Waiting for Transformation

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While visiting Washington, District of Columbia from Oregon, I remember watching: Gallaudet: The Film in 2010 with late Carl Schroeder, it was the very day before we visited Gallaudet University. I could not exactly understand the social phenomenon that time because I was not a student at Gallaudet University.

When we entered on the campus from Florida Ave NE by car, I still remember the feeling when I stepped my shoes on the Gallaudet soil, it was something I would never forget. It was the path where we walked that way entering into Sorenson Language and Communication Center (SLCC) to find Department of ASL/Deaf Studies.

The passage of second wave Oralism to legalize oppression of American Sign Language (ASL) has been showing both films: Gallaudet: The Film By Facundo Element and Our Deaf Community | Celebrating Gallaudet By Convo has sent a signal to embrace ASL and Deaf culture. The Pandora Box has warned all of us.

I saw the film premiere by Convo last October 2019;

What’s the deal between Facundo Element and Convo? Between Gallaudet University and Convo? What about Gallaudet University and Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD)? What is the difference between Communication Service for the Deaf and Sorenson Language and Communication Center (SLCC)?

As University budgets continue to be slashed, Deaf-centered philosophy for the award-winning Deaf space, anti-bias resources had been lacked, and that is the problem of the Gallaudet system. When you enter Gallaudet University as a student, you would be colonized, good or bad. Whether you want to challenge or be a bystander; I now understand the social phenomenon.

The mentality of Gallaudet. I became a student in graduate program on a full-ride scholarship in ASL/Deaf Studies in 2013; Even though the first time in 2010 when I saw Gallaudet: The Film, it has not inflicted me that time. Again, because I couldn’t understand that time. So, I had to watch that film again, and that is where it hit the lighting. Just like Ben Franklin using the kite to test and see if the lighting strikes the kite.

Can we learn ourselves of oppressive Gallaudet University by conversing the university anew to preserve and promote ASL and Deaf Culture? That is exactly what Carl taught me on the plane back home from the Deaf Community (DC) to Portland.

He explained: Gallaudophobia to describe of oppression at Gallaudet University and elsewhere. Of course, we are not experts in curing Gallaudophobia; do you think it is a serious phobia? Is it the culture of fear an outgoing problem: Gallaudet-style oppression? Let me give you few examples of phobias:

Eleutherophobia: fear of freedom

Mastigophobia: fear of punishment

Epistemiphobia: fear of knowledge

Let’s turn our thoughts to the oppression. It strikes me that the program of Gallaudet University is more ideological more than phenomenal rather than generosity. Its ambition is to weaken or destroy ASL and Deaf Culture.

The Deaf space is the hottest market where Deaf scholars are treated with honour. Imagine Board of Trustees (BoT) who sits together in order to share wisdom and advice with the Gallaudet campus. Imagine going to this Board the moment you first recognize your own language there. Imagine sharing your concerns with the Board, the Deaf members like yourself who listen to you with respect. Imagine how you would feel about yourself if you could call on this Board’s guidance when you need it.

Wake up! Do we really have this kind of imagination at Gallaudet University today? Do we understand that the Board of Trustees is powerful? Have they failed to live within the goals now?

Hansel Bauman, the leading-architect for the Deaf Space at Gallaudet University, as I learned later that Janet Pray would typically say that sign language users are an “increasingly small” percentage of the deaf population.

In 2006, from GallyNet-L where a comment by Deep Eyes wrote:

“king and jk plan to meet with washington post editorial board this
afternoon. they will try to manipulate public info & perception. make
sure deaf people get correct info to the media

let world know that board voted 7-5 initially – 7 votes for jk and 5
votes for steve weiner. king then came into the picture…. manipulated
boardies like puppets and get ’em to go 12-0 for jk. illegal? No! But it
stinks!! king is now a fair game

look at king’s compensation package and perks. very similar to the mess
at american university which actually forced him to retire

DPN in 1988 belongs to all deaf people, not to king. remember that cuz
king and his people forget that”

About SLCC, there was a committee of university constituents (approx. 2002) who were discussing plans for the new building and the committee decided that the name should include the word “culture” as in “Sorenson Language and Cultural Center”–however, Irving King Jordan, Janet Fernandes, and Janet Pray ignored that and changed it to “Sorenson Language and Communication Center.” Some people think that when Janet Pray typed the minutes for the committee meetings that she sneakily changed what the committee decided.

Brian Riley wrote in February 2007: “Breaking News–Web page for SLCC taken off Gallaudet.edu”:

“According to one reliable report, Gallaudet’s Faculty and students (in committee) had originally objected to the plan to use the word “Communication” in the name of the building and favored the word “Cultural” instead. However, the wishes of the faculty and the students were ignored. The decision was made by Paul Kelly, Irving Jordan King, Jane Fernandes, and Catherine Sweet-Windham to bypass the committee’s decision. They overrode the decision and took their illegitimate decision (to use the word “Communication”) to the Board for approval.

