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Tag Archives: Nancy Rourke

The Long Silence of Forgotten Audism

Since Tom Humphries coined “Audism” in late ‘70s for his Ph.D., his vision of seeing a lot of Deaf people being oppressed so frightening that as Tom did not give any professional lectures about it. Almost four decades later, Humphries does not believe in it to pretend that Audism exist. Is Audism controversial? I remember reading a book, The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community that was published in 1992 while I was a sophomore in high school, I did not read the book until 1999.

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Harlan Lane, Carl Schroeder and I had a private meeting in 2010. He signed the very same book I read in 1999. 

There are millions of poor Deaf people, any kind of color in America that are suffering from pain and exploitation they all had in common, as a lover of freedom and liberty for all Deaf people to enjoy, I believe that efforts to build a law that recognizes Audism through stories, hard facts, and professional opinion, basic elements that are commonly missing when discussing “Audism” in the society.

If I coined a term whatever it is, I would make sure I educate the country, no matter what how long it is because it is my social responsibility and civil duty to continue educates Deaf people.

Let’s face up to it, Mr. Tom Humphries, there are millions of Deaf people who might look up on you, in a sphere of heavily steeped emotionalism, political struggle, power struggle, and human struggle that are completely ignored and continue to ignore Audism that exists today and tomorrow. I was one of them who look up to you. I own a painting of your face done by Nancy Rourke along with 12 faces in my personal space that was supposed to make all difference.

Is Tom Humphries still a scholar today? As in a book chapter called Audism: Exploring the Metaphysics of Oppression by hearing chair of ASL and Deaf Studies department at Gallaudet University, H-Dirksen L. Bauman writes:

However, it is was not until 1975 when a Deaf scholar, Tom Humphries, decided it was time to name the discrimination against Deaf persons and to coin a term that would be part of the currency of discussions on human rights, deaf education, and employment.”

Audism did not discuss until 1992. Why long silence? Funny thing that I was struggling in schools, home life, and personal life because of long-silenced treatment that Audism exists. Talking about Audism has often occurred in the context of angry words, hostility, accusations, and divisiveness.

This coming Friday and Saturday, April 14th and April 15th, there will be rally sponsored by Audism Free America (AFA) celebrating 200 years of American Sign Language (ASL), Deaf Education and their stories through the power, freedom, and justice to fight against Audism to let the society know that it is a permanent movement.

Where is your empowerment, Humphries? That was 42 years ago—and Deaf people would be empowered by now instead of being in silence about it. Since 1880 Milan Resolution, Deaf people have been survivors of the longest hate crime in American history. We refuse to live in hearing superiority. They need to respect Deaf people—the more respect, less Audism. In Humphries’s words:

The notion that one is superior based on one’s ability to hear or behave in the manner of one who hears. It is the bias and prejudice of hearing people against deaf people, it is the bias and prejudice of some deaf people against other deaf people.”

Although, the society that I envision is one that maximizes freedom and liberties for ALL Deaf people coming from walk of life—the concept of ignorance is what completes the loop of full justice even at Gallaudet University.

Yet, Bauman writes, “The term now appears at all levels of the Deaf Studies curriculum at Gallaudet University, from Introduction to Deaf Studies to Deaf Cultural Studies.”

I was asked to give a lecture at Gallaudet University a month ago and found that Deaf students who comes from mainstreaming schools, some of them are juniors and sophomores at Gallaudet has no idea what Audism stands for or do not know who George Veditz is, or Alexander Graham Bell, even the story about Milan. It’s very serious problem. I call it “Social Problem 101”.

Gallaudet University needs to bring stronger ethics and require ALL Deaf students to take at least 12 credits in Deaf Studies and Deafhood courses even though if they are not ASL/Deaf Studies majors.

Perhaps we should re-frame the question: How can Audism protect Deaf people from future social problems? In this case, the answer probably lies in higher learning and lectures. How would you answer this, Tom Humphries? Deaf people who are survivors of Audism do not need to be forgotten even in long silence.

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-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

Humphries, T. (1975). Audism: The Making of a Word. Unpublished essay. 

Lane, H. (1992). The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community.

Bauman, H-Dirksen L. (2004). Audism: Exploring the Metaphysics of Oppression.

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AGBell’s America: Who Would You Be?

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Remember that shithead? Art done by Zeppe Art. Bravo!

Bread-and-buttered for the first 23 years in Scotland, Alexander Graham Bell (A.G. Bell) relocated to Canada. In 2002, he was mistakenly credited as the “father” of telephone; it was later discovered that A.G. Bell was not the inventor; he had only been the first to claim the patient. There also exists plenty of research pointing to the fact that A.G. Bell stole the telephone idea from Italian inventor Antonio Santi Giuseppe Meucci.

