this here is a long one and i have trimmed it several times (imagine!!!!! geez big picture thinking never affords for less-is-more at least not with me. so i apologize for the lengthiness but i been thinking and when im thinking lots of things come clear)
Mishka Zena has brought forth some evidence on the connection between the AG Bell Association and the Deafness Research Center, which aim is for a Death of Deafness – see http://www.mishkazena.com/2011/06/13/is-agbell-assc-destroying-deaf-culture-you-decide/
and Hear Indiana is a chapter of AG Bell Association and they are being forced upon the Indiana School for the Deaf by the governor. (yes, its not cool to appoint UNqualified and BIASED board members onto a bilingual-bicultural school. – Monolingual oral / aural advocates are NOT qualified to guide a bilingual-bicultural school – common sense dude!)
In Mishka Zena’s blog she poses a Noble and Just Question – Is AGBell Assc. Destroying Deaf Culture?
and the answer is …. drum roll
YES AG Bell, da man, and the Association have been trying to destroy Deaf Culture
AG Bell the man and agency have NOT been shy (but they have been sly at times) about their ambition, values, and efforts
the good news is despite of all their efforts and arrogance – they have thus far FAILED.
Yep AG Bell association – u get a big Fat Red-hot F.
But the bad news is that all there efforts have made an adverse impact on Deaf folks, ASL, and Deaf culture
soooo……. Welcome to the War of Attrition, folks.
AG Bell and Assoc have been leading the campaign against American Sign Language for a MIGHTY lllllllooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggggg time!
“Enemies of the sign language, they are enemies of the true welfare of the deaf.” ~ George W. Veditz, 1913
I too was like Mishka Zena – not really wanting to SEE and BELIEVE a lot of the stuff that was out there but then whenever I kept pulling up and SEEING truths and facts and attempted to bring them into the light of day I was slapped in the face in return with…
By the very folks who were DEMANDING proof. That right there is very telling – that folks would say PROVE IT and when u do they would say “well no not really” and “that is debatable” or “look look look over here at this Mayan prophecy – ya better get busy stockpiling ur bunker” –
ohhh did I mention detraction, distraction, and drama triangle too
and did i mention to u all that the world is in fact ROUND? i know some folks will debate that but it is. They can just sail away off the edge of the earth with their bogus b.s. or they can WAKE UP. The option is all theirs.
and i do know that waking up is hard to do. i know this because i been-there-done that and i still dont like seeing the full truth – for example when folks who have cochlear implants tell me some things, often my first response is “No, that can not be” but then they demonstrate what IS and im like DANG!
(latest example is the person who told me they havent used their CI in about 3 years because the internal implant is broken and recently someone else with a CI told them – u know if u dont use it the magnet looses its magnetic powers over time – kind de-magnetizes. To which i said – that doesnt make sense – so he took a magnet that was there and ran it over his head and it would not catch. I said well did the magnet move – so he rubs it further and further away from the area of the incision – all over the area back and forth and says – NOPE NOTHING! and i was like hmmmmmm. I dont know the cause of it and when i asked someone at Cochlear Americas about it they said well maybe the magnet moved and i explained well how doe it get out of that little case and move and how far would it have had to move to not catch anything and GEEZ that is not good either. so either it went dead like the internal cochlear chip has gone dead or its wandering – yikes! See i do NOT want to learn these things but they keep falling into my lap!)
yep waking up is hard to do.
This is why…
This is why
Why we fight
Why we lie awake
And this is why
This is why we fight
(see the video with images from Deaf US history set to the lyrics of This is Why We Fight http://www.youtube.com/embed/mzlTK0n2jBE)
Grrr the war of attrition
(see the Right to be Deaf part I, II, III, IV in this blogsite and see how Deaf schools are under attack – put in Deaf schools and Institutions in the search box of this blogsite or just go see NAD’s latest vlog on the subject)
Yes AG Bell, da man, and the association have had its eyes on Deaf folks ears and mouths and their hands and eyes for a mighty long time
There chief aim, aspiration, and goal? “independence through listening and talking”
Problem: this implies / connotes / conveys that folks who do not speak or listen are not independent
Really? that is a major falsehood right there. Our declaration of Independence spells out that we r all created equal and must be treated as such.
boo – false advertising by AG Bell Association
AG Bell’s bread and butter is making the Deaf speak and hear. Wow is that not just so old and passé given the fact that ASL is quickly becoming the third most studied language in the US of A. Isnt that just so passé in a time when this country is becoming more and more diverse and where DIVERSITY is all the buzz and where we finally have an African-American president and soon someday may have a woman one. Isnt that just so old and passe when they still have not figured out why some Deaf folks can learn to speak and hear better than others – that it basically takes heroic means or the luck of the draw but there is no consistent and reliable magic wand for their “independence” illusion.
Now again I don’t begrudge anyone the ability to speak and listen – that is no biggie.
it is the EXCLUDING / EXTREMINATING /DENYING / VILIFYING of a Deaf child’s right to a natural and fully accessible language
that there is a PROBLEM and that there has been AG Bell’s specialty
Just see the mounting international documents that affirm this fundamental human right for Deaf children to sign language and the declarations of UNCOOL – the denying of natural signed languages – UNCOOL:
World Health Organization
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
ICED 2010 New Era and Accord for the Future
World Federation of the Deaf
¡Ya basta! AG Bell Association – ¡Ya basta! (¡Ya basta! means enough is enough)
AG Bell, the MAN, and the ORGANIZATION are rooted in social darwinist, eugenicist, and extremist practices and philosophies
I don’t care if u want to spin it as “positive” eugenics vs. “negative” eugenics – it makes no never mind to me.
Eugenics is eugenics. oppression is oppression. wrong is wrong. – and we can dress up stuff with a bunch of euphemisms all u like – “a dept of hygiene” that collects babies’ blood at birth and sedating babes to do HEARING tests so that they can strap them up as early as possible, and “options.” (that there to me is one of the most ridiculous euphemisms to come down the pike of Deaf education – “options” and “option schools” that actively PROHIBIT sign language and visual acuity)
But back to AG B and co.
Folks want proof – well all ya’ll got to do is open ur eyes
Yes yes I’s know they r deep sixing a lot of the proof but its all still there – what is THERE
and what has gone missing and the sin of omission – it is ALL very telling for those who are awake and aware
Lets start at the beginning (and yes folks I know audism, Oralism, paternalism, phonocentrism, etc were around long before AG Bell but we r applying a wee bit of FOCUS right now as they are the biggest bullies on the block and they have been weaving a very tangled web of which too many parents and Deaf children have been caught up in. We do this Ya Basta shout out for them and the new ones)
AG Bell da man – The Father of Audism
– the chief architect & advocate of the oral / aural ONLY exclusive method in Deaf Education in the US
– Banned ASL from the classroom
– Banned Deaf people from becoming teachers
– Tried to prevent Deaf to Deaf marraiges
– Aimed to close down Deaf publications, organizations and conventions
– Supported Eugenics
Children were regulated to forever more have to “WORK FOR THEIR WORDS”
Also under AG Bell’s reign of error – pure Oralism – came physical abuse. En masse – I have not found one Oral / Aural ONLY program that did not resort to some type of excessive punishment to coerce the children into compliance. Even RSD which allowed fingerspelling only (the Rochester method) had a small black isolation room to punish the signers in.
And here we mean much worse than the typical paddle to the bum that was allowed in all public schools back in the days of corporal punishment. Here we mean EXTREME #hit. Psychological, physical, social, cultural, and spiritual abuse.
It was rampant and AG Bell must have known of it – he visited schools, he worked in some schools, he spearheaded an association of “professionals” for the promotion of Oralism (along with being the Chairman of an Eugenics Society)
I aint saying he encouraged the abuse in the name of Oralism but I can not find ANYTHING that came from him or his organization or his publication (the Volta Review out of the Volta Bureau) that DISCOURAGED this. ODD, eh?
Now if he was such a benevolent chap and a leader in the field – why didn’t he call for an end to this abuse? Why didn’t he disavow it publicly? He was not shy about making public statements – not at all (except when he was about to be busted). Well, my guess is IF he did then in doing so he would have to admit and acknowledge that it was happening and he did not want his method and his crusade tarnished. At worse maybe he never spoke out against it because he saw it as a necessary evil in the effort to “restore the Deaf to society.” I know not. All I know is that he SAID NOTHING. Bystanding while grandstandings the wonders of Oralism is NOT COOL.
And everybody should have been screaming about the abuses that were taking place in Deaf education under the banner of Oral / Aural ONLYISM.
Given the fact that Bell is pretty much proven to be a master of deceit – see the Telephone Gambit by Seth Shulman, A Place of Their Own by Drs. Van Cleve and Crouch, Forbidden Signs by Dr. Douglas Baynton, When the Mind Hears and Mask of Benevolence by Dr. Lane – he has not proven himself to be very trustworthy and noble and good.
By any means necessary seemed ok with him – deep sixing and covering up truths seemed par for the course – he done it big time with the telephone plagiarism and theft and with Mabel’s age of onset for her “deafness”, with breaking his promise to EMG and going behind his back to Congress to demand that the Normal School (Deaf Ed. Teacher training program) at Gallaudet would only be funded if it only admit HEARING students (not Deaf – he did not like Deaf teaching Deaf), and by his dying words to his “Oral only” wife being on his FINGERTIPS and not on his lips.
There is more – there is more but u get the picture.
AG Bell was an extremist and his legacy is a BLACK mark on Deaf U.S. history. He imprinted the scarlet letter of A for audism upon the hearts, heads and souls of many a Deaf children. “you are children of a lesser god my darling but if u talk like me and walk like me, u shall inherit the earth”
another crock of crap cuz we all know that Deaf folks who can hear a plenty and speak a plenty still experience audism a bad-n-plenty.
Thankfully the truth always prevails and ASL and Deaf culture has SURVIVED despite and inspite of the war of attrition
(did u know that every 14 days a language goes extinct? – excellent link http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/enduring-voices/ but…
note this map and site does not acknowledge signed languages – grr phonocentrism, linguicism and audism by National Geographics and how ODD considering that AG Bell and his son-in-law took over this scientific society hmmm)
Now for the Association that bears AG Bell’s name:
AG Bell the Association has worked long and HARD to undermine Deaf culture and ASL.
Don’t believe me – read a bloody book would ya.
Of late what has AG Bell Association done to show it’s Anti-ASL and Deaf culture?
– Pepsi letter where it refers to Deaf folks who sign as isolated and dependent
– Pressuring the Smithsonian History Through Deaf Eyes exhibit not to show the black mark of Oralism on Deaf culture and ASL (i.e. trying to bury the truth)
– Denouncing Deaf ASL folks right to their first amendment (Free speech and assembly)
– AG Bell has advocated for AVT&CIs
– Pulling out Deaf oral folks for dog and pony shows
– AG Bell Association had a long running Circle Alliance Founders Partnership with two cochlear implant companies that have both been fined – Advanced Bionics fined for its faulty CIs that leaked and zapped and Cochlear Americas fined for kick backs with professionals (Dr, Audilologists, and speech and language pathologists) and insurance fraud)
– Has the Deafness Research Foundation as a sponsor for its conference – the Deafness Research Foundation has proclaimed its mission of eradicating deafness – “A Death to Deafness” and AG Bell accepts their money, their patronage, and their research
– Option Schools – AG Bell works closely with a lot of option schools – which actively prohibit ASL
– AG Bell Academy certifies folks all over the country in Auditory Verbal Therapy which while they recently chopped off the part in principle 3 that said no signing and lipreading in practice they are still training folks to use the fan thingy to cover up the lips and to discourage signing and visual acuity – thank gosh AG Bell does not work with blind folks. Who knows – they might make them wear ear guards and take away their white canes so they could be “independent” and “function” in a seeing world BETTER.
– AG Bell runs an Oral / Aural only camp – I could tell u stories of some students who attended and cried because they were picked on due to the fact that their speech and listening skills were not all that slicky and they were made to feel inferior.
– AG Bell association did not acknowledge ASL as a language in and off itself until very recently and still frames it as if it is some type of deviation to the natural order of things. Are they slow or what, huh???? – its just smoke and mirrors folks – they r trying to give themselves a bit of a facelift now that ASL is popular, baby signs are spreading, and world organizations are saying HEY NO BANNING SIGN LANGUAGE
– AG Bell association has not formally signed the ICED 2010 New Era Agreement and Accord for the Future and only takes out ONE sentence from the whole document and chops out the “remember history” part hmmmm – wow LAME and OBVIOUS. we can READ ya know. The WHOLE thing as in holistic
– Really it is endless – there is more and SOME DAY someone or two with a conscience will drag more stuff out into the sun for all to see but in the meantime we know this: – AG Bell Association does support oral / aural only programs and practices.
at the beginning of the new millennium – after the 2YK scare had gone and past – i was continually besieged by town criers saying a new era, a new world order, a new type of Deaf people were gonna be coming forward from the bowels of cochlear implantation, mainstreaming, and a decline of the Deaf schools by the year of 20-10
Odd – this is 2011 and while CI have INCREASED (wow and yikes) Deaf folks are still largely signing people and Deaf schools are still needed and wanted and Deaf are still Deaf. ODD, eh?
U can remote control them and they are still gonna be Deaf and they are still gonna be ENTITLED to a fully natural and accessible language and not having to WORK for their WORLDS all their waking hours.
