Jen Witteborg’s Letter to AG Bell Association

Folks are encouraged to exercise good courage and to share their truths with the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf.  For those that do not know the AG Bell Association (AGBAD) – it is an organization that was born on the bedrock of promoting and propagating pure Oralism (banning of American Sign Language from the school rooms and living rooms of Deaf children).  AG Bell Assoc. continues today to espouse its falsehood that one is made independent through listening and talking and that to hear and/or behave as a hearing person is superior to being Deaf.  This notion is known as audism and audism has been very destructive to the lives of Deaf folks and those who interact with Deaf folks – just as racism, sexism, heterosexism, antisemitism etc are destructive to the oppressed, the bystanders, and the oppressor.

Many Deaf lives have been interrupted due to the AG Bell Association’s promoting an exclusionary method and propagating the falsehood that to be Deaf is bad and ASL is an inferior language.   We are all interdependent folks and no one is superior to anyBODY.

Its ok to be Deaf folks – it really is ok.  and at times its dandy and handy to be so.  So…

It is not ok to deny folks a fully natural and accessible language or to judge folks based on what their ears and mouths do and not the content of their character (that is a prejudice folks and that is not cool).

Help AG Bell Association do right.  Send them a message of truth.  See brilliant and beautiful example below.

Alexander Graham (CEO) 202-204-4671 x 107
Susan Boswell (director of communications and marketing) 202-204-4687 x 127

Jen – thank you for your courage in creating this letter and for allowing us to share it here.

Making the invisible visible folks.  Every Deaf life is precious as is all life.

To ALL – if you send something to AG Bell and you would like it shared here – pls just let me know and will get it up.


————–Letter below by J. Witteborg ———————

On Sat, Jul 30, 2011

(Not so) Dear AGBAD,

From all the hearing people in my life – they tell me that I speak SO well – as if I were a hearing person. That said – let me tell you how I really feel.

I am a Deaf film maker, and not a hearing specialist. I haven’t any inclination to be a hearing specialist.

I am a survivor of the Oralism Only method from 1959 before mainstreaming was chic. My mother who knew fingerspelling and signs from her Deaf grandmother who lived with her family, was told not to sign by the doctors and the so-called experts – the same ‘hearing specialists’.

This I just learned from my mother’s sister last weekend.

Do not send any unwanted nor insulting solicitation to those of us who are working in the Deaf field. I do not support oppressive organization and have no intentions of becoming a member of an organization that promotes oralism only, linguicism and audism.

How different – and much more engaging my childhood could have been if it were not for those hearing specialists of days gone by. Thank God, I learned signs at the age of 19 and my life became full and rich with people I could actually understand.

Thank God I didn’t succeed in killing myself at the age of 15 – how dare you to perpetuate the oralism only! I spoke, but I bluffed my way through life. No longer – never again!

LET EVERY DEAF BABY and CHILD learn American Sign Language (ASL) FIRST – lipreading/speech skills are NOT a language – the child can learn it later WHILE learning about Math, Science, Geography and English.

Stop misrepresenting ASL and Deaf Culture – it’s not an option – it’s the ONLY way to live a full life.

Stop promoting Oralism Only and AVT methods (My family is aghasted at such methods!)

APOLOGIZE for the harm your organization has done and is STILL doing by promoting oralism only, and such methods as C.I without ASL/Deaf Culture.

I would appreciate an answer!

Jennifer Witteborg
Witty Productions, LLC


¡Ya basta! AGBAD and Blue Tape

heye all –

Note: i type on behalf of me and not as AFA rep. right now but what i got to say is shared by MANY good folks on the ground so know in this – i do not STAND alone.

¡Ya basta!  AGBAD (note: ya basta means “enough is enough”)

did you know that the AG Bell Association has sent unwanted and insulting

From the letter AGBAD sent with free temporary membership card

temporary membership cards, letters and emails to folks falsely and incorrectly identifying them as “hearing specialists”? (staff from four schools have thus far reported receiving this junk mail – Rochester School for the Deaf, Kansas School for the Deaf, Indiana School for the Deaf, Fremont California School for the Deaf.  Others???)