In 1890, Bell founded the American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf (AAPTSD), later the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AGBADHH) in Washington, D.C; Bell was a renowned manipulator of others, especially those close to him — his Deaf mother, Eliza Grace Symonds and his Deaf wife, Mabel Gardiner Hubbard were two examples.

Bell was a champion of eugenics (selective breeding), and served as the chair of the board of scientific advisors for the Eugenics Record Office. He also served as honorary president for the Second International Eugenics Conference a year before his death.

One hundred and thirty-two years later, AGBADHH is still attacking the Deaf community, claiming that oralism is the only way to educate Deaf children. In this same 132-year span, America has had 24 presidents.

Audism, and hatred of Deaf culture and ASL, has been a hard fact since the Second International Congress on Education of the Deaf held in Milan, Italy, when the majority of hearing attendees voted to ban sign language from Deaf education — largely due to A.G. Bell’s efforts. On that day, he became the happiest man in the world.

For the first 20 years after the conference, 90% of Deaf teachers were removed from their positions, replaced by hearing teachers who utilized the oralist method. A.G. Bell was responsible for the greatest fraud, and the biggest case of language bigotry, in Deaf Education that continues today.

AGBADHH followers have committed countless acts that could easily be labeled as hate crimes. But standing on the souls of A.G. Bell survivors — there are thousands, if not millions, of them — while trying to find souls they once knew to remember the pursuit of happiness, is repulsive to normal people.

Why would anyone doubt the veracity of AGBADHH’s claims? After all, who would want to “remain” Deaf, if following the organization’s misguided perspectives? A.G. Bell supporters have constantly stooped to the lowest common denominator to continue AGBell’s legacy of hatred toward Deaf people. His supporters constantly mock sign language, demean people who sign, and undertake efforts to make oralism the only method in schools again. The list goes on.

We — the Deaf community — need to depend on each other to heal. In healthy discourse, we must not lose our sight of the value of ASL — a human right that is not only beneficial, but also absolutely vital for Deaf people’s well being.  AGBADHH supporters have been taught to be attached to Bell’s original anger and make sure they continue to dwell on or recycle this anger.

Today, Deaf people — those who sign, and many who also speak — are united in full force to protect the community. The mere existence of AGBADHH has caused a cognitive dissonance among the Deaf community. The organization has promoted un-American values, especially among those who sign.

Just take a look at what outgoing AGBADHH president Meredith Sugar said in April 2016:

“It is our hope to dispel the myths about deafness and spread the word that deaf children can hear & talk. What it means to be ‘deaf’ has changed.”

That is what Alexander Graham Bell’s America looked like to him. Bell and his followers have done unimaginable damage, and left in its trail an astounding number of survivors still struggling to recover. If you are part of AGBADHH and trying to get out, it’s not your fault. Simply turn to those who have been there — and discover the truth.

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Laughing at AGBell aka shithead above–I am freed from AGBell! Sitting behind me is the painting of Nancy Rourke’s Mask of Benevolence

-JT

Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

Is It Right Time To Be An American in Deaf Community?

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A proud owner of this art!

Good morning! So, today is America’s 239th birthday. I shed a tear right now in my eyes. Deaf people today are still unemployed and underemployed, the worst minority group of all around 80%. In the same land of America created a learning environment that would grow into discrimination each day. Deaf people were taught to depend on their hearing relatives, friends, or neighbors because they heard information firsthand and that Deaf people always get it secondhand. It would be nice if America develop Audism in the list of discrimination, you know when people learn how to recognize common types of discrimination, retaliation, and harassment—and what to do if they become survivors. Well, Deaf people are the biggest survivors of all—it is a proven fact.

There are many stories that Deaf people suffer bullying, retaliation, threats, and other factors in the workplace today. How come the employment did not follow the policy? It is important to understand that the organizing principle of power wherein culture can be studied through technologies of power—not progress, not education, not conflict, not struggle, and not resistance.

For someone who have the great pride of being an American, power is a strategy attributable to functions, neither economy nor politics. Power creates truth, and this truth produces a function of power. Does America teach the need to heal from the traumas of living in less than a just, sacred and sustainable country and to resist the further destruction of Deaf community? Legal protection for the Deaf people is not without precedent. The unemployed and underemployed on Deaf people will have only the most marginal of impacts on hiring them—in reality, any company worth its salt will never make any job offer until all references and decisions are thoroughly completed and verified.

By that point, the likelihood is very high that the being Deaf will have come to light anyway—at that stage, and depending on what the employment involves then it is judgmental call. It is time to address the question no one asks as means to poke holes in critical attitudes towards Deaf people. Despite the obvious existence of negative portrayals of Deaf people in high regard, it is better to think that way that Deaf people are definitely changing for the better. Varying ideas of Deaf-owned businesses are coming into consideration, more than anything.

Although, I experience the most severe bullying in the name of the book, there are times that I struggle as an American. Yet, I celebrate America’s birthday for three reasons today: Bill of Rights, the intersection of social justice, and diplomacy of Deafhood framework. The fireworks are in the order. Happy birthday, America and American Sign Language, too!

-JT

Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier

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

THE FLAG DAY: DEAFHOOD DIALOGUE

walkdeafunionNancy Rourke’s Everywhere We Stand

Today is the day we celebrate Flag Day. There are so many things I wanted to write about this particular day why it is important to recognize this meaning of the flag. I was born in America. For many years I had been bullied for being different. Why different? People in the society do not view Deaf as a normal human being. I am deeply concerned about the future of our country. The flag represents freedom for everybody with dignity and security. I look upon Mars in my 11th house, the house of wish fulfillment, to help me write. Here on the cusp of drama and criticism, my Mars attacks people and friends, and get super angry about power struggles. It is the crucial time of your life than ever because it will lead you into the world of intellectual freedom and empowerment.

Oppression presents sociology that helps people to transcend ordinary reality by creating a shift in perception that opens the study to the value of oppression in everyday Deaf life. This is real. It is beyond the truth! Deaf people must protect their quest to personify their health and wisdom into healthy discourses. A source of inspiration and when I first read Mask of Benevolence by Harlan Lane 16 years ago, my mind hit something important enough that I kept reading until I hit a passion.

Deaf people who have been survivors of many things had been on journey, most of part, rough journey after an incident. Part of this has been my intention to write a book, but I am not mature enough for the process, or maybe I am too mature! I look back on what I had written and it is pretty painful. I get hurt. I do not like what I had written. It is the stream of consciousness, but I do know the censorship of this stream that Karl White complains about Deaf babies that are not implanted enough.

I had gotten flashes of insight that comes up and I am thinking now that I do not want to talk about that. I had have gotten three pens working now and I simply change hands whenever my hands get tired. I can write whatever I want; I can write whatever strikes my fancy. Toothbrush. Wild beats. I can create a new sociological concept I think of what Deaf people had suffered in the hands of American oppressors. My mind fills in the gaps. It will start thinking. It is going to come up with something you still want to read and I have got to struck it out and keep writing. When my hands hurt, I have to switch to typing. I am interested in success.

What is success here, George W. Bush? I am not sure! Remember No Child Left Behind (NCLB) movement created by Bush’s administration. The function of Deaf education, under the banner of NCLB mandatory, is to reveal to Deaf children their great defeat because American Sign Language suffers the hegemony of English. At the same time, in today’s higher education Deaf people receive today, appears uncomfortable with the achievements of their own past. The higher education, so often the means to our profession and advancement, now finds itself operating under a cloud of oppression that it falls under a wrong agenda.

Deaf people who experiences severe oppression will get them there. I want 200 pages manuscript I can write down. Full pages. And I have to get to strip it down. I choose to celebrate Deaf flag. The idea was coined by Arnaud Balard, a Deaf fellow in France.

Nietzsche says I should want to cause as much as suffering as possible. If I want greatness, but maybe if that is the case, I do not want greatness. I do not know. I wrote a lot to myself. The evolution of oppression is interesting, and I have a whole bunch of stories to put in there. Passion! Passion! Passion! Once Deaf people are survivors of American oppression, they are not paid archivists. They are your enemies and keep that in your mind that they want you to lose some of them. Sure, because so many of them are dreadfully embarrassing. They are introspective, but only first draft introspective, like a high schooler that reads John Steinbeck. If it were impossible, you cannot do it.

Anyway, like, would you stick it out with a Deaf person who experiences an American oppression? How about not as successful as you are? How about if they have some pipe dream about a manuscript and their creativity because of their reasoning that Jupiter was in their 5th house when they were born? And what if one of them were just writing to you and you were not supposed at all but just reading something they wrote?

There is where I live! I am better at believing in myself and use my strength when I experience oppression in my life. In Deaf community, nothing seems alive to me. It does not scream at me to be known to be done. I have to find it. I have to jump in. The feeling of jumping into a cold pool. I wish I had a ton of money to donate to Deafhood Foundation. I will find good luck somewhere in this world.

This is my Deaf Flag Day….and……..this is my Deafhood dialogue.

-JT

Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier

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

Heroes of Human Rights

solidarityNancy Rourke’s Solidarity

Human right is an important example that has deceived not only me, but also the graduating students of 2015, also it is the failure of higher education in the most cynical, outrageous ways that allowed the keynote speaker, Vinton Cerf to preach hate speech in the eyes of breaking the democracy of a human life. He has breached trust with Deaf community in the most egregious ways. Gallaudet University has utterly failed in the performance of keynote speakers.

December 10th is the date we all must remember for two important reasons. Reverend Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet’s birthday and the International Human Rights Day, and graduating Deaf students are to celebrate the United Nation’s Declaration of Human Rights every day in Gallaudet halls. That is what Rev. Thomas Gallaudet wanted.

The contradiction of this blog post on how hate expressed in the community is the attempt to express a human language that is not matter-of-fact, when I, and my knowledge, and being a survivor of hate speech for years, my own conditioning are matter-of-fact. The high demand to educate about human rights in Deaf America, it is the nature and magnitude of the problem. When you are reading this, share the awareness with your friends, family, lost souls, and whoever they are!

Becoming an activist is very often a passion unlike the selection of advocates. People are often driven to become activists. For some, it is the beauty of the language or the aesthetic grace of an interpretation. For others, it is the love of ASL and pursing meaning from communication and still for others, it is about service to the Deaf community and humankind.

Whatever the reason behind the selection of an activist as a major course of study or career, there are steps to take to ensure that the transition to students how to stand up against hate bias, crimes, literature, speech and eventually “certified” activists are taken with the fewest obstacles possible.

Vinton Cerf presented a damaged prism through which to view the history of Deaf people, his rapid journey through the technology marvels, voyages of exploration and exploitation, all seen from the vantage point of Alexander Graham Bell Association’s effect on the development of genocide makes “entertaining” presentation. Does it wring your neck when you read this? I understand. Protect your Deaf mind!

HUMAN + RIGHTS= ?

In the next five topics, human rights had been developed to solicit discourses, discussions, and dialogues. These concepts that govern my thoughts are not just matters of my intelligence. They also govern the Deaf people in their everyday functioning, down to the most mandate details. Our concepts structure what we see, how we perceive the world, and how we relate to each other as Deaf people. Our conceptual system plays a central role in defining our realities. There is only one way to find out. I hope to share the same inspiration with my readers.

  • Human rights are Deaf people’s principles meaning of understanding reality and communicating that understanding to others.

     

  • The essence of human rights is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another

     

  • As we make a journey in ignoring human rights, more surfaces are created.

     

  • Human rights encode our past

     

  • If the human rights in Deaf community are not strongly present in the media, the young generation of the Deaf will be economically and culturally marginalized.

-JT

Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier

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

Task Force for the Creation of Deaf Culturally Competent Training for Service Providers of Deaf Children Survivors of Sexual Assault

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I submit the accompanying request for proposal, “Task Force for the Creation of Deaf Culturally Competent Training for Service Providers of Deaf Children Survivors of Sexual Assault”, to implore the creation of a specific Task Force dedicated to improving first responder services to Deaf children survivors of sexual assault.

Deaf children have a unique set of barriers to accessing services when a violent has been committed against them. Many agencies may not have a uniform policy for dealing with Deaf children and their staff may lack a core cultural competence necessary for understanding the unique barriers faced by those survivors. Due to their unique barriers, Deaf children survivors under-report crimes perpetrated against them. The creation of a Task Force to implement a comprehensive training for medical providers, law enforcement, social service advocates, will improve Deaf children survivors’ access to service.

I would like to present an executive summary along with the research that shows that 50% of Deaf children will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Deaf children are more likely than hearing children to be survivors of violent crimes. It is certainly demonstrates the enormous psychological and physical impact on Deaf children survivors of sexual assault.

Despite this data, research specific to the prevalence to Deaf children survivors has not adequately been addressed.  Studies do suggest that violent sexual crimes against Deaf children are under-reported.  Deaf cultural competence, specialized services, and improved means of communication with Deaf children survivors will result in more effective service interventions.

Deaf children survivors of sexual assault face special barriers to accessing services. Deaf children survivors suffer from inefficient agency communication systems, and a general provider lack of awareness of the cultural lens of Deafhood and Deaf communities. Deafhood discourses shows that in Paddy Ladd’s book, Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood, political and administrative discourses, academic discourses, specialist discourses, medical discourses, scientific discourses, and media discourses. There is more to this—colonialism and 20th century Deaf Divisions: Linguistic colonialism, colonialism as loss of history and traditions, colonialism and mental health must not be forgotten.

Hooks writes, “For most minority cultures, then, retaining and maintaining a strong historical self is crucial to their pride and to their ability to resist majority-culture constructs of what they should be.”

Ladd writes in page 321, “In Deaf minority cultures, because 90% of parent-child relations are ‘cross-cultural’, the role of Deaf history as transmitted through the education system is of particularly crucial import. Its removal or denial can arguably have especial significance for the mental health of the individual….” The key point is CRUCIAL IMPORT. That is why it is in BOLD statement.

The image below shows that Deaf children are the missing pieces to the real world—they do not simply exist in the real world as shown in Nancy Rourke’s painting, “The Missing Piece”.

themissingpieceMEDAs a result, Deaf children survivors endure increased isolation and under-report crimes committed against them. Deaf children survivors can be more effectively served through development of a special Task Force spearheaded by the county in your area, to specially train front line staff whose assist Deaf children survivors in crisis.

Wherever the county you are in, can partner with local governmental, and social service agencies to encourage, through specialized training, highly skilled staff advocates knowledgeable on the special issues affecting Deaf children that may prevent them from seeking help.

The advocacy skills learned through the trainings will positively enable agents from law enforcement, hospitals, the justice department and child protective services to more effectively communicate with Deaf children in crisis in the greater area, and provide a culturally competent delivery of service that is accessible and comprehensive.

The report introduction shows that there are not enough integrated resources to assist Deaf children of violent sexual crimes. Lack of understanding of the unique experiences of these survivors, their history of frustration to accessing adequate services after a crime as occurred, results in barriers to services to these children. The creation of a Task Force to implement a comprehensive training for medical providers, law enforcement, social service advocates, will improve Deaf children survivors’ access to service.

With the analysis of data, since there is Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization has added, I certainly hope that 50% of Deaf children who experiences sexual assault be recognized in there similar to Hate Crimes Statistics Act of 1990. In addition, Deaf children are more likely than hearing children to be survivors of childhood sexual assault and continue to feel the effects of rape or assault well after the crime has been committed. I was one of them when I was ten years old and I am still feeling the effects of it at age of 40. I had been suffering from depression, and abuse alcohol to cover my pain is evident enough to experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Despite the alarming rates of sexual assault against Deaf children, very little research examines the rates at which Deaf children are sexually assaulted. Less formal research examines whether Deaf children survivors seek help after the crime, who assists them, and how service providers and law enforcement can best respond. More research is needed to fully understand the scope of sexual assault and its prevalence in Deaf communities.

Moreover, additional research of community response to Deaf children survivors is necessary to create an understanding of sexual assault in the Deaf community and develop an appropriate systemic service response. Deaf children who are survivors of sexual assault differ from the experience of hearing survivors.

In addition to the stigma and stereotypes placed on them as survivors, Deaf children also deal with the additional stereotypes attributed to them via their Deaf status. Their feelings of shame and embarrassment multiply due to belonging to a close-knit Deaf cultural community. Deaf children are hesitant to report crimes, especially if the perpetrator belongs to the Deaf community. Reporting could publicize their survivor’s status within this community, which Deaf children often perceive will be unsupportive. As a result, the sexual assault can produce a profound feeling of isolation.

Another barrier stems from the failure of our hearing-based culture to recognize Deaf children. Services often view Deafness as a medical impairment. Many Deaf children do not see themselves as disabled, but members of a distinct cultural, linguistic group. This cultural lens affects their interactions with service providers who do not recognize Deaf culture. Communication difficulties often result.

Communication systems are often lacking when Deaf children seek help. Many agencies do not readily have an interpreter available. The agents may rely on family members to get survivors’ story, resulting in further embarrassment and reluctance of the survivor to report the crime.

Even if interpreters are present, a Deaf child must now report her or his story to two strangers instead of one. Access to Ubi Duo owned by sCOMM or trained staff who can operate this technology, is often unreliable, despite ADA law mandating this technology to patients (ADA Training Brief 2). Frustrating experiences with hearing “dispatchers” and law enforcement further dissuade Deaf children survivors from getting help.

A greater understanding of Deaf perception to service provision, and communication issues, is necessary to improve services to Deaf children survivors of Sexual assault in order to better address their cultural and individual needs. Along with the conclusion from analysis, the data suggests that interveners often lack the communication skills and systems to address the needs of Deaf children survivors of sexual assault.

American Sign Language interpreters are not always readily available to assist Deaf survivors, and interveners often resort to interpreters only when more traditional communication has failed.

Many agencies may not have a uniform policy for dealing with Deaf children survivors and their staff may lack a core cultural competence necessary for understand the unique barriers faced by these victims. Due to their unique barriers, Deaf children survivors under-report crimes perpetrated against them. As no reliable tracking exists of how and when Deaf children seek out services, statistics fail to accurately portray the level of survivorship faced by Deaf children, and the frequency in which they access help from law enforcement, hospitals, or social service agencies. Inadequate tracking results in inadequate preparedness in front line response. Lack of readiness creates an inadequate service response.

Response time increases when an interpreter is located. This could cause front line staff to use family members for interpretation, or attempt to glean details of the assault through less effective, incomplete methods of communication.

Staff is not efficiently trained in communication systems like Ubi Duo; If Ubi Duo is unavailable, the introduction of more efficient, advanced communication such as certified ASL interpreters are unlikely to be introduced. Also, personnel trained in conversational ASL are not qualified interpreters. Instead, Deaf children must rely on interpreters who are available but may not have the level of expressive and receptive sign competence needed in sensitive emergency situations.

There is much needed tremendous opportunity to shape and transform existing service for Deaf children survivors into services that offer comprehensive support, safety, and healing to survivors through medical, legal, and social advocacy.

