Today, December 3, 2019: International Day of Disabled Persons.
When my state of being Deaf had been taught all my life, being told, and being controlled by the medical model of disability, I refuse to live in the negativity bias. Being Deaf is no longer viewed as a disability. What is negativity bias?
It was known as negativity effect (1), also known as the negativity effect, is the notion that, even when of equal intensity, things of a more negative nature (e.g. unpleasant thoughts, emotions, or social interactions; harmful/traumatic events) have a greater effect on one’s psychological state and processes than neutral or positive things. (2,3,4)
Do you tend to dwell on bad memories and experiences? It may be due to the negativity bias, because being colonized and taught that Deaf people are disabled.
The Deaf community is powerful in the human psyche. Indeed, at this level of humanity, would the Deaf community understand the painful history of what the term “disability” define Deaf people? Have the Medical Model of Disability had caused enough destruction in the Deaf community?
‘Do Deaf People Have a Disability?‘ published by Harlan Lane:
“A disability is a limitation of function because of an impairment. Deaf people are limited in some functions because of an impairment of hearing. Therefore, Deaf people have a disability.” (5)
We already know that Deaf people who embody rather healthy traits of higher learning, the pursuit of happiness, and respect, but sadly, though, they are often being colonized by the disability model. Consider the plight of the oppressed of today. Lane writes in, Constructions of Deafness:
“As a social problem, deafness can be variously construed. Each of the primary constructions of deafness today – disability and linguistic minority – has its archetypes but most deaf children match neither of them.” (6)
Why must Deaf people come under a disability label, despite the vast differences, would the Deaf community stop being labeled by the disability model, would they do so with a commitment to developing a healthy task to overcome indifference, a show of human compassion, that plagues the Deaf community?
Nyle DiMarco writes:
“My Deaf identity is not an obstacle but an advantage — an asset.”
But….the confusion……the disability model has been taking advantage of the Deaf community as an asset and live in negativity effect.
And, I learned that Nyle DiMarco and his twin brother are on a panel about disability inclusion sponsored by the World Bank at this hour. Will Nyle tell the world that being Deaf is not part of disability? I doubt so.
Will Nyle tell the world about The Ugly Laws: Disability in Public? I doubt so. Because Nyle thinks disability is a positivity effect. The opposite of the negativity effect. Does that mean Nyle DiMarco is also being colonized, too?
According to Paddy Ladd, Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood:
“The culturolinguistic model thus leads to the situating of Deaf community experiences within the rubric of colonialism. Although most people conceive colonialism as formed around economic power visited upon cultures less able to defend themselves, there is undeniably a case to be made for the concept of linguistic colonialism, and it is this which provides a bridge across which discourses between signing and other colonised communities can begin.” (7)
We must always remind ourselves as well as all others how our Declaration of Independence makes our country different from any other nation around the world. The Declaration proclaims that we have inalienable rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Finally, Harlan Lane writes in the same book above:
Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier
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(1) Kanouse, D. E., & Hanson, L. (1972). Negativity in evaluations. In E. E. Jones, D. E. Kanouse, S. Valins, H. H. Kelley, R. E. Nisbett, & B. Weiner (Eds.), Attribution: Perceiving the causes of behavior. Morristown, NJ: General Learning Press.
(3) Lewicka, Maria; Czapinski, Janusz; Peeters, Guido (1992). “Positive-negative asymmetry or “When the heart needs a reason””. European Journal of Social Psychology. 22 (5): 425–434
(4) Rozin, Paul; Royzman, Edward B. (2001). “Negativity bias, negativity dominance, and contagion”. Personality and Social Psychology Review. 5 (4): 296–320.
(5) Lane, Harlan L. “Do Deaf People Have a Disability?” Sign Language Studies, vol. 2 no. 4, 2002, p. 356-379. Project MUSE
(6) Lane, Harlan L. (1995) Constructions of Deafness, Disability & Society, 10:2, 171-190
(7) Ladd, Paddy (2003) Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood, 17.