Aint it ODD how Deaf folks actually want to stay in this Deaf-world while simultaneously enjoying the hearing world too – ie being bilingual-bicultural and aint it ODD how so many folks who were raised oral / aural ONLY come to the Deaf-world late in life and are like #hit and dang why wasn’t I given this a long time ago and despite having “independence through listening and talking” don’t want to go home for Thanksgiving cuz it’s a lot of work all that listening and talking.
Not only is the result that many of them are still estranged from their families but they are often estranged from Deaf ASL culture too. As Gina Olivia said in the documentary film “Through Deaf Eyes”
“I think Alexander Graham Bell’s greatest crime was keeping deaf people apart from each other. It wasn’t so much that he thought speech was important. Worse than that was that he didn’t want deaf people to marry each other. He didn’t want them to be near each other. He wanted them to be apart.”
so what do we get for all this Oral / Aural only independence BS: severed family relations, low literacy rates, employment discrimination, and a torn and tattered and tension riddled landscape
despite all the kings horse and all the kings men (even got a summer camp with horses to help Deaf kids learn to talk and listen – what geez colorado u r a beautiful state but my heavens Cochlears Americas, Otologics, and horses to make u work for ur words) – despite all these bells and whistles and accessories and mainstreaming mandate and ….. Deaf kids r still reading & a writing at low levels (so are hearing kids too – this is monolingual America where we cant even get our dominant language right)
So as the 2nd wave of Oralism has been roaring across the ocean and headed towards a Deaf school near you – the FACTS of the matter are:
AG Bell association has been aiding and abating this tsunami – it has been ACTIVE in trying to destroy Deaf culture and one of its main pillars – American Sign Language. Yes indeedy it has
Oralism, AVT+CIs, mainstreaming FAIL – by and large for the greatest number – they FAIL. They don’t fail everybody – some folks survive and succeed in conjunction with or inspite of but never BECAUSE of anyone of those 1 or the cocktail of those false prophets.
So now I bring u to Tove Skutnabb-Kangas point
– she said CI in and of themselves are not a crime against humanity
– she said developing oral skills in and of themselves is not a crime against humanity
BUT the coupling of CIs and oral / aural ONLYism is
It is a crime against humanity
It is a form of cultural and linguistic genocide
And that is not cool, fools
Plain and simple
See United Nations Convention on Genocide
There is a war of attrition going on
They will loose
Hatred, bigotry and injustice NEVER win when we have freedom fighters on the move
But we must move folks
We must move out of text boxes and the blogsphere and push our feet to the pavement – see Jeannette Johnson’s call for a march on Washington for
Spring 2012 http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_212057872158533
and in DC this July 21-23 is AG Bell Listening and Spoken Symposium where the PROFESSIONALS will be gathering
(NOTE: the title “Listening and Spoken Language” – isn’t that bad English? or is it bad ASL? or is it PSE? whatever it is – it seems a bit ODD – like bad grammar, no? – i mean verb agreement anybody? – but i aint no grammar professional and i certainly aint one to talk about bad grammar – just saying…. that there is an ODD title – AG Bell Listening and Spoken Language Symposium – huh?)
We must stand and stand again because ONE is TOO MANY
One person being told “u r not enuf “and” u r not ok unless u can speak and hear and act like they do” – that there is audism and that is one too many
Genocides have been perpetrated against disenfranchised groups throughout history – cultures and languages and PEOPLES have been literally wiped off the face of this planet
That is NOT cool
Yes we will always have Deaf folks on this planet – but Deaf folks as a PEOPLE – people of the handeye (a cultural and linguistic minority) ARE at risk in the…
war of attrition
The only thing that has ever SAVED the disenfranchised from oppression has been themselves – standing up, speaking up, acting up
They have NOT been saved by depending on the kindness of others
They have NOT been saved by resorting to exhortation or returned violence
They have NOT been saved by keeping their heads buried in the sand
They have NOT been saved by hyperboles and over dramatizing things
They have NOT been saved by denial and chastising
They HAVE been saved by the truth –
By seeking it and sharing it and standing by it
And by LOVE
Eyes of my Eyes are Open
_~ ee Cummings
SO AG Bell Assoc….
the clock is a ticking
and the bell is a tolling
can you hear us now?
How about now?
will u choose to be part of the “final solution” or part of justice and positive peace. it is time for u to undue ur shameful legacy and time for you to promote Deaf children’s right to a natural and fully accessible sign language (not just give lipservice). we see you AG Bell & co.
(True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice. ~ MLK Jr)