SK SK – People of the Eye Stops Keying

Hi all

ive decided to close down People of the Eye

ill leave the site up in case folks want to see items in the archives – many of u have made really great comments here – but no further entries will grace this site

i want to thank everyone who sent me words of support and have contributed to this site. it has been a good place and a good experience for me for the most part so biggest thanks for being part of that

for those who thought my decision to leave DR a few weeks ago was cowardly, turning my back on the Deaf community, my lacking a thick skin etc – i offer the below:

my skin is pretty thick when it comes to folks attacking me but not so much when we attack each other – i just dont have a thick enough skin for that and i hope i never do

not to compare myself with Mahatma Gandhi but rather to explain a bit the difference i see between taking a stand and quiting

when Muslims and Hindus were having a HORRIBLE bloodly conflict against each other after the British left India – Gandhi refused to eat to the point of near death. he fasted several times – whenever the violence flared up so badly his heart was breaking.

i am not Gandhi – i did not fast from DR because i thought I COULD STOP all the fighting but i did fast from DR because if i stayed on DR while it sanctioned attack b/vlogs i would be contributing to the problem – i would not be part of the solution. i would be supporting and perpetuating a system of injustice and i could not ethically do this. by having my own blog/vlog listed on DR i would be sanctioning their actions

i was very close to resigning from DR when Cochlear Implant Online got booted without any warning and without an consistent application of the non-commercial relationship applied across the board to other sites

I had hoped to come back after i saw some of the offensive stuff come down but then it found new ways to reappear and new attacks are launched

so i leave you with my hearty hearty hearty appreciation for the good in all of u and for the wish that wisdom, love, and kindness will return and also fun, laughter, great political discussions, exploration, networking, stimulating and challenging discourse and most of all peaceful activism re-emerge at DeafRead

please know i hold no bad feelings towards DeafRead, its editors, some of the b/vloggers who have posted their attacks and to commenters who have been cruel to each other

Re: some folks concerns that i am turning my back on the Deaf Community – i want to assure u all, I will never turn my back on the Deaf community – this an an opportunity to channel my energy and talents into other places / spaces that are productive and can feed my soul

thanks again to all of you


patti durr

NOTE: i will not be replying to any comments here publicly but will send anyone who chooses to comment a personal email when ur note reaches my inbox. Official going off the air now. SK SK SK


boo – wishful thinking

hi all

i had blogged this morning about the happy world i envisioned where no one needed to resign or leave

where we could all reflect and grow

but one of the commenters alerted me to the fact that DR had still approved of a new blog entry where the 6 AIM chat is posted YESTERDAY so seems my hopeful post was premature and the #$%& is still flying all over the DR listing of approved blogs / vlogs

ive removed my post from this morning re: RECONSIDERING- DR, JJ, the 2 Editors and myself

ive also gotten emails referring me to other situations re: DR where i dont know the full story etc

seems transparency is a general problem that plagues many groups / organizations?

so im at a loss of what to say and do folks

i love DR very much – i do see its huge potential as a mobilizing force and a beacon and for stimulating thought, creativity, even dissent – if it could just refrain from sanctioning libel / slander / personal attacks etc

puzzled me



Im outta here – adios and be well

after seeing the latest feeding frenzy and pointing the fingers and condemnations and ….

i have decided to leave Deafread

its with a heavy heart but its all just so BONK right now and it makes no sense at all
we do not have our eyes on the prize – the future of Deaf children and their right to a fully accessible language to live and love by.
we do not have our eyes on the prize – the future of Deaf children to feel ok with who they are as people of the eye.

we do not have our eyes on the prize – that while we are all so eager to rip each other to pieces verbally (in English and ASL – wow look we are bilingual), we have put G-d’s noblest gift to the most shamefullest use

we are self-destructing

we have forgotten that it is the “fix-it up chappy” who is driving away happy to see us squabbling and bickering over whether or not we butter our bread upside down or not or have a star on thar

alas – it is a shame. there is SO SO SO much for us to learn about ourselves, each other, Deaf history and heritage and our people

i do not leave because the badness that is being tossed around has won. i leave because it is not a safe place for my soul, heart, or mind to hang out. I know i will miss some gems but the landmines and gernandes are just to many right now

as always i do sincerely apologize if in any way my participation in the blog/vlogsphere has contributed to such landmines

adios DeafRead – it was nice knowing u. i am sorry it has come to this

be well ALL – u r dear to me


patti durr SK SK
“Our nettlesome task is to discover how to organize our strength into compelling power.” MLK Jr

