Follow up letter re: HB 1367 after the OMB report released

Greetings all –

The Indiana Senate Appropriation Committee will be meeting and debating on HB 1367 tomorrow so there is a call to ACTion out for TODAY – scroll down for the call to action talking points from INDeaf Education Coalition

I started calling the Senators but at my first call the aide said don’t waste our time calling if you are not from this district.  S/he said emails would be fine and they have been getting a WEALTH of contact on this bill.  When I repeated back “don’t waste our time?” because i wasnt sure if the relay vp interpreter was taking liberty or if that was what was SAID by Senator Holdman’s office – the staff member said “I just mean that we appreciate your thoughts on this matter but we really want to hear from our constituents” or something to that effect.  After we hung up nicely – i asked the relay operator – did the staff really say “waste our time” and she said “yep, she did”  OY!  smile.  Talk about WASTING PEOPLE’S TIME.  The whole bloody HB 1367 is a HUGE waste of everyone’s time.

Send those emails folks so that we can make this the LITTLE COUP THAT COULDN’T.  And if you live in an Indiana Senators’ district use Ma Bell to say – naught augh on the 2nd wave of Oralism.  We been there done that!  and you can say stop wasting OUR time and wasting the tax payers money.  Im sure the Indiana legislature has MUCH more important and effective things to do with its time.

My email to the Senators below.

s1@in.gov; s2@in.gov; s3@in.gov; s4@in.gov; s5@in.gov; s6@in.gov; s7@in.gov;
s8@in.gov; s9@in.gov; s10@in.gov; s11@in.gov; s12@in.gov; s13@in.gov;
s14@in.gov; s15@in.gov; s16@in.gov; s17@in.gov; s18@in.gov; s19@in.gov;
s20@in.gov; s21@in.gov; s22@in.gov; s23@in.gov; s24@in.gov; s25@in.gov;
s26@in.gov; s27@in.gov; s28@in.gov; s29@in.gov; s30@in.gov; s31@in.gov;
s32@in.gov; s33@in.gov; s34@in.gov; s35@in.gov; s36@in.gov; s37@in.gov;
s38@in.gov; s39@in.gov; s40@in.gov; s41@in.gov; s42@in.gov; s43@in.gov;
s44@in.gov; s45@in.gov; s46@in.gov; s47@in.gov; s48@in.gov; s49@in.gov;
s50@in.gov

Greetings Dear Indiana Senator:

I thank the few Senators who responded to my email of February 2, 2012 in opposition to HB 1367.  Since that time the OMB report was finally released and I see it is riddled with shortcomings.  Chief amongst them seems to be that it is entitled to be a review of the Indiana School for the Deaf operations when in fact it is a condemnation of how the State government has been coordinating services and Early Hearing Detection and Intervention services for infants and children with varying degrees of being Deaf and age of onset.

The the last page of the OMB report on page 20 Exhibit B has a flow chart that illustrates just how poorly things are flowing via the state systems before arriving at the fourth tier where ISD outreach services are finally introduced.  The First Step program in Indiana is woefully under developed and erroneously places sign language under the auspice of audiology and speech pathology.  Furthermore the report indicates that there is a shortage of qualified interpreters for Deaf students of varying degree in mainstream schools.

How the report can possibly reach the conclusion that the solution for these errors, which have NOTHING to do with ISD’s operations is to REMOVE outreach services from ISD to create a NEW “neutral” center during a time of economic hardship for the state, is beyond reason.  If anything the report is an indicator that ISD outreach should be charged with overseeing the states EHDI program and First Step plans.  ISD outreach has the facilities, staff, experience, expertise, and networks.

For HB 1367 to be proposed and propped up under the guise of this flawed OMB report is unjust and unjustifiable.  Hear Indiana, a chapter of the Alexander Graham Bell Association, promotes an exclusionary practices of Oral / Aural ONLY – denying Deaf children of varying degrees the right to a fully natural and accessible language and has been aggressively pushing the HB 1367 legislation through your legislature.  Hear Indiana’s “method” and approach has been ruled to be antiquated and wrong by 4 international documents (See ICED 2010 New Era Agreement, World Federation of the Deaf, UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and World Report on Disabilities from the World Health Organization and the World Bank).

At a time when Governor Daniels has been promoting less government interference – it is odd and unclear why he appointed three UNqualified and biased (Pro- Oral / Aural ONLY) board members to the ISD board and why the OMB report is targeting ISD and proposing for a VERY COSTLY endeavor of creating a brand new center when ISD has a proven track record of being effective, humane, just, and cost effective.  Other specialized programs for differently abled children have been targeted and closed by the governor, do you really want to see Indiana continue to strip away at programs that properly and justly serve Deaf infants and children because of biased special interest groups pressuring and pushing through unjust and hollow legislation.

Indiana is a state that has much to be proud of.  It also has some things not to be proud of – see the Trail of Death that Native Americans were forced to march on and the Indiana Eugenics program.  Please ensure that Indiana state governments follow what is just, right and good not who has the most money to buy legislation.

Please do the right thing and vote down HB 1367.

Peace,

Patti Durr

———-

Call to ACTion:

As you are aware, Indiana Deaf Education Coalition has been fighting to keep Indiana School for the Deaf from being swallowed up by the injustices shown by the supporters of HB1367.
We have ONE  more day before the vote is heard this Thursday, and need help with phone calls to Senators to ask them to Vote No on HB1367!

List of Senators is on the website of our state association affilliate in Indiana: www.IADhoosiers.org

Below are talking points to consider:

PLEASE OPPOSE HB1367

•  HB 1367 is driven by a well funded and politcally connected network of people who actively advocate against children learning American Sign Language.  A Center founded under these circumstances cannot and will not serve the best interests of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children.

•  HB 1367 places ISD under the auspices of PL 221, setting standards for student achievment and applying sanctions for failure to meet these standards.  The standards fail to take into account variables that the State has already identified as factors to achievement:  educational history, linguistic history, and the presence of documented disabilities that affect leraning.

•  HB 1367 makes no provision for insuring that the proposed Center for the Education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children will be “unbiased” and fails to recognize that the concept of “unbiased” is undoable.  The Center should be expected to  present comprenhensive, up to date, factual information to parents.

•  HB1367 confuses language with communication.  Parents of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children make a choice.  They choose for their child to learn English and learn through English or they choose for their child to learn American Sign Language and English and learn through these two languages.  Communication is not the issue.  HB 1367 does not speak clearly about the language choice nor does it name the two languages;  English and American Sign Language.

•  HB 1367 lists the stakeholders who will make decisions regarding this proposed center.  The bill fails to mitigate the fact that the “stakes” are not the same for all stakeholders.  Parents and Deaf people have more at stake than professionals.  Their opinions should carry more weight.
———–
Time is of the Essence. Your support means a great deal!

Nothing about Us, without Us!

Thank you!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. D
    Feb 24, 2012 @ 22:11:37

    Right on!

  2. handeyes
    Feb 25, 2012 @ 04:50:40

    Smile – right on to getting wrongs off the books

    thanks D

    Peace
    P

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