an obstacle but an advantage — an asset.”

But….the confusion……the disability model has been taking advantage of the Deaf community as an asset and live in negativity effect.

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And, I learned that Nyle DiMarco and his twin brother are on a panel about disability inclusion sponsored by the World Bank at this hour. Will Nyle tell the world that being Deaf is not part of disability? I doubt so.

Will Nyle tell the world about The Ugly Laws: Disability in Public? I doubt so. Because Nyle thinks disability is a positivity effect. The opposite of the negativity effect. Does that mean Nyle DiMarco is also being colonized, too?

According to Paddy Ladd, Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood:

“The culturolinguistic model thus leads to the situating of Deaf community experiences within the rubric of colonialism. Although most people conceive colonialism as formed around economic power visited upon cultures less able to defend themselves, there is undeniably a case to be made for the concept of linguistic colonialism, and it is this which provides a bridge across which discourses between signing and other colonised communities can begin.” (7)

We must always remind ourselves as well as all others how our Declaration of Independence makes our country different from any other nation around the world. The Declaration proclaims that we have inalienable rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Finally, Harlan Lane writes in the same book above:

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-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

REFERENCES:

(1) Kanouse, D. E., & Hanson, L. (1972). Negativity in evaluations. In E. E. Jones, D. E. Kanouse, S. Valins, H. H. Kelley, R. E. Nisbett, & B. Weiner (Eds.), Attribution: Perceiving the causes of behavior. Morristown, NJ: General Learning Press.

(2)  Baumeister, Roy F.; Finkenauer, Catrin; Vohs, Kathleen D. (2001). “Bad is stronger than good” (PDF). Review of General Psychology. 5 (4): 323–370.

(3) Lewicka, Maria; Czapinski, Janusz; Peeters, Guido (1992). “Positive-negative asymmetry or “When the heart needs a reason””. European Journal of Social Psychology. 22 (5): 425–434

(4) Rozin, Paul; Royzman, Edward B. (2001). “Negativity bias, negativity dominance, and contagion”. Personality and Social Psychology Review. 5 (4): 296–320.

(5) Lane, Harlan L. “Do Deaf People Have a Disability?” Sign Language Studies, vol. 2 no. 4, 2002, p. 356-379. Project MUSE

(6) Lane, Harlan L. (1995) Constructions of Deafness, Disability & Society, 10:2, 171-190

(7) Ladd, Paddy (2003) Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood, 17.

 

 

Harlan Lane: CI Survivors

Harlan Lane was a fierce opponent of cochlear implants. His 1991 paper position against cochlear implants was the most important critical pedagogy in Deaf community that needs to be seen every day and discuss about it in classrooms, public discussions, anywhere. That’s the power of truth.

 

My Meeting with Harlan Lane

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Harlan Lane lived larger than a life as a scholar in Deaf community. Deaf History cannot be defined without Harlan Lane. He was a great advocate on behalf of the human rights of Deaf people around the world.

I shall forever grateful for the book Lane published: The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling Deaf Community that taught me great deal concept of discovering Deaf history to become a fair game to understand information.

I first spotted that book in a laundry room at a RV park where I was living in a 6×8 camper for six months in 1999. Then I took the book and walked back to the camper and begun reading it in mini living room with my beloved three cats. Nacho, Lenny, and Penny. I was 24 years old. That changed my life forever. That was 20 years ago.

Fast forward. May 2010. The meeting with Harlan Lane at Northeastern University in Boston, MA in a private meeting along with late Carl Schroeder, and an ASL interpreter. That meeting that lasted an hour and half was a lot of greatest discussions and found Harlan Lane to be foremost advocate on behalf of Deaf people rights to receive publications and communications in the name of truth.

It was the same month I finished reading Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood by Paddy Ladd before meeting Harlan Lane.

That book was the very reason that generated my Deafhood journey to cover hate crimes beyond Deaf community. The book had energy of activism and began my activism in public speaking and education, what Deaf Studies is really about. It was one of biggest reasons why I was a graduate scholarship recipient in Deaf Studies at Gallaudet University in 2013. It was also a goal of mine to get Ph.D.

Before meeting with Harlan Lane in person, I was on airplane for Boston-bound from Portland reading When the Mind Hears: A History of the Deaf and brought great discussions in private meeting. My regret is that I did not bring that book to the meeting, and was not signed by Harlan Lane but I only brought the Mask of Benevolence book by Lane I first read had been the most meaningful that offers learning, resources, and information for Deaf people, simply creating safe spaces where Deaf people feel acknowledged is the major human right step is much necessary.

I explained to Harlan Lane how I found this book and why it has inspired me, and he signed my book. It is not something you would see like this every day. He told me to keep up good work and finish my goal.

I am grateful to know him. He was one of a kind. 1936-2019.

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

 

The Image of Deaf People As ‘DISABILITY’

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It is incredible about how much soul breaking each day for Deaf people who must viewed as “disabled” minds in the society. The social model of Disability allows language hegemony towards Deaf people. It is important to know that every day Deaf people carry their soul they create better awareness and establish nationwide with greater freedom and inclusion for Deaf people behind the walls and their free world support, “Soul”—defined from Merriam Webster Dictionary, “the moral and emotional nature of human beings.”

All of this is a good soul for the advocacy work. Eventually Deaf people would able to furnish happiness translating some of the key human compassion against ignorance in the society.

Where is the focus on empowering Deaf people to begin empowering themselves? Before Deaf people begin a public campaign, we need to educate better. American Sign Language (ASL) is all about building a pursuit of happiness. Deaf people will capture the more active and good citizens. Once Deaf community neglects, where is the training for an advocacy for well-being? There are many words in the legal community, social workers, psychiatrists, the Deaf community, and write up complaints, ignorant state lawmakers. What about the media and why Deaf people are viewed as “disabled” people?

The truth is that the Deaf community is vulnerable because there is no mobilization of Deaf database to explain our lawmakers or sign a petition is not a project, and should not be seen as an organizing tactic and recruitment tactic –for example, whenever Deaf people and it would increase Deaf people’s mental health to be process within moving forward.

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It is important that Deaf people are also important to human well being’s cause and it is the key to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness that would lead them to the land of healthy thinking selected (like Early Healthy Deaf Identity idea) to score the most resourceful idea for Deaf people’s well-being. Information, efforts, resources, awareness, and of course, pursuit of happiness, Deaf people are being furious with a massive image that Deaf people’s adversary are being silenced for the strongest resources, the information is being wiped out when it becomes did or did not.

Harlan Lane wrote an article, Do Deaf People Have a Disability? And the article shows to see struggles and growing pain how Deaf people suffer themselves as disability. How would it replicate Deaf community? Trust, confidence, and respect?

Whose society makes the decision to view Deaf people as Disabled people? Did it begin the marginalization of all, and those who make decision to make Deaf people suffer and carry that stigma? When society labels Deaf people as “Disabled” or “Disability”, it is beyond isolation and alienation—and finally, it is also a betrayal of Deaf people’s fundamental values as a society we live and breathe in. Deaf people are language minority. Not Disabled. Life makes much easier in the long run.

There are plenty of Deaf people’s personal stories of challenges they had faced, and allowed them to express their values, why should they must think, act, and breathe as “disabled people”—that is not how the society works. The model of “Disability” paints wrong picture about Deaf people.

The inspiration and wisdom of Deaf people share their labor of love without thinking “disabled” in their minds. It is a power to move each other that they should not viewed as disabled people.

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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