RID got Humpriezed

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Registry of the Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) already boasts the biggest hearing privileges, that would guarantee newest CEO for RID, Joey Trapani one of the biggest flops ever to walk around.

Just for kicks, Trapani had only one year or even less in interpreting experience, and yet got RID’s highest position: CEO through a shoddy reputation that often overlooks his power as a white man with red-hot hearing privileges. Oh, he’s Children of Deaf Adults (CODA)—pffft! I do not care if he is CODA. So what? Don’t get me wrong, there are some cool CODAs and there are some not very cool CODAs.

Let’s get serious here. How could RID allow hearing privileges and oppress Deaf community? The cloak dagger continues. People are allowed to help others and it does not matter who it is. If it is their own, they are comfortable in then that is it.

The major issue of Audism exists in all of us, even RID would go into complete denial and regardless of what and who we are. The regardless of language oppression is what the RID apart and what made the RID being differed from Deaf community. RID had failed to address the underlying causes of Audism and hearing privileges and leaves Deaf community without a guidance to move forward. RID refuses to identify the roots of language hegemony. Deaf community does not need to deal with status quo.

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CODA and with only a year in freelance interpreting experience suffers numerous misinterpretations—deliberate confounding, irreversible misunderstanding can be very costly and burdensome for Deaf community, and Deaf people have personally experienced them somewhere in their life.

What really binds the Deaf together is their culture—the language and the ideas they have in common. Knowledge of cultural forms within the Deaf community is necessary in sociological concerns.

Since RID is essentially important for Deaf community, particularly in its history stages. Willard Willow wrote in 1932, “Schools have a culture that is definitely their own. There are, in the school, complex rituals of personal relationships, a set of folkways, mores, and irrational sanctions, a moral code based upon them.”

RID is not a world of its own. It is not even a world. But because RID is in the world, because it is affected by situations, and because it orients itself comprehensively in those situations, RID had something to teach, RID has offered something to bring Deaf community to higher learning of interpreting. Well, that is something to think about.

In the light of RID’s failure to hold community accountability, it is time to boycott RID. It is time for interpreters to get their money back and revoke their RID memberships.

CEO Joey Trapani and the board president, Melvin Walker, need to resign. CODA and hearing privileges do not belong well in Deaf community. They both ignited the golden age of Audism and the dominance of hearing privileges of their namesake of ignorance, which furnished RID toward the notion of educational proof and has been thrown into the mind of Deaf community since. Hearing privileges–not cool.

Isn’t Deaf community exactly the right place to exchange and debate differing concerns? Perhaps RID has lost its professionalism and respect. RID got Humpriezed. In reference to Tom Humphries, the coinage of Audism. Deaf community should not be oppressed in the name of Audism. Deaf community is a minority of one, they deserve better. RID should be Deaf-centered, Deaf-oriented, and Deaf-controlled.

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-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

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My Film In-Depth Analysis: “A Quiet Place”

 

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You see this picture above? The Deaf actress signs to her character father in the film scene, “It does not work!” in reference to cochlear implant.

A Quiet Place was one of the most controversial films of the year in Deaf community. My reflection about this film is a major challenge. The opening scene of cochlear implant first thing exposes the arrogance of modern medicine and the decided failure of our society in heeding health system. The culture of fear continues.

Is it to benefit medicine and battery corporate controlled systems? The root of this aforementioned control is that those profiting from practicing medicine and selling batteries see no money to be made in respecting Deaf culture first thing.

It was powerful enough to create an image to meet the advanced methods of blatant oppression that approaches and questions necessary. It is only the beginning. Is this a sign of cochlear implant war? Is this a sign of third wave of Oralism? It only gets worsened when it comes to “Deafness”. In this film about profiting from cochlear implants, I would like to point out that cochlear implant crisis threatens not only economic collapse among families but also educational inflation beleaguered by costly services.

Hollywood needs to be honest about arrogance of Deaf culture.

Does this film’s approach of cochlear implants to be personal and individual freedom challenge the norms of Deaf community? Does this film of powerful and oppressive forces simply create Audism? The critical examination shows the absence of cultural contribution to the Deaf community and the tradition of literacy canon in this film. This cultural oppression is directly related in Hollywood historical tradition of systematic and institutional Audism proscribing an inferior status to Deaf babies.

