First Deaf Scholar in America

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Why You Should Pick Gallaudet To Be Your Home

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Let’s begin in the beginning where we are on our own. When you are walking across Gallaudet University, you will see a rise of a gleaming memorial to discover your Deaf identity in this time line. The old bricks of great hands built Gallaudet University together, the ambitious effort to create a Deaf-space integrated, so connected, ASL continue to flourish. With the sidewalks that has hold the foot prints of Great Hotchkiss, Foster, Draper, Amos, Veditz, Tiegel, Fay, Hanson, McGregor, Clerc and list of game changers had found their home.

As Laurent Clerc writes, “A knowledge of history is extremely useful; it lays before our eyes the great picture of the generations that have preceded us; and in relating the events which passed in their time…it lays before us the precepts of the wise…of all ages.”

Just any time you see the flag of Gallaudet University, the welcome would be your entrance to your home. The flag flap in the wind at the at the entrance to each of our eyes–for the higher learning mecca in Deaf world. That is where the most attractive piece of human being and the state of being Deaf.

For the purpose of the journey for Gallaudet University, the most important Gallaudetian motto: There is No Other Place Like This in The WorldBy far came in the year of 1864, the search for home to empower Deaf people, no longer in the sullen silence of despair had found hope in National Deaf-Mute College now known today as Gallaudet University. What is Deaf Space and why should Gallaudet be your home? One of its key ideas, the creation of having Gallaudet as your home, helps to continue the future of Deaf stories there, and will not be forgotten. Let’s carry the flames of 1864 to today.

To make it even more real home, it would take a breathtaking in its sheer scope to make radical changes, for example, get involved and in repealing Audism on Gallaudet campus. Let’s end the witch-hunt. Funding is the name of the game. Tough-on-hate policies. Work to defeat fear-mongering culture. Ban hearing privileges.

Stop allowing propaganda style to infiltrate our common senses. Gallaudet University needs to bring ASL ethics and philosophy back into Gallaudet’s higher learning system. Today on the campus of Gallaudet University, I was told that it is only 50% of people who works there do not know ASL. Is there any validity why we should bring it up in this dialogue in a concrete reason?

If we do not take action above then why are we still creating a culture of fear? How would you pick to make Gallaudet your home? Even today, the energy of Gallaudet viewed as an important “cardinal” chapter in Deaf community, the glory years of ASL stories, and the old Deaf souls, still carry satisfying memories around Gallaudet community. Then it is time to think whether you should pick Gallaudet University as your home. Hey, are you home now?

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-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

The Nation Was Also Built By Laurent Clerc

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History Through Deaf Eyes 

Today, May 1st is Immigrant Rights Day! Consider, to begin with a colonialism scene in Deaf world–especially in America that time. In 1816, Laurent Clerc to begin his journey for America knew the destiny to create in the name of Deaf Education. Clerc was the ONE who generated Deaf Education, without him, it would not be the same. It was a fate to get rid of Audism and break the colonization.

This was the time that Clerc had to articulate his teaching philosophy in America. The ability to acquire and use sign language exclusively is valuable for Deaf students in the field of literatures and Clerc strive to have students actively thinking about higher education within minutes of entering the classroom, and when communication something Clerc pushed to use as much sign language as possible.

Clerc had been teaching for long time, and I’m sure he enjoyed this work a lot. He had coordinated Deaf Education and there is no way he would realize that his presence had developed and facilitated many courses through the College-wide Curriculum Committees and Higher Education Commission. His gift for America was a huge amount of time, and through this process, he determined to boil down his teaching philosophy to higher principles that Clerc as an immigrant made a huge difference today.

The most important principle of Deaf Education is always demonstrating a passion for higher learning. Unfortunately, there is no unique recipe for passion that works for all Deaf students. While for some Deaf students it is important to know how to use ASL, others find the ideas for education in ASL interesting by themselves.

The final grade has been a top-priority for many Deaf students, but I am sure that Clerc always do his best to explain that it should an ultimate goal for acquiring skills in ASL. Otherwise, students would gain the skills in ASL after classroom is over and that is very desirable for Clerc.

So, I feel that Clerc as an immigrant with his credentials why Deaf Education is important and where it is used today and explain the ideas behind philosophy and linguistics, propagating the idea that ASL can be approached from two perspectives, science (descriptive) and art (prescriptive). Before proceeding to the theory Clerc would give a lot of examples and usually draw appropriate pictures.

Clerc’s passion is enthusiasm for acquiring and mastering ASL for Deaf students. His enthusiasm must be infectious enough to transmit to the students. In this case they would learn ASL because of ASL itself and not only because it is used somewhere else. The goal here is to share the beauty of ASL. Deaf students, I am sure that have never complained about a lack of enthusiasm.

We reinforce Deafhood every time we use ASL. © Jason “JT” Tozier 2017

Clerc might not also realize that he brought human rights of the Deaf in America. It was all about modeling and teaching professional behavior and respect. To Clerc, teaching and learning is palpable: When Clerc can see it in a student’s visible delight in acquiring and using ASL jargon; when Clerc can read the excitement in students’ essays about ASL or Deaf experience that is also part of Deaf Studies, Clerc cannot say anything better than an Irish writer, W.B. Yeats about teaching when he wrote:

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

Clerc’s energy had ignited in Deaf students a passion to learn as much as possible and be professional within the field of Deaf Studies. I can best summarize in one word for Clerc: passion. Passion helps the Deaf students engage in the course assignment, even if there is no “correct answer” in the processes of exploring the language and culture of the Deaf. Engaged students in classrooms must work hard, write about their Deaf experiences, and learn to think, respect others, and above all, have fun!

Clerc was the most important Deaf immigrant in America. Thank you, Laurent Clerc for your genius and innovations. You were the face of human rights! After all, we are a nation of immigrants. Behold the Deaf community in highest standard possible! Yes, Immigrant Rights are 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.

References:

https://www.neh.gov/explore/history-through-deaf-eyes

 

Laurent Clerc Would Be Disheartened by Cochlear Implants

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Laurent Clerc. Gallaudet University.

Deaf people are one of America’s most important symbols because it identifies the moment at which the nation was born and, in effective yet complex language, describes the reason for its 200 years anniversary of Laurent Clerc’s arrival. America was only 40 years old when Clerc arrived on an American soil.

If you are offended by the cochlear implant industries that are attempting to take over Deaf community and want to understand how the lies on Earth can allow liars to escape from the truth, profit over Deaf people, while maintaining the highest rate of myths among Deaf children in the industrialized world. 

If you are alarmed that our planet will soon be inhospitable for civilization at the rate that they are attempting to wipe Deaf culture out and wants to know the steps we can take to reserve that trend. 

If you are concerned that the Deaf people soon at the brink of extinction because of cochlear implant industries, taking away the pursuit of happiness from them who need it most and that Deaf people are limited and the right to take their lives over. 

If you are agree that the deadly cochlear implant industries actions of industrialized, corrupt, and Audist forces go unchecked…

There was a five minutes movie on YouTube called Deaf Culture: VICE News Tonight on HBO [Full Segment] that was published on February 8th, 2017. Since the cochlear implant industries has closed people’s eyes to who is really profiting from lies, manipulating stocks, controlling Deaf people on earth, enslaving Deaf children, pulling strings in order to plump up their stock portfolios at your expense and mine.

If Clerc were alive today, he would fight for the voice of Deaf people for a powerful and passionate movement how to fight back for the human rights. For example, take cochlear implant companies debacle–there is an insurance company tactic called “rescission”–where sick policyholders were routinely dumped even if they never missed a premium payment. And while the cochlear implant industries has spread the lies to the millions of people, Deaf people has not been shy about airing the truth;

That America can do better, and, under insurance companies that become greedy and got too good to set up a deal. Let’s face it. The cochlear implant industries makes for comfortable armchair reading. That is because going into the backroom, the boardroom, and the cloakrooms to uncover for you the hard truths about who really controls power in Deaf community can be scary and infuriating.

But the cochlear implant industries refuse to regret knowing what they know now. Because once you’ve had the blinders removed, you’ll never want to be hoodwinked by their lies and sandbagged by the mainstream media, and snookered by powerful corporate interests feeding Alexander Graham Bell board members bullshit flaking for their profit or dirty or even blood money over Deaf people.

Fact. There is the smoke and mirrors you get from the most of the media today, and there is stronghold of Deaf people who fights against cochlear implant industries for the truth. Every step is a splash of cold water on the face.

Together today, we will fight for our democracy and human rights for Deaf people and American Sign Language (ASL), too. I am pretty sure that Laurent Clerc would do the same thing. 200 years later after Clerc’s historic arrival, Deaf Culture: VICE News Tonight on HBO [Full Segment] wrote in summary,

“Today, more than 40 percent of American children born deaf receive cochlear implants. The technology effectively restores hearing by bypassing the ear and delivering audio information directly to the brain. The vast majority of deaf children who are implanted develop hearing and speaking skills comparable to their hearing peers, thus allowing them the option to “mainstream” into normal schools.

Deaf education in the U.S. has gone through many phases. American Sign Language (ASL) is currently the dominant mode of instruction in deaf schools, but there have been periods where ASL was banned and students were forced to speak and lip-read, an ineffective approach known as oralism. ASL has now gained legitimacy and been shown to include the deep grammar and syntax found in spoken languages. It is also the wellspring of deaf culture, a proud community wary of historical attempts to assimilate them into a hearing world.

