hmmmm what happens w/o lang. & culture

hmmmm what happens w/o lang. and culture

just a couple of famous psychosocial development charts for us to consider when examining the unexamined – what happens when a babe is routinely denied the right to a fully natural language and culture and the right to be… Deaf?????

None of the theories below really mention language because language is an automatic given EXCEPT in extreme neglect or abuse cases (ie Genie and the wild boy of Aveyon –  Victor and other feral children cases)  By and large LANGUAGE is an inalienable right and bare necessity afforded to all children ….except for Deaf children who are routinely denied a fully natural and accessible language under the cloak of doing what is “best” for them (dang ole mask of benevolence) – forever made to “work for their words”

yep there are actually folks out there saying – you have to deny your child the right to a fully natural and accessible language in order to HELP her/him function in society (just yesterday someone told me their parents were required to sign a form that they would raise their child oral / aural ONLY or the doctor would not give them a cochlear implant.  – ahh parental choice!)

now just a few hallmark theories in which we should be asking – what happens if language and identity formation are actively devoid or denied?

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need:
Click the image and ask yourself what happens to all the higher building blocks when an infant is routinely denied her/his physiological need of language and forever made to work for her/his words?

Erikson’s 8 Stages of Human Psychosocial Development:

You can see how each stage is set as a VS. – a this or a that – a conflict and those stages can and do affect the next and the next and the next etc. But the important notion is one of CHOICE and being equipped and free to make our OWN choices.  Unfortunately that is not always the choice for most Deaf children because they are being denied language to understand and be understood by and because they are having devices implanted in them that are stimulus / response conditioning based and now operated by remote control by others (parents, teachers, aides, speech pathologists, audiologists, – everybody but them and its THEIR body)

Erikson’s 8 Stages and Agents of Socialization that influence and interact with these stages:

And you can see from the charts below that the main agents of socialization help determine which way we go in those stages of conflict – to the light or the darkness.  don’t believe me?  just check out Harlow’s study with monkeys of the terry cloth vs. wire & milk fame  (google Harlow monkey youtube and you will get many clips demonstrating the effect of that experiment had on the wee things throughout their development)

we wont even get into the fact that parents are being pressured to put their kids under to get one implant by 1 years old then a 2nd one before 2 years old.

we wont discuss the psychological impact that has on the baby nor the possibility of placebo effect on the parents.

Nor will we discuss the FDA commissioned Mayo Clinic study that shows an alarming increase in the rate of LEARNING DISABILITIES in kids that had two or more surgerys with anethesia befor the age of 2.

Nor will we discuss the affect of remote controlled cochlear implants on infants and toddlers who might later be found to be autistic – what kind of affect is that constant barage of artificial sound, mapping, testing, proding, and prompting, stimulus-response gonna have on a child of whom auditory stimulation can be VERY disorienting and disturbing.  (note: with the universal newborn screening Deaf babies are detected quick like a bunny where as the signs of autism are usually not noted until 2 – 4 years old when many of them have already been implanted)

Cooley’s Looking Glass Self Theory:

Basically Cooley’s theory is how others see me is how i see myself and the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy theory is an extension of that – if folks tell me I’m a looser and I start to see myself as a looser then I start to set myself up for failure and fulfill that prophecy of my looserness (can go the opposite way too – if folks tell me im g-d incarnate, i start to believe im the bomb on crack and doing really bonky things.  this is why its good to have folks around u that will simply tell u the truth – you are beautiful and there is room for improvement ; ) always

There are more theories and experiments that have some bearings on our collective experience – Milgram and Zimbardo’s studies on power, obedience, learned helplessness and abuse come to mind.  Operant condition – OY!  Stereotype threats and social norming also have some application here.  But what we have here now is a pretty good start me think and yes i totally wish someone would create a chart or theory hand tailored to the Deaf experience.  We do have N. Glickman and Maxwell-McCaw examination of Deaf identity formation but that is largely borrowed from other minority group models (Cross etc) – and I’ve never seen any drawing or chart.

