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.

 

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Denial of Audism/Hate Speech: More Power

A Witch Hunt: America 1883

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Over the last couple of years, I have been meeting some of Deaf people who were colonized by Alexander Graham Bell’s witch-hunt. Words are too great to describe. The practices of Alexander Graham Bell Association bring in the climate of environmental hate. After reading a book, The Colonizer and the Colonized written by Albert Memmi for my Methodology of the Oppressed class in 2011, that day I remember sharing with the class about AGB’s speech in 1883:

Those who believe as I do, that the production of a defective race of human beings would be a great calamity to the world, will examine carefully the causes that lead to the intermarriages of the deaf with the object of applying a remedy.”

One of the classmates I never met before said, “It is the problem that AGB lack human-consciousness.” and that was probably best answer I’ve seen from a hearing ally. Their attitudes do serve to juxtapose the consumptions of Deaf people to that of the inhabitants of Americans; however, I think a further look could possibly be taken.

Within millions of potential allies in America, how is it not possible to see people curb their ignorance about hate crimes? Is it because the Deaf people have a tendency towards more Deaf-centered way of life? The quality of hate depreciation is also real.

Where are hearing allies? We need more allies. The classmate whom I also never met before as well, came up to greet herself and said that she read a book, “When the Mind Hears: A History of the Deaf, one of Harlan Lane’s books for her ASL class years ago in California. The teacher was wise to recommend the book even though it was not required for the class. “Recommend Reading” really makes all the difference. Thank you!

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This line and many other examples in media and print reminds me of a Rubik’s cube that finds with hearing allies and those without, as if Deaf people gain a higher sense of self in their differences. We need more hearing allies to pass national hate crime law that targets Deaf people. After all, we need a big group of stronger human consciousness, too.

Friday, April 14th evening, there will be a vigil held at Gallaudet University around Laurent Clerc bust to share their stories what they experienced Audism in their lives.

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

The Long Silence of Forgotten Audism

Since Tom Humphries coined “Audism” in late ‘70s for his Ph.D., his vision of seeing a lot of Deaf people being oppressed so frightening that as Tom did not give any professional lectures about it. Almost four decades later, Humphries does not believe in it to pretend that Audism exist. Is Audism controversial? I remember reading a book, The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community that was published in 1992 while I was a sophomore in high school, I did not read the book until 1999.

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Harlan Lane, Carl Schroeder and I had a private meeting in 2010. He signed the very same book I read in 1999. 

There are millions of poor Deaf people, any kind of color in America that are suffering from pain and exploitation they all had in common, as a lover of freedom and liberty for all Deaf people to enjoy, I believe that efforts to build a law that recognizes Audism through stories, hard facts, and professional opinion, basic elements that are commonly missing when discussing “Audism” in the society.

If I coined a term whatever it is, I would make sure I educate the country, no matter what how long it is because it is my social responsibility and civil duty to continue educates Deaf people.

Let’s face up to it, Mr. Tom Humphries, there are millions of Deaf people who might look up on you, in a sphere of heavily steeped emotionalism, political struggle, power struggle, and human struggle that are completely ignored and continue to ignore Audism that exists today and tomorrow. I was one of them who look up to you. I own a painting of your face done by Nancy Rourke along with 12 faces in my personal space that was supposed to make all difference.

Is Tom Humphries still a scholar today? As in a book chapter called Audism: Exploring the Metaphysics of Oppression by hearing chair of ASL and Deaf Studies department at Gallaudet University, H-Dirksen L. Bauman writes:

However, it is was not until 1975 when a Deaf scholar, Tom Humphries, decided it was time to name the discrimination against Deaf persons and to coin a term that would be part of the currency of discussions on human rights, deaf education, and employment.”

Audism did not discuss until 1992. Why long silence? Funny thing that I was struggling in schools, home life, and personal life because of long-silenced treatment that Audism exists. Talking about Audism has often occurred in the context of angry words, hostility, accusations, and divisiveness.

This coming Friday and Saturday, April 14th and April 15th, there will be rally sponsored by Audism Free America (AFA) celebrating 200 years of American Sign Language (ASL), Deaf Education and their stories through the power, freedom, and justice to fight against Audism to let the society know that it is a permanent movement.

Where is your empowerment, Humphries? That was 42 years ago—and Deaf people would be empowered by now instead of being in silence about it. Since 1880 Milan Resolution, Deaf people have been survivors of the longest hate crime in American history. We refuse to live in hearing superiority. They need to respect Deaf people—the more respect, less Audism. In Humphries’s words:

The notion that one is superior based on one’s ability to hear or behave in the manner of one who hears. It is the bias and prejudice of hearing people against deaf people, it is the bias and prejudice of some deaf people against other deaf people.”

