Indiana Legislature – Band aids don’t cover Bias

My last letter to the Indiana Senate before they discuss and vote on HB 1367.  To see the enGROSSed bill go to http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2012/EH/EH1367.1.html

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Greetings Dear Senator:

I write you yet again in the hopes that you will stop the unjust HB 1367 bill from passing and tainting your legacy.  While I commend the Senate appropriation committee for trying to improve the flawed HB 1367 bill and while I know they did not have much to work with given that the original bill was biased beyond compare, the amended HB 1367 is still riddled with wrongs.  The band aids can not cover up the bias.  The original HB 1367 was originated and backed by Oral ONLY organizations and/or representatives that adhere to audism.  Audism is attitudes and practices based on the assumption that behaving in the ways of those who speak and hear is desired and best. It produces a system of privilege, thus resulting in stigma, bias, discrimination, and prejudice—in overt or covert ways—against Deaf culture, American Sign Language, and Deaf people of all walks of life.

Added to the bill is the statement:  Sec. 3. (a) The center for deaf and hard of hearing education is established.
(b) The purpose of this article is to support parental choice under the Constitution of the State of Indiana, including the full continuum of communication options

The amended legislation does not specify which part of the Indiana Constitution applies to parental choice.  Perhaps you are referring to:

Article 9 Section 1. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to provide, by law, for the support of institutions for the education of the deaf, the mute, and the blind; and for the treatment of the insane.
(History: As Amended November 6, 1984).

If so, this is an indicator that the state of Indiana should be empowering and investing the Indiana School for the Deaf with implementing the Intervention part of EHDI and the First Step program not an indicator that such services should be removed to a NOT YET created new “unbiased” center when there is no proven need for such.

There is nothing in the Indiana School for the Deaf (ISD) Outreach Center current practices that denies parental choice.  Furthermore, ISD Outreach Center already provides strong and effective intervention for Deaf infants and families.  There has been no evaluation or independent assessment to indicated that ISD Outreach Center is not providing these services well.  Nor is there any proof warranting the disbanding of the ISD Outreach Center and the removal of these services from ISD.  The Office of Management and Budget’s December 2011 review of ISD actually harshly criticized the State of Indiana’s EHDI and First Step routing system.  The OMB’s report says the scattered systems and services prior to the state referring families to ISD Outreach Center is flawed and results in Deaf infants and children falling through the cracks.  This report actually offers more justification for the legislature to adhere to its own state constitution and perform “the duty of the General Assembly to provide, by law, for the support of institutions for the education of the deaf” not to withdraw its support.

It is also noteworthy that in the latest version of HB 1367 the omission of any bilingual (ASL+English) adults specified in the listing of whom “The office of management and budget shall develop the transition plan in consultation with.”  Oral adults are specified but no equal notation of ASL +English Deaf adults are noted.  How can the new center be unbiased when the bill itself is not?

American Sign Language is mentioned only once in the entire legislation.   There is no mention of a bilingual and/or ASL specialist while speech therapists and audiologists are mentioned several times.

While we understand that there is an inordinate amount of pressure on parents to choose an exclusionary and antiquated method of educating their Deaf child under the falsehood that being Oral ONLY will ensure that their child never experience discrimination and will be “successful,” four major international documents have declared that it is unjust and wrong to deprive a Deaf infant and child from a fully natural and accessible language of which Hearing children are automatically afforded regardless of their nationality, race and ethnicity, or sociology-economic background.

No child should have to work for their words all their waking hours.  While parents may choose private programs to pursue such a regime, state legislature’s should not sanction, support, and legitimize such practices.  See:

From INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON THE EDUCATION OF THE DEAF (ICED) 2010 NEW ERA AGREEMENT

From Statement of Principles:
Reject all resolutions passed at the ICED Milan Congress in 1880 that denied the inclusion of sign language from educational programs for Deaf students


From Accord for the Future:
Call upon all the Nations to involve their Deaf citizens to assist parents of Deaf infants, children and youth in their support services for both Deaf and hearing family members
Call upon all Nations to refer all identified Deaf infants to regional and national organizations of the Deaf, schools and programs for the Deaf for support with early intervention

From WORLD FEDERATION OF THE DEAF POLICY – EDUCATION RIGHTS FOR DEAF CHILDREN

To ensure that the educational rights of Deaf learners are fulfilled, WFD therefore:
• Reaffirms its position that all Deaf people, including Deaf children, have the right to full access to quality education through visual modes, including indigenous sign languages. This position is supported by several international conventions of the UN.
• Supports early identification of Deaf infants and youth, followed promptly with sign language environments and educational intervention strategies and programmes, in partnerships between families, Deaf adults and professionals.
• Calls upon governments to ensure full and equal access to and educational success for Deaf learners based on regular education goals, standards and curricula.
• States, furthermore, that such curricula should provide the opportunity for students to learn in and study both their local/national sign language and the local (written) language as academic subjects.


