Don’t miss this – Who Cares & that – The End

The British Deaf make lovely short films.  Truly just brilliant.
Once Dr. Paddy Ladd theorized that they are ahead of our US Deaf filmmaking because the British have grown up with seeing BSL on the telly.  They have had their own Deaf channel via the BBC for many a moons now and thus the wee things were raised with the opportunity to see their language, their culture, and their people on the screen via a Deaf lens.  I too think this has made a world of difference because in the US what we mostly have is cheap attempts at imitating Hollywood type filmmaking – with little attention paid to the storyline or the Deaf experience.  That is what we get when the NAD drops the ball on filmmaking and spends all its recent time advocating for English captions and does no work to promote Deaf filmmaking despite George Veditz having explicitly explained the power and purpose of FILMS in his 1913 Preservation of Sign Language film (which was selected by the Library of Congress National Film Registry for restoration and distinction in 2010).

excerpt of Veditz' typed summary - Courtesy of Gallaudet University Archives

excerpt of Veditz’ typed summary – Courtesy of Gallaudet University Archives

Hopefully some day soon the NAD will remember its roots and start advocating for Deaf programming like the BBC affords.

In the meantime all hail the British Deaf filmmakers – thank you!  They not only have Deaf TV programming, they also put up great films and programs on the internet at the BSL Zone and they just had their Deaf Fest – celebrating and honoring Deaf films.  See a review of Who Cares by Charlie Swinbourne – a British Deaf scriptwriter who worked with Louis Neethling (see Coming Out and Departure Lounge)

Who Cares is 26 minute doc. that follows three Deaf elderly people and their quest to maintain connections, a sense of belonging and a place to be… Deaf.  It made me cry and thankful that hopefully Rochester, NY will have a place for Deaf folks to live where they can be… Deaf.  The film was directed and written by Camilla Arnold and filmed and produced by Louis Neethling.  Neethling is originally from South Africa where he participated in public supported Broadcasting and has filmed and directed several films and programs for the BBC.  Neethling presented several of his films at the Deaf Rochester Film Festival (DRFF ’11) and has done much to support and inspire other young and up and coming filmmakers across the globe.

You can view the film for yourself at the BSL Zone

Who Cares

You can also see another great British Deaf short narrative film, which is made to look like a documentary following a set of children through out their lives, called THE END.  Written and directed by Ted Evans, this is a powerful film with great acting, wonderful cinematography / editing and a BRILLIANT and DISTURBING storyline.  The film was off-line at the BSL Zone for a while due to being screened at the Toronto International Deaf Film & Arts Festival and i was in mourning for want to show it to my class before the quarter ended.  So please do watch both of these gems folks.  You will not regret it and in the wild world of the web, they may be here today and gone tmw.

The End

Don’t Miss This – “Who Cares” & that – “The End”

Thank you to all the Deaf filmmakers and allies that dare to tell our truths authentically.
Who Cares? We DO!


A tool that shocks – NOT Cool Advanced Bionics & AG Bell

A tool that shocks – more troubles for CI corporations

– Touting cochlear implants as if they are just another tool is not cool.

For they are not.

truth-seekersIf they are just another tool, we must ask what they are a tool of?

Tools of false prophecies from the false prophets,

Tools of forced assimilation by the Pharaohs that knew not Joseph,

Tools of corporate greed,

Tools of fraud and deception,

Tools of bodily abuse (see remote control and “complications”)

Tools of cultural and linguistic genocide?

NOTE: this truth seeking entry is in no way an admonishment of folks who have Cochlear Implants or parents who have chosen them for their children.  This is about the system and the auditory industrial complex which couples CIs w/ Oralism and deceit and profit. 

Cochlear implants certainly are not a tool for leveling the playing field because we know many Deaf folks who have been implanted still experience job discrimination, for many children who have been implanted still experience complications and failing of the cochlear implant & LSL practices, for the children who have had 2 or 3 or 4 or 7 surgeries on the same ear with replacement CIs, for many parents believe what the doctors and specialists tell them and they then forbid their children from signing and send them to Oral / Aural only programs where they are banned from gesturing and using their visual acuity, for many survivors of oralism who are dependent on their cochlear implants still sue colleges to get CART and AG Bell helps them.  So while they may create a bit of a have and have not paradigm – Deaf folks with CIs are still Deaf even when they are awake and the CIs are on and in use – they are not profoundly Hearing and at “best” they may be “elevated” to “hard of hearing” but they are in fact still people of the eye.