Although, the society that I envision is one that maximizes freedom and liberties for ALL Deaf people coming from walk of life—the concept of ignorance is what completes the loop of full justice even at Gallaudet University.

Yet, Bauman writes, “The term now appears at all levels of the Deaf Studies curriculum at Gallaudet University, from Introduction to Deaf Studies to Deaf Cultural Studies.”

I was asked to give a lecture at Gallaudet University a month ago and found that Deaf students who comes from mainstreaming schools, some of them are juniors and sophomores at Gallaudet has no idea what Audism stands for or do not know who George Veditz is, or Alexander Graham Bell, even the story about Milan. It’s very serious problem. I call it “Social Problem 101”.

Gallaudet University needs to bring stronger ethics and require ALL Deaf students to take at least 12 credits in Deaf Studies and Deafhood courses even though if they are not ASL/Deaf Studies majors.

Perhaps we should re-frame the question: How can Audism protect Deaf people from future social problems? In this case, the answer probably lies in higher learning and lectures. How would you answer this, Tom Humphries? Deaf people who are survivors of Audism do not need to be forgotten even in long silence.

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-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

Humphries, T. (1975). Audism: The Making of a Word. Unpublished essay. 

Lane, H. (1992). The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community.

Bauman, H-Dirksen L. (2004). Audism: Exploring the Metaphysics of Oppression.

Why Not AGBell in the List of Hate Groups?

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[https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch]

There are now reported 21 hate groups in District of Columbia released by Southern Poverty Law Center’s HATEWATCH. The only missing group is Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. How come SPLC did not list AGBell in this group? Well, there are few reasons that I will do my best to write and explain why AGBell should be classified as a hate group. Perhaps SPLC would learn from this for a start and go from there.

First of all, it is a sound-oriented world and SPLC does not really understand what Deaf people had suffered in their lifetime experiencing hate. Bell’s action equaled “Audism” of denying the linguistic minority such as Deaf signers such privileges and societal rights to the use of “natural language” Audism should really a logical term to describe AGBell’s eugenics movement for imposing linguistic and cultural superiority and eradication upon Deaf American signers of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

More appropriate terms are linguistic imperialism or attempt to “linguicide” the sociocultural minority, ex. Deaf signers of the post-Milan Conference period from conveying and expressing their own thoughts in practical and efficient language usage. “Linguicism” could be also an acceptable term to describe AGBell’s misguided ideology of assimilating or centralizing the sociolinguistic minority into the society at large on so-called equal basis.

Deaf Americans and other Deaf people everywhere, could enact the strategic multilingualism policies to ensure the protection and preservation of our beloved and precious language (ASL, LSF, BSL, and many others) from possibility of linguistic extinction/loss and sociocultural genocide or undermine the existence of minority language usage. Deaf people everywhere ought to call for the non-intervention policy to make our natural language of the Deaf to the protected status to the listing of endangered language usage in the United States and other countries.

Beginning with the work of AGBell in the late 19th century, Deaf people have been frequent and prominent targets of the eugenics movement. It is not widely known by the general public that, in addition to his work as an inventor, Bell was also a leading figure in the education of the Deaf in the late 19th and 20th centuries. In order to put this issue into context, it is important to consider AGBell and the educational and social programs he promoted.

As it was indicated, the primary characteristic identifying a member of the Deaf community, as opposed to a hearing-impaired person, is the use of ASL. It is a matter of great importance to members of the Deaf community that AGBell was a leader of the movement to “all-oral” education of the Deaf, in which ASL was banned from the educational process and discouraged in ordinary social intercourse.

AGBell and other oralists seem to have been motivated by two major beliefs. First was a belief in the “progressive” idea that American should have a single “official” language, spoken English, and that everyone should acquire in the same way. Signing was thought to result in the failure to have an adequate command of English, which would condemn the Deaf person to a life of poverty and impaired intellect. The use of ASL in the educational process was felt to impede the development not only of speaking and lip-reading but also reading and writing.

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The second motivation for the oralists was eugenic in nature and had to do with the supposed genetic bases of the state of being Deaf. The reasoning went like this: AGBell, in an influential monograph titled Memoir Upon the Formation of a Deaf Variety of the Human Raceasserted that sign language and those residential schools where it was used led to the formation of a separate Deaf community.

He noted, further, that the state of being Deaf is primarily heredity and that if Deaf people congregate and intermarry, the state of being Deaf, seen as a severe disability, will increase in the general population. Both of these lines of reasoning are know known to the without foundation-sign language has never been shown to interfere with the acquisition of spoken English skills, and, as is known to all of you, the state of being Deaf has many causes, generic and nongerietic.

In fact, most Deaf couple have hearing children (Lane, 1999) this can be attributed to a wider social awareness of other cultures in general in the United States. Even though awareness of Deaf culture has been perpetuated, the knowledge of the condition is not wholly agreed on by individuals in the hearing community, as evidenced by the results of the true or false portion of community how they view of Deaf people.

That is one of many reasons why SPLC did not really understand how much pain Deaf community has gone through the series of hatred. One day, AGBell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing will be recognized as a hate group. Time will come.

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

Lane, Harlan (1992). The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community. Dawn Sign Press. 1999.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Memoir-formation-variety-human-race/dp/B000J0OV24

AGBell’s America: Who Would You Be?

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Remember that shithead? Art done by Zeppe Art. Bravo!

Bread-and-buttered for the first 23 years in Scotland, Alexander Graham Bell (A.G. Bell) relocated to Canada. In 2002, he was mistakenly credited as the “father” of telephone; it was later discovered that A.G. Bell was not the inventor; he had only been the first to claim the patient. There also exists plenty of research pointing to the fact that A.G. Bell stole the telephone idea from Italian inventor Antonio Santi Giuseppe Meucci.

In 1890, Bell founded the American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf (AAPTSD), later the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AGBADHH) in Washington, D.C; Bell was a renowned manipulator of others, especially those close to him — his Deaf mother, Eliza Grace Symonds and his Deaf wife, Mabel Gardiner Hubbard were two examples.

Bell was a champion of eugenics (selective breeding), and served as the chair of the board of scientific advisors for the Eugenics Record Office. He also served as honorary president for the Second International Eugenics Conference a year before his death.

One hundred and thirty-two years later, AGBADHH is still attacking the Deaf community, claiming that oralism is the only way to educate Deaf children. In this same 132-year span, America has had 24 presidents.

Audism, and hatred of Deaf culture and ASL, has been a hard fact since the Second International Congress on Education of the Deaf held in Milan, Italy, when the majority of hearing attendees voted to ban sign language from Deaf education — largely due to A.G. Bell’s efforts. On that day, he became the happiest man in the world.

For the first 20 years after the conference, 90% of Deaf teachers were removed from their positions, replaced by hearing teachers who utilized the oralist method. A.G. Bell was responsible for the greatest fraud, and the biggest case of language bigotry, in Deaf Education that continues today.

AGBADHH followers have committed countless acts that could easily be labeled as hate crimes. But standing on the souls of A.G. Bell survivors — there are thousands, if not millions, of them — while trying to find souls they once knew to remember the pursuit of happiness, is repulsive to normal people.

Why would anyone doubt the veracity of AGBADHH’s claims? After all, who would want to “remain” Deaf, if following the organization’s misguided perspectives? A.G. Bell supporters have constantly stooped to the lowest common denominator to continue AGBell’s legacy of hatred toward Deaf people. His supporters constantly mock sign language, demean people who sign, and undertake efforts to make oralism the only method in schools again. The list goes on.

We — the Deaf community — need to depend on each other to heal. In healthy discourse, we must not lose our sight of the value of ASL — a human right that is not only beneficial, but also absolutely vital for Deaf people’s well being.  AGBADHH supporters have been taught to be attached to Bell’s original anger and make sure they continue to dwell on or recycle this anger.

Today, Deaf people — those who sign, and many who also speak — are united in full force to protect the community. The mere existence of AGBADHH has caused a cognitive dissonance among the Deaf community. The organization has promoted un-American values, especially among those who sign.

Just take a look at what outgoing AGBADHH president Meredith Sugar said in April 2016:

“It is our hope to dispel the myths about deafness and spread the word that deaf children can hear & talk. What it means to be ‘deaf’ has changed.”

That is what Alexander Graham Bell’s America looked like to him. Bell and his followers have done unimaginable damage, and left in its trail an astounding number of survivors still struggling to recover. If you are part of AGBADHH and trying to get out, it’s not your fault. Simply turn to those who have been there — and discover the truth.

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Laughing at AGBell aka shithead above–I am freed from AGBell! Sitting behind me is the painting of Nancy Rourke’s Mask of Benevolence

-JT

Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

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