Stand and Deliver folks

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant. ~ MLK Jr

heye all

[note: all below is me speaking as me – not on behalf of anyone but meself yet many others share my sentiment and truths.  and yes i know this is really LONG but i got a song that needs to be sung so just go get an cup a joe or a cool one or water – water is good – and get comfortable.  its truth-a-telling time folks.]

to all the folks who came to the AFA rallies and stood long and stood strong and all those who couldn’t but helped out and chipped in in anyways u could long distance – THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.  U STAND and U GRAND.

i got a few things to say about all the falsehoods over blue tape and the AFA and the NAD but my main message is in the header of this entry:

Stand and Deliver folks (drop into google translator and get…
Wake the #uck UP!

yes i have read the “children’s book” – Go the #uck to Sleep – one to many times ; ) and times a wasting hence me be blunt as in direct (and of course it is the Deaf way so hey –  what can i say : ) except Wake the #uck UP!

so for us – our people – i say unto u – i do not want u to go to sleep – i want u to awake and rise and STAND

language bigotry is NOT cool

deceit is not sweet

audism is NOT acceptable

soooo id like to SHOW u all just how crazed some folks get when u STAND

AG Bell plaque with blue trim tape

A wonderful good soul Audism Free America (AFA) person put some very safe – non-toxic, non-desecrating, non-defacing, non-destructing blue painters trim tape on a BIG OLE BRONZE plaque at the AG Bell Volta Laboratory and Bureau so that the sign would read more accurately – she covered up four words “Deaf and Hard of” so the plaque would accurately and truthfully read as “The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the X X X X Hearing”

because the AG Bell Association is dominated by hearing members, has a long history of hearing CEOs, panders to hearing industries that have engaged in fraudulent and unethical conduct (see:

  • the FDA fining of Advanced Bionics,
  • the Dept of Justice fining of Cochlear Americas,
  • a court in Denver fining of Otologics to the tune of $5.9 million,
  • the ADA’s lawsuit against the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • and see all the “settlements outside of court” – ie hush money to folks when things havent quite gone right with some of the hearing industries’ industries.)

so pray tell why are some folks making a HUGE stink out of the blue painters tape when during Deaf President Now (DPN) folks hotwired buses and slashed their tires and when during Unity for Gallaudet folks tore down some of the letters of I King Jordan’s name on a building and lets not even discuss the burning effigies [pssst  IK Jordan actually hailed all those not very civil acts in 1988 DPN as being part of a civil disobedience movement but in 2006 for Unity for Gallaudet IK Jordan was calling the protesters anarchists, absolutists, terrorists etc and they didnt steal no buses and only locked down the campus for 3 days when he ordered the arrest whereas in 1988 it was 5 days before Zinser did the right thing and resigned.  just saying denial and deceit aint sweet)

well why did some folks go a wee bit wild over a wee bit of blue tape??

FEAR – me think

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

that is my guess.  folks dont like the truth to be told cuz then it requires them to choose and to make and take a STAND and some folks will defend the oppressor over justice for a whole slew of reasons.  In the case of Noelle Bell and her wee editorial that is riddled with falsehoods and inaccuracies, we can wager she takes her unjust stand because:

1. she is misinformed – well, tsk tsk do ur homework gal.  AFA is not a militant group geez u r making the true militants feel pretty dang upset to be lumped with the likes of a group committed to civil disobedience and not road side bombs.

2. she is colonized – well if the shackles fit – so be it.  i have no idea

3. she is ignorant – well, it does seem to be the case cuz she got a ton of things muddled in that there little write up of hers

4. she is a “have a little want more” gal and does not want the status quo shook up cuz when that happens maybe she will no longer have her warm and fuzzy place of “assimilation” – well, while i have compassion for ur predicament i can not save u from urself and we aim to do right by the folks who have suffered and ARE suffering under the oral / aural only onslaught.  they are mighty important to me.  id happily let u go off on ur own merry way and never have our paths crossed but since i am committed to being a b.s. buster and i am a bona fide truth seeker – i must sign/sing out these songs of freedom.  ya done wrong ms. bell.  ya done wrong.

5. lets blame it on the last name ;  )

sooo rather than waste me time in debunking the bull#hit ms. bell has tossed at the NAD and AFA, let me tell u some other things that the AFA did while on the steps of the Volta bureau and during the AFA rallies etc

[pls note a civil rights lawyer was present during the vigil at the volta bureau and cop patrols rolled by from time to time and never said – MILITANTS!]

[see two videos below for images and footage from the events]

1. blue tape – 4 wee words on a plaque and used to hold up a sign that said A.B.U.S.E. over the other plaque on the Volta Bureau

2. a few AFA cards were wedged in the door slats of the HUGE fortress like barricade doors of the Volta Bureau

NOTE: no nails were used although i was thinking of Martin Luther and his 95 Theses quite a bit before we headed out to DC

3. copies of the unwanted and offensive AG Bell temporary membership card were burned

(u wanna call this militant and extremist or bad PR folks well then just note that Gandhi burned the unjust “colored” passes in South Africa and Alice Paul and pals burned the words of Woodrow Wilson in front of the White House, Feminists burned their bras and anti-war protesters burned their draft cards etc etc etc.  Deaf folks are not militant.  But we may just be a wee bit behind the times in asserting our somebodyness folks and it is MIGHTY telling to see who is getting upset when we finally make our STAND – mighty telling.  geez would u all just look around and SEE how various groups exercise their right to free speech and assembly.  the fact that u all think we have to look pretty, talk pretty, dress pretty to make any progress when it has  NEVER gained anyone any headway may account for the sorry state we all have been in for so bloody long.  may i say it again – Wake the #uck UP!)

4. we burnt some of AG Bell’s famous words like “Let us forget that they are deaf, and teach them to forget that they are deaf” and the AG Bell Association letter to Pepsi where they said Deaf ASL folks r clannish and dependent and isolated [and then later defended their letter by saying we cant read properly – HA]

photo art by Irishlady

5. we lit candles – this was beautiful folks TRULY beautiful –  yes i love LIGHT in the contrast of darkness.  “it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”  We have been cursing the evils of oral / aural ONLYism for too long – it is time now to ignite the light so folks can SEE the truth of what folks have and still ARE suffering under Oral / Aural ONLYism

6. after each person shared their testimony and things they have witnessed – we RUNG a mighty bell

Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. ~ Gandhi

For whom does the bell toll?  AG Bell Assoc. it tolls for u – u must acknowledge what has been done in the name of pure Oralism which your founder foisted upon this country with a fanatical, relentless, unjust, militant, extremist devotion.  Dont even get me started on the deceit u all used and still use to accomplish this task

the bell is ringing AG Bell and N. Bell – and we aim to help u hear it cuz projection is a killer and u all are the ones who have been militant and EXTREME for all these years.

7. during the rallies we held up signs that spoke the truth, we got folks to honk their horns, we handed out AFA cards and cards about AG Bell the man, we chatted with folks who had questions and comments.

Folks unfamiliar with the fact that there are systems at work denying Deaf children the right a fully natural and accessible signed language were SHOCKED to learn of it.  they said “that is horrible” they said “i agree with you -they should have sign language”

yep it is that fundamental, folks – and that is so common-sensical that everyone immediately knows it EXCEPT for many of the “professionals” and “specialists” who have been certified and trained by AG Bell Association and ASHA (which is being sued by ADA… just saying folks.  Deceit is not sweet.  NOTE: even some of the folks who have been “trained and certified” do not agree or adhere with the philosophy and practice of oral / aural only).

