2 for what? Gallaudet’s new appointments

Gallaudet has announced the hiring of Catherine Murphy to be the Director of Public and Media Relations and AG Bell announced AG Bell’s Catherine Murphy Leaves for Gallaudet University Post in their Nov 24, 2010 update (note this is the day after Sovona announced the recall of Advanced Bionic‘s HiRes 90K cochlear implants due to some of them failing hot.  Advanced Bionics is one of AG Bell Associations Circle Alliance Founding Partners).  Just an observation folks – not an accusation or speculation – just a “wow, busy week and right before the holiday)

Some items that AG Bell Association engaged in during Murphy’s time there as Director of Communications and Public Affairs –

  1. AG Bell Association’s Letter to Pepsi

it harshly criticized the Pepsi Co. for showing Deaf ASL people in their short Superbowl commercial that only aired one day out of the year


Murphy has defended AG Bell’s letter by saying that folks who took offense to it simply misunderstood it – hmmmm

Youdelman (AG Bell President) and Graham (AG Bell CEO) stated in the infamous AG Bell Pepsi letter

“Your advertisement perpetuates a common myth that all people who are deaf can only communicate using sign language and are, therefore, isolated from the rest of society.  In fact, today’s hearing technology, coupled with early screening identification and intervention, has led to incredible advances in listening and spoken language skill development.  Of the more than 30 million Americans who live with hearing loss, the majority use spoken language as their primary mode of communication.”

There is more about overcoming the condition and the miracle of sound but u get the general gist of it.

So Murphy – Gallaudets new PR person said, we misunderstood.

NAD misunderstood?

DBC misunderstood?

AFA misunderstood?

Oodles and noodles of Deaf and Hearing folks from various walks of life

and some of A G Bell Associations own members who contested the letter misunderstood?

Usually when an organization learns that their words have offended a group they issue an apology or recant, rescind, revoke, repair etc but NOPE – not AG Bell Association under Catherine Murphy’s leadership as AG Bell Director of Communications and Public Affairs – nah instead Catherine just say s- ya all misunderstood (See Signews April 2008)


AG Bell Update (July 23, 2010)

International Congress on the Education of the Deaf Addresses 1880 Milan Conference
On July 19 at its meeting in Vancouver, Canada, the International Congress on the Education of the Deaf (ICED) issued a statement to address events that occurred at the 1880 Milan ICED conference which determined that the pure oral approach was the preferred method of instruction for children who are deaf. According to ICED, “This statement ‘A New Era: Deaf Participation and Collaboration’ was introduced to Congress participants as the beginning of a dialogue to promote healing and set the path for future collaboration.” In part, the statement “calls upon all nations to ensure that educational programs for the Deaf accept and respect all languages and all forms of communication.  (bold emphasis mine – can u see what is missing?)

So why did AG Bell Association’s Director of Communication and Public Affairs – pull the SINGLE – the ONE and ONLY line out of the whole 2 pages of the very progressive ICED 2010 New Era Agreement that might remotely make them look o.k. (kinda) and why within that solitary sentence did AG Bell omit, chop out this part in red:

Call upon all Nations of the world to remember history and ensure that educational programs accept and respect all languages and all forms of communication.”

Odd – eh?  Normally communication specialists will say “in part” when they have ended early or taken from the middle but when they OUT RIGHT HACK OUT SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE they would insert normally insert …

None there – odd isn’t it.

Psst – we not only pay attention to what you say, do, don’t do, won’t do, do do, we also pay attention to what you conceal.

If you read the whole New Era document (yes, we do read things as a whole as in gestalt as in the whole truth and nothing but the truth as in history and not hypstory or agbstory) – the whole ICED 2010 New Era agreement emphasizes the WRONGS that was done to Deaf folks via Oralism and oral  / aural only education.

Hmmm… why would Murphy want to omit the “REMEMBER HISTORY” text from that one sentence – it wasnt a space issue folks.  Plenty of room in that update and she does have “extensive experience” as noted in the Gallaudet press announcement of her hire

oh speaking of space – got Deaf space anyone?

There is more the new Director of Public and Media Relations for Gallaudet has done – in her role as co-chair for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alliance, she proposed the DHHA denounce Deaf folks first amendment rights – ya know free speech and freedom of assembly but thankfully other members of the DHHA said – nah.

