Sunday, August 23, 2009

Deaf Culture and Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell's influences of audism is still effective even today through his organization. I have been watching many of the wording of AG Bell's promotion of their organization. I can see they are not accepting deaf culture as fact of life. My main issues is Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing's (AGBell's) negative attitude towards the Deaf culture in general.

Audism basically means those who discriminate or stereotyping against Deaf culture. Audism means a system of practice, behavior, belief, or attitude. Stereotypes, biases, and misconceptions leap into one’s mind. Stereotyping has created by showing incorrect judgment of a possibility by making people into stereotypes that leads to myths. Nowadays, it is hard to tell the difference but I believe that with today's technology and disability discrimination laws that are out there, there should not be any ignorance. My only conclusion is that people are doing audism rather than being ignorant.

Alexander Graham Bell had helped banning deaf people getting married. His reason was he thought deaf people are growing becoming a race with the language that is not graceful for him. He thought preventing deaf people getting married would prevent from deaf people growing. His opinion was deaf people need be fixed and speak only that would help them better life. deaf people suffered oppression by Alexander's ignorant and audism for 120 years.

Audism is a negative or oppressive attitude towards deaf people by either deaf or hearing people and organizations, and a failure to accept deaf culture, one example would be the refusal or failure to use sign language in the presence of a sign language-dependent person is considered audism. We must remember that the Deaf culture is based on the heritage and traditions of the Deaf community, not about deafness itself. We are to treat all deaf individuals equal opportunity to understand all aspects of the deaf community, culture and education. This is really about about non-culturally Deaf people learning to accept Deaf culture & language without judgments.

What we should do is have diplomacy to have all organizations who work with deaf individuals be united that we all get together in alliance to accept all aspects of deafness.


David said...

Hi Jim

Your article is well written. I agree with you about Alexander Graham Bell's practices, beliefs and attitudes that have harmed our Deaf community to this day and many more years to come.

I like George Will's quotation: The pursuit of perfection often impedes improvement. That I would interpret such as: "the pursuit of oralism often impedes Bi/Bi eduction approach".


Anonymous said...

I am so glad that you feel this way and please do keep up what you are doing and try to get many people to know what is going on.

Shel said...

Well said, Jim.

There are those who deny that audism exists, sadly.

I, too, like your use of George Will's quotation.

"The pursuit of perfection impedes improvement." What is perfection? In society's eyes, that would be hearing, straight, healthy, ablebodied people...those who are deemed flawless. That vision of perfection leaves no room for those who do not fit into that image of perfection.

The lack of acceptance of differences (perceived imperfection) impedes improvement, as well as harmony.

Paul said...

This is a very good and diplomatic article. I am glad that you looked into this matter of audism.

I have to say for more than 40 years that diplomacy does not work in fighting against audism.

We simply need laws with more teeth and state commissions for the deaf as well as advocacy groups to combat audism.

It is frustrating trying to tell truth when "money talks" in sinful ways. Cochlear implant companies have destroyed many Deaf lives in the last 25 years and they continue to sweep them under the rug.

I do not believe that science can resolve in restoring hearing or making a deaf person hearing.

It is merely an expensive amplification device.

Despite all the lectures, research, and printed media, the companies continue to harvest the deaf community for unwilling, uneducated and passive deaf individuals.

The peer pressures and the system of cognitive control are the culprits of audism.

Mark my words! Those hearing people will face the maker at the end and be reminded of these words He put in the good book.

"Leviticus 19:14 - Thou shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God: I am the LORD."

It is simple and those hearing people have ignored this verse since 1880.

We have to continue combating audism!

Thank you for bringing this subject up!

Have a good one!


Paul Kiel
St. Louis, Missouri

fromscratchmom said...

I am shocked by the info about Alexander Graham Bell, who clearly deserves for people to be shocked by his behavior. However I was also struck by the characterization that anyone who does not sign is guilty of audism, effectively labeling non-signing folks as bigots. This is clearly reverse discrimination.

I was on the internet today looking for info on diplomacy between the hearing community and the deaf community. I have been unable to schedule and pay for sign language classes during the years that the need has been becoming apparent and sadly, the situation has worsened over the years for my friend who lives with many of the deaf community.

What I have found is only a lot of examples of problems all from the point of view that the hearing person is ALWAYS at fault if there is ever a problem. This leads me to great frustration.

I started out knowing that all men are created equal and that deaf people should have the same rights and responsibilities as hearing people. Now I am at a loss as to know how to avoid advising my friend to just get far away from all deaf people rather than get further entangled in a bad situation with unethical people who will find some way to make their false witness stick to her.

Is there any organization out there that can help negotiate between deaf and hearing people when there is no bigotry on the part of the hearing person, but rather a bad situation that is terribly unfair to the hearing person?

The only other thing I can think of is to force HUD to get involved. But I hate to go that route as the deaf community at large might be harmed, rather than just the two guilty parties who are harassing and harming their tenants.