Pictures – me like pictures.  Feed me Feed me – I’m hungry – smile.  Pictures and chart help us see the big picture and perhaps leap a little higher and better as we jump at da sun.  So we come up with our own theory – not adapted or measured by Dominant societies standards but rather something of, by and for US.

Truth and love always win – think of it always (loosely from Gandhi)


Do something!

heye all

i want to shout out a bit about the dangerous trend going on in our country and internationally

the natives r restless and the SYSTEMS are getting repressive

this is what usually happens in times of economic troubles

and there are troubles folks with a big ole capital T

dont let your banks “free love” bs of a nice ole credit line fool u

dont let the bank of a me i can backing down on the $5 charge make u think its all good now because i got my way on that one time

nope – that aint how it works.  the message now is STAND STRONGER and

See Time Mag - person of the year. if u protested any injustice this year - that is YOU on the cover. take a bow and stand up again and again.


(and yes im very aware of the flame war going on about some lack of signing in a gally video and some over abundance of signs for hearing and speech – and NO  it is not an ant hill nor a mole hill.  it is important and folks should take a stand about it.  Right now i think they doing just fine and if they need me they know where to find me so im gonna put me eyes and heart on what is troubling me right now)

NOTE: you totally want to buy an issue of Time Mag. person of the year – cuz its us.  Folks who STAND and protest injustice and the article about the street vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, who one year ago today ignited the light of folks taking to the streets for economic and social justice by lighting himself on fire in Tunisia is very important – among many other stories of ordinary people doing out of the ordinary things.

the national defense authorization act NDAA

u dont know what it is?  well u should cuz it could be coming for u.  It is basically a new bill that Obama is likely to sign that allows for Americans to be picked up and held without trial on charges of terrorism

and who defines terrorism?

and what happened to our mighty and precious Bill of Rights – several of them of which ensure due process and fairness huh huh huh?

See NDAA Bill Aims to Suppress Internet Freedom from the International Business Times (yes i get my news from reputable sources not bloggers)

Is the NDAA virtually empowering the US govt to perform acts of terrorism on its own citizens whom they suspect of terrorism and what of the folks who get caught up in this system unjustly or accidentally? hmmm

Anonymous (the hacker network and not the folks who have no courage to use their own name when leaving stupid comments here and there)pledges to expose Senator Portman (R-Ohio) who introduced this bill and has big money (> $200,000) from various groups that support the NDAA (like all the co. that make stuff for riot control and police gear etc)

The ACLU has out a call for folks to email President Obama and sayVETO this viciousness – its a simple form letter and u just fill in some blanks.  The ACLU is a reputable system or u can scope around for some others that u might like.  Even the tea partyers are not happy with this bill so folks get Obama to remember that Declaration of Independence and US Constitution that he loved so dearly when he came into office.

Bradley Manning

the young guy who got a bunch of the truths about our unjust wars out to Wikileak is facing military trial.  His lawyer is requesting the chief investigator (judge?) to recuse himself due to conflicts with his prior role with the Dept of Justice but he said no.  Manning has suffered some VERY bad treatment while in the various military prisons.

So we see the reason why the NDAA is not sweet.  Even when u get a trial – it aint always good now imagine when u dont even get one.

And the US charging others for revealing their dirty dealings and  well – its complicated aint it?