This is what Murphy had to say about her new post: “It’s an honor to be selected for this important and visible position and I look forward to being a part of the university’s continued growth and success.”

So Catherine as you are wrapping up your work at AG Bell Association or if you have already moved over to Gallaudet – do you think you could use your connections to finally get them to pull the Pepsi letter and issue an apology for any hurt caused by the letter – ya know in the spirit of moving forward and in light of the WHOLE OVER RIDING message of the ICED 2010 New Era agreement?

That would help public relations over the furor of a recent hire at Gallaudet U.

Just a thought, an idea, a suggestion, a wish

Re: Gallaudet selecting Donna Sorkin to serve on the Board of Associates

from the Gallaudet press announcement (see link above for full text):

Sorkin is vice president of consumer affairs at Cochlear Americas. She leads a range of activities at Cochlear aimed at the broad life needs of people with hearing loss including the company’s widely acclaimed HOPE program. Sorkin formerly was executive director of Self Help for Hard of Hearing People [now the Hearing Loss Association of America] and also served and the executive director of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Cochlear Americas is a cochlear implant company that recently got fined $880,000 by the Dept of Justice due to evidence of fraud brought forward  by a whistle blower high up in Cochlear Americas.  She was awarded $176,000.

“Today’s [NOTE: June 9, 2010] actions demonstrate that the United States will not tolerate the payment of kickbacks by any entity involved in providing medical goods and services to beneficiaries of federal health care programs,” said Assistant Attorney General Tony West, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.

This was just 5 mo. ago so im not so sure why Gallaudet wanted a high level representative of a cochear implant company that was fined for high level unethical dealings (fraud and kick backs aint cool).


Now full disclosure time here:

1. i am not neutral so don’t insult me by suggesting i have ever suggested i am neutral – cuz i haven’t and im a stickler for the truth (see bottom for some quotes on neutrality)

2. i know and love Dr. T. Alan Hurwitz so this space is not for bashing him or his good partner, whom I also love.  So no dissing them here or making this be about them – fence or no fence i care not right here.

3. i dont really know Catherine Murphy but i have met her once when i sat as one of the AFA reps at the A G Bell table across from AG Bell’s CEO Alexander Graham (yep his real name) and Catherine sat at the head of the table trying to get us to do as she commanded.  My impressions – she is wound a bit tight.  Her impressions of me are probably that i am wound too loose.  regadless, i love her so no dissing her and digging up personal crap about her or her brother or her uncle twice removed.  stick to the facts and her job performance eh?

4. i dont know Donna Sorkin at all – i have just seen her answers in the debate on the PBS sound and fury website

I do not oppose folks who have CIs, want CIs for themselves and/or their children.  I do have concerns with the CORPORATIONS, the SHARES, the $$$, the Dept of Justice fine for unethical dealings by Cochlear Americas, the FDA fine to Advanced Bionics for their faulty cochlear implants, …  I have had no interaction with Sorkin that i know of but maybe some where some way our paths have crossed before – regardless – i love her and dont want to see any trashing of her here.

What are we gonna talk about if you are feeling brave and focused here?

Should Gallaudet have appointed Murphy to be Director of Public Relations and Media given the facts above?

if she is to remain – what type of public statement is needed to assure that she will be able to uphold and properly represent, respect and promote Gallaudet’s Mission and Vision ?

Should Gallaudet have appointed Sorkin to be on their Board of Associates given the fact that Cochlear Americas has very recently been fined by the Dept of Justice for kickbacks and fraudulent actions?

or u can just say – oh Patti, girl, chill on the love stuff would ya?  U wouldnt be the first to say it nor shall u be the last but i aint gonna waiver on that.  I’m aiming for truth force / soul force Gandhi style.

quotes re: neutrality – just cuz…

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
Desmond Tutu

Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.
Paulo Freire

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Re: Love

“Like most people, I had heard of Gandhi, but I had never studied him seriously. As I read I became deeply fascinated by his campaigns of nonviolent resistance. I was particularly moved by his Salt March to the Sea and his numerous fasts. The whole concept of Satyagraha (Satya is truth which equals love, and agraha is force; Satyagraha, therefore, means truth force or love force) was profoundly significant to me. As I delved deeper into the philosophy of Gandhi, my skepticism concerning the power of love gradually diminished, and I came to see for the first time its potency in the area of social reform. … It was in this Gandhian emphasis on love and nonviolence that I discovered the method for social reform that I had been seeking.”



