DHF: Ten Years Ago and Now

As a student in 2009, Deafhood Foundation (DHF) was founded ten years ago that time, opened my eyes and still finding the meaning in Deafhood journey.

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Deafhood Foundation: A Criminal Record Shouldn’t Define Your Entire Existence

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Deafhood Foundation writes, Your donation will help end the economic exploitation of Deaf people, support anti-audism work, and create a society where everyone experiences full humanity and celebrates American Sign Language and Deaf culture.”

I have had been thinking about this for a while. For the last eight years, I have had invested a lot of heart and believability in Deafhood Foundation after reading Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood written by Paddy Ladd. The book arrived at my apartment in Portland, Oregon in April 2010 and I finished that book on the same day. It was mind-blowing experience. As soon as I finished that book, I remember calling up a friend who was one of certified Deafhood presenters and had brief discussion about it. I understood the magnitude of healing. That was the goal.

Two weeks after finishing that book, I was walking on Hawthorne Street in Portland, one of the famous streets, most laid-back streets, and there was a tattoo shop, and I decided to walk in and asked them to give me a tattoo, ‘Deafhood’ on my left arm where it ends up being first Deaf person to have ‘Deafhood’ in America. I was very proud of it.

Fast forward. June 2011. I was awarded with three degrees with honors. I worked very hard as Deaf returnee. I remember that day when I was released from jail in 1996, I told myself; I will never look back and make a huge difference in future. Day after day, year after year, I had no guidance, no space to call my own, or where to go. It was very difficult to deal with. I was separated from friends and Deaf community. I refused to be the scapegoat.

Couple of years later, a Deaf person informed me that the board position was open on the same day, and I immediately became interested in board position. I contacted one of the founding board members for Deafhood Foundation, and the board member said to me that I would not be welcomed on the board and I was devastated more than anything in my life all because I am a Deaf returnee. WITHOUT due process or screened—nothing just like that. Just right on spot right there. I was completely surprised and hurt, too.

It was a major discriminatory. I was surprised that the founding board member signed to me that I’d be “frustrated” and knew that it was discriminating against its own Deaf member in Deaf community. It was a huge blow. It shows that Deafhood Foundation does not support recidivism in Deaf community.

When I had to re-read the book by Paddy Ladd, I realized that the book does not support Deaf returnees either. If less than 0.00000005 percent of Deaf returnees suffering today—the truth supported by lack of awareness, the support matters, and goes a long way, How can we improve this conscious?

Think about emotional and physical impact that has gone deep enough to deal with struggles, with the capacity to think strong that has stored enough. Thought-provoking adventures. I live by reading books doing everything I can to make a living on the streets, and effectively deal with a world that most of us would never understand would never understand what it is like or known about. I often wonder about discovering the origin of life.

It will make a big impact of the overall quality of life. Can we articulate the specific needs of empowerment by building bridges to Deaf community? Maya Angelou once said, “When people show you who they are, believe them”—that’s where it starts right there.

So, why not Deafhood Foundation supports Deaf returnees? The “philosophy” of Deafhood Foundation in the broadest sense, ignoring a barrier repertoire—stories, literacy expressions and the like—against Deaf returnees whose forms of expressions exert upon them.

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Where are the tears of joy—and tears of pride? Having being “incarcerated” since my early teen years, I had ever experienced a pursuit of happiness before and never thought I would have that opportunity, my young adulthood forever lost. Deaf returnees do not given a second chance as “productive contributor” to Deaf community.

Deafhood Foundation, where is the compassion and willingness about Deaf returnees to put their lives on the line for others is deeply rooted in their own struggles for being given the opportunity for redemption and for being welcomed back into society?

In Paddy’s Corner: Dr. Ladd coined the word “Deafhood” to describe positive ways of being Deaf in spite of the discrimination and oppression, and to present a framework to understand our past, work within the present, and plan for the future.”

What about the positive framework to understand Deaf returnees’ past, work with the present, and plan for the future to focus on positive ways of being Deaf in spite of the discrimination and oppression every day?

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Few months ago, when I attended as lone Deaf attendee for ACLU National Conference in Washington, D.C.—I saw a powerful image that says I believe a criminal record shouldn’t define your entire existence”—sadly, Deafhood Foundation does not see that way that it would always define your entire existence forever because Deaf community is small–and quickly judged by its looks and books.