Transcript is below the video box

Veterans: 7 Facts about our veterans that will shock you

this is a poster out from  if u feel there is nothing u can do today  – i hope at least after u click the link below and read the 7 facts – you will click the twitter and facebook buttons to help these facts get circulated

we gotta get the truth out there

Deaf folks in prison:

im worried folks – im really worried about the “justice” system and Deaf folks.  Just the wee bit of experience i have had “within” the system – be arrested, detained, imprisoned, bailed out, arraigned, pre-trialed, trial (kinda), awaiting trial – i cant help but look around and see who is the average person in the system (not folks in there for exercising their constitutional rights and engaging in civil disobedience to right the wrongs of restricking free speech and assembly) i see that the folks in the system are predominantly disenfranchised folks – usually poor (most have public defenders), from an ethnicity, race, or nationality other than whitebread US of A, some speak other languages, and we gotta ask how did they get here and how r the gonna get out of this vicious cycle cuz there is little correct about the correctional system.  and now i worry – over the top worry about Deaf folks in this system

John T. Williams mural in Seattle, WA. Photo: Creative Commons/

if Deaf folks can be shot down and killed on city streets in broad day light by police officers simply because they did not heed the call to stop cuz they couldnt HEAR IT – well i gotta worry.  Shot with bullets and now with stun guns.

Imagine pepper-spray in the eyes of a Deaf person.  This is not cool nor funny folks.

this is SERIOUS

now imagine them handcuffed BEHIND THE BACK and not given an interpreter cuz the law doesnt require it except for interrogation.  yep it is not even REQUIRED for miranda rights and for interrogation it does not have to be a certified interpreter.

Qualified is the buzz word and is defined by “effective communication” and who determines what “effective” is?  hmmm

and gosh forbid u got a family member who wants to get rid of u

this is the 2nd time ive read of a family member falsely accusing an innocent Deaf person and sending them to prison unjustly and unendingly

so not cool (see the castration and incarceration case of junius wilson) and this article in Mother Jones

im a thinking – once my case is all done re: the standing in the park after dark issue – im gonna start pushing and a hollering at our various Deaf legal folks to get the #uck busy about Videophone upgrading in police stations and jails and about Deaf folks defining what effective communication is – NOT the “systems”

unrelated to prison but related to who defines effective communication – i just learned of a case of a teenage Deaf kid in which the school district has decided “reasonable accommodations” for his education are to have an aid sit and when he cant understand the teacher to look at the aid who will then mouth what he missed.

Yep folks yep

it is insane and inane beyond words

so Do something – would ya

i will to – i promise

note: no wonder the govt wants to crack down on the internet – look at all the things i done learned this morning and i aint even had my cup of joe yet.

knowledge IS power

psst – i know this blog has got lots of typos – ill try to come tidy up later but i spent too much time finding images and the woods call.  so off i go.

– at the very least folks – consider joining or renewing ur amnesty international membership – its a gift u can give urself and humanity

Amnesty International POWerful animated short film

much peace


The War in Iraq is OVER!

The War in Iraq is officially over

More than 9 years

More than 4,400 US Soldiers killed

More than 32,000 US Soldiers seriously wounded

More than 66,0oo Iraqi civilians killed

More than 23,ooo insurgents killed

More than 15,000 Iraqi security forces killed

More than $823 billion U.S. dollars spent

0 Weapons of Mass Destruction found

Below im embedding one out of four “Best of…” Coming Home videos submitted by families of returning soldiers – powerful stuff – pls do go to the coming home blog site for the other videos.  they are important

I want to thank all the soldiers who served our country.  This war has been a huge sacrifice on the families and loved ones.  We must also remember the folks who will not be coming home.  It breaks my heart.  BREAKS IT.

I most especially think of CODA Kevin Mowl.  Always.

Hardihood for 1st & 14th Amendment Rights

Heye all:

Tmw (and now tmw is today) i go to court for standing in the park after dark.

Yep somehow the US of A thought they could restrict peaceful free speech, assembly and press to only take place during the hours of 5 am to 11 pm.

Paul Revere – just wait for the morning would ya?

so much for “shall not abridge” and so much for arbitrary ordinances weighing in more than Constitutional amendments.

below are some specs about the rally, court, and press conference tmw at the City Court Building in Rochester NY where 28 out of the 48 arrested for standing peacefully in Washington Square Park will stand before the court of justice.