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become reality. I believe that
unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” MLK Jr.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” MLK Jr

“Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love.” MLK Jr

Honk if you support the DBC

hi all
yesterday i was really sad when i saw some of the stuff on Deafread and i composed a long response and then just saved it in word and went out and lived in the real world.

it has been crazy-busy at my house this week but some of the stuff i glanced at hitting all of our brainwaves of those of us who go to Deafread for news and info and opinions did have a sad lingering effect.

so this space is intended to be a happy space – free of landmines

simply leave a HONK HONK HONK comment if u support DBC. i believe all Deaf organizations need our critical and caring eyes and our support during stormy times

if u wanna leave a longer comment that will be great

i am sure some naysayers* with stop by too – and they are welcome as long as their rhetoric is peaceful and comes from love. no, drive by shooting comments from folks who choose to remain nameless please

*naysayers are the individuals who seek to distort information and lead a smear campaign – they are not individuals who are sharing their personal experiences within the core and coming from a place of love.

Example – a former DBC member feels comfortable highlighting some comments from an AIM chat but neglects to highlight his own comments in the transcript when they are not favorable.
I.e. after joking about selling their ears for money – lassoBC typed
(“ha ha funny DE” but it is not highlighted at all)

I am deeply saddened to learn that several good folks feel that they were forced to leave or shoved out of DBC’s core. I understand that EACH of you felt u had very good ideas and they were rejected. Those of you who feel you were forced to leave because a different vision on the mission and strategies – it is good that you stepped down if u felt u could not support their path. For those of u who were cut off without any prior notification or discussion and for which u feel there was no just cause – i do express my sorrow that u had this experience. I also extend my sympathy to the core members who have held together during all these changes – i am sure they have been hard and upsetting.

I have had similar experiences in some Deaf organizations for a variety of reasons – power struggles. varying agendas, competition, attention, different mission and philosophy. It is hard for any group to come together an form a firm and loving position and stick to it. We all falter and waiver.

I do beseech each of you who has the time and commitment to unite and set up the type of organization u feel is best – polls, clear solitary mission, good first impressions, (no discussion of CI, AVT, Deafhood, audism, etc). I will defend u to the end just as I will any other Deaf organization that is seeking the right to a visual language for babies peacefully.

I will share why i support the DBC so that those folks who would like to give a HONK can join me:
1. DBC is an advocacy group that is LONG LONG LONG overdue
2. DBC is a grassroots organization that is committed to BILINGUALISM AND BICULTURALISM
3. There is more good in DBC than there is bad
4. i have NEVER NEVER NEVER witnessed the coming together of the Deaf community on such a level as i did at the DBC conference in Milwaukee.
5. DBC is committed to peaceful, positive and whenever possible proactive activism

I will withdraw my support of DBC if they ever advocated for violence (the AIM chat blowing off of stress-steam comments is not evidence of violence in my opinion).

In the spirit of full transparency – things u should know about me:
1. i am not a core member of DBC nor have i ever been
2. i am not a brainwashed sheep following cultist
3. i am not fully deaf or Deaf
4. i am an advocate for bilingualism – biculturalism (ASL and English) for Deaf children
5. i am very comfortable with the concepts of Deafhood
6. i am very tired of all the horrible, spiteful, demoralizing, meanspirited, unproductive and ugly COMMENTS that get thrown around all over the blogsphere
7. i know there are more good folks out there than there are bad

so…… honking for DBC does not mean that u dont ask DBC to examine the challenge before which is (as i see it)
1. to acknowledge the pain that some have encountered from their relationship within the DBC core – the pain is real regardless of if the causes are perceived to be different

2. clarifying ur mission re: the BICULTURAL part of bi-bi

to my knowledge (but i have not read everything in the blog sphere) there has been NO NO NO discussion of the BICULTURAL part of bilingualism – biculturalism

and i think this might be the heart of the issue. if some d/Deaf folks perceive any examination of a CUTLURAL view to be Deaf cultists – then we have a chasm folks and the ELEPHANT keeps winning. The answer in my opinion is not for DBC to diminish or undermine the importance of BICULTURALISM

all the scholarly readings i have done re: bilingualism-bilculturalism (BI-BI) have always emphasized the role of audism in prohibiting and restricting ASL to flourish and be used in academic settings for deaf children. and all the BI-BI writings i have read examine a cultural view of what it means to be Deaf (which is basically what Deafhood is about)

I have never seen the Deaf community so ACTIVE, ALIVE, and A-W-A-K-E out there in the real world as i have seen with the DBC .