From UN CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

States Parties shall enable persons with disabilities to learn life and social development skills to facilitate their full and equal participation in education and as members of the community. To this end, States Parties shall take appropriate measures, including:
b. Facilitating the learning of sign language and the promotion of the linguistic identity of the deaf community

From World Health Organization (WHO) and World Bank – WORLD REPORT ON DISABILITY

Promote Deaf children’s right to education by recognizing linguistic rights. Deaf children should have early exposure to sign language and be educated as multilinguals in reading and writing. Train teachers in sign language and provide accessible educational material.

I have tried to keep an open mind that the Indiana legislature has simply been misinformed and misguided by some of their very own employees who have been pushing forward this legislation; however, to see the latest version of the bill cite your OWN state Constitution without specifying which provision endorsed and justified the government financing an exclusionary practice of Oral ONLY education – especially in light of Indiana being the first state to unconstitutionally legislate eugenics and having engaged in genocide – if HB 1367 passes the Indiana Senate, I will have to conclude that your state Constitution and our national one – most especially the 14th amendment – mean little to nothing and Deaf infants and children as well as adults mean even less to you.

I truly hope I will not have to reach such a conclusion.

“Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto and VL2’s research into bilingualism and the early visual language shows that there are specific advantages, namely:

–increased visual sensory experience can alter the human brain in ways that afford higher cognitive advantages, and this is especially true of early signers.

–infants exposed to signed languages attend to adults’ use of sign language and eye gaze; this ability to track an adult’s eye gaze is vital to early vocabulary, language, and literacy in English.

–language development milestones for ASL happen at the same rate as spoken language development milestones.

–early exposure to a signed language affords surprising cognitive, linguistic, and reading advantages over age-matched monolingual children and adults.” (See gallaudet . edu / news. php?id=207)

Furthermore, while over 86% of Deaf children and youth spend most if not all of their school day in mainstream settings and there has been a huge increase in implanting Deaf children, the literacy scores are not indicating a marked gain.

There is no proven harm in providing Deaf children with a fully accessible language in addition to clinical services of audition and speech therapy.  There is a wealth of evidence that prohibiting a Deaf child from using ASL is harmful (cognitively, emotionally, and socially) – for congressional studies see Babbidge report and the COED report.  If you truly want to be unbiased, you can not pass this legislation that is backed by exclusionary promoters.

Please stop putting band aids on a biased bill and don’t allow Indiana’s Constitution and legislature to be marred by its earlier history of perpetuating injustices.  This bill will be costly in more ways than one.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Peace,

Patti Durr

 

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sheri Farinha
    Feb 26, 2012 @ 17:51:21

    Beautiful! Thank you so much!

  2. Pearl Youth AKA Pamela Steiger/LaBianco
    Feb 26, 2012 @ 21:42:42

    Because MANY MANY mental and/or emotional ill hearing people, INCLUDING MY HEARING FAMILY MEMBERS, ESPECIALLY MY MOTHER, are good at lying through teeth or with whitest, mostly standard lies like those dysfunctional legislators who slander or stab each other with bull shit accusations and lies, as their way of getting every vote as well as those selfish, makeing-money advertisers, who brainwash everyone their FALSE information of their products through means of subtle sexual suggestions as illegal hypnosis method in order to exploit any customers’ money through their purchasing addictions, we know from our own heart that ALL AUDISTS are also good at lying through teeth by saying one thing and then doing the opposite and reverse vice as their way of dodging their responsibility, whenever the bill be passed.

    Moreover, HOW CAN I TRUST ANYONE WHOSE SPOKEN WORDS COULD BETRAY US AFTER A CENTURY OF THEIR VERBAL LIES AND ABUSES WITH THEIR ORALISM AND THEIR EXCELLENT ESCAPE OF THEIR TRUE FACTUAL ACCOUNTABILITY FOR DAMAGES THEY AND THEIR ORALISM CAUSED by saying “It is not our responsibility because we were not existed in that time of oralism that caused those damages upon current Deaf American adults,” when they still support current oralism. It does not make sense. Therefore no audist is such as noble and courage for taking accountability for what happened to all failed oralists in the past, present and future.

