MENTAL HEALTH: Power Hunger or Power Struggle?

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Of all U.S. minority groups, the Deaf community is perhaps the most invisible. The mental health sends the message of Deaf empowerment to the public. The principle of Deaf-centric or Deaf-centered mental health is always demonstrating a passion. Or, is it a recipe for power-struggle for passion where the Deaf community needs the most in the mental health field? Especially the Deaf-centered way. 

In the highest standard of principle what it should be, a Deaf-centric or Deaf-centered mental health organization had revolutionized the stereotypical odds. It should be of, by, and for Deaf people. This “cultural awareness” in our Deaf community where we live continues to be a minority group thriving for awareness and social justice, which we are seeing in the mental health field that is sorely painful in the Deaf leadership.

 National Deaf Therapy (NDT) under the auspices of Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD). ‘Auspices’ is from the Latin, auspicium, and auspex, which mean “one who looks at birds”.

Communication Service for the Deaf: Using the ‘flying birds’ as power-hungryAccording to wiki: ‘Augury is the practice from ancient Roman religion of interpreting omens from the observed flights of birds.” (1)

Is it the wrong path where National Deaf Therapy is being heavily appropriated by Communication Service for the Deaf exercising privileges and profiting? Even in 2019. But, should we not completely surprised? Don’t we see manifestations of elitism, favouritism, and privileges every single day? Let me use those examples:

Jameson Crane III and Jonathan Soukup, both CEO and co-founder in the same business together (see link below), they have strong connections to Communication Service for the Deaf, its founder of CSD, Benjamin Soukup, and its current CEO, Christopher Soukup (Jonathan’s brother).

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As for Jameson Crane III’s hearing father, Jameson Crane, Jr. was on Communication Service for the Deaf board, now is on the Gallaudet Board of Trustees (see both links below). Social Venture Fund (SVF) has awarded National Deaf Therapy because of father-in-law’s connections as a board to NDT as well. Jameson Crane III’s spouse: Amanda Sortwell Crane, one of National Deaf Therapy co-founder.

Don’t we see manifestations of elitism, favouritism, and privileges?

Power-hunger is shown by connection to Gallaudet University? A good example, ADWAS founder, Marylin Jean Smith is on Communication Service for the Deaf board (see link below), and one of the National Deaf Therapy co-founders, Megan Erasmus is working for ADWAS while running National Deaf Therapy (see link below)Is that a big conflict of interest?

I was told that it is common for people to work full time while maintaining their own practices part-time until their practice grow enough that they can support themselves with the new private practice. Still conflict of interest?

Convo Communications: the CEO, Jarrod Musano who owns the Daily Moth and Melmira, connected to Communication Service for the Deaf, yes or no? However, Jarrod and Communication Service for the Deaf board member, Danny Lacey, have strong connections between each other.

The disability framework, a negativity bias defining the Deaf community, colonizes National Deaf Therapy. Exploring core concepts what “disability” to define ‘Deaf’–especially how the polarity of disability is culturally constructed and embodied, emphasizing the “social model”–and it shows clearly that National Deaf Therapy did not aim enough for a deepened understanding of the social, economic, and political aspects of disability as perceived and embodied in literature.

Does it mean the Deaf are defined from the American society because they are not normal healthy people as long as they must live in the medical model of disability?

Although frequently used to refer to the Deaf, this label is considered highly offensive to the Deaf. It ignored cultural identity and its use among hearing is a sign of ignorance (Roach, 2002) [2]

Ryan Commerson [3], producer of “Media, Power, & Ideology: Re-defining D-E-A-F”— Supposedly, Deaf people are labeled as ‘disability’ in the name of ideology.

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Commerson: “…the misrepresentation would still reside in your subconscious. What should you do about it?” that leads to ‘Contesting Stereotypes: Taking Images Apart’.

“…When a particular meaning in broadcast for a while, then it becomes common sense,closed, and resides in your subconscious. Life goes on as normal. However, we must go back to the misrepresentation residing in their subconscious…and reveal the distortion of the images. People might be rattled or accept this new reality. However, the problem with this is, by unlocking the meaning, it’s open for interpretation. Would everyone interpret it the same way?”