NOTE: added 9/3/2011 – 10 confirmed schools and most likely all have received it.  link to listing of confirmed 10 scroll down

not cool on many levels not cool (u can see the blog entry on infiltration and propaganda for a big picture frame of mind)

AGBAD free temporary membership card

so what can u do about this?  how can you voice your discontent and ur objection to this misinformation and unwanted solicitation????

u can send them an email and call them (see sample below) – tweak the wording as u see fit

u can post a note in ur facebook

u can tweet and twitter

Alexander Graham (CEO) 202-204-4671 x 107
Susan Boswell (director of communications and marketing) 202-204-4687 x 127

Sample letter (note you can substitute out Deaf professional for Deaf community member, Deaf survivor of Oralims, or hearing professional or ally etc) – SAMPLE letter objecting to AG Bell temporary membership card and letter mailing 

Dear AGBAD: I am a Deaf professional not a hearing specialist. Do not send me any unwanted and insulting solicitation. I do not support oppressive organizations and have no intentions of becoming a member in promoting Oralism, Linguicism and Audism.
Let Freedom Roll.

(Your name here)


Audism Free America made copies of one of these AG Bell temporary membership cards with the recipient’s name blacked out and gave to each person who was at the AFA Vigil at the Volta Laboratory and Bureau on July 22 Friday evening and after each person shared their personal experiences with audism and Oralism they were invited to burn their temporary membership card.  Every act of STANDing up against oppression counts folks.  (note: it was VERY SAFE and PEACEFUL folks.  Police rolled by and lawyer was present.  it was POWerful and good.  and for folks who dont know about how and why folks burn things during civil disobedience events pls see Gandhi’s burning of the passes Indians were forced to carry in South Africa, Alice Paul and others’ burning of Woodrow Wilson’s words in front of the White House in their effort for democracy for women too via suffrage rights, anti-war protesters burning of draft cards, feminists burning of bras and note AFA did not do any burning of an effigy of AG Bell or anyone else that evening unlike the Deaf President Now protestors who burned effigies of Spillman and Zinser and the Unity for Gallaudet protestors who burned an effigy of Jane Fernandes.  I personally oppose the burning of effigies because it is violent imagery but it is still within folks right to do so – im just saying aint it interesting how some folks get upset when other folks do things fairly and justly and rightly)

so for those of u who can not burn a card or wish not to but still feel it is objectionable – pls at the very least make a call and/or send an email and post on ur facebook etc.

AFA communicated to AG Bell Association in advance that those cards were not cool and received no reply.

AFA also asked the Convention of American Instructors for the Deaf (CAID) if they could take some action re: the mailing of these cards / letters and emails by AG Bell to unsuspecting teachers of the Deaf etc – their representative said he would bring it up at their next monthly council meeting.

Much Ballyhoo about Blue Tape

Now for the blue tape – there has been lots of ruckus over some folks putting a wee bit of blue tape over a few words on an AG Bell plaque at the Volta Bureau – u can see the info at: and NAD rep, Sean Gerlis’s tweet on July 22, 2011 “On behalf of Bobbie Beth Scoggins, Prez of NAD & myself, we NAD do not condone this behavior from @endaudism to desecrate AGB’s building.”

Facts about the tape on a plaque at the Volta Laboratory and Bureau – AG Bell Association head quarters
1. Fri July 22, 2011 temporary tape was put over the words “Deaf and Hard of” plaque on the Volta Bureau so that the TRUTH could be told
“AG Bell Association for the X X X X Hearing.”

2. Police passed by several times. No complaints.  A civil rights lawyer was present and consulted during the vigil and all was cool.

3. The blue trim tape came down easily and without disfiguring or harming the plaque at all.

4. desecration applies to holy places – AGBAD headquarters is not a temple

5. defacing requires destruction or damage – there was none.

6. NAD representative, Sean Gerlis, said that AG Bell Volta Bureau was a federal building.  A young Deaf person called AG Bell Association to ask if in fact it is a federal building to which they said it is NOT, NOT, NOT a federal building.

