“…to love her properly…”

ya must watch this

the invisible becomes more and more visible

and the ..”justice runs down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”


Part II: The Right to Be… Deaf

NOTE: this is a bit of a series examining if we have the right to be… Deaf.

To see Part I go to:


part II: The Right to Be… Deaf

now suppose miracle upon miracle – i make it through this gauntlet i.e.:

– i haven’t been secretly sterilized by my parents (see this article and WW2 and Eugenics and the film Audism Unveiled)

– i conceived au naturale so no need for IVF and any pre-implantation screening

– i didn’t go for genetic counseling or testing

… and an actual baby makes it debut – what am i likely to be greeted with on the maternity ward –

– “we gotta test that there baby to see if s/he fails the hearing test”

Really – this sweet child of mine is just a wee bit fresh to this world and i done tried my best to protect her/him from audism as best i could but now s/her is OUT and this is their greeting – this is “the systems” welcome to the world sweet wee-thing

“lay right here while we determine ur fate … failure or future – what is it gonna be?”

and remember “its in your best interest”

– and “mom and dad, here is the bill for the universal newborn hearing & screening intervention test”

“but,” you say but they don’t h/ear you – ODD, eh?

– and “mom + dad or mom + mom or dad + dad or just mom, here is a pamphlet re: Cochlear implants for your baby”

to which u say… “BUT…”

and they say – “oh it doesnt matter that the baby might NOT be Deaf at all because…You ARE

you are Deaf

and it offends us

it disturbs us

and it is a drain on society

and we just want to HELP”

ok ok they dont say that overtly but that is the general message when they are tooting and rooting those glossy pamphlets on what should be the happiest day of your life and before they even know if the baby is Deaf

talk about raining on a parade – oy.  that there is HAIL.

to which mom/dad COULD reply – “r e a l  l  y – u want to help by spoiling the birth of my child by rubbing AUDISM into my face!”


so you add, “next time, home birth me wanna.”

and they (the system) says, “oh, dont worry dear we got a law saying the dept of hygiene / health requires testing and BLOOD work even from home births.”  (and what else we do with that blood sample and those there cells – never you mind about that dearies – just focus on your precious beautiful new darling)

“we got u covered – hospital or home birth.  We aim to collect, document, register, and track.  Yes and indeedy we do.”

Now if the new parents are Hearing – chances are they are still in utter shock which will soon be followed by intense grief (which may include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance)

so if me and me babe survive the few days in the hospital and we dont plummet into despair from all the stigma and labels (failed, h/earing LOSS, h/earing impaired, diagnosis, disability, handicap, technology, options, audiologist, speech pathologist, amplificaiton, bilaterial implants), i will have to bring the innocent babe for a follow up visit with the audiologist.  More testing cuz ya know false positives and false negatives sooo ….

“But congratulations and just mosey on home now.”

Geez how differently things would be if they did the test and called in bilingual-bicultural Deaf specialists who said: – “Congratulations you are the proud parents of a Deaf baby.  You are blessed.  Here is a basket full of goodies – Clerc’s Children DVDs, ASL book, info on bi-bi, a stuffed bunny signing ILY, and many more. …”

Stay tune for Part III

Other relevant links:

“Imagine” by Mel at We Never Landed in Holland


“What is an ‘Oral Success’?” by Jeffrey at The Terlinguan


images from



Letter to Gov. Cuomo re: 4201 Schools

My letter to Governor Cuomo re: 4201 schools

For more information re: the Governor’s budget proposal targeting 4201 schools go to:



join the open facebook on OPPOSE CUOMO’S PLAN FOR 4201 SCHOOLS



21 February 2011

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo:

By now you have received many letters and appeals requesting you reconsider the shifting of funds from 4201 schools due to the fact that it is an ineffective measure at cost saving and for many other sound and just reasons.  At a time when approximately 86% of Deaf children spend part or all of their school days in mainstream settings, there is a dire need for schools and programs that provide direct instruction, a fully natural and accessible language, Deaf role models and peers, and instructors who are skilled with methods and materials that approach the Deaf child from an additive point of view rather than a deficit point of view.

I add my humble appeal as well in the hope that reason and justice will come into your decision-making as you finalize the new budget proposal.