Note that prior the Occupy movement –  many folks strolled across this pedestrian park on their way to their cars after a performance at the Geva Theatre let out – AFTER 11 pm and these folks were never rounded up and kept in handcuffs for hours.  Note that some folks have slept in this park as they were homeless and others as part of a demonstration against homelessness and they never got arrested.  Note that when Occupy Rochester took to the park the chief of police and a ton of officers showed up, closing off the bridge and pulling out the handcuffs and paddy wagons.

So while i stood there – I asked myself “is this land made for you and me?”

and I asked myself “should I stay or should i go now?”

and ill be honest folks – i did wonder and i did worry.  I did stroll on over towards the safety sidewalks but then courage came a calling me and found me and asked me a simple question – and she said? “where do you want to stand –  on the side of justice or injustice?”

and with that i found courage in my convictions.

And bingo – hardihood (resolute courage and fortitude) found me.  (yes i just learned this word and i love it.  hardiHOOD – its handy.

Of course my convictions were bolstered when i saw the innocent college Reporter magazine photographer get arrested while standing on the sidewalk and when i looked over on the grass and saw a college professor firmly planted and i learned a young veteran had just been hauled off and i saw folks from all walks of life STANDING and i saw the folks who were standing by tall and firm and encouraging us who could so that we would.

and so i did.

i confess – i stood for the Constitution of the United States and for our flag and what it stands for.  Im glad love came and found me and overcame my fear of the unknown and the “what ifs…” cuz as MLK Jr said that aint no way to live – once we have a death of the spirit so we can live a bit longer we are just as good as dead on the day we refused to stand for that which is just, right and good

So i’m hoping the good Judge Johnson will see all the wisdom and truth the pro bono lawyers put together for us – they shine mighty fine singing the praise for our 1st and 14th amendment and for noting the importance of the just good and right agreement between Mayor Richards on behalf of the city of Rochester and the Occupy Rochester folks so they can huddle in the cold tents making a statement with their fortitude and convictions (ahhh hardihood) and… im hoping ill continue to stand.  I do have moments of saying crud – someone said 10-15 days in the clink for this, no blue skies for more than a week, no hugs and kisses and walks in the woods.  That is so not cool.  BUT i remember to have faith in justice – that justice does and can work.  We just need to believe… and stand

And look – i aint the only hoper – Thomas Jefferson was one too:

“I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dared already to challenge our government to a trail by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

clearly the 1 % should not be running the joint cuz when they do, our civil liberties get the boot and the cops that r getting cut wages and jobs should not be ordered to do the corporations’ dirty work.

And im blessed to live in Rochester cuz its a nice ole place of notable lawbreakers for social justice – Susan B. Anthony and a slew of her female friends voted before it was legal here and were arrested and sent to court.  Frederick Douglass published his North Star paper here and gave his kick butt speech in Highland park chastising this country for its abysmal hypocrisy – celebrating the fourth of july Independence day while his brethren and sisters were still in bondage, and the underground railroad ran through Rochester ferreting fretted men and women all the way up to Canada to FREEDOM, and many more – less known but no less important folks gave speeches and held rallies in Washington Square Park and other public spaces

We all gotta know that our fundamental rights should not have a curfew or be quarantined.  When free speech, assembly, and press is arbitrarily restricted, enforced, arrested, and suppressed – we gotta start worrying folks.

Since Sacramento has dropped its charges against occupy folks cutting the curfew and since Occupy Rochester Washington Square Park is 24/7 and since Constitutional amendments should supersede local ordinances and since truth and love always prevail – im putting my hardihood up and hoping for a bright day tmw.

At least the troops are coming home!  Change is in the air, folks.  Every STAND matters.