I have never seen the Deaf community so ____________ gosh i cant find a word for what i see going on in the b/vlogs right now

i have been to several Deaf gatherings lately and someone always brings up – HAVE US SEEN DEAFREAD LATELY – and other folks will say yeah what a mess chat chat chat

and i will ask – why do u think this is happening – what do u think this is all about

and the most common refrain i have seen is
attention seeking

now i do not believe that is what is motivating several good folks to speak (type/sign out) – i am sharing that this is the perception

just as i do not want DBC to be massacred for things it is not guilty of – i do not want the dissenters to be massacred as well

what i truly want is – PEACE

and peace by MLK jrs definition is not the absence of tension but the presences of justice

i am not saying “cant we all just get along” in a superficial way on Deafread

i am not saying “cant we all just be one big ole happy family”

i am saying – we got some REALLY REALLY REALLY hard work ahead of us

we have to ask ourselves (and in we i mean me too) how do i disrespect my brethren?
how do i demonstrate a lack of love and respect for others – especially for Deaf people of color? we do need to discuss racism and classism with the Deaf community
how do i communicate concerns about oral / aural only programs and CI without communicating a disrespect or rejection for those who have CI or are oral non-signers


united we stand, Divided we fall

HONK if u support DBC – If u prefer to handwave cuz its more Deaf-centered that is fine

just be visually loud and positive please


Patti Durr

Clarification and Integrity

Greetings all

There has been lots of discussion about a comment I made in this People of the Eye website by Aidan and Ben and others

Here is the controversial comment:
“I have had a great deal of contact with the core members of DBC and I have NEVER seen any of them pronounce radical views. How does one discuss why bilingualism is not accepted in Deaf education today when it was the foundation of Deaf education in 1817 without discussing oralism, audism and CI. This is not to say having oral / aural skills are bad or that having CIs is bad – no one in DBC is saying that. Their opposition is to oral / aural only methods.”

First of all – I want to thank folks for calling me to be a person of integrity. Second I would like to apologize for any confusion or hurt I have caused anyone for this comment and thirdly – I would like to apologize to DBC if I have misrepresented the group.

To clarify my comment:
1. my definition of radical may be very different from others definition of radical.

2. It is my opinion after reading many articles on bilingualism that:
a. bilingualism is always a political hot button and it is impossible to avoid controversy for any push for bilingualism (English / Spanish etc) in the US because we are a predominantly monolinguistic society

b. discussions of bilingualism or the lack there of – within Deaf Education has to examine the legacy of oralism (oral / aural only practices), audism, and CI/AVT programs*.
*AVT/CI discourages the natural acuity for lipreading and using vision to the fullest (by covering the lips and discouraging gesturing and/or signing)

c. When I said “This is not to say having oral / aural skills are bad or that having CIs is bad – no one in DBC is saying that. Their opposition is to oral / aural only methods.”

I should not have spoken for what DBC is saying or isn’t saying so I will share my understanding of the bilingual-biclultural movement within the US for Deaf babies and children – as I understand it:

Bi-Bi opposes a binary approach to the deaf child. They oppose the lack of a choice for visual input to language. They oppose any system that says speaking and listening is paramount (even though it is not fully accessible) and to use sign language is to be isolated and exclusionary. I believe if there were an approach that said ASL only – no English acquisition (in any form written, spoken, heard etc) a bi-bi program would oppose that also but since there is no program, corporation, organization etc that I know of that advocates for ASL without the acquisition of English – it is a moot point and goes without saying. Bi-Bi within Deaf Education faces a unique challenge that is not faced by the bi-bi situations for Latinos or French Canadian or other groups.

One challenge is that for most deaf children the language (ASL) that is being undervalued, under-explored, under-utilized, under-accepted, under-endorsed and under-understood by early intervention and education programs is not the mother tongue of most of the children (it’s not the language used in the home because most deaf kids are born to hearing families. Resulting in a lack of fully accessible language input).

The other challenge is how do we discuss oralism and CI/AVT without making people who are oral or have CIs (or the parents) take it personally. How do we challenge the system without communicating that we oppose the individuals who are oral or have CI (or the parents who have chosen this). I personally do not reject anyone who has CIs or does not sign. You are my brother and my sister PERIOD. At the same time i hope i can still critically examine the unexamined of CI while showing love and acceptance for folks who have CI or decide to implant their children.