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

Paddy Ladd’s Hidden Meaning of His Birthday

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Credit: Limping Chicken

What makes Paddy Ladd a scholar? He might be the world’s coolest Deaf hippy scholar you would meet. I learned that today is his birthday. What makes things more special on the date of February 11th? Astronomer Tycho Brahe was offered to own an island of Hveen offered by King Frederick of Denmark on this day in 1575.

If you win Powerball ticket worth $600 million dollars, would you buy an island that would be the world’s Deaf-centered covered with a golden knowledge, and one cannot see what is there, beyond, on the powerful eyes? Gain knowledge in Deafhood studies. Look in the mirror and see in your life you see clearly, precisely, consciously and with empowerment. And give Paddy Ladd to profess the master ceremonies that makes the island so unique. Ladd sets the mind to begin your journey and understand your process. Let’s name the island. Anyone want to throw a creative name?

On this day in 1790, Society of Friends made a petition for Congress to abolish slavery.

Can Deaf community set up a petition for Congress to abolish Audism? Ladd writes in his opening introduction of his powerful book, “What is Deaf culture? Why is it of such importance in the Deaf liberation struggle? Does it have anything to offer to majority societies, anything to teach them? And why has the world heard so little about it hitherto?

Deaf communities too might ask these questions. But they would also ask: ‘Why does the burden of proof fall upon us? Why is it we must strive to raise funds in order to accumulate evidence which “proves” that our sign language are bona fide languages, and that the collective lives of Deaf people are bona fide cultures? These questions represent a major challenge, which this book directly addresses, and which, by its close should have come into sharper focus.”

The key statement: Why does the burden of proof fall upon us? The burden of proof falls on Deaf community, there are many fragments of oppression coming from the broken mirror should you see one, this society permitting Audism upon Deaf people and Paddy coined Deafhood to reduce the attitude and the burden of proof falling upon Deaf people, yet there is no wind. There is silence. Above, the search of Deafhood which Deaf people have the strength to say that they are happy and proud to be Deaf!

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Here is cool history fact. On this day in 1861, United States-elect Abraham Lincoln takes the train from Springfield, Illinois to Washington, D.C.; Three years later, Lincoln would be the world’s first patron for a university now known as Gallaudet University.

If you have not gotten a chance to see Paddy Ladd’s trilogy on British Sign Language (BSL) Zone, please do so and watch three parts. Childhood, Manhood, and Deafhood. Ladd gives us the train of thought to believe in yourself and the state of being Deaf, believing definitely with your passion, body and mind hold the pursuit of happiness.

Alexander Graham Bell moved into Washington, D.C. in 1879, couple years later in 1895 today, the name of Georgetown formed being part of Washington, D.C; Since today is Ladd’s birthday, it fits to challenge Alexander Graham Bell’s ideology as Ladd writes in his book, page 214,

Ideology as the site of cultural struggle is important on two levels. The first concerns “external” struggles, in the domains where the Deaf community contests cultural meanings with majority society. The second is “internal” and is crucial for this study. Oppression results in a perception of minority cultures as homogenous entities; yet the reality is that divisions within these cultures may have even greater significance than in majority cultures.”

Exactly and how fitting it is! Majority and minority cultures are continue to struggle in many forms, and I believe Deaf people shall recover strength from being oppressed daily.

Today in 1916, Emma Goldman was arrested for lecturing on birth control. No Deaf people should be arrested from gaining their knowledge for Deafhood studies where Ladd loved to teach, empower, guide and build them into leadership of the Deaf.

When University of Bristol decided to close down Deaf Studies Centre, Ladd was heart-broken because of his seeds in the program has been impossible to replace. In his skills of being a lecturer on Deafhood studies, we should be happy and empowered with knowledge what Ladd had given us.

As I understand that Ladd enjoys music in his own free time, I would not be surprised if he is a fan of Beatles. Today in 1964, Beatles first live appearance in America, Washington, D.C; Remember REI, the new one right next to Harris Teeter, it is the same place where the Beatles gave their first American concert there. 1960s was a hippie movement. Ladd has very much influenced America.

Oh, this is interesting. In 1978 today, China decides to lift a ban on readings of Aristotle, the same philosopher who started bigotry about Deaf people. “Those who are born deaf all become senseless and incapable of reason.”

Not on Ladd’s watch. The reason Ladd writes a book to lift a ban to let people know that Deaf people are capable of empowering their lives. No question about it. Be grateful that Ladd was born in right time—hippy era with bright minds.