Recent research findings show:

  • The deaf students who perform best academically usually are the ones whose parents have effectively communicated with them from an early age.
  • Children who sign early on generally outperform those who do not sign during their early school years.
  • Deaf students do not always learn, think, or know in the same ways as hearing children.


Many of the 4201 schools provide sign language classes for families of Deaf children and education about Deaf culture to ensure that the parents as well as the children are not washed away in the mainstream.  This early intervention and education for both the child and the parent serves them well on in later years.  These schools are also very familiar with the different ways in which Deaf children learn and do not force them into a one-Hearing-size fits all model that is often unavoidable in public school settings.

In addition to all of this, 4201 schools often provide Deaf children with roots & wings.  As Hodding Carter stated, “There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: One is roots, the other is wings.”

4th grader Elizabeth Mayes confirms the value of this in her letter to you where she explains: “At RSD, I feel so welcomed. I even know people like me. I learn a lot more than in mainstream. So, please, please, don’t close RSD or any other deaf schools in New York State.” Roots & wings come from a sense of belonging and ease so that the challenges can be those of the normal learning process and social / emotional development of any child rather than trying to constantly swim against the tide or just tread water.

Elizabeth’s older brother, David Mayes gives us a first hand look at what that constant near drowning in the mainstream can do when he bravely writes to you and shares of his truths: “….I was very sad and lonely, and I did not want to live.  Yes, I was suicidal, and I was depressed and lonely, and didn’t know where I fit in.  I didn’t have the will to live because no one wanted to be around a deaf student, and I do not want to go through the same thing over…”

The International Congress on the Education of the Deaf (ICED) 2010 Vancouver New Era agreement affirmed David and Elizabeth’s sentiments when it set forth an Accord for the Future in which it declared:

“We call upon all Nations of the world to ratify and adhere to the Principles of the United Nations, specifically those outlined in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that state education is to be delivered with an emphasis on the acquisition of language and academic, practical, and social knowledge”

“We call upon all Nations to facilitate, enhance and embrace their Deaf citizens’ participation in all governmental decision-making process affecting all aspects of their lives”

“Call upon all Nations to support a child-centred approach in educational programs and a family-centred approach in all support services for Deaf and hearing family members.”

There are many other stories like Elizabeth and David’s, Governor Cuomo.  Imagine sending your own child(ren) to schools in which they can only access information from an interpreter all day, day after day after day.  The Deaf children and their families deserve suitable, humane, egalitarian, academically sound and just alternatives.

Please do not rip out the roots & in turn deny these children their wings.


Patricia Durr

The Right to Be… Deaf (part I)

heye all –

the UK HFEB, the Stop Eugenics campaign, Edwin Black’s War Against the Weak, The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks, Connexin 26, cochlear implants + Oralism, mainstreaming, EHDI screening and TRACKING, stem cells, People of the Eye: Deaf Ethnicity and Ancestry, the unjustified shooting of John T. Williams, etc have got me thinking alot about whether or not Deaf folks have the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and my conclusion is ….

i’m not sure?  i’m not sure

As Deaf folks in the U.S. of A. and on this wee thing we call the planet EARth – i aint so sure so i thought id examine this question via a series of entries.

so this series may seem a wee bit science ficitonish but what im putting forth are truths and i KNOW how we connect the dots is gonna depend entirely on where we are standing – i.e. “our centers.”  if we r of the mind that to be deaf is a bad thing then what may be coming down the pipe will be a good thing and long awaited with anticipation.  if we r of the mind that to be Deaf is a GRAND thing then what may be coming down the pike will be a bad thing and long feared with an impending sense of doom.

why would i want to examine this with ya all?

i have no bloody idea except for: the truth campaign (soul force / truth force – thank u gandhi for haunting me), quest to make the invisible visible, and i got a big picture frame of mind these days (ohhh and recent PROOF that the weapons of mass destruction were fabricated and knowing over 100,000 have been killed, and billions of bucks spent, and… makes me feel all the more obligated to get TRUTHS out as much as possible cuz time is of the essence and the 2nd waves of Oralism are crashing upon these shores folks.  Time to shore up)

so here we go taking the plunge:

The Right to Be… D E A F  (Part I)

Do we have this right?…. this right to be D E A F?

i’m just asking cuz some days it look like we dont

Lets take a stroll and see see

Suppose i got a big ole Deaf gene – most likely i will have been contacted by someone for my little ole gene pool to get examined and documented and quantified and classified and i will have gotten some GENETIC COUNSELING

i.e. someone will have sat me down to imply or overtly state that more of me would not be a good thing.  “just asking…” they might say to cover their basis.  Do u really want to pass on ur “difference” (this is 2011 and not too many folks still say what they think – which is “affliction” “infirmity” “disease” or “disorder” <unless u r the National Institute of Health – NIH – then u can classify us as a communication disorder)

it happens folks

it is happening folks – get that oar of yours out of the denial river would ya?

(i know i know – waking up is hard to do but… we gotta do it so we can do do – the right thing)

it happens that Deaf folks r routed to genetic counseling and their blood is gathered and analyzed and classified.  One Deaf guy i know who comes from a long line of Deaf folks says he is constantly getting contacted to “participate in a study….” (ie collect samples off of him).  When i asked – “different folks contacting u?  not the same office or study?”  he said, “different, many too many to count.”  I ask “how do they find you?”  he said, “i have no idea but they find me.”

so this makes me think there is a LIST folks

a registry

that is checked off on who has been gotten and documented and who is on the wish list

and i can assure you from my study of eugenics (largely via the Nazi movement) the zest and quest to collect and quantify Deaf folks genes in the U.S. of A. is NOT to make more of us  (i could be wrong – i aint always right.  it could be all this “collecting and tracking” is just good ole science for the sake “knowing” and nothing more or less – however, the signs seem to indicate otherwise and the literature review seems to indicated otherwise too – folks r aiming to annihilate the Deaf gene and there is $$ in patenting genes so u can then control the market on the test and treatment there of – cha ching goes the cash register – there is money in them thar ears before they are even ears – cool?  not)

Not sure?  dont believe me?  just check out that NIH link above and visit the Center for Disease Control re: research and tracking while your at it and the Deafness Research Foundation

i guess it would be ok if all this push for tagging the Deaf gene and wee thing that had it was to actually protect like with endangered species (catch, tag, release back in their natural habitat, protect them from being hunted down and captured, foster ways to help them reproduce to make more, etc) but actually it is often for the opposite purpose (prevention, abortion, termination, alteration, eradication, etc)

now suppose i got a big ole Deaf gene (or the cause of my being Deaf is an unknown) and suppose i want to donate my sperm (if im an XYer) or eggs (if im an XXer) cuz there is money in them thar sperm and eggs too – what am i gonna see on the fertility clinic door?

“no dogs or Deaf donate”


this is the pre-baby making road

now suppose i need help getting my eggs and my mate’s or donors sperm to meet up and get happy i.e. IVF and the fertility clinic does a little pre-wash of the little bugger=baby-to-be to see see it is “fit”

and suppose they find its got the Deaf gene – can i use it? can it go in with the other “clean” ones to increase my chances of pregnancy ?- nope, will say most places, nope.  Its gotta be trashed.

but most likely they wont even tell ya – like the Human Resources advise at the coffee shop in the “What would you do?” TV program? – the fertility folks will just deep six the “bad ones” – slip it under the table and into the reject bin of “hazardous waste” so you will never know.

(apparently its only discrimination if you actually say it – not if you do it and no one catches ya.  and in the UK it is mandated by law that a clinic must toss the “defective” ones.)

now suppose i didnt need no help and bingo “i’m with child” and suppose the doctor takes an interest in my ears over my uterus & my human rights.  So i get a lot of “helpful” pressure to do the amniocentesis thingy with the “babe-to-be best-interest-in-mind” – hmmm its really in THE fetus’ best interest to be terminated if its less than “perfect” hmmmmm


but supposed i hang tough and me and me partner say – Deaf fetus, cool beans?

or suppose we insist in “being surprised” cuz we dont care if we paint the room blue and the jammies r pink and the ears don’t work.  it matters not to us

what is the next phase in the SYSTEMS THAT BE in communicating – we (society) dont really want ye kind (i.e. Deaf) around here no more?

stay tune for Part II

Summary of Part I – nope the folks-to-b do not have the right to be Deaf

Images from:

Police Off for Murder of John T Williams

ADDED 2/17/2011 – Ian Birk, the police officer who killed John T Williams, has tendered his resignation from the Seattle police force.

ADDED 2/19/2011 – Demonstrators class with Seattle police.  Pepper spray used.  Back window of police car blown out – police forget to park the car and it rolls into a police van and hits someone.


Summary of video:

Why no mention of John being Deaf?

Links below with more information and links.  The main point of this vlog is to share that i would like to see the Deaf community do something – send a message of our concern about the shooting of John T. Williams of the First Nation, Seattle, Washington  by a policeman who saw him walking with a small knife and piece of wood.  John himself was a wood carver, an artist.  The police pursued him and called out to him to drop the knife.  John being a hard of hearing / partially Deaf person – it is unclear if he heard the officer’s orders.

From the time the officer first called out to John and the time he shot him – was only 4 seconds.  Not minutes – 4 S E C O N D S!

He shot and killed John.  Today Seattle, Washington prosecutor’s office announced they will not be charging the officer with the murder of John T. Williams.  I’m shocked.  I was concerned about whether or not they would do right.  I had no idea.

They did have an inquest in which 8 jurors listened to all the testimony, witnesses and reviewed all the evidence.  The witnesses said they did not see John threaten the officer.  Four jurors said that John was not a threat to the officer.  One juror said he was and three said they were unsure.  The prosecution said based on those mixed results, it is not enough to charge him with murder.  In Seattle, Washington they have a provision that if a police officer is threatened or a person is a threat to society, the police officer may shoot to kill.

The next step is that the police dept will do their own investigation to determine if they will keep him on the police force or not.  Keep or terminate.  He already turned in his gun and his badge and has been on paid leave during this investigative process.

Prior to the inquest there was a departmental fire arms investigation which determined that the shooting was NOT JUSTIFIED because it was too fast – regardless of if he was threatened or not – they determined it was not proper police procedure.  Based on this previous determination, it will probably lead the new police investigation to terminate the officer but the prosecution office will not charge him with murder.  He may possibly loose his job but not his freedom because of the defense that he was threatened.  Another possible next step would be for the case to go to civil federal court.

What hit me today is in reading a couple of articles and blogs from that area is there is no mention of John being Deaf.  No mention of his being Deaf or hard of hearing – did he hear the orders or not – NOTHING!

During the inquest they asked several questions to the jurors but none of the questions asked “if John T Williams heard the officer?  Did he know to drop the knife to fully turn around and see the officer?”   They were asked if he had turned around to help determine if John was a threat or not because if his back was turned to the officer – how could be be a threat.  I think only a few said he had partially turned.  It was very unclear.  But did John fully hear and understand what he was being ordered to do – that question unattended to.  To me it is a most salient question.  Very important.  There were witnesses there – did john stop and fully turn around and respond to the officer.

I’m very disappointed.  One article said several groups and organizations wrote letters to the prosecutions office expressing their concerns.  I’m wondering if the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) sent anything?  Any other Deaf groups send letters.  Its important.  I know many members of the community – Native American and Seattle, Washington community will host rallies to show how upset they are.  I hope members of the Deaf community will be represented there as well.  I’m concerned that a significant part of who John was is being overlooked in the whole process.  Thank you.


Past “People of the Eye” Entries about John T Williams Case

Being Deaf is Deadly? (Has several other videos)

More Links on the Shooting of John T Williams

4 votes – Williams Not Imminent Threat

Letter sent:

Dear Members of the Seattle Police Force:

We know you all have a MIGHTY hard job and we would hate to have your job. We are thankful that there are folks willing to risk their lives to protect the city of Seattle

We are very sad and sorry that one of your own pulled the trigger four times on one of our own – John T. Williams – unjustly, unfairly, unnecessarily, and uncompromisingly.

We watch with eager eyes as Seattle works to right the past wrongs of police brutality and errors (see ACLU letter to the US Dept of Justice Civil Rights Division) – especially those that have been born out of racism, classism, ageism, ableism and audism*. More awareness of Deaf folks as a cultural, linguistic, and differently abled group is very much needed. Too many folks have been killed in the line of simply living Deaf lives. We look forward to seeing the police force and the city of Seattle work towards being peace officers as well as police officers.


Concerned Members of the Deaf Community

Definition of Audism from Audism Free America:
Audism is attitudes and practices based on the assumption that behaving in the ways of those who speak and hear is desired and best. It produces a system of privilege, thus resulting in stigma, bias, discrimination, and prejudice—in overt or covert ways—against Deaf culture, American Sign Language, and Deaf people of all walks of life.

