I’ve been wondering about the AG Bell Association’s motto of “Independence through Listening and Talking!”

Is this false advertising?

I’m just wondering.

Cuz not all of the folks who follow the AG Bell method (see the AG Bell academy and AVT) end up being able the hear and speak and cuz even those who do still dont always seem that “independent”

Seems sometimes a mighty lot of lots of stuff gets put upon the child to gain that wee measure of “independence” and then ya gotta ask – how truly independent is it if ya have to depend on all of these accessories and services and systems and …. once u have done all that, you still get passed over in the school yard, job interview, and dinner table.  The output might be “intelligible” but the input tends to betray and so they often stray

And then there is the question about the folks who do not hear or speak – what of them?

these handeyes folks

Are they dependent?  Is the flip side of AG Bell’s mantra “Dependence through seeing and signing”?

Are the handeyes kids regulated to being children of a lesser G-d for ever and ever more?

Wait eyes see them driving and signing (and one bloke is even vlogging too) at the same time – dependent?

well, it depends

Wait eyes see them taking a mighty high ranking positing in the FCC (way to go Greg Hlibok)- dependent?

well, it depends

Wait eyes see them in a TV commercial or two or three or four – dependent?

well, it depends

Wait eyes see them walking down the street greeting everyone they meet – dependent?

well, it depends

how is this possible when they hear not, speak not?

Wait eyes see them making babies, raising babies, and teaching babies – dependent?

well, it depends

Wait eyes see them going to the bank, i see them going to the store, i see them reading a book, i see them washing dishes – dependent?

well, it depends

Perhaps we are operating under a different definition of independence?

Mine adheres to our Declaration of INDEPENDENCE:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Independence through ……..



FYI: AG Bell Listening and Spoken Language Symposium is July 21-23, 2011 Omni Shoreham Hotel in DC

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Don G.
    Jan 19, 2011 @ 06:06:33

    Yep! That slogan is subtly saying “you can’t be independent if you can’t hear or speak”. They point to using interpreters and writing as signs of dependence. But they conveniently overlook the fact that oral Deaf are constantly dependent as well — dependent on people to repeat for them, dependent to explain what happened in the non-captioned movie, dependent on Hearing people to tell them what was said on the PA system, dependent, dependent, dependent. And let’s not forget dependent on trying to BE what they are NOT — Hearing!

  2. Tim V
    Jan 19, 2011 @ 07:26:46

    Wait eyes see them driving and signing (and one bloke is even vlogging too) at the same time – dependent?

    well, it depends

    I’d like to imagine them *lipreading* and driving at the same time! Seriously.

    But I agree with the blog post 🙂 I’m as independent as they come — I have a good job programming computers.

    As I become more familiar with this, I become more convinced that the best way to assure someone’s independence is to involve the people being helped in all decisions. Meaning…want to help autistic people — get some autistic people together to advocate for them. Ditto for deaf people. Got the idea? Oh yeah, I love RCIL and CDR the more I hear of it.

    This is also true about other culture. You can usually lift more people out of poverty in some 3rd world country by, well, going over there and helping them to help themselves. Eh…this reminds me that I still need to read through the book “When Helping Hurts” — it talks about how to help the poor without hurting yourself or the poor. Lots of times when you just give handouts or use your financial resource, you create dependency, not independence.

  3. deafa
    Jan 19, 2011 @ 13:01:09

    Yeah, as a oral only deaf growing up, I feel like Im constantly making demands concerning communication. “Look at me” ,” speak up”, “don’t shout (it makes lipreading difficult)” , “don’t mumble ( people hate it when I tell them that), “don’t cover your mouth”, “its noisy in here ( I use speechreading which is using whatever hearing I have left from my hearing aid now CI to assist lipreading) so let’s go somewhere quiet”, and so on. Yep, I do not see myself any different from asking a person to write .I still don’t use the phone to talk to random strangers , I was able to talk to people before and afterCI with people who I was familiar with and knew I can’t hear well.

    Funny, I was in a doctor office for my son checkup. I had problem with his doctor before because she mumbles alot and she would not change her ways. But when I came in without my CI ( its broken) she would not write a single thing to me when I have trouble understanding and was doing alot of guesswork with lipreading. My husband was NOT happy about that at all. He said she should have kept you informed as a parent. I told him if she keep it up, I’ll probably have her hire a CART but I really feel like quitting but then that would mean she got her way.

  4. deafa
    Jan 19, 2011 @ 13:08:43

    Tim, my hearing family LOOK at me while they are driving. I need to see their lips 😉

  5. Dianrez
    Jan 19, 2011 @ 15:20:23

    Deafa, do consider switching doctors. Not only does your child deserve the best, you are better off with one who understands the necessity of communicating with parents for the sake of the child. It’s not about her getting her way, it’s going to result in her LOSING a patient when you switch.

    I try to be patient with mumblers, those who cover their mouth or back away or turn away, but when they are people in the “helping professions” this is antisocial. They are in the wrong profession and for the wrong reasons. Fostering independence is not a reason for them.