(knowledge is power folks – follow the example of this smart young girl and pick up ur VP and ring a ling ling AG Bell.  The plaque that a few of our leaders were so eager to protect says AG Bell Association FOR the Deaf and Hard of Hearing so since the building is FOR you – you might as well give them a call and say not cool as u see fit cuz they are e/mailing your professionals and making them members against their wishes)

7. the VIGIL at the Volta Laboratory and Bureau of AG Bell Association was POWerful folks. Truths were told – many folks have been HARMED by linguistic and cultural oppression

8. falsehoods frack, audism sucks while civil disobedience rocks, truth force and soul force soar

we be making the invisible visible folks
-STAND folks and be seen

so now here i patti d do STAND and i got a few things to say from my heart

i hope u all will heed them and if the twisters try to spin ’em no worries.  i do not go to that portal, i do not read any of their funky junk cuz they have NO as in ZER O as in nada credibility and to all the good folks who still frequent those bad places of misinformation and get all worked up about it – it is not a good use of your time.  i speak from experience.  i love them but they gotta crash.  they will do it quicker and firmer if we STOP feeding them and fanning their flames.  they gonna burn out.  it is pitiful to behold so dont – dont watch.  dont feed.  dont fan.  dont comment. dont email. dont say look look over there.  just love them from a far.

re: the NAD apology – i personally accept it and AFA has accepted it.  NAD has made it clear in this letter that:

1. they support ASL for Deaf children – from NAD letter – “It is imperative that all deaf children grow up with and benefit from American Sign Language in their education…” this is huge and continually worth repeating.  this position makes the NAD STAND firmly on behalf of Deaf children’s right to a natural and fully accessible language which is the opposite position that AG Bell takes

2. NAD President Scoggins states “I sincerely apologize for any confusion that may have resulted from the unintended use of “desecration.”   Yes this could be worded more strongly but to me it is clear that she is apologizing for what was stated on her behalf in the twitter tweet cuz wrong is wrong folks and she knows it.  So i personally appreciate this acknowledgment. Does it have wiggle room?  could it be read as a hollow apology – “sorry ya all got confused by the unintended use of the term desecration” – sure it could be my read of it (and im a hoper girl) is that Dr. Scoggins is sorry cuz that there tweet was not sweet and the top and bottom paragraphs are WHAM strong and CHA important.

3. Now the next line is a bit of a pickle and Deaf folks have been quick to pick up on that.  Geez ya all can read can’t ya!  Odd, AG Bell folks and some of those statistical studies that folks like to throw in our faces say that ya all cant read past a 4th grade level hmmmm.  So in this sentence NAD president has affirmed AFA’s right to exercise free speech while asking that AFA “respect the NAD and its position that we do not engage or participate in any activities that will affect the property of others.”  Folks have noted that NAD did participate in Deaf President Now and the Unity for Gallaudet protests which both resulted in some destruction of property.

AFA has not asked the NAD to engage in any such activities but we are hopeful that some day if the occasion presents itself to peacefully and harmlessly to lay down a bit of blue tape vs. spreading a bit more red tape – that the NAD will go with blue.

4. NAD apologized.  AG Bell Association has NOT –

  • AG Bell must apologize for the offensive Pepsi letter (NAD, AFA, DBC and some of their own members condemn that letter and AG Bell’s response was ya all didnt read it right – ha!),

  • AG Bell must apologize for making people temporary members of their organization against their wishes and for mislabeling them as “hearing specialists,”

  • and AG Bell must apologize for its role in the reign of Oralism (Oral / Aural Onlyism)

Tell them u aint a child of a lesser god – cuz u truly aint

Now i know that many folks are skeptical re: the sincerity of NAD’s apology –  it is what oppressed folks often do – have healthy skepticism and also react to things closest too them cuz the BIG BAD BOYS are too far out of reach (but they aint folks we can reach them if we STAND).  its important that we keep hope faith and love ever present.  Not blind trust, not false faith and not limited love – we say what we got to say and we WATCH as the NAD continues to re-grow its roots.

We also shall not deviate our eyes from the prize – ie showing what AG Bell Association is up to and challenging it.  do not allow this to disintegrate into a fight about what one person mistakenly tweeted and do not make this be about him.  AFA and the cherished and beloved members of our commUNITY were in the sweltering heat of DC for three days rallying, meeting with the Dept of Education, hosting a vigil, and conducting a sit-in to combat systematic and institutionalized audism.  Remember the octopus folks.  (so dont ignore NAD but dont divert ur attention from AGB – see see?  cuz if we make this be about the NAD – AG Bell wins and is slap happy chappies)

And lastly – one of the greatest things i learned last week was how little we understand about the power of direct confrontation and civil disobedience.  every oppressed group i have ever studied has already employed civil disobedience in their struggle for equality.  We may be slow to the take because our very own have been so QUICK to chastise and admonish US and not THEM.

