we have been examining the unexamined at the People of the Eye place.
A while back we did the series on the Right to be …. Deaf that exposed how Deaf babes to be are not wanted (see genetic testing and tossing) and once they arrive they are not welcomed (see Universal New Born Screening ie eugenics era 2.0)
and today we discuss the Maniacal Monkey, Terrifying Teddies, and Creepy Clowns in the audiology testing lab.
Many moons ago i was reading a gallery catalog listing from a De’VIA exhibit Brenda Schertz had organized for one of the Deaf Studies conferences and i saw a listing for Susan Dupor’s … Push the Red Button artwork and i was like I MUST HAVE IT.
Yes i hadn’t even seen the work but i knew sight unseen that it was something i would recognize – why? cuz i have been to the audiology lab – in fact it is the first place i remember being pressured not to be ME. The first place i remember fibbing. The first place i remember being pressured to conform to someone else’s norm.
So when Susan Dupor came to town many moons ago to present – i asked her “… Push the Red Button” is it sold? Nope she said
to which i replied – its mine. i must have it. SOLD.
And since that time its been hanging out with me and often – very often – someone will take notice of it. Once a graduate student from Thailand kept having her eyes pulled away from the paper she was reading up to the “…Push the Red Button” and then she said
“what is that about?”
So i said what i normally say to folks
“What do u think?”
and she said “well back home in Thailand when i would have to go to the audiology lab for my hearing test there was always this monkey staring at me. He look-same THAT-one”and i thought wow a universal experience with a universally creepy mascot monkey.
NOT COOL audiologists around the globe
cease and desist with the maniacal monkeys, creepy clowns, and terrifying teddies.
I can not tell u how many folks see the “…Push the Red Button” and go – “ohhh not cool. i remember that dude. haunted my dream-word, gave me nightmares”
And they add to the list to the freaky menagerie. Monkeys, clowns, and bears – OH NO!
From the monkey (that actually was adopted by Advance Bionics – see Bionic Buddy. There was even an inflatable giant size monkey mascot at an ICED congress before they repealed and regretted the ICED 1880 resolutions of oral / aural only and issued the just, right and good ICED 2010 New Era Agreement and Accord of the Future).
Monkeys – REALLY.
Ya think all Deaf children are monkey see monkey do folks? We know operant and classical conditioning are a huge part of audiological and speech pathology but seriously – ya all should LISTEN to your clientele.
Toss the terrifying teddies, creepy clowns, and maniacal monkeys.
Yes we see you too COCHLEAR LTD – with your implanted stuffed Koala bears.
The younger generation of survivors of the audiology lab testing tell me that some of these freaky creatures have eyes that light up and frighteningly glow when they, the child, the subject/object, pushed the red button or raised their hands correctly. Instead of being an incentive for guessing / performing correctly – for many children it has been a fear factor. Others have told me of how the animal, prop, visual reward-system object is concealed in a black box and if they pushed the red button correctly the box would light up and the creature or clown would be illuminated.
All of them say “I HATED THAT THING.”
so psssstttt – audiologist folks – you might want to have a survivor who is not ga ga reward-punishment BF Skinner boxes be a consultant and im sure most of them will tell ya – toss the freaky creatures.
In fact a few years ago when Ruthie and i toured the Cochlear Americas’ headquarter in Colorado – after they had brought us past their cubicle farms for tons of folks calling parents, patients, doctors and insurance companies to get CIs covered by the government and raving about remote controlled features of CI, they took us into a super size audiology lab and i felt a bit of a shudder creep down my spine. And then i said – “so it seems you dont have any of those freaky monkeys in here?” to which ruthie added “or koala bears – COCHLEAR LTD is Australia based” and i was like yep yep right. and then the Gallaudet graduated interpreter turned audiologist turned implant sales person interpreted to the Cochlear Americas business rep who then said “oh no, we don’t have that kind of thing” but when we went down the hall and saw an older Deaf woman getting tested on her 2nd implant and we mentioned to the audiologist there we were surprised to see no stuffed bears etc she said –
“oh we have them – in the lab in the next room. this room here is adult testing – no stuff animals here. ”
The business person said “no! there are no bears”
– i looked at the audiologist and she looked like i did when i was 4 and pressured to go against the truth in an audiology lab.
The business manager slipped away and we chatted with the older Deaf woman who was in the mapping testing so that she could have more control over the settings and not be at the mercy of someone else turning dials and setting settings on her head. Then the sales lady returned to say
“i checked the next lab room and there is not stuff animal”
i thought – geez thats odd that she needed to do that then i looked at the seated audiologist and she mouthed to me while the salesperson wasn’t looking
“YES THERE IS”
deceit is not sweet folks
so audiologists across the globe – toss the maniacal monkeys, creepy clowns, and terrifying teddies will ya
this is a rite of passage that is not right, just or good
one person after seeing Susan Dupor’s “…Push the Red Button” artwork made his own work. It consisted of polyform foam shaped items set in a shoe box. The shoe box had a large rectangle window cut into it, with a sheet of tinted plastic placed over it so you had
to look through the window much like looking into the audiology testing lab. in one corner on a shelf was a sad looking teddy, on one wall was a 9 Volt battery with a lever and a metal wire running from the 9Volt battery to
oversized headset placed on a child sitting in what looked like an electric chair. At the lever was another super sized teddy bear ready to pull the switch. Yep, this is how a young Deaf man felt about his time in the audiology lab chair. Torture.
ALL TRUE – ALL TRUE.
One young Deaf person told me she remembered all that stuff in addition to the darkened room with a spinning chair that she was too terrified to sit in so the audiologist held her in her lap as the chair spun round and round.
I asked what was that about? What was it for?
She said “no idea.”
she said “The audiology center was right next to the hospital i was born at in Florida and since the time i can remember i had to go there for various testings and experiments.”
2nd wave has been going strong for a while now
no worries – we are legions and we will win a 100 times over
just start telling the truth folks and making the invisible VISIBLE and demanding Ya Basta!