Call Cuomo, Links & Letters re: 4201

folks are URGED to call the gov. office as the next two weeks will be intensive discussions of the budget with the NY assembly and senate.  (518) 474-8390

Simply say: I oppose Gov. Cuomo’s budget proposal to shift funds away from 4201 schools

scroll down to see

  • 2nd letter to Gov. Cuomo re: his proposed shell game budget for 4201 schools
  • thank u letters to my NY assemblyman and senator (15 march 2011), which are basically revised letters of the first letter  i sent to Gov Cuomo

to Sign the petition to oppose Gov Cuomo’s shfity shifting of $ away from 4201 schools go to:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/save-ny-4201-school-funding/

Pls sign folks (no matter where u live) – it only takes a minute and is a very secure petition system.  Also spread the word – the more names the better!

For more info on the Oppose Cuomo’s budget proposal for 4201 schools, see:

tp://www.deafnyaction.org/

http://www.rsdeaf.org/news.asp?action=view&ID=584

http://4201schoolsassociation.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.facebook.com

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Letter to NY Governor Cuomo Opposing his proposed budget re: 4201 funding (submitted online and mailed 19 March 2011)

18 March 2011

Greetings Governor Cuomo:

I would like to commend the NY state assembly and senate in working to restore funding to the 4201 schools that serve Deaf, Blind and severely disabled students.  By law there are to be alternative types of programs offered to different populations so that they are not pigeonholed into a one size fits all model.   Many people who have been mainstreamed share how “inclusion was an illusion” and they often felt isolated.  Sadly, this is not an isolated case of just one or two students by rather of many.  While some may do well and prefer a mainstream setting, many others thrive in programs where they have access to fully accessible language, teachers who understand and value what they bring to the table that is unique and diverse, and allow them to not have to “work for their words” but rather spend their energies and brain power on learning content areas and engaging in creative, active and full participation rather than spending their days on the sidelines.

I regret that you did not stop by the rally for 4201 schools in Albany on Thursday.  The hall was overflowing and the spirits were high and enthusiastic for the call that our fundamental principle for which this country was formed be upheld: “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.”

Equality is not based on putting everyone into the same environment and expecting them to sink or swim but rather on ensuring that barriers and discriminatory practices are removed from their environment to ensure equality of condition.  It was inspiring and amazing to see student after student and parent after parent sing the praise of their 4201 schools on Thursday in Albany.  Just as it was when we marched out front to stand outside in the rain and cold to chant and cheer – to be heard and seen. It was beautiful to see the citizens of our good state exercising and cherishing our first amendment rights of freedom of speech and assembly to send a very clear message to you that you shall not violate existing federal legislation that ensures that Deaf, Blind and Severely Disabled students have suitable and equal education.

Given the fact that Deaf people make up a cultural and linguistic minority, your push to eliminate and/or severely reduce Deaf schools has a significant impact and is in danger of putting an ethnic group at risk. You may not be aware of the long campaign against American Sign Language in this country and the long legacy of trying to keep Deaf people away from each other by isolating them in Hearing schools across the country in an effort to diminish Deaf culture and ASL (ie a cultural and linguistic genocide) but these efforts have been ongoing.  ASL & English education and Deaf schools do the “greatest good for the greatest number.”  Thus, your proposed budget to shift funds away from 4201 schools is all the more perilous.

We very much look forward to seeing you work to restore the 4201 funding and work with the schools to make fiscal accommodations as needed during these hard times while ensuring their commitment to American Sign Language & English and a top quality education for Deaf students, in addition to all the important and wonderful work that happens at the 4201 schools across the state.

As one young protester signed-chanted outside your building on Thursday – “Stop ignoring us now, stop ignoring us now, stop ignoring us now.”  The problem is not that the students do not hear or see, the problem is that you do not listen and understand.  I voted for you and would like to vote for you again.  I truly hope you will do the right thing.  A shell game with dollars that leaves Deaf, Blind and Severely disabled students out in the cold is not fiscally responsible, admirable, wise, right, just or good.

Peace,

Patti Durr

Encl: My first letter

ADDED: https://handeyes.wordpress.com/2011/02/22/letter-to-gov-cuomo-re-4201-schools/

———————————————————————————————————————–

Thank you letter to NY State Assemblyman Morelle

from          patti durr
to morellej (at) assembly.state.ny.us
date Tue, Mar 15, 2011 at 9:53 PM
subject Thank you for working to restore funding for 4201 Schools
)

Honorable Assemblyman Morelle:

I want to thank you and your fellow assembly representatives for commitment to restore funding for NY state 4201 schools due to the fact that Governor Cuomo’s proposed budget 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.

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.

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

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 Governor Cuomo 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 the Governor 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.  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.

Thank you for ensuring our NY state government will not be ripping out the roots & in turn denying these children their wings.  I wish you and your representatives all the best in coming to an agreeable and just budget.

Peace,

Patricia Durr

———

Auto reply from Morelle:

from   morellej (at) assembly.state.ny.us
to pattidurr
date Tue, Mar 15, 2011 at 9:53 PM
subject Auto: Thank you for working to restore funding for 4201 Schools
Dear Friend:
Thank you for taking the time to contact my office to express your opinions.
Due to the high volume of e-mails we receive on a daily basis, I am sending this to confirm that I am in receipt of your e-mail.  Please, expect a more in-depth response shortly.
Once again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.  If I can be of any further assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Warmest personal regards,
Joseph D. Morelle
Member of Assembly

——————————————————————————————————————

Thank you letter to NY State Senator Robach

from patti durr
to robach (at) nysenate.gov
date Tue, Mar 15, 2011 at 9:57 PM
subject Thank you for supporting NY 4201 schools

Dear Senator Robach:

I want to thank you and your fellow NY state senators for your commitment to restore funding for NY state 4201 schools due to the fact that Governor Cuomo’s proposed budget 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.

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.

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

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 Governor Cuomo 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 the Governor 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.  Deaf children and their families deserve suitable, humane, egalitarian, academically sound and just alternatives.

Thank you for ensuring our NY state government will not be ripping out the roots & in turn denying these children their wings.

Peace,

Patricia Durr

——————

NO REPLY FROM ROBACH
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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karen Mayes
    Mar 20, 2011 @ 11:47:20

    Great tips…giving us an idea of how to write to Cuomo. Yeah, you are right…I did spend $16 on sending the letter overnight to him and all I got was a copy of the letter template which did not address 4201 schools at all.

    I hope not to get more copies of the same letter, ha. Oh, I am using the regular stamps instead.

  2. patti
    Mar 20, 2011 @ 13:09:43

    Karen – i know it feels like being slighted when you don’t get a personal response but NEVER doubt u are making a substantial impact with all ur important advocacy for 4201 schools.

    Ya totally are.

    Its worth the money, time, care, concern, and love you have put into it.

    Ill be calling the governor’s m-f and again the following week

    every bit helps

    peace

    patti

  3. Trackback: Ya hoo – 4201 victory! « PEOPLE OF THE EYE -…first, last, and all the time” – g. veditz 1910

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