LRE vs. MRE = what’s it gonna be for ye?

Least Restrictive Environment vs. Most Restrictive Environment

Often LRE = Least Restrictive Environment in PL 94-142 – the IDEA LAW is interpreted to mean “public school in child’s home district” but many folks have said:

– what about the socio-emotional component

– what about a sense of belonging

– what about direct instruction

– what about a natural and fully accessible language

– what about cultural literacy

– what about Deaf ways of doing and being that Deaf teachers and teachers of the Deaf know and understand and utilize????

Recent research findings show:

  • The deaf students who perform best academically usually are the ones whose parents have effectively communicated with them from an early age.
  • Children who sign early on generally outperform those who do not sign during their early school years.
  • Early language skills-both American Sign Language and spoken language- correlate with reading ability, with no evidence that one is necessarily better than the other.
  • Most deaf students’ difficulties in reading are mirrored by difficulties in understanding sign language.
  • Deaf and hard-of-hearing children entering school often are lagging behind hearing children in their knowledge of the world, number concepts, and problem-solving skills, not just in language.
  • Deaf students do not always learn, think, or know in the same ways as hearing children.

above from http://www.ntid.rit.edu/news/deaf-education-new-philosophy

According to Dr. Marc Marschark “86 percent of deaf students in the U.S. are in mainstreamed programs all or part of the day. In many cases, they are the only deaf or hard-of-hearing student in their school.”

Deaf schools have continually been at the mercy of state budgets and politicians who have no knowledge of Deaf culture, ASL, bilingualism and Deaf rights.  Links below re: threats to Deaf schools.

A Deaf mind is a horrible thing to waste – get busy making sure Deaf folks are not automatically mandated into MRE situations

LRE vs. MRE = what’s it gonna be for ye and the wee things?

“So long as there are two deaf people upon the face of the earth and they get together, so long will signs be in use.” J. Schuyler Long (1910)




threat to Deaf Schools in NY state


2 Deaf youths letters to Gov Cuomo


Mother’s experiences with children in mainstreaming, home schooling and Deaf School (additional links at the bottom also)


Save 4201 Schools Now! A short film


Texas School for the Deaf – possible lawsuits to public schools


Kansas School for the Deaf


Blog entry about possible threats to Deaf schools from Jan 29, 2009 (old but still has important information)


Deaf Ed timeline – Love vs Fear / Bravery vs Cowardness

Ya Basta = "enuf is enuf" image from http://poelocso.blogspot.com/2008/08/ya-basta.html

A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.

~ Mahatma Gandhi

“Wherever the deaf have received an education the method by which it is imparted is the burning question of the day with them, for the deaf are what their schooling make them more than any other class of humans. They are facing not a theory but a condition, for they are first, last, and all the time the people of the eye.”

~ George Veditz,  1910

Peaceful Civil Disobedience works

Soul Force / Truth Force ROCKS and ROLLS and RUMBLES and… soars

it truly does – dont believe me?  just check out the ouster in Egypt! (see video below of Deaf Egyptians peacefully protesting) – who knows what will come of it now with the military in power but how the Prez got the boot was by the folks finding their roots

so which way is the pendulum gonna swing this time around for Deaf education.

– towards justice or injustice – quality or inquality – humanity or inhumaneness?

Lets just review where we been so far so we know how we got to where we is now and we can STAND and work to be change agents for the greater good.

Deaf Ed TIME (keeps on slippin’ or they are a changing?) line:

(let me know of any errors or things u feel should be added.  Its not comprehensive – but rather singles out the pattern of oppression and resistance)

In the Beginning – pockets of Deaf w / Natural Sign Language communities here and there

educating Deaf kids (usually from wealthy families) –  largely tied to clergy or religious institutions – some with sign and/or fingerspelling some without

1760 Institut National de Jeunes Sourds de Paris founded – uses signed systems to teach French as well as content areas – later used French Sign Language (LSF) and a bilingual-bicultural approach

1817 American School for the Deaf founded by Thomas Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc (and other benefactors) – American Sign Language is born out of LSF, Martha Vineyard’s Sign Language, Native American Sign Language, and home signs

Many Schools for the Deaf established in the US – many of them have Deaf superintendents and Deaf teachers and utilize sign language and English.