Question have also raised about the legality of the contract between Sorenson and Gallaudet. The contract reportedly gives away patent rights to Sorenson for any new inventions or innovations created in the planned building.  Such an ill-conceived contract is probably not legal, since Gallaudet is registered as a 501 (c)(3) with the Federal Government and is required to reinvest all profits from campus activities and ventures back into the non-profit corporation of Gallaudet itself.”

In its place comes a sort of biblical oppression that would be in Christian name, EPHPHATHA. Through this Christian word on the official university seal, there would be no freedom of expression, no freedom of religion, no independent academic disciplines, and no place for scientific progress. In short, it would be our worst nightmare.

1) Home again at Gallaudet University;

2) The acceptance of ASL in the academy;

3) The nature and persistence of the linguistic research;

4) The power of ASL to influence and shape the human mind;

5) The character of faculty as it shapes intellectual life of the Deaf;

Is Gallaudet University a place of safety, where ASL becomes the focus? Is ASL home or fading?

The understanding of an economic system that oppress ASL and Deaf people be replaced with a system that meets the needs of the Audism. To that end, ASL pays tribute to Deaf people. It is the voice of thousands and thousands of everyday Deaf people who are fighting to preserve ASL and Deaf culture in crisis.

14 years ago. October 31, 2006. Washington Post editorial: Gallaudet Loss. Don’t we all remember that Post article or have we forgotten it? We need to review that again and again.

Despite more aggressive and often dishonest tactics, Gallaudet University public relations are encountering resistance on campus, not only students, but also faculty, staff, and alumni.

That leads to a newspaper letter, The Examiner written technically a letter to the editor by once again, Brian Riley in 2006: Protestors are trying to save Gallaudet University for the future has proved social problems today.

What happened to Gallaudet University unique because it is where ASL is best used comparing between 1988 and 2020? There are so many areas of scholarship in Gallaudet University that cry for betterment, and we need more insightful leaders to create a Deaf-centered path for all of us to be hungry for.

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The film differences between Facundo Element and Convo is something we need to do serious critical thinking how to save Gallaudet University for the future. One of the more powerful films we need to stumble upon block of stone that sits on the “sacred ground of the Deaf” in Washington, D.C., the problem is that it is still struggling to be as Deaf-centered University.

-JT

Copyright © 2020 Jason Tozier

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

References:

https://tinyurl.com/sf3a9uf

http://gallyprotest.org/DC_Examiner_LTE.pdf

http://gpli.blogspot.com/2006/10/letters-to-editor-examiner-oct-19-2006.html

 

Cochlear Implants: Demodernizing Consciousness in Deaf Mind

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Today, I recently saw a lecture held at Gallaudet University by Laura Maudlin, the author of Made to Hear: Cochlear Implants and Raising Deaf Children was worth watching! I really enjoyed it—a dynamic lecturer. One of the best lectures I had seen in long time!

You all need to know that Gallaudet University owns cochlear implant center on second floor inside Sorenson Language Communication Center (SLCC) largely all about profiting, then it is pathological, period. Cochlear implant is about human violence. It is about diversities of cochlear implant, something lacks, something missing, something wrong, something defiant, something benevolent, something pitiful. They want to have hearing to be restored, so to speak.

I am really glad that Laura Maudlin took the courage to tell the truth, no human being can restore anyone’s hearing: they can only amplify it. When cochlear implant batteries run low or expire, the state of being Deaf will be always an inevitable and that is actually the reality! That is why Gallaudet University set up the CI center to do mapping—largely because of battery economics, money, POWER and bullshit. How come Student Body Government (SBG), Graduate Student Association (GSA), University Faculty, National Association of the Deaf (NAD), Gallaudet University Alumni Association (GUAA) and numerous consumer organizations across the nation did not object ENOUGH to protest against cochlear implant center on the campus? I mean, how did that really happen?

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If Gallaudet University owns cochlear implant center, would we allow genocide procedure that is widely practiced on campus? Are they attempting to destroy Deaf? Why is Deaf marginalized? Why is cochlear implant center still belonging in the schoolhouse? Is cochlear implant an amusement for academia? When we talk about Deaf, it ends up in the schoolyard. That is a big difference. What bothers me the most is that Gallaudet University is a federally funded, private institution located on Florida and West Virginia Avenue in NE Washington—it is appropriated by the United States Congress. We all know that, right? It is no secret.

