Youth Leadership Camp: Rejection of Mainstreamed Deaf

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Reclaiming the Youth Leadership Camp

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This coming weekend (May 24-27th): Youth Leadership Camp (YLC) Alumni Foundation 50th Years for the search of the Leadership experience.

When I first learned about YLC while I was an attendee for Deaf People of Color Conference in 2010 where it was held in Portland, Oregon. I was 34 years old that time. Oh, I was hurt not to know about it that long. There is need to make a CHANGE for the betterment of Deaf community.

Yes, it is a late start to learn about the most important event and once-in-a-lifetime memory for Deaf Youth and the day to celebrate hard work even as Deaf youth who went through mainstreaming system, their leadership to push for justice, is the most painful for those who does not even know anything about YLC because they did not get “privileged” information. Mainstreaming Deaf students do suffer and they have the right to explore their human rights to advocate for leadership in the Deaf community. Yet, they are shunned in the face of Deaf community. Why? Mainstreaming. It’s not their fault.

When YLC was founded in 1969, it had been focusing on Deaf families, Deaf schools, adding the fuel of Elitism, and would get information about YLC first hand before whoever Deaf students who thrive for personal growth in leadership coming from hearing families and the status of mainstreaming system would easily get rejected in the name of favoritism. Even Deaf students in Deaf schools who come from hearing families would get rejected, too.

Mainstreaming Deaf students do suffer for so long until current society we live in, the Deaf community is not same as ever, and where is the real leadership for Deaf students who were part of mainstreaming system as victims which it was never their fault to attend mainstreaming schools instead of Deaf schools?

The Deaf leadership has decisively ripped apart and did not give Deaf mainstreamed students a chance to grow has largely blamed on National Association of the Deaf (NAD)—and the leadership, scholarship, and citizenship brought up by the idea in YLC’s mission is the crisis of our time now and tomorrow. It is a serious problem.

Today and in the future ever, Deaf mainstreaming students would need help more than ever. Deaf schools are shrinking because of politics, and I do not support the idea of closing Deaf schools because they are important in educational system at every juncture.

The Deaf community’s most prominent change makers and activists join together to push for stronger idea for human change. In those stories we may see or not seen, it would reduce the problem of favoritism and elitism, and challenge our very change in equality, and challenge the very start of the leadership reform, giving Deaf students from mainstreaming system, to make all the difference in political and cultural change. It would make Deaf America stronger.

How do we make all the difference as in change? Why reject those Deaf mainstreamed students and Deaf school students from hearing families would deal with emotions firsthand? Remember, the month of May is Mental Health Awareness and it does influence them very much.

Is this also considered a bullying? From eliminating to end bullying, from ending favoritism to abolishing elitism, from reforming justice to changing the public view of the Deaf community, will it ever get equally that can rooted in fairness and personal growth in leadership? The information is very important for Deaf mainstreaming students to get stronger leadership as much as Deaf schools do; it makes Deaf community stronger only if they put it in their mind to believe in good fight.

Can you imagine that for decades that Deaf mainstreaming students and Deaf schools coming from hearing family lineage, have suffered appalling language and cultural oppression and the devastating consequences of educational and leadership sanctions?

When I learned about YLC at Deaf conference in 2010, it hit me the hardest part when it was moved to Stayton, Oregon from Minnesota in 1990, it was almost two hours drive from town in state of Washington to Stayton, Oregon, and the same 1990 was when I was 15 years old, I never knew anything about it. Why is that happening to several Deaf mainstreaming students alike like that? Language oppression?

It was the responsibility of National Association of the Deaf (NAD) who had failed Deaf mainstreaming students or Deaf students from Deaf schools coming from hearing families that so inured to actual human-to-human “compassion” by the ignorance and paradoxically blasé, judgment quality of “leadership, scholarship, and citizenship”—that they no longer readily feel the biased.