As more parents opt for cochlear implants, VICE News explores their impact on the medical condition that gave rise to a cultural identity.”

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Artwork done by Joseph N. Artino

When the Nazi party came to power in Germany in 1933, Hitler was obsessed with racial purity with the idea that nature had created a superior Aryan race. There was 17,000 Deaf people were sterilized between 1933 and 1945. The youngest was nine years old. Deaf people in Hitler’s Europe were among those who were killed by the Nazis during the time because they were Jews, others because as congenitally Deaf people that they were considered ‘defective’ and ‘biologically inferior’ [Gilbert, 1998]

As a Deaf person and Deaf people I know, we have long suffered in silence enduring verbal attacks, physical attacks, and harassment why they and I did not get cochlear implant. As a result, hate crimes against Deaf people are largely under reported. Many Deaf people did not report crimes because of fear of being misunderstood. Deaf people face stigma daily, ASL is one tool, which may help them overcome communication issues but may not erase stigmatization.

A knowledge of history is extremely useful; it lays before our eyes the great picture of the generations that have preceded us; and in relating the events which passed in their time..it lays before us the precepts of the wise…of all ages…”- Laurent Clerc

Today, Laurent Clerc would be horrified by the attacks of cochlear implants.

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References: Gilbert, Jean (1998). Deaf People in Hitler’s Europe. Gallaudet Today. September 1998.

Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Please Apologize to the Deaf Community

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It is just disheartening to see that once in a while that Deaf people would be mocked for their own language choice: American Sign Language (ASL). When Arnold Schwarzenegger, a former governor for the state of California has mocked ASL front of the audience promoting them to laugh. I was shocked to see what he has done. I had respect for him.

I’ve seen all of Arnold’s movies, of course, The Terminator, but one movie gave me a lot of laughter, Twins with Danny DeVito. Memories were good! Arnold was the one who vetoed AB 2072 in 2010, he saved Deaf community. But…. after what he did couple of days ago, he did not save the Deaf community instead of mocking them. No compassion.

So, I went ahead and find out when the Twins were produced and surprised that it was made in 1988, the same year Deaf President Now won the hearts of American people to pick its first Deaf president in history. Respect!

Where is the compassion?  Is it a right word? A compassion is a moment of sudden clarity on a dank day whether it was morning, neither afternoon nor evening.

We all are the same. We are all Deaf. We are all the same. Though, our stories are not the same. We live in a very oppressed world dominated by hearing people. The hearing world has forgotten that Deaf people have been contributed to the society.  Did Arnold even know that the mirror said to him?

Each day, Deaf people face challenges–discrimination in all spheres of public spaces wherever they go to. The nation that has named United States of America was supposed to live in a peaceful space. When Laurent Clerc arrived on the soil of America in 1816, we all need to remember the old mantra of Deaf progress. It makes Clerc as an immigrant just like all of us. Arnold was an immigrant, too. America was built with immigrants.

Clerc’s America was supposed to be seen as “grandfather clause” meant to protect Deaf people. After infamous 1880 Milan Resolution, thousands of Deaf people even today–I meant, a countless number the last two centuries were targeted for bullying.

Soon, few weeks away from the month of March–the National Deaf History Month. Never mind Alexander Graham Bell’s birthday on March 3rd or Sleep Awareness Month that Deaf people were supposed to sleep peaceful without being bullied. We will not forget what AGBell or Arnold has done to us. Deaf History Month is filled of Deaf people pushing us for future and build stronger foundation at every forward step.

Have Deaf people suffered enough hate from cruel people? The scourge of hate speech about ASL has been built enough reputation. ASL might be seen as homeless to hearing people who laughed just like what Arnold did. ASL, arguably the most marginalized and forgotten group in the United States promoted by AGBell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, is constantly either ignored or encouraged by its laughter.

How in the name of ignorance can it be misunderstood if one does not hear or know it? If you were in the same room, talking on the same objectives, then why was the laughter not very much part of us? Laughing is contagious if it shared and understood.

It is about the moan of pain. Will hearing people accept Deaf people in America today? We will need to continue to stand up against hate speech. ASL and the intellectual life of the Deaf have become quite pronounced as the result of the contact between two educators: Laurent Clerc, and the Rev. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. That is why it is important to celebrate 200 years anniversary with the arrival of Clerc.

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Before closing this post, Deaf people have given plenty of contribution to the society and recognize them as human beings with inherent rights. Arnold needs to apologize for mocking ASL. We do not need a Terminator to mock us. If Arnold refuses to apologize then he’s terminated! Where is California Association of the Deaf’s action and tell Arnold not to do that?

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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