He used to be a scholar until Communication Service for the Deaf took him in as Social Change Strategist and exploited his views. I bet Ryan couldn’t challenge Communication Service for the Deaf because he is stuck with them.

In my previous blog post:

“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 [4]:

“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.”

Justice must include human rights and compassion. It must include an appreciation of Deaf cultural uniqueness. What strikes me the most by Lane’s writing as seen in the picture:

“On the other hand, the Deaf-World is a linguistic and cultural minority quite unlike disability groups and with a distinctly different agenda. Moreover, to be Deaf is not disability in Deaf culture, and most members of the Deaf-World see no disability in their ways of being. To give up their legal rights would be self-defeating; to demand them under disability law seems like hypocrisy.”

Does that mean the Deaf community has become a pet cause for Communication Service for the Deaf and National Deaf Therapy? This is not the spirit of the Deaf community. That is the sign of power-hunger. Or, is it power-struggle?

The true leadership that steps up to the plate with the facts as they are and makes intelligent decisions on those facts only and not only on the emotionalized, oppressive of the Deaf community and the misinformed public sentiment. Why is National Deaf Therapy under the auspices of Communication Service for the Deaf pushing for a chess game?

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

References:

(1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augury

(2) Roach, Amy (2002). “Which is Correct: Deaf, deaf, hard of hearing, or Hearing Impaired?” Deaf Linx. 22 Feb. 2003

(3) https://vimeo.com/12817361

(4) Lane, Harlan L. “Do Deaf People Have a Disability?” Sign Language Studies, vol. 2 no. 4, 2002, p. 356-379. Project MUSE

Links:

http://naturaltcapital.com/

https://www.prweb.com/releases/brandi_rarus_top_marketing_communications_executive_joins_communication_service_for_the_deafs_board_of_directors/prweb16295100.htm

https://www.gallaudet.edu/board-of-trustees

https://www.csd.org/about/

The Daily Moth, Marlee and Nyle: Crisis in Journalism

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The power of journalism is not the same like it used to be today in Deaf community. Exploring different frameworks of journalism analysis, and learning tools to recognize these frameworks, greatly enhanced my reading of journalism texts related to The Daily Moth. I was previously aware that The Daily Moth and its host Alex Abenchuchan made an inappropriate joke about Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump to use Marlee Matlin in his advertisement and mislead the public to make people think that Marlee supports Trump.

Flash news: Marlee had been a stanch supporter of Hillary Clinton before Nyle DiMarco even existed. There was a tweet that Marlee supports Hillary in the beginning of the year. It means….Marlee supports Hillary ever since.

I am also aware that The Daily Moth that the host, consciously, employed its bad journalism in the school of thought, in the public to educate Deaf community and in his journalistic skills. The Daily Moth allowed to make bad judgements in his own values and predispositions and created a self-deception of how The Daily Moth might have employed these things in his own agenda.

I am a daily viewer of The Daily Moth myself, became baffled not only by the vague, rambling journalism styles of how they treat Marlee but also by the exact mocking intended. As each story progressed, the flaws and bad character traits of American society—especially Deaf community became manifest. Almost everyone can remember a bed time story being read to them when they all are humans. Frequently these works of journalism happen to be myth or fairy tale what The Daily Moth did.

We would pick a bed time story because of its many moral lessons and the positive influence the tale can have on our lives. Sometimes the fable uses negative reinforcement and could help to condition Deaf community by what The Daily Moth scares us. The question, did The Daily Moth shows in a passive manner, how to handle issues ranging from love, respect and vanity to discipline, labor and tact?

Every experience impresses strongly upon a maturing intellect, and fairy tales are simple but powerful in the messages. Journalism provokes us to use these stories to teach Deaf community multiple positive lessons about culture and at the same time attempt to develop a humanity in a practical and positive way. These tales are a vital and important tool and are extremely useful in our upbringing. Fairy tales and myths were originally created to reinforce our current culture and highlight the habits and personality of a developing mind.

The Daily Moth lacked a certain continuity that would have allowed the journalism to flow in logical argument that Marlee was a Trump supporter. The mistake that they did was an overdependence upon the journalism honesty or qualities to convey symbolism. The Daily Moth needs to issue a public apology for Marlee Matlin. Will it even happen?