It is interesting to note that a hearing lawyer, a hearing patrol officer, and hearing neighbors all SAW what we were doing and no one SCREAMED desecration.  But within minutes of seeing one wee pix via twitter the NAD denounced this very very very benign act.

So just something to look at folks.

it is as if some folks have internalized the myth that Deaf folks are rude – please u can not believe how polite we have all been.  what has sitting quietly with ur hands folded waiting ur turn EVER gotten u except the slow and rude awakening that your turn never does come?  Dont u think its odd that folks are holding conventions ABOUT you, giving presentations on cultural and linguistic competence but you are not at the table, have erected HUGE monstrosities of buildings and systems to “serve” you but they do not want to hear what you have to say.  and still you say “ask nicely, behave, be nice, try the back door, lets get so and so into power and then s/he will change things from the inside”  dont u see that you are still waiting?  dont u see that the “in a minute, ill tell you later, its not important…” transcends just the family room and rules the board rooms.  arent you tired of it?  cant u see how beautifully the Deaf folks and allies on the ground rose and shown and soared on July 21, 22, 23 – ahhh i guess some of you couldnt cuz u were too busy to rush to judgment over one tweet – all credibility lost by whom?

huh?  by the folks that refuse to STAND against oppression me think, by the folks who refuse to have the “spiritual audacity to assert our somebodyness,” by the folks who continue to twist and spin, project, reject, deject, etc and still have no EFFECT while the waves of the 2nd wave of Oralism crash on our shores.

It is unjust folks – it is utterly unjust for some of u to sit back and preach and not do.  It is utterly unjust for some of u to choose to scold rather than be bold.  and it is a PATTERN.

We are moving on without u but when and if u do come – ill be the first to welcome ya.  I am a forgiving and loving chap.  I just want us to do right and not diss the very folks who have lived this hell caused by A G Bell.

yep – i just got meself all emotional thinking about a few of u who r so quick to undermine any measure of progress.  The vigil was powerful and u no like it.  So u distort and contort.  No worries.  We on the move

its ok – its part of the process of waking up and STANDing up.

And just for the record folks – AFA did send out info re: our rallies and events in advance to the media repeatedly but we have been told by MANY activist groups that it is nearly impossible to get any media attention in DC unless you take over a building, lock down a campus (hmmmm destruction of property??? unlawful assembly????), or get arrested.  That is just how it works in the capitol cuz on a daily basis someone is protesting something somewhere.  So u dont need thousands cuz even if u do u might not get any fan fare and pssssst the media rarely represents things honestly these days and we were not really there to get our pictures in the newspaper – we were there to make the invisible visible to the professionals who pay big money to be trained and certified and gold starred by an exclusionary and oppressive ideology and practice and to let the general public know and see.  We were also there for US.

you should have seen us – gosh and golly Deaf folks have mighty songs to sign-sing and we be doing them even up on the steps of the place that laid out our fate.

Now aint that beautiful?

now send in those emails to AG Bell Association or…. do nothing.  the option is all yours.



NOTE: Thank you to Barb DiGi for sharing the unwanted and unasked for membership card and letter.

Happy Belated B-Day Betty

All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story, to vomit the anguish up. ~ James Baldwin

Heye all –

did ya miss me?

Life has been quiet here at the People of the Eye as we all were busy making noise while we made the invisible visible in DC then i was off to the hill with me clan.  mighty fine mighty fine.  All of it  – so to each and all who did, do and will for ever more STAND. You are GRAND.  now take a bow and get busy some more ; )

And speaking of standing –

Dr. Betty G. Miller had another birthday the other day.  Ya hoo and congrats and so glad you were born Betty.  The art world would not be the same with out your vision, fortitude, brave heart, and good courage.

Betty has been and is the ultimate truthseeker and signer.  She will not be denied.  No way no how!

and how she shines – shines in spirit, shines in faith, shines in truth and has shined a spot light on that which is unjust and untrue and that which is grand and beautiful.

