Monday, October 30, 2006

Gallaudet students get what they want. Don't they always?

Wow, how lame is this?

The WaPo reports:

"The governing board of Gallaudet University revoked the appointment of the school's incoming president yesterday, giving in to the demands of students, faculty and others whose protests have kept the nation's premier school for the deaf in turmoil for the past month."

The campus erupted in celebration at the news that Jane Fernandez wouldn't become their president and the protesters, showing the level of maturity we've come to expect from them, then "shredded a large effigy of her and then set it on fire."

Yes, 'let the healing begin.'

But as if this shameful backdown wasn't embarrassing enough, student protest leaders said they had spoken to governing board members and they said the 134 or so protesters who were arrested and threatened with immediate expulsion won't be expelled after all.

The WaPo: "The board of trustees issued a statement saying that although they respected the right to free speech, 'individuals who violated the law and Gallaudet University's Code of Conduct will be held accountable.'

Oh, I'm so sure the punishment will be severe! As I understand it, Fernandez made some enemies as the university's provost over the years, which probably has more to do with this whole situation than anything to do with "oralism," so who is going to dare go after these kids now? If you don't do exactly as your told, they'll just go right out again and do the same thing, right?

After all, I'm sure there are members of the board of trustees who have hearing ghosts in their closets. "And when did your grand mother learn ASL?" You think that's crazy? Check out this quote from faculty member Ronald Ferris who told the that Fernandez "doesn't really feel us. she's very critical of deaf culture, because she married somebody who hears."

You see, at Gallaudet they talk a good game about discrimination, or "audism," but when it comes to their beloved "deaf community" you're not even allowed to marry a hearing person. If you don't grow up communicating in ASL from the womb, you're not really deaf. And if your have a cocklear implant, you're some sort of proponant of nazi eugenics.

Well, this ought to explain it all, for those of you not up on Audism and the "deaf community." I found this interesting passage at U.S.-

"It appears that the audist wants to 'fix or cure' deaf and hard of hearing people. This is a contradiction to the deaf and hard of hearing people and demonstrates a bias against the deaf and hard of hearing culture. Obviously, this promotes anger and outrage by the deaf and hard of hearing community. About 410 million to 631 million deaf and hard-of-hearing people all over the world who feel oppressed by the Audists. The deaf and hard of hearing community continue to attempt to promote quality education that allows the freedoms of choice to the deaf and hard of hearing people. To no longer allow the control over choices and demands of oralism to be pushed onto deaf and hard of hearing people it is imperative that key positions be held by the deaf and hard of hearing community." Apparently, grammer isn't at the top of the list when it comes to learnig english. Was this written by a Gallaudet graduate?]


Blogger Picard90 said...


Before I start to comment on your blog, for the record, I am Deaf and graduated from Gallaudet University. When growing up, I was in a mainstream progrm for the Deaf at a local elementary school, but in seventh grade, I was enrolled into a residental school for the Deaf, where I also graduated. So, I think I'm entitled to say a few things about what is happening at Gallaudet.

I think for many hearing people, they have forgotten that Gallaudet University is the ONLY university for the Deaf in the WORLD. That means out of 190 nations, there is only ONE university for the Deaf in the world, period. Thus, there's nowhere the Deaf can attend and take courses in their own natural language, which for Americans, is ASL. Therefore, it's not right for you or anybody to say to the Deaf, "Why can't you just leave Gallaudet and take classes somewhere else? Come on, you've got to be kidding me! There's thousands of other universities, where some of them do certainly offer interpreters for classes!" For the Deaf, interpreted classes are a plus, but it's a big plus plus if the classes are done in ASL.

Gallaudet is more than just an educational institution, it is the MECCA of the Deaf world, if anything happens at Gallaudet, then it WILL make a huge impact on the rest of Deaf communities all over the world. That is why Fernandes' appointment was hotly debated and contested by the majority of the Deaf communities, whatever she does, it will have either a positive or negative effect on them. Considering how she had been at Gallaudet for perhaps 11 years or so, very few Deaf find her favorable in porportion to her leadership and administrative abilities.

There are numerous issues with her leadership, to me, it's not about audism or oralism, it's about MONEY and CORRUPTION. There were some questions raised about where money went after Gallaudet managed to receive more than $150 million in grants from Federal government, and corruption at Gallaudet is an open secret. I've seen how Fernandes ran her shop, and I have to say I'm wholly unimpressed with her abilities, I'm not intersted in her ASL skills or charimsa, but did she have qualities needed to lead and manage both Deaf communities and Gallaudet effectively? No.

I know some of people involved with Fernandes administration during her time as the Provost, and they're fairly corruptive and "yes" men. Don't be surprised if the students and faculty want an open audit investigation of how Gallaudet is managed from inside. I'm willing to bet there's going to be a lot of shredding of key documents before the new president is selected and ready to lead Gallaudet.

On the cultural issues, since I am a member of the Deaf community, I know for absolute certainty that a hearing person married to a Deaf person is fine with the majority of the Deaf communities. In fact, one of my closest friends, he was born to a hearing parent and a Deaf person whose family came from a long line of Deaf families! Where did you get the idea that marrying a hearing person was prohibited by the Deaf communities? It's laughable that you would believe it, let me put it to death, it's absolutely non-existent without question.

Finally, in regards to audism and oralism, if you study the Deaf history, you'll find that oralism is forerunner to audism. The concept of oralism was first devised at 1880 Milan Congress, where it was promoted as the best method of teaching the Deaf. Pretty soon, oralism spread to every corner of the world, where it forced out the Deaf educators and began a long history of oppressing the Deaf. Ever heard of Alexander G. Bell? He wasn't just the inventor of the telephone, he was the biggest nemesis of the Deaf world. He was an evolutionist and an avowed socialist who believed that the Deaf shouldn't be allowed to marry another Deaf person and that the Deaf must learn how to integrate into the hearing world. By what methods? By teaching the Deaf oral methods.

So, it's quite ironic that Fernandes, herself an oralist, who learned ASL late in her adult life was chosen to lead Gallaudet! Do you know what institution stood in the way of oralism nearly pervailing in America? Gallaudet University! In fact, it was established by Edward Miner Gallaudet for the purpose of promoting the Deaf education in ASL and training the Deaf to become pastors, teachers, and missionaries, spreading the Gospel of Christ to the Deaf world in America. Yes, it's quite sad that in modern times, Gallaudet is now largely made up of liberals.

For me, if I were a media spokesman for the protesting crowd, I wouldn't place so much emphasis on audism and oralism, because I wouldn't expect the hearing world to understand that. What I would place great emphasis is on how Gallaudet was managed administratively wise. I would pull out a long list of allegations of corruption, cronyism, financial woes, and failing graduation rates, things that affected her time as the Provost. These things are something the hearing world understands very well, having been exposed quite frequently by news coming out of Washington, state, and local politics.

In any case, now that the protesters got what they wanted, we'll see how the new president will lead Gallaudet. If it turns out he or she is no different from Fernandes, then the protesters will undoubtly receive a severe and rude surprise, seeing how in this reality, we don't get everything we want.


6:52 PM  

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