Of course, it shows that Deaf school leadership fare better than Deaf mainstreaming leadership because they did not get the same expose and experience and lack the information that they never knew about YLC. Is it their fault? Is it so invisible by the society even in Deaf community?

Deaf mainstreamed students were most and severely deprived from the information age about YLC in the past, and they are also part of the most important among them—as far as future of leadership is concerned—is the philosophy of leadership which lies away from the false dilemmas of “leadership” and is what would it be closely connected to?

It would be a good and healthy discovery one way to empower those students above; YLC might be as well as their way to make new meanings and inquiries.

What is YLC leadership is like in current climate this time in 2019?

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

Mainstream Surdophobia

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Bullying is number one. In schools bullying against Deaf children in mainstreaming schools is number one. This notion is that media is making surdophobia more normative.

Alexander Graham Bell [AGBell] lobbied for measures to dehumanize Deaf people and created a space for language bigotry because Deaf people seek for constitutional rights—AGBell twisted “constitutional rights”—denying American Sign Language as a constitutional right. Oppression is the systematic repression of a human being.

There are countless examples of how severe oppression affect Deaf community each day. Deaf people are in minority group, when the minority stays in their place—everything is OK, but when the minority takes their stand—problem comes. For example, you are Deaf and that leads to justification for crime because the person is now dehumanized. How do Deaf people help Deaf people get out of world of oppression?

Instructors of the deaf, so far as possible, should be in full possession of all their faculties…The percentage of deaf teachers employed has steadily decreased, and must decrease still further to a very great extent on account of the increasing attention paid to articulation teaching…The employment of deaf teachers is absolutely detrimental to oral instruction……” -Alexander Graham Bell, 1881. Winefield, Never the Twain Shall Meet, p.45 (see bibliography #8)

AGBell was the bully culprit. He converted his prejudice into a hateful manner, Bell talked about Deaf people, overcompensating or making assumptions about them as a whole, which can be just as prejudiced as outright bigotry.

Bell’s mission was a personal one that borders on the political as well: the ideology how to oppress over Deaf community in America, and Bell’s anxious hopes for teaching people oppress towards Deaf people. The main point of oppression is working too hard to pretend to understand Deaf people is as bad as being ignorant of it in the first place.

Many people automatically assume certain things on a bigotry level, such as Deaf people that they are predominately “bad people”.

Older post: https://audismnegatsurdi.com/2015/07/16/the-ethical-of-forgotten-mainstream-deaf-students/

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

The Ethical of Forgotten Mainstream Deaf Students

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Marvin Miller’s class project [Click me for bigger words to read]

Mainstreaming has often been labeled as the greatest cultural success in the eyes of school administration when they said that Deaf schools are a wasteland of academic fraud and face plants worthwhile only for those moments in life of great procrastination. The face plants are often the people who works in media and school administration that are too lazy to admit that the oppression inside mainstreaming schools around the country is the reason that mainstreaming students are struggling for the best academics available.

Added to the condemnation is the spirit uproar of Deafhood framework, which serves big purpose, but to open the door with the truth that the author Paddy Ladd writes in page 152,

It can be seen from the previous sections that the last 20 years have produced an enormous number of changes, for both better and worse, which have been enacted upon and in turn reacted to by what is a small Deaf community. These various wave have resulted in a tremendous increase in Deaf discourse and cultural ferment, with both positive and negative outcomes.”

What does it mean to me? The last 20 years has changed a lot—for example, in the special education report by the Department of Education and that is in America alone, 80% of Deaf students in mainstreaming struggle to meet with the state standards, for example, test scores in English, math, reading, science, history, and several subjects as hearing students excels. It shows that the society did not really pay full attention and they are responsible for the depression and the pursuit of happiness. The key word in the quote is enormous number of changes.

Is it hopeful or hopeless? Look a little deeper in Ladd’s book Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood, and one can find a glowing patchwork of literature masterpieces, available to any and all who wish to break free from severe academic oppression in mainstreaming by students themselves, if only for a moment, into 20th century discourses, for example, new Deaf discourses, 1975 to date, the Oralist response, 1980 to date. The following discourses, for whatever reason, appear full length and for all to see what the media did not reveal the TRUTH in the first place.