    MAY GOD DAMN THOSE AUDISTS OF ORALISM, ALL AND THOSE LEGISLATORS WHO SUPPORT AUDISTS WHO BRIBE THEM MONEY and/or VOTES! I MEAN IT IN BEHALF OF ALL BORN DEAF, QUASI-NATIVE OR FLUENT SIGNING VICTIMS, VICTIMS AND VICTIMS FROM NON-SIGNING HEARING FAMILIES LOCALLY TO GLOBALWIDE, WHOSE IGNORANCES WERE EXPLOITED BY THOSE CORRUPTIVE, WORSE LYING, DIRTIEST POLITICAL BUSINESS EDUCATORS WITH SELF INTEREST GREED OF MAKING MONEY ONLY FOR THEMSELVES.

    I BET YOU AN ACE THAT ONCE THOSE POOR BORN DEAF, CI USED CHILDREMN FIND OUT AS THEY GROW UP, ABOUT THE REAL, TRUE FACTS FROM RESEARCHES THAT THEIR INTELLIGENCES ALWAYS BECOME VARIOUSLY LIMITED BY ORALISM BECAUSE THEY DID NOT LEARN SIGN LANGUAGE UNTIL TIME AFTER THEIR ESSENTIAL/PRIME TIME OF LANGUAGE-ACQUISITION DEVELOPMENT, THEY MIGHT BECOME MUCH MORE DAMN ANGIER (LIKE I DID) THAN WE ARE RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THOSE RESEARCHES ON THAT TRUTH ALREADY WERE DONE RIGHT THERE, WITH THEIR DAMN SAME RESULTS AS TRUTH REPEATEDLY FOR YEARS AND YEARS WITHIN 20-50 YEARS SINCE THEN, AGAIN, RIGHT THERE FOR PUBLIC ACCESS WHICH NO ONE IN CONGRESS EVEN BOTHERS TO INVESTIGATE TO FIND FACTS AS TRUTH..We need to save those legally abusive documents in our Deaf History files for future generations of Deaf adults, educators and leaders to read and to do something to solve differently from ours if our battle against Aduism as our debts to them, unintentionally fails them as children..

  3. JoResa
    Feb 26, 2012 @ 22:12:47

    Amen Patti! I’m reduced to the point of giving more analogues than valid and concrete points because the House and Senate are like lemmings.

  4. handeyes
    Feb 27, 2012 @ 03:53:10

    Sheri – thanks and thank u for all u r doing! WOW! u da energizer bunny and we need ya.

    Pamela – extrangement amongst ur own family is a common outcome of Oralism – sadly cuz i think it is often the main reason why parents are drawn to Oralism – they think it will unite them but instead it often puts a wedge between the child and the parent. Seems you have alot of anger and resentment. its ok to be angry at injustices – we just have to channel our energy into LOVE and soulforce not hate. Real audists – truly need our love – not to enable them to continue oppressing but rather love them enuf to tell them the truth and to challenging them firmly with love

    Oh JoResa – i do feel a bit exasperated by the fact that the bad bill has even gotten this far and they keep lapping more biases into it in the name of building an UNbiased center – ha!. But im hopeful wisdom will reign in the Senate on mon and tues

    such a dream i be

    imagine all the people….

    at least i will know we have tried our utmost to educate and illuminate

    peace

    patti

  5. Pearl Youth AKA Pamela Steiger/LaBianco
    Feb 27, 2012 @ 21:57:15

    Patti, sweetest honey, I respect your POV/ opinion. Already doing what you are recommending in my past, I, as a consequence, have mine differently from yours. Based on what I have experienced from my over time mingling with damn stubborn hearing people especially those Deaf Community professionals like those staffs and interpreters who did unprofessionally to me, denying me of my rights to get RIGHT kinds of interpreters–CODA-ASL interpreters at CSUN and UCLA, There I grew up, thinking differently now. Sorry, Should whatever they did to me be consdered healthy LOVE? No, but they, as professionals, had power of control to abuse upon me by then. I recalled that two of them say,”Damn” to me three times in a row. They did many nasty things to me directly and indirectly. There I had to fight back but in nicest, sweetest ways like what you would recommended, by turning the table with them in mostly gentle approaches. It explained why they swore at me a lot. All of my NICENESS, POLITENESS and DIPLOMACY as LOVE will not work here nowadays like I did and experienced those efforts there back then. Those “being politely assertive” behaviors failed me enough to the point of hardening me into my new beliefs and adoption of different kind of BLUNT ASSERTIVENESS as TOUGH LOVE for those professionals siding with audists and medical specialists who have not read any of up to date information from current and recent researches.