Betty has been labeled just about everything – angry, bitter, etc etc but if u meet her u will see she is pure love and honey smile.  She just is truthful (see her pow pow work “Ameslan Prohibited” – oppression aint cool folks) – and for some folks that is toxic.

if ya dont know who Betty G Miller is or what Deaf View/Image Art (De’VIA) is – shame on ya.  And keep readinb below.  knowledge is power folks.  read ’em, and weep for all that u have been denied (ASL and the right to know the good folks who have come before us and that we have an ART FORM of our own!) and weep for joy for all the folks who have stood long and strong.  Brave-hearts we got.

(and on a side note – in 2008 NTID held a huge one woman show of Betty G. Miller’s work and also the works of her Deaf father Ralph Miller – who Betty inspired to do De’VIA works late in life.  when we had her over for a potluck at our place with a bunch of local great Deaf folks who love art and activism – it was a blustery dark fall evening and when she was blown in through the doorway with her hat, cane, shawl and her partner Nancy Creighton lovingly close behind – my Z turned to me and fingerspelled – “is that Mrs. Whatsit?” to which i laughed very hard.  Betty truly does have mystical powers.  There is no doubt in me mind)

Note: the below is from a Clerc Scar write up i did in 2009 but the 75th has been changed to 77th at bottom and links added.

Portrait of Dr. Betty G. Miller

Betty was given this title–the mother of De’VIA–by Chuck Baird for being one of the first known Deaf artists to create a strong body of work about the Deaf experience. Betty was born to Deaf parents, one of which was a commercial artist–Ralph Miller. Ralph would later follow in his daugher’s footsteps and create De’VIA works. Even though Betty received ASL in the home, as a hard-of-hearing person she was subjected to an oral-aural education. Many of her works resist oppression by exposing the audism behind such programs. In addition to having the first solo show of works focusing on the Deaf experience, she also was instrumental to the mid-1970s Deaf artists colony called Spectrum. It was based in Austin, Texas.

Betty was also a pivotal figure in bringing together the group of Deaf artists that coined the term Deaf View / Image Art (De’VIA) and composed the manifesto in 1989. A few of Betty and her father’s original paintings can be purchased via Etsy: Her works are also reproduced in calendar, t-shirt, or other forms, available for purchase at

Deaf collectors, organizations and institutions should definitely consider investing in a Betty G. Miller original. De’VIA artists need and deserve patrons. The activism and creativity that Dr. Miller has invested in documenting and commenting on the Deaf experience via her artworks has been critical in giving a visual voice to our collective experiences.

Birth of a Deaf Woman Painting by Bettigee

Birth of a Deaf Woman by Betty G. Miller

The artwork explored in this Tour is “Birth of a Deaf Woman” by Betty G. Miller.

The large square canvas’ central figure taking up most of the composition is a full-figured woman in hues of pink. Her face has a quiet intensity with her eyes looking downward, almost closed, deep in concentration. Around her head are ripples of blues and pink. They give a dynamic feeling of energy radiating out from her–almost forming a halo. The hands of the woman are the focal point of the painting. They are positioned as if beginning to sign the word “birth.” The contour of the “birth” handshape is echoed in the outline of the pubic area. Some people upon viewing this work, comment on seeing a double image in the woman’s right arm–the outline of a baby beginning to nurse.

This work sends an affirmative message about womanhood and Deafhood. The nude figure references nature, organic beauty, and the power of birth. Deeper meaning from the title and subject matter, references our ability to be re-born as we journey to our center and our true selves. Many indigenous cultures depict mother nature and humanity as a feminine, nurturing goddess-like form. “Birth of a Deaf Woman” taps into that universal imagery and creation mythology. While this work is not a self-portrait, we are certainly glad that Betty created it.

Happy 77th birthday Betty, the mother of De’VIA–we are so glad you were born.

Note: article about the work of Betty G Miller and Susan Dupor

Deconstructing the Forced Assimilation of Deaf People Via De’VIA Resistance and Affirmation Art

also see Emily Steinberg’s film “Paint it Loud”

Now, it is true that the nature of society is to create, among its citizens, an illusion of safety; but it is also absolutely true that the safety is always necessarily an illusion. Artists are here to disturb the peace. ~ James Baldwin

Thank you betty for engaging in positive peace by disturbing false / negative peace

I love you! and you too Nancy!



infuriating infiltration & pathetic propaganda ?

infuriating inflitration & pathetic propaganda ?