So I truly do apologize to anyone if I have disgusted them, confused them, insulted them or misinformed them (by the above comment or anywhere else). I especially apologize to DBC for having shared my view on what I have seen because of course I have not seen nor do I know everything and it seems my statements got interpreted to mean either DBC is too weak, DBC is too strong, DBC is too inconsistent…, and has contributed to the fueling the fire.

It is curious to me that when a good healthy ground swell seems to be forming – when Deaf folks come together to mobilize and become effective that a war of words – “he said, she said” emerges on Deafread and seems to distract us from the main task at hand – examining systematic oppression, why bilingualism is not already an easily accessible option within the US Deaf education system, and how together we can accomplish more.

I really and totally saddened by the mud slinging.

Now re: the challenge to integrity- I did some browsing and reflecting on integrity and these are the quotes that spoke to me.

Buddhist teachings on honesty

Thanissaro Bhikkhu taught:

“Real honesty is being honest about what your possibilities are, what your potentials are. That’s where true honesty lies. It stretches us. It’s not simply admitting where we are – that’s a beginning step, it’s not the end step. So be honest about where you are but also be honest about what your possibilities are. That keeps the challenge of the path always before us.” (From Thanissaro’s “True Honesty.”)

Wikipedia comment re: integrity

Popular discussions of integrity often see the concept as an all-or-nothing affair: one describes an approved person as “having integrity” (as an absolute), but condemns an enemy or a collective enemy organization as “completely lacking in integrity”.

My daughter’s d’var torah on faith, trust and integrity

When God gave us the ability to chose between right or wrong God also gave us the ability to lie. Instead of simply saying, or thinking, “Why doesn’t everyone else tell the truth?” or “Why can’t we all be people of integrity?” we should think, “how can I be more honest?” We could also think of ways that we could be more honest with ourselves and others than we are now.
If we all thought like this and acted upon it, our society might be a much better place.


Patti Durr

DBC rocks – Part II chat with parent

vlog describing my chat with an AG Bell assoc parent re: bilingualism

voice over on video and text summary below. Note there are some points in the summary that are not covered in the vlog and there are some comments in the vlog that are not covered in the text. i am an imperfect being – smile

Discussion with second mom about visual acuity and how her daughter might be demonstrating some visual aptitude already. Benefits of bilingualism – to give your daughter a natural and normal way of gaining information instead of having to work and train for it. David Reynolds had come over and chatted with the mom about DBC’s focus and mission and the value of bilingualism. David had to leave to return to the DBC conference and hugged the mother before he left and said pls be in touch with us, we want to help u, we will put u in touch with folks who can help you in your home state etc.

Another Deaf man had been watching nearby along side me. Tami, a core DBC member who raised a Deaf daughter bilingually, started chatting with the hearing mom. She was saying “your daughter will always be Deaf.” The hearing mom asked for clarification what Tami meant and she explained that “without her CIs your daughter is Deaf and she is Deaf on the inside no matter about the CI.” The mom said, “when you say it that way it sounds as if you are talking about more than just her ears, more than just a physical thing.” I thought this was very astute of the mom that she picked up on the fact that Tami was talking about a cultural essence even though the mom was not fully aware or knowledgeable. I said “perhaps this example will help you – when the man, David Reynolds, said goodbye to you and you hugged, this man standing next to me teared up. Now i have never met him before and i may never see him again but i asked – are you ok and he said – i have never seen such an open minded parent before and that exchange between David and this woman really touched me.” and a tear leapt out of his eye and in turn i got emotional and teared up in watching him share how deeply he was touched by you and now he is my brother because we share this common bond of this moment and this understanding. This is perhaps what Tami is trying to communicate about being “Deaf INSIDE” it is a connection that can not be denied. I said this gentleman and I are probably very different. I am hard of hearing and can speak and he his DEAF yet we are connected.” The mom asked me if i regretted not growing up with ASL. I said yes – i am not mad at my parents for not raising me with ASL. But growing up without it put a burden on me to always be figuring things out and to be WORKING to gain information. I said right now u and tami are conversing comfortably – there is no difficulty because you share a language you both understand fully and there is not barrier or labor involved in trying to access those words. This man and I can converse comfortably without any WORK on our part because it is a fully accessible language we are using. I imagine your daughter has to do quite a bit of work to get information right now. the mom says – yes she does have to work for it. yes.

