Deafhood, Lies and the Blogsphere

hi all

very lively discussion over in the past thread
Transcript of Open Letter falsely accusing CAD of Discrimination

got very distracted from the original post for a while – surprise surprise

but many good things were said and many good questions were raised and addressed – ill put up another entry on some of my overall observations from the evening but to get back to my bloody original point

it ain’t cool to send lies to the dept of Justice and it ain’t cool to try to get other folks to do it.

it also is a very bad strategy

lets compare
peaceful civil disobedience – versus lying to a justice dept

hmmm which route is a poor strategy????

sorry to be a critic but this has gone on for too too too long and since state lines have been crossed – im a wee bit cross meself

it is called the dept of JUSTICE for a reason – it ain’t just to make up lies and to get other folks to copy your lies

If the letter had been filled with true statements then Yes, it would have been the just and right thing to do but alas it was not


1. he said ella was on the board and got them to add Deafhood to the bylaws – ella was NOT on the board at the time that Deafhood was added to the bylaws

(No correction of this “fact” has been circulated or sent to the D of J to our knowledge)

2. He said the term Deafhood was coined in 2005 – it was in 2003

(Note Dr. Ladd first introduced the term Deafhood in a 1993 paper that appeared in the NAD “Perspectives” publication and again in his 1998 dissertation, which was later expanded into his book Understand Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood published in 2003)

3. He said the term hard of hearing had been removed from the CAD bylaws – the term hard of hearing has NOT been removed from the CAD by laws – in fact it appears E-L-E-V-E-N times

4. CAD’s bylaws DO provide a definition of Deafhood in their bylaws

5. for Four years the word Deafhood has been in the CAD bylaws – where is your evidence that the inclusion of this term has been used to exclude folks???? that is the kind of thing you need to offer to the DoJ to verify profiling and discrimination

TRANSPARENCY ISSUES with theHolism’s choices
1. he refused to post his letter to the dept of justice on a blog site (he has several)
2. his letter is not dated or properly addressed to anyone – hmmmm
3. his “OPEN” video letter basically SHUT out non-signers
4. he didnt happen to share with the dept of justice that he:
a. does not live in CA
b. has a long history of trying to malign the DBC by spreading false information about them
c. many have reported concerns about his apparent cyber stalking and harassing of Ella
d. he was involved in the signing circle but their bylaws were never made public
e. he has a pattern of hit, run, twist, spin, be-muddle, and erase
f. he is a generous critic of how things should be done which usually admonishes folks for not first meeting with the party they have issues with – hmmmm

the good news is the “image problem” that theHolism has tried and tried and tried again to create for several organizations have actually resulted in:
– increased awareness
– increased visibility
– increased interest
– increased popularity
– increased enthusiasm
– increased spread of terms, concepts, and organizations

so thank you

Also the A word. A is for audism. The A word is now spread far and wide faster and deeper than any scholarly books, articles, presentations, powerpoints, or films could make it all because… is not in the dictionary!!!! … And it sounds like autism (“say audism. now say autism. they sound the same don’t they? Yes, they are a little alike dad. Well there you have it- hearing people wont be able to tell the difference…. And people will be jumped in barber shops when they see folks taking off their hearing aids in order to get a hair cut another patron will ask – are you with that anti-audism group and nearly beat him up along with four other guys – kinda not really never mind

so while theHolism may fear audism being overused

i regret that – lying – is being overused

would that honesty can return to DR and DVTV




67 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. brenster-
    Oct 07, 2009 @ 20:33:06

    You made a good point that this whole ugliness has actually resulted in increased awareness, visibility and etc that you mentioned above. Guess, it’s sort of a blessing in disguise!

    There, I stick with your post topic!!!


    P.S. I see some other commenters in your last discussion thread again attempting to divert away from your last post topic. So, just FYI to all of you, anything said that is not related to this and last blog topics but intended to stir up unhealthy debates, I will not bother to respond. Thank you!

  2. Valhallian
    Oct 07, 2009 @ 22:01:12

    I had commented on another blog that I would have had a problem with the word deafhood being in the by-laws of my state association because I felt that the definition fluctuated among various deaf people.

    From my experience in business contracts, as well as reading state laws, they usually have a set of definitions at the beginning that gives an explicit explanation for the word so that the word could be used in the rest of the document that followed. That being the case, I decided to take the incentive to read the CAD by-laws as the link was posted in the previous blog posting.

    I am also seeing that this PDF copy may not be in the right order as I now see on page 13 where it begins with Article 1.

    Section 2.1 states the word deafhood and has a footnote number 1 to state the definition at the bottom of the page.

    Now this is where we need to pay attention as this is very important here, at the bottom of page 13 and I will quote this word for word.

    “Deaf is a term that includes all the individuals: born deaf, deafened in early, sometimes late childhood, for whom American Sign Language and Deaf community/culture collectively represent their primary experience and existence regardless of hearing disability they have.”

    “Deafhood is a life-long process by which Deaf individuals cultivate their Deaf existence.”

    I now stand by my previous statement in the other blog where I stated that I would have a problem with this if this were in my state association’s by-laws and allow me to tell you why.

    I would have no problem with the deafhood definition in general, except when you look at the definition of Deaf, as that what it means when used in the deafhood definition, it actually would exclude many deaf people.

    There are many deaf people out there that use SEE more than they use ASL for example. Based on this definition, they would be excluded. There are many oral deaf people that are learning sign language, they would be excluded from this as well. And there are even those deaf that do not know ASL very well, yet they still hang out with other deaf people that use ASL, these people would be excluded as well.

    That being the case, it is indeed discrimination and it further divides the deaf community when we should be uniting it. If the definition of Deaf were repealed from these by-laws, then I would have absolutely no problem with this.

    I actually agree with the definition of deafhood here, but only with my own definition of deaf.

    Now to address the matter of this post, people do have the right to contact the DoJ if they feel there is discrimination, however, if it were me, I would try addressing the association first, as well as other avenues and if they all failed, I would likely contact the DoJ, but only as a very last resort if everything else has failed.

    However, I have not seen any formal complaint filed with the DoJ so if you have access to that, please provide the link.

    Patti, no disrespect intended towards you whatsoever as I do admire your writings and your thinking. I am not here to try to justify the holism’s actions, but if you read the definition of deaf as used in these by-laws, you can see that the definition of deaf is used in the definition of deafhood, therefore it does exclude some deaf people as I explained above. I did this assessment without taking anyone side’s and these are solely based on my own opinions, and no one elses.

  3. Valhallian
    Oct 07, 2009 @ 22:14:11

    additionally, I have also met gulf war veterans who became deaf as a result of the war and they are becoming ASL signers, these people would be excluded as well, as per the definition of deaf in here, because they became deaf as adults. Suppose these people became really fluent ASL signers and hang out with deaf people all the time because they have been rejected by hearing people? That really isn’t fair wouldn’t you say?