Wake the #uck UP!

and seriously ya all are gonna make a stink over BLUE PAINTERS TRIM TAPE.  well g-d bless ur souls.  SERIOUSLY – did u see the film In the Land of the Deaf – see the boy with the big brown eyes at the end of it languishing under cued speech for spoken French – FRANCE the very country that gave us a big part of what we now know as ASL.  Heavens or see the film Sound and Fury part II – not part I.  Part II 6 years later – that there is an amazing bit of propaganda.  Check out the sponsors who made that film possible and also check out how Heather really can NOT understand grandma fully and easily – nope grandma has to come around and face her and do that exaggerated talk of hers to comment on how Heather can UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING NOW.  ha – wow who do u think u r fooling.  wow wee!!!! and yes see the awful part where Heather is dissing her own dad to her grandmother (his own mother) in his presence but not signing it so he cant see what she is saying.  Yep – CI breaking up families left and right.  aint it strange that the very “cause” of why parents think they have to go for Oral  / Aural only often results in the “effect” they so feared?  ESTRANGEMENT? (see past two entries in this People of the Eye blog that covers testimonies of estrangements a la language deprivation and language bigotry)

it is mighty strange indeed

even when we talked to some folks who were attending the AG Bell Listening and Spoken Language symposium who said they dont agree with AG Bell’s oral / aural only push but they need the CEUs

(NOTE: AG Bell and the specialists now call oralism and speech – Spoken Language.  That is just their attempt to insert the word “language” into their work in an attempt not just to abbreviate it to look like ASL – ie LSL but also really to try to legitimize their work – to try to make it look like they are doing something more than a clinical treatment of a “pathology” – they want the big bucks of early intervention and education so they play it up to be  “LANGUAGE” when really what they are doing is what they have always been doing – trying to make the Deaf less Deaf and they do this by trying to keep u away from ASL and other Deaf people

yawn and oy – how terribly annoying, redundant and ineffective (not to mention destructive – yes see again the post on estrangement and the lawsuits and the language deprivation and the….)

same ole same ole – here we go round the mulberry bush – weeeeeeee

yeah they have fancier devices and more aggressive means of doing it and more subtle and slicky language and more glossy brochures and DVDs than in the old days but it still the same ole game

make ’em forget they are Deaf ….



why folks?

why would this be their EVER-ending ambition?

cuz when the Deaf discover ASL they start to ASK some questions like why wasnt i given this as a pup?  and why dont my parents sign and why didnt i have any peers i could chat with without having to worry about whether or not i understood them right? and why have i had to forever and forever more WORK for my access to words when i can see them perfectly clear flying of the fingers of my pals and teachers now – wow that is just so natural and nice.  if only i had gotten it when i was younger, if only my parents were not married to making me the SAME as everyBODY else instead of accepting me as is, if only….

and soon we will come to a possible reason why THEY push the “parental rights” shield and it is way less than noble folks – it is horribly cruel – they may be pushing parental rights because in doing so the child raised under oral / aural only when they grow up and later find a 2nd home amongst the Deaf and when they want to scream out to the public about the injustices saddled upon them from the moment they were classified as having failed their hearing test – there is only ONE thing stopping them from signing/singing that truth and guess what it is?

dear ole mum and dad –

Deaf folks will tell us all EVERYTHING in pubs, in living rooms, in parks, at timberfest, at the Deaf club, in bedrooms, but they will not tell it on camera or to the media because –

“i do not want to hurt my parents”

“my parents are pretty mean and if they saw this they would be angry at me”

“ohhh i couldnt that would upset my parents too much”

“my parents meant well…”

i have SEEN THIS statement from people in their 60s all the way down to very young kids

folks afraid of their own folks.

it is more than odd folks – it is WRONG and it is disabling our community big time.  I have seen the marks folks – the cutting on the arms and legs, the scars on the head, the tears on the faces, the wounds on the heart and each time when i say – why dont u tell them that – they deserve to know the truth – the answer is almost always – “i couldnt.  it would hurt them too much.” or… “they would hurt me” or….”it will only make things worse” or “i have but they won’t listen” or “i did but i dont go home anymore – its just easier that way…” etc.)

I mean when a 60 year old educated oral woman with cochlear implants says she is learning sign language on the sly “in the closet” meaning – wont tell her mother because it will upset mum too much – well folks we have to wonder about this.  we have to wonder about AG Bell’s false claim of “independence through listening and talking”


and for the brave folks who do tell their folks the truth – odd things have been known to happen – often the family is CLOSER, STRONGER, HONESTER, and more BONDED- cuz living a lie amongst the folks who r supposed to love u unconditionally is not good for the soul folks

now aint that the pickle – that when we tell the truth to our folks we often feel lighter and freer

and who pitted the parents against the children?  who told the parents NOT to do what came naturally to them – gesture, sign, meet other Deaf adults, etc

who bound the children’s hands and the parents and siblings and in doing so destined familial bonds to be forever frayed, broken, shattered, hanging by a false thread, or hollow?

who did not recognize ASL as a true language until the DBC said we are coming to ur big conference in Wisc. and we are bring our people and we are bringing the TRUTH?

who sent an email to their members saying some crazy Deaf folks r coming – they r just bitter over the past and they dont know that we ALLOW Deaf folks to sign now

oh really – u allow it.  well thank u but seems many of ur AVT (excuse us – u now call it LSL) certified practionares didnt get that memo – in fact at AFA meeting with ur CEO and other reps in 2009 the director of ur programs said u had to EXCLUDE ASL for therapeutic reasons and in fact some of ur chief rah rah fans still are saying ASL must be excluded from AVT so just cuz u quietly chopped off the “without signing or lipreading” from guideline #3 does not mean u r actually telling folks this nor are u revising ur TRAINING to foster visual acuity and sign language which if u really love the Deaf kids and their families, u would do.  and mind ya all 4 international bodies said it is a NO NO to exclude a natural and fully accessible signed language from the education of a Deaf child so u r busted AG Bell and co.

also – if u truly thought parental rights were all the rage then u would have done a shout out when a judge ordered a Deaf father to make his Deaf daughter wear her CIs all her waking hours

and who sent out unwanted and insulting membership cards with the falsehood of “independence through listening and talking” to folks of whome many do not listen nor speak and a letter identifying teachers of the Deaf as “hearing specialists”

and folks –  Wake the #uck UP!

seriously folks i could go on and on

i havent even gotten to the part about connecting alot of the dots for us all but they are there – it just requires looking at various tabs re: AG Bell’s lobbying and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alliance lobbying and the cochlear implant industries profits, dirty dealings, and sponsorships as well as all the hearing industries “foundations” and their profits

seriously the Deaf-world is owed one of the biggest refund checks you have ever seen

because what have we gotten from this huge and systematic oppression called audism – this foisted upon erroneous belief system that said it is better to hear and/or behave as a hearing person than to be Deaf?

– well we have Deaf oral folks not doing so well in employment and if they do get a job they dont advance past the sound barrier – boo

– well we have some Deaf folks so dependent on artificial devices that if their batteries die or their CI is on the blink they are lost and in tears

– well we have families across the country saying “never mind, in a minute, I’ll tell you later” or developing very bizarre relationships and identities so deeply entrenched within and around their child’s ability to hear and “function” as a hearing person that the child can barely breath and the parent (usually the mother) can not breath without this relationship and we have Deaf children growing up trying to make a career out of being a poster child for cochlear implants and oral / aural onlyism.

– well we have oral Deaf folks who dont like to go home

– well we have oral Deaf folks who other folks will say condescending and patronizing things about to their face “oh you have such lovely speech.  wow it is just amazing how well you can talk and hear” to then immediately turn their backs on them once the show and tell period is over and say things to other people such as “wow it is so hard to understand them.  wow it must be a burden to live with them – having to repeat all the time.  wow its nice they can talk but it really would be helpful if they learned to sign…. etc”

– well we have a HUGE PUSH to usher in a death of deafness

– well we have CI operated by remote control by parents, teachers, assistants and specialists

– well we have the quest for a 100% implantable CI so there is no hope or chance a child can sabotage the device or escape being “restored” to society

– well we have a company trying to develop the infamous PILL to cure deafness

– well we have stem cells on the horizon they say

– well we have genetic testing and screening and tossing of Deaf embryos

ahhhh eugenics and diversity

sooo i say unto u all – a wittle blue tape is OK

“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result”. ~ Gandhi

and now do u see WHO truly is militant – who has slapped hands, put kids in isolation rooms at the age of 5 for signing, took off points for signing, pitted classmates against each other solely based on who had an aptitude to sing and who did not, grabbed, slapped, pinched, shhhhheed and much much more etc etc etc

so who is the extremist

but lets just call AFA militant?  wow! – do u SEE how ludicrous that accusation is?

6. the other thing AFA did during the rallies – on July 23 Saturday during the very last sessions of the AG Bell symposium – some AFA folks walked into a session on Cultural and Linguistic Competence and did a sit-in.  We figured if u all wanna talk about the cultural and linguistic competence of Deaf folks – u might as well have a few present.  And we gave them an earful – especially when Ruthie Jordan decided to use her speech and sign out how she was THEIR oral F A I L U R E.  it was powerful

very powerful.  it reminded me of how some Gay and Lesbian folks had walked into a conference on the psychological illness of being homosexual back in the 1970s to say “lets talk.”