For example, Deaf Counseling Center, Deaf Hope, et al provides as front line to become staunch hospital advocates, accompanying and supporting sexual assaults in need of forensic exams. Law enforcement and county prosecutors will become important advocates as Deaf children survivors navigate the criminal and legal systems to obtain protective orders and Deaf-specific legal supports. Mental health, sexual assault services can serve as community educators of topics directly related to psychological, medical, and social issues faced by Deaf children. Services specific to the needs of Deaf children survivors of sexual assault can promote healing.

Opposition to the development this task force concerns the development of an adequate training model. Where can best practices and culturally competent protocols be attained? Deaf Counseling Center is one of few organizations that offers technical training to service providers. The organization offers important pertinent training modules, including: sexual assault advocate certification, sexual assault in the Deaf community, Deaf culture, becoming accessible to Deaf children survivors.

Similar trainings can be found through ADWAS, a Seattle-based organization that has successfully duplicated its programs in cities across the country. Trainings useful to the Task Force include: education to understand issues of Deaf culture and language, professional development, providers working with Deaf children on issues of sexual assault, interpreter training on appropriate signs in criminal justice proceedings and medical settings.When I experienced sexual assault when I was ten years old, I never had of that stuff like today. Back in 1984, there was no training that would lay groundwork for a comprehensive integrated approach to service provision for Deaf children survivors nor culturally competent services did not result in increased access by members of the Deaf community and result in less taxpayer dollars in the long run. Ubi Duo owned by sCOMM is not healthy AT ALL. It hurts Deaf children even more.

I lived in the hearing community that destroyed my life than people can imagine. I was a forgotten survivor of sexual assault. The hearing world is very cruel.

Visit Deaf Counseling Center website for more information:

http://www.deafcounseling.com/

Visit Deaf Hope for more information:

http://www.deaf-hope.org/

Visit ADWAS for more information:

http://www.adwas.org/

-JT

Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier

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

Socrates Says YES; Aristotle NO

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This is one of my personal favorite artworks done by Nancy Rourke. I am a proud owner of this work. In this painting, there are two philosophers, Socrates and Aristotle. Socrates is seen with a sign “YES” and Aristotle’s sign “NO”!  According to Plato’s book, Cratylus, Socrates knew that Deaf people have intelligence while Aristotle disagreed. Evidently Aristotle had a lot of issues to be done in order to make it so that the Deaf people are exploited in social media by portraying and seeing the Deaf as unequal to individuals who are not Deaf. Being exposed to falsehoods, Aristotle made the world become aware that even with vast improvements in rights and advantages that the Deaf people entertaining, there is still a negative mentality that has not been eliminated from the Deaf.

Particularly, the belief that is held Deaf people are in some ways broken and need to be either assimilated or overcame with what is “ailing” them. They must be accepted into society by viewing themselves as “normal hearing people.” I have become more and more conscious of this fact that, with the visual nature of the state of being Deaf, it has become too easy for many people to view deafness merely as a puzzle piece that is being put into the world and to think that the puzzle piece shows an entire picture of a whole person. So they are trying to hammer out, to interlock edges of the puzzle of into the picture without considering Deaf people do not fit the puzzle piece for an obvious reason.

Humans tend to view most groups in stereotypes until they get to know them better. Some Deaf people within the groups represent a certain variation in population. Social media about Deaf people serves to introduce to these groups, and more often that not, this introduction perpetuates in an excessive exploitation.

Once we start seeing a Deaf president, a Deaf person dancing, a smart and a successful Deaf corporate executive our views of these groups begin to widen and move beyond the limits of typical. What is simultaneously hard and easy to grasp is that there is more movement to be done. The human consciousness is ready for an expansion and media is calling for it, having been calling it for quite some times.

Socrates knew about Deaf people and acknowledged their sign language. Through Plato, Socrates questioned whether Deaf people have intelligence by using sign language.  This culture was strong enough to continue Socrates’ legacy. Socrates served more than just encouraged a politically corrected vocabulary. Aristotle offered no apology for the atrocious acts he had committed against Deaf people’s intelligence. He referred to his integrity and principles and admonished his own peers for reserving judgement about the Deaf. His zealous beliefs had since created.

Nancy Rourke’s painting was a genius interpretation by looking at these two ancient Greek philosophers because the closer you look at it, there is some assuaging their moral outrage with true feelings of courage of Socrates and remorse of Aristotle. There is no real remorse as Aristotle believed that he was committed to a higher cause. In this sense, Plato cautioned his readers about Socrates’ “enlightenment” and revolutionary ideas when the outcome of such transcendence was bloodshed without culpability in the name of the Deaf. Socrates fought, protect and uphold the human rights of using sign language for Deaf people very seriously and also, seek to have Deaf people to proclaim a triumphant “YES” to human prosperity, knowledge, and happiness.

