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/

The Illusion of a Poll: Fact and Fable in Deaf Community

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What would it like not to live without history that reflects all of us who Deaf people are? The history of idea of creating “poll” goes back to George Gallup who defined the American information to give voters the right to democracy, and most importantly, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) gives any person has the right to seek access for information at the request including the right to poll.

Guaranteed. Deaf people have seen the Gallup Poll sharing national news with anchors talking about it on national television, there is no way to miss this. It has changed the history of American politics including our own Deaf community.

It is a poll that Deaf people have right to gather their opinions for the fact of the matter is voting that creates truth to understand the power-struggling experiences and should not hide the emotional suffering in denial, and somehow suffering and does not know it.

Remember the times where there would be a tent with pollsters asking someone to taste the hidden drink which it would be COKE or PESPI. If you are right with the chosen drink brand, you get a prize. Come on, we cannot forget that. I did that. I like Pepsi. It is a simple and democratic poll. We are created as statisticians because we have the right to vote even for a poll.

We are strong believers in polling, too. When someone Deaf writes: “Deaf Life is abusing its powerful influence in the Deaf community.” That’s far fetched.

That is a one-sided perspective and never read diverse variety of information chewing influence away, and the poll created by DEAF LIFE is simple, harmless and a human right for anyone to vote in a poll when it comes to LEAD-K and Alexander Graham Bell. Would you react differently if it was George Veditz partners up with Alexander Graham Bell? What about truth partners up with toxicity? Would it go quietly deliberate and depend on the information to create their own viewpoints in polling? Do Deaf people have right to get Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), too?

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There is the subscription in truth for freedom of information act and Deaf community should not deal with Alexander Graham Bell getting away with the fear of having a different opinion from the rest of Deaf community like us. Within polls like this one in Deaf community, we would want to fit in society without fear and hatred from Alexander Graham Bell. That kind of thinking does not develop social justice that shows many survivors who experienced language deprivation from the biggest oppressor, Alexander Graham Bell.

That is the kind of justice that is rightfully important to all of us and we need more people like us that are courageous enough to vote in a poll to stand up against what is wrong in society we deal with every day, and it starts with us to make a better place for all of us to live safely as much as possible, and that starts with a poll that is historic enough.

It sends a wrong message with final answer: Because Deaf community continues to live in Alexander Graham Bell’s America where its American citizens gets their news from known-sided organization like AGBell filled with propaganda and disinformation which best option for a language to learn other than rejecting American Sign Language off the book to control Deaf people’s use of the powers of emotionalism to allow modes of communication like Cued Speech, Oralism, Cochlear Implants all are Alexander Graham Bell’s favorite tools that will improve English in listening and writing far skyrocket…..the very same fear in and of themselves that ASL is powerful and best choice of all languages.

It should concern all of us that we continue to ignore the facts and follow our emotions when it comes to give Alexander Graham Bell the crown like a king. What should public opinion like this poll be based on? Should it be based on forgotten experiences? What would it mean to us in the eyes of educational polling? It also abuses its powerful influence of journalism that is often not enough discussed in Deaf community.

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

 

 

Rethinking ASL Justice & AGBell Colonialism

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Without question, 2018 has been emotional, heart-breaking, heart-crunching, heart-wrenching, hurt, being lied to, being deceived, confused, showing the culture of bystander, denials, and lost souls for Deaf community. Where is justice for American Sign Language (ASL)?

LEAD-K. It was never about data. It was about Alexander Graham Bell. With our help, we need to stand up for justice and stop Alexander Graham Bell patronizing Deaf people down. In fact, the word of the year for 2018 by Merriam-Webster has chosen “justice”—how fitting it is.

In New York Times by Dan Levin, writes that:‘in choosing the noun, Merriam-Webster said that it was looked up on its website 74 percent more often than in 2017’

 LEAD-K was never about justice. It was more like travesty. What is travesty? Representing in a false or distorted way and that is how Deaf community felt about being represented in a false picture that it is all right to team up with Alexander Graham Bell.

LEAD-K helped Alexander Graham Bell gain more prejudice against ASL in our Deaf community. They are allowing Alexander Graham Bell to gain access to hate and Surdophobia in Deaf schools and mainstreaming schools.

Two years after LEAD-K formed, there are two things are absolutely clear: Alexander Graham Bell’s words and actions reflect the Audism, Surdophobia, and Hate Speech that had been at the face of the LEAD-K campaign. Now Cued Speech is forming in Virginia and Illinois—and wants to spread all over America with the help of LEAD-K. It was never about data or improving literacy in reading and writing.

A coalition of activists had been spending a lot of time, energy, and passion to bring the truth about Alexander Graham Bell’s hateful ideology. There are plenty of Deaf artists who drew pictures of how Alexander Graham Bell are dangerous proves effective, with survivors of Alexander Graham Bell gaining greater understanding through their own artwork.

There are plenty of Deaf writers who took it to the streets, social media, and public, showing the truth about Alexander Graham Bell and sends a message onto the platform to distribute truth and challenging the lies that makes Deaf students “successful” with Cued Speech, listening and speaking, and cochlear implants, and the list goes on, making Alexander Graham Bell for the message.

LEAD-K claims that it would support the foundation of Deaf children, and help protect young lives from the destructive effects of Oralism, but Deaf community got fooled badly.

The educational materials would help and empower Deaf people with the facts they need to live healthy, Audism-free lives. We need to continue and stand up against Audism and Surdophobia practice and conquer the language hegemony or oppression.

Now it is time for us to spread the truth. We stand up for social justice! We stand up for ASL justice!

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

Can Deaf Returning Citizens Exist Without Deaf Community?

 

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Can Deaf returning citizens exist without Deaf community? I do not think so. I believe that is important for information, knowledge, and communication. No one can take away the attribution of success and breach human rights. Bringing awareness about the term of “Returning Citizen” would make all difference.

No more “felons”—no more “convicts”—no more “offenders”—no more negativity. Returning citizen is a positive term. Can Deaf returning citizens deserve to be let alone to resume their life without the haters breathing down their necks? It goes way too far in the continuous punishment. As a nation, I believe that the failure of ignoring hard facts and expert opinions to be discussed in many public policy issues even in Deaf community.

When you see someone bully a Deaf returning citizen, how will you react to it? Does it make it an impressive train wreck? Makes you feel good about it?

I can bully and make Deaf returning citizens ashamed….I bring hatred to their faces…I make them cover their faces by how cyber-bullying can solve problems. I am the greatest bully, and they are inferior. I can do a good job by teaching bullies because it is awesome feeling to do this!”

Have we forgot about the importance of liberty and justice for all? Remember, the society has been trying to teach us the awareness of how to stop bullying including cyber-bullying and end the same way: suffer and humiliation. Do we really understand the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution: Cruel and Unusual Punishment?  This is the real epidemic out there that needs to be addressed and examined. Break the stigma.

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Please be aware about October as National Bullying Prevention Month. If you know someone who is a Deaf returning citizen who is in need for counseling for well-being, please feel free to get in touch with Deaf Counseling Center for more information.

http://www.deafcounseling.com/contact-us/

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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