  4. pdurr
    Oct 07, 2009 @ 22:16:30

    hi valhailian – dang that is hard to spell

    thanks for doing the analysis

    so can someone who is ASL file a complaint with the department of justice against AG Bell cuz their bylaws and mission is all about ORAL deaf and hard of hearing

    women’s organizations can restrict their officers or members to be women, Native American organizations can restrict their membership or officers based on nation or clan or what % of Native American blood they can prove etc

    DISCRIMINATION i believe normally applies when an external group (usually from the dominant or privilege group) tries to exclude disenfranchised folks

    The grammar for the CAD definition of Deaf is pretty hard for me to teeth out if it is a declaration for the purpose of exclusion or rather a statement to affirm and empower folks who traditionally have gotten pushed by the way side by the dominant culture or those can look, talk, hear like members of the dominant culture


  5. pdurr
    Oct 07, 2009 @ 22:36:52

    re: the iraq vets – i think they would be covered because it looks like the definition of Deaf with the listing after it is just to be an indicator of examples and not be a full delineation of the whole spectrum of possible types and onsets etc

    the statements made in theHolisms letter and video letter to the community are still loaded with falsehoods and errors. thats my issue

    now its interesting – that we should be going over these bylaws with such scrutiny when we know that we are excluding from being able to go to any movie theatre we want to, being able to attend any service we want to, be able to take any college class we want to, being able to attend any lecture we want to unless we call way in advance and do alot of advocacy

    those churches, temples, colleges, movie houses dont have any statement to exclude us yet they can be very exclusionary

    shall report this to the dept of justice

    again if in fact CAD was using the inclusion of Deafhood and a culturally and linguistically centered definition of Deaf to actively excluded oral and non-signing folks and THEY THEMSELVES as independent self-reliant people said HEY – i want in and CAD said NO WAY

    oh boy – i would have some concerns but that is not the reality of things and we can interpret and stretch that wee little sentence to mean whatever we think it should or shouldnt mean

    meanwhile – if we r gonna be championing for the rights of oral and hard of hearing non-signers and Iraqi vets to be able to run for office in the CAD – we might want to make sure they actually want to

    the result might be that other state associations start to say – hmmmm AG BEll can get away with saying must be ORAL Deaf and Hard of Hearing so why cant we say person must be ASL Deaf and Hard of Hearing

    hope to see u when u r in town



  6. pdurr
    Oct 07, 2009 @ 23:19:16


    good job sticking to the topic smile


    valhalian – im just realizing tha tu probably didnt see my earlier posting that has excerpts of the complaint that Barry said he sent to the DoJ

  7. Valhallian
    Oct 07, 2009 @ 23:44:05

    well Patti, I have not seen AG Bell’s by-laws, but it would be interesting to see it. If the by-laws specifically outlined that an ASL person is prohibited from being a member, then yes I would imagine that it could be cause to file a complaint with the DoJ. But I kinda doubt that such a clause would exist in their by-laws.

    I do know for a fact that they allow ASLers to become members, I do know for a fact that they provide ASL interpreters at their conferences, as I have been to a couple of their conventions many years ago. Heck, they could even run for officer status if they wanted to, just that odds are that they will not be elected by the majority of the members. Bottom line is that they are not specifically excluded based on by-laws.

    But let’s look at your analogy where women’s organization can state in their by-laws that their members and officers must be women, but they cannot say the women officers must be a blonde, or must be a redhead, or whatnot as that would be discrimination. You cannot have a “classification breakdown” among women like that.

    This is basically the equivalency of excluding deaf people because they became deaf as adults or because they do not know ASL very well. This is a “classification breakdown” among the deaf.

    The definition of deaf in the CAD bylaws is crystal clear……“Deaf is a term that includes all the individuals: born deaf, deafened in early, sometimes late childhood, for whom American Sign Language and Deaf community/culture collectively represent their primary experience and existence regardless of hearing disability they have.” It doesn’t list examples, it is very specific therefore, it would lead to exclusions. This is a classification breakdown in itself among the deaf.

    Seriously, what is wrong with just saying that we are deaf, without resorting to that very specific definition that is explicitly outlined in those CAD by-laws?

    As for the errors in the open letter, those really aren’t my issues to be honest as they are the opinions of an individual, in which he is entitled to in this country. Whether or not it is slanderous due to being false information is something that is left to a court of law and not up to me.

    What is actually written in by-laws is a whole other story. and yes, all by-laws should undergo such scrutiny, after all, they are what regulates the organizations.

    CAD could easily remove the deaf definition from its by-laws and yet still be able to remain exclusionary, it just would be harder to prove in a court of law, just as it is with the rest of those places you have mentioned. The fact that its written clearly in the by-laws, that is proof right there on the spot in a court of law if that makes sense.

    You have also stated loud and clear, we should make sure that they want to run for office, that is exactly my point and that can be done without having to explicitly define the meaning of deaf as odds are that these people are still not going to want to be a member or be an officer if they cannot fit in with everyone else, but they should not be purposely excluded either, as stated in the bylaws.

    Division of deafies is not what we want. Allow me to present two scenarios here.

    Think about it for a moment, suppose we have a group of ASL signers that want to approach state legislation to improve upon the rights of access to ASL interpreters, this would be significantly harder for a variety of reasons.

    Now suppose we get all the ASL’ers, the oral, the cued speech, the SEE’ers, the late deafened (especially the baby boomers) to unite and all these people work together to approach state legislation to improve the rights of better communication access, which would not only increase our rights to ASL interpreters, but also increases the right to CART for other deafies, etc.

    Which scenario do you think would be more effective in convincing the state legislation to agree with us?

  8. Valhallian
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 00:05:51

    this is in response to patty #6. That is where I am confused now, i clicked on the video link and it only states that he sent a letter to the DoJ, but I didn’t see anywhere where he outlined the specifics of the letter. If that is in the comments section, I don’t have the time to go through over 360 video comments.

    The posting you referred to gives me the impressed that you have actually read this letter that was sent to the DoJ, if there is a link for that can you show me where it is? As I have not seen that letter in itself and I get the impression that you may have outlined areas that that were not in the video, unless they were in the comments section.

    I now can see that the issue that I have is not the same issue as what Barry has. I do have a slight problem with the deafhood definition in the CAD by-laws, only because when you look at the word “deaf” that is used in the deafhood definition, you have to wonder what is the definition of “deaf” that is used in this deafhood definition.

    That definition of deaf is listed right above the deafhood definition of page 13 of the PDF link that you showed us earlier. That definition of “deaf” is what I have a problem with, that definition is what leads to exclusions.

    If the deaf definition in the by-laws actually said something like “partially or wholly lacking or deprived of the sense of hearing; unable to hear.” Then I would have absolutely no qualms whatsoever about the deafhood definition that is in those bylaws. Because that would not be excluding anyone.

    Do you see where I am coming from?

  9. brenster-
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 05:27:20

    looking at comments above, just wanted to say one thing (maybe two):

    D/d for Deaf/deaf are old terms, that most of us have ceased using and call ALL of us Deaf. There are some people who are still persistent with sticking with old thinking ways using D/d to definite us.

    another thing, I’m not talking about CAD but in general. if we are to have an organization for DEAF ASL people only, what’s wrong with it? Nothing wrong with it, really. In fact, there are no such organizations that are 100% exclusively for Deaf ASL people only. It is fine for AGBell to be exclusive, but us? No, we must share share share. Even we tried to be inclusive, they said we are exclusive.

    Same old thing.

    I don’t see the definition for Deafhood: “Deafhood is a life-long process by which Deaf individuals cultivate their Deaf existence” as exclusive since “Deaf” applies to all kinds of Deaf.

  10. pdurr
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 05:52:51

    hi val –

    if u click the Facts and Fictions (right side) bar u will see the excerpts from the letter Barry says he sent to the DoJ

    he has not posted this letter on any website despite my request for him to do so. If you would like to see the full letter – pls feel free to contact Barry for a copy

    below are the statements in his letter to the DoJ that i have objections with

    the thread yesterday was based on what he said in his video letter to Ella and CAD and everyone else on the internet who knows ASL.

    Still have no idea why he didnt make that open letter truly open to the non-signing Deaf and Hearing folks

    Still have no idea why he has not made his letter to the D o J public – i got a copy via someone as he told me i would.
    the quotes indicate excerpts of his letter

    1. Falsehood in this individual’s letter to the DoJ:
    “It is my duty to bring your attention to a matter regarding an existing charitable entity in the State of California , known as California Association of the Deaf.”

    FACT: this individual is not a resident of CA. It is not his duty but rather his perogative

    2. Falsehood in this individual’s letter to the DoJ:
    “The CAD Board Members made amendments on their existing by-laws, and effectively removed ‘hard of hearing’ population and began to develop mechanisms and tactics, allowing them to screen / profile certain deaf people, barring some from serving because they were not culturally and linguistically deaf enough by their standard, allowing only culturally and linguistically deaf (radicals) to serve in the office.”
    “We know for a fact that ‘hard of hearing’ term is no longer in the by-laws.”

    the word Hard of Hearing appears in the CAD bylaws 11 times and they state on p. 15:

    “Therefore, CAD will work with individuals or agencies to ensure that they provide the highest quality service, maintain trust and respect deaf peoples’ communication choices.”
    go to to see the bylaws

    3. Falsehood in this individual’s letter to the DoJ:
    “The new requirement is ‘deafhood’ for officer candidates. And yet there is no specific definition on what ‘deafhood’ really means. There is no specific criteria in writing for reference / guideline purposes”

    The CAD bylaws state on p. 13
    1 Deaf is a term that includes all the individuals: born deaf, deafened in early, sometimes late
    childhood, for whom American Sign Language and Deaf community/culture collectively represent
    their primary experience and existence regardless of hearing disability they have,

    Deafhood is a life-long process by which Deaf individuals cultivate their Deaf existence.

    4. Falsehood in this individual’s letter to the DoJ:
    “Here is a brief history on this term ‘deafhood’. It surfaced some time in 2005, I believe, when Dr. Paddy Ladd created a theory and wrote a book on this subject. This term was then picked off by PERSON X (name removed by People of the Eye to protect identity and privacy), a former Board Member of California Association of the Deaf. She also formed Deafhood Foundation in the State of California . With this foundation she along with CAD members profit from workshop presentations on ‘deafhood’. It is clear that she along with several CAD members have financial interests in promoting ‘deafhood’ term. This explains why they made multiple efforts to impose and enforce ‘deafhood’ into the organization and its by-laws. This was done under PERSON X’s watch while she served as the Board Member.”

    the term Deafhood was coined in 2003. Person X was not on the CAD board when they added Deafhood to their bylaws.

    5. Falsehood in this individual’s letter to the DoJ:
    “I also have further evidence of PERSON X’s financial interests in deafhood, which I would like to share with the DOJ. It relates to Deaf Bilingual Coalition (DBC), a branch of California Association of the Deaf. PERSON X was the director of DBC and promoted deafhood at the expenses of CAD, using its’ 501 (C) 3 status.”

    FACT: PERSON X has never been the director of the Deaf Bilingual Coalition
    FACT: Deafhood has not been promoted at the expense of CAD. CAD has legally, appropriately, and justly has put DBC under its 501(C)3 status

  11. pdurr
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 06:09:21

    brenster – u planning to set up an AOA group

    ASL Only Association?

    since so many folks have FOREVER been protecting oral only systems (AVT, option schools etc etc etc) and the Deaf “so-called radicals” have been pushing for bi-bi, i have been wondering when is the three eyed monster ever gonna surface – when are we gonna see schools, programs, associations that truly do what they are accused of doing – being exclusionary

    EVEN ASD way back before the combined method and AG Bell the man – even ASD taught articulation classes and they ALWAYS taught ENGLISH while using ASL for instruction

    I can not name or find one ASL ONLY program (no form of English allowed)

    best wishes to u brenster



  12. Deafchip
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 06:30:04


    My understanding is that National and state/provincial Deaf associations were set up to preserve and protect Sign Language as well as culture from oralism.

    Of course, we all welcome Deaf, oral deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and hearing people to join the membership of the Deaf assocaition as long as they respect and protect Sign Language and Culture. For the board, they (part of Deafhood meaning that they are not hearing and share common experience as Deaf (that applies to anyone other than hearing) can run for as long as they respect and endorse the mission of the Deaf association.

    Deafhood does not profile or label anyone.

    Deafness (as a medical term) itself is actually profiling and labelling people by using measurement tools.

  13. brenster-
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 06:59:05

    Patti- good suggestion! knowing our people, we’ll end up including anybody from various backgrounds anyway. 😉

    yes, agree – no such programs/groups/whatever that forbid written English.

    agree with DeafChip on his above comment.

  14. agbellinfo
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 07:07:12


    Would it be wise if someone confirm that DoJ of California actually did receive the letter from Barry regarding Deafhood in the bylaws.

    Maybe Barry is a blowhard after all as he has done this type of misleading before and claimed that he was testing the pulse of the community when he posted about the terminology: Deafless.

    Let me define blowhard so there will be no misunderstanding,

    blowhard – a very boastful and talkative person
    boaster, braggart, bragger, line-shooter, vaunter
    egoist, egotist, swellhead – a conceited and self-centered person

    Thank you

  15. Tayler
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 07:48:41

    i agree with john egbert. i don’t think DOJ read the letter – they receive many? even if they did, it doesn’t rank very high on their agenda. they have far more serious crimes to address.

    BUT – don’t call people names. this isn’t the first time you’ve done this. you are the founder of DBC and does not reflect well on you and your organization

  16. agbellinfo
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 07:57:25


    But do you believe that Barry did mail the letter to DOJ rather saying that you don’t believe DOJ has read the letter, maybe DOJ never have gotten the letter from Barry.