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. ~ Gandhi

Sit-ins require courage and love – not militancy.  We did not push anyone even though we were pushed.  A civil rights lawyer was present and did some advising of what might happen.  the police (there were MANY there – started to attempt to carry one of the AFA members, Mark Myers, out – the only male amongst 5 females.  This AFAer, Mark Myers, knew to go limp and the police got a bit tiffed.  More negotiation between the lead officer with some tense and intense moments here and there but all the while civil.

After the sit-inners were escorted out of the hotel by the police –  we recapped the events  for the folks out on the ground and then we had a big ole group pix with some of our fav DC cops who happen to be excellent ASLers.

We be making the invisible visible folks.  The general public is starting to learn of things they never knew were happening in this country – for them the word oral conjures up images of tooth brushes or some private matters.  We gotta tell them the truth of what has been happening and what some folks (Hello AG Bell Association, Hello Advanced Bionics, Hello Cochlear Americas, Hello Otologics, Hello EHDI, etc) are trying to make happen all over again.

In history, sit-ins, boycotts, divestment, marches, hunger strikes etc etc have been used as forms of civil disobedience – to give attention to systems of injustice and oppression and as a Wake UP and SHAKE UP and STAND UP call, folks

“And right here let me say that the organized deaf do not understand their own might. It is in their power, if united, to dictate to the schools what methods of education should be pursued therein. Their cause is so palpably just that public, legislators and parents must in the end side with them.”

~ George W. Veditz

You have a say in matters that pertain to Deaf folks cuz these matters affect you and yours and you MATTER.  You really and truly do – dont let them ever convince you otherwise.

We must have the spiritual audacity to assert our somebodyness. ~ ML King Jr

Someone told me there is a comment somewhere out in the blogsphere by someone with the name of “SPY” (yes yes i know they r lame) that reads as: “AFA is still trying to hold a finger in a dam that has long since broken loose.” to which my thought is – i am proud to be part of this finger – part of this effort – part of this hope – part of this faith – part of this love (see MLK Jr on being an extremist of love)
What about u folks?

If Deaf ASL folks are to become a “there once walked a people” people – i would much rather go down as one who tried to stop it and lobbied long and hard for righteousness and justice than to be the one who stood by and did nothing or the one who flung open the door and told everyone to get on board the bad-ship-oppression in the false name of “progress” and “inclusiveness” or spent my life in a word war in text and video boxes in the blogsphere.

its time to hit the streets to make things concrete folks.  u be part of the solution or part of the problem?  dont tell me u be neutral cuz their aint no such thing in this matter.  u either think it is OK for parents or the govt or a school to deny a Deaf child a fully natural and accessible signed language or u think its not.  pretty simple.

NOTE: more choices quotes from MLK below the video boxes – scroll down

Excerpts of AFA vigil at AG Bell’s Laboratory and Volta Bureau

Excerpts of AFA Sit-in at AG Bell’s conference

go to audismfreeamerica youtube account to see other AFA rally videos etc

subscribe if u like – dont if u dont

but what ever u do – do SOMETHING!

dont be afraid – as fdr said we aint got nothing to fear but fear itself

“Let no one say that he is a follower of Gandhi. It is enough that I should be my own follower. I know what an inadequate follower I am of myself, for I cannot live up to the convictions I stand for. You are no followers but fellow students, fellow pilgrims, fellow seekers, fellow workers.”

Mahatma Gandhi

come be a fellow student, pilgrim, seeker, and worker – won’t u?

is it row row row ur boat time for u (off to denial isle u be?)

or musical chairs

or won’t u help me sing – these songs of freedom… and decide some things r worth STANDING for

the choice is yours folks

Vivir con miedo es como vivir a medias ~ Spanish proverb



…you’ll develop the inner conviction that there are some things so dear, some things so precious, some things so eternally true, that they are worth dying for. (Yes) [Applause] And I submit to you that if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live. [Applause]

This method has wrought wonders. As a result of the nonviolent Freedom Ride movement, segregation in public transportation has almost passed away absolutely in the South. As a result of the sit-in movement at lunch counters, more than 285 cities have now integrated their lunch counters in the South. I say to you, there is power in this method. [Applause]

And I think by following this approach it will also help us to go into the new age that is emerging with the right attitude. For nonviolence not only calls upon its adherents to avoid external physical violence, but it calls upon them to avoid internal violence of spirit. It calls on them to engage in that something called love. And I know it is difficult sometimes. When I say “love” at this point, I’m not talking about an affectionate emotion. (All right) It’s nonsense to urge people, oppressed people, to love their oppressors in an affectionate sense. I’m talking about something much deeper. I’m talking about a sort of understanding, creative, redemptive goodwill for all men. [Applause] – Martin Luther King, Jr

Image of some AFA folks with statue of Gandhi in Washington, DC after the the first rally at AG Bell headquarters in 2009


39 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ASLElla
    Aug 31, 2011 @ 04:54:31

    awesome awesome awesome. Patti, you truly soared with this posting and I’m gonna catch your tail and let the inspiration soar!!

  2. Tami
    Aug 31, 2011 @ 08:09:46

    Let the truth be told!!!!

  3. Dianrez
    Aug 31, 2011 @ 12:59:58

    Beautiful and inspiring…also sad in that it requires such tactics to bring these issues to attention of otherwise stubborn and uncaring people. But we must keep on trying to challenge entrenched notions.

  4. Matt Hochkeppel
    Aug 31, 2011 @ 15:43:43

    good good good words… check my video at and other videos as well… lets do the unity!

    Aug 31, 2011 @ 16:01:45

    Well Done!!!! And Keep it up! Thank you for sharing this with everyone whos interesting to learn about AFA.

  6. Trackback: Deafhood Discussions » Stand and Deliver by P. Durr at People of the Eye
  7. Alison
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 00:25:58

    Kudos to folks at AFA (and those of you who showed up for the Rally). Fear is a huge paralyzer, this is true. I have experienced this fear many times- in the workplace, especially. Terrified of losing my job and so I didn’t defend equal access and equal rights, demand humane treatment of Deaf children (among others). But you know what? Every time I try, every time I push a little further, resist a little more, I realize that I have far more power than they allow me to believe– we all do. You become a little braver every time you take a risk and this is a completely raw, enlightening, liberating experience. The opposite of that depressing chasm that is the death of our souls. I stand in solidarity with AFA.

  8. handeyes
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 19:19:18

    heye all

    thank u for ur comments and for caring and daring

    we be jumpin’ at da sun

    one of me bestest who has dared to be powerful many a times in many a ways sent me this quote yesterday and i thought yep, yep, yep
    “When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid”
    – Audre Lorde

    love, peace, and truth,


  9. DE
    Sep 12, 2011 @ 16:59:36

    Your best entry by far. I think this is finally the tipping point. You are so right, Patti.

  10. Miss Kat's Mom
    Sep 13, 2011 @ 00:55:13

    Here is my question, do you want to be angry and right, or do you want to actually convince parents to use ASL? Do you think bursting into a session encouraged parents to use ASL? Do you think protesting outside AG Bell encourages parents to choose ASL? What is your goal? To protest or to actually make a difference and get parents to choose ASL? Because, the honest truth is even if AG Bell disappeared tomorrow, the majority of parents are going to choose spoken language for their kids. They don’t choose spoken language because of AG Bell, they choose to affiliate with AG Bell because they have chosen spoken language.

  11. handeyes
    Sep 13, 2011 @ 13:27:58

    DE – thanks. tip we go.

    Missy aka Miss Kat’s Mom (yes i have decided to come up with a name for u because i dont enjoy referring to u by your daughter’s name. id like u to have ur own identity separate from her’s and since i have asked ya in the past to give me a name and i noted it didnt have to be a real one but you declined, i have chosen one for you because it will help to humanize things)

    Missy – a question for you – are you speaking of righteous anger?

    re: AG Bell symposium and our sit-in – we did not BURST In – see how creative you are. We walked in and we sat down. The session and the symposium was geared towards “hearing specialists and professionals” we did not see it as an outreaching opportunity for parents but if there were parents in the audience, we hope it was an eye opener.

    One member of AFA’s sit-in did see a woman crying when Ruthie did her powerful speech about being THEIR oral F A I L U R E. I dont know if this woman was a parent or a SLP or an audiologist or what but clearly she was moved.

    so yes, the truth did reach some folks.

    Re: what is the best way to reach parents – Gandhi tells me truth force, soul force and this is the path we take.

    You may have chosen your own path.

    I would assume Missy, that not all ways of advocacy are gonna work for all folks regardless if they be professionals, parents, propagandists, or prostitutes. It isnt going to be any single way.