Not only did this cultural phenomenon produce a scant offering of works by cochlear implant companies, criticism of Deaf babies that are not implanted in regard to these offerings were indicting and angry, perhaps that Deaf babies should stray too far from their state of happiness in the “pursuit” of healthy journey. Truth be told, however, Hollywood remains a nonstarter for “bonding” purposes.

Carol Padden and Tom Humphries write in one of their book chapters:

We had heard several stories along themes similar to the ones in this folktale, but it was not until we were displaced in a foreign country that we were able to recognize consciously what until then we had only intuitively understood: these stories are myths, tales, parables that carry the set of ideas about what makes it possible to be a Deaf person. By retelling these stories the group can talk about a knowledge it believes to be essential, its lifeblood.” (Deaf in America: Voices from a Culture)

Hollywood was supposed to be the front-line lifeblood of knowledge. We need to look at the central role of the public and private split has played in big issues such as Audism, oppression, and human rights, the need for “cochlear implant” spaces, and the legacies of colonialism. Relationships and Hollywood abound in many ways, cochlear implant industries are able to experience the many forms of big money that emerge to practice the oppression of Deaf babies, through the eyes of Hollywood.

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The pairing of cochlear implant to beloved friend, Hollywood illustrates the perhaps most ill perceived of Deaf babies with pride and prejudice. Both parties desire the film to fulfill familial and societal expectations, establish battery economics, and affix social status connections that Hollywood supplant cochlear implant industries firmly with first-class genteel society.

I was clearly disappointed with the grand opening of the film that hurts the most. Looking back through history of 12 Deaf children who died from cochlear implant surgeries in 1989 and the many painful stories by cochlear implant survivors to this date today and the future, too. This abiding human question about whether cultural oppression strikes at the very soul of Deaf humanity—of how Hollywood view Deaf babies. The stories about how successful cochlear implants are myths and tales.

So much for “these stories are myths, tales, parables that carry the set of ideas about what makes it possible to be a Deaf person

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

The Long Silence of Forgotten Audism

Since Tom Humphries coined “Audism” in late ‘70s for his Ph.D., his vision of seeing a lot of Deaf people being oppressed so frightening that as Tom did not give any professional lectures about it. Almost four decades later, Humphries does not believe in it to pretend that Audism exist. Is Audism controversial? I remember reading a book, The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community that was published in 1992 while I was a sophomore in high school, I did not read the book until 1999.

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Harlan Lane, Carl Schroeder and I had a private meeting in 2010. He signed the very same book I read in 1999. 

There are millions of poor Deaf people, any kind of color in America that are suffering from pain and exploitation they all had in common, as a lover of freedom and liberty for all Deaf people to enjoy, I believe that efforts to build a law that recognizes Audism through stories, hard facts, and professional opinion, basic elements that are commonly missing when discussing “Audism” in the society.

If I coined a term whatever it is, I would make sure I educate the country, no matter what how long it is because it is my social responsibility and civil duty to continue educates Deaf people.

Let’s face up to it, Mr. Tom Humphries, there are millions of Deaf people who might look up on you, in a sphere of heavily steeped emotionalism, political struggle, power struggle, and human struggle that are completely ignored and continue to ignore Audism that exists today and tomorrow. I was one of them who look up to you. I own a painting of your face done by Nancy Rourke along with 12 faces in my personal space that was supposed to make all difference.

Is Tom Humphries still a scholar today? As in a book chapter called Audism: Exploring the Metaphysics of Oppression by hearing chair of ASL and Deaf Studies department at Gallaudet University, H-Dirksen L. Bauman writes:

However, it is was not until 1975 when a Deaf scholar, Tom Humphries, decided it was time to name the discrimination against Deaf persons and to coin a term that would be part of the currency of discussions on human rights, deaf education, and employment.”

Audism did not discuss until 1992. Why long silence? Funny thing that I was struggling in schools, home life, and personal life because of long-silenced treatment that Audism exists. Talking about Audism has often occurred in the context of angry words, hostility, accusations, and divisiveness.

