Ah a New Dawn! The End of Oralism

Hey – whatcha doing Sept 6-11????

Wanna party???

Wanna celebrate???

Wanna rattle some groggers????

so all reports from the folks on the ground at the ICED opening ceremonies are that the rejection of ICED 1880 resolutions and acknowledgment and expression of sincere regret for the detrimental effects of the Milan conference was historic and monumental. jubilation and tears all around!

see http://www.iced2010.com/ for the New Era: Statement of Principle and Accord for the Future

Closing ceremony press release is now up at that link too.

its a good thing folks!

(image of “And there was light…”)

I meself was a bit unsure if “sincerely regrets” constitutes a formal apology and advocated for the inclusion of an acknowledgment that the oral / aural only mandate in education was an ICED resolution so the coupling of the “acknowledge and sincerely regret”… have been justly recognized by folks as a public apology.


Ya hoo and hallelujah.

I know i know it was a long time a comin’. 130 years precisely – however it has come.

it has come folks.

No raining on the parade unless ya got ur boots on and wanna splash around. No dampening of the spirit here folks.

We have awoken!

Folks r on the move.

Biggest kudos to the BC Deaf community folks, the ICED folks, the World Federation of the Deaf folks, the Canadian Association of the Deaf folks, the Deaf Bilingual Coalition folks, the National Association of the Deaf folks, the Audism Free America folks, and all the other Group folks that i dont know about… but most most most most especially kudos for all the folks who were unsure of if this was a good thing or a needed thing or a right thing.

Many of folks have opted to do NOTHING for fear of failing, for fear of being rejected, for fear of loosing, for fear of being labeled radical, or extremist, or brown noser, or ….

ya over came those concerns and took a stand for that which is just, good and right! Feel good don’t it?

for all of u who just love being arm chair “critics” – no worry.  i still love ya and have hope ya’ll will see the light.

And many thanks in advance to all the folks who are waking up and seeing how much u shine when u are out in the sun. How truly glorious u and natural sign languages are when they are not regulated to remedial purposes or for oral failures only or for basement church rooms or for cladestine bedrooms or the fingertips of Hearing babes only (Greatest Irony that be NO MORE!) but when they r out and about shouting things like the good “New Era” document proclaims:
“For Deaf people, it is an inalienable right to be acknowledged as a linguistic and cultural minority integral to every society.”

(bio-diversity, linguistic diversity, cultural diversity folks!)

“Therefore we: reject all resolutions passed at the ICED Milan Congress in 1880 that denied the inclusion of sign languages in educational programs for Deaf students”

(ding dong the witch is dead folks – Oralism (Oral / Aural only education) is no longer condoned, accepted or tolerated – i.e. it ain’t cool)

“Call upon all Nations to include the sign languages of their Deaf citizens as legitimate languages for these Nations and to treat them as equal to those of the hearing majority”

(ya know don’t exclude sign language from Deaf folks lives or we’ll be slapping you on the hands this time around)

“Call upon all Nations to facilitate, enhance and embrace their Deaf citizen’s participation in all governmental decision-making process affecting all aspects of their lives” (holy cow – i love the drafters of this document – bless you. self-governance – what Gandhi advocated for to ensure social justice – brilliant)

“Call upon all Nations to involve their Deaf citizens to assist parents of Deaf infants, children and youth in appreciation of the Deaf culture and sign languages”

(don’t keep the babes away from what and who they are)

There is a lot more goodness i could quote from in this historic doctrine but for now those are my favorites. (the first page itemizes how devastating and damaging the resolutions of the 1880 ICED Congress in Milan were – i wont type out here as most of us know all to painfully well what they are but to see them listed out in print is extremely validating and affirming – the sins of our father made known. The invisible made visible.

Now many a folks are cautiously optimistic / are watchful / are on guard / are critically examining if this new deal is the real deal or a raw deal?

The New Era ain’t perfect but its pretty dang good – it definitely aint the Same Ole Same Ole New EAR Era that some folks are busy trying to foist upon all of us and our kin.

only time will tell folks and it is UP TO US!