    You as the owner of and resident of California, you can verify if Barry is telling the truth by contacting DoJ if they received the letter from Barry and you should be concerned about this as he is using your blogosphere which effect your-self integrity if Barry is lying again.

  17. Tayler
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 08:12:11

    I cannot verify whether they received the letter, that’s not my business. But I have a copy of the letter so it does exist. For everyone’s knowledge, it was not sent to me by Barry.

    That being said, don’t worry about the DOJ letter. You guys are good at one thing, and that’s distracting yourselves. 🙂 God knows I have plenty of distractions, I have to pick my battles.

    DeafRead doesn’t investigate to discover the truth. We simply don’t have the manpower, and there would be so much hearsay, don’t you think? If someone lies, it’s between the person who lied and about whom was lied.

    Your name-calling is one of the many “wrongful conducts” I mentioned in Patti’s previous post. I say again, it doesn’t help DBC with this kind of visible leadership.

  18. Tayler
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 08:14:06

    One more thing, I don’t mean to change the subject. BACK TO SUBJECT! 🙂

    Then again, if you guys are going to heed my opinion (DOJ letter is moot) and advice (ignore distractions), then this post is pretty much … not worth continuing.

  19. Valhallian
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 09:12:59

    Patti, I have not read the letter so I cannot really comment on that but I am compelled to disagree with your point on the fact he should not have done anything because he is not a resident of CA and here is a hypothetical example of why I disagree.

    Suppose you are a resident of NY, and you find out about a situation that involved violations of child labor laws in CA, for example, 9 year olds working in “sweatshops”. Would you sit back and do nothing because you are not a resident of CA, or would you make an effort to reach out to CA DoJ?

    Brenster, you have stated the definition of deafhood as quoted on page 13 of the CAD By-laws. But what is the definition of the word “deaf” that is used in the deafhood definition. If you look right above the deafhood definition there is the definition of the word deaf and I will quote it once again.

    “Deaf is a term that includes all the individuals: born deaf, deafened in early, sometimes late childhood, for whom American Sign Language and Deaf community/culture collectively represent their primary experience and existence regardless of hearing disability they have.”

    Can you honestly tell me that this definition of “deaf” is not exclusive? It is exclusive to me cuz it leaves out other deaf people, therefore it makes the deafhood definition exclusive, only because of how the word “deaf” is defined in there directly above the deafhood definition.

    Deafchip- I would agree that Deafhood does not or should not profile or label anyone, however, it does exactly that the way it is written in the CAD by-laws, because of how they use the definition of “deaf” that is right on the same page as the definition of deafhood. If they defined deaf as “partially or wholly lacking or deprived of the sense of hearing; unable to hear.” Then this would not label or profile anyone, except for that they are simply deaf.

  20. brenster-
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 10:40:25

    Vanilla, I like this spelling better 😉

    I thought thought you would understand what it means by reading the sentence, but apparently, you chose to focus on one word: “deaf” instead of reading how that word is used in the sentence, but me happy to explain here…

    “…born deaf…” refers to audiological deaf (deaf in ears) that is already there by birth, never lost hearing later in life – nothing more. It is absurd for us to decide that a person is “deaf” as person by birth. Have you noticed there is no “born Deaf” in that definition, hmm?

    As many people, including Patti, have repeatedly said, “Deaf” is a noun, just like African-American, etc. Would you say, “I am an american” ?

    Thus, your argument about usage of “deaf” being exclusive is moot. Nice re-framing from “born deaf” to “deaf” though.


  21. Jean Boutcher
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 11:07:42

    #20 Brenster wrote:

    “As many people, including Patti, have repeatedly said, “Deaf” is a noun, just like African-American, etc. Would you say, “I am an american” ? ”

    Pray tell, when did “Deaf” become a noun”. All dictionaries, incuding Oxford Engoish Dictionary and French’s Collins and Harrap, and Cornell’s Law Dictionary have zero mention of “Deaf” as noun.
    From wehat is your source as aforementioned, please?

  22. agbellinfo
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 11:12:58

    Tayler #17,

    Regarding about your concern of my leadership.

    What kind of leadership we had while the Deaf community’s education and language was deprived over the years?

    What kind of leadership that we did NOT have in the past that could have improve Deaf education and language?

    When this one person trying to destroy DBC, AFA, Deafhood, etc, what kind of leadership is that? And what kind of leadership does it take to stop this person from demoralizing the Deaf community’s desire to get their education and language back?

    Yes, it is true that I do not have the “meek” leadership and it is my calling to empower the Deaf community to stand up and speak out to get our education and language that was taken away starting back in 1880 Milan and AG Bell’s propaganda movement to promote oral only philosophy which research have proven that it failed miserably.

    It is time to get their heads out of the sand and face reality to do that is needed to achieve strategy effectively. (My head is not in the sand)

    My leadership? I get out and speak to people face to face across the country while lately, all this person does is talking to the computer monitor. I walk the walk, why look up to his leadership when all he does is talk, talk, talk and no action?

  23. Valhallian
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 11:26:02

    Bren, its quite simple, go to page 13 of the CAD by-laws and it says this loud and clear, and once again, I will quote it word for word, “Deaf is a term that includes all the individuals: born deaf, deafened in early, sometimes late childhood, for whom American Sign Language and Deaf community/culture collectively represent their primary experience and existence regardless of hearing disability they have.”

    Where did I ever talk about “born deaf”? I only said that this definition is exclusive. Based on this definition, it rejects those deaf people that use SEE, it rejects those deaf people that use cued speech, it rejects those deaf people that are oral, it rejects those deaf people that became deaf later in life past their childhood.

    So when you say that my argument is moot, I say “au contraire”, the fact that it excludes those people that I have mentioned above, it makes it quite exclusive.

    Again look at the bottom of page 13of the CAD by-laws, at least it is on the link that Patti set forth in her previous posting. You should actually take the incentive to click on that link and actually read it with your own eyes.

    When I read the deafhood definition, i see the word Deaf being used. So ok, what exactly does Deaf mean in the deafhood definition? the definition of Deaf is right there above the deafhood definition.

    And you say you thought I would understand what it means by reading the sentence. The problem isn’t that I don’t understand it, the problem is that you aren’t reading the statements accurately.

    Put it this way, in a court of law, the judge would read the deafhood statement and then he will wonder, ok so what exactly does the word Deaf mean in the deafhood definition and he is going to see it right above the deafhood definition.

    Bren, why is that so hard for you to understand? it is written right there clearly in black and white.

  24. gamas
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 12:05:02

    Exactly, the term deafhood will be challenged in court.

  25. Linda Slovick
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 12:14:11

    I am late-deafened (became deaf at 23), and am a member of CAD. I feel I have been welcomed by all so far, and am DISMAYED that Barry has been allowed to brew this into another tempest in a teacup!

    This whole CAD bylaws thing is another distraction from very REAL problems facing us ALL that we COULD BE addressing.

    I am curious, what has Barry done for the Arizona Association of the Deaf, the organization for his own state.

    Does anybody know if he is even a member there? We know he refuses to even join NAD.