This coming Friday and Saturday, April 14th and April 15th, there will be rally sponsored by Audism Free America (AFA) celebrating 200 years of American Sign Language (ASL), Deaf Education and their stories through the power, freedom, and justice to fight against Audism to let the society know that it is a permanent movement.

Where is your empowerment, Humphries? That was 42 years ago—and Deaf people would be empowered by now instead of being in silence about it. Since 1880 Milan Resolution, Deaf people have been survivors of the longest hate crime in American history. We refuse to live in hearing superiority. They need to respect Deaf people—the more respect, less Audism. In Humphries’s words:

The notion that one is superior based on one’s ability to hear or behave in the manner of one who hears. It is the bias and prejudice of hearing people against deaf people, it is the bias and prejudice of some deaf people against other deaf people.”

Although, the society that I envision is one that maximizes freedom and liberties for ALL Deaf people coming from walk of life—the concept of ignorance is what completes the loop of full justice even at Gallaudet University.

Yet, Bauman writes, “The term now appears at all levels of the Deaf Studies curriculum at Gallaudet University, from Introduction to Deaf Studies to Deaf Cultural Studies.”

I was asked to give a lecture at Gallaudet University a month ago and found that Deaf students who comes from mainstreaming schools, some of them are juniors and sophomores at Gallaudet has no idea what Audism stands for or do not know who George Veditz is, or Alexander Graham Bell, even the story about Milan. It’s very serious problem. I call it “Social Problem 101”.

Gallaudet University needs to bring stronger ethics and require ALL Deaf students to take at least 12 credits in Deaf Studies and Deafhood courses even though if they are not ASL/Deaf Studies majors.

Perhaps we should re-frame the question: How can Audism protect Deaf people from future social problems? In this case, the answer probably lies in higher learning and lectures. How would you answer this, Tom Humphries? Deaf people who are survivors of Audism do not need to be forgotten even in long silence.

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-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

Humphries, T. (1975). Audism: The Making of a Word. Unpublished essay. 

Lane, H. (1992). The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community.

Bauman, H-Dirksen L. (2004). Audism: Exploring the Metaphysics of Oppression.

Spring Awakening: Are We Being Language-Bastardized With Choice?

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After watching The Daily Moth to talk about Spring Awakening: Accessibility for Deaf interview between Jehanne McCullough, an activist, DJ Kurs, Deaf West Artistic Director and Linda Bove, American Sign Language (ASL) Master. McCullough protests the theatrical stance on Sim-Com (simultaneous communication, meaning signing and speaking at the same time) promoting Kurs and Bove to reconvene by interview as viewers occupied their time to watch why it is OK for Kurs and Bove to say that Sim-Com is good for the audience in theatre settings. That is a political marketing right there.

Tom Humphries wrote “Talking Culture, Culture Talking”, we the Deaf often told stories but we don’t know about “hearing” stories. I am not talking about stories we acquired from, say, Shakespeare, da Vinci and the like. I mean stories about when, where and how they discovered the Deaf. In theatre, there are three phenomena: (1) stories, (2) actors/actresses and (3) audience. We had been rehearsing in these triads. Our stories must be accurate; we must act them out; and the audience must appreciate them. Simple. All three phenomena are in ASL—no questions asked. Is the theatre a stronghold of this Sim-Com policy, the language bastardization?

Kurs and Bove does not meet the qualifications, which ranged from failing to vigorously oppose and hold discussions on apparent attempts to organize a “Sim-Com” in theatre. Kurs and Bove does not respect Deaf people’s preference to have ASL only——they are publicly disrespecting and demeaning, and breeding an environment that can cause language hegemony towards Deaf people. They were defensive on that part. Notice that they said the same thing when they said that Sim-Com is not allowed in educational settings, but theatrical sets, yes! They coached each other to make sure they are on the same page.