A quick disclaimer—the discourse is here one day but may be gone the next. As of this writing, there is available, but the future is uncertain. Now, in no particular order, there is an important discourse to focus on. Little more can be said about Deaf community fighting enough to keep Deaf schools open. This stuff is old enough now to be in the public domain, and there are days and days of severe academic oppression in mainstreaming schools for all to see. Within full-fledged mainstreaming comes into my life, the whole life, so it should be no surprise if some of it is hard to grasp. There is a good reason why I remain on the cultural compass for so long, however, and it is never been easier to explore my life and work.

However, it is very important to see primary source documentation with education in 2015 looks like. Let Mr. Marvin Miller be your guide with his latest project—a splendid work! The image above that will guide you to understand the adversity that Deaf students face today and tomorrow, even when the society disagree or when they are not able to support them as much as they would like because all of the things they are pulling this way. As shown in Marvin’s project, 75% of Deaf kids that were neglected category and none were in the popular category found in Gina Olivia’s book—is pretty much true to my experience in mainstreaming schools.

Along with Miller’s project, my concerns that mainstreaming students are having difficult time to be a human, and there is not enough encouragement despite their deep struggle. Now Deaf people are above and beyond the sun, in the brightness of the universe and the darkness of the cosmos waiting for the Big Bang. The collision of being Deaf so immense that they could never explain, so small that the Deaf people will never recover truly from it. We know that it is there; we know that Audism is coming back in the cycle over and over. Are Deaf people coming? Yes, they are coming!

Thank you, Marvin for your project that shows that Deaf students are the warriors of passionate protectors amongst the beasts the society created from dirt, water, and soul. Deaf people are the rib from that reason. Deaf people are the day, night, water, and air that the reason they were created before something created us. They are the flame and shine a light whose worth is only appreciated in the darkness. It is appropriate to stop Audism in mainstreaming schools! 268629_10150655450445472_21558520471_19159617_294318_n-JT

Copyright © Jason Tozier

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

Deaf Mainstream and Suicide

ImageAristotle known as the Audist Philosopher

Nothing haunts us like the things we don’t say”-Mitch Albom

I have some more to write about my childhood experiences, especially in mainstreaming settings, after I read about Fautso’s death, which I admit, is still haunting me to this date. I realized that I had experienced a plenty of subsequent educational hardships all those years and the likelihood of graduating from high school was difficult after receiving many threats, harassment, bullying, and faced adverse consequences including stigmatization and differential treatment. During my senior year in high school, a month before graduation, I wanted to drop out of high school like everybody in my family did until my father got a phone call from somebody at the school that I was about to drop out, but my father got off work early and drove 30 miles to show up at my high school and caught me in a hallway and begged that I will not give up my education. He said to me, “Son, do not follow my footsteps and you are better than that”. At first, I was disgusted with my father’s appeal because he did not understand what I was going through then I realized that my father was doing the right thing for me. “Be a leader’, he said.

I skipped classes so many times during second semester and partied much and that is where I was couple of credits short from graduating high school. That was where it did not stop me from achieving my goals to graduate from high school. I ended up being in the “fifth” (senior) and skyrocketed my grades by getting five A’s and one B’s during first semester then second semester, almost got perfect grades only because I did not do well in pottery class and ended up getting B for the class. My grandmother said if anyone got perfect grades would receive $50. I really wanted $50 then my grandmother saw what I was going through, she decided to give me $50 for my efforts! In my previous blog, “My Personal Struggles in Mainstreaming America” in which I mentioned the CODA interpreter who interpreted for me in fifth grade until she moved away. We reunited again in my “fifth” year senior. That made a huge difference. Yes, even I got suspended that time for five days after getting in fight with a bully student named Kevin. My brother was there and he was in awe how much I suffered social satire everyday in hallways. He would hear other students’ mocking at me while I walked by. They just did not know that I was his big brother. I had to set an example for my brother at some point. I could not let bullies and bigots fail me and made sure that my brother could not ignore my education’s fundamental premise.

Mainstreamed Deaf students have as much right to seek higher education as non-Deaf students do. There is no secret that mainstreaming system is very much one-sided and the system has alluded Deaf students’ dignity from becoming normal and full Deaf-minded students. Mainstreamed Deaf students should not get characterized by their neglect, I am sure that the stress is so great that affects families as well, too that they experience similar social stigma what they were going through with greater personal isolation.

Is Audism part of conservatism? Definitely yes, Audists know it because they oppose to the idea of radical changes. They play dumb, but they know it! There is so much ignorance in the mainstreaming settings that leaves Deaf people very much invisible what they had been profiled around. Why not Deaf students grow up with a strong mind and ASL? Mainstreaming settings are meant to keep Deaf students from looking at hearing students in their eyes. The problem is that it is not a Deaf cultural thing, but it is a hearing supremacy thing. The Audists are out in force today. Deaf people’s existence causes a cognitive dissonance in their eyes. Many Deaf schools are closed in North America and other parts of countries. The systematic denial of receiving resources for Deaf students in mainstreaming settings still exists.

Aristotle was the one who said Deaf people are incapable of their intelligence. Thanks to Thomas Aquinas, a philosopher and a priest in 12th century, found Aristotle’s work after buried deep somewhere since third B.C. because Aristotle had committed suicide, the Church did not recognize his work. Imagine if Aquinas did not find Aristotle’s work, would the world be different and treat Deaf people with respect and dignity? We need to stand up in the public and continue to reinforce the fact that mainstreaming settings is not the answer. Let’s make an example of the problem.

Denying Intellectual Audism is in a new vogue. How can Deaf people not deal with enormous sense of shame and stigma by being Deaf? They should not felt demoralized at all. Mainstreaming has become a collateral consequence to Deaf people’s lives. Audism makes sure that Deaf people are liable for their consequences for their actions no matter what happened to them in the classroom. Various factors have contributed to many more problems. Remember Paddy Ladd’s research in his book, 80% of Deaf children do not have formal education on the earth. Audists would say that Ladd’s published research findings are false and disagreeable. They need to think that “listening and speaking” is individualistic, like playing some musical instruments.

In the United States, we need to utilize the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to change discriminatory state laws that affect Deaf students in mainstreaming system. In U.K., 96% of Deaf children are mainstreamed and in Canada, high percentage as well, too. We will not become Aristotle’s children. I know that there is high percentage of Deaf children who committed suicide and yet it is invisible in the media world. We need to collect newspaper clippings even if they say “hearing impaired” instead of “Deaf” and other documented information to prove that suicide among Deaf young people exist. Educators of the Deaf today are completely trained under the powerful influence from 1880 Milan Resolution Conference to make sure mainstreamed Deaf children are overlooked and dismissed as nonexistent in the society.

Ladd’s quote, “…parade a single Deaf ‘success’ in order to exemplify the miracle made flesh, and to thus claim all Deaf children were capable of these achievements. That the examples in question were usually drawn from deafened or partially Deaf children was something that was hidden from view” and his other quote, “Isolated from contact with other Deaf people, the experience resulted in ‘academic success’ but was traumatic both socially and emotionally” both quotes were written in 1979.

-JT

Copyright © Jason Tozier

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

My Personal Struggles in Mainstreaming America

ImageNancy Rourke’s System Fails

After reading an article about Fausto Delgado, a Deaf mainstreamed kid who decided to take his life two weeks ago in California, and it hit me hard by bringing my memories back.

News flash: I never shared this with anyone but only two good friends know about it. When I was 14, I was so fed up with my life, I was a very unhappy individual, unable to express my own frustrations through sign language, and no one could really understood what I was going through. I grew up mainstreamed all my life and I could easily vouch that it was one of the most brutal experiences in my life.

One weekend in late April a long time ago, for example, I went inside the barn on my family’s property, I saw an opportunity by putting the rope on the beam around my neck, so I could commit suicide until my grandfather was walking up to the barn, I hid the rope right away and acted like nothing had happened. I could even remember my grandfather’s face, looking bit puzzled, and he asked me what I was doing there. Only that he did not know sign language. Home-signed “nothing” by shaking my head.

No one knew about this until now. That was in 1988, few weeks after Deaf President Now (DPN).

Why is it being labeled as the most misgiving in human life that being Deaf in mainstreaming is not normal? I had been subjected to limit ASL from being natural Deaf. My “sound-oriented” teachers, school administration, principals even most of my interpreters were deficit thinkers. I had one interpreter who was a Child of Deaf Adult (CODA) and she tried to help me so much she could then one day she moved away. I never knew what CODA meant until I was in my late 20’s. I can still remember my middle school principal, Mr. Hicks who was a mean-spirited bully, and he had one of the worst and poor flexibilities within Deaf Education that made my education to suffer. He allowed students to bully me as much as they could.

Mr. Hicks made sure that I was suffering from my own emotional insecurity and destroy my intellectual development within receiving fair education. From going through K-12, I was the target of bullies at the same time; I was suspended from school 18 times just for protecting myself. There were many stories to share.

Once, when I was in the third grade, I disobeyed an order from my interpreter “X” telling me to slow down because she did not like the fact that I was good in solving fractions so quickly in front of the other students making her look bad. But I was natural in mathematics then she actually slapped my face in the hallway and dragged my hand to go see my principal, Mrs. Gloria Pappas and I cried so hard asking, “WHY?! WHY?! WHY?!” and I ended up in detention for two days. My father never knew about this. When I was 17, I had a chance to visit Deaf school; I admit that I was shocked. I really wanted to go there, but I did not.

The mainstreaming system failed to release itself from the grasp of the bullying methods by permitting them to have as much influence in “power-struggling” Deaf students down in their faces. Once the bullying is granted to a fair and constant price more people will choose between bullying and intimidation. More Deaf students will have to suffer with their afflictions for lack of being to protect themselves, and lastly, more bullies will be able to find a way to belittle Deaf students that they are deemed to impossible to fight back. Mainstreaming schools for Deaf students will realize that the words of those bullies do apply to school administration and their families.

The Deaf body can be resilient but also frail and fallible and they are people, too. The mainstreaming is a dark pot into which activities that relates to many Deaf mainstreamed kids being bullied everyday. It is time to minimize aggression, bullying, threats, and distress. Why being hesitant by supporting bullying against Deaf kids that now are deeming to be ineffective?

It is evident that Deaf children in mainstreaming schools experience higher percentage of emotional abuses more than hearing peers. The safe haven in classrooms does not exist at all. The mainstreaming schools fails to make a cardinal decision by protecting Deaf students with public safety efforts and grant them freedom and protections. The problem is that the society is too ignorant. Will mainstreamed Deaf kids ever rehabilitate from emotional scars? Maybe. Maybe not.

One of my favorite authors, Barbara Perry wrote,

This historical example is a reminder that acts of discriminatory violence and intimidation—hate crimes—are not new phenomena in the United States. It is important to keep in mind that what we currently refer to as hate crime has a long historical lineage; the contemporary dynamics of hate-motivated violence have their origins in historical conditions. With respect to racial violence, at least, history does repeat itself, as similar patterns of motivation, sentiment, and victimization recur over time….”

It matches perfectly what mainstreamed Deaf kids experience discriminatory violence and intimidation—intellectual Audism. History does repeat itself…..

Remember that CODA interpreter I mentioned? Well, I bumped into her in Las Vegas in summer 2012 during World Deaf Expo, it was very nice to see her after 20 years and she said that I grew up so much and knowing I had very rough life and she said that she really wished she could have helped me out more to escape from dark rooms in mainstreaming schools. It was heartbreaking to see her say that. Maybe I could have better life. The society failed me. The mainstreaming system failed me. Even today they are still trying to make me a failure. The million-dollar question, what is the effect of dehumanizing Deaf students in mainstream classrooms?

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Third grade. Front row. Fourth person on the right with black watch (That is me) See first three boys in the very back on the left side. Bullies. In the second row, second person on the left, a boy who loved to taunt me. Years later we bumped into each other in high school at a wrestling tournament where we faced each other on the mat. Guess who won? By a majority score. Good times.

-JT

Copyright © 2013 Jason Tozier

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

Laugh and The World Laughs With You

Image                                                 Identity Gone by Nancy Rourke

Laugh, laugh, laugh! Come on, it is not that hard to do! What is wrong with you?

Well, when I was growing up seeing family members in the same room, laughing, and I often asked them, “what is so funny?” They would say, “I am too lazy to tell you,” “it is not important to know,”  “you do not understand,” “get lost,” “who are you?” Why is the laughter not very much a part of my life? I became dumbfounded on-spot that something was funny in another language: spoken English. Not just the family gatherings, but I would watch movies with closed captions, I still did not laugh. Growing up as a kid, I was completely clueless about American Sign Language (ASL).

Growing up in THE hearing world all my life, I was just a stranger, an interloper without guidance, a lack of ASL, and confused with no goal or direction in life. As a boy growing up in a small town, I drank into my character a dark with empty life that had not shared enough with an important human property, laughter. Without laughing, it gave me a handful of toxic legacies that flushed me inside out.

There were several times when my cousin Tony and I would be watching a movie with some of comedy together, he was laughing hard but he noticed that I did not laugh. He then asked me why I would not laugh. I never really understood any part of the laughter. I was just an angry kid, knowing that my family did not bother to communicate with me. Also, I was angry that I was being bullied and ostracized at my school. I often landed me in the principal’s office where I would get accused, blamed and suspended right away. Those hearing peers would mock and laugh at me. So I did not laugh.

After I saw stories in ASL via vlogs and Deaf scholars, I was shocked to discover that I was able to laugh! It had transformed me from a lonely and introvert childhood. I always had trouble with the hearing world, and with laughter, I went to being an outgoing, sociable jock, just a full of life.

I lived with the label in hearing world all my life until ASL came into my life that removed my depression right away. As my story goes on, I saw people laughing with furtive glances in public.  I could remember for the first time when I laughed in ASL in the air, it became free. It changed my life; I still feel the stigma from growing up in the mainstreaming world. I believe that mainstreaming changed the presence of who I am. It is the most reviled label that I lived in that world.

When I was 20, I chose to move out of from a small plot of land in the rural southwestern Washington State town, population of 500, the back door of the single-wide house faces the forest—the fact that I had to escape from vigilant attacks. The stigma by not laughing too much followed me around until I met Deaf scholars. I never knew they knew how to make me laugh! What kept me going? My anger, my guilt, my ignorance.  I had lived in the hearing world. My return to a “normal” life has been slow. I needed to go to ASL festivals more often. With glints of laughing in ASL made a lot of progress where I had opened up to my friends and relatives outside my immediate family.

I realized that laughing is itself a learned behavior. ASL is the language usage to learn. I was intrigued by seeing comedies in ASL to help me identify myself as a Deaf person. The act of role in ASL makes a huge repetitious performance of Deafhood that is dictated by a hearing dominance culture. It questions the idea of laughing in ASL is very important to recognize the state of being Deaf from which hearing world deviates. Learning how to laugh in ASL goes through a fallow period and has some conceptualization of what I am to ASL around me before I can comfortably live in the world. After all, laughing is contagious if it is shared and understood.

-JT

Copyright © 2013 Jason Tozier

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