    Or is he only paying attention to wherever Ella is? Is he only good at criticizing the work of others?

    The Signing Circle never got as far as bylaws. They got bogged down trying to define the Mission Statement, and for all intents and purposes, dissolved shortly after that.

  26. Jeffrey
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 12:21:59


    Thank you for your blogs. I have long since appreciated your great diligence in the good fight.

    While I know we don’t truly want to counter anything, we end up doing such because we feel we must stand up for what is right.

    More so when what is wrong leads others to believe that wrong is right.

    Of course, you, Mammon, cannot remove from the spirit what is naturally embedded in the being.

    You see, many vile heathens believe they must hold authority over the likes of what is less than perfect, that is to say, in their eyes. Little gods unto themselves.

    Doctors for Deafness!
    Thumbs up!

    And politics,…
    And statistics…
    Oh the possibilities!


    I’m amused to find many intelligent people who bunch themselves up with the side of deception.

    oh that’s right,
    the mind first
    the heart second
    that mind is quite a tease.

    Ah, you know, what it really comes down to is the real discrimination that happens in wanting to have a deaf child be something they weren’t sent to be.

    The First Lie.

    I mean, heck, you shan’t deny the cup you were served, for such is an insult to the Great Artist upstairs.

    Now, whether you subscribe to a higher power or not, you know deep and down what is right. Perhaps it would be of no benefit for you though, to step back and tell the truth. To stop denying the wrong.

    Hearing babies who learn ASL before the ability to speak have an extensive vocabulary which is above par.

    Deaf babies that are denied ASL have various difficulties with language acquisition, which is common.

    Remember, not every child gets to be the poster child and even then, the poster child is not without social abnormalities within the majority.

    To tell the truth would mean:

    Reputations ruined.
    Investments failed.
    People pawned.

    Oh no, no, NO!…

    …so the lies keep churning and churning while the battle ensues…

    But, Hey, I’m happy to share what I know and that IS:

    The hearts of many are pushing for what IS right and just.

    It IS what it IS and that IS all that it IS!

    Deaf IS everything less than hearing perfectly.

    Deafhood happens and if you don’t see it happening now, soon you will. 🙂

    thanks again Patti

  27. brenster-
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 12:29:20

    Jean- seems you are taking my statement way out of its context. I might have used a wrong word choice. Sue me! I never said that the dictionaries said so! What I was trying to say is that people have been having discourses about “Deaf” should be used just the same way “American,” “African-American,” “Jewish” (etc) are used. Maybe someone else can explain better than me!

    Vanilla- Actually, I expect that it is hard for you to understand as well. I don’t see the point in trying to reason, reason with the likes of you. ASL is a language. SEE is not a language. Cued speech is not a language. However all of them are welcome. Looks like it is actually you and others that are profiling us, eh.

  28. pdurr
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 12:35:02

    ok everyone please identify what hats you are wearing right now when u comment

    is it the DR editor hat?
    Is it the DR / DVTV owner hat?
    Is i the DBC founder hat?
    Is it the just little ole me hat?

    thanks i think that will help

    Val – i didnt say he didnt have aright to i said it wasnt his DUTY but rather his prerogative

    re: small d – eaf and D-Deaf and Deafhood as a noun, legal word, concept, bylaws membership excluder – perhaps a blog on the d, D and Deafhood meanings is in order again

    i know many folks have blogged and vlogged this before but seems we are still confused

    Val did you notice through out the bylaws that the word hard f hearing appears 11 times and yet theHolism said “we know for a fact it has been removed from the bylaws”

    that is what kinda got my attention – why is he saying one thing when the facts are very contrary. My view of the Deaf definition offered at the bottom of page 13 is that its an incomplete listing of the meaning of Deaf

    it it really was inserted 4 years ago to intentionally omit and discriminate – i dont think it has been very effective

    And if CAD does intended to use it for those purposed but forgot about that – maybe all this attention will help remind them so they can put it into effect and enforce it – start checking for those Deafhood tatoos and handshakes at the door until the D of J cracks down on them???

    Again i dont mind folks contact the D of J with truths but to send (or maybe not send) a letter riddled with errors and false accusations still ain’t cool in my opinion.

    Im really puzzled why no one else is bothered by the:
    – lack of transparency
    – distortion of the truth
    – and possible profiling and discrimination against folks who are cool with Deafhood

    seems transparency was a huge issue before and then we found out one by one the folks calling for transparency actually had a lot of relationships to the issue that rendered them to not have been fully disclosing themselves

    also this who Deafhood drama – seems we went through this after the DBC wisc conference when it was revealed that the Blue Ribbon ceremony took place and the whole Deafhood stuff shall not be integrated into DBC functions – no transparency

    now CAD has tried to offer transparency by putting it into their bylaws but they are told NO NO NO it can not be done and u r profiling and…

    So is Deafhood launching a witch hunt on deafless folks or are deafless folks launching a witch hunt on Deafhood folks

    witch is it?

    im gonna create another blog entry that will cover some of the key issues i see emerging here and see what we all can make of it

    to each and everyone of you biggest thanks for contributing to the dialogue





  29. Valhallian
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 12:43:24

    Bren – your points are valid in that ASL is a language, but English is also a language too and the bylaws are written in the English language.

    As a matter of fact, if you are using the ASL as a language here, then it is basically rejecting the English language ya know, which makes this matter much worse if you use that argument ya know? cuz the deaf definition in there does not include the English language. You are digging yourself into a deeper hole here and that isn’t something I’d want to see happen. I do want to see better unity among all deaf people of all communication modes.

    I don’t profile people, I actually welcome all modes of communication. The problem is that I saw that as being divisive when the reality is I’d like to see unity among all communication modes.

  30. Valhallian
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 12:49:09

    Patti, I am wearing the little ole me hat here, I always do whenever I comment anywhere, I do not speak for others, I speak for myself.

    I do see your points on the letter, but the problem is that I cannot really comment on those as I have not seen the letter with my own eyes and I do not want to make assumptions based on what other people say, in a court of law, that is basically the equivalency of hearsay, which is not allowed in a court of law.

    Lastly, I agree with you 110% that the definition of deaf in there is indeed an incomplete listing of the meaning of Deaf and it should actually be rectified.

  31. pdurr
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 12:51:36

    is Deaf sometimes a noun like

    School for the Deaf

    is that Deaf as a noun?

    or ways of the Deaf?

    In the land of the Deaf

    seems i have seen it as a noun?

    Val i just cant wrap my head around how the CAD would have possibly intended for Deaf or Deafhood to be exclusionary just because they didnt list Iraq Veterans who become Deaf from an IUD explosion and have recently learned ASL in their Deafintion of Deaf

    Whats more the use of the term Deaf and hard of hearing throughout the bylaws as well as their comment about communication preferences – just leads me to believe that maybe if they were pushing of a DEAF – DEAFHOOD any not Deaf enuf out now out – they wouldnt have:
    1. been clearer and used better grammar
    2. not have listed Deaf and Hard of Hearing throughout
    3. not had any comment about communication differences etc

    just not really consistent with a radical group aiming to profile



  32. pdurr
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 13:01:09

    Little ole me val – since Barry hasnt provided a public copy of the letter despite many requests – id be happy to send you a copy of the letter

    i dont feel its proper for me to post it in full here because:
    1. its really his job and duty

    2. and its not marked with any date or clear indicator of how or where or when it was sent so im not really sure IT is it etc

    when you read it – if u dont mind take a look at the things i took issues with – see my Facts and Fictions entry

    u have done a really stellar and diligent job of examining the CAD bylaws which are thankfully up on line for all of us to see and i trust u have really good judgment and seeing the overall intention of CAD bylaws based on their full content – are they trying to profile?

    also keep in mind that the accuser has done similar things all over the internet – drawing attention to well intending groups and smearing their image and intentions in the name of free speech

    i would be so bold as to propose – perhaps it is he who has been guilty of profiling and discriminating against Deaf folks and Deafhood

    sure its within his right cuz free speech trumphs hate speech and since the Deaf are not recognized as a cultural and linguistic group but rather only as a disability and since these radical extremist Deaf / Deafhoodites dont want to be identified as disbled – they can not shout out about any ableism in action and they can NOT shout out about any audism because there ain’t no such word



  33. brenster-
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 13:03:17

    Vanilla- you put words into my mouth. I didn’t say that English isn’t a language. I said, SEE by itself isn’t a language – it’s a signing system following the order of English grammar. SEE is so-called communication mode which in my view is imposed on Deaf children due to monolingual supremacy. See, the bylaws are written in English and if we truly are rejecting it, the written bylaws would only be available in ASL. So, how is it basically rejecting the English language?! (keep in mind, it’s a rhetorical question). I don’t see myself being dug into a deeper hole. It is useless to keep re-framing from one to another. Earlier, you were talking about “deaf” usage in the definition, now you moved around to talking about languages. That, it’s digging urself into deeper hole and I don’t want to see that to happen.

  34. John Egbert
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 13:08:41


    English is a language and ASL is a language but we need to understand that English is a auditory communication language and ASL is a visual communication language and most people that do not have natural hearing ability uses ASL and English for reading and writing. These Deaf people are bilingual and they are aware that bylaws are written in English and use that language.
    Most monolingual people in the country know only one language but unfortunately, many millions of them do not know how to read and write and pity them that they can’t read or write bylaws.
    Do you think it is advantage for a person to be bilingual starting at the age of 4 months with visual language like thousands of hearing babies are doing that across the country now. But unfortunately, most Deaf babies are denied to learn visual language like hearing babies having that privilege….ya know that?

    Is there something trouble with the picture of organizations telling parents not to teach their deaf babies any visual language?

    You don’t need to tell Brenster that English is a language too, she is bilingual!

  35. brenster-
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 13:09:32

    Patti! You said it with great examples – way better than me re: Deaf!

    Thank you!

    btw – I don’t wear a hat but I wear hair, want to know what color? 😉

  36. Linda Slovick
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 13:35:08

    > I actually welcome all modes of communication.

    The stronger communicator is supposed to help the weaker one, right? That’s what I’ve found with CAD and the Bay Area Deaf folks in general…

    People are quite patient with my late-learned sign, which has the “hearing accent” of a strong English order and form despite all my ASL classes.

    I just don’t see the discrimination Barry claims he is worried about me having just because of the wording of the bylaws.

    I am MUCH more worried about the lengths to which Barry is willing to go just to attack Ella!

    I would fully expect that if a late-deafened veteran came to CAD, they would do for him or her what they did for me when I first lost my hearing and wandered their way; find out what worked best for me, and somebody as capable as there was would just step up and work with me best as could be done. Try to get that in the hearing world, and you often have to sue!

    Resources, such as DCARA and ALDA, counseling, and sign language classes would be advised as they were for me, so that they can better use interpreting services where they are available, but most importantly, to be able to understand other deaf people who have knowledge about how to live deaf that our veteran won’t start out having.

    It is easier to understand socially with even SOME ASL than trying to lipread a group of hearing people.

    Am I correct that even people who benefit from hearing aids and CIs still have the problem of having their understanding drop to near-0% in a typical speaking-listening-laughing social group?

    If so, even if our veteran got a CI, he or she should learn to sign! Hearing social groups = NOISE

    Hearing aids and CIs are tuned for quiet. Trying to exclude noisy situations just winds up meaning excluding a lot of social opportunities as well.

    Learning SEE or Cued Speech probably isn’t going to be advised for our veteran, because these tend not to be used by most adult deaf people.

    Attempting to learn ASL will likely give our veteran a still-strong-English-based style of sign (I personally think of this as “refugee sign”), that is typical of late learning. Many ex-oral deaf people come from essentially a similarly late-learned ASL background, so there is a good amount of sympathy there and help due to that, at least from what I have seen and experienced.

    But it seems to me pretty silly not to at least TRY your best not to mangle ASL too much, if only because it is only through shared language that we can really communicate.

    Communication is the goal, right? My best shiny ASL, poor as it is, is the most likely to communicate. Period.

    I still work in the hearing world, but the communication is too stressful and problematic there for me to want to stay there for chat and learning!


  37. pdurr
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 13:35:52

    Brenster – do you wear a hood

    that is the question

    the answer is obvious so “be gone with u”




  38. brenster-
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 13:42:54

    shh, shh! and i do have that tattoo but please don’t tell anyone!


  39. Valhallian
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 21:19:26

    Patti – The problem is that I cannot really comment on the leter without seeing it, you are stating facts based on the letter, but you do not produce it for us to see. What you did do tho, you provided us with a link to the by-laws, which allowed me to comment on that aspect if that makes sense.

    Bren- i guess you did not clearly understand the point I was trying to make. At first I was referring to ASL as a mode of communication, but when you wanted to use ASL as a language.

    According to the Deaf definition used in the bylaws, you must use ASL as your primary language to qualify as Deaf.

    “for whom American Sign Language and Deaf community/culture collectively represent their primary experience and existence.”

    While I know ASL fluently, it is not my primary language, English is, therefore based on this definition I do not qualify as Deaf, altho I have been profoundly deaf since birth. I spent the majority of my time in the deaf world nowadays, but English is still my primary language. That is what I have a problem with.

    John – I totally agree with the bilingual concept and agree that babies should be exposed to ASL as soon as possible. Organizations do have the right to preach whatever they want to parents of deaf babies, its just a question of who does it better and has the better propaganda that usually wins over the parent’s decision. It is ultimately the parent’s decision.

    Linda – do I think that CAD would purposely and actually exclude deaf people? no I do not, unless I am proven wrong. What was in question was actually the definition of deaf in their bylaws. There are many organizations out there that do not follow their by-laws to the max. If they had, then you may not have been as welcomed as you have.