Charges of Sim-Com dominated statements made by McCullough after the show, I applaud McCullough for bringing it out the truth that it hurts Deaf people in long run to change the theatrical settings to promote healthy and inclusion, and listen to any suggestions the Deaf community would be happy with. There is one of couple things that Bove mentioned that Deaf West is not an ASL-centered theme, but a sign language theatre. That breeds a great deal of language hegemony—does Bove even realize what she was saying like that?

The chilling part is that when Kurs said that hearing people do not understand ASL—therefore, Deaf people cannot understand spoken English to make it even out. What is that supposed to mean? That is not even scholarly answer. Theater is all about knowledge that requires education, it is one of the greatest way to introduce the issue of human rights, and how Deaf people can be human rights champions right in their own communities by using ASL. That can be also incorporated in larger theatrical themes of celebrating diversity, encouraging tolerance, prevent “hearing-dominated” language, bullying, and resolving conflict in constructive ways. Not only that but Kurs and Bove do not realize that Audism is prevalent in theatrical settings they allow to make it happen.

From the show, Spring Awakening, it is huge disappointment that they allow signing and speaking at the same time allows language marginalization—does hearing actors on the theatre settings sounds funny and ungrammatical when following the Sim-Com policy? Think about that. I understood the importance of theatrical settings because of my experience as an actor for Deafhood Monologues. It was a huge wake-up.

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DJ Kurs and Linda Bove need to apologize for being insensitive feelings for Deaf citizens. Commit Deaf West to ASL-centered to fulfill their demands. Admit that Sim-Com is a failure to prioritize the education of Deaf people during show.

Finally, acknowledge Sim-Com is built on false myths taken from hearing educators, honors language bastardization, appropriates Deaf culture in some of its art and stories and asserts the legacy of hearing supremacy and its language must be stopped.

Links:

https://jehanne.wordpress.com/2015/12/06/10-things-the-raving-reviews-dont-tell-you-about-spring-awakening-2/

-JT

Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier

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

The Questioning of ‘Safe Haven’ in Classrooms

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Every time I see David Call’s artworks–and gives me a lot of ideas to write!

As alumni for Gallaudet University and a scholar recipient for a graduate program in Deaf Studies, every vote counts. It is the key idea in the Deaf community we live in America, a belief that is easily forgotten about ourselves. The sizable chunk of the electorate does not put the vote in the ballot to heal Deaf citizens with prescriptions every day. That is the power, regardless of the wishes of the voters as a whole.

Like I wrote in my previous blog,

“the Deaf (with capital d) is an archetype within the conscious of all the Deaf that contains our awareness of being Deaf. It is the psychological component that we still think and react to our society like Deaf people, and it is the same component that we are fully aware that the society continues to keep from being able to embrace American Sign Language (ASL).

Of all the betrayals that we the Deaf suffer, perhaps the most poignant of all is the betrayal of ourselves. No example of this is more striking than we remain committed to our being Deaf, that archetypical force which will hinder us from becoming fully empowered users of ASL.

To better understand why we the Deaf betray ourselves, let me present the common patterns of this archetype found within the Deaf community. These patterns include behaviors, perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes of the Deaf. This exploration is intended to help us identify how this archetype force is still in control, and to understand how the Deaf adversely affects our daily lives. They keep us struck, disempowered, and isolated.”  @ Jason “JT” Tozier, 2015

This force can be incredibly powerful, such as depicted by the biblical story in which a word make a Deaf man hear: EPHPHATHA. Gallaudet University has this Christian word in its official seal. The idea is that it “contacts” the Almighty. Very powerful, indeed! It is very discriminating! I, myself, could never associate myself with this word in the university seal.

In 1971, Frederick Schreiber, an executive director for National Association of the Deaf (NAD) coined ‘Deaf Studies’ in his quote, If Deaf people are to get ahead in our time, they must have a better image of themselves and their capabilities. They need concrete examples of what Deaf people have already done so they can project for themselves a brighter future. If we can have Black studies, Jewish studies, why not Deaf studies?” (Note: Quoted in Charles Katz, “A Partial History of Deaf Studies, in Deaf Studies VI Conference Proceedings: Making the Connection (Washington, D.C.; College for Continuing Education, Gallaudet University, 1999. 120.