  6. deafnewsblog
    Jan 19, 2011 @ 16:40:54

    If I get cart, I will give my child the best of care. The problem is, most doctors do this. She isn’t the only one although she was the worst case.

  7. deafnewsblog
    Jan 19, 2011 @ 16:44:30

    Also, plan on quitting anyhow but I can’t quit every doctor who do this. the list of doctors are getting shorter. One doctor was so frustrated that he yelled at me and I was just trying to answer his question the best I can. I already quitted several of them.

  8. deafa
    Jan 19, 2011 @ 20:41:47

    sorry about the change of account. I’m trying to set up the latest news feed (from the mainstream media) or something and it wasn’t working out like I planned. But I think I figured it out so if anyone like to add me on twitter, it’s just be aware that It may not work out for me as this is just experimental.

  9. deafa
    Jan 19, 2011 @ 21:59:18

    Bad grammar on one of my post, made it sound really horrible.I mean when I receive CART, I will be able to give my child best of care because the communication is alot better. Because I will understand the medicine instructions better. Im just going to give this doctor a chance as our son already started on her treatment plans and it seem to be helping him. The doctor probably prefer if I hire a CART.

  10. handeyes
    Jan 20, 2011 @ 01:25:15

    Don G –
    yep – not sure how subtle they r being but yep.
    re: “being what u r not” yep its interesting cuz often Deaf folks attitudes r like what Jesse Jackson said in his letter to the Deaf President Now protesters

    “The problem is not that the students do not hear. The problem is that the hearing world does not listen.”

    but at AG Bell headquarters the problem is always the ears and the mouth

    odd, eh?

    they’ve been in business a mighty long time and all they have to show for it is the 1964 Babbidge report to congress saying oralism is a dismal failure (after it had been the law of the deaf ed. landscape since the 1900s – largely thanks to AG Bell and co.) and the COED 1988 report saying TC and mainstreaming were washing the kids downstream

    so who is dumb?

    so in the case of “if it aint broken dont fix it”

    how we see IT “depends” on our pov

    for AG Bell the hears not earing is always gonna be the broken that needs fixing

    whereas the folks who been there done that – the system is always gonna need the fixing in order for “all folks are created equal…” to ring true

    and be heard



  11. handeyes
    Jan 20, 2011 @ 01:33:19

    Tim V –

    how i love thee

    smile – CDR RILC – very cool entities

    re: yep teach folks to fish – yep indeed

    fishermen of men sometimes they be too

    re: that ole dang mask of benevolence and paternalism – OY

    its a mighty tricky and slicky one

    pedagogy of the oppressed by freire – its a must read

    there is a reason why the keep folks down

    re: Autistic folks – yep i once read how these doctors were talking to a group of austistic folks about some experimental procedure or medicine to fix austism and several folks in the audience were like “ahem, excuse us. we can see u is all excited by ur notion ur promoting but well we’s like how we’s is. we’d just like the world to accept us. if u got a pill for them – be our guest.”

    something like that – definitely not a quote but i thought – dang that is cool

    a big motto with ADAPT and other great groups is “nothing about us without us”

    the ICED Vancouver 2010 New Era Agreement pretty much put self-determination as a big MUST



  12. handeyes
    Jan 20, 2011 @ 01:46:05

    deafa / deafnewsblog

    i clicked u to follow ur tweets. have no idea how tweets work but will see see. the article u tweeted from rochester re: child abuse in Deaf children being much higher is really important so i thank u for sharing these news items

    re: doctors – with ADA title III covers doctors – private practice – if any of the doctors u use r local or state govt related then that is title II

    sometimes just tossing that out to them – saying by law u gotta give me access to what u r saying so i can do my job as the parent here so……

    its really interesting that many folks feel the more they bend over backward to accommodate the Hearing world the more they end of feeling taken advantage of and disrespected

    I once saw a really smart chap – John Lee Clark explain how he had a friend who was oral and she was making all these concessions at work and in her home life – always crossing further over the bridge than the half-way mark thinking it would get her ‘in’ or get folks more likely to inch her way towards the middle – always to end up being a disappointed Deaf person. so john lee said – if u yield too much u set the expectation that u r not worthy of their making a mutual effort

    reminded me of the expression “if your tired of being walked all over like a door mat, get out of the way”

    and he explained the woman then decided to share with co-workers, her husband and friends that she would no longer be going that extra extra distance and she needed to see them come her way a bit so they could truly meet in the middle and she said “im worth it”

    when we do all this prostrating and altering of self – whether it be looks, clothing, language etc – to suit others we r really saying – im not worth it as is and really indeed we often are more worth it. if they choose not to see that – it is their loss

    so i hope u will give a whirl at the – ADA title III if u pls good doctor

    she might huff and puff but ur son is worth it

    and i have seen some folks win very pretty pennies when their doctors violate ADA so….

    best wishes with that

    and of course goes without saying but ill say it – i agree with Dianrez shared

    and i no worry about ur grammar girl – ur at
    Patti’s People Place



  13. Trackback: An Answer to Mishka Zena’s Noble and Just Question « PEOPLE OF THE EYE -…first, last, and all the time” – g. veditz 1910

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