Connecting some dots re: the 2nd Wave of Oralism

NOTE 1: Oralism means – oral / aural ONLY

NOTE 2: speaking and listening is fine –  excluding ASL from a Deaf child’s education and family is not.  billing listening and talking as the path to independence is not fine and saying it can only be achieved by an exclusionary means necessary is not right, just, good or true.

In reading a WIRED article about static from sliding down slides on playgrounds wiping  out cochlear implant mapping programs, i learned that John Tracy Clinic had a Teacher Education program.  In looking at that the John Tracy Clinic  2 year teacher education program i see a mention of:

Requires current employment as a teacher in an auditory-oral “Center of Excellence” as outlined in the Alexander Graham Bell Association’s “Components of a Quality Auditory-Oral Program”

so i google AG Bell Association Components of a Quality Auditory-Oral program and am a bit freaked out.  I mean it is hard core and the fact that the John Tracy Clinic STILL requires that its applicants be involved with schools that adhere to this manifesto – well yikes!

This obsessive mandate that everyBODY must be committed to the auditory/oral philosophy – family and extended family, administrators, general education staff, board of education and the community – Wow!  so much for respecting various languages and ways of communicating.

Oralism is King it seems.

Haven’t we done been there, done that before – AG Bell Assoc?   Or didnt you get the Babbidge report or the COED report or the ICED 2010 New Era Agreement and Accord of the Future or the more recent reports that show that while cochlear implanting is on the raise – most Deaf kids make their way to sign language by adolescence.

Audism is King in this document also.

according to AG Bell Association Public School Caucus Components of a Quality Auditory-Oral program – (page 7) (bold added by me)

Audition is:

  • the natural foundation for all learning,
  • the best avenue for receiving and developing spoken language
  • the best avenue for developing speech production,
  • the most expedient avenue for receiving information, and
  • the system that warns us of impending danger.

wow wee!!!!!

Lots of creepy stuff about Early Identification / Intervention and LRE in this document too.

AG Bell Association Position Paper on Cochlear Implants (no idea why AG Bell Association’s server is down.  Let’s not assume its to erase their paper trail re: offensive Pepsi letter, bylaws prohibiting propaganda and lobbying, this position paper, and much much more.  lets just assume the best – that its simply a technical malfunction.  technology does break sometimes – just check out all the CI recalls and all the ones that have stopped working that are still in folks’ heads)  Now back to CI in children and AG Bell’s position statement –

1st line in this doc. is the forever tooted AG Bell mission of promoting the falsehood of independence comes from listening and talking and the 2nd sentence reads

“Cochlear implants for children with hearing loss, combined with appropriate habilitation, can provide a key to making that independence achievable.

Ah hmmmmm well how come so many Deaf kids with CIs grow up later to use sign language?  and what of the Deaf kids who do not have CI or habilitation – are they never going to achieve independence?

whoa – chill on the propaganda would ya AG BELL Assoc – geez ya keep violating ur own bylaws there ya know

the position paper mentions the “efficacy” (the things turn on and off) and not the “EFFECTIVENESS”

it also states:

“Auditory learning integrated with social, emotional and cognitive development is crucial to proficiency in the use of spoken language.

Wow, how did Deaf folks ever learn to talk before there were cochlear implants?  from this position paper, it looks like it would be impossible to do without all this stuff but we do know that many Deaf folks do speak and many of them have never had cochlear implants so…. hmmmm

“It is now appropriate for children to receive implants at a very young age. This trend has been reinforced by the accurate and early diagnosis of hearing loss.

Is it appropriate for doctors to be performing bilateral implant surgery on 5 month old babies when the FDA recommends 12 mo old and up?

And again the push for early detection appears to be for the purpose of early implantation. hmmmm

“Current research further substantiates that children who receive implant(s) at an early age can demonstrate impressive growth in spoken language and literacy achievement comparable to the levels of their peers with typical hearing.

Shouldn’t they be citing the source of this research?  I hope they are not referring to that one single study in Australia with a small N that was funded by biased systems and COCHLEAR the co.

If cochlear implants and AVT/LSL are to be credited for independence  and speech and literacy abilities then shall they also be faulted when a cochlear implant dies or has to be explanted or when speech and literacy skills are not up to par?

Odd that they don’t mention the language skills and literacy abilities of Deaf children who got a fully natural and accessible sign language at birth up or the study that shows ASL actually helps Deaf children’s speech or the study of how by elementary school Deaf kids shift from oral / aural only programs and into signing programs.

“Cochlear implant technology brings with it a responsibility to support this new access to sound. An appropriate educational intervention program optimizes the integration of auditory learning with spoken language and literacy skills.”

This is just a fancy way of saying oral / aural ONLY programs.  They don’t say oral so much no more on their website cuz ya get some mighty dirty pictures when you key in the word “oral” for a google search

hmmm and I wonder what educational intervention program they have in mind?

perhaps the AG Bell academy AVT/LSL program that has not yielded consistent or reliable results or the much sought after independence as the recipients of cochlear implants and AVT and oral / aural only education often still prefer visual access to information ie captioning for TV, subtitles for films, text messaging, CART, etc (even Rush Limbaugh who was hearing his whole LONG life until very recently “depends” on captioning and one on one conversations without background noise.

– folks might also want to check out the House Ear Research Institute founded by the famous Dr. House – one of the earliest cochlear implant surgeons in the U.S.  The House Ear Research Institute is the top banner on the AG Bell Association website – scroll down on the Pros and Cons of Effective Teaching page at the House Ear Research Institute and see how visual acuity is discouraged and oral / auditory is overly encouraged

We also need to start questioning:

-teacher education programs that push the auditory / oral philosophy

– cochlear implant industry profits, recalls, fines, ethics, language deprivation, etc.

– early hearing detection and intervention (Universal Newborn Hearings Screening and EHDI) – tracking and resources

– the Center for Disease Control (genetics and tracking) and NIH – NDICD and NCHAM

– Food & Drug Administration and how its page on Cochlear Implant safety and recalls doesn’t list recent recalls

wow wee!

“Components of a Quality Auditory-Oral Program”

de ja vu? and whatcha gonna do?

ya gonna wave the 2nd wave in or ya gonna put up a hand and say Ya Basta?

Truth and love always win – think of it always said gandhi and….

STAND 4 PEACE   ^ 4 v

NOTE: MLK Jr defined positive peace not as the absence of tension but rather the presence of justice

it is UNJUST to deny a Deaf child the right to a fully natural and accessible sign language as well as the language of the majority



3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dianrez
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 02:08:50

    In the fight against pure oralism/auralism, I keep coming back to the same conclusion. Key is the parent or guardian and what they want. Yes, WANT.

    They want: language that they speak to be spoken by the child. That their relatives speak. That there be no difference in expectations as if they had a hearing child. Layered upon this is the planted idea that the child won’t be independent unless they can hear and speak. And cultivated by the oralist establishments whose existence hinges upon this idea.

    The WANT is nurtured all the way by promises, false hope, kernels of truth, stellar examples, and exhortations of “it won’t be easy, we all must pull together, we will succeed if only because it is hard work.”

    As long as the WANT is buttressed by false prophets the child’s hunger for communication and for learning will be only partially satisfied through incomplete means.

    Wiser parents who realize that every child has unique needs and is able to be flexible about their expectations and methods will reap huge rewards for that flexibility. However, it requires great strength of character and sensitivity to see through the dreamlike haze of oralism.

    The more I think about this, the more clear that the corporations involved in marketing speech and hearing must be LEGISLATED, like drug manufacturers. Otherwise there is no limit to the claims and the hard sell they perpetuate.

    Require them to produce direct proof and full, unambiguous statistics. Require them to label their products with cautions about limited input and failures. Prohibit them from making unsubstantiated claims, like “independence through listening and speaking.” This is similar to Big Tobacco ads claiming that “smoking is good for you.” Require them to say outright and repeatedly, “Results not typical” in every stellar example.

    The same goes for comprehensive ASL-included programs, obviously. However, on the platform of unambiguous reality, they shine beside oral/aural corporations. No claims, no promises. Just as in public education, key is in encouraging, effective input and full access.

  2. handeyes
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 03:09:21

    ah diane

    u such a good thinker and soul

    not sure if u have seen this but related to parents

    i have long thought that on Maslow’s Hiearchy of NEEDS – that language would be at the physiological level – this is the bottom and most fundamental one

    i had wondered well why didnt maslow mention language and then BINGO – ahh cuz NO children on the planet are regularly depraved of this basic physical need on the road to HUMANNESS except for extreme cases like Victor (wild boy of Aveyon) and the tragic case of Genie

    Except for Deaf babies – they are often systematically deprived of a fully natural and accessible language in the quest for the holy grail – it is insanely unjust

    there is no sound (pun intended) or just reason to deprive a Deaf infant and child of a fully natural and accessible language – it does NOT hurt their potential with speech and hearing and in fact at times aids them

    veditz talked of how bi-bi was the greatest good for the greatest number and really that is what we should be aiming for

    sure give them that other stuff if u want – no one is saying deprive kids of that stuff but we are saying do NOT deprive them of ASL+English

    one thing of note is – i am learning from MANY parents how they were not freaked out by the birth of their Deaf baby or the notification that they child was Deaf – they simply wanted information and resources of how to go about learning a language their child could use and understand easily but the SYSTEMS and white coats and “specialists” were all doom and gloom and making into a tragedy when they didnt see it that way.

    ive seen this from several people lately – saying “you know those grief stages – they didnt apply to me and my partner. We were fine with are child being Deaf, we just needed to learn sign language and we were off and running” some even said they had to kinda console and/or correct the “specialists”

    re: warning labels – betty g. miller the mother of De’VIA has a powerful artwork called “crucifixion” in which she nailed an old body aid into a painted read board – inside the aid she has a label – i dont recall the exact wording but something like “WARNING: failure to use this devices makes life void of all meaning” or something like that

    opposite of what u r calling for but certainly the msg she and we have been rammed over the head with for ages.

    yawn – when r they ever gonna get will the program

    All folks are created equal



  3. Trackback: Deafhood Discussions » Connecting some dots re: the 2nd Wave of Oralism (People of the Eye, Sept. 21)

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