National Deaf-Mute College was founded in 1864—known as Gallaudet University today. Exactly 130 years later, Deaf Studies program switched the lights on and invited students in to study and research. That was when I was a senior in high school when it was founded. However, there was resistance involved with the idea of the program, “This is partially due to the fact that Deaf Studies was already taught across the curriculum at Gallaudet University and partially due to resistance within Gallaudet University, for fear that such a program would foment resistance and activism. In any event, the solidification of a department was an important moment in the field’s history, as was the formation of its graduate program in 2002” (the undergraduate program was founded by Dr. Yerker Andersson and the graduate program by Drs. Ben Bahan, MJ Bienvenu and H-Dirksen Bauman)

I am perpetually honored and humbled to serve as the only hearing member of the Deaf Studies program at the world’s only liberal arts university for Deaf and hard-of hearing students.” H-Dirksen Bauman

That is where the danger begins. That is a big hearing privilege.

Four years after the coinage of ‘Deaf Studies’, Tom Humphries coined the term, Audism, based on the Latin audire, meaning, “to hear”. In his original article, Humphries defined Audism as “the notion that one is superior based on one’s ability to hear or behave in the manner of one who hears”–Tom Humphries, Audism: The Making of a Word, unpublished, 1975.

Words have such power that they can bring respect or they can bring disrespect, as is shown by current Gallaudet University Alumni Association (GUAA) president, Alyce Slater Reynolds and its association/board. They have had nothing to protest the word, EPHPHATHA today. They had alienated Deaf people, and their words could never help us to concentrate on our own nature. Their words are associated with the charging of ongoing oppression.

There is another crucial point to make about words, which we do not wish to talk about. However, we need to talk about our nature. What is wrong with it?

Paddy Ladd writes a powerful chapter, Colonialism and Resistance: A Brief History of Deafhood—-that questions why EPHPHATHA is not being discussed in Deaf Studies, We now face the challenge of bringing about the second phase, to search for more explicit Deaf epistemologies and ontologies that can frame these developments in a more holistic way, so that Deaf Studies can become a more conscious model for Deaf-centered praxis

That is exactly why EPHPHATHA should be more conscious model to discuss in classrooms—and one of the reasons we may find nature of the Deaf hard to believe in—even when it has been demonstrated to us—is that we have lost our connection to nature. The lack of action from GUAA would be unlikely to hold true for most Deaf people today, for the way we think of nature has changed.

Flash: Bauman, the only hearing member writes in his own words, “Even within the field of Deaf Studies, perspectives of Deaf people are often not valued. Many programs call themselves Deaf Studies but are actually based on an audiological model…”

EPHPHATHA is an audiologically model that will not allow to discuss in classrooms or you get in trouble. Bauman has the power as a department chair that will not allow discussions about this at all. You know what will happen next? TROUBLE. For example, in 1972, there was a tragic day in my motherland, Ireland, dealt with ‘Bloody Sunday’ and within a year before; ‘Deaf Studies’ was created.

‘Bloody Sunday’ was a national tragic day for Ireland. British soldiers shot 26 unharmed Irish people during a protest march. The same idea that ‘Deaf Studies’ applies to oppression, hegemony, language racism, and language bigotry what was going on in Ireland.

A better course for Deaf Studies would be to examine the situation in identity politics now, learn from the past, think about the beyond-identity issues floating in the public sphere, come up with flexible and nonhierarchical models of being, and lead the way out of the dead end of identity thinking”Lennard Davis

13 yeas later after the graduate program was created, Bauman is in charge today. Think about it. Remember, resistance and activism.

Yet, Bauman writes, From Desloges to Veditz to the formation of Deaf Studies, Deaf people have been defending the right to use sign language, the right to intermarry, and the right not to be subjected to medical and religious cures, the right simply to be left alone…while Deaf Studies has proven the existence of Deaf Culture, the cultural argument is often not enough to convince hearing doctors and parents to cease their endless search for a cure.”

Why should society want to keep and promote Deaf people? What good are Deaf people to society? What good are Deaf children to a family? These difficult questions must now be explored if the Deaf world is to continue in the face of biopower institutions intent on the eradication of the Deaf community.”