In 1993, President Clinton selects late Janet Reno to be first female United States Attorney General. Is there possible we might see the first Deaf female United States Attorney General in the future? Ladd writes in page 212, “Addressing the questions of how cultural, economic and political divisions and hierarchies are reflected in daily life, and seeking to replace notions of passive absorptions of culture;”

I believe it can happen if Deaf people really believe in themselves and overcome the adversity of how cultural, economic and political divisions and hierarchies are reflected in their every day life to crack the status quo.

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Mr. Paddy Ladd, thank you for your wisdom! Happy birthday, mate.

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

References:

http://www.bslzone.co.uk/watch/close-up-paddy-ladd-pt-1/

http://www.bslzone.co.uk/watch/close-up-paddy-ladd-pt-2/

http://www.bslzone.co.uk/watch/close-up-paddy-ladd-pt-3/

https://www.onthisday.com/today/events.php

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deafhood: A New Realization of Love

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First part: Childhood

Second part: Manhood

Third part: Deafhood

I just completed watching Paddy Ladd’s final and part three. When I first met Paddy Ladd in September 2012, in my birth state, I remember seeing some Deaf people who gave me dirty looks when I showed up there. There were ugly names throwing at me. One Deaf interpreter showed a great deal of displeasure when I was walking down the aisle to meet Paddy, the very same Deaf interpreter was attempting to block me because of malicious rumors the interpreter received from deficit thinkers. I realized that the very same person who supports Deafhood journey does not want me to succeed in my own journey. I refused to let them stop me.

Living in Pacific Northwest those years have not been kind to my journey. From the collective grief I shared my childhood life as a lost kid, I remember when I was 19, I received a full scholarship for two years at ITT Technical Institute, free tuition. They saw great potential in my skills and I was good at math.

For the next few days, it has been really rough time for me then on a Friday afternoon, I made a phone call through Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) to talk with a representative who came to my grandparents house a week ago where I signed the agreements under peer pressure. I informed the representative that I was no longer interested in pursuing my education there because I was not ready in my own core. I dealt with a great deal of confusion.

A year later, I got a letter from Oregon State University offering me a full scholarship, and again, I had to turn down because I was not ready. I felt more confused. I was not sure where I would be doing with my own life. Then my life completely changed when I was jailed at age of 21, and hit a bottom rock. I was jolted back into painful journey. You know, an eagle’s nest has fallen from the cliff’s edge, crushed by a rock fall. Each day, layers of systematic oppression gain more, another layer of hatred I deal daily.

Then I got a job at a hotel in Portland, working in line cook, and the executive chef liked how fast I was, and the hotel chain and executive chef has encouraged me to enroll at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, and it was a huge honor, but I was on probation and I was heart-broken, and had to turn down the offer. It was tough time. So, I continued to work there for couple of years, struggling to find my own identity as Deaf person. Boy, I was really lost. I became the target from my own community, Deaf community.

I decided to enroll at a local community college, just to do something about my life. Then I became a serious student and ended up getting good grades and pushed me all the way to enroll at a university, that would forever change my life in many ways. I graduated with three degrees, all with honors at the same time.

Within few months after graduation, I got an acceptance letter from Gallaudet University for MA in Deaf Studies with emphasis in Cultural Studies in 2012. I had to hold that spot later. After meeting Paddy in Seattle, the next day, I immediately wrote him an e-mail, showing my passion to sign up for Deafhood Studies at University of Bristol under Centre for Deaf Studies and saw course descriptions, and I was so ready and eager trying to find a way to get there.

Deaf-centered academic studies–Deafhood thoughts. It was perfect! Then I learned that University of Bristol administration did not think Deaf Studies was important anymore. I was surprised—I remember that day well. I said, “Why? Why is it happening?” and then I felt even more lost.

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The very next day after arriving in DC in October 2012, I visited Gallaudet University with a big smile.

The same year when it was shut down in 2013, I enrolled at Gallaudet University on a graduate scholarship in ASL/Deaf Studies, the course descriptions was not the same. It was not Deaf-centered philosophy. The ASL/Deaf Studies department was running erratic priorities, rumormongers, and saw great deal of favoritism, corruption, abusing powers, cheating grades, and an oppressive system continues to target Deaf returning citizens. It was not even Deafhood centric.

I lost scholarship fast enough and became the student of four days journey. I became the pariah at Gallaudet University. They do not support the idea of processing a Deafhood journey. They live in culture of fear, reaffirming its commitment to the society’s oppressive core values and norms.