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-JT

Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

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

Suing AGBell and its Enablers

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Joseph Artino, Deaf Artist

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.—George Orwell

Few years ago, I was reading a book: Animal Farm by George Orwell, a British writer—the story is about the oldest pig on the the farm, his name name was Old Major—had to call out all the animals to a secret meeting and telling them about his dream of a revolution against the cruel Mr. Jones; After Major dies a few days later, his speech gives the more intelligent animals a new outlook on farm life. Pigs and pigeons play major roles in charge of the farm.

Animal Farm is one of the greatest analogies for anyone who is part of AGBell survivors—where we all need to go through rebellion to have AGBell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to be shut down. Forever. AGBell survivors had been hurt over and over through hatred and bigotry—and what is it that stands between AGBell survivors and them that such a proposition would loose in the mind and body of a person who believed that ASL is not important anymore. The letter by Meredith Sugar was deeply dismayed, concerned, and even frightened, the ongoing and escalating crisis by AGBell survivors could be. It is very important that AGBell survivors is up to par with current events affecting all of us frightfully.

Ever since April 1st letter by Ms. Sugar, in the Deaf community, we have witnessed our democracy in process that met with unnecessary hate crime and bigotry. That was how we would always remember about our experience through AGBell lies; Today we can walk far in the company of intellectual people and stop AGBell’s hatred and intellectual oppression either exalted or scorned.

The reason for the latter attitude is that the term “oppression” has always carried the scent of impropriety of ASL discourses in Deaf community. We all need to share our personal and professional experience in this healing process. We also need to depend on each other to heal. In healthy discourses, we MUST not loose our sight of the value of it—the form of healing that is not only healthy but important vital for the well-being of AGBell survivors and the maintenance of Deaf community today and tomorrow across America and around the world.

It is important to take a look at this way. Wal-Mart has been sued 4,851 times in year 2000 (The picture attached below)—about once every two hours. Wal-Mart has billions of dollars. They have insurance. Even there are people who actually worship Wal-Mart—way powerful than a bible. No, I am not kidding about this part.

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There are roughly between 400,000 and a million ASL users in America (most recently I attempted to look at Gallaudet Research Institute [GRI] and saw what Schein and Delk old study back in 1974—400,000 ASL users, but someone informed me that today it might be up to a million ASL users. Again, no hard numbers). —who knows that most of them might be AGBell survivors—imagine if Deaf community take action to sue AGBell—every minute of it for 365 days of living through AGBell lies, hatred, bigotry, language hegemony, the list goes on—how come AGBell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has not sued or anyone ever done this before? Insurance? Strong sound-oriented country?

We could create a CLASS SUIT and shut down AGBell—not only that but the telephone company, cochlear implant companies, and all that hate groups who are in the same boat as AGBell stakeholders. They do not have much money like the Daily Moth has showed the Deaf community how much AGBell really made—very poor financial management—a weak link.

Imagine sharing your concerns with AGBell, the Deaf survivors like yourself who to listen to you with respect. Imagine how you would feel about yourself if you could call them for guidance, insight, and perspective when you need it. Is this gonna happen? You decide. Wake up! Do we really have this kind of imagination today? AGBell Board of Directors is powerful in the human psyche and its hatred psyche, too. Indeed, at this level of archetype, they have failed to live within our imagination now.

In fact, one of the things I have admired most about AGBell survivors telling their stories, writing letters, and all that is its embrace for change. It teaches us to look to the work we can do on ourselves—repair, maintain, build and grow—so we can better deal with change that is certain to come. Growth may mean that AGBell survivors must be the one who to proactively instigate change that is long overdue.

AGBell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is now ready to be shut down for greater good and gives us the change and grow. We have memory, we have history that gives us remembrance that AGBell begun hatred and bigotry in 1883—the history is our strength that is deeply rooted in our sense of place. Its lesson is not to be a survivor of change inflicted upon AGBell; We are the ones to instigate the change that is beneficial, the change that holds merit of ASL and Deaf culture today and tomorrow.

-JT

Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

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