How Do You Define Deaf as Human Rights?

Deaf people around the world has been seen as easy target to take their human rights away. How do you define Deaf as Human Rights?

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Deafhood Foundation: A Criminal Record Shouldn’t Define Your Entire Existence

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Deafhood Foundation writes, Your donation will help end the economic exploitation of Deaf people, support anti-audism work, and create a society where everyone experiences full humanity and celebrates American Sign Language and Deaf culture.”

I have had been thinking about this for a while. For the last eight years, I have had invested a lot of heart and believability in Deafhood Foundation after reading Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood written by Paddy Ladd. The book arrived at my apartment in Portland, Oregon in April 2010 and I finished that book on the same day. It was mind-blowing experience. As soon as I finished that book, I remember calling up a friend who was one of certified Deafhood presenters and had brief discussion about it. I understood the magnitude of healing. That was the goal.

Two weeks after finishing that book, I was walking on Hawthorne Street in Portland, one of the famous streets, most laid-back streets, and there was a tattoo shop, and I decided to walk in and asked them to give me a tattoo, ‘Deafhood’ on my left arm where it ends up being first Deaf person to have ‘Deafhood’ in America. I was very proud of it.

Fast forward. June 2011. I was awarded with three degrees with honors. I worked very hard as Deaf returnee. I remember that day when I was released from jail in 1996, I told myself; I will never look back and make a huge difference in future. Day after day, year after year, I had no guidance, no space to call my own, or where to go. It was very difficult to deal with. I was separated from friends and Deaf community. I refused to be the scapegoat.

Couple of years later, a Deaf person informed me that the board position was open on the same day, and I immediately became interested in board position. I contacted one of the founding board members for Deafhood Foundation, and the board member said to me that I would not be welcomed on the board and I was devastated more than anything in my life all because I am a Deaf returnee. WITHOUT due process or screened—nothing just like that. Just right on spot right there. I was completely surprised and hurt, too.

It was a major discriminatory. I was surprised that the founding board member signed to me that I’d be “frustrated” and knew that it was discriminating against its own Deaf member in Deaf community. It was a huge blow. It shows that Deafhood Foundation does not support recidivism in Deaf community.

When I had to re-read the book by Paddy Ladd, I realized that the book does not support Deaf returnees either. If less than 0.00000005 percent of Deaf returnees suffering today—the truth supported by lack of awareness, the support matters, and goes a long way, How can we improve this conscious?

Think about emotional and physical impact that has gone deep enough to deal with struggles, with the capacity to think strong that has stored enough. Thought-provoking adventures. I live by reading books doing everything I can to make a living on the streets, and effectively deal with a world that most of us would never understand would never understand what it is like or known about. I often wonder about discovering the origin of life.

It will make a big impact of the overall quality of life. Can we articulate the specific needs of empowerment by building bridges to Deaf community? Maya Angelou once said, “When people show you who they are, believe them”—that’s where it starts right there.

So, why not Deafhood Foundation supports Deaf returnees? The “philosophy” of Deafhood Foundation in the broadest sense, ignoring a barrier repertoire—stories, literacy expressions and the like—against Deaf returnees whose forms of expressions exert upon them.

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Where are the tears of joy—and tears of pride? Having being “incarcerated” since my early teen years, I had ever experienced a pursuit of happiness before and never thought I would have that opportunity, my young adulthood forever lost. Deaf returnees do not given a second chance as “productive contributor” to Deaf community.

Deafhood Foundation, where is the compassion and willingness about Deaf returnees to put their lives on the line for others is deeply rooted in their own struggles for being given the opportunity for redemption and for being welcomed back into society?

In Paddy’s Corner: Dr. Ladd coined the word “Deafhood” to describe positive ways of being Deaf in spite of the discrimination and oppression, and to present a framework to understand our past, work within the present, and plan for the future.”

What about the positive framework to understand Deaf returnees’ past, work with the present, and plan for the future to focus on positive ways of being Deaf in spite of the discrimination and oppression every day?

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Few months ago, when I attended as lone Deaf attendee for ACLU National Conference in Washington, D.C.—I saw a powerful image that says I believe a criminal record shouldn’t define your entire existence”—sadly, Deafhood Foundation does not see that way that it would always define your entire existence forever because Deaf community is small–and quickly judged by its looks and books.

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

Stop Police Brutality in Deaf Community!

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The logo has been designed by a company called Visual Logo Design (VLD): Visuallogodesign@gmail.com

As a founder for Deaf Access Justice (DAJ), it is my duty to write this open letter and let the Deaf community understand the struggles of police brutality around the country today when it targets Deaf people for unnecessary bigotry.

Hate crime violates constitutional rights of Deaf people, especially unharmed Deaf people who were shot by police. 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.”–The Deaf guy by the name of Daniel K. Harris who was shot to death by state troopers in his car in North Carolina. Daniel was unharmed. This is a good case of police brutality.

Being Deaf and even unharmed was his pursuit of happiness in Our Constitution. The first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits abridging the freedom of speech but constitutional rights of Deaf people have been violated especially when they “fail to hear” by state troopers or police now requiring them be submitted to be charged with hate crime.

Every decent person abhors violent crimes that are motivated by prejudice or bias. Thus, the case for congressional legislation that would expand federal authority that already prohibits some “hate crimes” [See, e.g., 18 U.S.C. § 245(b).]