With bilingualism all we want for her is to have times when it is not so much work – where she can understand and be understood comfortably and naturally and also to have a connection. The woman asked how i feel personally about CI. I replied – i am not speaking for DBC but for myself because you are asking me honestly. I said i have some concerns about implanting children. I worry about any mishaps, about infections, about complications. i do worry about that. She explained that it was not a hard decision for her to implant her daughter but with the second implant her husband had more concerns than she did. It was outpatient so she felt it was not a big deal. I explained that anytime you put something in the body permanently it is open to problems and that is what i worry about. I respect her choice and i am glad that it has worked for her daughter and their family with no complications arising.

She explained that she is happy to have her daughter learn ASL and join the Deaf community when she grows up. i explained that the difficulty with that stance is that children learn from their parents by what they do and what they dont do and values and beliefs are communicated silently often so if her family does not sign and has not introduced her to the Deaf community that may inadvertently communicate to her that they are not comfortable with bilingualism or the Deaf community. children follow their parents lead. I said now if you were to introduce her to Deaf people and sign language and say – hey isnt this a cool language – a visual language – u can learn to sign and i can learn to sign too – that is a different message from – you can learn it later in life if you want to.

it was a GREAT experience to talk with these moms. I learned a great deal from their perspectives. it is clear to me that every parent wants to do what is best for their kids – they want to do right by them. i am very grateful to the DBC for affording me this opportunity, for the parents crossing over to chat with us and for the interpreters to volunteering there services

Next DBC related vlog will be about the presenters


Patti Durr

DBC rocks – Chat with AG Bell Parents part I

Note: voice over on the video and text summary below
vlog re: chat with AG Bell parents – gives a third reason why the DBC conference rocked for me – dialogue with AG Bell parents

NOTE: at each of the AG Bell Association conferences (state and national) – DBC members were systematically restricted from having direct access and/or contact AG Bell Association attendees

Vlog discusses chat with one hearing mom from the AG Bell Association convention who came over after the Sunday rally and was listening to the interpreter voicing for two DBC media reps as they were interviewed by a newspaper reporter. The woman said “not true, not true” when over hearing some of the statements by DE and Barb so David Reynolds (DBC core member) and i approached her to see if she had any questions or wanted clarification.

When I approached her she threw up her hands and said “I don’t understand sign language” with a look of disgust. David Reynolds talked and signed to her. She had thought the DBC reps were saying that AG Bell association is against ASL when rather they were saying that AG Bell association does not allow for informed choices because they do not explain the value of bilingualism and instead focus on speaking and listening education only.

She explained that she does not support ASL because she does not want her son (15 years old with CI) to need an interpreter when he goes to a restaurant.

Wow that was an eye opener

i discovered i had some myths about AG Bell association – i thought they came off very strong to parents against ASL but seems that most of the folks said no that is not accurate. Although some say that speech, audiologist, specialists, and AG Bell reps at times discourage parents for learning sign so the child wont be dependent on it etc. Through talking with the mom i realized they have some myths about us. We explained that many Deaf folks can talk like David and myself can. Amongst the rally crowd there were many people who could talk and for those who can’t or choose not to they can totally make themselves understood in a restaurant. They do NOT need to bring an interpreter with them to order food. I realized she had not seen what Deaf adult signers are capable of doing before – WOW!

I went back to watching the interview with the reporters and noticed another woman there with an AG Bell badge and asked if she had any questions – she said yes and we got an interpreter and started chatting. She was very warm and receptive and wanted to understand things. She explained that she was surprised to see the DBC reps say that they are not protesting against CI but rather advocating for bilingualism. She had gotten the impression that the rally was about protesting CI – it didnt seem she got that idea via the media but rather from folks talking at the convention. She wanted to talk to us about bilingualism and her daughter, who is five with bilaterial cochlear implants. She expressed concerns that learning ASL would be hard on her daughter as she already has to invest so much in learning spoken language and listening skills. She explained that her daughter is at a reading level of a 10 year old. I remarked that this was an exceptional kid and her reading abilities were probably more about her IQ and parental involvement than her CI. Hearing five year olds who can speak and hear fully do not normally read at the level of a 10 year old unless they are exceptional. I foresee no problem with her daughter picking up ASL.

part II coming soon

Big thanks to the parents who ventured over to chat with us and for DBC for picking their conference to happen simultaneously during the AG Bell Convention to afford this space for an exchange between non-signing parents and folks who support bilingualism


Patti Durr

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