    Just as you constantly preach – we should not do things this way – perhaps you might want to consider trying a different approach yourself. Clearly yours has been falling on our Deaf ears. Ah, another advantage of being Deaf.

    re: parents wanting spoken language – i aint got an issue with that and i have been VERY clear about that Missy. the issue is with systems that actively exclude ASL from a Deaf child’s life – ie AG Bell associations and academy AVT / LSL certification etc and option schools / oral education.

    four major world organizations have said it is not cool to deprive a Deaf child of a fully natural and accessible signed language, Missy. I aint making this stuff up.

    Any parent that wants to deprive their kids of a fully natural and accessible signed language under the cloak of parental rights when major organizations and scholars have said it is WRONG and inhumane – well goodness and badness – nothing i do or don’t do is really gonna help them is it?

    look forward to your answer to me questions. (the one at top and the one just above here)

    and just so u know – this is MUCH bigger than the parents. The parents and most especially the children are very DEAR and IMPORTANT to me – but this is really about the SYSTEMS that have been feeding ya all a bunch of b.s. that at the end of the day leaves u cheated and that is not cool

    independence does NOT come from talking and hearing.

    cochlear implants do NOT always work

    those are facts and there are more but i know some folks can only handle so much truth at a time

    re: my emotional state at this present moment – it is not one of anger but it is annoyed.
    while i do love you Missy, i am finding your repetitive refrain and your constant misrepresentation of some really EXTRAORDINARY and WONDERFUL parents who i have met outside of AG Bell conferences and out and about to be tiresome and unjust. You are working too hard to give parents a bad name. There are more good parents of good-will out there than bad.

    ’tis a pity how u play things, Missy.

    To all the parents of good-will and all the good folks out there willing to ask the hard questions and examine their own conduct or lack there of, and to, most especially, the folks who are willing to STAND for that which is right, just, and good – i say unto you – THANK YOU! oh and i love u folks too.

    Much peace


  12. Dianrez
    Sep 13, 2011 @ 14:08:33

    MKM, the issue is not only inclusion of ASL in every deaf child’s program alongside oralism, it also is how AGBell influences society in general through defense of its livelihood.

    Throughout history, AGBell has promoted exaggerations and outright lies that all deaf children can learn to speak, ASL is the devil’s invention, ASL will lead to illiteracy and loss of speech abilites; amplification, lipreading and speaking will lead to independence in all cases (implying the reverse leads to dependency). ASL is a poor substitute for speech training and hearing enhancement. (as if it were a choice!!)

    AGBell is consistent in its marketing of services on a medical/pathological model. Not only do parents believe this, the general public through its eternal search for hope, denial of the reality of deafness, and hunger for miracles, believes this. Scratch any “Deaf makes good” story in the media and you will find an AGBell orientation.

    Such prejudices makes it extremely difficult for Deaf adults to take their full place in society. “Can you read my lips?” is so universal it is offensive and patronizing. “This job requires communication” (meaning speaking and hearing) when other means will do as well. “Bring a family member to interpret for you.” “Deaf people cannot drive.”

    Speaking and hearing has been so firmly entrenched as a top priority that all else is measured with this in mind. The general acceptance and nonchalance toward deaf people in Martha’s Vineyard is impossible in the AGBell-influenced society.

    This is what you (and in the future, your child) have accepted as inevitable and natural in American society. It is not. We are fighting this
    AGBell-nurtured prejudice just as Martin Luther King fought the prejudice that blacks did not deserve a full place in society.

  13. Miss Kat's Mom
    Sep 14, 2011 @ 23:03:50

    Dianrez, we are talking about two different issues.

    Do I believe there needs to be more positive awareness of ASL and the Deaf community, and the ADA, for Deaf adults? Of course. Is that accomplished by protesting in front of AG Bell…nope. There are better, more constructive ways to do that.

    Does there need to be more awareness of the positives of ASL for deaf and hoh kids TO PARENTS of deaf and hoh kids. YES! But the truth is, they all know that ASL exsists. What they need to know is WHY they should choose to use ASL as well as spoken language with their children. Does protesting outside of AG Bell accomplish that? Nope. And actually, I know that there were parents at the convention, and I don’t believe a sit in would be viewed as positive by them at all.

    Again, nobody needs to listen to me. But are there other parents out here, even attempting to have a dialogue about this? Where are all the parents who ARE raising their kids with ASL and spoken language? Where are the other parents of today’s implanted kids? Why aren’t they involved with the Deaf community? Do you know why they chose to not include ASL? Have you asked them?

  14. handeyes
    Sep 15, 2011 @ 01:27:17

    Missy – you neglect to note that it is AG Bell Association that keeps parents away from the Deaf community – they have been doing this long before any protests or rallies.

    AG Bell association has not ever set up a mentorship program, does not refer parents to the American Society of Deaf Children and does not refer parents to the Deaf Bilingual Coalition.

    You can argue that civil disobedience does not help parents – and i can argue that truth force / soul force helps us all – the oppressed and the oppressor because it works peacefully toward equality and justice.

    You can argue that Black folks should have just ridden the bus in the back politely and showed White folks how nice they are and that would have won everything over and gotten them the right to sit where ever they wanted on the bus.

    Im going to trust in Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. They have a proven success record whereas Deaf folks never doing peaceful direct confrontation with oppressive systems and just talking nice to folks here and there has not gotten us anywhere.

    There was already a division between parents of AG Bell Association and the Deaf community long before any peaceful activism emerged. In fact the activism may be illuminating this chasm and that might be what u r contesting – the illumination?

    Missy – you throw out alot of questions but dont you think the parents should be asking some questions like….Why do Deaf folks want to be Deaf? Why are Deaf folks so passionate about bilingualism? What has been Deaf folks experiences in the audiology lab, at the dinner table, in the mainstream classroom, in pre-op room, when they are told “never mind” or “I’ll tell you later” or “its for your own good,” what is the one thing you wish your parents’ knew but feel you can not tell them?

    these are questions they should be asking Deaf folks, no?

    You have asked why parents who have given their children implants are not active in the Deaf community – well, i actually know the opposite. i know MANY parents who have children with implants who are VERY active in the Deaf community. Not just attending a church service with an interpreter but going to Deaf community events, volunteering, chatting, visiting, living, loving…. Re: the parents who choose to go oral / aural only like you have chosen for Kat’s educational experience – all the reasons boil down to:
    – that is what they are told to do by the specialists, the agencies, and the schools who have been certified in AVT / LSL via AG Bell
    – they believe it is better to hear and/or behave in the manner of one who hears

    Just as you said we do not need to listen to u – u don’t have to listen to us but some day you may wish you had.

    its ok to be Deaf, Missy – it really is. The problem is not with the ears – the problem is with folks pre-judging us by what our ears do and dont do.

    Some day may we see eye to eye and aye to aye. in the meantime – i wish you all the best



  15. Miss Kat's Mom
    Sep 17, 2011 @ 17:38:09

    Yes, Deaf people are happy being Deaf. I have never claimed otherwise. Deaf people advocate for ASL and bilingualism, again, did I ever say anything else? But what about the vast majority? The deaf people? Why don’t their opinions matter as much as the Deaf? There are plenty of oral deaf people who are perfectly happy with the way they communicate.

    And in regard to the “nevermind”, “I’ll tell you later”, stuff that is continually expressed by those who grew up with reading lips, the WHOLE POINT of implanting a child is to avoid that very situation. If the child hears well enough to follow the conversations, they don’t go through those struggles.

    Oh, and for the very last time, you can choose to ignore the FACT that I am as active in the Deaf community as I possibly can be (very small community here) but don’t pretend that hearing parents of deaf children are routinely hanging out with the Deaf community. Only a tiny minority choose sign for their children, and even then only a fraction of those learn ASL well enough to communicate with a Deaf adult. My family is a real exception.

  16. handeyes
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 00:45:16

    Again this is not all about u

    I wrote that it is ok to be Deaf

    I was not talking about if they talk w their mouth or their hands or both

    I was simply asserting it I ok to be Deaf cuz some folks do not realize that

    Re “never mind” and “I’ll tell u later” – it is still happening today. It is not a thing of the old days but rather a repeated cycle

    I know Deaf adults who speak and have ci – they hear a lot and they no like to go home for Thanksgiving. This shocked me but the reason given was they were not treated as an equal member at the table

    Boo that made me sad. It Is also happening to the folks who got implanted very young and who speak

    Now re: you, miss kat’s mom, what is it u would like from me q.