As Gallaudet alumni, nature is considered part of the family. I recognize that every alumnus and alumni, they do not talk about it to hearing people, they do have their own guiding spirit. Isn’t that part of our nature of being Deaf?

In terms of language, let’s start by defining EPHPHATHA. The English language has a very strange inference of curing ears, and the speakers of English assume from their own inference that being Deaf is pathological. The English language dictionary defines EPHPHATHA: the Greek form of a Syro-Chaldaic or Aramaic word, meaning “Be opened,” uttered by Christ when healing the man who was deaf and dumb (Mark 7:34). It is one of the characteristics of Mark that he uses the very Aramaic words which fell from our Lord’s lips. (See 3:17; 5:41; 7:11; 14:36; 15:34.)

Once again, Bauman writes, “How would the world be affected negatively by the loss of Deaf communities?” The speakers of English are very comfortable applying the word at Gallaudet University. It is a loss that affects Deaf community. Why not Bauman enforce and allow EPHPHATHA in the classrooms to be part of academic discussion? Remember Bloody Sunday 1972.

After all, EPHPHATHA is a Bloody Sunday.

-JT

Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier

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

References:

“Ephphatha.” Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary. 13 Mar. 2015. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ephphatha>.

Your Best Activity: Reading

ImageReading a book is an invisible thread that could change one’s life. It begins with a warning that “a book belongs to a very few”, perhaps to no one yet living. Warnings aside, be begins by sketching the idea of declining vs. ascending life and culture. An animal, a species, or an individual becomes “depraved” or “decadent” when it loses its instincts for that which sustains its life, and “prefers what is harmful to it”.

Life itself presupposes an instinct for growth, for sustenance, for “the will to power”, the striving for some degree of control and mastery of one’s surroundings. Deafhood journey sets itself up in opposition to those instincts, and hence Deafhood is an expression of defending your human right, an evidence of the will to life.

By building a value–indeed, the highest value-its depressive effects thwart those instincts which preserve life, establishing Deaf people as the standard of value. The rejection of Deaf culture and ASL does not proscribe generosity, magnanimity, or benevolence–indeed the latter are mandated for “higher” types what is rejected to allow the ill-constituted to define what is good. Reading a book is a hundred times wiser and more realistic and is the highest and learned class to recognize the instincts of the subjugated and the oppressed groups, for example, Deaf people.

It was the audists who first falsified the inner and outer world with a metaphysically complete anti-world, one in which natural causality plays no role. One might of course object that such a concept of Deaf person considerably predates Aristotle who said Deaf people are dumb. The audists did this out of hatred with a good reason: to belittle and shut out Deaf people out of society. Thus, the audists view the Deaf people as shrewdly inculcating guilt, resentment, and other values hostile to life among their oppressors as a form of ideological germ warefare, taking care not to become fully infected themselves.

The books, Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood and many other Deaf books such as When the Mind Hears: A History of the Deaf by Harlan Lane made a move to retreat into a state of extreme withdrawal from ‘the world’ undisturbed by reality of any kind. Also, to recognize the fear of pain even in infinitely small amounts, and the books itself are standing in opposition to every active virtue and ask yourself how can books like Inside Deaf Culture by Carol Padden have the dignity and accomplishment not feel ashamed to be called a proud Deaf person.

Not only do the audists deprive us of the benefits of Deaf culture, it was a culture from which audists could and should have learned much, it is their loss. So, reading books is the way of revolutionizing everything that crawls upon the ground directly against that which is elevated: the gospel of the lowly makes low. Deaf people are not the gospel of the lowly. Do we are able to forgive or forget what our enemies were the “intelligent ones” persons far more civilized, erudite, and accomplished than themselves, people who they felt more fit to rule and control Deaf people today.

That is why reading books is important to begin count time from the start of growing pain, the writing of Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood then I would now be writing those words in the highest honor that I get the wish to meet Paddy Ladd himself. It is all about self-sacrifice that allows people to continue to believe in their principles. Reading a book can be your best activity.

-JT

Copyright © 2013 Jason Tozier

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