One Deaf professor from ASL/Deaf Studies department once told me that the department is not the same anymore. I agreed. When I first saw the idea of Deafhood Studies, it was all about investment in the future. It was an integral part of one’s move toward compassion as the state of being Deaf. All the scholarships I turned down until I received a scholarship from Gallaudet University, the world’s only hub for higher education for Deaf people—was taken away. I was even more heart-broken more than anything in my entire life. They invested in hate and humiliation.

I could go on more, but the final question of Paddy’s interview: “What do you feel you’ve given to the world?” Paddy then answers, “What a question!”

Paddy has given my world a complete change and gave me an extra motivation to write a book—the most challenging task I ever done in my life. After reading Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood, the knowledge of how the constructed balance of power across levels of oppression affects the capacity and opportunities for Deaf people today and tomorrow. I learned much about myself by seeing thousands of Deaf people being oppressed daily. Even at Gallaudet University, too. It is not Deaf-centered university….not yet.

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Seeing their stories invariably shows me much about their struggles and makes me think of my own. I have found Paddy’s contribution of coining Deafhood, an invaluable to think in terms of healthy and healing process, goals and expectations every time when I would suffer emotional pain; it is difficult to explain this. It is complicated. There was a huge difference between Deafhood Studies at University of Bristol and ASL/Deaf Studies at Gallaudet University.

When I think of Deafhood, I empower myself more. From my bottom of my heart, I thank Paddy Ladd for all compassion as a way of life and appreciate being state of Deaf. In one of my recent blog posts, Deafhood: A Journey of Greater Thinking—I wrote:

To master positive thinking, active learning is a core element of their learning. Deaf people would benefit a lot from their Deafhood journey to identity their freedom, bound, and inflectional, derivative, or obsolete environment and they shall design the goal and assessment for understanding of their journey just as much as building a high view of confidence. They would master the basic content and also express in creative and challenging ways. They feel the true growing of pain. They are taught content but process, the methodology by Deafhood journey is generated.

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

 

 

Deafhood: A Journey of Greater Thinking

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Paddy Ladd. Jason “JT” Tozier. September 2012. University of Washington.

Humans live in landscapes of make believe.- Jonathan Gottscall

No doubt, with proper preparation on your part, any research you do will be an effective tool towards helping you with the art of Deafhood journey. With the wealth of information that you will gather over time, you will never run out of stories to tell.

What is Deafhood journey? Subject is what stories and a journey is how the meaning of Deafhood journey is defined. Each Deaf person’s journey does not explicitly inform the audience what the journeys are. Instead, the audience must infer this from what they have learned from the journey. Deafhood journey is how the process relates to real human experience.

No matter how cleverly plotted your Deafhood journey is, the audience must relate to a widely understood story theme. In Deafhood journey, stories feed each other and overlap. Just like Pablo Picasso’s quote, “If there were only one truth, you couldn’t paint a hundred canvasses in the same theme.”

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The Deaf community wake up confused. They find themselves en route to find their Deafhood journey and accompanied by someone who experienced Deafhood journey themselves. They look around and find there are about thousands of them huddling together in an open wagon by a fine-looking horse.

They find the journey that awaits them or as their escort points out “agora” or “gathering place” The important thing is to realize that the English verb “to gather” is from Greek verb “ageiro” so the noun agora must come from the same Greek term. They get confused because they are not sure if they are dreaming. Maybe not!

Oh, the horse-drawn wagon stops, and they better get off now. There are many Deaf people who are trying to find their own Deafhood journey milling around, nor minding their presence. And they are learning to distinguish between public gestures and it must be complex. Deaf people see in the center of the journey, a process. How does that translate into positive thinking?

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To master positive thinking, active learning is a core element of their learning. Deaf people would benefit a lot from their Deafhood journey to identify their freedom, bound, and inflectional, derivative or obsolete environment and they shall design the goal and assessment for understanding of their journey just as much as building a high view of confidence.

They would master the basic content and also express in creative and challenging ways. They feel the true growing of pain. They are taught content but process, the methodology by Deafhood journey is generated.

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

IKEA: Taking Responsibility-A Privilege

Jason “JT” Tozier shares his raw experience while working for IKEA from 2007-2010 in Portland, Oregon. His stories shows plenty of Audism. Two weeks before he walked out of IKEA for good, he was reading a book, “Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood” that gave him huge eye-opener thanks to Marvin Miller who suggested him to read the book. It is part of his Deafhood Journey.