And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

In the Shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back,
This land was made for you and me.”
~ Woody Guthrie

and yep – i know i done used these lyrics before but geez they r just so champ they are worth repeating


A message from Media Outreach Working Group of Occupy Rochester:
Rally to support Occupy Rochester Arrestees
Wed, Dec. 14th, 1:00 pm

Outside the Rochester City Court Building where 28 of the “Rochester 48” will go on trial before Judge Johnson at 2:00 pm.  A rally will be held with some of the defendants speaking out about Occupy Rochester before entering court.
Defendants will hold a press conference following the conclusion of the trial.

We reiterate our demands that the Rochester District Attorney’s Office drop all charges.

More information about the trial below:
1st Amendment Case with National Significance to the Occupy Movement Goes to Rochester City Court
On December 14, 2011 at 2pm, 28 of the Rochester 48 go on trial before Judge Johnson in Rochester City Court.  The 28 Occupy Rochester protesters are charged with Trespass and Park After Hours after Mayor Tom Richards and Police Chief James Sheppard used a park curfew as a pretext to violate the peaceful protesters’ First Amendment rights and prevent the Occupy Movement from taking hold in Rochester, NY.
Despite the fact that Mayor Richards has requested the Monroe County District Attorney (D.A.) Mike Green drop all the charges against Occupy Rochester protesters, the D.A. is still moving forward with prosecutions, including charges against journalist Jonathan Foster.
In contrast, the Albany County D.A. has refused to prosecute Occupy Albany protesters for similar charges. The Rochester D.A.’s choice to prosecute is all the more extraordinary since the New York Civil Liberties Union advised that the curfew was unconstitutional, Occupy Rochester protesters have since won a 24/7 occupation of Washington Square Park and now have a formal agreement to stay in the park overnight signed by Mayor Richards.
Although the Rochester 48 have been offered an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD) with 24 hours of community service, many of the arrestees have chosen to go to trial in order to defend our first amendment rights of free speech, free assembly, and freedom of the press. The district attorney is prosecuting under two redundant charges which were filed by the Chief of Police, who himself handpicked and personally handcuffed many of the peaceful protesters. Communication issues arose for a partially Deaf person who was among the arrestees.
Supporters will gather outside the City Court House at 1:00 pm.  Defendants will hold a press conference following the conclusion of the trial.

Misc – Gally’s Brainy Lab, EHDI, & Birthdays

heye all

an assortment of good stuff for ya

1.Gallaudet has a super new cool lab – ya hoo cuz a Deaf mind is a HORRIBLE thing to waste!

Petitto and her team will study the acquisition and neural processing of ASL, the optimal conditions for bilingual language development, the effects of early bilingual language exposure on the developing brain, and its functions. The team will also investigate the ways that the age of first bilingual language exposure can both impact and benefit the brain’s neural circuitry for language and higher cognition, and how young monolingual and bilingual children develop the capacity of reading. ~ From Gallaudet University News

2. EHDI and parental choice and the Truth

lots of good v/blogging, video making, and visual art out and about examining the unexamined of how the SYSTEM (ie EHDI) routes the parents straight to the fix it up chappies and how the denial of a fully natural and accessible language is NOT cool.  (Psst this is why ASL is still alive and rocking folks cuz it IS survival of the fittest – ASL fits Deaf folks hands like a glove so no matter how much u try to suppress and repress it – it keeps on a coming on back so ya might as well do the RIGHT JUST AND GOOD THING and give it to the kiddies while their minds are fresh and nimble.  and if u refuse to – well darlings that SPEAKS VOLUMES now dont it?)

so for the good stuff:

CSD Newsletter is FULL to the BRIM with good information for parents and also resources – Knowledge is Power – download it folks deaf-baby

Note it has a chart from an Australian Baby Hands website but the chart info is originally from a Baby Sign Shines website and if u scroll down in this link u will see a list of great publications examining the values of baby signs

VIDEO – Rachel Benedict for ASLized – Early Intervention: The Missing Link

this link has audio added -the original video which has over 23,000 hits and was FULLY accessible via ASL and text English (on the screen and as a transcript in the more information box) now also has audio so really no one can say they didnt know or they didnt have access.  All da bases be covered now.

