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

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The Discussion of Second Chances: Deaf Returnees

“Find ways of sharing the land, of achieving dignity without eradicating the other”- Naomi Chazon

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At the improving myself end of my life, I return home from a trauma stage: telling a story who dealt with an oppressed environment in the hearing world. The majority of the world: hearing. It makes Deaf community built into a minority gambling for human struggle and painful journey.

To the survivors of oppression, those Deaf valiant souls who fought for freedom their whole lives long and never lived to taste its pursuit of happiness; To learn awareness about Deaf returnees, who lived in this strange and cruel land, yet, dreamed more safe without ignorance.

Will Gallaudet University no longer safe because of bullying policies and social values? Where was I shut out of my trauma wiped from my memories of pain for 32 years and of my accomplishments to turn my life around and dealt with hate-mongers?

Labeling heavily regulated because they are federal employees. Regulated for collecting evidence, regulated for search and seizure and regulating on the ideas of profiling. These guidelines need to be followed but sometimes the federal employee does not want to follow the rules, sometimes they want to act like a human. Yes, human have biases and have histories.

In the personal tragedy of what it has happened to me, had been damaged to be enfolded and left to be a scapegoat at will in the eyes of ASL/Deaf Studies, whether our traumas can ever truly be overcome. The answers it offers are denial, deeply rooted in culture of fear, and empty my heart out. Truly broken. It is what it is called siege mentality. Us versus them rhetoric about Deaf returnees.

It is very radicalized—for example, oppressors “police” Deaf returnees, there are expectations that a person is an oppressor. They are considered flash points. If oppressing Deaf returnees on the campus of Gallaudet, what do you call it?

It is a Superman Syndrome. Oppressors are expected to SAVE THE DAY and do everything to everyone. Anti-hate mentality but when oppressors are in trouble and they need the idea of the dual relationships. It is senselessness of bullying. The problems with this type of policing—it is a masculine model, and old school stigma follow and lack of awareness is a big problem.

Let’s exacerbating this idea. Amount of awareness: 100% of educating themselves about Deaf returnees “paid dues to the society”, during the day, the “invisible oppression” and is not regulated, do not have to go by the books, but at night they are regular people by the books.

More about 10,000 Deaf inmates in the United States are invisible. When one let out of prison, only to find that landing a higher education at Gallaudet University is near impossible. In fact, they remain unemployed—often because of the stigma that they carry and concerns over what kind of higher education they would prove to be. It means the awareness of Deaf returnees is three times more invisible and marginalized.

Then lack of awareness goes back to their day job. The Allegory of Deaf returnees—stories that create a meaning that create a meaning beyond the literal level of interpretation.

The rhetoric of supremacism. What is supremacism? It “is an ideology of domination and superiority: it states that a particular class of people is superior to others, and that it should dominate, control, and subjugate others, or is entitled to do it.”

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When I took American Indian Literature for one of my undergraduate requirements, I was asked to read a book called The Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons for Living:

“We Lakota believe that the roads in life, but that there are two that are most important. The Red Road and the Black Road. They represent the two perspectives to every situation, the two sides of every person, the two choices we frequently face in life.

The Red Road is the good way, the good side, and the right choice. It is a narrow road fraught with dangers and obstacles is extremely difficult to travel.

The Black Road is the bad way, the bad side, the wrong choice. It is wide and very easy to travel. The Red Road and the Black Road appear in many of our stories, not as roads but as the personifications of right and wrong, good and bad, light and dark.”

That is something we need to think about. Can Deaf returnees be forgiven and give a second chance? The activity of entering or “invading” the awareness on the part of Deaf returnees is clearly one of struggling subversion. Intended by their visible presence in this clearly showed Gallaudet mecca is limiting between the allowable spaces for Deaf returnee’s search for healing and the rest of Gallaudet campus.

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Left unchallenged in such an action, however, are the hardest ways, besides the awareness about Deaf returnees, in which Deaf returnees feel alienated and excluded from Deaf space.

In the higher learning, it was the contention of oppressors to continue combat this stigma must be regarded as the same source of power that denied Deaf returnees access to higher education. Bullying—long tolerated as just part of growing up—finally has been recognized as a sociological problem.

In 1999, District of Columbia enacted anti-bullying legislation. In addition, research on the causes, consequences, and prevention of bullying has not enough discussed at Gallaudet University. However, major ignorance still exists in the understanding of bullying that could prevent the effects of bullying Deaf returnees. The form of social isolation is another sociological problem. With the right training, Deaf returnees who’ve been returned to the society thrive to hold hunger for higher education even more than your regular American citizen.

Higher education plays an important role in their lives. To empower the strategy of unity through democracy—and to teach them is the most peaceful thing. The spirit of peace and democracy that lacks the Gallaudet community-Deaf returnee agreement is gone, and there is no second chance for how to reverse it and how to cope with it.

Professors regarded as, Person who professes being usually an expert in arts or sciences, a teacher of the highest rank.” Harper, Douglas, “Professor.” Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 2007-07-28.

Text defines “social movements” as collective attempts to bring about change….” Nothing. They originate OUTSIDE the established political system. Let’s emphasize on interlocking systems of oppression—however that is being conceptualized to it. Perhaps it seems surprising because the society have class, power and other issues to contend with. Deaf returnees are less likely to say that the society needs a movement because they continue to be oppressed.

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All for all, Deaf returnees have constitutional right to seek higher education at Gallaudet and change their lives around to make them better. 8th Amendment and 9th to the United States Constitution respectively: Bails, fines, and punishments“nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

Rights retained by the people. “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be constructed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

What is something really important about the relationship between Deaf returnees and Deaf community that we have not discussed in higher learning, and why is it important? Can we find ways of sharing awareness, of achieving dignity without oppressing Deaf returnees at Gallaudet University?

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

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Challenging Audism in Higher Education

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When a Deaf individual deny that Audism and oppression is happening at Illinois School for the Deaf that results in a failure to comprehend social responsibility to stand up against Audism. Never been Cued Speech been mired in so many conflicts of interest. Or one surrounded by so many questionable characters. And, until Audism occurred, it is not the same and no Deaf student shall never face a full-frontal attack on their most cherished democratic values: American Sign Language (ASL).  That is the step of a language hegemony.

This is not the America we know and love. Alexander Graham Bell-controlled Deaf Illinois—ideologically extremist, anti-ASL, insensitive to Deaf community, and hostage to Oralism—is a danger to their democracy.

Beginning with the ISD administration, the oppressors have been focused on establishing one-language rule—their own rules or face punishment. Now, thanks to in part to oppression restricting and ASL suppression, hate speech, the lies, and distortions of Oralism ideology, combined with the matrix of oppression that has lost touch with its base, they may think they’ve achieved. Wrong.

ASL means for the freedom of speech. It is their idea of democracy. It is an affront to everything ASL stands for. There is the language oppression pushing for the hate and opportunism wooing from Oralism and this Cued Speech practices. It is time to uncover the corruption, back-room deals, and Oralism greed that we need to know to resist Audism and oppression.

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When a Deaf person witness and ignore Audism and oppression, we let the person know that our fearless concerns to carry social responsibility and stand up against hate speech and the corrupt oppressors of bullies like hearing supremacy. The idea of driving extreme oppression was an early warning signal that marked a new direction in Illinois Deaf community.

The truth is, Deaf community in Illinois is fighting an uphill battle to save their freedom of speech: ASL. Oralism has Alexander Graham Bell’s back, big business, and Cued Speech in its corner. But they have the truth. And that is a force to be reckoned with in these politically oppressive times. Remember Audism Unveiled DVD?

How much of oppression will survive the age of Illinois School of the Deaf? Why is oppression spying on Deaf community? Why did the administration elect Cued Speech in the first place? Can ASL survive oppressive climate? Can ASL help Illinois School for the Deaf face its brutal past? Is it possible for Illinois School for the Deaf devastated by Cued Speech to be brought back to life?

When a Deaf individual denying Audism, oppression and hate speech, the greatest strength against the corruption of Oralism is knowledge.

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-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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Gallaudet University: Audism Still Exist in 2018?

After reading this book tonight, we need to bring up critical thinking and how we can challenge Audism and give Deaf students the quality of higher learning in ASL and Deaf-centered environment at Gallaudet University.

Honors Program: Carl Schroeder’s Legacy

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Honors programs on colleges and universities are designed to become stronger academicians who are seeking for motivated students—-Gallaudet University is based on the educational philosophy that Deaf people have diversity potential to learn, thrive, and succeed. The goal is to find the way in which each Deaf individual learns best to grow and success. Gallaudet University is a federally funded, private institution for Deaf intellectuals.

As I learned that in 1960, University of Oregon was the first high academic university to create Honors program where many colleges and universities follow the model and still do today.

In late 1970s, Student Body Government (SBG) Director of Academic Affairs, Carl Schroeder lit the light in the room by putting a seed on Gallaudet College campus: Honors program. He was the one who started it all. A year later, Carl was selected as SBG president and continued to push for Honors program on the campus. After SBG presidency was done a year later, Honors program was established in thanks to Carl Schroeder’s leadership.

Carl became the key merit who brought the Honors program that changed the face of Gallaudet for intellectual discourses to inspire Deaf students’ thinking capabilities. He was quite an innovator in the academic world. Did Gallaudet College that time or Gallaudet University today honors Carl’s name for creating the idea to discover the root causes of academic honesty?

Carl understood the learning environment on Gallaudet College campus in 1981, where the school campus claimed to be proud of highly training Deaf students to work and learn with the professors that provides an exciting learning environment that meets students’ need to chase their goals within the field of study. The radical idea by Carl brings the educational goal to make Gallaudet University a better place to make a stronger chronicle of higher learning.

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The way I see after reading the Buff and Blue interview with Carl in 1990 [September 21], see why he thought of an idea about the Honors program on the campus to expose their ideas in the lifelong learning process that is the essence of our literacy, even in American Sign Language (ASL) literature, too. That was one of Carl’s best works to contribute Gallaudet community that helped students in Honors program to thrive their future. It was beautiful thing, a human connection. You cannot beat that. You just cannot…..