    I ask this sincerely because u keep coming back and try to make this be about u and your personal choices or your daughter but from what u say everything is good at ur house. Kat can hear the flap of a toilet seat w/o her ci on. She loves her new oral aural only school. U love it too. U see Deaf folks out in the community. U use spoken English at home which Kat can understand well cuz her two ci (one of which caused a great deal of discomfort and both have had to be tweak from time to time but are working well now) u do sign w Kat as needed and Kat does have the opportunity to sign w other Deaf folks from time to time but prefers often to socialize with hearing children.

    So that is your situation. I happen to know folks w other situations. Parents who sign w them all the time or parents who never sign and forbid them to sign etc etc

    Of all the oral aural only people i have met, they have all said they wish they knew sign language as a child

    Missy I know u r a very devoted mom. I know u have gotten some crap out here in the blogsphere and I know u have given out a good deal of crap too.

    I have no interest in either. I’m on a truth campaign. So again i ask what is it u r looking for in this dialogue. I have been maintaining my passion for social justice and equality via soul force and truth force. I have aimed to maintain my compassion to u. U r not returning the favor. I have been as blunt and direct as I possibly can be.

    I sense u r feeling defensive and hostile. So what is it u want and need from this exchange?

    Pls forgive any typos I’m on a iPhone and scramble easily



  17. Miss Kat's Mom
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 14:59:19

    You have never met an oral deaf person who was perfectly content without ASL? Have you ever been to an AG Bell convention? Or HLAA? At every oral school my daughter has attended there are been deaf staff members. All of them knew sign. They still chose to listen and speak as well as advocate FOR spoken language through listening for the students.

    You can attempt to smear me by pretending that my child had an unusual amount of discomfort at her activation, but that is wholly dishonest and you pretend to be for the truth, so perhaps you should reexamine your motives on that. Also, she DID hear the stupid toilet seat, so why the heck does that bother you so much? It was an odd experience, so I asked other parents and CI users if they had similar situations arise. BFD!

    As for who she prefers to socialize with, again you make assumptions that are untrue. She does not prefer to be with hearing kids, she actually prefers to be with other deaf kids. She does well with hearing kids, and her CI has given her the opportunity to be able to strike up a conversation with any kid in the park, but she still likes her friends from school best.

    And as for the jab about her liking her school, OF COURSE WE ARE HAPPY ABOUT THAT! We moved very far from a very supportive and tight knit family for our child to get a better education (NOTE that I said EDUCATION not speech. The school in Utah was failing to even teach her to read let alone anything else.) So, yes, the fact that she adores her school is wonderful to us.

    And lastly, you ask what I want. I want people to see that there are a million right ways to parent a deaf child. The only thing that is required is PASSION and following your child’s lead. The truth is, I think ASL would be great for every deaf child, but there are plenty of kids who do amazing with SEE or Cued speech or straight AV. I have met these kids turned adults. They are happy and healthy. I am sorry that there are kids who were failed, but honestly, that isn’t the fault of AG Bell, it is the fault of their parents. YOU are your child’s advocate, the buck stops here!

    Truthfully, the CI and newborn hearing screens HAVE changed the face of deaf education. We have tons of kids growing up WITHOUT language delays. They are all caught up by age 3! That is the average of of DISCOVERY of a hearing loss 20 years ago! Do you bother to go to these schools? See the successful kids? See the ones who never even had to attend an oral class because they were all caught up before they even entered preschool? Or are you only looking at the tiny percentage that end up as Deaf school transfers? If you have never even met a happy oral deaf adult, I doubt you are seeking out the people I’m talking about.

    I promise you, 5 years ago, I believed the same things you do. Then I spread my wings and looked for deaf people outside the Deaf community. I thought that I had seen the true face of deafness. But, I had never seen the other side. The people who DON’T seek out the Deaf community. Those who DON’T choose to use ASL. Turns out there are MANY! On my journeys I have even found families of Deaf adults who choose CIs and spoken language schools for their children! Imagine that! People who use ASL as their language of communication, who want their children to use CIs and spoken language (at school, no less)!

    Just because someone doesn’t fit nicely into a mold, doesn’t make them wrong.

  18. handeyes
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 16:10:14

    Missy –

    re: folks who know ASL and also have oral / aural skills – i know many of these folks. I being one of them myself. I admit that i have not met the Deaf folks who know ASL and work at Deaf oral /aural only schools that prohibit Deaf children from signing – i know there are a FEW such staff at those schools but they are FEW. I honestly dont know how they reconcile things – meaning when a Deaf child is missing something how they choose to just keep repeating that thing instead of lifting up their hands to tell them in a language they can fully understand and access.

    re: smear you – no, i am not smearing you. I am simply telling u what u already told all of us. Maybe you want to go and re-read your own entry on that time period.

    re: the stupid toilet seat – i actually believe u that Kat heard it. I aint saying that she didnt. My surprise and concern with that whole story was why you overvalued her ability to hear that sound. re: BFD – i wasnt familiar with that term but i guess i figured it out. I dont know much about your religious beliefs but the folks i know who are of the same denomination as you – they dont even abbreviate their swearing. They dont cuss – its a moral value and principle and doctrine of their belief system.

    i on the other hand am of the belief that it is ok to cuss so yes Big #ucking Deal that kat could hear the flap of a toilet seat without her CI in – yes indeed and this is why i wonder why u want so ecstatic over it and then continued to have a blog war over it and subjected ur daughter to various home grown experiments and tests to see if she could “hear this now” and “can you hear this now…” cuz that kinda might unintentionally communicate to Kat that u and dad really go over the top moon happy when she can hear. I aint saying you dont got a right to go hmmm interesting – it just is very odd that you felt it was so amazing that you choose to blog about it and then chose to go even further with it and on and on. cuz as u noted it aint a big deal that she could hear it.

    Off the point but several folks i know who have CIs have told me they can hear sounds that no one else can hear – even hearing folks. This is kinda strange to me. I read a bit about a phenomenon in one of Oliver Sacks books and i know about phantom limb phenomenon and am not sure if its related to what these folks are reporting. In some of the cases that folks have reported about it seems it is they are actually hearing things that other hearing folks do not hear because their CI (even without the external processor on) are picking up receptions and signals that hearing folks can not hear or process cuz they dont got the chip etc – usually this is noted around radio towers etc.

    this is off the point of kat’s hearing the toilet seat but its just something interesting that keeps getting dropped into my lap that seems odd.

    re: Kat and all your happiness – i am sincere in being happy you all are happy. Im just wondering if everything is so happy – why are you still dragging out things your daughter can do and cant do – it really shouldnt matter any more. she is happy, you are happy, enjoy. right?

    this is why im puzzled – u kinda hop around with your ego full blast about this and that and sometimes the facts do not synch up and if and when we hit an ouchie u trying to whack us on the hands and say we are attacking or smearing when in fact all we did was say what u told us.

    U have said some pretty nasty things about some folks and much of it inaccurate. im just saying maybe u want to spend ur time outside with ur kids more and yes keep blogging and telling about ur lives but maybe examine what it is u choose to select to share – im sure there is ALOT more to Kat than her ears.

    also u know that u put up a video of Kat’s class singing a song gucamole and something else – and in one of the video a young girl (is it kat i have no idea?) keeps trying to get a Deaf boy to put his hands down – she actually pushes it down several times. not sure if she is instructed to do so by the teacher off camera or its just her own inclination – im sure for her it was just “we dont gesture at this point in the song” but u can see her conflict and u can see his passion to use his hands to express himself and u might want to see my face at why is this conflict playing out – why not just let him sign? no harm in that is there? he is still singing – but let him sign – why not? it kinda reminded me of one of ur blog entries of how at the Utah oral school, the teacher had called u up to complain about Kat using too much sign language

    do u see the conflict in an EXCLUSIONARY approach and what it does to the kids

    we also see from data in Canada how Oral / Aural only push is all the rage when the babies are young but by the age of 10 we see a huge shift to signing programs and a decline in oral / aural only enrollment. This shift occurs when the kids start to be less docile and start to assert their somebodiness. Even the kids who can speak and hear a plenty say – i wanna be in an environment where i dont have to work for my words. Even some of the poster children say – wow i really wish i had sign language as a child.

    Now re: “what you want” – you want people to know there are a million right ways to parent a Deaf child

    I thank you for stating this clearly – i have to disagree that a “right way” of parenting would be to actively deny your child the RIGHT to a fully natural and accessible language. Four major international bodies have said it is WRONG to deny a Deaf child a fully natural and accessible signed language.