The Newborn Hearing Screening (2011) by Nancy Rourke (c) click image to enlarge and see Nancy's text description of the work

VISUAL ART – Nancy Rourke is creating a series entitled “The Right to Be Deaf” and has just released her first installment “The Newborn Hearing Screening” – its awesome so i had to sing a bit about it meself

VLOG – my vlog Discussion of N. Rourke’s The Newborn Hearing Screening

VLOG – WHAT? by Jeffrey Roberts (Signed and Spoken) – Examining denial of the right to a fully natural and accessible language and Deaf folks and allies commitment to combating injustice

BLOG – People of the Eye – has several entries up here re: EHDI

BLOG – My Child is Deaf by Jeffrey Roberts at The Terlinguan

3. Happy birthday to u … happy birthday to u…. happy birthday dear Veditz, TH Gallaudet, and M Cogswell… happy birthday to ….

Yesterday was Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet birthday (Dec 10, 1787).

Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet 1816 (2011) by Nancy Rourke (c)

Tommy is the guy who sailed the ocean blue only to be turned off and away by the oral-aural ONLY methods of the British Braidwood family so hopped over to Paris France and ended up importing to the U.S. of A – French Sign Language and a master Deaf teacher with a healthy dose of D – Laurent Clerc.

It is also the 250th birth anniversary of Dr. Mason Cogswell (Alice Cogswell’s dad who helped to finance Thomas’ trip to Europe and the founding of the American School for the Deaf for the love of his Deaf daughter, Alice).

And the 150th birth anniversary of Deaf activist, leader, and all around great guy – George W. Veditz (see ya in colorado springs come Aug 13 folks when we welcome his 151 year in)

Next year will be Abbe Charles-Michel de L’Epee 300 year birth anniversary.  Who says we are one generation thick ;  ).  L’Epee is the ally who founded the first public school that used sign language for Deaf children.

Also Alice Hagemeyer – one of the most active and loyal Deaf librarians we (Library for Deaf Action and FOLDA) got organized a very special event on Dec 3 at the MLK Jr memorial Library in DC to kick off the Clerc-Gallaudet week

go to to see the details (hope video will go up some day) featured speakers were: Diana Moore Re: Alice Cogswell’s first teacher (Sigourney), Dr. Barbara Kannapell re: Deaf Experience at School, Jack and Rosalyn Gannon re: A World of Deaf Leaders, and NAD CEO Howard Rosenblum and Gallaudet’s Provost Dr. Stephen Weiner discussed Deaf Education and American Sign Language Today.

Lots of Great Local sponsors for the event.

so biggest thanks to all the folks who are combating the bad stuff by bringing forth the good stuff

thank u big picture people

EHDI – lets look at the “H” shall we?

Audism by Nancy Rourke (c) 2010

so we got a little examination of the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention EHDI system going on here at the People of the Eye place


We took a peek at the “I” in EHDI and came to the conclusion that ASL is not a main feature in the intervention SYSTEM and doesnt appear to be FUNDED at all by the Center for Disease Control and EHDI (I’m still hoping im wrong and someone will bring me some good news here.  I did find the National Institute of Health (NIH) did fund Drs. Acredolo and Goodwyn’s research on the benefits of baby signs for Hearing babies

boo and crud cuz re: the lack of funding for ASL intervention for Deaf babies and their families as there is PLENTY of research out there showing that ASL+English is a pretty dandy equalizer for literacy

we even have some brain studies to help us see how the Deaf brain works and folks it does NOT take a brain scientist or surgeon to understand that if you give babies a language they can fully understand they:

1. will gobble that language up

2. will be able to learn other languages

3. and that making babies work for their words is not fair

yet what is the NUMBER one language (or if we use their euphemism talk ‘communication option’) that is ROUTINELY denied to Deaf babies and their families???? drum rolllllllllll please….

TA DA – American Sign Language as in ASL – as in a real bona fide LANGUAGE

Yep ASL has been denied, stomped on, regulated to the dorm rooms, summer camps, on the sly and fly here and there but RARELY ever formally taught and utilized in any Deaf education environment hmmmm

still happening folks despite four international documents saying NOT cool – the denying of a fully natural language is not cool but still they do do

aint that odd?  At a time when Hearing babies are gobbling it up and Hearing college students cant get enuf of ASL and its used in outer space and lady gaga is learning it well its just hmmmmm

Greatest Irony cartoon by Maureen Klusza (c)

paradoxical that the DEAF babies are being denied it – see Amy Cohen Efron’s Greatest Irony video re: AVT.  That video is a CLASSIC and woke up many many many people to the IRONY of the AVT push for Deaf babies coinciding with the Baby Sign push for Hearing babies.  hmmm COINCIDENCE you say? Maureen Klusza gave a visual representation to this irony in her well circulated cartoon of the The Greatest Irony.

I got some theories as to why so many systems are hard at work at denying Deaf babies ASL but lets move on to reviewing da “D” so we can get to the “H” in EHDI


In the previous entry’s examination of the “D” of Detection we learned it is pathological / medical model based and biased and all AUDIOLOGY based and biased – you got the OAE test in the hospital to determine Passed or Failed/Referred and then you have the audiologist visit for the ABR test (with or without sedation) and you usually have some doom and gloom and sad puppy dog face from the “technicians” “specialists” “professionals” as they deliver the sorrowful news.  “Your baby has failed the Hearing test” This has even been done to Deaf parents who are like – “Deaf?  no problem – i got 2 others like that at home.  Now if my newborn had “passed” and was Hearing – well that would be different and might require a bit of adjustment but still no biggy.”

But instead most Deaf and Hearing parents are hit with a multitude condolescences and brochures all promoting the systems’ FIXation with FIXing the baby.

One Cochlear Implant co. even uses a freaky monkey as its mascot.  OY!


So that is what the Detection of the “defection” is all about – how do we know this well because the Center for Disease Control also promotes the Detection of the “defective” gene – yep even before they are created they are being tagged and tracked.

and thus we see just how EARLY they really mean in the E of EHDI

and now we come to the “H” of it.  H is for Hearing.  surprise, surprise? NOT.


H – can you hear me now?

So if you take a wee thing before it is even a thing or even wee or once its born and you create an entire UNIVERSAL system that is framed around determining if the newborn is HEARING or not so that you can consign deafness to history and you can remove the scourge from the earth – what do you think the chances are that anyone is gonna make it out of that system with a HEALTHY sense of self or a HEALTHY sense of their child’s well-being.

If you are constantly to be measured by what you are NOT- well the deck is kinda stacked from the get go.

And so we see how the system has always been designed to try to make the babes that hear-not – becoming as close to hearing as possible.

why? well cuz its a hearing world after all.  never mind that Deaf folks have a language that they are passionate about, never mind that they enjoy and employ and expand a language that is more powerful than the sun in many ways because it can do things that NO spoken language can do and just cuz it is dang handy and dandy and just cuz NO language should be hunted to the ends of the earth and banished from the eyes, hands and hearts of their people (and yes i am aware, sadly, too sadly, that many spoken languages have vanished from this planet because all their speakers went with it or its people were punished and ostracized for using their mother tongues that the people assimilated and the language poofed)

so i say unto we, the people – ie fellow human beings on this planet,  it is NOT right how the Deaf gene and Deaf infants have been put into this homogeneous systems to detect and intervene them into makint them less Deaf ie more Hearing  because not only does this endanger the language and the culture – it also lops upon the child and the family an inordinate burden and it often severes the bond between child and parent.

If the EHDI push for testing was to get ASL+English into the life of a newborn as soon as possible, we could say it was justifiable but that is NOT how the system is playing out.  The EHDI system is completely set up to push the medical / pathological model.  the H should be the largest letter in the EHDI so we could all clearly see what is going on but follow the money and you will see who stands to benefit from this whole PUSH.  the Hearing industry, academies, foundations, organizations, schools and programs and meanwhile…. where are they all when the program, approach, teacher, device, cochlear implant etc FAIL.  Sometimes they fail cold (quietly – just stop working and disappear) sometimes they fail hot (loudly and painfully and have to be removed).  All the folks i know who have CI totally appreciate having ASL and most of the folks i have met who have CI that do not know ASL – wish they did.

Brighter than the sun folks.  EHDI can keep pushing the H but eventually most of the babies grow up and begin gobbling up – ASL

so suppose instead of

Early Hearing Detection & Intervention

EHDI stood for

 Early Healthy Deaf Identification (EHDI)

the frame then would be to seek and find the Deaf babies to ensure they have a HEALTHY dose of a fully natural and accessible language right off the bat just like all babies do and also a sense of acceptance and identity as a Deaf person cuz that is what they are.

Here, here for …

Early Healthy Deaf Identification

We getting there folks – time to push things forward

Milestone: We Came, We Saw, We Conquered by Nancy Rourke (c) 2010 see for description and link for image with hiddent TEXT msg - click image to route u to description, video, and 2nd image

Our Ancestor: Dr. Andrew Foster

Bust commissioned by NBDA – Image from


June 27, 1925 – December 3, 1987

I want to do a major shout out for Andrew Foster.

(Name sign – “A” handshape on side of the neck)

I was hoping to get this up on December 3 to memorialize his departure from this plane but I got my dates jumbled so im a couple of days late.  Sorry Andrew.

I’m constantly looking for heroes and Andrew has peaked my interest in the last couple of years.  I confess originally I was a bit weary of his work because of its religious affiliations and missionary nature and because i worried about ASL being a killer language for other countries indigenous sign languages.  However, something kept calling me back to him. And when various artists would ask me for suggestions of which notable Deaf person to do a portrait of – George W. Veditz and Andrew Foster have always been my top choices.

Andrew Foster by Nancy Rourke (c)

I also confess i know little to nothing about Andrew Foster except:

1. he was the FIRST African-American Deaf person to graduate from Gallaudet University (1954).  It’s appalling to think it took until the 1950s for Gallaudet to graduate it’s first African-American Deaf student as many had attended Gally before him but they didnt make it to graduation.  Im glad he did and Im glad they gave him an honorary doctorate degree later.

2. he set up over 30 schools for the Deaf – mostly in west Africa.  If we can regard Thomas Hopkin Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc with such fanfare we should be able to muster up a mighty big hand wave for Andrew Foster!

3. On December 3, 1987 he died at the age of 62 in a tragic plane crash on route to Kenya from Rwanda.  He is survived by his Deaf wife, Berta, and 5 children, whom were not on the plane.

Portrait and frame by Uzi Buzgalo (c)

I’d like to know more about him.  recently i found a Deaf Mosaic (click link for video with Andrew Foster starts at about 1:00) program honoring him and i was so thrilled to see him moving.  There is something about seeing folks in motion on film after they have departed – it just makes things so much more real and informative – how they walked, how they stood, how they signed, how they smiled.  makes me love him all the more.

So i hope someone will stumble upon this entry some day and tell me more about Andrew.  Vlogging it would be AWESOME. i think its a HUGE shame that we dont honor him every year – we totally should.  NO other DEAF or Hearing person that i know of has founded as many schools as he did and NO other DEAF person that i know of has in turn influenced so many other Deaf people’s lives – empowering them through:

1. education

2. language

3. example

4. hope, faith, and love

That is what i would call a hero!

Thank you Andrew.

go ahead and google him as there are many nice write ups about Andrew Foster.



Previous Older Entries