    I was in no way trying to belitte CAD is a whole, it was more of wanting to bring it to their attention so that they could remedy the situation. The way that portion is written right now, it does exclude deaf people unfortunately, but it did not mean that they actually do so.

  40. pdurr
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 21:30:46

    HI Val

    i did email u the letter

    this morning – didnt u get it?

    a question if some other organizations bylaws said deaf but didnt recognize deaf folks as a cultural and linguistic minority only as a disability / deafness thing – then i would have a right to feel excluded and send a letter accusing them of profiling and discrimination?

    or if some organization required spoken language to be my primary language in order to qualify for a college scholarship and i did not have spoken language skills then that would be discriminatory and profiling by them?

    am i following u right?

  41. Valhallian
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 22:35:43

    Patti, I just checked my email and I don’t see it.

    You bring up valid questions, but I would imagine that you would have to look at the whole situation, such as the forms that they have filed with the IRS to get the 501(c)(3) recognition as it outlines their mission statement, what they intend to do, etc in addition to the bylaws.

    If they deviate from it without the proper notifications, they could actually lose their tax exempt status. Then again I am no lawyer, and I would also imagine it would be a rather expensive challenge to actually put that to the test.

    I am fairly sure of which organization that you are referring to with your questions and if their bylaws actually stated that they recognize all communication modes, but have a preference to a particular mode, then i dont think there is anything that can be done about that, again I am no lawyer. But if they specifically prohibited ASL in their by-laws, then I would have a significant problem with that.

    as for the scholarships, I would have to say no to that, and that is because for example, a man would not be able to apply for scholarships set aside for women, a white person likely cannot get scholarships set aside for african-americans, etc you get the gist here.

    To go back to your first question, if the CAD by-laws said that they accepted all type of deaf people regardless of their communication modes, but that they had a preference to ASL. There would be nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately the definition that they used for Deaf does not say that.

  42. Don G.
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 22:58:20

    Patti —

    RE: Comment # 31 — I just gotta laugh — If IUDs are exploding, they better be taken off the market FAST!

    I think you mean IEDs…. *Cackle!*

  43. moi
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 23:15:11

    Patti, thank you. I’ve basically been AWOL from DeafBlogLand for over a year now, and someone alerted me to this latest controversy.

    It is so discouraging to see the same old, same old, same old. We as a community haven’t evolved? I truly admire you, and the others, who are genuinely trying to dialogue, debunk myths, and get rid of misunderstandings that seem to have bogged us down for years.

    Thank you so much. Even while I’m now leaving again, please know that you have my support in spirit, and those of you who are trying with genuine good intentions, thank you.

  44. BR
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 00:41:54

    #21, Jean, the upper-case word “Deaf” has only been in use since 1972, and that is not a long enough time to be recognized by dictionaries. Dictionary publishers are in no hurry, and they will take their time. New editions of dictionaries sometimes take 10-20 years to be published. They operate on the scale of decades.

    Let’s suppose that everyone decided to only use words that appeared in dictionaries. How would language evolve and change? That’s not the way language works.

  45. BR
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 00:43:53

    I forgot to mention that upper-case “Deaf” is already recognized by the Chicago Manual of Style, and also has been used in the New York Times.

  46. pdurr
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 05:03:16

    hi val –
    oh their (that other organ) bylaws say come one come all and has lots of stuff about membership fees and payment in order to be in good standing- that seems to be paramount in the bylaws

    they got real good lawyers over there – some are even on the board

    re: CAD bylaws did it specifically prohibited spoken language in their by-laws???? i dont see it

    Whatsmore it has this statement:
    Therefore, CAD will work with individuals or agencies to ensure that they provide the highest quality service, maintain trust and respect deaf peoples’ communication choices.”

    as well as the hard of hearing word throughout the document despite theHolism having said it was a FACT that they removed it

    -the “respect deaf peoples’ communication choices.”

    -the broad defintion of Deafhood

    -the use of hard of hearing

    all of this in the bylaws does not convey a crazed radical exclusionary gone over to the darkside Deafhood Only organization

    again even if they did have that – i think they might be within their legal rights. geez with the DoJ hurry up already

    but the CSD doesnt even have any must be ASL only in their by laws so its kinda moot

    that is why im interested in examining the ACCUSER’S actions

    i believe that the Dept of Justice tends to take false accusations kinda seriously and that might warrant some attention

    re: ur not getting my email – weird

    ill send it again but pls pls pls feel free to go directly to the source and ask theHolism to post it in a public place so we dont have to do these weird behind the scenes searching, finding examining his unexamined conduct

    u know in the spirit of transparency – its the least he could do

    not posting it only leaves more questions
    like did he actually send it and if so when (before or after all the bison s#$% hit the fan)
    why hasnt he made it public
    what is he afraid or ashamed of

    i dont want to believe any any any of those things

    its just really odd

    poor CAD puts their bylaws up to the public and one person uses them against them but will NOT perform the same courtesy of posting his letter to the DofJ

    whatsmore he vlogs his public vigilante calling to scruntiize CAD and Ella for the good of non-signing deaf folks yet he does not make that vlog accessible

    isnt any body finding this conduct a bit odd and incongruent or perhaps OPPOSITE of what he says he is trying and aiming to do?

    or am i just crazy?

    don re: IUD – oy not pretty thought

    much peace


  47. brenster-
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 06:22:54

    Vanilla #39, it’s interesting interpretation you have about me correcting you that ASL is a language when you wanted to refer ASL as a “communication mode” to mean that I do not understand your point. Interesting. Actually, it is another way around, and you do not seem to understand that ASL is a language – not a “communication mode.” In that comment of yours, I am sensing somewhat linguicism.

  48. brenster-
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 06:30:07

    Patti #46 nails it all!

    So much about falsehood about not having a statement to “respect all communication modes” when there is already one!

    Wow, people so so so love to spin, spin, spin…

  49. Valhallian
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 09:21:58

    Patty, while they did not specifically prohibit the spoken language, but the deaf definition as stated in the by-laws does reduce or exclude people. I only used Iraq vets as an example, but if you want another example and I am probably going to get flamed for this cuz many deafies aren’t too keen on this guy. But didnt I. King Jordan become deaf when he was in his 20s as a result of a motorcycle accident or something like that?

    “Deaf is a term that includes all the individuals: born deaf, deafened in early, sometimes late childhood, for whom American Sign Language and Deaf community/culture collectively represent their primary experience and existence regardless of hearing disability they have.”

    Based on this definition, he is excluded ya know?

    Bren – I think we are at a point to where we are agreeing to disagree. But I would imagine you would be smart enough to know that ASL could be used in different ways, its a language, its a mode of communication, etc. For example, I have seen interpreters who would come to interpret for me for the first time and they would ask, “what mode of communication would you prefer I use, ASL. PSE, etc?”

  50. brenster-
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 10:29:31

    Vanilla- so are you telling me that we, the Deaf people, should adopt ASL to a definition, or rather accept that ASL is broken into various ways because that is how the hearing people/interpreters used in their phrases when asking Deaf people they are interpreting for?

