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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The Consequences of Restaurant Audism

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By now, we know that Audism is a serious issue. What about restaurant Audism? A “hostile” environment is responsible for the people who ignited Audism has often overlooked. Restaurants knew the potential consequence of violating Deaf people’s human rights and took the chance to do so nonetheless.

As do all American restaurants, they have responsibilities to respect Deaf community which they are also part of American life. One of the responsibilities is to educate in workers and business owners, and for the democracy by which restaurant business makes those policies. When restaurant business claims to adopt anti-Audism policies, they do the opposite. The teaching of violating human right is inhumane. And they teach that hate speech is an acceptable way to continue Audism.

How will this help minimize restaurant Audism into responsible workers and business owners and appreciate Deaf people in the eye of an American life? Most recently as of June 1st, 2018, in Mississippi, a Deaf couple were mocked at a fast food restaurant (KFC) by workers who were making fun of them for being Deaf, and restaurant Audism have a strong effect on hearing attitudes toward Deaf Americans, business had a stronger incentive not to discriminate, but hearing workers resented having to deal with and complete with Deaf people.

http://www.wapt.com/article/woman-claims-restaurant-workers-mistreated-her-deaf-parents/21053795

In my most recent blog, Righting a Wrong: Racism, Audism, Starbucks, and Us: This seems like an extreme example of what Deaf people deal with daily. We all have “restaurant horror stories.” Just as Blacks recognize that “restaurant Racism” is still part of our reality, we recognize that “restaurant Audism” still exists.”

https://audismnegatsurdi.com/2018/05/30/righting-a-wrong-racism-audism-starbucks-and-us/

It is a negative effect of restaurant Audism. The golden thread that weaves itself through each case is that impoverished society is so removed from the status quo of hearing privileges socially that discriminating Deaf people before realizing other oppressive attacks is not as viewed as entirely negative because it is so commonplace.

Therefore, it is not deemed as risky in restaurants. It does, in a lot of forgotten cases, cause the Deaf community continue to suffer and suck it up, recognizing their surroundings are not healthy. Deaf community begins to strive for a better life for themselves. It is at this point that they begin to want the American dream that upper echelons of society also want and they begin to strive for them in the same order, but with Audism last.

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Deaf people put their Deaf journey before human oppression because society lacks the social education to know that dealing with Audism in restaurants to be successful citizens takes more hard work than they are exposed to in their immediate environment and they postpone knowledge about Audism almost indefinitely after Deaf community as they attempt to play “catch up” in order to realize the community accountability.

-JT

 

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

The Healing of Deaf America: Health Care Rights

 

 

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I would like to thank Senator McCain for his bravery and voted against the idea by Republicans to get rid of ObamaCare. I would like to wish him a speedy recovery during his difficult time. As a heart attack survivor five times, I am all too familiar with the difficult road I’ve traveled slowly to improve my health—not fully recovery yet.

Heart disease is one of worst health diagnosis in America; I cannot imagine the devastating diagnosis of heart attack for anyone, particularly my mother who survived heart attack four times. I’ve seen it all and stayed in the battle with my mother. She is a strong person and I’ve inherited that from my mother.

I still do not understand why health care continues to be very difficult topic in this “land of free” country. Politics and all those bullshit insurance companies are ruining many Americans. This has to be stopped.

Years ago, when I took an undergraduate course, Sociology of Health and Medicine for one of my electives, I was really blown away how I had learned so much about the social contexts of health disparities, institutions, and the medicalization of health and illness. I remember being lectured in the classroom about the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, explains that humans have the right to medical care, and the professor made sure we were aware of it.

Also, it is also important to be aware about the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights explaining the international including America should have excellent health and medicine rights. It was unbelievable! Anyone who is living in Canada, Mexico, England, Cuba, and other countries who have way better health care than America, still blows my mind away!

On the other hand, I must think how much suffering Deaf people deal with health care everyday. The majority of Deaf population might be on Medicaid or Medicare. The question, I still do not understand why Deaf people who voted for Trump and supported his agenda including health care. How can they not think of its own people, Deaf people who suffer everyday including the “bankruptcy” in their lives? The sick and damned of Deaf people is a human right violation! The idea of repealing ObamaCare is beyond my comprehension.

Senator McCain including two Republican senators, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski and the entire Democrats saved Deaf community—thank you! They are the backbone of saving lives! Thank you for the value of human rights!