The money is so powerful to coerce people (cochlear implant stock-holders) to divide up our Deaf community and instituting us as warm bodies in the same manner that the oppressors had America coerced into dividing up America and instituting private land ownership away from Native Americans, my people. Gallaudet University choose to ignore that the fact that it would vulnerable Deaf people with no money so are we and that is not very cool. [WEAK LINK, YOU DEAF PEOPLE, WEAK LINK!] Money in power that Deaf people must claim to define our language and culture. Cochlear implants are being done in any teaching spaces around Gallaudet campus. Again, not cool.

I’m glad that I got to meet Laura Maudlin and signed the book, and she wrote with heavy passion—the book was very challenging to write which I can imagine that she recognized the later attitude that the term “cochlear implant”—has always carried the scent of impropriety of Deaf and ASL discourses even at Gallaudet University. It is all about Gallaudet University administration that have been known to fail. Indeed, many of their deliverances of reason do not seem reasonable at all. Intellectuality is natural. ASL is natural. Deaf is natural. Cochlear implants are not natural. Period. It will never workable. Lies are the main spinning of propaganda all over Gallaudet University campus. It is never too late.

I look forward to read the book, Made to Hear: Cochlear Implants and Raising Deaf Children. Then I can share my thoughts when I finish read the book. Give me couple of days then. Like Laura Mauldin said, “DIG DEEPER”—in the picture. I will always carry many conversations about how the globalization of cochlear implants are greedy in the public-health regulations, and to end the child labor.

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-JT

Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

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

Sound Wars: The Force Awakens

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“Ow, ow, OW! On my ear you are!”- Master Yoda

In 1984, the first cochlear implant surgery has been approved, arguing that the sound-oriented is more important than sight-oriented. In 1970, Milton Friedman wrote a famous essay for the New York Times Magazine, pushing that “there is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.”

Since 1984, the Friedman point of view prevailed; the job of a corporation is to serve its shareholders. Although what the cochlear implant makers are doing is illegal, Audism, and forced labor persists in many forms around the world. Many cochlear implant corporations are not aware of these facts and enforce codes of conduct at industries around the world through regular monitoring. They did not follow human rights groups, and actively seek to find the root causes of these abuses. There are certain services so vital to the human rights where Deaf people choose to have right to be Deaf in our society that they do not controlled by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA is our criminal justice system is perhaps the easiest target on Deaf people.

The largest of cochlear implant companies are privately traded, meaning that ordinary investors, including mutual funds, participate in their growth, vote on governance matters, and generally align themselves with their oppressive long-term success. The vision of Sorenson Language Communication Center (SLCC) at Gallaudet University where they mix with departments in there—with one of the most crucial department that serve Gallaudet very well. It is well-known controversial department on campus: ASL/Deaf Studies Department. There is a cochlear implant center inside the same building—on second floor where they map cochlear implant users—making a lot of money to finance Gallaudet University today. There are plenty of ignorant people who think that it is no use to bear a dead horse because embracing human rights includes deficit thinking. Well, let’s tell them that deficit thinking is not the pursuit of happiness. The toughest part is that the deficit is neither a half full cup nor half empty one and it does not hold water well.

Cochlear implant center inside SLCC—there is no curriculum anywhere that includes objectives and result goals for deficit thinking. There is no educational research that taps into someone’s talent in deficit thinking. Nor is there an university like Gallaudet that bestows an honorary degree upon someone for deficit thinking. You see, it is a fact that deficit thinking is abnormal and it is not a choice. It is all about following the legal obligations to their shareholders and is driven by the pressures of the private markets to increase their profits—they do not care about Deaf people. Period.

Gallaudet University was built in 1864–—16 years before 1880 Milan Resolution, an iron-fisted, anti-sign language proposal passed by the International Congress of Educators of the Deaf. The proclamation went to all government agencies and schools for the Deaf to stop using sign language for Deaf people. The proclamation’s most controversial provisions make it a shame to use ASL in the United States and most Canada that time, and it still does in America. Something obviously is not right within the Deaf world. We are listening to things and could feel the panic. And we know the cause was 1880.

The importance of ASL among people, Deaf Studies department at SLCC and the surge of energy and affirmation that spreads through the Deaf community can be a joy to behold. The thrust that energizes these users of ASL and Deaf Studies opens social consciousness sends thrills to open doors. Aren’t we all going to experience it? Why not? The hardest part is that the innocence and transparency are essentially Deaf virtues—by which we use ASL and realize that we can use it because we are not guilty of fundamental language bigotry. Cochlear implant does not carry information, knowledge, and communication, which is the greatest trait of all. That is an enormous societal problem—at SLCC. These people at SLCC are suffering a lot.

Master Yoda, the wisest Jedi of all, said:

“Hmm In the end, cowards are those who follow the Dark Side.”

-JT

Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier

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