Open Video for Deafhood Foundation

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Election Day: Deaf Returnees VOTE.

Elections IMPORTANT. Our democracy depends on November’s midterm elections. Bottom line, the consequences are real blocking Deaf Returnees’s fundamental rights to vote without prejudice. Stigma is not needed in the society that includes Deaf community.

The Daily Moth: Passion and Clarity?

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There are many Deaf political activists who withdrew their support for Chris Haulmark WAY before Amy Cohen Efron and Melt Patterson did. It’s not just two of them. The fellowship of Deaf political activists who is not considered as “well-known” which is an insult to their experience. However, being defined “well-known” is brutal. Those Deaf political activists WAY before Amy and Melt cannot be ignored. They were steadfast in their stories. Why use “well-known” terminology for? Elitism? Favoritism? “Less troublemakers”? Stigma?

Not only that, but those Deaf political activists went beyond a humiliating public process as well, too. What does that mean for standards of journalism? Who “speaks” the most with passion and clarity? All right, so the forgotten Deaf political activists was obviously an act? What of their activism, too? If we care about knowing the truth, then can we apply the equality to both sides?

-JT

 

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

International Deaf Awareness Week 2018: Sandals

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The sandals are finally gone! New walking shoes are on the way! As International Deaf Awareness Week 2018 is being celebrated around the world, there are forgotten Deaf returnees’s stories that are very much part of Deaf awareness how to empower them instead of shun them out of the society, begins with us. The same sandals you see in the picture, I walked with those sandals for nine months through wet, hot, cold, and freezing conditions. Unemployment stats in Deaf returnee’s community are much higher more than we really understand. It is the toughest social struggle of all.

There was a great article written in 2016, about 63% of Americans Don’t Have Enough Savings to Cover $500 Emergency by Maggie McGrath, a Forbes writer. That’s alarming. The same sandals I walked for nine months had put me in emergency rooms few times this year. I am in joy of wearing new shoes very much. I had to scramble around trying to make some money by fixing around, helping out people, and the times had been a journey with the sandals. Helping out is a blessing. It was very good deal I could not ignore those shoes and they are in excellent condition! I thank people who are supportive of my journey. You know who you are. Love and peace are the most important elements in my life.

Should International Deaf Awareness Week shut Deaf returnees out of their stories? What is suffering? It is a noun: the state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship. I thought writing a story about suffering, the wisdom of words should be return and I thank the people who devotes their time to motivate me and saw the good in me. This story is not a family friendly gender-netural politically correct journey. It is about sharing raw perspective—a view from behind closed doors, from a cell in jail to the door in present time. It is about life surviving the suffering cycles.

Suffering is something Deaf returnees to understand the dangers of it. Educate them. Free them. If the society is not interested because they are taught that way, then that is the problem.

If I am pushed to suffer and suffered by, then how can I get better? If we let suffering form the frames that we make decisions with and do not take the time and energy to understand the issues then we will suffer fear and many innocent people will suffer the consequences of that fear while the wolves reap the profits from your fear. I take suffering seriously; my hope is not only to conduct a thorough, albeit expedient experience, suffering is something we need to know that it has been seen. The fish only knows that it lives in the water, after it is already on the riverbank. Without awareness about suffering, it would never occur for me to change this.

My life stories are flawed, with a life-time incarceration, lack of awareness, survival, and breath. When I was visiting Rochester, New York, and got a chance to visit Highland Park, the statue of Frederick Douglass, America’s first statue for people of color, had inspired me his stories as he was the master story teller.

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Frederick Douglass writes, “I know of no soil better adapted to the growth of reform than American soil. I know of no country where the conditions for effecting great changes in the settled order of things, for the development of right ideas of liberty and humanity are more favorable than here in these United States.” 

The sandals had been taking beating after beating, like a death sentence. Like a movie, where Like Skywalker Faces the Entire First Order in Star Wars: The Last Jedi where he took powerful missiles and yet, he pulled the greatest Jedi mind in all of movies. I understood the scene. I’ve been there.

There is no need to attack Deaf returnees stories where they had been working on every effort to correct misinformation, educate society, and encourage awareness that needs help. Changing my life around is not that easy. The experience of walking sandals for nine months is not a sign of weakness. It makes my life stronger. I am writing this instead of being hidden from view, the suffering is real. Look at other countries who had been treating Deaf returnees way different—more positive than in America.

Unknown.jpegSomeone once shared with me, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Not even as a teenager that time, I made mistake 32 years ago. Proving legal bias—especially when Deaf returnees do not appear in the language of law—is very difficult. How do you change your life around? Must I be shunned from public for life? 

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

Treatment of Suicidal Deaf People

 

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There is an important discussion about the surge of suicide rates in America. This morning when I woke up and discovered the most recent news about chef Anthony Bourdain who committed suicide in France. It was tragic, indeed. Less than 24 hours ago, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued alerting news about suicide: 30% percent across the nation since 1999.

I am focusing on Deaf Community. CDC showed a nationwide map of states showing which the highest suicide rates. Idaho, one of the highest suicide states, most recently, a Deaf couple—‘murder and suicide’; Depression is invisible stigma. I had my battle with suicide tendencies in the past even as Gallaudet graduate student few years ago. Mental health at Gallaudet University is major problem.

In 1988, I was in eighth grade, I remember getting the news on a small school bus and was informed that Greg, a Deaf friend of mine who rode on the same school bus with me, committed suicide and that was a major flashback for me. Greg was a phenomenal artist. It was not supposed to be that way.

Two Deaf persons committed suicide within last four years in Gallaudet community. It is profound. Last March 2018, a Deaf student at Illinois School for the Deaf committed suicide. Few years ago, a Deaf student in California committed suicide. I could go on more.

Last year, I wrote a post, Suicide is a Big Problem in Deaf Community https://audismnegatsurdi.com/2017/04/03/suicide-is-a-big-problem-in-deaf-community/ has reflected many things. Labeling is powerful. Hate is a bigger problem. The mental health does impact Deaf community. The problem is that it is not enough discussed. Before everyone continue to rush to judgment and do their due diligence on the society. Each and every one of you needs to understand that when suicide rates in Deaf community is invisible now and then; the society has absolutely no interest in the truth.

They are after one thing: lack of knowledge. Suicide is a tragedy act. Deaf community should be not shunned. How does they teach the society when Deaf community should earn an earned opportunity—earned by knowledge? At any rate, America used to be the land of chances and Deaf community rarely believes in second chances as from walks of life dealing with their struggles.

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There are plenty of Deaf people struggling for counseling. Deaf community is not enough discussed in mental health community.

How can the society allow Deaf community to resume their own lives? This is a terrible and faulty narrative about Deaf community. The notion that Deaf community does not feel the pain is simply not a factual. To be sure, there is a huge impact on them. Sometimes, depending on situations, the most brutal ones imaginable.

But mental health community, for example, counseling can make a great leap of difference, and for those Deaf people who seek support and help, in fact, overcome adversity and labeling. Further, how long is long enough for Deaf community to suffer suicide awareness? We must remember that Deaf community is the gatekeepers to all knowledge regarding struggles and suicide awareness.

Stigma reinforces Deaf community. There is a direct line between struggle and help—a human error that would lead to suicides and that is where the society is ignorant about Deaf community. To accept the reality would be to acknowledge that suicide is nothing but a powerful statement, used by hearing privileges to divide Deaf community. It is simply baffling that Deaf community struggle to seek support system. Moreover, the mental crisis seems to be no longer the community accountability.

The only challenge for the crisis is that Deaf community must continue and support mental awareness of any kind is well discussed about suicide awareness and human responsibility.

Please visit Deaf Counseling Center:

www.deafcounseling.com

https://audismnegatsurdi.com/2018/05/23/why-mental-health-awareness-month-is-important-for-deaf-community/

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

Public Art: Understanding Hate Crimes Through Deaf Eyes

 

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I was invited to give a lecture at Gallaudet University on April 9, 2018. My lecture, Public Art: Understanding Hate Crimes Through Deaf EyesI was thankful for giving me the opportunity.

The lecture was about the sighting of invisible hate crimes through public art and the need to understand the concept of community accountability to challenge hate crime through art world. The sight of hate and the surge of denial and struggles that spreads through the Deaf community can be painful to behold. I strongly believe in social justice that promotes the critical examination and higher learning we all should join hands and stand against hate.

My past lectures from DC to California to Oregon to Canada to New York and many more:

Journey Through Hate Exploring the Survivorship of the Deaf

For Your Eyes Only: Hate Crime is Real in Deaf Community

Change the World: The Meaning of Social Justice for Deaf Returning Citizens

Deaf Returning Citizens as Forgotten People

Composition in Values: The Art and Deaf Studies of Leonardo da Vinci

Audism Theory: Racism and the Hidden Meaning

The Faces of Audism

Hate Crimes in the Deaf Community

And more.

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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