Deafhood Foundation: Wishful thinking

When A.L. of The ASL-Cochlear Implant Community blog viewed the welcome video of the Deafhood Foundation’s website, the blogger expressed her concern that the foundation’s views on cochlear implants may lead to increased intolerance for Deaf children who have cochlear implants.  She wrote:  “I was actually hoping that perhaps the message would be positive and inclusive. Wishful thinking…”

DHF’s welcome video with Butch Zein starts off with Butch ticking off the names of foundations that promote oralism and then asks how many foundations focus on the “Deafhood dimension”.  Without explaining what the “Deafhood dimension” is first and foremost, Butch leads the viewer down the negative rabbit hole of oralism first instead.   Is this a positive presentation of what is supposed to be a positive concept, the Deafhood dimension?

Hardly.

For viewers who are not familiar with Deafhood or the Deafhood Foundation, DHF’s welcome video will lose some audience right at the starting gate, because there is so little to explain what Butch calls the “Deafhood dimension”.   There is only one sentence, “…the belief and practice where Deaf people are viewed as complete, healthy, and assets contributing to enhancement of the world” that says anything about the “Deafhood dimension”.

Marketing, marketing, and marketing, folks.  DHF has got every kind of Deaf Expert except a marketing expert.

Butch then states the foundation’s mission:  achieving economical and social justice for all Deaf people.  He signs cochlear implants as an example of “economic exploitation” of Deaf people.  There it is, the negative attack on cochlear implants that A.L. was referring to.

I noted a comment Dianrez left on the ASL-Cochlear Implant Community blog:

“…However, it (DHF) is easily misunderstood in its criticism and that is its failing.  People get the impression that they are criticizing those who opt for the implant and aids.  This is not the case, and they need to correct that impression.  The DHF is actually fighting the HEARING MINDSET, an assumption that hearing is desirable, mandatory, and end-goal of all efforts for and by deaf people.”

Deafhood activists have had at least three years to correct this wrong impression, and they are far from doing even that.  In fact,  DHF attacks what they view as tangible symbols of the hearing mindset, as dianrez calls it, not the hearing mindset itself.  The cochlear implant is one instance of a tangible symbol of this mindset.  A mindset itself is a philosophy, something that many people don’t grasp well, because it is something you can’t see or touch yet it is there and pervasive.

Same thing with Ladd’s Deafhood journey, it is a philosophy, a mindset, if you will, of the positive aspects of being d/Deaf.  But Deafhood activists in this country have cherry-picked Deafhood concepts and twisted them into political manifestos that for many d/Deaf it’s like treading an intellectual mine-field.  The Deafhood Foundation is that mine-field.

Have Deafhood Foundation board members looked at the taxpayer cost of maintaining d/Deaf people on SSI benefits?  Those costs far outstrip any cochlear implant corporation’s earnings and stock value.  Cochlear implant and hearing aid corporations have helped many d/Deaf keep their jobs in the hearing world.  So, the cost of CI’s and aids are small potatoes compared to the benefits the technology provides in the long run.

DHF launches a positive public awareness campaign geared towards corporations and small businesses to hire some d/Deaf people.  That would be a positive action towards changing a hearing mindset.

Wishful thinking…

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57 Responses to “Deafhood Foundation: Wishful thinking”

  1. freezepop Says:

    Wishful thinking

  2. Candy Says:

    The example you used in changing the hearing mindset will fall on their deaf ears because they’re so obsessed with the cochlear implant. It’s as if eradicating the implants will be the answer to all the deaf peoples other issues. Mindsets can be a bad thing.

  3. mcconnell Says:

    You, too, Ann? I agree. The DF just doesn’t pass the smell test.

    http://kokonutpundits.blogspot.com/2010/02/kobayashi-maru-and-deafhood.html

  4. A Disgusted Oppressed Deaf Says:

    I cannot believe how stupid you folks are! Shame on you!

  5. ireflections09 Says:

    Candy,

    Indeed, mindsets can be a bad thing.

    Which is why I pointed to the Deafhood activists’ unchanged mindset for the last three years. They haven’t been open to new ways of “solution” thinking for a long time. They’ve repeatedly focused on the wrong targets (symbols) and haven’t produced real and positive results.

    It takes a change in one’s own mindset to seek solutions that will produce effective results. Lasting solutions are those that change another’s mindset of perceptions, in this case, the hearing world’s perceptions about how the d/Deaf perceive themselves and what they can do.

    Ann_C

  6. MM Says:

    The ‘Americanisation’ of Ladd’s book means the foundation is not based on what Ladd wrote, as per usual our American friends over the pond insist on interpreting things THEIR way, (which is no bad thing!), I am sure a film, book a statue and 3 prequels and another sequel will appear at some point, and a guest appearance by some celebrity or other… Most who aspire to this deafhood have had such great difficulty reading the book, they went their own way I suppose, whilst the rest of us took no further interest once Ladd started creating his deaf elite concept and side lining everyone else. The Emperor’s new clothes that’s all it ever was. Still, it keep deaf off the streets I suppose…

  7. White Ghost Says:

    *Scratching my head*

    Economic Exploitation?

    Trying to control other people to use an economic exploitation about the CIs is neither working nor helpful. Many parents will read the DHF website and will walk away from them……

    Auditory Discrimination? Perhaps.

    DHF is having a bad headache and marketing, overall.

    Mindset, go figure….

  8. ireflections09 Says:

    WG,

    You have a good point regarding “control”. The DHF attacks CI’s in order to slap a guilt trip on those who chose CI’s either for themselves or for their deaf child. As a parent, you’d certainly know a guilt trip when your kid gives you one.

    The DHF knows very well what “psychological exploitation” is– they’re using it on their website.

    Ann_C

  9. K.L. Says:

    I asked my daughter the other day if she would change anything if she could. Would she choose to have “normal” hearing? Would she choose to be deaf without implants and only use ASL? She said NO! She likes her implants, and she likes ASL. She likes being able to take the implants off at night, and put them on in the morning. She likes being able to sign. She likes having both worlds available to her. She is happy with herself and is comfortable in her own skin. She still faces challenges, and has difficult days, but she is a happy 11 year old.

    Isn’t this what the goal is? To be happy with yourself? To feel good about who you are? How is it helpful to attack implants?

  10. mcconnell Says:

    K.L.,

    Not according to DHF when they say CI companies exploited your little girl. Not once do I see them re-iterate any positive gestures about cochlear implant. Just that they’re “evil.”

    *sigh*…

  11. brenster- Says:

    Your argument comparing taxpayers’ $ used to spend on Deaf (spare me D/d mindset) and earned $ by CI manufacturers and stock values is based on nothing. You didn’t present anything to back your argument.

    The bottom line, what do you want? Please be honest, is the concept of cochlear implant proponents centered on Deaf Possibilities, embracing culture and language? No, it is focused completely on Deaf’s ears and lips.

    I should NOT be judged based on my hearing and speech abilities, but be judged on the WHOLE ME. My ears and lips are not the whole me.

    However, it is not the whole point. You chose a small bit from the whole point, re-framing it as a way to attack Deafhood. It is the same old topic always debated among yourselves here. I do not see anything fresh here; just same same.

  12. brenster- Says:

    Another thing that is way too common is various comments, like “it’s hearing world…” – for example in your blog post “…keep their jobs in the hearing world.”

    Boy, you are giving hearing people too much of credit. You actually gave the world to hearing people. This is MY WORLD as well. Everyone, Deaf, Hearing, People of various backgrounds have EQUAL ownership of this world. It is not hearing world. It is our world.

    That “it’s hearing world” mindset is another example of negative thinking toward us Deaf people in that it is not our world, so we have to change ourselves in order to fit in the hearing world. It is the mindset that we must change.

    The WORLD is for EVERYONE!

  13. MM Says:

    “It is not hearing world. It is our world.”

    Not according to ‘Understanding deafhood’ it isn’t, and the entrance fee is still too high for me…. While some are preaching hearing as some ‘foreign nation’ or anti-deaf sector, they can never move on. The refusal of deafhood devotees to respect CI choices and the people has had only one effect, to further marginalise deaf culture. Is this the point ? to suggest deaf culture is being constantly oppressed all the time ? to create martyrs to the cultural cause ? I wouldn’t have hearing if it was offered tomorrow ? They are going to get trampled in the rush….

  14. White Ghost Says:

    Brenster —

    “The world is for everyone.” What do you mean by that? Do you really wish that DHF is controlling the world and we could *NOT* make our choices?

    If you wish your child to SEE the world, would you rather to choose and get the “eye” implant for your child? Would you commend the corporation for making your child’s life easier and great?

    Your explanation make no sense.

  15. brenster- Says:

    MM- You didn’t get my point. I was not talking about Deafhood or anything. I’m talking about WORLD itself, the world in general. It is for everyone: any kinds of people, animals, nature – all have equal ownership of the world. Thus, it is not a hearing world – it is the world. Your other points have no relevancy to my point. By the way, respect is TWO-WAY street. Keep that in mind!

    White Ghost, I’m trying to figure out what you are saying as you didn’t make any sense. I’m referring to the “world” in general. I never said it’s Deafhood world! I said it’s our world, and I ALREADY explained what I meant by our world. Read again, and carefully! Don’t delude yourself thinking/believing that Deaf people actually have choices. Actually, they don’t! If we had choices, many of us would have already learned ASL and Deaf culture during elementary school. In fact, they didn’t give us that choice but oralism was forced upon all of us! It is not about Deafhood Foundation having the control. In fact, “Deaf as medical” proponents already have the full control, and you appear to be fine with that.

  16. Candy Says:

    Brenster, it is the deaf that coined the word: deaf world

    thus, they also coined the word: hearing world.

    You’re right that it is OUR world. We live in the world at large that encompasses all kinds of people. Which is why deafhood should not be in the business of telling other deaf people what they should or should not do. Deafhood has in their workshop place the blame of where deaf people are today on the “hearing people” Its that mindset that is hurting the deaf cultured community.

    Maybe you ought to go to a deafhood workshop and remind them that it is OUR world.

  17. brenster- Says:

    Candy- Do you have a proof that Deaf people “started it” by coining: Deaf World? I remember growing up listening to hearing professionals repeating to us: THIS IS HEARING WORLD, YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO LIVE IN IT, USE SPEECH SPEECH AND YOU CAN LIVE IN HEARING WORLD. A-S-L IS NOT LANGUAGE AND YOU WILL BE ALONE IN HEARING WORLD. and all that blah blah, same, same. I have never heard of “DEAF WORLD” until much later in life when the Deaf Rights movement started to rise.

    But – Let’s not be babies by pointing fingers: WAH WAH! THEY STARTED IT! SO ME be-FAIR, B-A-C-K at-THEM!

    Thus, I will re-phrase what you just said about Deafhood: The “Deaf as Medical Mode” proponents “should not be in the business of telling other Deaf people what they should or should not do.” Same principle.

    The “Deaf as Medical Mode” proponents advocate to assimilate Deaf people and at the same time, making a lot of money off them. Where is advocacy for Deaf people’s right to know ASL and Deaf culture. Let me be more specific, who advocates FOR ME, MY RIGHTS to know ASL and Deaf culture? It appears you are saying that I do not have those rights, that oralism & learning to hear should be forced upon me and that there should be no advocacy for people who are the same page as me.

  18. brenster- Says:

    Candy- By the way, we already discussed in Deafhood class that it is OUR world, because it is not hearing people’s world. All of us are in agreement. You people are the ones who stay on that “we live in hearing world” mindset which represents colonialism in that “it is not your world; it is hearing world; you have to learn to live in our hearing world…”

  19. Ann_C Says:

    Well, brenster, it’s been awhile since you’ve showed up– from what planet did you just drop off from? La-la land?

    Excuse me, but in my career I’ve worked in several corporations, two of them being Fortune 500 companies, and I’ve often been the only d/Deaf person in a department of hundreds of hearing employees, worked for hearing bosses or supervisors, and have had my share of discrimination on the job. I know damn well I’m no exception either, because there are many d/Deaf who work in similar environments across the country and have similar problems in the workplace. I also know damn well that I probably would never have been hired in the first place if I didn’t wear a hearing aid. It is an ugly reality that, as a d/Deaf person, it is damn hard to get one’s foot in the door of employment. Guess what? Most companies are run by hearing people who’d much rather hire a hearing person over a d/Deaf person who is better qualified. And once hired, the workplace ain’t no picnic either. Unfortunately the workplace DOES judge us by our ears and mouths without considering the whole person. I don’t like it either. But when you have dependents to support, do you think a SSI check is gonna be enough? Get real.

    Ideally the world SHOULD be for everyone, but it’s not.

    BTW, I never said that you have no rights or that oralism & learning to hear should be forced on you, and neither did I ever say that there should be no advocacy for those who wish to be part of Deaf culture and use sign language.

    Good thing we have CHOICES in this country to be whatever we want to be.

  20. White Ghost Says:

    Ha! “Deaf as medical proponents already have the full control.” That’s great to know! The DH proponents who attempt to control and destroy the medical community. That’s the DHF proponents!

    That’s what the DHF is trying to combat and destroy the CI corporations.

    We should be grateful that the medical community have saved thousands and thousands of lives.

    Would you be angry if Obama decides to become the socialist and pursue the CI campaign when the law becomes the mandatory?

    It’s about our choices. We should be grateful that we live in this fantastic country.

  21. MM Says:

    I think Brenster is somewhat typical of those that misunderstand what the deafhood thing was about. We knew it was an attempt (And a pretty poor one By Mr Ladd)< to bolster up flagging deaf campaigners struggling to cope with the new technologies and thinking of modern deaf.

    So he reverted to the good old days, (Which actually were not, they were full of discriminations).To that end he said accept everyone but keep your distance from them because they are all nasty oralists or worse hearing trying to force deaf to hear. He reverted to type after page 11. |His definitions of who was 'in or out' of the 'Deaf' thing just compounded the general 'having a go' at everyone who wasn't born with the privilege of being born deaf. Instead of bridging differences he lauded and encouraged wider ones, based mostly on distrust.

    It is natural that view was going to get up other deaf people's nose. I Offer no disrespect to cultural deaf my long term partner of 20 years is one, we get along because these attitudes have no place in our relationship, or in our social relationships…

    All LAdd did was pit big 'D' people against little 'd' people, the whole thing was an poor excersize in creating some elite as a last ditch attempt to stop the 'inclusion' rot. Inclusion means no deaf culture, inclusion means accepting CI People, inclusion means accepting differences in real time, not just on an online board as a sop, while following the day to day design of having none of it….

    The cultural deaf are finding they hadn't the ability to adapt, and I think that is where the problem still lies. Adapting and accepting isn't betrayal ! it's advance.

  22. brenster- Says:

    Ann_C, good to know that I have been missed! 😉

    Yes, I understand what you mean. That “it is hearing world” mindset is wrong, just as what you just described at your workforce. It is a terrible reality, and who created that environment? THEM with that “it is hearing world” mentality. Fortunately for you, wearing a hearing aid helped you “get by” in that workforce, but does it mean it is right? No, but it is how you know how to survive. Now, what about the other people who definitely do not benefit from hearing aids, from cochlear implants, etc? Aren’t they worthy to fight for as well? I have not seen you taking a bold stand on that principle.

    You said you don’t like it; I don’t like it. That is one same thing we agree on, and that is one starting point to move toward a middle ground to fight toward justice for all kinds of Deaf people! You said “Ideally the world SHOULD be for everyone, but it is not” shows that we should not fight to change that, and to make the world a better place. If so, that is where we differ.

    About SSI, I didn’t say anything that you or anybody should have SSI. Not sure why you gotta mention that, but yes it is true that SSI checks are not enough to live comfortably. However, I will not judge harshly on those who live by SSI checks. But, that’s not my main point – not even part of it at all.

  23. brenster- Says:

    White Ghost- *Rubbing my eyes* what are you talking about! All so off the point, and counterproductive discussion, really.

    MM- No, I have not exhibit any misunderstanding about what Deafhood is all about. In fact, I have NOT even discussed Deafhood. My first two comment posts were in response to Ann_C’s bits.

  24. White Ghost Says:

    Brenster….you have no clue. You need to watch DHF’s website. Take a nice look at Butch Zein’s 33-second video. Think.

  25. Candy Says:

    Exactly. Choice is the key word here.

    Brenster, here’s the thing. I’m not anti-ASL. Far from it. It’s my first language. I had a great deaf parent who not only exposed me to deaf culture but also encouraged me to be all that I can be. It was THEIR choice to have me mainstreamed and eventually MY choice to attend a public school without any asssistance and subsequently MY choice to attend a deaf school so that I can experience what it is like to be fully submerged into the deaf culture. I had no regrets with my choice. I love being in this world and love being able to make friends with everyone from a different background.

    I’m not biased in any way in this arena. I have no problem with organizations advocating for ASL and the Bi Bi education. I also have no problems with organizations that focuses on the listening and speaking mode. I love that parents have choice. That is the way it should be. No one is forcing anyone to get implants for one. If Obama has his way, he could turn this country into a socialist country and mandate that all deaf/hoh be implanted. Be thankful that we live in America that is still somewhat “free” and that we have rights. No one is taking away ASL. If eventually the deaf schools all close down due to low numbers because of increased believe that every child should be treated as EQUALS as thier peers by having every deaf/hoh children mainstreamed with cirriculium tailored to their needs, that would be awesome. Times are changing. It’s inevitable. That’s technology for ya. I’m constantly hearing, “we want EQUAL treatment”, “We want EQUAL access” hmmm.

    If Deafhood and it’s sub-organizational affiliation such as DBC and AFA had only went out to raise awareness and advocate for ASL and Bi Bi without trashing and spreading false information about the implants, perhaps more people of the WORLD will be open to what Deafhood has to offer. Problem is that the message has always been about blaming the possibililty of ASL being extinct is due to the cochlear implants. In addtion the message has always been about one upping the “so called” competiton. Come’on! Give me a break!

    Parents should be allowed to make choice for their children. Often times in the past, parents and deaf/hoh children have estranged relationships and most of the time it is due to lack of communication. Parents now days are more involved with their role as parents, not only in area of deciding whether their child should have CI so they can communicate with them but in all other areas of their childs life. Again, that is another change that is not related to technology but how our generation have become…it’s a social change.

    I like that nowadays more families have better relationship with their deaf/hoh children. No one should force any parent to take up ASL. If they want to, great..if they prefer implants so they can stick to what they know…listening and speaking, great!

    Deafhood does not understand “choice”.

  26. Candy Says:

    oh by the way, Brenster, I can tell you from my experience since I was old enough to talk….the reaction I get from my hearing peers was: WTF?! hearing world? deaf world?

    The world at large did not come up with that. The deaf people did.

  27. Ann_C Says:

    brenster,

    “That is one same thing we agree on, and that is one starting point to move toward a middle ground to fight toward justice for all kinds of Deaf people!”

    I haven’t got anything against ASL and Deaf culture, have never said anything against the sign language and the world that many Deaf either were born into or have come to enjoy. I’m not about to go telling Deaf people that they can’t sign or shouldn’t participate in their own community. Yet the Deafhood movement as led by certain individuals continue to criticize CI’s/ aids and oralism, which implies that the movement questions those d/Deaf who made those choices for themselves or hearing parents who chose that option for their deaf child. CI’s/ aids and oralism HAVE benefitted some d/Deaf, and this is something the Deafhood movement tends to gloss over. The technology is by no means perfect, some benefit from it and some don’t.

    Furthermore I’ve said that sign language should be presented as an option on the table for parents of deaf babies, but not to the exclusivity of other options. ALL choices need to be presented. I’ve yet to see the Deafhood movement as led by Ella say the same. So, no we’re not on the same page.

  28. Ann_C Says:

    Candy,

    “WTF?! hearing world? deaf world?

    The world at large did not come up with that. The deaf people did.”

    Exactly!

  29. White Ghost Says:

    Candy/Ann_C.

    Sheesh!

    WTF? H/hearing world? D/deaf world?

    Who will use the deaf/hearing pill? Prozac? Deafness? Huh?

    Sheesh!

  30. Dianrez Says:

    It’s going to be debatable where the “hearing world” expression came from.

    From the earliest, I remember seeing educators and superivisors telling us, “it’s a hearing world and you have to learn to accept it.” “when you grow up and live in the hearing world, this is what you must do…” “learn to talk well and you will get along better in the hearing world.”

    Now, if one argues that “deaf world” grew out of this “hearing world” expression, it makes sense. Perhaps deaf people did invent the expression. After all, people have always talked about the “world of work”, “the world at large” and “the political world”.

    It’s just an expression for convenience. Let’s not demonize it like other words have been demonized: deafhood, audism, cochlear implants, oralism, “manualism” etc…in demonization, concepts get exaggerated out of proportion. Again, one more time: the “option” for ASL does NOT automatically mean exclusion of speaking and hearing.

  31. brenster- Says:

    Candy-

    re: hearing people in general not knowing “hearing world” & “deaf world” wtf? Yes, right. Please re-read my comment post carefully. I never said hearing people in general. I said “hearing professionals” – whom I meant by are: Educators, Audiologists and such. People tend to jump and twist what others said!

    Ann_C,

    What I meant by “we are on the same page” is completely on a different subject. Apparently, you didn’t understand what I was saying. I was referring to your comment that you did not like it about how hearing people perceive Deaf people at workforce. I said, yes same here. Obviously, we will NEVER agree on the other issues, such as cochlear implants, etc. However, I didn’t even discuss this one with you because clearly you will not be receptive to others’ perception relating to this. I have never seen your position re: ASL and Deaf culture. You do not advocate those to be included. You complain about Deafhood Foundation not being inclusive, but you do not complain about other organizations for excluding ASL. Double Standards.

  32. Joseph Pietro Riolo Says:

    Hi brenster,

    The question that I am going to ask you is not to do the “Gotcha!” tactic. You are entitled to your opinion even it seems to be incomplete, ambiguous, or logically contradictory.

    What do you think of the term “Deaf world”? Is it wrong to sign or say “Deaf world”? Are there any specific contexts where “Deaf world” is permissible? (In the similar vein, are there any specific contexts where “Hearing world” can be used in positive way?) If you continue to state that there is only one world, does it imply that there is no “Deaf world” in the same as there is no “Hearing world” (“hearing” is intentionally capitalized to represent the culture of the hearing world)?

    You wondered how the term “Deaf world” came into existence. Perhaps, the information on pages 237 to 238 in Dr. Paddy Ladd’s “Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood” gives you some background in the history of the term “Deaf world”.

    Joseph Pietro Riolo
    josephpietrojeungriolo@gmail.com

    Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this post in the public domain.

  33. White Ghost Says:

    Brenster…..

    Double Standards?

    Why would you think that other organizations for “excluding” ASL in which Ann-C. did not complain?

    Don’t you forget about Hands and Voices? I am sure that Ann_C. knows this organization through some sources in this internet.

    Am I right, Ann_C.?

  34. brenster- Says:

    Joseph-

    Thanks for your question about “Gotcha!” tactic though it is only your perspective which is not correct. I can offer my perspective in response to and to refute others’ arguments which are “incomplete, ambiguous and logically contradictory.” Yet, I do not see you response to their illogical argument…

    No, I never wondered how the term “Deaf world” come into existence. I responded Ann_C about the “We live in hearing world” mentality. That is my point. I see people twisting my point into something else. I was not referring to “expression for convenience” – I was referring to “We live in hearing world” mentality which is completely different. If you call it to be incomplete, ambiguous or whatever, sure and fine by me. I know it is hard for certain people to understand.

  35. Ann_C Says:

    Yes, WG, I’m aware of Hands and Voices. The organization doesn’t trash either sign language or hearing/speech and allows parents to use whatever communication modes work for their deaf children. That’s what I’d call an optimal language learning environment.

    brenster,

    For those d/Deaf who use hearing technology and speak, it is offends that their choices are being questioned. After all, they very well know they are deaf when they take off the processor/ aid. It’s not a 24/7 all the time in the, ahem, “hearing world”. If they’re happy with that choice, who are you or Deafhood Foundation or anyone else to criticize the choice they made?

    Just as I would not criticize you or any other Deaf person for the choice you’ve made to use ASL as your primary language and immerse yourself in Deaf culture. The same for a d/Deaf person who chooses both ASL and to speak. The same for a d/Deaf person who cues.

    We all know that AGBell has as its mission to advocate for hearing and speech. The organization (not the man) does not go around attacking Deaf culture and ASL. In fact, AGBell has recognized ASL as a valid and legitimate language, they just don’t promote it. It’s not part of their mission, why should they? There are other organizations that serve the purpose of promoting ASL. For example, DBC’s mission is to promote the sign language option for d/Deaf babies. But the organization has focused so much energy and time on attacking AGBell to the point ppl wonder what really is their agenda. The negative attacks do nothing to create a positive view of the organization by the very parents seeking info on this option. It would serve the organization well to create what is POSITIVE about teaching baby signs and focus on who they’re really supposed to reach– the hearing parents of a deaf child, not AGBell.

  36. Joseph Pietro Riolo Says:

    Hi brenster,

    It is fine with me that you prefer not to answer my direct questions on the term of “Deaf world”. I will not dwell on your choice not to answer the questions.

    I chose to ask you questions because it seems that you are averse to the term of “hearing world”. Given your strong defense of Deafhood, I was curious to see what is your opinion on the term and concept of “Deaf world”. The reason is simply that if Deaf world is acceptable, it also means that it has its own mentality. If there is only one world where there is no division between the Hearing and Deaf, it implies that there is no mentality of Deaf world (and consequently, the Deaf world does not exist).

    I don’t mind that if some deaf people prefer to conform to the mentality of the hearing world (i.e. wanting to hear and speak like the hearing people). Likewise, I don’t mind that if some deaf people prefer not to conform to the same mentality. History is full of nonconformists.

    In your comment dated February 25, 2010 at 4:54pm, you questioned Candy if she has the proof that the Deaf people started the term of “Deaf world”. I provided a source that may shed light on this. I might have attributed the wrong characteristic of wondering to your question.

    I accept the possibility that one’s opinion may be vague, ambiguous or logically contradictory. There are numerous times where the bloggers’ and commenters’ opinions are far from being completely sound and it will be time-consuming to ask them to clarify their opinions down to the finest details. Most of the time, I leave their opinions alone. But, in your case, it seems that your comments revolved around the term of “hearing world” and this is where I thought I could ask you about the term of “Deaf world” to see if I can glean any understanding.

    Joseph Pietro Riolo
    josephpietrojeungriolo@gmail.com

    Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this post in the public domain.

  37. Ann_C Says:

    Aargh, my knees hurt from weeding and I accidentally hit “submit” before finishing.

    To continue, as for hearing mindset, I believe you and I both perceive it as the same.

    Keep in mind that the societal attitude towards d/Deaf people has not changed much for millenia. Paddy Ladd illustrated that history well enough. AGBell, the man, came long after. Both Deaf who use sign language and deaf people who use hearing technology and speech still face down discrimination every day because of this hearing mindset. Attacking symbols of this mindset such as the AGBell organization or oralism is not as effective as changing the mindset that established those symbols. It takes each of us d/Deaf to advocate for ourselves by educating that mindset one person at a time with “I’m fine being d/Deaf, there’s nothing wrong with being different.”

    Different, that! 😉

  38. Candy Says:

    That! 😉

  39. mcconnell Says:

    Check this one out.

    http://www.alldeaf.com/general-chat/75688-proposal-audism-policy-placed-guidelines.html

    I’m like…whaaaat?

  40. mcconnell Says:

    Ann, about the Hands and Voices, I agree completely. They present a more rounded and even sometimes neutral approach compared to other more questionable “organizations.”

  41. White Ghost Says:

    Ann_C —

    Yes I agree with you about having Voices and Hands 100 percent. They don’t use nasty things on both sides.

    Mcconnell – Yes, your’e right.

    Just saw DBC’s website/blog at Deafread today….Pfft! I rather to rely on the hearing-certified professionals.

  42. Candy Says:

    Oh Geesh. In response to the Audist Policy at AD. Like having one is going to make the site (or even the world) free of oppression?

  43. Ann_C Says:

    Anyone read DBC’s newest blog article on the first page?

    For once it is professional and doesn’t attack AGBell, CI’s or oralism. I’ll give ’em a brownie point for sticking to their mission online.

    Now if they will only stick to it in person at the EHDI conference. That remains to be seen. 😉

  44. White Ghost Says:

    Well, I am laughing about the votes at AD.

    they posted it on Feb 25th at 2:11 PM. Only 13 voted.

    10 voted yes

    2 voted no

    1 voted unsure

    Its been over 18 hours. Only 13 voters!

    Mike, don’t you worry about it, dude.

    DHF will be the next that will fail to reach the popularity contest.

  45. mcconnell Says:

    Who said I’m worried about it?

    What’s ironic is that out 44 voters, 50% of them support a cure for deafness while 28% do not.
    http://www.alldeaf.com/general-chat/74375-do-you-support-cure-deafness-17.html

    Also, I’m seeing desperation when one says that “We recently experienced a hate crime against our Deaf Community in the AD forum.” A “hate crime,”? Where? Who? Against the Deaf Community in AD? Rather desperate are we on the hyperbole band wagon?

    Here’s the definition of what constitute as a hate crime:

    “A hate crime is a criminal offense committed against a person, property, or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin.”
    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_04/offenses_reported/hate_crime/index.html

    All I see are opinionated people. And nothing about crimes committed against members of AD. where are the criminal offenses committed against members of AD?

    None.

  46. kim Says:

    Ann,
    Once again, great post! I wish you posted more often. I know I’m not the only person in the world with a late-deafened POV, but I would like to weigh in on this one. I’ve seen way too many friends benefit from the Cochlear Implant to dismiss it as some kind of “audist philosophical approach” The late-deafened tend to consider it a miracle– as in “I HAVE MY LIFE BACK” kind of thing. You are right on about the impact on jobs. I believe the Better Hearing Institute has done research on that. Have seen statistics that directly corelate hearing to income and promotion.

    There is the ideal world– which would be a world in which everyone got the accommodations they wanted, including interpreters 24/7, and then there is the world in which real people are concerned about the cost of accommodations/interpreters/equipment and making ends meet. If any two people are equally qualified, the hearing person will get that job every time! That’s the real world. It isn’t going to change any time soon in this competitive market.

    It’s a wonderful thing that deaf children today may gain some equal footing with the CI. A miracle! Because the CI isn’t perfect, my hat goes off to parents who include ASL as well. Seems they’re giving their kids the best of everything they possibly can.

    Just finished reading PinkLam’s post on seeing Itzhak Perlman in concert. Just think– here’s a 15yo with bilateral implants who plays a violin, writes beautiful English and takes honors classes in a public school. She has a very bright future ahead! Kids like this aren’t victims of audist philosophy. They are success stories!

  47. mcconnell Says:

    Kim, absolutely! Not victims in those circumstances but as successful kids with C.I.s.

  48. Candy Says:

    I agree with Kim, Ann_C writes great posts. Wished she posted more often too.

    I think those that are late deafened have more insight into all this. They know what it is like to hear and then to lose it. They know what it is like out there in the real world. All the laws out there that serves to protect us are just there to ensure protection. It is not a silver spoon. The rest is up to us and attitudes makes up a big difference.

    Then again nothing is perfect either. Which is why one shouldn’t use this one size fits all mentality.

  49. Candy Says:

    Ann_C, the latest post over at NAD seems a bit more rational. I’m all for EHDI to ensure that every parent are well informed of every possible decision they can look into. Time will tell. Usually there’s an ulterior motive behind organizations true intend. I’m more ok with NAD getting into it than DBC. But would prefer Hands and Voices’ hands into this than any other organization. see see.

  50. Ann_C Says:

    Thanks, Kim and Candy. Maybe I’ll find more time to write once I get the paint-scraping done on our fixer-upper house. Remodeling is a lot more work than ppl realize. Been eyeballing a really vast wall that is part of our stairwell and it rises up to the ceiling of the second floor, and I can visualize a mural there. There is a great view of the wall in the upstairs mezzanine. Whoops, another major project. We’ll see.

    Candy,
    I agree with you in that the NAD position is a rational one concerning the ASL option in the EHDI program, as the organization acknowledges that ASL can be used in addition to speech therapy and hearing assistance.

    Like I said earlier, the DBC blog didn’t attack AGBell, oralism and CI’s in their EHDI position, which is a first for the organization, but we all have yet to see if the members of that organization will follow thru with asserting their position without the negative attacks.

    Hands & Voices are definitely the “hands-on” organization to help parents and their deaf children in an optimal language learning environment, for its success is testimony to the fact it’s doing something right.

    Kim,
    Your late-deafened point-of-view is a different one than mine or others’, but your view has been an eye-opener in many discussions online here. It’s a voice I’m sure many late-deafened readers appreciate and can relate to. Your blog articles keep that view out there. It’s a plus to understand what it’s like to be in another’s shoes, albeit for a few moments, since different views give much more dimension to the deaf experience.

  51. kim Says:

    Good luck with the remodeling Ann. Been there. Not fun, but often necessary.

    Candy — I was impressed with NAD’s position statement and happy to see they included the Late-Deafened in their video— FINALLY. Since I don’t have deaf children I have no personal experience with Hands and Voices, though I know of late-deafened parents with deaf children who love this org. Any org that supports deaf people no matter their communication choices is alright by me. We’ll see if the NAD really means it. It would be great if we could all look to one umbrella org to unite us.

  52. DeafBlindMusings Says:

    I wish you well Michael.

    I don’t need to explain why you were banned from that forum.

    You eventually will have to accept ownership for your actions on the community.

    Deaf on deaf hate crime exists, Michael and you know this.

  53. Ann_C Says:

    DeafBlindMusings,

    Not sure what you’re referring to, I’m just assuming that your reply is about an AllDeaf forum from which Mike McConnell was banned? I don’t participate in that forum, so please don’t drag your argument from there to over here in my blog. I’d appreciate it, thanks.

  54. mcconnell Says:

    Geez, DBM. Give it up.

    I got the same response in my blog, too.
    http://kokonutpundits.blogspot.com/2010/02/deaf-on-deaf-hate-crime.html

    Anyways, Ann, as usual, your blog article is another good one.

  55. White Ghost Says:

    Just thought you’d be interested in reading The Holism’s latest blog,

    here’s the link:

    http://theholism.blogspot.com/2010/03/closed-society-is-why.html

  56. kmayes Says:

    Hi,

    I know I am late in posting. I have been BUSY with packing, throwing out stuff, etc., in getting ready to move back to Rochester, NY in a few weeks.

    All right… I viewed the new website and I have to give some credit to Deafhood Foundation… instead of targeting only AGBell, it includes other organizations. I am with Kim, about exploiting the medical concept of deafness for monetary gain but then all the medical concepts are to be exploited in one way or other, can’t avoid that. And it has come out with more explanation of what deafhood is about, no hidden agendas. So… *nod* to DHF. However, it has some ways to go before learning to co-exist with the medical organizations and seeing that the medical technology for hearing loss DOES benefit in some ways and that there is no such thing as one size fitting all deaf children. My son has CI and he’s doing very well with it. I still believe in parents’ right to make the decisions when it comes to their child/children, deaf and hearing. It all depends on the factors.

    *stepping down from the soapbox*

  57. Ann_C Says:

    Hey, Karen!
    Didn’t know you and the family are moving to Rochester, NY. You’ve said before that you’ve lived in Rochester a long time before moving to Indiana, so this must be a homecoming for ya. A move is stressful any way you look at it though.

    Yes, DHF’s website doesn’t have a hidden agenda, but some of the organizers themselves have strongly influenced other organizations such as DBC and AFA, for examples. The DHF site has come out swinging against any organizations that support the medical definition of deafness, AGBell, CI companies, oral deaf schools, and foundations that support those institutions/ corporations.

    Again, such criticism focuses on the negative aspects of medical deafness. The organization doesn’t acknowledge that oralism and CI’s have helped some d/Deaf people and that some oral deaf are actually happy with that choice. Some oral deaf also use ASL, like your son, and are able to go in and out of both the hearing world at-large and the deaf community. The AGBell organization’s website has put out a position statement acknowledging that ASL is a valid and legitimate language, but it doesn’t go around criticizing other organizations that promote sign language and Deaf culture. That’s not their business.

    As I’ve said in my post, it is better to focus on changing the hearing mindset rather than the symbols of the same mindset. One can’t change an institution’s policy, but one can change a hearing mindset on a one-to-one basis with PEOPLE about the POSITIVE aspects of sign language and Deaf culture, which is what Deafhood is really trying to achieve.

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