NOTE: if you are unfamiliar with CA ab 2072 (where have you been??) – you can go to the Stop 2072 website – this link (scroll down) has listing of the State Senators to contact
send your letter or call ASAP
10 June 2010
Greetings Members of the CA Senate Health Committee:
I understand that before you is AB 2072 which is proposed legislation that actively omitted the Deaf community in its creation and is biased in favor of an oral / aural approach in educating Deaf infants, children and their families.
I am writing you in opposition of AB 2072 for the simple reason that the proposed bill is flawed and unjust. The state of California has an obligation to make sure it does not pass legislation that may contribute to language deprivation and cultural and linguistic genocide. The bill before you is slanted in favor of specialists and systems that have financial gains in promoting services that do not approach a Deaf infant or child as a whole human being but rather subscribe to the belief that to hear and speak is superior to being Deaf. This is known as audism and should not be sanctioned and promoted by any governmental body just as sexism and racism are no longer to be legislatively enacted at the local, state, and/or federal level.
Currently the bill suggests numerous “options” that in fact prohibit the use of American Sign Language (ASL) and thus result in denying Deaf infants and children access to fully accessible and natural language acquisition. Some of the “options” listed and often recommended by the “specialists” in the field involve invasive surgery with inconsistent and unreliable results.
This country is founded on the principle that “all men are created equal.” Deaf infants and children are created equal. Just as women, African-Americans, Latinos, Jewish people, etc were once deemed to be inferior and laws were passed to constrain their equality and further disenfranchise them, so too we see with Deaf folks. With the removing of these unjust laws and the enacting of just ones, the U.S. has begun to live up to our creed that “all men are created equal.”
We ask that the state of California does not lead the way in legislating audism but rather opposes any proposed law that masquerades exclusionary linguistic and cultural practices as “options.” George Veditz, a prominent and important leader in Deaf education, stated that oralists “proclaim that signs are worthless and of no help to the deaf. Enemies of the sign language, they are enemies of the true welfare of the Deaf.” Audiologists and specialists who do not understand and/or value ASL, shall not be the conduit in which parents are prescribed to get “unbiased” information. Deaf infants and children are entitled to the right to understand and be understood naturally. This is a basic human right and a huge part the “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness” clause.
I trust you to vote wisely and justly.