    I think you would be smart enough to know it would not make your point stronger by saying that is how interpreters or hearing people used. It’s like, “let me ask my friend friend” and that sort of comment which is a form of… hmm, u know!

  51. brenster-
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 10:30:37

    I meant to say, “let me ask my hearing friend” – not “friend friend” but u know what i meant!

  52. Valhallian
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 11:43:30

    Bren – no, what I am telling you is that the Deaf definition should not be so narrowed down to a point where it excludes other deaf people. it only create further division among the deaf community. is further division what you really want Bren?

  53. Linda Slovick
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 13:46:20



    I think CAD is already addressing the bylaws at this time. Maybe we need to wait for the next draft now?

    Hopefully, your concerns will be addressed to your satisfaction, but this is the sort of thing that has to be discussed a lot and voted on, right?

    I think you SHOULD suggest examples what you think are better definitions and explanations, trying for wording you think might be appropriate replacement wording, for the CAD’s consideration during their discussions…

    Just my “not-so-little ol’ me” opinion. 😉

  54. Valhallian
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 13:53:50

    Linda, if it were up to me, I would just delete the the whole deaf definition from the bylaws as the general population already knows what deaf means and there’s no reason to give it a definition or to narrow down what it means. That way, it would mean the deafhood applies to all deaf people and that deafhood definition in itself could be left alone.

    but aye, it would likely require a 2/3rds vote at there next state conference, (i’m not reading that from their bylaws but its commonly done that way)

  55. Linda Slovick
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 14:34:05

    I’m not sure how it’s actually done either, but if that is the case, the next conference is two years from now! Looks like we’ve got some time.

    I personally don’t think we can get away with not defining “deaf”. Even that word seems to have capitilization issues for some, and inclusion/exclusion issues of HoH people for others, so will NEED to have a clean definition some which way…

    That is what I was hoping you could suggest… A TRULY inclusive (or inclusive enough) definition of the word “deaf” and how it should be capitalized or not and when…

    Without defining that, say, “Deaf” applies to all audiometrically deaf and hard-of-hearing people regardless of language(s) used…

    “Communication modes” has been used to reduce the linguistic status of ASL before, so is probably going to be a pretty loaded term to most folks discussing this…

    I really don’t know where to start, but I DO feel that, without a clear definition, somebody’s going to feel excluded who should not.

    I doubt many people would feel included who were not, tho… Maybe that will help us in our definition somehow…

  56. Ann_C
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 15:06:22

    Good luck, Linda.

    The term d/Deaf is what I’ve used to avoid offending everybody, and still some people from BOTH sides take offense.

    Can’t win on this one. 😛

  57. Valhallian
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 15:31:13

    I actually think that the d/Deaf should be avoided entirely…what’s next? b/Blind, w/White, b/Black, etc.

    But if you want to differentiate between those deaf that are involved with the deaf culture and community and those that are not, then perhaps coin a new word that does not even use the word deaf in it?

  58. Jean Boutcher
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 16:25:47

    Brian Riley in #44

    No where did I discuss d/D herein.

    You must have confused me with
    Brenster and Valhallin.

  59. Linda Slovick
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 16:41:17

    I think there IS a b/Black distinction of sorts… I think you’re supposed to use B for people, and b for color.

    Not sure, maybe others will have opinions.

    Thing is, here we are, imagining that we are helping CAD write… …a definition of the word as it WILL BE USED in the whole rest of the document!

    If it were your job, what would YOU choose to do about that definition?

    Valhallian has already suggested not defining it at all, because the definition is pretty well understood in the general population (please correct me if I misunderstood!).

    I admit, I’ve gotten a bit fanciful and prescriptive by trying to use the capital D for all audiometrically deaf and hard of hearing people, but to my mind, if you have trouble understanding by just hearing in a group, you’ve got our problem, but maybe also our strong, shared history of solutions we have developed for ourselves!

    Including a language that can stunningly beautiful on the hands of those fortunate enough to learn it early, and frog-ugly on those who learn it late, but still communicates better than speech in social situations!

    Definitions, please! Or if you think it should be left undefined, please answer how you’re going to keep others from using various definitions of their own…

  60. Valhallian
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 16:53:26

    Linda, it looks like you have brought forth a good topic for a new blog posting, as I would love to know what everyone would have to say about it.

  61. Linda Slovick
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 16:56:00

    You’re right, Valhallian, I’m off topic!

    Sorry Patti! Just got carried away a bit with the “what if?”

  62. BR
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 21:35:29


    Yes, upper-case “Black” is correct when making reference to Black culture (instead of talking about skin pigmentation) and analogously, upper-case “White” is sometimes used. This is nothing new. There is nothing controversial about it!

  63. Linda Slovick
    Oct 10, 2009 @ 09:40:24

    > There is nothing controversial about it.


    But the difference in capitalization of d/Deaf, when the distinction is used, indicates two different types of roughly audiometrically-equivalent people now, not just lower-case for audiometry, and upper case for people, right?

    Or is the lower case still only really used for audiometric deafness, and ANY group of audiometrically deaf and hard-of-hearing people who wish to hang out together, at least form a community, if not a culture, right?

    How do they communicate? Don’t they need SOME language that everybody can understand at the same time?

    What language can both learn?

    That’s a harder question than it first looks, due to the late-learning effect both ways… Everybody is embarassed about what they don’t do well… And, either way, communication between culturally Deaf and those audiometrically deaf but coming late to that party too often requires that one or the other use their weaker language.

    Isn’t that at least PART of all the defensiveness around?

    So, if we followed the b/Black convention instead of the current more ambiguous and divisive convention…

    I can’t offer a change to a whole group, but I CAN tell you that the use of the capital D for all is not original with me… Several Deaf Culture leaders have moved in that direction.

    Without explanation, however, such an attempt to include risks being misunderstood as claiming even MORE of the social landscape and excluding more sharply!

    So, that use, like any other, really, NEEDS TO BE DEFINED.

  64. Valhallian
    Oct 10, 2009 @ 21:07:46

    In response to the last two comments, it would make sense if Black was used as a reference to the black culture, which I would imagine it would require their skin color. Or can it include a white person that that is quite absorbed into the black culture? For example, has a black spouse and has bi-racial children, can they be defined as Black? It is not an answer that I know, which is why I am asking.

    The bigger question here is how do we define the deaf culture, while its primary language is ASL, but it is not limited to that as there are people of all types of communication modes that participate in the deaf culture ya know?

  65. patti
    Oct 11, 2009 @ 08:02:11

    the distinction might be between
    a community and a culture

    not sure if this is of help but i blogged a bit about Deaf culture here:



  66. Trackback: Oppose b.s. « PEOPLE OF THE EYE -…first, last, and all the time” – g. veditz 1910
  67. Trackback: Credibility loss of 200 dB and dropping – More b.s. made self-evident « PEOPLE OF THE EYE -…first, last, and all the time” – g. veditz 1910

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