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-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

ASL: Making Human Rights a Reality

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AGBell President Meredith Sugar’s statement that ASL is not a human right, well, then she does not understand democracy and human rights even as a lawyer. Shaking my head! She does not ever understand that Deaf community has a precious time: ASL more than ever because it will lead us into the world of intellectual freedom and language miracles.

ASL presents Sociology, the labor of my love. Yes, it may apply to Philosophy, too. It will help us transcend ordinary reality by creating a shift in perception that opens the mind to the value of language transformation in every day Deaf life. This transformation is the real way we the Deaf people think about our quest to personify ASL for our wisdom itself.

If we sit quietly and observe our mind, we will see that it is full of mixed signals. Does Meredith Sugar have the right to silence our human rights when we use ASL? It is important to know that ASL practically awakens our mind and turns us toward a more rewarding journey into the realm of the Deafhood.

ASL is always home, in the academy, the nature and persistence of linguistic research, the power of ASL to influence and shape the human mind which means human right and the character of Deaf community as it shapes intellectual life of the Deaf people today and tomorrow.  The struggle for our language and culture that Deaf people go through both financial and emotional is unexplainable; I do not think that there is any other language out there that people struggle so much.

It is in my amateur opinion that Meredith Sugar thinks she is very successful in dodging responsibilities in not only oppressing Deaf people, but she has been fumbling ASL in the accreditation question–by being arrogant and inhabiting ASL into fear and silence.

Yes, ASL is a human right recognized by the United States Constitution.

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Credit: Jeffrey Beatty

-JT

Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social Media vs. My Personhood

ImageMe and My Father (2011)

“We tell the public which way the cat is jumping. The public will take care of the cat”Arthur Hays Sulzberger

Being Deaf is personal for me and I believe that it is like my right to believe in any way. The problem is when the media and politics got into my father’s mind.

I did not know about Milan Resolution 1880 banning sign language until three years ago and it took me to realize that from the time we all were being indoctrinated with Oralism as well as Cochlear Implant (CI) today when we did not know why they imposed the Milan 1880 resolution.

Eight years ago, for example, my father asked me during our lunch outing at famous Carol’s Café, and we were about to order our food from the menu when my father said to me in some of “home” sign language that he had found some good news.  He heard from other people as well as saw the television advertisement that cochlear implants (CI) is the best tool for me to hear. He thought that if I get CI it would make me happy, get a job, and even to hear all the things I could ever imagine. He thought it was great.

By looking at my father’s face with high hopes, I realized that my being Deaf is not good enough for him.  I was 30 years old that time. I had been Deaf all my life since I was a baby. I was devastated and decided to walk away from the table and unlocked my bicycle so I could go home alone.  It was raining that day.

My father was puzzled why I left all of sudden. He tried to call me several times that day but I did not pick it up. I did not talk to him for a couple of days. I realized that it was one of my earliest stages of understanding the dynamics of Deafhood.

We need to bring stronger ethics and philosophy back into our Deaf minds and, especially at an early age.  We the Deaf need to stop negative media. Do not let negative media degrade us by offering us the Deaf those Cochlear Implants  (CI) because they are filled with the false hopes.

Perhaps we should re-frame the question: How can society protect Deaf children from being implanted?

This dangerous “CI myth” is what nearly all the media are selling false hopes. The CI myth is also pushed by media sources that has fed my father into thinking that CI is equated to “happiness,” “job” and “information access.” I did not blame my father for it. I am blaming the social media that exploited my father into believing so.

It has concerned me that the media continues to IGNORE the facts and follow our emotions when it comes to public policy. We the Deaf are people, too, for two things: the state of being Deaf is human right and using American Sign Language (ASL) is our legal right, too. We have the hard facts because we are the breeds of Deaf blood. Why should the public policy by getting cochlear implant be based on? Should it be based on anecdotal experiences?

When Deaf children are being persecuted as in those caught up in Alexander Graham Bell Association of the Deaf (AGBAD)’s stupid policy, which is the first thing that they want to do by eliminating being Deaf right off the face of the Earth, making sure Deaf children are breeding and acting like hearing people. Deaf people do have human rights and basic legal rights, but AGBAD breeds the myths and fictions which had driven my father to think that CI will bring me happiness. It is a legal train wreck.

We the Deaf need to challenge those AGBAD politicians who have only their careers to watch out not for the public good.

Dad, it is not your fault! The media took our love away! They want you to love CI. You might be a turd, but damn it, I do love you, Dad!

-JT

Copyright © 2013 Jason Tozier

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