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I now see why Honors program had changed the lives of Deaf students forever—Deaf society, our culture, the intellectual discourses has undergone dramatic change just within our lives. When I learned by that reading Blue and Buff article the day before today, I was blown away and I absolutely had no idea that Carl engaged in his activism to optimize change to thrive character, fellowship, leadership, and scholarship in creating Honors program. When Carl sent me this picture below via text message two weeks, he was resting at home before December 18th.

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Who would have done without Carl’s ideas? That is the gateway to knowledge. It is also set of fearless ideas to inspire social change. That is how it works. Who would have done it if it was not Carl? Where is the legacy on his part?

Four years ago today, Carl N. Schroeder passed away in state of Oregon. His existence must not be forgotten. His works and contribution in Deaf community cannot be neglected. His soul will not be missed. Oregon as the founding innovator of ‘Honors program’ felt Carl’s presence by how he helped Gallaudet University grow with the program. Isn’t life supposed to work in mysterious ways?

The honors of this world, what are they but puff, and emptiness, and peril of falling?”-St. Augustine.

 

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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Eyes to the Knowledge of Interpreters

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Thank you, DEAF LIFE for giving me the opportunity to write an editorial column called Interpreters in Deaf Education: Them and Us for November 2017’s DEAF LIFE. If you are curious what the article is about, please subscribe DEAF LIFE. Interpreters are important assets in our every day life. Without interpreters, it would be not so quite triumphant as it ought to have been. Imagine in a higher education environment, interpreters are also critical in our eyes.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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My Letter for Graduate School

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My mother and my father were proud of me graduating that day! June 2011. 

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[It was written in 2011]

Gallaudet University
800 Florida Avenue, NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

ATTENTION: Department of American Sign Language and Deaf Studies

To Whom It May Concern:

Thank you for the opportunity to introduce myself and to express my interest in attending your graduate program in Deaf Studies.

It has been my experience in life that the process of development requires baby-steps and growth from a place that is firmly grounded. For example, before I became a student at an university, I had no intention to attend college. It was not because I was incapable of achieving success at the university, but my immediate environment did not expect it of me. I was told then that I was incapable of succeeding at a university. Over time, my resilient nature, positive attitude and motivation helped me to rise above that expectation.

I am both a first-generation college student. My long path to intellectual freedom and academic achievement has not easy, yet it has been worthwhile I have found it to be immeasurable in the personal and academic growth that I have experienced on that path. I gave up a debt-free life for a college degree. I have balanced my job and schoolwork while subsisting on Mac and Cheese because I believe my education and personal development are worth the liberating value that comes from academia.

To me, achieving this degree is not about getting a piece of paper, rather, it is about fully absorbing what the entire Deaf world has to offer the people who compose it. It is also about informing the hearing world about its continual struggles and the diversity of Deaf culture. It is about change.

The most meaningful change in my life has been that transition from the boy I was 15 years ago to the man that I am today. My perception of myself has altered radically from a quiet, isolated adolescent to an extroverted, involved, and socially active person. I attribute this transformation of my academic skills, personal relationships and intellectual insights to provide to an university experience.

Currently, I do not have a simple answer for my purpose and long-term goals within your program, but I do know that I have a longing to express my experience as a Deaf person. I also have a conviction that at the heart with in addition to the foundation of belief, I am aware of my ability to offer my unique perspective on life. I am a human, with Deaf desires.

The Deaf are an underrepresented group in society that requires appropriate representation at the university level. Historically, Deaf persons could not attend university because of the lack of infrastructure that impeded their mere existence on a campus.

However, there are only few numbers of Deaf professors teaching at the university level, which significantly impairs the diversity and representatives that universities, in general, strive to attain. More credentialed Deaf people are needed at this level to facilitate an understanding and acceptance of Deaf people and our culture.

As an undergraduate Sociology major, my sociological perspective will help bridge the gap between Deaf and Hearing communities in order to broaden cultural acceptance. My study of Sociology has provided me within the opportunity to explore my intellectual curiosity of how people create, maintain, and am by social influences.

I have found that the study of sociology requires critical thinking, problem solving, written and signed communication and interpersonal skills. I can also say that the program at an university has cultivated my skills in these areas. I am very excited about the opportunities that sociology offers me to explore the world through a sociological perspective and look forward to expanding my knowledge with the discipline.

A Master of Deaf Studies degree with a concentration in Cultural Studies will allow me to continue my path to achieving my career goal of being a university professor teaching Deaf Studies. With this degree, I strive the reduce the stigma and discrimination that Deaf people and other individuals with disabilities encounter, which I believe is masked by “political correctness,” lack of information, and a perceived insensitivity from the non-Deaf, non-disabled community. I want to help both Deaf individuals understand their unique place in the world while also broadening the experience and understanding of those who are non-Deaf.

I believe that your program would not only help me to build a stronger foundation of knowledge and skills applicable to Deaf Studies, it will also to continue to build towards my personal and professional goals. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Cordially,

Jason Tozier

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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