AG Bell “did not invent the oral method. It existed nearly one hundred years before Bell was born. Nevertheless the propaganda given this method at Bell’s instance has taught the great American public to believe that this method is a new, a very recent discovery. He founded the Volta Bureau with the purpose of subsidizing this propaganda.” ~ George W. Veditz, 1922 Obit to AG Bell

heye all

yikes!  yep there is just some very bonky crap going down.

warning – long but worth it so READ it ALL ok!

but first a voc. review:

Infiltrate = (verb with object) to move into (an organization, country, territory, or the like) surreptitiously and gradually, especially with hostile intent

note: the word pathology is also associated with inflitrate
Propaganda =the particular doctrines or principles propagated by an organization or movement.
Since propaganda and infiltration ain’t cool – we aim to give AG Bell & Co. a bit of a wake up call by hanging up on their crank calls and by busting the b.s.  Teachers of the Deaf ain’t “hearing speciailists” and many of us do NOT want ur “free” membership.
Can you h-EAR us now AGBAD? the sound of a receiver being slammed down and SILENCE!  Ya BASTA and Ya BUSTED

pix of Convo relay co. Advertisement at D.C. subway stop - ya hoo for making the invisible visible.

AG Bell Associations for the Deaf (AGBAD) has been sending “temporary membership” cards and letters to staff at Deaf schools (Rochester School for the Deaf, Indiana School for the Deaf, and Kansas School for the Deaf folks have reported getting letters / cards in the mail or emails to their personal email accounts)

Desperate times call for desperate measure i guess

We have been a busy making the invisible visible and they have been a shaking and a skating and an infiltrating and a fabricating as they go.

The mailing of unwanted and inappropriate and unjust temporary membership AGBAD cards is just their latest and greatest faux pas.

Mislabellng these professionals at Deaf schools as “hearing specialists” – that is one mighty deceitful way to give the appeArance of
– having more members than u do
– working w Deaf schools
– that the majority of their members r not ears and mouth professionals, businesses, doctors, surgeons, audiologist speech pathologists, communication disorder specialists, ci companies, hearing aid companies, sales reps, insurance reps, manufacturers etc

There’s mighty money in this INDUSTRY of making the deaf “independent” i.e. less Deaf. Hence the ears/ mouth fetish and obsession

I guess they missed the memo saying “Oralism (oral / aural only) is not cool, fools”

I guess they dont remember (as in they have forgot) because they chopped out the remember part from the ICED 2010 New Era Agreement – that AG Bell the man and the Association slaughtered Deaf teachers.  this is a fact folks.  proof?

1. he banned Deaf people from being trained at the Normal school at Gallaudet (Normal school is a term for teacher training program)

2. proclaimed Deaf teachers to be unqualified to teach under the reign of Oralsim as they would not be able to correct their students articulation

i guess AGBAD is either ignorant or arrogant re: this history and how offensive it is to mail teachers and staff (many of whom are Deaf themselves) materials designating them to be “Hearing Specialists”

geez why are they afraid of the word Deaf and forever preferring to frame us as children of a lesser gods with EARs that dont work so well:

hEARing impaired

hEARing loss

hard of hEARing

and those who work with us or things used for us?

hearing specialists

hearing devices

hearing industry

hearing aid

heaRING RING RING – AG Bell Calling – coming for a set of ears and a school or two near you (and Newfoundland, Utah, Indiana, Nevada)

why this constant framing around what folks cant do fully hmmm and why this bent toward the hEARing paradigm over the Deaf way of being hmmmm

Did u know that Clark School now goes by Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech – yep the word Deaf got chopped off.  “Better to hear you with my dear” I guess?