    Because of that background of my past experiences, LOVE through positive approaches, does not always works here and/or there. Also I know that truth from my personal experiences with my hearing family members who WONT learn sign language to talk with me even nowadays. Truthfully, TOUGH LOVE works better. I don’t consider mine as an anger but agreeably actual frustration about the fact that most hearing people like my hearing family members, STILL CAN”T see throughout illusion nor break throughout it toward the truth to face, to stare at and to study it, even though they have their intectual minds to apply in order to utilize their own computers at home and at work to check for all those jouralism of researches at the distance of their fingertips. More than 90% of them don’t want to because of their own self interest power of control for sake of their self-image securities and for sake of their making money faster in short distance for themselves and their political friends. That behavior defined their myopia minds as mental illness. That truth was often mentioned in studies of cultural psychology and cultural sociology courses which I took at CSUN.

    Look at Patrick Jefferson declare, “Give us liberity or give us death.” which actually means well for Deaf Americans, too. Is his quotation anger? No, we must fight back with complete confidence that we are right about what is best for our born Deaf students to whom we owe.. All we need is to find some kinds of approaches to use as our confronting with them as our “weapon” to shake them down. You think that GENTLE LOVE will work. That is your option of dealing with them. Not mine. From all of my lifetine experiences,TOUGH LOVE is the best answer for anyone with alcohol or drug problem to get them straighten out.

    Bottom line of this issue is that, like those alcoholic addicts who already hit the bottom, the dysfunctional brain systems of these insecured, greedy audists, medical speicalists and those hearing ignorant or criminal-mind legislators, are morelikely wired-shortcut, backfired and screwed up as permanently damaged side effect of long-time, overtime alcohol consumption. It is because they,like most of my hearing family members, drink alcohol beverages TOO FREQUENT for over time duration of their lives, that cause their way of thinking too much dysfunctional and distorted to see clearly throughout to where we portray ourselves–backgrounds, our education, changes of our communication preferences and our experiences besides all informations from all those educational and psychological researches wriitten in BLACK and WHITE which they can read at their own English levels. I scratch my head, it does not make sense and therefore we reply with something as our tough love, that need to shake them well for their own good. Keep in mind that, accordingly to researches done in the fields of cultural psychology and culturaly sociology, this American Society has heavily alcoholic and drug-addicted culture like few of other foreign countries that affect their behaviors in legal thinking process in congress.

    Therefore, like those who attend AA meetings, those professionals at congress in Indianpolis. need MAJESTY OF TOUGH LOVE. I see myself in shoes of those current born Deaf children who are naive and ignorant of all the truth and know that they, as they grow up into adulthood, will become angrier than what I used to be when I enrolled Gally, because all the researches of truth were and are already there on the shelves of almost all libraries and in the internet networks which are no longer saving them from that repeated abuses of oralism. I am responsible for their sufferings because I were one of them. Therefore I owe this responsibility to them only through MAJESTY of TOUGH LOVE. because it makes me sick to my stomach for watching them go through that repeated unneeded abuses of oralism that surely reduce their opportunities of growth in every aspect of their lives like it did to me in my past. Horrible abuses of humanity have been seen through assaults upon ASL and Deaf Cutlure done by audists of oralism, medical CI specialists and legislators who voted against Deaf Community,

    Whatever you notice in hearing ignorant or criminally savvy politiciians, medical specialists and audists are the SAME KIND of THINKING so FULL OF DODGING and LYING THROUGH WHITE TEETH as those of hearing family members of mine. Therefore what I am doing is not extrangement I have with my hearing family members. This is my validating reaction as SURVIVIOR of ORALISM. This is how MOST hearing cultural people think alike from lower levels of relations like family members to high levels of relations like those congress professionals. They are no difference in every level of relationships. My family members are Christians but they can’t see the relationship between LOVE and ASL as matter of the fact, even after they watched play and movie, Children of Lesser God which they thought highly. That is why i changed my whole names to Pearl Swan Youth to show them that I owe them NOTHING. I owe to myself by loving myself alone and foremost of all. That way I won’t control anyone by loving everyone without need for their love given to me back.

    Main problem we have for allllll years and years back to time of BC eras to beginning of peoplekind except one brievous period in Greece–EXISTENCE of “NO FORCE” policy which had and has never been written into any law of all countries in this world. That explains why we are forced to obey the bad laws of hearing world which abuse us wrongly and horribly. That is why I join Neo-Think Society which respects my rights of free choices and my individualism as the top of my Life priority. If you disagree with me, it is fine with me and I just move on. I am me and you are you. That is it. Let it be so.