For if the cochlear implant is just a tool …

– it is a bloody expensive one.  It is way over priced and far more difficult to take into the shop for all the repairs that are commonly needed.

For if it is just a tool – it is an utterly unreliable one.  The external part often has to be sent in for repair and sometimes explants and new implants are required for the internal part – built for life – they are NOT. They also glean very inconsistent results and require a huge amount of auxiliary items and work (LSL, audiology, etc etc)

There is no rhyme or reason why some have an easy time with their CI why others suffer language deprivation and physical complications.

For if it is just a tool – it is a faulty one as some corporations say they are designed for life but some fail shortly after being implanted in the 1 year old and then the child has to be put under again (and this is not good because too much anesthesia exposure for a wee developing brain can CAUSE permanent learning disabilities).  Not to mention all the CT and MRIs the kids need before implantation and all that radiation exposure is really not a great thing for the wee things.

For if it is just a tool – why are more and more survivors being willing to take the risk of having it explanted rather then just leaving it inoperable in their heads?

There are more questions and there is more proof that cochlear implants are NOT JUST ANOTHER TOOL.

But the lastest is the lawsuit against Advanced Bionics (Ca. based co.).

See the case of Breanna Sadler of Kentucky.  A Deaf child who was implanted with the Advanced Bionic HiRes 90K at age four.  “Four years later, an electrical short from the device shocked her so violently that she was thrown to the ground, vomiting and convulsing.” See article Louisville jury punishes company with $7.25 million verdict for selling Meade County girl defective ear implants that shocked her  at  The article says it is the first of 40 lawsuits coming.

And what does Advanced Bionics – the company with numerous recalls, meningitis deaths post surgery, and failing hot shocks due to moisture leaking into the internal implant part do after getting back in the market again? it invents a waterpoof CI that folks can wear in the swimming pool.  Yep all the waking hours a Deaf person should “have their ears turned on” even if its at risk of sparking and sputtering and a one year old can’t tell you its doing so.

NOTE: the AG Bell LSL Symposium is taking place in Los Angeles in July and ADVANCED BIONICS is the main sponsor. 

Totally UNCOOL AG BELL.  You know you should divest from a corporation that has killed some Deaf kids and more recently has been shocking them to the point of vomiting and convulsions.

There have been fines by the Dept of Justice against Cochlear America (Colorado based co) for fraud and kickbacks and previous fines by the Food and Drug Administration against Advanced Bionics.  There have been numerous recalls for cochlear implants failing cold (just stopping and not working any more so they  need to be explanted or left in the brain as duds just sitting there) or failing hot (causing shocks because the seal for the internal part has opened over time and moisture seeps in causing shocks).

There were numerous deaths after people came down with meningitis post cochlear implant surgery (mostly children and very old people succumbing from it).

There have been facial paralysis, nausea, dizziness, headaches and other complications from the surgery and cochlear implantation.  There is more – corporate deviance deep sixs alot of truths.

See the FDA’s list of risks at the bottom of this entry.

Cochlear implants have been the main conduit for the 2nd wave of Oralism –  (almost no Deaf child will be able to get through childhood without being implanted now)

prior to their wild fire spread, Oralism had been proven to be abusive and ineffective but with the advent of the unjust “tool,” Oralism reared its ugly head again and now Oralism is billed as a NECESSITY – a REQUIREMENT with false-proof being fabricated on a daily basis of how signing is BAD for children with Cochlear implants which is not true at all – just how they like to spin it.

AH the jealous mistress syndrome.  binary – oral / aural ONLY is all the rage despite the ICED 2010 New Era Agreement and Accord of the Future saying absolute Oralism is NOT cool!

So to any Deaf person who gets interviewed or asked to present, we call upon you to expose the truth about all the cochlear implants failings and about corporate deviance.

The profit margins on cochlear implants is HUGE and immoral.  They cost more than a car and run far less long or reliably.

Truly truly wrong. Tell the newspapers, TV reporters, etc – “i can not discuss this with you unless you also commit to interviewing a cochlear implant survivor and unless you inquire about the moratorium on implanting Deaf children back in 1985 and what prompted it.”

We call upon Dr. Karl White, of NCHAM and EHDI fame, to share the Language acquisition for deaf children: Reducing the harms of zero tolerance to the use of alternative approaches paper by Dr. Humphries et al (see and to share Dr. Petitto’s proof about the wonders of visual Language and the brain. .  This Power Point is packed with FACTS and real research studies showing how critical a fully natural and accessible language is to babies.  We call upon you to list the recalls and lawsuits on the NCHAM website.  We call upon you to explain how the Stem Cell study on newborns and toddlers in Houston, Texas stopped after just one subject.  We call upon you to heed, respect and follow the ICED New Era Agreement and Accord for the Future.

Come on karl – your bias is busted.

We call upon the NAD to actually do something with the Language Deprivation priority – it has almost been a YEAR NOW.  WOW!  You slow!

We call upon the US government (local, state, and federal) not to finance language discrimination.  See how Bulger (of OPTION Schools & AG Bell affiliation and anti-ASL and anti-UN CRPD fame) is lobbying FLA gov’t to have $500,000 go to two oral / aural only schools that serve a maximum of 65 Deaf children for the whole state when they already get oodles of money from the Oberkotter Foundation

We call upon the Deaf community to exercise the greatest form of community accountability and STAND and speak out against language bigotry and audism.  The 2nd wave of Oralism is HERE.  Where you be?

STAND and be counted folks cuz you count and community acCOUNTability can not happen unless you have the courage of your convictions – that some day Deaf children should not be judge by the dip of their audiogram but rather by the content of their characters. 

ADVANCED BIONICS – have you no shame?

FDA benefits and risks list of CI (copied and pasted 23 May 2013)

FDA (Food & Drug Administration)Benefits and Risks of Cochlear Implants

What are the Benefits of Cochlear Implants?

For people with implants:

  • Hearing ranges from near normal ability to understand speech to no hearing benefit at all.
  • Adults often benefit immediately and continue to improve for about 3 months after the initial tuning sessions. Then, although performance continues to improve, improvements are slower. Cochlear implant users’ performances may continue to improve for several years.
  • Children may improve at a slower pace. A lot of training is needed after implantation to help the child use the new ‘hearing’ he or she now experiences.
  • Most perceive loud, medium and soft sounds. People report that they can perceive different types of sounds, such as footsteps, slamming of doors, sounds of engines, ringing of the telephone, barking of dogs, whistling of the tea kettle, rustling of leaves, the sound of a light switch being switched on and off, and so on.
  • Many understand speech without lip-reading. However, even if this is not possible, using the implant helps lip-reading.
  • Many can make telephone calls and understand familiar voices over the telephone. Some good performers can make normal telephone calls and even understand an unfamiliar speaker. However, not all people who have implants are able to use the phone.
  • Many can watch TV more easily, especially when they can also see the speaker’s face. However, listening to the radio is often more difficult as there are no visual cues available.
  • Some can enjoy music. Some enjoy the sound of certain instruments (piano or guitar, for example) and certain voices. Others do not hear well enough to enjoy music.

What are the Risks of Cochlear Implants?