Maybe if we asked them why the FIXation on “hEARing” they might reply something to the effect of “no particular reason” like Catherine Murphy, previous AG Bell PR vip and now Gallaudet’s PR expert did when asked why she listed “Hearing” before Deaf in a press release re: a Diversity Day at Gallaudet (never mind the day was really about cultural diversity and not about ears.  hmmmm – no particular reason?  I think not but who knows maybe im just loca)

Push as they may to dress up what they do (no longer use the word Oral due to the dirty images u will get when u google it but rather talking or speaking or spoken language – yes yes put language there for a bit of validity) and sweep under the carpet what the child is – DEAF (no longer use that word – instead substitute out with anything that frames it around a deficit model) at the end of the day, the kids are still Deaf and sooner or later they make their way back home to being people of the Eyes and Hands – so why not give it to them from the get go – hmmmmmm – odd  they never seem to be able to satisfactorily answer that one (beyond saying that speaking and listening is a jealous mistress).  But the truth is that their ideology, practices, academy, affiliations, push, drive, value system etc is rooted in their binary set up – their either/ OR – their exclusionary frame of mind – EXTREME, eh?

even their latest in the word game LSL – Listening and Spoken Language seeks to divert away from a real, natural, just, and good language ASL (hmmm) to a system, method and modality

Also the motto on this membership card “Advocating for Independence Through Listening and Talking” – EXCUSE ME!  Huh, why would you have the nerve to send this to teachers and staff who do NOT NOT NOT subscribe to this notion that to Hear and Speak make ya all that?  Especially to folks who specialty is to teach real languages like American Sign Language and English.  Man that is soooooo incredibly RUDE!

Can you spell AUDISM?  i know some folks can’t but many folks can cuz we are Awake, Aware, Active, and Advocatin’

ohh and also you SELL your bloody mailing list so geez and dang – i hope u did not put all those “new members” (who never asked to be a member and many r angered to be enlisted in your war against ASL and Deaf culture without their CONSENT) cuz if they start getting propaganda from all ur pals – DANG they will see just how far and wide the octopus’s tentacles reach and grab and SUCK

scroll down to see AG Bell’s rental of membership list rates

so is it ignorance or arrogance and geez BAD BAD BAD move AGBAD

Geez Alexander Graham, CEO of AGBAD,  has a background in competitive intelligence – i mean come on that was not a very intelligent move to be mailing out those unsolicited and unjust “memberships” and hey – why those THREE schools?  Each has been in the news lately.  One (ISD) because of Hear Indiana (A chapter of AGBAD -hmmmm) trying to weasel its way into the school via UNJUSTLY accepting seats on the board.  Your H-EAR Indiana reps are NOT qualified to sit on the board of a bilingual-bicultural school when everything you, AGBAD, have been about and are, is in opposition to ASL and Deaf culture.

Ya all can try to usher in this grand scheme of a Death of Deafness but ill tell ya straight up – u tried it before and it failed and ya gonna fail again.  We just trying to steer u straight for the youngin’ sakes.  Many of us have already been there, done that and say “not on our watch” no WAYYYY and not without a fight (peacefully , firmly, lovaingly)

I wouldnt mind if ur aim was to really put “deafness” the whole pathologizing of Deaf folks to rest as in rip= that would be grand but nope ur stated goal has been to make Deaf folks forget they are Deaf, make us forget our history, and make us as hearing-like as possible

yawn and dang – dont u know diversity is a good thing.  and dont u know folks r a bit ga ga over ASL – see baby signs, see UCLA summer course in ASL linguistics, (Deaf and Hearing CODAs rock) see Lady Ga Ga is gonna learn ASL.

ohh maybe u do know that – hmmmm maybe that is why u r just kinda spinning a wee bit out of control

you know how bloody offensive, rude, and unjust the AGBAD letter to Pepsi is Pepsi3ltr-1 –  dont pretend that the NAD, DBC, AFA, and your own members who objected to that letter do not  know how to read carefully.  Geez some of these folks are lawyers, have PhD and some can even hEAR – gasp.  AGAIN you insult us even when u try to defend your wrongness.

we aint children of a lesser gods darling – we have feet and we STAND.  can u see us now?  how about now?  hmmmm maybe next week u will

also, i doubt many folks want to be associated with your specialists cuz not only do they appear to have an obsessive fetish for ears&mouths, they also aint looking to knowledgeable or too slicky with that independence bit –

“Unfortunately, people who have hearing aides only, really can only get to a fourth grade reading level,” said speech language pathologist Sarah Wilson. “You can’t get very far in school with that reading level. Research has shown people with implants can go in regular classes, graduate from high school, go to college. So, the impact on education is humongous.”


“For example, the district’s speech and language pathologist kept sloppy records of Garcia’s education. Logs tracking his education often lacked information, such as dates of service, names of both the provider and student and notes on any progress he may have made, according to the findings.” see

Ahhh life in the mainstream!!!

And for the twisters – no I am NOT saying it is bad to be able to speak and a hear some.  I am saying the EXCLUSIONARY practice / demand / regime and the $$$$$$ and the deceit are wrong

“Dr. Bell’s influence upon the American deaf has been negative. They would have welcomed him with open arms and gloried in his interest in them had this interest been expressed in a manner they could approve. He did not choose this last.” ~ George W. Veditz, 1922

The same can be said of AG Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing – Its influence upon the American Deaf has been negative.  We would have welcomed AGBAD with open arms and gloried in its interest in Deaf people had this interest been expressed in a manner that we could approve of.  AGBAD has not chosen this last.”  Like father, like association.

‘Tis true, ’tis pity; Pity ’tis, ’tis true.” (Shakespeare, George V and u and me)

^ 4 V (we STAND for Peace),

PS: somebody the other day said to me ‘why is the ‘independence through listening and talking’ starting to sound more and more like the slogan “the spoken word will set you free.”

not cool – propaganda is not cool.  AG Bell fly straight.  While your attempts at infiltration may be infuriating at times (i havent even discussed EHDI yet ; ), your propaganda is so pathetic, ya is busted.  as in ¡Ya basta! busted

Major thanks to Barb DiGi and others for sharing the info and proof about these mailings and Robert Mason for info on the membership mailing list money maker

re: Deaf schools – Amy Cohen Efron has been working on a map of Deaf school enrollments – important visual info there

NOTE: yes i totally know i am using the AGBAD acronym but this is their own bloody acronym and i am infuriated by their having mailed out those cards, emails and letters calling folks “hearing speciailists” many of whom are Deaf people who do not HEAR at all and so im calling AG Bell  & Assoc. for what it is – that was really BAD of ya!

James Burks (aka jaboutdoors) shares OURstory re: Oralism

James Burks (aka jaboutdoors) shares OURstory re: Oralism
making the invisible visible

Reposted with permission – thanks James.

People of the Eye is collecting your stories – so email or comment if you’d like to share here.

James gives his support to Audism Free America (AFA)* as they combat audism – especially Oralism which is a form of audism practiced via educational systems.  He shares several experiences with audism and Oralism in his educational career.

Audism – the notion that to hear and/or behave as a hearing person is superior to being Deaf

Oralism – oral / aural ONLYism in educational systems that excludes and/or diminishes natural signed language in the quest to make Deaf children speak and hear like hearing people

Keep sharing your truths about Audism and Oralism folks.  James – thank YOU

If you want to support AFA’s rallies july 21-23 but can not attend – see this vlog for ideas of what to do locally

*Audism Free America (AFA) is a grassroots Deaf activist organization in the US, which advocates for Deaf American rights, cultural resurgence, and seeks primarily to challenge the ideological foundations of audism in 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. AFA is committed to: 1. human and linguistic rights of Deaf people 2. unmasking audism and media misrepresentation 3. advocating for future generations

OURstories – Jenny G Witteborg Signs Out Her Truths

In a previous People place blog entry, we put forth a call to make the invisible visible by inviting folks to share their truths – their experiences with Oralism and to document the undocumented – the ill effects of the reign of error (oral / aural ONLYism).

here is Jenny G W’s.  It is a gift to us and our future.

Biggest thanks Jenny.  You are brave and strong.

Ya done made me cry.  I kid ya not!

Share your stories w/ oral / aural education – making the invisible visible

Share your stories w/ oral / aural education

– making the invisible visible

Text and links below video box

Invitation to share your personal stories with oral / aural education – Document OURstories as part of history.  Making the invisible visible.  Shares 2 stories – 40 year old woman having flashbacks of principal threatening to chop off her fingers/hands with large paper cutter if caught signing.  20 year old woman recalling how chastised for pointing at a sign in oral / aural ONLY school hallway and punished for signing during lunch

Veditz’s obit to AG Bell

Ourstories testimonies of estrangement

list of option schools

map of oral / aural only education schools

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