  6. Pearl Youth AKA Pamela Steiger/LaBianco
    Feb 27, 2012 @ 22:08:49

    I agree with you in everything, Patti Durr, on what you wrote to those congress people. Many thanks. However, will it work to penetrate their minds?? Wait and see. I love every bit of your writing but the main problem is those hearing people’s way of thinking completely different from ours like I already discussed above. Just cross our fingers for one more chance of GENTLE LOVE and see what happen. I doubt it will work because of my past experiences with my socialization with hearing people out there. Please call me Pearl, instead of old childhood name, Pamela. thank you.

  7. Pearl Youth
    Feb 28, 2012 @ 01:44:21

    Importance is to have many presentations of those born Deaf failed ex-oralists as successful quasi-native signers from non signing hearing, finanical-hardship families, being displayed to those eyes and ears of congress people of their sufferings and their opinions of what are best for those born Deaf children and babies like themselves that will make more impacts than words or reserches of those Bi-Bi leaders and educators who are not one of us, the majority called “subalternal in eyes of Bi-Bi educators and leaders who, subconsciously oppress us too, like you said to me as good example of discrediting my need of getting validation, by your watering me down, ” you have alot of anger and resentment. its ok to be angry at injustices – we just have to channel our energy into LOVE and soulforce not hate.” It showed that your childhood experiences were not same as mine. Therefore you do not represent us as SUBGROUP of born Deaf Quasi-native signers as ex failed oralists and, as a consequence, should not speak for us. Your responsibility is to train us professionally to speak for ourselves for we represent those current born Deaf children like ourselves with similar backgrounds. Therefore it must be us to stand in front of those legislators, speak out for them we owe our responsibilities to them, ourselves. Not you.

    We know that only few good hearing people out there who are surely good heart people with open minds….too few. I saw with my own eyes. If Bi-Bi leaders and educators stand to speak for us which is standard paternalistic attitude of any oppressor, they would doubt your talk beause you never experienced what we have had throughout to know the difference. How much percentage of born deaf educators as former failed oralists, whose childhood families were hearing and nonsigning types were hired to teach in ISD? How much percentage of born Deaf children from nonsigning hearing families enroll there? LOOK at those two numbers…not same. when that number of percentage of those educators is very small in comparison to that percentage of those children which hints the characteristic of oppression exist in education of Bi-Bi Deaf Culture Community.

    I think that these legislators who imagine what it would be like to have one of their children being deaf, subconsciously suspect of that hidden discrimination and prejuidces still (in play or practiced invisibly and subconsciously among current Bi-Bi educators because of different chiildhood-experience backgrounds between those of Bi-Bi people and those of born Deaf quasi-native signers who truly long for those born deaf educators of similar backgrounds as theirs to be their supposed-to-be role models for sake of their SELF ESTEEM development in which they or their talks would be fully supported by unconditional love that have been lacked because of absence of that kind of educators of similar background experiences. They still have been denied of that human rights. Otherwise, they would not experience being talked down with all ideas of watering their feelings and opinions down as too trivial or too unacceptable like which you did to me negatively recently. Yeah my talk is too long because I owe this to those children who are STILL suffering of subtle, paternalistic-attitude oppression priacticed indirectly and subconsciously by Bi-Bi educators everywhere. I am not kidding you on this issue. I respect your opinion but I must stand up for mine because I experienced my life differently and therefore have damn human rights to speak for myself and for those fellows with similar experiences as mine.

  8. patti
    Feb 28, 2012 @ 05:23:08

    Pearl – it seems i have offended you by mentioning your anger. If i have done so – i do apologize. I was not advocating that you deny it or suppress it – i was just seeking that with our passion we always remember compassion. Righteous anger can be a good thing when used properly and peacefully. Im not comfortable with blanket “Hearing people” this and “Hearing people” that – just as i am not comfortable with “Deaf people” this and “Deaf people” that cuz there are more good folks of good will than ill will.

    Im also comfortable with peaceful direct confrontation in the face of injustices and oppression. Patrick Henry’s “Give me Liberty or give me Death” is important. He was not an enslaved man but felt his liberty was curtailed by the injustices of Great Britain – Thomas Jefferson took Patrick and others’ activism and gave it words and meaning in the Declaration of Independence – We hold these truths to be self-evidence…

    So im hopeful that we will all stand peacefully and firmly and LOVEful when we challenge injustice – not to sugar coat our approach, not to try to go in via the back door, etc but rather to seek and show the truth and ACT directly and justly

    re: my speaking FOR you in congress – you need never worry about that. I dont seek such a role nor would i ever accept one

    Much peace,(MLK jr defined peace as not being the absence of tension but rather the presence of justice)

    and love (see MLK jr’s thoughts on being extremists for love)
    https://handeyes.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/what-kind-of-extremists-we-will-be-qqq/

    Patti

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