There is very, very, very rare when people are aware of this federal statute, “Deprivation of Civil Rights Under Cover of Law”, the third federal statute concerns actions committed by public officials–most often the police–who intend to deprive an individual of his or her constitutional rights.” [Jack Levin and Jack McDevitt] Deaf community is tired of being in silence and had been deprived their own language: American Sign Language, and their constitutional rights.

Please read my previous blog post in 2014:

https://audismnegatsurdi.com/2014/02/21/why-deaf-people-fear-not-to-report-police-brutality/

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-JT

Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

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

ASL: Making Human Rights a Reality

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AGBell President Meredith Sugar’s statement that ASL is not a human right, well, then she does not understand democracy and human rights even as a lawyer. Shaking my head! She does not ever understand that Deaf community has a precious time: ASL more than ever because it will lead us into the world of intellectual freedom and language miracles.

ASL presents Sociology, the labor of my love. Yes, it may apply to Philosophy, too. It will help us transcend ordinary reality by creating a shift in perception that opens the mind to the value of language transformation in every day Deaf life. This transformation is the real way we the Deaf people think about our quest to personify ASL for our wisdom itself.

If we sit quietly and observe our mind, we will see that it is full of mixed signals. Does Meredith Sugar have the right to silence our human rights when we use ASL? It is important to know that ASL practically awakens our mind and turns us toward a more rewarding journey into the realm of the Deafhood.

ASL is always home, in the academy, the nature and persistence of linguistic research, the power of ASL to influence and shape the human mind which means human right and the character of Deaf community as it shapes intellectual life of the Deaf people today and tomorrow.  The struggle for our language and culture that Deaf people go through both financial and emotional is unexplainable; I do not think that there is any other language out there that people struggle so much.

It is in my amateur opinion that Meredith Sugar thinks she is very successful in dodging responsibilities in not only oppressing Deaf people, but she has been fumbling ASL in the accreditation question–by being arrogant and inhabiting ASL into fear and silence.

Yes, ASL is a human right recognized by the United States Constitution.

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Credit: Jeffrey Beatty

-JT

Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Meaning of Audism: Cultural Hegemony over the Deaf Everywhere

ImageDavid Call’s Deaf Metamorphosis

There are some on one-side of a fence who will believe that Deaf people who cannot hear will never rehabilitated, no matter what the circumstances, and those on the other side of the fence who believe Deaf people are successful.

In the end, Gallaudet is responsible for the seal contains “EPHPHATHA” to make sure their job to determine who is sufficient to return to being a productive member of society and who is not. Deaf citizens who arrive on the campus to begin their education, the administration have sorted out fact from fiction in regards to see if Deaf citizens will fit to rejoin hearing society. I realized that EPHPHATHA is a subject of language racism.

Let’s make it clear: Personal attacks against Deaf citizens and we need to know that EPHPHATHA has no place in our public discourse. We the Deaf people need to stop politicians and their abyss of negativity to tell the stories that Deaf people will hear again. Gallaudet will not shout down or intimidate us the Deaf people because we will not tolerate it. We demand respect. The administration has the master key to hide the truth in order to suppress the power over Deaf people. However, after thinking about it for some time, I am tired of ideological censorship. We can never mount a defense against EPHPHATHA if this is always dismissed as “language racism”—but above all, if you believe that language racism exists, it is actually immoral not to deal with the problem and its survivors. I am convinced; also language racism is real and underestimated phenomena. There are many buried hatchets, including the Hotchkiss hatchet. All former presidents were hatchet buriers. They were responsible for the seal.

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right to freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”—In practice, however, the way this is interpreted varies widely from society to society. Under some political systems, the rights of the general society, sometimes referred to as the language of the general society, and regarded as taking precedence over the right of the individual being Deaf and needing American Sign Language (ASL).

Unfortunately, in the United States, this allows a lot of flexibility in the way the government reacts to individual examples of “free speech” with which they do not understand. In the worst case, Deaf people are always in danger of being defined in another language and can be imprisoned for it. Although the First Amendment to the United States defines “free speech” as to communicate ideas and opinions without government intervention, it allows extremists, namely Audists, the freedom to express opinion that many Deaf people would regard as “hate speech” All in all, “free speech” can be interpreted to mean different things according to the socio-political environment in which the term is used.

Flash news. It goes exactly the same to the term of EPHPHATHA that it is in great danger of being defined in another language and imprisons Deaf people…for what? It would require a lot of plans, and a complete, committed cooperation from Deaf community is expected. Timing will be an important factor as well. Gallaudet seem to keep the term on the seal to cure Deaf people, they are hurt. If they accept Deaf people as their human rights to be Deaf, they will be appreciated. If they talk about Deaf people with full of ideas, they are contributing. Instead, they are contributing for Audists today. Gallaudet needs to stop emotionalizing disgust brought on by the imprinting of biased, sensationalized stories of curing Deaf people on the campus from every corner.

The vast majority of Audists who keeps the term on the seal by “law” make sure that Deaf people suffer politically-motivated hate statue labels—for example, a modern day Scarlett Letter that results in a kind of mental torture against Deaf people who as a result become hearing and lose their basic legal rights. Audists cannot stop Deaf people to continue their pursuit of happiness.

Deaf Metamorphosis translated by David Call, “The pupa in the image symbolizes Deaf person’s struggle in audist world.  When he discovered Deaf identity, he started to change into a human butterfly. After the transformation is done, he started to break out and push himself out of the pupa. He is about to fly free as a whole Deaf person.”

-JT

Copyright © 2014 Jason Tozier

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