Karen Christie’s Letter to the AG Bell Association

Greetings all:


from AG Bell letter solciting membership and mislabeling staff as "Hearing Specialists"

we got a little campaign going to help the AG Bell Association hear a bit better.  Our own form of listening and speaking therapy for independence is being made self-evidence as we utilize free speech, assembly and press (aint the 1st amendment grand in combating oppressive systems).  We r aiming to tell the AG Bell Association the truth and what they choose to do with it – we will see see.  Their muteness speaks volumes thus far.  So pls see some truths about infiltrating and propagating if you are unfamiliar with AG Bell’s mailing of unwanted and offensive temporary membership cards to staff at several Schools for the Deaf across the country.  To see what the card looks like, go to the Ya Basta entry (there is some great stuff in the comments there too).  Also please see Jennifer Witteborg’s powerful letter and today we have another grand letter – penned by Dr. Karen Christie, who is one of the bravest, kindest, and best souls that I know.  She’s got a very RELEVANT and VALID question for AG Bell CEO Alexander Graham to which we must have the answer.

KC -thank you for allowing me to reprint your letter here and dont be upset with my kudos above – its the truth and im a truth seeker so do do? And wow u bam bam with that primary document link in the letter – making the invisible visible folks.  We may be Deaf (and allies) but we aint dumb.

AG Bell can you hear us now?  How about now???

STAND folks or stand by or be a by stander.  The choice is yours.  To those who do the right thing for the right reason – i THANK YOU and ADMIRE YA.

contact info for AG Bell Association:

Alexander Graham (CEO)          agraham@agbell.org        202-204-4671 x 107
Susan Boswell (director of communications and marketing)     sboswell@agbell.org 202-204-4687 x 127

—————-Letter from Dr. Karen Christie to AG Bell’s Graham and Boswell ————

To Alexander Graham, Susan Boswell, and the Board of the AG Bell Association,

It has recently come to my attention that temporary membership cards have been sent out (unsolicited) to a number of teachers at Deaf schools and programs across the United States.  A number of the individuals receiving these cards have been Deaf themselves.

This is particularly puzzling to me given that your founder, Alexander Graham Bell, did not support Deaf people being trained to teach Deaf students.

AG Bell’s brief statement to the Congressional Committee (chaired by Senator Allison) concerning appropriation for the Columbia Institution (Gallaudet University) (1/27/1891): [Accessed via Bell Family Papers, http://rs6.loc.gov/mss/magbell/177/17710226/0002.jpg]

“The graduates of the Collegiate department are, of course, deaf.  The institution, therefore, proposes to train deaf persons to teach the deaf.  This is a backward step, detrimental to the best interests of the deaf,  and subversive of the very object for which the collegiate department exists.”

Has your organization changed in its stance related to having Deaf individuals teach?  Do you now believed that this is not “detrimental to the best interests of the deaf?”

If this is so, I would appreciate knowing when and what organizational documents there are that have retracted the above statement.  It might be a positive step forward –toward assuring parents, Deaf children and Deaf community members that the AG Bell Association no longer holds some of the beliefs of its founder.  The letter of several years ago criticizing the Pepsi commercial seems to only assure us that you are still working to promote beliefs that originated with Alexander Graham Bell.

As the recent Audism Free America rally at your convention site has demonstrated, Deaf people will no longer sit by passively as you go about business as usual.  We will no longer be ignored. We will no longer allow organizations such as the AG Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing determine our “bests interests.”  It is in your organization’s best interests to acknowledge and apologize for the detrimental effects that AG Bell and the AG Bell Association has exacted upon Deaf people and their families. We have only just begun to stand up for justice.

Karen Christie


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dianrez
    Aug 01, 2011 @ 15:46:00

    I’m tremendously impressed, Karen Christie! Calling the present AGBell organization to account for the original philosophies and actions of the founder and its past stunts…there’s so much material to call them upon and this is just the beginning.

    There are people who will protest this and cite the organization’s good works in parent support, free programs and massive outreach. (Don’t we remember all the times we have been chided: “do you really mean to be so critical when these people have been so good to you?”)

    We need to tell them that there is danger in paternalism, negation in superimposing majority values, and downputting in shaping one to fit another’s value system. Not to overlook the damage to the public image of Deaf people.

    Keep it up, we’re working hard for recognition of our people as fully featured and capable people and you guys are the best! Kudos!

  2. ridor
    Aug 01, 2011 @ 20:52:50

    Thank you, Karen Christie!!!!


  3. patti
    Aug 02, 2011 @ 13:40:55

    Dianrez – i too am tremendously impressed with KC. she has clarity, verity, fortitude, and more. many a days she has nodded in understanding with me, patted me on the back, challenged me, brushed me off when im down etc etc. so as we all should know we have good folks on the ground

    they have been working and a sweating

    now it is each of our turns to STAND up and be heard

    hope u will write a letter soon Dianrez – i always love ur writing and ur thinking and ur good heart. U too are very strong and have helped us along in the signing of this song

    R –
    ill let her know as she probably wont even visit this site – wahhhh smile. she is not much of a netter. wise woman she be.

    hope u write ur letter to AGB too soon.

    thank ya both

    NOTE: interesting that this people place hit nearly 600 visits yesterday but only 2 comments in this thread. who could it be? who could it be that comes to see?

    hope it inspires others to take the STAND on the behalf of our commUNITY and hope it stirs the hearts of the by standers and the oppressors cuz the truth is the truth (AG Bell the man and his clan are not so sweet on how they treat Deaf folks then and NOW) and wrong is wrong and right is right and STANDing is MIGHT!

    peace all (yep i see u)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: