…”the cross of a single method”

bird hole

color photo of white hand with Sign Union flag colored bird flying through a stigmata in the hand

So as predicted – things have quieted down three weeks out from the AG Bell Association’s pissy fit over Nyle DiMarco supporting bilingualism.

But it was a wild three weeks wasn’t it?
ya all rocked the house. Truths be a tellin’ ten fold.

I especially appreciate the Buff and Blue’s ASL letter to AG Bell Association and the Council de Manos’ letter (see below).  While i had seen the Buff and Blue’s English letter, I didn’t know of their ASL letter until a colleague mentioned it a few days ago and i went a googling and ta da.  WOW it is a gem.  Love the variety of signers and the message as is the Council de Manos, which they also have in English and Spanish – ohhh multilingualism rocks.

I’ve also enjoyed seeing:
#Whyisign
#iamDeaf
Convo’s #tosignishuman
http://www.agbelllies.com/
https://thebelleffect.com/

Letters from individuals (especially poignant letters from parents and victims & survivors), departments, colleges, organizations, De’VIA surdists’ artworks etc singing the praise of ASL & English and busting the bullshit on language and cultural bigotry have been making the invisible visible.  Thank you each and all for standing and demanding that the AG Bell Association cut the crap.  Many of the letters by AG Bell and our communities have been posted up at The Bell Effect website https://thebelleffect.com/

After just one week AG Bell Association’s President M. Sugar released a 2nd letter in which she maintained her very patronizing tone of voice basically saying we don’t know squat.

ha

Problem is – we know a plenty and have brought the truth forward to prove it so she can hide behind their b.s. euphemism LSL as if it were a language when it is the jealous mistress called ORALism, and hide behind the bs shield of parental choice but we know their version of “parental choice” includes child abuse.  YES FOLKS when Ms. Sugar and Co. says parents have the right to choose Oral / Aural Only and ban ASL for their child’s life they are saying depriving a child of ASL and Deaf culture is FINE.  It’s DANDY. Why? because ASL is dying she says (in her first letter) and cuz the babes no needy any ASL cuz they can hear just fine with CI and AVT ie Oralism ie LSL.  Yes she said this crap in response to the American Academy of Pediatric praising bilingualism as best practices too.  She is relentless in her delusions.

Oh the holy grail – to make the Deaf child unDeaf.  to make them speak and hear “like” Hearing folks.  all hail the god of “independence through listening and talking” which is the AG Bell Associations motto and mantra and mission and..

yawn – so boring so endlessly boring and WRONG

W R O N G  AG BELL and Co. – listening and speaking do NOT make someone independent.  This has been proven time and time again.

How do we know?
cuz many completely hearing folks can hear and speak perfectly fine and they are not fully independent

cuz many Deaf folks who use bilaterial implants, do not sign whatsoever, and speak a plenty still want CART services, still want close captioning, still want Oral interpreters, some no go home for the holidays

and cuz… drum rolllllllll

We are all interdependent.  Its called living.  and the holy grail of normalcy is a falsehood and neurodiversity, sensory diversity, gender diversity, ethnic diversity, sexual diversity, etc are groovy.  They truly are – they is what makes the world go round methink.

Truths gonna flow Ms. Sugar and Co. (ie AG Bell Association) and the truth is – there is NO HARM in being bilingual or multilingual and there are GREAT BENEFITS to it. So…..

depriving a Deaf child of such is just basically cruel and unusual

You can cling behind the bilaterial cochlear implants, you can cling behind the clause of “parental rights” when they are really wrong but the truth remains – its unjust and you know it

And YOU – AG Bell Association – have known it since your inception.  You have KNOWN that you can not do pure Oralism (ie lsl and implantations etc etc) without some form of abuse.  YES AG Bell Association you have known about the putting of children into closets for signing, you have known about the making of children sit on their hands, fold their hands, have their hand taped to table tops, bound by mitten strings, tied up, stacked with books to uphold while kneeling on a broom stick, dunked in scalding HOT water, whacked with rulers, and more.  those poor wee dear hands that did nothing but try to do what came naturally – talk.  talk with their hands.  why has this ever been such a sin that parents and teachers have HIT those hands, have made those hands write on boards and sheets of paper 100 times “I will not use my hands.” ha ya all have tried to also make liars out of the children – they knew to write that very sentence they were using their own hands and they knew that to raise their hand in the audiobooth when not really hearing to end the testing, prodding, probing, and distress they would have to practice your skill and value set – deceit.

more has been done to the Deaf child – the Deaf body – lots of surgery – lots of various experimentation on their ears, brains, tonsils and more.  All in that effort to make the Deaf child into something they are not “unDeaf” and as “Hearing like as possible”

ie: AG Bell’s latest and lamest effort at myth-a-making – the notion of “there are many ways to be deaf” duh

that is about as inspired as “Deaf people can do anything except hear”

jewish folks have always been diverse – you dont see folks saying jewish versus Jewish or J/j

African American folks have always been diverse – you dont see folks saying African American vs african american

You did see lots of stratification of disenfranchised folks by the dominant culture in its effort to divide and conquer.  You saw them conjure up Mulatto as a “way of being” and giving it a wee bit of privilege so that resentment and inequality would fester and the oppressed could be the oppressor so the master could worry less and control more

So AG Bell and Co. you can try to paint “your deaf children and poster children turned adults” as being a different way of being deaf but still it is the same ole same ole.  They still be people of the hand eye – they still glean info via their eyes and their hands.  i have seen them in those youtube activation viral videos, i have seen them sitting across from me at the AG Bell Volta Bureau & Laboratory  – speaking when you called on them to speak and trying to read the CART screen when anyone else was speaking despite them having CI and a voice interpreter sitting right behind them.  I have seen how their eyes scan the horizon and i have seen how their hands point and gesture.  So while they are not bilingual with ASL because they have been taught that to use ASL is a dependence and a crutch and demeaning and they should be as hearing-like as they possibly can be, they still gravitate to visual access and if they are Deafblind orally raised they gravitate to tactile access as did John Spencer.

This is nothing NEW.  What it means to be “deaf” has not changed.  The props and excuses and myths have been updated but they are still props, excuses, and myths in which to propagate cultural and linguistic bigotry and that is not cool – AG Bell Association, John Tracey Clinic, House Ear institute, NCHAM, CDC, Cochlear LTD, Advanced Bionics, Med El, and blood cord registry and more..  We see you and we call your bluff.

Not cool at all fools.

We are Deaf – not damaged nor damned.

soooo Ms. Sugar of AG Bell Assoc – you conclude your second letter with a comment about respectful open dialogue after having spread a bunch of disrespectful crap in your letter about not discouraging parents from  ASL (tsk tsk how you lie) and how your mission is backed by research – dont u see how your ACTIONS and words in your letters and history are NOT respectful for open dialogue and if you TRULY wanted an open dialogue – you would accept the Gallaudet Student Body Government invitation to go to Gallaudet for such a dialogue.  AG Bell Association your commitment to crucifying children on the cross of a single method is WRONG and you know it.

Ya busted Ya basta.

George W. Veditz knew that ASL & English was the greatest good for the greatest number.

Screen shot 2016-04-24 at 11.20.51 AM.png

And from the NAD resolutions from the Proceedings of the Ninth Convention of the National Association and the Third World’s Congress of the Deaf.  Colorado Springs, CO.  August 6-13 1910

  • Resolved, That we recognize and appreciate to the fullest extent all methods of educating the deaf, but deplore and condemn the narrow and destructive spirit that endeavors to educate all pupils by any single method. We are firmly and unalterably in favor of the Combined System, which adapts the method to the pupil, and not the pupil to the method. (Resolutions similar in tenor to the above were unanimously adopted at the Nation Convention sat Chicago 1893; Philadelphia, 1896; St. Paul 1899; St. Louis, 1904, and Norfolk, 1907.)
  • Resolved, That the educated deaf, even though they may not be in the profession, feel that it is their privilege to discuss and pass upon questions of educational methods, inasmuch, as they are the results of these methods, and that their opinions therefore should have the weight of authority.

 

and now i conclude with the truthful words of a Deaf educator and leader.  James L. Smith, who was a teacher and Supt at the Minn. School for the Deaf.  He stated these words at the International Congress on the Education of the Deaf (ICED) in 1900 at the Paris Congress.  Yes this is the same congress that in 1880 Milan, Italy declared oralism to be superior and banned natural sign language from the hands, hearts, and minds of Deaf children and educators and the same congress that in 2010 (2010-07 ICED Resolution – A New Era document-2) declared that the Milan 1880 ICED resolutions were unjust and caused great harm and that we should remember our history and issued an accord for the future in which Deaf folks shall not be deprived of natural sign language and Deaf culture and they shall be involved in decision making in matters that affect their people.

(note there are a million other great statements from gems from our past who prove that what it means to be Deaf has not changed and that excluding Deaf folks from their birthright – a fully natural and accessible language – is wrong like McGregor’s short, precise, and profound 1920 message – but you get the point – things have not changed cuz the oppressive nature of the jealous mistress, Oralism, remains.  Its time for an upgrade AG Bell and Co. Your deceit aint sweet. In fact it is toxic. and its old as in unchanged and ASL is on the rise not on the decline and the Deaf will always be Deaf.

 

“Let us join together as one to protest these educators who would fix our destiny without consulting us, without hearing us. Here in the greatest republic of the Old World, the delegates from that in the New ask all present to join together to affirm a new declaration of human rights, the right of the deaf to life, liberty the pursuit of happiness, and the education of their children on a plan they accept. Let us declare to the entire world that the deaf will not be crucified on the cross of a single method.”

~ James L. Smith 

Gallaudet Buff and Blue’s ASLized letter to the AG Bell Association:

Council de Manos letter in ASL below (to see in text English and text Spanish go to https://thebelleffect.com/2016/04/08/council-de-manos/)

 

“A language divorced from its culture is like a body without a soul.” ~ M. Byram, 1998

Thanks Brian S for the quote

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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

 

& Hear these parents Ind. Senate & Hear Indiana (aka AG Bell and Co)

Parents’ Testimony of the Truth

while the video below was made in opposition to Ca. AB 2072, which was later vetoed by Governor Arnolds, much of what the parents have to share testifies to what could be in Indiana since the governor of Indiana (Daniels (R) has stacked the deck of the ISD board in favor of Oralism & Audism –  including one board member who has put forth the unjust HB 1367- (Noe (R)- base on the bias office of management and budget report associated with Adam Horst

this video made me cry when i saw it the first time and still affects me when i view it again.  these parents are so good and so sincere.

we share these truths, Indiana Senate, cuz we care.  Do the right thing and say NO to HB 1367

Dianrez letter to Indiana Senators opposing HB1367

We are collecting the good stuff at People of the Eye (POTE) so if you would like to send in your letter (ASL and/or English) to the Indiana Senate to post up here too so folks see your wisdom, courage, love, hope and faith that our legislative bodies still know how to serve the people rather than serve the special interest groups – post your letter in the comment sections or email it to me and I’ll create a new entry for it.
See previous entries for other letters and entries re: the hypocritical HB1367.  Hypocritical because it calls for a new center for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired Hard of Hearing hat would be NEUTRAL and UNBIASED when the sponsors for this new center are TOTALLY BIASED and NOT NEUTRAL.  OY!  What a waste of tax payers money to try to yank good, just and right services from one place to put it in a totally new space with new staff.
Thank you Dianrez for allowing me to reprint your thorough, just, and true letter here.
We STAND!
——————-
Dear Senator;
I am a Deaf professional, now retired, and have two grown children who are hearing and a Deaf son who is attending college at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in New York.
When my son was born, since I have a master’s degree in counseling, I proceeded to do due diligence in finding an appropriate program for my son. I investigated four programs: two in hearing public schools, one in a nursery school through twelfth grade state-funded program for disabled children, and one in the local school for the deaf. I also explored what the University audiology department could do for us.
I chose the school for the deaf. I recognized that they are the REAL experts. Both Deaf and Hearing professionals put my family and my son through parental support, home education, infant education, audiology services including fitting of aids, communication training, and schooling from age 3 months to age 18. I can wholeheartedly tell you that this was the best decision and I do not regret it for one second. Not only are staff at the School committed to their profession, they have a commitment to the community of deaf people at large and deep respect for Deaf adults. The staff at the other programs impressed me as superficially competent and committed: they work a 9 to 5 day and go home, responsibilities fully discharged and their work put away till the next day with no further thought. I wanted professionals who were concerned about the outcome of their work in the future Deaf adult.
I am a Deaf person and this may seem like a bias to you, but I am also a product of the educational system. I personally experienced the weaknesses of the oral-auditory system and the language of signs, and the pitfalls of inappropriate education. I live in the Deaf community, so I personally know many who were failed by the system: most were confined to oral education until age 8 or so, and then taught academics, reading, content, and thinking skills. This is a very late age to begin, even age 7 is late. I have for twenty years counseled and tried to rehabilitate these people, but many of them were so far behind in schooling by age 18 to 22 that they could not compete in the workplace nor in higher education. This is an unacceptable situation and can be laid directly at the steps of the “pure oral” philosophy being applied to all students. It is my strong conviction that a combined approach FROM INFANCY is best for all children, with the most effective techniques emphasized later on as they become evident for each individual child. This is independent of whatever devices or surgery has been applied to the child.
Here is a boilerplate letter from this point on, one that I completely agree with. Please review it again even if you have seen it before.
The points are especially relevant to what you are doing.
Please register my opposition to HB 1367 and Vote NO to this bill, rather than revamp or enhance already existing services at ISD’s Outreach.
I hope you will investigate House Bill 1367 deeply and listen to those of us that oppose it. Without justification based on facts, it takes a necessary service away from the ONLY state entity that is an expert in Deaf Education, the Indiana School for the Deaf, and gives OMB untrammeled discretion to set up a new agency at an unknown cost… all without having proven through official documentation that the existing entity isn’t doing the job that it was charged with. This bill is not a study. This bill is a predetermined action to dismantle services from ISD’s Outreach. It lacks transparency. It was created without Deaf professionals and Deaf people’s input. Once again For Deaf WITHOUT them. Please put the brakes on the bill.
This bill is NOT about parent Choice of options and services when it comes to Outreach services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children. It is about gutting one state agency that is an expert in Deaf Education and Early Intervention, the Indiana School for the Deaf Outreach, to replace it with an unknown, unplanned, and unfunded agency under the SOLE direction of the Office of Management and Budget with no accountability to anyone.
This bill was based upon NO official OMB report on ISD’s Outreach and NO accurate fiscal analysis. This bill aims to gut ISD’s Outreach by reinventing the wheel with NO Plan instead of simply enhancing services that are already provided through ISD’s Outreach. This bill is not a Study Group…this bill creates a team SOLELY administered and overseen by OMB who has full authority to hire who they want and place this center wherever they like. This bill seriously leaves out Deaf/ASL Professionals. Deaf children WILL fall through the cracks without Deaf professionals.

* ASL means American Sign Language. A full language comparable to any spoken language. (One that is fully accessible and understood by children without usable hearing as compared to oral English, which is not fully accessible.)

FACTS:
§  ISD’s Outreach Holds NO Bias and DOES meet the resource needs of ALL Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children in Indiana. Deaf professionals work along hearing professionals to provide Best Practices in Early Intervention and Education. (I believe that a combined approach is the best in the beginning.)
§  ISD’s Outreach already works with DOE, DOH, FSSA, Early Steps, and even a private religious oral school called St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf.
§  ISD’s Outreach is separate from ISD “the school”. Don’t let them throw you off: ISD’s test scores are low because many students who are in mainstream who are failing get enrolled at ISD at a late ages…8, 12, 15 etc., many times middle school. By this time, they are so far behind in language and academics that it is almost impossible to catch them up. ISD tries its best BUT this still pulls ISD’s state test scores down. Those students that start at ISD at an early age, on the average, do VERY well on their state testing. So don’t be fooled. ISD is one of the top schools for the Deaf in the nation.
§  90% of Deaf children come from hearing families. 80% are mainstreamed. There is N0 data on how many use ASL or spoken language or both.
§  Cochlear implants are not a cure. Many children with cochlear implants will not benefit from them or will later stop using them. The cochlear implant removes all hearing and when the cochlear implant breaks down or batteries fail, the child is left without any residual hearing.
§  St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf who provide services for ages 0 to 8 and Hear Indiana organization are advocate for oral only education and Outreach. This small private school does not provide for any ASL and in fact prohibits its use. ISD’s Outreach is inclusive of all approaches, languages, and opportunities for all ages of Deaf and Hard of Hearing from ages 0 to 21.
(Signed, full name plus degrees earned in colleges)

Dr. Heuer’s Letter to Indy Senators opposing HB1367

Heye all – there is a campaign to oppose Indiana HB 1367.  It unfathomably passed the House of Representatives after getting introduced by Rep. Noe who also serves on the ISD board (conflict of interest anyone) and is now before the Indiana Senate.  See past entries at People of the Eye (POTE blogsite here) for more info. and other letters folks have written.  In the past POTE has tried to house letters from the campaign to get Purple not to sponsor DVTV due to bullying and audism and with the letter writing campaign to AG Bell Association to stop sending unwanted and insulting temporary membership cards to teachers of the Deaf calling them “hearing specialists.”

We invite you to share your letters for Oppose HB1367 here so that folks who are not tweeters or FBers can easily find stuff.  Also check out Maisha’s blog for the updated #liesagbelltold me pix and text entries – Survivors Speak Out against Lies, Deception, and Misconceptions.  http://wheresmaisha.blogspot.com/2012/01/deaf-survivors-of-ag-bell-association.html

To have your Oppose 1367 letter (English and/or ASL) posted here – just drop it off (in full or as a link) in the comments or email me it to repost here.

Biggest thanks to Chris Heuer for creating and sharing his honest and articulate letter to the Indiana Senate via Deafecho and for his permission to reprint it here.

http://deafecho.com/2012/02/my-letter-to-the-indiana-senate-appropriations-committee-oppose-hb-1367/

(posted at Deaf Echo on February 2, 2012)

Dear Senator:

My name is Dr. Christopher Jon Heuer, and my dissertation, professional research, and work all fall within the fields of literacy, language acquisition, and Deaf Education. HB 1367 will soon come before you for review. I hope you will consider my arguments against it and oppose it. At the very least, I urge you to demand FAR more investigation into it than has been made to date, and allow for an appropriate amount of time for all parties concerned to conduct such an investigation.

1) It makes far more fiscal sense to leave the outreach center where it is and either hire additional staff or make staffing adjustments that will address the concerns of bias being voiced by supporters of Hear Indiana than it does to establish an entirely new center. The former costs less, the latter may cost far more. Simple as that. If this argument is wrong, where is the detailed analysis, the detailed cost breakdown necessary to justify approval of a new center? To justify an investigation into the cost of establishing one is one thing. To approve the establishment of a new center without sufficient investigation into the matter is entirely another.

2) If you agree that the supporters of Hear Indiana have valid concerns about bias–if you agree that because the center is located on grounds occupied by people who strongly support ASL as the pathway to language acquisition, then the construction of a “neutral” center should ensure that NO approach is presented more strongly than any other. I will now attempt to show you why this is unlikely to happen:

a) Staffing – If a new “neutral” center is staffed by for example seven people, and only two are familiar with ASL, the other five, biased or not, are not in an equal position to inform parents about this option.

b) By default, medical approaches and oral approaches ALREADY stand at the forefront of available options. Ninety to ninety-five percent of parents of deaf children are themselves hearing. Ask yourselves what you would do if you discovered your child was deaf. Would you want him to be able to hear and speak, or would you want him to sign? (Or both?) Would you go to a doctor first or would you go to the deaf community first? I’ve been a member of the deaf community for decades, but I’m also the father of a four year old hearing child. Please bear with me… it’s crucial you understand this.

In a recent trip to the ENT, it was found that there might be issues with my son’s adnoids… a very common condition. One possible result, if not countered, could be the development of something called adnoid facies. I knew nothing about this so I looked it up. The website I first looked at is among one of the top ten listed in a google search under “adnoid facies.” This is some of the information listed:

• Eustachian blockage causing glue ear-deafness

• The deafness and inattentiveness interferes with the learning

• child grows with lowered intelligence and understanding

This information, provided by an ENT, is incorrect, and is misleading (most likely not deliberately, but it still is). Deafness does not interfere with learning or cause lowered intelligence or decreased understanding. If that were true, you would not be getting this letter at this level of discourse. Rather, a lack of language acquisition is what causes an interference with learning and subsequent lowered intelligence and lack of understanding.

But this distinction is not strictly a medical issue. It’s also an issue of one’s approach to providing a child with access to language. But how is a parent supposed to know this from reading medical literature and speaking with ENTs and the like alone? And in addition to that point, how likely is it that an ENT, trained in medicine, is going to know enough about the mechanics and specifics of language acquisition to suggest ASL or cued speech as a viable option (either independently or in conjunction with a medical or technological approach)? There is ignorance all around, and in some cases bias, as will be discussed below. The point here is that information about medical approaches to dealing with deafness is abound, as is information about technological approaches. Information on other approaches, including ASL, is not as widespread or supported in medical literature, which is likely to be the first type of literature parents investigate.

c) In addition to the argument above, my own research as well as testimonies by other parents (I will quote one such argument below) shed light on instances in which hearing parents of deaf children are told by medical professionals to not sign or cue to their children so that the child depends entirely on his or hear hearing aid or cochlear implant. Hear is a quote from one such article:

Just as cued speech and its purposes are misunderstood by many, ASL is also met with misconceptions and ignorance. I read through websites with outdated opinions that suggested that ASL will make a child “retarded,” or worse, suggested that deaf people already are mentally disadvantaged. Misleading literacy statistics don’t always point out that lower reading level abilities only reflect a person’s grasp of English, and have nothing to do with their mental capabilities or abilities to express themselves fully in their native language.

Another bias against ASL that we discovered was that it should only be used as a last resort if hearing aids, cochlear implants, and speech therapy do not work for a particular individual. Some attitudes we encountered regarded deaf schools and ASL as the final option, something to fall back on, rather than embrace up front. Much of this probably stems from doctors and audiologists; I “met” a woman online whose son was receiving sounds from his implant, but whose audiologist scolded them for signing and told them only to use it if the implant didn’t work. In the meantime, the child was at risk of losing valuable language-learning years.

In summary, the information I have provided you with should be more than sufficient support for the argument that HB1367 deserves far more investigation than it is getting. The approval of a new outreach center without proper and in-depth planning regarding how it will be staffed, what information it will provide, how it will provide it, and how the government of Indiana can ensure it is doing what it is supposed to be doing is not a good idea. I therefore urge you oppose this bill, demand sufficient investigation, and be perpetually on guard against future proposals such as HB1367 that do not adequately address the entirely reasonable and well-supported concerns I have outlined above.

Thank you for considering my arguments.

Sincerely,

Christopher Jon Heuer, Ph.D.

Barb DiGi’s Letter to AG Bell Association

We are collecting letters that folks have sent to AG Bell Association expressing their discontent over the AGBAD’s mailing of temporary membership cards to teachers of the Deaf and labeling them as “hearing specialists” – if you haven’t received a membership card but are still upset to learn of this and/or are upset by the AG Bell Association refusal to apologize for their insulting Pepsi letter and/or for their continual promotion of audist ideology and Oralism – you can mail your ASL and/or English letter to:

Alexander Graham (CEO)          agraham@agbell.org        202-204-4671 x 107
Susan Boswell (director of communications and marketing)     sboswell@agbell.org 202-204-4687 x 127

See Barb DiGi’s Bilingual letter below – this videoletter includes the actual membership card and content of the letter as well as commentary from her two Deaf bilingual youth.  “Nothing about us, AG Bell, without us”

Note: Barb has been an extraordinary advocate for bilingual-bicultural rights for Deaf children.  She has gotten a lot of crap from some folks in the blogsphere and still she stands.  I have much gratitude for the STAND she takes on behalf of the linguistic and cultural integrity of Deaf children and their families.  She does all this while many folks who work within the system say they can’t or they won’t, she says we can and we shall.  It’s a hafta do folks – the TRUTHS must be told and failure is not an option.  So thank u Barb and co.

other Letters to AG Bell Association

https://handeyes.wordpress.com/2011/07/31/jen-witteborgs-letter-to-ag-bell-association/

https://handeyes.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/karen-chrisites-letter-to-the-ag-bell-association/

https://handeyes.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/ruthie-jordans-letter-to-ag-bell-association/

https://handeyes.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/michele-westfalls-letter-to-the-ag-bell-association/

Canada knows not Joseph? Audism out Audism

Oh Canada – Out Audism Out

NOTE: text in red is from George Veditz’s Preservation of Sign Language Speech (1913) as translated to English by Dr. Carol Padden. (move playhead to 11:53 to see Veditz sign it)

“‘A new race of pharaohs that knew not Joseph’ are taking over the land and many of our American schools.”

Can you spell audism? I know, I know some folks can NOT but most folks can and KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

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. ~ Audism Free America

Some evidence of audism in action in Canada –

1. a Principal with no sign skills and a degree in “special education” is hired over a bilingual-bicultural Deaf candidate for the post at Centre Jules Léger (CJL).

“They do not understand signs for they cannot sign. They proclaim that signs are worthless and of no help to the deaf.”

students three demands

Canadian Association of the Deaf (CAD) letter of support of the three concerns of the students

http://www.cad.ca/news_events_en.php?newsID=88

ASL vlog on the protest and demands:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54VvHjP62ZE&feature=player_embedded#at=21

LSQ vlog on the protest and demands:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DYGClMN_Qk&feature=player_embedded

ADDED JULY 2011 – the students’ protest is successful – there will be a NEW qualified director in the fall http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/Centre+Jules+L%C3%A9ger+review+finds+unqualified+unprofessional+staff/5007426/story.html

“Enemies of the sign language, they are enemies of the true welfare of the deaf.”

2. Ontario is giving out FREE cochlear implants – (see http://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2011/03/improving-access-to-devices-for-people-with-severe-hearing-loss.html)

– was The “VOICE” organization behind this? – the equivalent to the AG Bell Association a la Canada

(See Dr. Snoddon’s rebuttal to this action http://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters/article/952943–ear-implant-decision-raises-questions)

“…As long as we have deaf people on earth, we will have signs…”

3. there are no Deaf superintendents of Deaf schools in all of Canada – count ‘em folks – none, as in Zero, as in nada

see CAD’s statement re: employment

http://www.cad.ca/employment_and_employability.php

hmmmm so much for “nothing about us, without us – Canadian Deaf schools”

4. The Newfoundland School for the Deaf has been closed as a doctor gleefully predicted it would (and “should” in his opinion).

(see http://www.thetelegram.com/Education/2009-04-27/article-1436743/Eradicating-deafness/1)

It is my hope that we all will love and guard our beautiful sign language …

ADDED: link to an AD taken out calling for the investigation into the closing of the NSD

5. Newborn Hearing Screening – http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/pub/child/hearing/hearing1.html

…as the noblest gift God has given to deaf people.”

Do not let a new race of Pharaohs that knew not Joseph take over the land.

We need not let this bad history REPEAT itself.

Say unto the 2nd Wave of Oralism and Neo-Eugenics, Out Audism Out!

TRUTHS:

*** Biodiversity, linguistic diversity and cultural diversity are interconnected. Cut one and u will be cutting down the others and dooming us all

http://www.terralingua.org/html/home.html

*** Data showing % of Deaf children in Oral-Aural-ONLY programs sharply declines around adolescences when dialogue and discourse is much more complex and bilingual-bicultural programs sharply increase at this time to accommodate for the influx of oral-aural-ONLY survivors

***Report re: secondary education Deaf students

http://ies.ed.gov/ncser/pubs/20113003/

George Veditz’s typed transcript of his famous signed “Preservation of Sign Language” speech (1913) – note some word choices and ordering is not the same as it appears in the film. Read it and ask what they faced then, do we face now?????

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