One quote I found was particularly striking written by Socrates:

        There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.

Socrates’s simple quote seems to embody a lot that Deaf people seems to be seeking, which is to be portrayed with a parity that equals the sums of their parts and not in a way that makes them seem lacking or wanting. Socrates is my type of man.

-JT

Copyright © 2013 Jason Tozier

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

34% Is No Joke!

ImageSolitary Deaf Prison by Nancy Rourke

Depression is the inability to construct a future-Rollo May

Psssst. Hey, you. 34% is a lot! For example, “Wilken noted that inmates in segregated housing accounted for 34 percent of all suicides in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Prisoners in solitary are also 33 percent more likely than those in the general prison population to commit suicide, according to the ruling.” and please see the link below at the end of the post.

There is something important that you need to know. Someone has to say it. The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) does not care about it. Everyone at the NAD home office tries very hard not to know it. This 34% claim may seem theatrical, but the odds are stacked in my favor.

Hold on a second, they will probably be thinking by now. Do not single us out. Ignoring Deaf issues is a NATIONAL PROBLEM; Deaf people are angry like zeppelins all over America. The NAD headquarters is located in Silver Spring, Maryland, and they think they are safe and healthy. Deaf people have the birthright of Deafhood. Surely Deaf people are no worse than anyone else. The first president of NAD, Robert MacGregor would agree to it!

I am questioning leadership of the NAD because the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had an important workshop called “Inmate Calling Services Rates” last Wednesday, July 10th. There was not a single representative from NAD showing up. The NAD has the staff of between 11-13 people ad none of them came to the FCC workshop.

The FCC headquarters is located in Washington, D.C.  Between Silver Spring and D.C. is no more than 30 minutes of driving. The FCC workshop was a public notice. How could they have missed it? True, Deaf issues are all over America, ans the NAD is supposed to be leading “the charge of the brigade” in the United States.

For example, Deaf people suffer the most of any of minority groups when it comes to mental health concerns. From the last time I remembered, 35% of Deaf people do not have an access to counseling. It has become a major concern because counseling is rehabilitating. Presently there are about 500 Deaf people so far who are incarcerated in jails or prisons. Access to such phone services as Video Phone (VP) would save a lot of problems for Deaf people today.

There are many stories that these Deaf inmates are suffering a lot from depression, isolation, mental anguish, anxiety, loss of sleep, physical and mental illness due to the experience. Mental health issues do kill their livelihood any more than people really understand. That is where the money drains. Here is the point: Health-care professionals know that Deaf inmates need to employ American Sign Language (ASL) are uniquely massive with health problems, the question is that why does not the NAD squirm at answering the question: “Why did they not show up at the FCC workshop with care?”

Let’s look at these alarming facts: The Ontario Association of the Deaf (OAD) in Canada has only three people on staff but they sure know how to be in the charge. They would make stops all over Ontario to make sure Deaf people are in good hands. Three people on staff, compared to 11-13 people on the NAD staff. What the heck?! NAD needs to turn off their television and go outside to meet real Deaf people. In the real media world, hearing people would say that Deaf people have a social deviance where hearing people keep on demonizing the Deaf with different points of view. For the sake of Deaf people’s mental health, the NAD needs to leave the home office, to go down the road, to attend a workshop, and to learn something that might make a difference in Deaf people’s lives. It is not healthy to sit inside the home office too much.

The NAD presents a new genre in zombie lore. The NAD’s mission is to imply that another could be gore fest of inexplicably reanimated, undead humans turned monsters feasting off the flesh of the living known as Deaf people. However, the NAD is not really narrative about zombies. Instead, the NAD utilizes the motif of the monster–in this case–the zombie as the metaphor to contrast the vulnerable state of humanity and its pursuit of survival in the collapse of all societal structures. However, the metaphor delves so deeply in the consciousness of physical and psychological reality for the characters in the narrative that it becomes literal. The zombie is no longer a monster, but a conflicted human turned by a societal-borne disease. Where is the NAD’s symbol in their placement between two worlds–the previous world governed by law order of hearing people, and the current world where laws appear meaningless. The NAD represents a moral code that separates the zombie experience from the human experience. The NAD also represents a failure of that moral code to shield humanity from extinction. The failure of government structures and the medical community to quell the zombie pandemic is evidenced everywhere that abandoned Deaf people from real life interaction.

Deaf inmates who are suffering depression while being incarcerated is hard to grasp. The media work very hard at assuring the public that Deaf inmate are dismissed, swept under the rug. Fortunately we the Deaf see these type of stories often enough to read between the lines and know that it is not the case at all. A big charade that goes on behind the thin blue line cannot be ignored! Education is already free. However, Deaf people are not being provided to use VP to make calls to their families, friends, or whoever they call make their lives more harder. The NAD needs to admit that they know that if they do not participate in this important FCC workshop, their attitudes do reflect those Deaf inmates that they may not return to society minimal expectations, then that is what prison becomes useful. While Deaf people are being shut out without providing an ASL interpreter for whatever the reason might be, their social literacy becomes worse. The NAD needs to realize that Deaf inmates are being forced out of education at the greatest cost.