General Anesthesia Risks

  • General anesthesia is drug-induced sleep. The drugs, such as anesthetic gases and injected drugs, may affect people differently. For most people, the risk of general anesthesia is very low. However, for some people with certain medical conditions, it is more risky.
Risks from the Surgical Implant Procedure
  • Injury to the facial nerve –this nerve goes through the middle ear to give movement to the muscles of the face. It lies close to where the surgeon needs to place the implant, and thus it can be injured during the surgery. An injury can cause a temporary or permanent weakening or full paralysis on the same side of the face as the implant.
  • Meningitis –this is an infection of the lining of the surface of the brain. People who have abnormally formed inner ear structures appear to be at greater risk of this rare, but serious complication. For more information on the risk of meningitis in cochlear recipients, see the nearby Useful Links.
  • Cerebrospinal fluid leakage –the brain is surrounded by fluid that may leak from a hole created in the inner ear or elsewhere from a hole in the covering of the brain as a result of the surgical procedure.
  • Perilymph fluid leak –the inner ear or cochlea contains fluid. This fluid can leak through the hole that was created to place the implant.
  • Infection of the skin wound.
  • Blood or fluid collection at the site of surgery.
  • Attacks of dizziness or vertigo.
  • Tinnitus, which is a ringing or buzzing sound in the ear.
  • Taste disturbances –the nerve that gives taste sensation to the tongue also goes through the middle ear and might be injured during the surgery.
  • Numbness around the ear.
  • Reparative granuloma –this is the result of localized inflammation that can occur if the body rejects the implant.
  • There may be other unforeseen complications that could occur with long term implantation that we cannot now predict.
Other Risks Associated with the Use of Cochlear Implants
People with a cochlear implant:
  • May hear sounds differently. Sound impressions from an implant differ from normal hearing, according to people who could hear before they became deaf. At first, users describe the sound as “mechanical”, “technical”, or “synthetic”. This perception changes over time, and most users do not notice this artificial sound quality after a few weeks of cochlear implant use.
  • May lose residual hearing. The implant may destroy any remaining hearing in the implanted ear.
  • May have unknown and uncertain effects. The cochlear implant stimulates the nerves directly with electrical currents. Although this stimulation appears to be safe, the long term effect of these electrical currents on the nerves is unknown.
  • May not hear as well as others who have had successful outcomes with their implants.
  • May not be able to understand language well. There is no test a person can take before surgery that will predict how well he or she will understand language after surgery.
  • May have to have it removed temporarily or permanently if an infection develops after the implant surgery. However, this is a rare complication.
  • May have their implant fail. In this situation, a person with an implant would need to have additional surgery to resolve this problem and would be exposed to the risks of surgery again.
  • May not be able to upgrade their implant when new external components become available. Implanted parts are usually compatible with improved external parts. That way, as advances in technology develop, one can upgrade his or her implant by changing only its external parts. In some cases, though, this won’t work and the implant will need changing.
  • May not be able to have some medical examinations and treatments. These treatments include:
    • MRI imaging. MRI is becoming a more routine diagnostic method for early detection of medical problems. Even being close to an MRI imaging unit will be dangerous because it may dislodge the implant or demagnetize its internal magnet. FDA has approved some implants, however, for some types of MRI studies done under controlled conditions.
    • neurostimulation.
    • electrical surgery.
    • electroconvulsive therapy.
    • ionic radiation therapy.
  • Will depend on batteries for hearing. For some devices new or recharged batteries are needed every day.
  • May damage their implant. Contact sports, automobile accidents, slips and falls, or other impacts near the ear can damage the implant. This may mean needing a new implant and more surgery. It is unknown whether a new implant would work as well as the old one.
  • May find them expensive. Replacing damaged or lost parts may be expensive.
  • Will have to use it for the rest of life. During a person’s lifetime, the manufacturer of the cochlear implant could go out of business. Whether a person will be able to get replacement parts or other customer service in the future is uncertain.
  • May have lifestyle changes because their implant will interact with the electronic environment. An implant may
    • set off theft detection systems
    • set off metal detectors or other security systems
    • be affected by cellular phone users or other radio transmitters
    • have to be turned off during take offs and landings in aircraft
    • interact in unpredictable ways with other computer systems
  • Will have to be careful of static electricity. Static electricity may temporarily or permanently damage a cochlear implant. It may be good practice to remove the processor and headset before contact with static generating materials such as children’s plastic play equipment, TV screens, computer monitors, or synthetic fabric. For more details regarding how to deal with static electricity, contact the manufacturer or implant center.
  • Have less ability to hear both soft sounds and loud sounds without changing the sensitivity of the implant. The sensitivity of normal hearing is adjusted continuously by the brain, but the design of cochlear implants requires that a person manually change sensitivity setting of the device as the sound environment changes.
  • May develop irritation where the external part rubs on the skin and have to remove it for a while.
  • Can’t let the external parts get wet. Damage from water may be expensive to repair and the person may be without hearing until the implant is repaired. Thus, the person will need to remove the external parts of the device when bathing, showering, swimming, or participating in water sports.
  • May hear strange sounds caused by its interaction with magnetic fields, like those near airport passenger screening machines.