1880 ICED Milan Congress – beginning of 130 years of the belief and practice of Oral / Aural as being the superior method of teaching Deaf children.

The Dark Ages of Deaf Education – The Campaign against Natural Signed Languages Reigned Supreme

Pockets of resistance to the inhumanity of oralism – see Veditz, McGregor, and Hotchkiss 1913 films from the NAD Motion Picture project (1910-1920)

Almost all the education in the U.S. is under the pure oralism method (fingerspelling allowed in a few schools)

Deaf children are physically punished for signing and/or physically coerced to be oral / aural-only.  Parents are instructed not to sign with their children at home.

almost a century under Oral / Aural-only rule…

1964 Babbidge Congressional Report calls Oralism (oral-aural-only) a dismal failure.

1960s-1970s American Sign Language is documented and validated as a real language.

1970 Auditory Verbal Therapy established oral / aural-only therapy that excluded the use of signing and lipreading in a effort to augment Deaf children’s listening and speaking skills only.

1970s Total communication (a philosophy of whatever it takes / anything goes) is introduced to Deaf education as a way for allowing some form of signing back into the classroom.

1975 PL 94-142 (now known as IDEA) Mainstreaming Mandate is passed.  Get ye with wee ears to the public schools – like it or not we dont care.  We want to be fair by making u sink or swim so there, there.  Off ya go.

1970s – 1980s Numerous sign systems are invented – SEE I, SEE II, LOVE, Signed English, Simultaneous-Communication (sim-com, basically signs supporting spoken English)

Mid 1980s Commission on the Education of the Deaf (COED) states that mainstreaming and Total Communication are not consistently effective and many kids are drowning in the mainstream

All the kings horse and all the kings men (signed systems, interpreters, notetakers, paraprofessionals, FM systems etc etc) aint putting the kids back together so good

Deaf schools down size due to the mass migration to the mainstream and thus the Deaf schools are perceived to be Last Resorts and “dumping grounds” for students that districts dont want to deal with.

1980s Cochlear Implant companies and surgeons getting busy with with single channel implanting.

“Although there a many reasons why cochlear implants have become as successful as they are in helping deaf people with profound hearing loss to hear sound, it is the courage and commitment of a small group of clinicians and parents of deaf children who were instrumental in the eventual success of this technology for children,” continued Eisenberg, who was an audiologist on the first pediatric cochlear implant team in 1980.


[NOTE: the omission of any mention of the courage of the Deaf children themselves]

1988 Deaf President Now – peaceful protest at Gallaudet University for a Deaf president after 124 yrs of Hearing presidents.  Hailed as a Civil rights movement by Dr. I King Jordan, who became the first Deaf president of Gallaudet as a result of the protest.

1998 Early Hearing Detection Intervention (EHDI) begins

1990 Americans with Disabilities Act passed and signed into law by George Bush Sr

1990s-now Cochlear Implant revolution contrary to concerns raised re: ethics, consent, safety, language and cultural development

1990 the FDA lowered the approved age for implantation to two years

1998 the FDA lowered the approved age to 18 months

2000 the FDA lowered the approved age to 12 months

(note: some Drs are doing bilateral implant surgeries as young as 6 mo in the US)

1990s-2000s – early implantation, AVT, mainstreaming boom, option schools pop up, Deaf schools downsized, threatened, and closed

2000s – numerous recalls of various Cochlear Implants due to safety issues (recalls mostly of Advanced Bionics CI products).

2003-2006 Death from meningitis that developed post-Cochlear Implant surgery in patients with the Advanced Bionics CIs with a positioner.  Product recalled and meningitis vaccinations strongly urged.

200os Deafhood and Deaf Gain concepts introduced, video phone, blog/vlogsphere and Deaf cinema booms, media in the hands of Deaf folks, etc

Spring + Fall 2006 Unity for Gallaudet Protest

2007 Gallaudet Unversity officially goes bilingual-bicultural

April 2008 A G Bell’s  Pepsi letter stating “…we would be remiss if we did not call your attention to the fact that your advertisement offers a limited view of the deaf community.”

And went on to say:

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.

In addition to AG Bell’s own members, NAD and DBC wrote letters expressing their discontent with the AG Bell letter to Pepsi.  AG Bell refused to retract the letter.