My question is that does the NAD really understand the importance of faith in today’s version of American justice for Deaf inmates and the FUTURE of Deaf America such as freedom of speech and various constitutional rights? 34% of the Deaf inmates are suffering because of the NAD’s lackaday; the NAD does not care about Deaf inmates.

-JT

Copyright © Jason Tozier

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

Reference:

Janquart, Philip A. Judge Orders Relief for Deaf California Prisoners. 7 June 2013.

http://www.courthousenews.com/2013/06/07/58332.htm

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.

Mirror, Who Is The Fairest?

Image

The Deaf Mind by Nancy Rourke

Attention, attention, attention! It is time for us, Deaf people to urge people to wind down the war on Oralism and renew efforts to close down the Volta Bureau (Alexander Graham Bell Headquarters) for Oralism abuse. We demand: Democracy. AGB Association today is still responsible for their actions, the same people who works there had not been hold accountable with no crime on Deaf people’s land that is very much part of their American lives.

Oralism has been a harsh judgement for the last 130+ years, why is there not a law representing Deaf people in a major discrimination case against AGB Association and its friends? They had been bullying Deaf people knowing that we do not have the resources to fight back and tell our stories. There were no runaway train for fraud–they never proved that in our stories. Oralism is an institution roundly disliked by all who participate in it. Deaf children hate it for healthy reason because it makes their children unhappy.

Here is something Deaf people to stop that Alexander Graham Bell Association had been “grading Oralism” is part of teachers’ never-ending homework. Is Oralism part of body and mind? I will admit that it is difficult to write about body and mind. I was fascinated by Nancy Rourke’s painting called The Deaf Mind.

I had never really understood what DEAF means in my own body and mind until I met couple of Deaf scholars at age of 35, I am not talking about Deafhood. I am talking about DEAF people before my own eyes. I begun to embrace the state of being Deaf by seeing myself in Deaf people. That is a sociological term called generalized other, a term coined by George Herbert Mead whom I had studied in college, the word itself means the general notion that a person has of the common expectations that other have about actions and thoughts within a particular society. I would not write this now if I did not meet Deaf people. I learned so much through them. Their stories becomes my stories. Why suffer humiliation as the rejection of state of being Deaf?

Seeing human beings people in a human aspect, according to a French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre, means seeing them as free to make decisions bearing on their lives. Seeing a human being as a thing, as a “body” is seeing hum as unfree. When a person denies his ability to be free (what Sartre calls “having bad faith”), we see him as behaving according to a tag attached to him from the outside.

I needed to focus on my own Deaf body in good faith. A Greek philosopher named Epicurus that he made a strong statement that a self is not a soul, but a body that requires to see in the mirror. Hence the word, generalized other. See in other mirrors. You cannot escape from mirrors. It is important to use them and at the same time, the invisible spirit within your body will become self-talkative where it leads to a human brain which becomes the mind.

If the Deaf Mind does not exist, then it would not the human story that it is. There is a great void at the center of each Deaf people’s lives. A human detachment that eats us up. We need to connect with other Deaf people rather than detaching from them because the void is us is still alive and festering somewhere madness could be very real outcome. There is also this sort of void in the center of Deaf life. Why do we detach? The detachment either good or bad which is survival. The Deaf Mind has to objectify their stories outside of themselves to be able to make stories. I coast on waves of silence and can relay the most gripping messages using only my hands.

It is possible to use the Deaf Mind to describe inner turmoil in a descendent of the rites of passage taken by Deaf people in Deaf community, rites in which Deaf children had to use venture alone into the wilderness in order for their metamorphosis. The storm in Deaf mind is the first of many metaphors that the Deaf person itself needs to unravel around the people in order to relate coming of age and information in a tangible way. The difference in that the elements that Deaf Mind itself suffers through wage against their soul, attempting to destroy themselves with the completeness of their nature: State of Being Deaf. It is always there, hidden away somewhere in your mind.

Once the storm in Deaf mind is over, you will not remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You will not be even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. but one thing is certain that when you come out of storm, you will not be the same person who walked in. That is what the storm is all about.

True to its description, the storm leaves the Deaf Mind changed and that person finds a purpose truer than any that person held before. Likening the Deaf Mind itself to the storm, tossing and turning the Deaf person repeatedly in their self and psyche, the same sentiment holds inescapably true. It is important to preserve the Deaf Mind in every aspect. I am all for generalized other in learning and seeing myself into Deaf people. After all, it is about the journey of Deafhood.

-JT

Copyright © 2013 Jason Tozier

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