8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. handeyes
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 12:51:14

    Heye Candy – thank you for directing folks here

    Every little bit helps in our conscious and conscience raising efforts

    re: ur pov that Catherine is now Gally loyal and has no business suggesting nothing to AG Bell – psst my little suggestion actually DOES RELATE to her new post and public relations

    read the WHOLE post me friend. She can do this and she should do this. The question remains – will she and will they. Ultimately it is AG Bell’s responsibility.

    Re: misunderstanding – its debatable is it not?

    i do thank u again for the referrer.

    I dont think this post entry is on par with the vlog u discussed nor do i have the same position. I do NOT think Gallaudet is selling out or should be closed or needs another protest – oh goodness no (and im a protesting kinda gal – Civil Disobedience ROCKS). My points above are:
    1. Planned Parenthood would not hire the public affairs person for a major anti-abortion organization without getting some mighty big assurances and proof that the person RESPECTS choices and hasnt used their position as a co-chair of an alliance to try to squash free speech and assembly.

    Gallaudet students, faculty, and staff should be MIGHTY worried about that. Remember how the Institute issued their little “free speech” guidelines in an effort to quell the unrest that only resulted in fueling the fire.

    We cant learn from history if we dont remember it.

    I believe Catherine can be a plus for Gallaudet but some type of assurance is warranted – it is what a good PR person would do. The natives are restless aint they? and they got a right to be – its their home (see avatar or ill have to start quoting Yoda ; )

    2. Sorkin is put on the Gallaudet board of associates
    the purpose of Gallaudet’s advisory board: http://support.gallaudet.edu/x22239.xml

    networking, they lecture in a class once a year at Gallaudet, they are advocates to promote Gallaudet
    results interships, jobs and private support

    So issue with Sorkin is???? She works for a corporation that was fined by the US Dept of Justice for engaging in kick backs and fraud

    that is not the kinda connections / networking / private support i would think Gallaudet would want

    if they wanted to have connections / networking / private support via an advisory member working high up in a CI co., why not pick one that has not been sued by the FDA or the Dept of justice hmmmm that would leave only one huh? Maybe there is something coming down the pike on that one?

    just me thoughts – me quest i ons – my opinions – my point of view

    peace and LOVE and thanks

    psst – i know u only read me stuff to try to find something u can twist with- i dont really explain things again and again with such preciseness soley for u – i still do have hope that u will get it but im also chatting with the masses. yep plenty of folks a watching

    no worries – sooner or later they will want to get the elephant foot off the mouse’s tail – in the meantime u can continue to spin and i will dance and soar and jump at da sun

    p & l


  2. handeyes
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 13:16:31

    oh one more thing Candy (yep im following ur model of … one more…)

    How is it u managed to have time for all the commenting here and there and to make a blog about _itching and moaning (by _itching and moaning urself) but u dont have any time to make a blog where you assert that ASL is not a language as u had been promising to do many many times

    odd – eh?



  3. Dianrez
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 13:18:19

    Great questions. However, I’m more of the mind that these two representatives of oralist enterprises jumped ship and joined the Gallaudet community, historically a bastion of ASL. What does this say for oralism as a philosophy?

    I am skeptical of corporations in general because they survive on a bottom-line basis. Money, money and more money. That they also perform a service is secondary: if the money was not there, a LOT less service would be offered. Maybe none.

    AGBADHH being a charity is beside the point: without money, it would not exist as a major power and sponsor/employer of oral method providers. Instead, it would be about the size and influence of corresponding ASL and comprehensive method organizations.

    Corporations look bad when their lead people cross over to the philosophical competition. It seems they would try to keep these people especially if they are effective in their jobs. Maybe we should pay attention to people that leave these corporations and their reasons because it could hint at cracks in the infrastructure.

    It bears watching these people to see how fully they go to bat for Gallaudet and its goals for education of Deaf people and for Deaf academia. If they do a bang-up job, I’ll be very happy!