Spring 2008 The Deaf Bilingual Coalition announces rally and free conference in Milwaukee, Wisc at the same time as the AG Bell Conference

June 11, 2008 AG Bell Association releases a position paper on American Sign Language, where they validate some old news – “AG Bell acknowledges ASL as a language in and of itself.”

Yep there is only about 1 paragraph out of 7 that really talks about American Sign Language – the rest is spin and pumping up their oral-aural onlyness.  it is basically a Position Statement that says – “We here at AG Bell tolerate ASL by those who subscribe to that thar “culture” and “different” grammar etc but look over here at what WE do with English and mouths and ears dear parents.  this position statement was the handy work of the handy Catherine Murphy who is now the PR person at Gallaudet.

June 27-30, 2008 DBC conference and peaceful rally and march across from AG Bell conference.

July 2008 FDA wins settlement against Advanced Bionics for $1.1 million and fines their CEO $75,000 for faulty CI (moisture leak causing intermittent shocks)

Feb 2009 NAD announces budget threats to Deaf Schools

April 2-3, 2009 Audism Free America historic rally and meeting with the CEO of AG Bell Association, Alexander Graham, AG Bell communication director, Catherine Murphy, and three other representatives of AG Bell to discuss the three AFA demands.

Nov 2009 AG Bell Academy votes to change the Auditory-Verbal Therapy principle #3:

3. Guide and coach parents to help their child use hearing as the primary sensory modality in developing listening and (added) spoken language without the use of sign language or emphasis on lipreading.

May 2010 NAD position on Deaf Schools

June 2009 Dept of Justice fines Cochlear Americas $880,000 for kick backs & fraud.

2010 AG Bell pulls the Advanced Bionics Banner from its website but keeps up their Circle Alliance Founding Partners (Advanced Bionics and Cochlear Americas logos)

Spring – Fall 2010 CA proposes AB 2072 – bill proposed to mandate that parents go to an audiologist to receive a brochure listing various options including pure oral / aural only.  Bill sponsored by pro-oralism organizations and medical professions, bill opposed by grassroots Deaf bilingual-bicultural organizations and individuals.

July 2010 ICED Vancouver New Era agreement – oral / aural-only mandate (ICED 1880 Milan) declared to be wrong and apologized for.  New principles of accord for our future established.  “Nothing about us, without us” and no denying a natural and fully accessible signed language to Deaf children (WFD, UN – CRPD, ICED 2010)

Sept 29, 2010 Governor Schwarzenegger vetoes AB 2072 – ie the Yellow Shirts win.

Nov 2010 Sovona Advanced Bionics recalls its HiRes 90K Cochlear Implant and closes down production and implanting due to some internal CIs failing hot.

2011 AG Bell pulls its Circle Alliance Founding Partnerships (Cochlear Americas and Advanced Bionics) from its website

Sept 2011 Cochlear implants in the news
COCHLEAR co. recalls its CI500 range cochlear implants – shares plummet overnight


MED-EL announces its new super small cochlear implants approved for U.S. markets

Advanced Bionics announces it had FDA re-approval to market its Hi-Res 90K cochlear implants in the U.S.

link to entry that has links to both MED-EL and AB press releases which went out on the same days as COCHLEAR released the news of its recall – interesting, eh?


2011 and beyond –

  • more Deaf schools closing vs more Deaf programs going bilingual-bicultural (or multi)?
  • more technology to make Deaf folks undeaf vs lessdeaf or semideaf or more acceptance, tolerance, appreciation and LOVE?
  • more signed systems and codes and tower of babel vs more recognition, appreciation, celebration, and expansion of ASL?

Fear and Cowardness vs. Love and Braveness

Fear is not a disease of the body; fear kills the soul. ~ Gandhi

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. ~ Gandhi

I hope you will cherish and defend our beautiful sign language as the noblest gift God gave to the Deaf. ~ George Veditz

What’s it gonna be, folks????

– our future is in our hands

1 2 3 push and jump

or sit spin and stand by

NOTE: updated 2/14/2011 to include AB 2072 and Cochlear implant suits and recalls

NOTE: updated 2/16/2011 – title change to include “Deaf Ed timeline…” and AVT guideline #3 moved from 2010 to Nov 2009


Civil Disobedience rocks

Video from Mostafa Emil

Happy Valentines Day ya all.

I love ya.

me first vlog (NOV 2007) re: love vs. fear and standing up instead of standing by

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