It is totally up to us to make sure the principles and accord are adhered to and lived up to just as is true our Declaration of Independence and our U.S. Constitution and all the wonderful UN stuff. All documents are only as good as the folks who honor them.

We gotta we watchful and wakeful and busy!

In the words of Frederick Douglass “agitate, agitate, agitate.”

No death of the spirit now folks – we r just starting to see the power of our numbers and our conviction and justice and love!

Again to the framers of this document, I commend you for all the obstacles you had to overcome to bring this dawn to reality (myself being one of those such obstacles you had to climb over) and for all the folks who are pushing it from the pages into the hearts and minds of schools and early intervention programs across the land – thank you for heeding the call of George Veditz – “I hope you will cherish and DEFEND this beautiful language as the noblest gift that God has given to Deaf-mutes” and the declaration at the end of the 1889 World Congress of the Deaf in Paris, France, that Sign Language was “the most suitable instrument for developing the intellect of the deaf” and closed with “Long live!” – Long live the emancipation of the deaf!”

So whatcha doing Sept 6- 11?  Celebration time!  Come on!


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Don G.
    Jul 23, 2010 @ 02:37:38


  2. Karen Mayes
    Jul 23, 2010 @ 10:15:09

    To me, it’s good. It means opening doors to more acceptance of deaf schools and more published research papers with less bias on deaf education, no more one methodology (must be oral only or must be ASL only, forbidding talking/listening.) The deaf education hopefully would be able to rise to meet the deaf children’s needs, since no deaf children are alike. I know it, because I am a mother of two deaf children who are different in their communication preferences (one prefers talking and another prefer signing.)

    The question is… how much weight does the deaf education carry in Europe and America? Will the changes start in Europe and spread over to America or what? I guess it depends on the politics and the acceptance of deaf people in general and the health industry’s approach to deafness.

  3. handeyes
    Jul 23, 2010 @ 13:53:38

    hi don

    smiley face back at ya (no idea how to do that me. can ya imagine that – patti has no idea how to insert smiley icon – i think i am avoiding learning because then i would spend all me timing selecting JUST the right one ; – ) dont teach me don – leave me ignorant – smile

    Hi karen

    thanks for ur comment
    re: your kids having different likes – no biggy there. You never actually and/or actively DENIED them the right to sign language and that is what we r talking about re: ORALISM – a system that actively and AGGRESSIVELY prohibits Sign Language in Deaf education
    re: ASL only – where is this program / school that PROHIBITS ENGLISH – i’d like to visit – i know of no such place. some might not do happy dances over clinical services (speech therapy and audition) being part of academic programs but those r very few and i think their reasoning is sound. Now if they prohibited the learning of English as Oral Option schools prohibit the learning of ASL – then we could talk.

    re: “it depends on the politics and the acceptance of deaf people in general and the HEALTH INDUSTRY’S approach to deafness” (captials – my emphasis)

    Bingo on the Nose-O girl

    u hit it right on the head

    yep we gotta get BUSY, ACTIVE, and POLITICAL

    otherwise its gonna be “welcome to the Monkey house” ALL OVER AGAIN

    been there, done that already folks

    lets get busy and awake



  4. Dianrez
    Sep 03, 2010 @ 00:19:22

    The media generally has overlooked this historic event. We need to celebrate it and highlight it in some way, perhaps on an annual basis…during Deaf Awareness week, perhaps? Is this monumentous enough to honor with a plaque or permanent memorial of a visble sort?

    Or, simply as a historic event equal to Pasteur’s discovery of pasteurization, simply one of millions of advances in defeating ignorance? No statues or monuments to a return to common sense?

    I propose a replica of the Liberty Bell, crack and all…ding dong, the days of Bell oralism are dead…honoring both the victims of 130 years and the brave, if sometimes deluded people searching all these years for the painful answers.

  5. Trackback: Sign New Era Petition « PEOPLE OF THE EYE -…first, last, and all the time” – g. veditz 1910
  6. Trackback: ASL Arises! « PEOPLE OF THE EYE -…first, last, and all the time” – g. veditz 1910

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