  4. handeyes
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 13:34:01

    Hi Dianrez –

    Sorkin is not jumping ship – she is multitasking ; )

    and Co. that already give $100,000 to other organizations etc like Cochlear Americas does with A G Bell Association get some “friends with benefits” benefits beyond just having their logo up on the front page of their website

    what benefits exactly – no body is saying hmmmm

    so with Sorkin of Cochlear Americas joining Gallaudet’s Board of Associates – it is clear what Gallaudet THINKS it will be getting from this relationship but what will Cochlear Americas be getting or doing via Sorkin? hopefully cochlear americas is flying straight now and kickbacks are not their fall back

    re: Murphy jumping ship from AG Bell association to Gallaudet – is she switching camps – i dont get that impression from anything i read by Gallaudet or A G Bell assoc

    my guess and guesses are dangerous – they see it as an extension of her past work – that her presence at Gallaudet will allow her to tap into her already roboust network of list servers, email distrbutions, conferences, chatrooms, media outlets to promote Gallaudet. Doesnt take a CI surgeon to know all of those target audiences were oral / aural oriented folks so amping up the marketing to those groups means what?????

    a few years ago folks were saying – we aint gonna really market to Deaf schools cuz the pool is so small and the skill set is so low etc….

    so they threw all their flashy and classy and rah rah rah stuff at the kids in the mainstream and the yeild was iffy so they returned to marketing at the Deaf schools TOO and low and behold, Deaf students from Deaf schools still have good things to offer as do the kids in the mainstream

    i too am hoping that Murphy’s presence will be a GOOD THING at gally

    im a hoper

    its what i do

    but im also a questioner

    and i do believe that a good PR person would know that some type of hype gotta be coming out of Gally’s administrative hall that acknowledges that she is committed to Gallaudet’s bi-bi mission

    i dont know nuttin’ about this hire- was there a search, were their Deaf applicants, etc etc???

    i just know that hiring someone who has majorily insulted and offended the Deaf community is kinda unfortunate but i still have hope that she is gonna mend her ways and do right by ALL Deaf folks not just the ones who supposedly have “independence through listening and speaking”

    and its kinda sad that the spokesperson neither there nor here is not a Deaf person

    radical i be – who better to speak for the Deaf than the Deaf themselves

    we shall see what we shall see eh?

    just gotta have our eyes OPEN and our reading glasses on

    hopefully no boots required

    i do thank u for sharing ur pov



  5. handeyes
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 13:52:32

  6. handeyes
    Dec 17, 2010 @ 03:18:39

    253 views today (only 13 referred from Candy’s site but i still do thank u all the same)

    ya all are mighty quiet

    now someone reminded me of another AG Bell connection as it relates to Dr. Hurwitz – the president of Gallaudet. While he was president at NTID the old issue of a dorm named in Bell’s honor came up and originally Hurwitz recommended that just the plaque be taken down, re-worded and put back up but later after further campus dialogue and lots of civil non-violent activism, he changed his recommendation to have the name Bell striken from the dorm name along with the plaque coming down and getting melted.

    Wasn’t easy for him – required alot of pushes in the right direction and good courage but he did do it and i think it did serve him favorably within the Deaf community.

    http://orangebrownrit.blogspot.com/2008/07/final-decision-to-remove-agbell-name.html (u can keep clicking ‘older post’ at the bottom for the full kit and kabootal (believe me it was a long and painful process but the just right and good outcome was achieved)

    Bell Dorm is no more – everybody take a bow

    Hurwitz is quoted at the NorCal GUAA event as having said to folks “you need to watch me” meaning hold me accountable and this reminded me of:
    “I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it.”

    Franklin D. Roosevelt

    What will be critical for the Gallaudet community will be to determine what it is THEY WANT And to put it forth in a peaceful and persistent manner.

    And most especially to ensure that what they want is is just, right and good and to come from love. love is the most powerful substance on the planet



  7. Trackback: Priorities? What are Gallaudet’s Priorities? « PEOPLE OF THE EYE -…first, last, and all the time” – g. veditz 1910
  8. Trackback: ‘no particular reason’ huh? « PEOPLE OF THE EYE -…first, last, and all the time” – g. veditz 1910

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