    You say it is ok to do this because now the CI are being implanted earlier and they kids are showing they are all caught up by 3 years old and this is not PROVEN TO BE TRUE. We also must always and forever more care about the kids who do not fare well in oral / aural only programs or for whom the CI are not effective

    We must care about them yes?

    so i advocate for that which is just, right and good – that Deaf children be afforded a fully natural and accessible signed language for their educational experience. i do not oppose the adding of speech therapy or audition as long as it does not prohibit sign language.

    it almost looks like we are in agreement.

    we are talking about the greater good for the greatest number

    last study shows that ASL actually helps speech development

    it will become increasingly hard to justify the active denial of a fully natural and accessibly signed language and hence they will increasing advocate for implanting the babies at 5 mo against FDA recommendations and for the pure oral / aural only approach AVT / LSL against four major international groups declarations that Deaf children should not be denied a fully natural and accessible signed language.

    It is within your right to choose oral /aural only for your daughter – this does not mean it is the right thing to do.

    U say you think parents should provide ASL for their children – i say ya hoo and bless you.

    I believe YOU YOU YOU Missy, MIss Kat’s Mom, would be an awesome advocate for a hybrid school – a school that taught subject matters using ASL and English and also provided therapy / clinical services that must accompany CI in order for spoken English to be developed

    and that might be your legacy some day. u might be THE person to put such an approach on the map. I know you have tried the spectrum but each time you have found some inadequacies. You are happy now but you are aware that many parents are being steered the oral / aural ONLY route for their children in the home and in the school and u say not so cool – they should know ASL.

    Veditz said the same – he said if oral / aural programs must exist – the teachers must have a working command of ASL

    in here we are not speaking of sim-com / total communication because that is what is in practice in most schools for the Deaf presently and in most self-contained classrooms and basically via interpreters in mainstream settings – this is not showing any notable gain in Deaf education.

    Oral / aural only and the CI revolution is also not showing real gain in outcomes – yes they might be hearing better and might be speaking but the literacy rates and SAT scores later in life r not great and almost all of them will be signing by the time they reach college age. now imagine if they had a fully natural and accessible signed language as a wee thing and then all that other stuff

    i have never advocated of the denial of audition and speaking. i have just always said it must not be at the exclusion of a fully natural and accessible signed language

    we know from studies of Deaf children with Deaf ASL parents that they exceed linguistically

    and yes i know some of those Deaf adults are now choosing CIs for their children – i understand their reasons – because they know oppression sucks and they want to ensure that they have done everything they possibly can to give their child a level playing field. Just as u do Missy. We saw this during the 1st wave of Oralism also – Deaf adults choosing oral /aural only schools for their Deaf children.

    The thing that is interesting to me Missy is with Deaf adults choosing CIs for their children:
    1. many of them still prefer to wait until the child is at an age where they can communicate with the parents so
    – the child has a say in the decision
    – the child can notify the parent clearly if the CI is not work or uncomfortable etc etc
    – the child already has a firm and solid linguistic foundation in a fully natural and accessible signed language

    2. in these cases where Deaf parents have chosen CI for their Deaf children – they often do not choose oral / aural ONLY programs any more as they did in the past – instead they lobby long and hard for high quality educational experiences for their Deaf child via Deaf schools and/or mainstream programs

    3. in these cases where Deaf parents have chosen CI for their Deaf children – they allow their children to decide when and where to use their CI

    They do not see the CI as anything more than a tool. it is not a cure, it is not a great equalizer, it is not a false hope, it is not THE answer

    So i do believe that if and when Deaf children are assured a fully natural and accessible signed language in the home and schools then and only then can we say that CIs are simply a tool and nothing more – just an accessory

    but sadly CIs are being billed as far more than just an addition to ..

    and they are often being PITTED against a fully natural and accessible signed language and that is not cool

    NO ONE should be advocating for early CI implanting to justify the exclusion of a natural and fully accessible signed language because that is not just or justifiable yet we see this is where the systems are trying to move things

    Missy – i appreciate the dialogue. I appreciate your passion and desire to see you demonstrate more compassion towards the Deaf babies and children who don’t fare as well as some of the stars in the program. We also know that even the stars are less than content with the chosen path their parents have taken.

    Re: blame – i will not place it at the feet of the parents because i have seen how the systems are working – i have been connecting the dots and really parents dont even have a fighting chance. Many of them are good and caring but many of them are being played and used and abused.

    Folks need to look at the CI industry – the profit, the recalls, the “research” they are generating, fines by DoJ and FDA, etc. Folks need to look at the deaths – dont tell me they are nothing or small or unimportant – if u do not care for everyone then i do not care for what u have to say. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere MLK JR

    folks need to look at AG BEll’s academy and the pushing of oral / aural only and at their lobbying and propaganda and their suing of schools to push for oral /aural ONLY

    folks need to look at EHDI – its huge push for the tracking and implanting of Deaf children and for oral / aural only and their lack of emphasis on a fully natural and accessible signed language as babies

    also have to look at NIH, CDC, and NCHAM

    its big Missy. bigger than you or I.

    Again and always i wish you the best. Seriously if some day you ever pursue a program being set up that has ASL and English for instruction of content and the clinical and therapeutic services you desire – id be very curious of the results.

    two languages are better than only being able to access one language when plugged in or in small group settings or amongst folks who use that language only

    Multilinguailism and biodiversity – its a good thing.

    Much peace to you and your family. Have a great sunday – its a blue sky, cool breeze, smells galore day today here.


  19. Dianrez
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 16:35:58

    MKM, I believe you. I believe you have met the “other side” and believe that you believe they are in the majority. It was difficult for me to search through your missive and pinpoint where you lost the truth. There are many places that you did, despite the exceptions that you hold to.

    Like you, I have met the “other side”, notably oral deaf adults and families of oral deaf people. I’ve even met ASL-using Deaf professionals who chose to raise their deaf kids orally.

    To each his own. To imply, as you have, that they are happy and successful and well adjusted AS A RULE is wrong. There are stresses in every lifestyle and the oral deaf is no exception. I have seen parents in those families argue with each other and end up at impasses because they misunderstood each other. (I could describe the grotesque mouthings and loudness but won’t.) I’ve seen oral and HOH children cry even with fresh batteries in their expensive devices. Yes, MKM, oral people have their down times, too…a LOT of them.

    What distresses me is the “hearing standard” that is consistently applied to these people. From the earliest moment when hearing aids are put on to the very last moment when it is taken off and beyond, everything has to be heard. Everything. What is not heard is secondary in importance. Report cards include “speech”, “speech discrimination” and “oral language”. The child is aware that his ears and the instruments attached to them have some mystical power that he yet cannot comprehend but is somehow given the hope that when he grows up, he will be just like the talking people who omnipotently manage the world about him.

    These people grow up and become absorbed into the hearing community, but never fully feel part of it. They become isolates, solo people who associate with a few hearing people, usually family members, and perhaps a few other oral people. The disadvantage is still there: being a step out of sync, missing key bits of information, depending on others for these bits. You might say it’s different because of the CI. I’m saying that is a fallacy; the CI rarely results in hearing like that of everybody else. Hearing people will always have advantage and forget that there are others that don’t.

    Like most of the people you see in Deaf cyberspace, I am an ex-oral person who “came in from the cold” as a young adult and happily joined the ASL community while retaining contacts, family, business and working life in the hearing community.

    Perhaps in a future blog I will describe the specific oral people I have known who are the other face of the “successful oral adults” you brought up. Trust me, neither you nor I would want to be among them.

  20. Miss Kat's Mom
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 20:20:08

    No, it is not Miss Kat pushing the child’s hands down, but I do know both children. The child who is waving his arms is NOT signing. He does not know sign and never has. He is imitating the music teacher who is conducting the music. The child who he is bothering keeps pushing his hands down. IT HAS NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH SIGNING. The boy is in my daughter’s class and he doesn’t know any sign. No one is instructing the little girl to push his hands down, she was simply annoyed by him waving his arms. You do not know ANY of the kids involved, so you are seeing something that is NOT there.

  21. Miss Kat's Mom
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 20:25:55

    Oh, and Patti, yes Deaf of Deaf do better than signing Deaf of hearing. That research is clear. BUT the research shows that they do NOT reach the level of hearing kids. The only research that has ever had deaf students reach equal level with hearing kids in language and literacy was a recent done of AV kids….

  22. Dianrez
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 21:02:11

    MKM: regarding any research that you read: look at the numbers of subjects. Look at who is doing the research. Look at who is funding it and/or the salaries of the people writing the report. And look at the totality of that research: are the same few subjects being used in successive reports? How many other researchers are corroborating or refuting it? Are there factors left out that should be included?

    Finally, look at the people who review this research, notably those in different disciplines, such as practicing educators of deaf children. What are they saying about it? Does their experience support the results?

    On these grounds, much of this research is discredited. They are also the same grounds that oralist organizations use to convince parents. Quoting this kind of research here tends to undercut your remarks as a parent.

  23. Miss Kat's Mom
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 22:02:24

    The same thing can be said for the research Patti was quoting.

    I don’t do AV, and I don’t believe it is the right methodology for the majority of deaf kids. BUT the research shows that it works great. The research is also showing that ASL kids are not doing as well as hearing kids, even those using ASL from the start. ASL alone does not provide for literacy in English, the research is showing that as well.

    I don’t want to get into a research war. I was simply responding to the generally held myth that Deaf of Deaf kids don’t have literacy issues.

  24. handeyes
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 00:29:49

    Missy –

    the boy in the red shirt is signing ME several times. You are saying the boy is simply copying what the music teacher is signing / gesturing. I have no idea why the music teacher would be signing / gesturing ME several times during the song and why is the boy just copying the teacher if it has no meaning.

    I am just stating what i am seeing which is a fact for all to see – the very animated and lively little guy loves to use his hands and his classmate tried to stop him at times. That’s a fact.

    re: “The only research that has ever had deaf students reach equal level with hearing kids in language and literacy was a recent done of AV kids….”

    can you pls cite this source

    AVT has been around since the 1970s as have cochlear implants. The results have not been great, consistent, reliable, and replicable across the board.

    Mainstreaming has been around since the 1970s and more than 85% of Deaf kids spend part or all of their day in mainstream settings and we still only see a meager improvement in their literacy skills.

    Just Facts.

    re: your statement to Dianrez “ASL alone does not provide for literacy in English, the research is showing that as well.”

    well of course not – if i use French alone how is my child to learn English.

    the problem is that most Deaf children are put into an oral / aural only path or a sim-com path. Very few have had a bi-bi path.

    A true bilingual education is what is required which there are almost none of in the US. The few that exist have children entering at a variety of ages with a variety of home language access and language fluency.

    To me it is always so impressive how much English Deaf folks CAN understand considering so many Deaf folks have had VERY limited access to English.

    Some day it would be great to see researchers study the resiliency of Deaf folks minds to gleen meaning, knowledge, information, language structure when most of their language models and exposures have been very inaccessible or incomplete. Many Deaf folks English is considerably very good considering all they have had to endure.

    Also Dianrez’s questions are VERY important to examine when we are examining “research”

    N (# of subjects)
    funding of the research / study
    is the improvement correlative or causal or even spurious
    where is the study published – in biased publications that are promoting an exclusionary approach or agenda?

    we know that the use of ASL does not prohibit a Deaf child from learning English and/or developing speech. We know that oral /aural only and AVT / LSL do deprive and prohibit a Deaf child from developing sign language.

    Missy – i have given you several in-depth responses and each time you pull at a little wee thing to say “see see you dont know what you are talking about” and each time i prove that yes i do know what im talking about – you just dont like what i know.

    ’tis a pity and ’tis a getting ole. as in same ole same ole.

    bring a little substance re: the big picture – im all eyes. if its more wagging the tail stuff – nah thanks. i’ve seen that dance before.



  25. handeyes
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 00:39:21

    Dianrez – thank you for all you have written

    the “hearing standard” is not cool and it reminds me of how folks are sometimes judged by the color of their skin and not the content of their character – boo and grrr that is so not cool.

    re: all u know and have seen – yep.

    if u do blog it – pls link me. i like the good stuff

    re: all ur super sharp questions re: “studies” and “research” – yep and oy!

    thank u again



  26. Miss Kat's Mom
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 01:09:49

    I know the child. He knows zero sign. He has been in my daughter’s class the entire time we have attended this school. He may have been gesturing, but he simply does not know sign. Why do you think you actually know more than someone who sees and talks to this child every single day?

    And here is a link to the AV article

  27. handeyes
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 02:28:18

    Missy –
    maybe u want to watch the videos again – he is pointing at himself SEVERAL times which indicates “me” as a gesture or a sign. All i said was the FACT of what i can see in the video. My goodness and your badness – when u get cranky you really get cranky.

    re: the link. ah u tossed this one at me before and Dianrez’s questions are spot on about this one – you need to look at the N of Deaf subjects – which is very low, you need to look at where they got financial support for the study, you need to look at where it was published and what its primary purpose and bias is

    the study is interesting because it notes how poor AVT has fared in other studies

    you had written: “The only research that has ever had deaf students reach equal level with hearing kids in language and literacy was a recent done of AV kids….”

    the study said that for the READING assessment “The numbers of children in each group were considered too small for sta- tistical comparison” – only 7 of the 19 Deaf kids (AVT) and only 7 of the 19 Hearing kids (TH) were able to be tested re: reading

    So nope this prized study of yours does not really SHOW great raving results for literacy yet.

    for language – it says “not significantly different” between the groups and
    “Further comparisons of receptive and expressive language results were made using standard scores on the CELF-3 as age equivalence is not calculated on this assessment. For receptive language, no significant changes in standard scores were found from pretest to posttest for each group because standard scores are age corrected (z = –1.808, p = 0.071 for the AVT group; z = –1.7, p = 0.089 for the TH group). Also, the amount of change displayed by both groups was not significantly different (z = 0.599, p = 0.549). Similarly, for expressive language, there was no significant change in standard scores between pre- and posttest for each group (z = –1.002, p = 0.316 for the AVT group; z = –1.373, p = 0.170 for the TH group) and no significant difference for amount of progress between the two groups (z = –1.131, p = 0.895).”

    this is not really RAVINGLY wow – AVT saves the day – it might be proof that AVT does not destroy but still that is not clear because it isnt testing kids much later in age where LANGUAGE assessment is assessing for much more complicated mechanism and structures. (this is obvious from the fact that they couldnt even assess reading due to the fact that the majority of subjects had not even achieved the ability to read and thus be tested in reading yet – stuff gets harder as u get older)

    also – ideally they would have included 19 Deaf children without AVT with the same background as the other subjects to pre and post test and follow over the same time periods to compare – if those kids showed difference and fell outside the range or indicated a significant difference then causal might be determined

    as it stands now it is not clear that AVT is the cause or other factor(s)



  28. Dianrez
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 05:22:30

    As a study, it has to be considered with similar studies that generalize much from a very small sample of selected subjects with other factors not matched between groups such as educational backgrounds of parents. It also is limited in longitudinal study: only a year or so at the preschool level.

    Overlooked is this review note in the preliminaries: “However, other researchers found that although early cochlear implantation had a long-term positive impact on listening and spoken language development, it did not result in age-appropriate reading levels in high school for the majority of students (Geers, Tobey, Moog, & Brenner, 2008).”

    This is important: are professionals actually valuing listening and speaking over the ability to read? This has bothered me consistently in reviewing early childhood research and educational programming. Speech and hearing skill doesn’t get one through college. Reading skill does. The two are not necessarily interdependent.

    Deaf professionals are hammering on *Language Development*, which goes far beyond the skills of discrimination of sounds and the articulation of words. Language Development means the exchange of ideas, critical thinking in evaluating and utilization of what one receives, use of comparative knowledge, production of thought and communication of these thoughts, and seeking of additional information.

    MKM, you are at a stage with your young child that is different than the young adult stages that Patti and others are presently working with, so perhaps this discourse is not productive. You are looking at one end of the developmental spectrum, and others are looking at the other end. You are experiencing it as a parent, while the others have the vantage both from personally experiencing it and professionally observing it in peers and students. What looks like truth from one end can look much different from the other.

  29. Miss Kat's Mom
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 22:40:36

    The problem is that NO methodology has EVER shown deaf (or Deaf) kids to catch up to hearing kids in reading. That is the whole problem. I have never ever ever seen a longitudinal study of ASL users that show them get to typical reading levels.

    If ANYONE has such a study, regardless of number of kids, or who the heck funded it, I would love to see it.

    And, btw, yeah, I am sick of people claiming that the child in the video is being punished for signing. It is total garbage. The kid isn’t signing. He is gesturing and the child next to him gets sick of his arms in her face.

  30. Dianrez
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 23:47:11

    I’m scratching my head, MKM. I understand your wanting to have a study documenting that deaf kids catch up to hearing kids in reading, whatever the methodology.

    How about this: the Deaf bloggers you see around you that are reasonably literate. Many of them had ASL from childhood. How about the Gallaudet and NTID entering students; most are reasonably fluent in reading, enough to meet or surpass the entrance requirements. How about those that do not attend college and/or have disabilities in writing and reading English, but who still are competent enough to fill out forms and read newspaper headlines along with the lower to middle range of hearing high school graduates.

    Probably there aren’t any studies that do a full breakdown of the literacy factors in this population; but rest assured, a substantial number arrive at some kind of competency.

    What we want is most Deaf kids arriving at more than a passing literacy; due to the disadvantage of being deaf in a hearing world, every little bit of extra ability counts. We are happy when the kids are able to pass the written part of drivers license exams, intelligently discuss health matters, understand that contracts are legally binding, and compare products in the marketplace, but we also want them to be able to find information, critically compare politicians and read books. Oh, it’s nice if they can make small talk and converse with strangers on a basic level. No doubt. So can most developmentally delayed people who have reached an independent level.

    We believe that ASL and not restricted oralism or AVT methods is the way to arrive at true discourse. Oralism teaches speaking ability of a certain degree, AVT teaches a hearing ability of some degree. ASL teaches critical thinking and discourse, exchange and osmosis of information, fluency in the essentials of language (and I am not talking about English per se, but a true, fully accessible human communication). The adage goes like this: oralism teaches one how to talk. ASL teaches one things to talk about.

    I’m sure we can all agree on this: restricted methods that exclude or limit any modality is wrong and shortsighted. Intuitive truths are not easily outlined in studies.

  31. handeyes
    Sep 20, 2011 @ 01:29:58

    Missy – merrily verily merrily verily life is but a dream

    Dianrez – well that there is a gem amongst ur many “The adage goes like this: oralism teaches one how to talk. ASL teaches one things to talk about.”

    thank u for all ya wrote

    reminds me of a time that some professors including myself were taking a computer based English test to see how user friendly it was for students and when we finished – all the scores were shown. My DEAF buddy ole pal scored a perfect score – i got 2 wrong and the rest of the folks got 5 or more wrong

    they were all hearing.

    go figure

    one of the hearing male teacher’s remarked – “well, what do you know about that – i got beat by two Deaf women” he was kinda shocked. shocking, huh?

    and to me English slickiness dont really mean all that much to me – one of the smartest people i know is a hearing man, who barely passed high school, suffered a brain injury, he went to a community college for 8 days, he was lost for many years in drugs and has now been sober for more than 20, he owns his house in full, he has a boat and loves his wife, his family, his dog, his friends, bill and bob, fishing, long long long walks in the woods, his meetings, etc and he teaches me volumes, volumes

    i know some folks who have multiple degrees, IQs off the chart – Deaf and hearing alike, signers and non-signers and still i’d choose the bloke above if i was in a pinch and if i wasnt

    its the content of our character that matters. not our dB loss, not how much we can hear with or without CIs, not how slicky we can write, not how well we can talk

    What we have to say is more important than what language we express it in

    thank gosh for good folks on this planet – its the only hope we have cuz the greater good aint gonna be saved or served by the bad

    much peace


  32. Miss Kat's Mom
    Sep 20, 2011 @ 01:59:24

    So then there is no such research to back it up?

    The idea that I would send my child to a school that taught only speaking is incredibly offensive. My daughter is being educated with the very same curriculum as any public school. She has an hour of small group language arts and then another hour in a larger group. Reading is the BIGGEST emphasis at the school. She also has math, science, social studies as well as gym every day. She has library, computer class, music and art weekly. The idea that she is being taught the skills needed for critical thinking is outrageous.

  33. handeyes
    Sep 20, 2011 @ 03:19:50

    missy –

    ohh how u drift down that river. I assume you are over reacting to Dianrez’s adage so ill let her decide if she wants to continue this with u. She clearly did not say what u r accusing her of having said. so to that b.s. ill simply say Ya Basta!

    ’tis a pity and a pattern how ya twist and spin it missy

    meanwhile ill just sing a few bars of “oh say can you see….”

    peace much,


  34. Dianrez
    Sep 20, 2011 @ 05:23:16

    MKM, that saying is old as the fracas between AGBell and E M Gallaudet. There were (and still are) schools that spend so much time in oral training that reading and writing were left till age 9 or so. So it was meant ironically and generally, not in particular to your child’s school. It sounds like a good school and provided all the curriculum is accessible and sticking to the child, things will turn out well. (remember the kids in our colleges.) Let’s stop with the CI defensiveness and just trust that Miss Kat is in good hands and that you need do nothing more than just be a supportive and accessible mom.

  35. Dianrez
    Sep 20, 2011 @ 20:13:27

    In reviewing this blog and the responses here, I realized that we went off the subject, ie. how AGBell has consistently blocked and confused the issues in its single-minded quest to protect its assumptions and its sources of income: activities to promote oralism/auralism.

    The protest in DC was between Deaf people and AGBell. It had less to do with today’s parents or children, it was more about the organization’s pathology orientation, its PR outreach that attempts to minimize ASL and to promote the idea that oralism and auralism is THE ONLY way to treat “deafness”. It is a mindset that denies Deaf people their humanity, their wholeness and their right to have a say in education of the next generation.

    Taking it personally, MKM, and hopping on the exceptional few who have done well (despite AGBell’s mistakes) due to other factors such as having partial hearing, exceptional benefit from CI’s, supportive family, innate talent that perfectly dovetails with oral instruction, etc., does not help the cause that Patti and the other demonstrators at the convention were trying to advocate.

    This is a cause that would eventually benefit your daughter as an adult: respect for The Deaf Person in all matters that relate to society, education, self-determination and independence. And the right not to be defined by one’s weakest abilities.

    These demonstrators aren’t troublemakers. I know some of them personally. They are professors at NTID, respected teachers, responsible Deaf Adults, and articulate bloggers. They risked their jobs, their careers, and their reputations by staging the sit-in. They gave up their precious vacation time and stood for hours in boiling hot, 90-plus degree humidity to drive a stake through the heart of an organization that has stood unchallenged too many years. They risked arrest and financial penalties to make their point.

    How effective they were can be measured in small ways: the conference attender who cried in the meeting. The friendly policemen who chatted with the demonstrators rather than put on gloves and maintain a stony facade like in other demonstrations. The bypassers who stopped to talk and were impressed by the points made. And the public who suddenly became aware that Deaf people were showing a public opposition to a previously unquestioned charity and wondered what was really going on behind those tall columns of the AGBell mausoleum.

    More and more people are listening. People are questioning and examining the gaps in the AGBell philosophy. There is a growing awareness that there are other and healthier orientations than theirs. I personally hope that it reaches a point where everybody realizes that like political parties, AGBell needs to be taken with a critical mindset.

  36. Miss Kat's Mom
    Sep 20, 2011 @ 23:14:11

    Dianrez, this is where we disagree. If these people wanted to spend their time (and reputations) actually trying to change something for the future of deaf children, they would help families. They would use their time volunteering as Deaf mentors, teaching free ASL classes for families, or even just reading a story to a Deaf class….DOING rather than complaining about what happened in Milan or about AG Bell. AG Bell simply supports parents who have chosen to use spoken language. I do not belong to the organization, and I never will, but I certainly have availed myself of their expertise. They are never going away, and I don’t think they should. They have every right to exist, but the world would be better if there were parent’s organizations that exist for parents who choose other methodologies as well. (I believe Hands & Voices is wonderful. I fully support them.)

  37. Miss Kat's Mom
    Sep 20, 2011 @ 23:19:52

    Oh, and part of the reason that I think that parent’s like me do not find AG Bell as distasteful as some other organizations is because they NEVER say that the other choice is wrong or bad. I have never seen AG Bell material that says that if I sign with a child they will never have appropriate language and they certainly never say that spoken language is a deaf child’s “human right”. By saying things like that you automatically put up a barrier between the parents and yourselves. They are going to shut down and stop listening.

  38. handeyes
    Sep 21, 2011 @ 01:14:32

    “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery
    None but ourselves can free our minds…”

    much peace


  39. handeyes
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 00:36:28

    For what AG Bell does say –

    teachers of the Deaf are “hearing specialists”
    independence comes from listening and talking
    Deaf ASL folks are isolated and dependent

    and lots more in their auditory/oral mandate for oral /aural only schools and public schools



Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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: