Who is Gallaudet?

As we Gallaudet students amble around campus, going through the dull routines of everyday life, brushing our teeth, dressing in whatever ambivalent clothes we choose to portray our moods of the day, running through multitudes of files in our minds about the endless tasks that we are to complete before the day is over, I ask us—how often do we pause and take stock in what is really happening before our eyes?

Yes, you DID just walk by a throng of hearing students who either barely pick up their hands to communicate their words in a pathetic, half-assed way, using the ever-glorified term of “simultaneous communication” as a reliable fallback defense, or did not bother to make any attempt at making their words at all accommodating to the deaf majority here on campus.

Yes, you DID just enter a classroom where your “highly-educated” professor ekes out barely understandable manual signs to the deaf students s/he already constrains OR uses interpreters of usually questionable quality to educate you while your student loan net amount increases as you go through receiving a dubious level of education.

Yes, you DID just friggin’ walk by a desperate, inappropriate poster for the “Walk4Hearing” fundraiser.  Yes, you did. In the same academic space that represents the heart of Gallaudet—the ASL/Deaf Studies department. Why? Why is this happening? Why are we allowing this to happen?When are we going to wake up and take action?

A shift is needed from the most recent question of how are we representing Gallaudet to the world; rather, we must ask how we are embodying Gallaudet and representing the community to each other as we constantly confront a long-embedded hearing system within our educational and social institution.  Yes, let us admit it:  Gallaudet is hearing-ized.

What are we to do with the ever-constant invasion and regime of hearing bodies and institution that maintain and impose audistic systems? Why are we wasting our time kowtowing to the needs of ASL-inept and unwilling students rather than taking them by the collar and demanding to know why they are infiltrating our cultural grounds with their spoken language and visible resistance to ASL? Why are we allowing our deaf peers who grew up under such unfortunate hearing systems to come here and act as empty vessels that only serve as justifications for the aforementioned hearing students’ unconscious agenda? And worse, we’re allowing these deaf peers to feel rejected by the rest of us because they continue to operate under the hearing system, under the infallible protection of audism.

How do we reclaim, nurture, and revive the deaf center here at Gallaudet? Before I make my proposal, a brief, personal narrative is necessary. In September, I attended one of my graduate-level courses. The hearing professor explained a recent, about-to-be-released research project on the academic levels and performances of Gallaudet freshmen. The research was to be presented to a national education organization. The freshmen were divided into three categories based on their American College Testing (ACT) scores and predictors of their academic performance at Gallaudet. The first group who barely passed or failed the ACT were considered unable to academically compete with their peers at Gallaudet.  The second group of students who managed to pass the ACT were considered to be only able to academically compete with their fellow Gallaudet students. The third group consisted of students who were Gallaudet’s top-performing, stellar students who were capable of competing with students from, and I quote, “other low-tier universities and community colleges.”

“Low-tier?” What the hell is that supposed to mean? Naturally, I raised my hand and asked, “Does that mean our top-performing Gallaudet students are unable to academically compete with students from the Universities of California or other ‘high-tier’ universities?” To which the professor replied, “If our top Gallaudet students could compete with those students from the rest of the country, there would be no need for Gallaudet.”

Pause. The heart drops. Yes. That DID just happen.

As our lead hearing researchers presented slanted data about Deaf students to nationwide institutions of education, the numbers of HUGs on campus have increased exponentially.  The interpreting, audiology, and speech therapy departments continue to thrive with many of its students being resistant to becoming fluent ASL users, competent in deaf culture—but, of course, such resistance can be found among a variety of graduate students, to my painful realization. What is wrong with this picture? As Aubrecht and Commerson (2010) identified, what we are seeing are features of the Gallaudet Syndrome*, a vicious cycle that is renewing itself every year through our continuing to bow down to the false ideal of a hearing-ized Gallaudet. Are we to continue participating in this cycle, submitting before the system of oppression that is permeating our daily lives on this campus?

This is my proposal. Gallaudet is a bilingual university. Gallaudet is the one deaf space we can have in this country. As members of an oppressed cultural-linguistic group, we deserve a space that is based on our right to express our language and for our true allies to fully participate in that expression without any whining about their own language that is a direct representation of the system that constantly ruins so many of our deaf lives through cultural and linguistic denial.

Thus, a language policy must be accepted. ASL at all times. Language immersion at all times. Cultural representation at all times. No more wasting time coddling the hearing students or the Deaf students victimized by the hearing system who are not yet fluent users of ASL. It is time to rise up and unite, to recreate Gallaudet as a deaf embodiment.

Who is Gallaudet? We are. Who are we? Deaf, deaf-allies, and ASL-users. Finish.

*“The Gallaudet Syndrome”                                                                                                               Alison L. Aubrecht and Ryan Commerson (2010)                                                                                  Butterfly Effect Series http://www.facundoelement.com/articles/Butterfly_Effect_Series/thegallaudetsyndrome.html

Photo courtesy of Gallaudet University

EDITOR’S NOTE: this article mistakenly named the writer, Elena Ruiz wrote this article.

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133 Responses to “Who is Gallaudet?”

  1. gallaudet student
    November 2, 2010 at 6:35 PM #

    Great article! I am outraged to hear that we are considered not up to par with other high-tier colleges. Just wanted to clarify, was the graduate-level course you were taking under Gallaudet? If so, then something seriously needs to be done with the agenda for the fac/staff of Gallaudet!

    On a side note, I originally thought that the article was referring to the actual person (as implied by the statue). It was not clear to me what the article was about. Maybe you could phrase the title differently, like “Who makes Gallaudet” or “What is Gallaudet”

    Im glad you wrote this.

    • Rachel Benedict
      November 2, 2010 at 9:52 PM #

      This article mistakenly named the author, Elena Ruiz wrote this article.

  2. Dianrez
    November 2, 2010 at 9:10 PM #

    What is needed is a purely academic reason for an ASL campus. Talking about personal, cultural, emotional, communicative or other reasons to “respect ASL” might not fly as well, even though they are also valid.

    Academic reasons, or linguistic reasons, would include arguments for immersion learning of this language…reinforcement of ASL usage in the natural setting that Gallaudet offers…opportunity for teachers, interpreters, and future workers with the Deaf community to sharpen their skills…an environment that allows linguistic research and analysis, teaching of ASL in a structured setting that allows development of its syntax and vocabulary. In short, ASL itself is to be considered a highly valued language.

    People come here just to be immersed in ASL, among other reasons. People who come and fail to take advantage of this are losing both time and opportunity that might never again happen.

    Those who have other language preferences are better advised to go where they can obtain environmental exercise of these preferences. Learning a language can not be a halfway or part-time thing.

    Like the Hebrew-speaking yeshiva, the Chinese school where students speak Chinese all day long and go out in the community to speak English, and like the American schools in foreign countries, Gallaudet has an academic mandate to maintain and nurture ASL at all times on campus. No other college offers a similar experience.

    I was disappointed to hear that some professors use poor sign language and/or depend on interpreters. In my time all professors could sign well or used signed English to a degree that it did not impair classroom instruction or discussion. What happened? Was it hiring without placing priority on sign skills? Was it expectation that one would learn ASL on the job? Was it a belief that it is better to hire academic expertise than fluent signers? (One would expect those without advanced degrees to earn them on the job more easily than learning a language on the job.) Analysis of how this situation came about would be useful.

    The question of how one accommodates HUGs, oral deaf, HOH and CI-wearing students, and other deaf people who know no sign is also an important one. Why they come to Gallaudet is relevant…why are the hearing colleges unable to accommodate them, and Gallaudet can? How can Gallaudet help them to become adept enough in sign to be an academic asset? What, specifically do they need to become comfortable enough to be able to pick up sign?

    It isn’t a question of respecting individual communication preferences. There is a place for that…NTID, CSUN, hearing institutions. At Gallaudet anyone can come, but ASL is the language of the institution, and efforts to try to accommodate all different kinds of language input is a diversion from its mandate.

    • Anonymous
      November 4, 2010 at 5:12 PM #

      Dianrez –

      Gallaudet University is NOTan ASL institution. Since the University is federally-funded, Gallaudet University has been a BILINGUAL institution since it was founded in 1864. Do your homework on Deaf Bilingual Coalition website. Yeshivas and Chinese schools are NOT federally-funded.

  3. deafcyclist
    November 2, 2010 at 9:40 PM #

    NO! While I completely agree with the concerns for the ‘decline’ of our deaf culture, completely preventing other languages, spoken or signed, are completely harmful to us all.

    I hate these ideas as it feels like a double standard to me. We DEMAND equal access and fair treatment when we go out into the “hearing world” and yet we forbid these rights of other peoples when they come into our “Deaf world”. It is exactly for these reason why our deaf culture will eventually shatter due to our extreme resistance to growth.

    Yes, I said growth, no culture or people are perpetually unchanging. the only chance we will have to preserves our culture is to accept that there are hearing world out there and accept these peoples and WORK WITH them, not AGAINST.

    the very fact that we treat Gallaudet as the “Deaf world” and the world ‘out there’ as the “Hearing World” limits us all, encouraging us to stay insular, only expecting to interact meaningfully with other deaf peoples and never learn how to be brave and go out into the one world that does not have such an disturbed separations between the hearing and the deaf.

    • Sean
      November 7, 2010 at 6:25 PM #

      Bravo! I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  4. an alumnus
    November 2, 2010 at 10:42 PM #

    you really do get it. we just need more people to stand up and speak up. i am with you all the way. i sense a serious shift happening if we actually act. thanks for writing.

  5. Meredith
    November 2, 2010 at 11:37 PM #

    Wow… deafcyclist said everything I wanted to say.

    Great article.

  6. anonymous
    November 3, 2010 at 9:02 AM #

    “If our top Gallaudet students could compete with those students from the rest of the country, there would be no need for Gallaudet.” Um, really? This is beyond offensive, assuming that people come to Gallaudet because they can’t hack it elsewhere. How about, if everyone employed at Gallaudet were Deaf, it would be a sign that equality is beginning and there is no need for Gallaudet? Or how about, there will always be a need for Gallaudet as long as there is Deaf community, Deaf culture, and ASL? Or even how about, as long as there are good parties, there will be a need for Gallaudet? Silly, maybe, but good grief does that professor think thousands of students’ pride in alma mater is so misguided? Sheesh.

    OK, now that I’ve reacted to a clearly incendiary quote :)

    1) Rachel Benedict wrote this? OK, that was a bit of a shocker, but I see it is not correct. Hope the right author got paid :)

    2) I agree with a lot of what is in this article, however:

    3) I am an “empty vessel” and you are “coddling” me if you show patience with the fact that ASL is a second language for me? How about recognizing that I have my own struggles, other than just “socialize” with people who look at me as an empty vessel and someone to be tolerated? People who value hearing ASL-fluent interpreters more than they seem to value me? People who seem to support those interpreter’s beliefs that they are more worthy of being accepted as a member of the Deaf world than I am? I mean, I get that it’s a language issue, but it still hurts.

    4) Heck, it hurts to see hearing people talking on campus and not respecting Gallaudet as a visual environment too. Do people seriously not get that this is incredibly rude? Sure, it’s oppressive and audist too. I don’t mean to dismiss the need to discuss those things as an academic community with a fair amount of discourse and research on these issues. But if people aren’t ready to get and acknowledge this (and I’ve seen lots of people who are keenly aware of racism or diversity issues but seem clueless about their own linguicistic/audist behaviors), here’s something to keep in mind–THIS BEHAVIOR REALLY HURTS PEOPLE.

    5) The deaf people it doesn’t hurt? Some of them are deaf family raised or products of deaf schools. Not just oralist victims. Don’t make assumptions about who believes what.

    6) Dianrez: I love your comment and your approach, even though I obviously have a strong emotional conviction about this as well. I would just take issue with your last point. ASL is ONE OF the languages of the institution. Written (not spoken) English is the other. It is a bilingual university, and we all need to be working to use written English and “spoken” ASL. However, especially since Gallaudet seems to be actively recruiting non-signing students, I agree that Gallaudet needs to support them just like it supports students with English learning. I think it’s trying, but the numbers have changed so rapidly it can’t keep up.

  7. Robert L. Mason
    November 3, 2010 at 10:17 AM #

    That is NOT UNACCEPTABLE! The “Unity for Gallaudet” protest is not all about laxing the minority language usage on the Kendall Green campus where everyone have such opportunity to master and enrich the beauty of American Sign Language (ASL).

    What is the real purpose of admitting the HUGS in the first place at Gallaudet? Are the HUGS supposed to embrace the existence of ASL to pave the longevity of unique language everywhere to benefit the visually-stimulated minority population where the society at large increasingly undermine the ASL as a true language by placing the forced cochlear implant surgery on deaf infants and youngsters without their own consent. What will be the next obstacle for the ASL users?

    We face another “sleath” oppressive means of de-existing the ASL itself at the Kendall Green campus by the HUGS students. They have to meet the campus standards of real equalitarian society by using the ASL 24/7 at the campus. Or the particular HUGS students have to be asked to withdraw from Gallaudet University since they fail to meet the original concept of the HUGS program to study along with the signing students as true equals.

    The “Unity for Gallaudet” protest also was about toughening the academic standards for Gallaudet students to compete successfully in the rapid-changing workplaces.

    The signing people everywhere have enough of such arrogance and disrespect to our own American Sign Language (ASL) and other sign languages around the world. It’s a time for us to demand and expect the HUGS students to do their part to be part of the real equality or leave the Gallaudet University for their own good.

    Why the deaf signing people have to learn the oppressive language – the English written language or the dominant language in their own home countries all our lives and find the HUGS students at Gallaudet to be too lazy to polish their own ASL signing skills.

    • Status????
      November 4, 2010 at 4:08 AM #

      Firstly, I understand what you are saying. I have had this issue for a while here, however, it may stun you to know, that I am a HEARING student on campus. But, now it is time for me to point out to YOU what WE go through as hearing students. Do you realize that we get next to NO financial aid to attend Gallaudet. All of our tuition, we pay for by student loans that we have to pay back.
      Did you realize that as an interpreting student, we are required a specific ASLPI score to get ACCEPTED into Gallaudet?
      Do you realize that you are stereotyping ALL of the hearing students together?
      I don’t think that people realize what they are doing when they make comments like you are making. This is ridiculous. I am an interpreting student and I am NOT an audist. I am NOT an linguist. YOU are putting all of the hearing students together. The reason I am here at Gallaudet is because my skills were not up to par to be a sufficient interpreter. I came here for the immersion in both the language and the culture in order to benefit YOU in the long run. My future is working for YOU! and yet you sit there at your computer and put me down like I am nothing but a piece of shit on the side walk. I am sick of this. I have worked my ass off to prove myself time and time again. You are doing nothing but putting those of us who HAVE worked for this down. That is plain out not cool.
      Do you even know what the “Walk4Hearing” organization is for? Did you realize that they helped pass the law that requires Captions on television? That is not a name that students on campus came up with. That is an ORGANIZATIONS name. If you have a problem with that, why don’t you consult them instead of ripping down the sign on campus for the event. That’s like if I were to start ripping down all the signs on campus that are only related to the D/deaf or H-O-H students on campus. I am excluded from many things simply because of my hearing status. It is ridiculous. You want to talk about audism, you want to talk about linguicism, why not look at the oppression that you are putting towards the hearing students on campus. Most of us (I will admit that I am not/will not speak-up for all of us) are here to get the best education to benefit YOU in the long run!
      I am not saying that Gallaudet is becoming a hearing university. Because honestly, if you look at admission numbers, there is NOT a significant increase in hearing students on campus. As for the students that are talking on campus, not to point fingers, but they are mostly Graduate students. As BAI (Interpreting) students, we DO have a language policy. Did you know that? Or was it just assumed that because you have seen some people speaking, that must mean that ALL the hearing students are the same.
      This goes all the way back to the core of racism and discrimination. If one person of a specific ethnicity does something that was appalling, then that entire ethnicity would be labeled the same. This is what YOU are doing.
      Do you realize how many people you are making feel like shit and want to true-biz dropout and leave. Simply because they are SICK OF THIS DEFENDING THEMSELVES SHIT. I am one of them. If it wasn’t for the fact that I have already paid about 50,000 dollars, that is right, I, ME, not someone else, has paid FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS for the education that I am receiving at this institution. And I am not even finished yet. How much have you paid out of pocket? How much support do you get?
      I am so sick of the biased treatment on this campus. Do you realize that upon arriving here my first year, I was told I could NOT work for one department simply because I CAN hear? Everyone talks about how the Deaf community is so accepting, so open-minded, so liberal. But in all reality, some of the community is just as discriminatory as any other person.
      In conclusion, you need to realize how many people you are hurting with this article. I understand that there IS an issue with hearing students using there voice to communicate with each other on campus too much. But when you pull out the phone issue, how is it fair that Deaf/H-O-H students can use the VP’s anytime they want all over campus, but yet as soon as a hearing student pulls out their phone to call their own parents, we get judged and told that we are audist because we are using out cell phones. I don’t see the difference, I only see hipocracy. I don’t even notice people using their phones that often on campus for calls. Why is that? Because we feel the need to HIDE IN OUR DORMS to make calls. My sister is in the military and I haven’t talked to her in months. One day, she randomly calls me and I answer it. Upon answering it, I immediately get looks from people, or a comment saying that I am an audist.
      It is in my opinion that that term is being used too freely on this campus.
      Here is a term for you to look up…psychological abuse….google it. You may learn something. Because right now, you are beating people into a little pulp that could result in leaving the campus or something as extreme as suicide. Watch what you say. Be nice how you say it.
      Have a good day, and I look forward to the day when I have to work for YOU.

      • the one and only ridor
        November 7, 2010 at 7:18 PM #

        status? your ramblings was designed to make us feel that we should be grateful of people like you for making our “lives” easier in the long run.

        That mentality has to stop. If you whine that you had to pay $50K, then I suggest you to fucking leave.

        The author of this article was not targeting you at all. It is obvious that you’re trying to immerse your skills with Gallaudet students to enhance yourself.

        Actually, come to think of this, you’re learning ASL in order to be an interpreter so that … you can get rich off by charging Deaf people with $50-$75 per hour in interpreting.

        So much for your so called noble actions …

        R-

      • deaf with student loans
        November 19, 2010 at 1:24 AM #

        I am deaf. I also have 50k of student loan to pay off. You are not alone.

      • Rae
        December 2, 2010 at 12:02 AM #

        First off Status??? you’re asking people to google “psycholocial abuse”, maybe you should look up a few words yourself…like “audism” and “oppression”, because you obviously do not understand the words by the way you are using them to describe how hearing people are being treated at Gallaudet. It may be little discrimination but it is not oppression and definitely not audism.

        Also I can not believe that someone would actually attack deaf people about their VR support! I do not qualify for VR myself because I have an advantage in our society, I can hear. Therefore I am already a step ahead of deaf people because I have “hearing privilege” (another term you should look up). VR and SSI are things that are supposed to give deaf people and people with disabilities a leg up because they experience discrimination and oppression that you and I will never have in this world. How dare you attack them for that!

        As for the cell phone vs. VP issue, I myself do not understand it completely either. I would assume that the reason deaf people here at Gallaudet may be offended by it because it requires speech and VPs require signing, since this is an ASL campus I suppose that makes sense that they want to keep speech to a minimum. If I am wrong I hope someone will correct me and let me know the real reason. But anyways, I feel like that is a house rule and I am fine with following it. I don’t feel like is such an inconvenience for me to save my phone calls for when I’m in my room.

        Gallaudet was a school set up for deaf people, not for hearing people. So my being able to come here as a student makes me feel lucky. Like a friend of mine once put it, it is as though I am a hearing guest in a deaf space. When you are a guest in someone’s home you follow their rules, I feel like the same should go for Gallaudet. You should respect deaf values, use their language, and follow their rules.

        I pay out the ass to attend this university too, but I came to learn from deaf people about deaf people. I thing a lot of the hearing students here need to put down their guards and listen to what deaf people are trying to teach us.

        P.S. Yes a lot of the people who speak on campus are grad students, but you damn well know that a lot of them are interpreting majors too.

  8. Robert L. Mason
    November 3, 2010 at 10:26 AM #

    I forget to thank Eleana Ruiz for writing an eye-opening article on the current climate at Gallaudet University. I truly appreciate hir own willingness to speak on the record along with another Gallaudet graduate student on the YouTube.com.

    Keep up the good work and look forward to see more of your writings.

    Robert L. Mason
    known as RLMDEAF, too.

  9. A'Ja
    November 3, 2010 at 11:19 AM #

    deafcyclist, I’m so with you.

    Although as a hearing interpreting student, I will agree that many actions of the hearing students are absolutely appalling. I go to the cafeteria and I see everyone in their little cliques – what is this high school – and I see the hearing students sitting with other hearing people and a few hard of hearing. I didn’t fly all the way from Houston, Texas to sit and sign with other hearing people. I did that at home!

    At the same time, people can’t expect oral deaf and hard of hearing freshmen to so quickly acclimate to a deaf environment. For some people, these things take time.

    What I feel should happen is that Deaf should reach out more and hearing as well. I see many people who are just inept at signing, and the Deaf just stand there. I came to Gallaudet to become a top interpreter, if I sign incorrectly, let me know!!!! Frankly I find it rude and insensitive if I’m not corrected (politely, please!). If a deaf person was mispronouncing a word or not using proper grammar, I’d let them know because I care. I don’t want to say things incorrectly and I wouldn’t want someone else to either. I also see people just writing off those that aren’t strong signers. Instead of criticizing them, how about you show them how to sign better????

    What I think should happen is that we should all reach out to each other and Deaf can show hearing the beauty of Deaf culture, and hearing can show deaf certain hearing norms and teach them better English skills.

    I want to be a top interpreter and interpret for Deaf professionals, as do many others. Which means we should all be working together to step up our games to be successful.

    And what I will stress the most – Deaf don’t need to speak and listen to assimilate into the hearing world. I notice that is a big misconception.

    Instead of this war that’s being created with an us versus them mentality, we should be coming together. And kick out those that aren’t about the togetherness!!!!

    • ...
      November 3, 2010 at 8:38 PM #

      Thank you! I am really impressed that you, as an interpreting student, hit right on the spot with your points. Earlier this year there was an article about freshmen on campus. Quite a few of them felt left out because they were new signers. We need to be very inclusive and promote sign language through our advocacy (rather than our high-school like cliques).

      Good points A’Ja!

    • anonymous
      November 4, 2010 at 6:41 AM #

      I appreciate the sentiment of your comment, and your enthusiasm. I would gently ask that you examine your assumption that Deaf people need to or want to be shown “certain hearing norms” and taught better English by the hearing (and non-signing deaf?) students at Gallaudet. There certainly might be some who would like this, but a comment like that does rub some people (like me) the wrong way. So many of us are bilingual and your comment shows/reinforces the kind of thinking that those of us who use ASL must be English-weak and vice versa. As an interpreting student, maybe this is something you can talk about in your classroom as well as with your friends.

      I understand you’re trying to make a point about cross cultural enrichment and language sharing, but I would point out that it’s not an equal exchange when you have bilingual and bicultural Deaf people who are meeting hearing and deaf people who are (in the English/ASL sense) trying to become bilingual. That doesn’t mean it’s not important for everyone to work to become bilingual, and your eagerness for people to come together is a good thing. The attitudes and assumptions you bring to the table (literally, in the cafeteria!) will affect the response you get.

      • A'Ja
        November 4, 2010 at 2:25 PM #

        I think you might be mistaken when reading what I’ve written. Do I use generalizing words such as ‘all’? I was providing an example of one of the things the hearing world has to offer to the deaf community, in no way was I saying “Deaf people need to be taught English by hearing people”. Don’t put words in my mouth or hands.

        And FYI, my helping Deaf people with English and their helping me with ASL is what helped get me to Gallaudet.

        Many Deaf truly are bilingual/bicultural, but there are a lot of other Deaf like the young freshman who have spent most of their lives in a bubble and have only lived in either the hearing world or the Deaf world and are either/or.

        Let’s try different phrasing and see if this will be less offensive – take a look at the older Deaf such as Gallaudet administrators and those other high ranking people. Many grew up oral and learned to sign later in life, but they are quite successful in the professional world and are able to better socialize and maneuver with hearing people, while still being involved in the Deaf community.

        Many Gallaudet students, Deaf and hearing, lack the duality necessary for us to find a place of peace and full assimilation by both parties and it’s something we need to work on instead of fighting.

        Or better yet, instead of writing articles or commenting about it anonymously, speak up when you see it.

        • anonymous
          November 5, 2010 at 12:12 AM #

          Thanks for writing back.

          I might have mistaken your point, but I actually was reacting to your comment using the word “all. “(When you said, “What I think should happen is that we should all reach out to each other and Deaf can show hearing the beauty of Deaf culture, and hearing can show deaf certain hearing norms and teach them better English skills.”) Anyway, not trying to put words in your mouth and hands, okay? :)

          I’m glad people are commenting, anonymously or not. I try to speak up when I see it, but sometimes I feel like I offend hearing people when I talk about Deaf/hearing relationships on campus. Even if I keep it really specific to how something makes me feel. I guess just because one person takes offense doesn’t mean everyone will, so I’ll keep trying.

          • A'Ja
            November 6, 2010 at 7:50 PM #

            Thank you for responding.

            To be honest, it depends on the individual and I love discussing the politics of Deafness and hearing and the relationships and cultural responses. When we don’t have these open discussions more often, the instance it is brought up we have wars and an article with over 90 comments. Where is all the discussion on campus???

            When I say *all* I mean every community member to come together in some form of unity, and not continuously be complacent.

            I’m African American and I see so much of the same thing in the Black community and we all need to change this.

    • Anon
      November 4, 2010 at 6:32 PM #

      Perhaps what we need is occasional town hall meetings & workshops?

      • A'Ja
        November 7, 2010 at 10:33 PM #

        From what I’ve heard, there have been meetings and no one wants to listen to the hearing perspective because they don’t think we deserve to have a voice here on this campus and that our perspectives are of no value.

        • anonymous
          November 8, 2010 at 11:13 PM #

          I never heard about any meetings…I think it’s worth trying.

  10. Beowulf
    November 3, 2010 at 11:31 AM #

    Really? I mean: COME ON! If Gallaudet’s going to be recuiting all these non-signers, Gallaudet M U S T be prepared for all the BSBSBS about it.

    When I first saw the title of this article, I was think: OMG, my friend wrote it due to the “structure” of how “You Are Gallaudet” is typed so conflicting because, how are WE Gallaudet if WE are just humans… Gallaudet doesn’t Define us…. It should be “Gallaudet Is You” as WE are the ones that’s defining Gallaudet because WE are the ones that IS here to MAKE Gallaudet be Gallaudet.((I sincerely hope no confusion comes out of this. =) ))

    My pet peeve at this college is the fact that GALLAUDET is the CENTER of the dEAF UNIVERSE and yet its very image I had of it was DESTROYED because of the expectations they have of the GU. It’s fucking pathetic.

    Another peeve is when a HOH or HUG student askes me to: VOICES when I know they can completely understand me. If they cannot, then they should go back and learn sign language: AGAIN!….

    But then, I do not blame them for saying USE YOUR VOICE… It’s because of the deaf community itself: they push aside the HOH that sign horrible and HUGs just because they’re hearing.

    See, I’m HOH but I signed so good that people FAWN over the fact THINKING I’m from a deaf family when I’m from a complete hearing family.

    Yes, I hope you do notice that I don’t Capitalize my D for deaf. Because for me, being hearing and being deaf is just the same thing to me, why should I force others following that; although I won’t mind doing so because really(!!!) there’d be peace and everyone would just fucking get along without having any fucking problems. REALLY! =_=

    Now enough of my rant and raving. Gallaudet’s a disappointment, period.
    Why? Like the article have said: professors, HEARING and ORALists, have failed miserably: NOT ONLY THAT–> most of the professors ARE those that GRADUATED at Gallaudet University,…so whose fault is it really?

    I say its the professors that graduated here from the past. They should be pushing expectations, NOT lowing them for fuck’s sake.

    So…hmm, what else?

    OH yeah… HUGs program, I’m glad that we’ve got hearing people here learning and yes there are a few hearing people that sign so well that they could fool anyone thinking they’re from a deaf family but they’ll be honest with you and say they’re from a hearing family which makes me very happy. =D

    Blah. Enough of me, onward with this bsbsbsbs.

    Sincerely,

    Beowulf.

    • Anon
      November 4, 2010 at 6:34 PM #

      Uh, most of the faculty didn’t graduate from Gallaudet. In fact, deaf people make up only 38% of it – as of about 4 years ago anyway.

  11. Steve
    November 3, 2010 at 12:41 PM #

    Everyone on campus is here for the same reason: to embrace and support Deafness.

    • Ash
      November 3, 2010 at 7:41 PM #

      Agreed! Everyone, no matter their hearing, Deaf, HOH, cochlear implant status, is at Gallaudet to learn about Deaf culture, and ASL. Everyone comes to Gallaudet from different backgrounds and should not be discriminated against based on their communication preferences as long as they are learning and working to better their ASL skills. They knowingly come to this campus to improve on their ASL skills and use it 24/7. ASL fluency doesn’t happen over night.

      • A'Ja
        November 4, 2010 at 3:13 PM #

        Unfortunately, not everyone that comes to Gallaudet wants to learn about Deaf culture and ASL. Some students come because they have nothing else to do and go to school for free, others come because they just want to party, and some just come for the education and have no interest in socializing. I think they are missing out, but obviously they don’t.

    • Peace on Eyeth
      November 11, 2010 at 12:13 AM #

      Wow! What a great article and heated discussion! I know I’m late in the game, but here’s a little something:

      I went to the Walk4Hearing website. The organization does do a lot of good to help people in the U.S. with hearing loss (captions on t.v., awareness of technology, etc). I also viewed a youtube video about the walk:
      http://hlaa.convio.net/site/PageServer?pagename=video_and_info

      It is captioned because everyone in the video is speaking. A mother of a young deaf child (with C.I.) even says “Our journey to hearing has been a long one, but it’s been a beneficial one.” So, the politics of the organization may be suitable to the general population of people that are deaf or hoh, but the social aspect is that the organization (or at least those involved in this fund-raising walk) are more Oral-method supporters. It’s a hit and a miss, eh?

      I know a lot of people rag on Gallaudet’s academics. It’s no secret that Gallaudet is far from ivy league. However, just like with any institution of higher learning, it’s up to the students to make the most of it. I have seen many students barely get by or ask to be spoon-fed and they do graduate. However, these traits will not serve them well later in life. Trust me, their issues will be addressed when they can’t find a job and don’t know why. I have also seen self-motivated learners that go after the challenging courses for fun, not for credit hours. They put their all into projects and actively seek out more opportunities on *and off* campus to learn more about their interests. These are the beloved students that go on to be prided alumi working in NASA or IBM or NTD or FBI or (other alphabet soup names and elite professional organizations). Gallaudet will provided academic rigor and further challenges if you really want them. …Do you?

      I do think Gally has become too flexible with their admittance of HUGs in the last few years. Standards used to be higher, thus less hearing students were accepted. Gally used to require at least 3 excellent essays (2 of them regarding why the student should be accepted into Gallaudet), an ASLPI (Gally’s formal ASL screening) score of 3+, and a formal interview with a panel of Chairs from several different departments that hearing students may (or may not) be working with and the head of the Admissions Office. I know this because I had to do it around 5 years ago. After biting my nails for months after the interviews and displaying my 2 inch thick portfolio to prove my dedication to the Deaf community and valuable skills I wish to contribute to the campus community, I was one out of 5 or 6 HUGs accepted that year as freshies. 2 or 3 of them were CODAs. This was a freshman class of around 400 students. The whole point was to prove you are aware that by being a hearing student on Kendall Green, you accept you are a minority to a language and culture of which you are (most likely) not a native. Along with this, when applied to any non-native entering the realm of natives, comes certain experiences that will happen (both positive *and* negative).

      Oppression happens with any minority and it is most important that as individuals of society we recognize in ourselves if we are contributing to an unjust system of favors and privileges or actively against this. If hearing students cannot understand the pride of deafhood and respect the culture, then they are not ready for Gallaudet. Those wishing to learn the basics should reconsider if they are ready to be immersed in the community. Or are you willing to embrace the entirety of the Culture, even if it means you are not going to be always readily accepted? This is the nature of a community with a looooong history of oppression and the telling features should be approached with understanding and respect, not with a damaging level of defensiveness. This works both ways, though.

      One thing that really chaps my bum: hearing students have a support group happening every week on campus. It is lead by hearing upperclassmen to help guide hearing freshman and sophs down the road of being hearing minorities. Culture shock is a very real and valid thing that should be talked out with someone… but another hearing person?? This is just perpetuating the issue. My freshman year, when I faced situations that caused confusion or frustration with language or culture, I went to my deaf friends who openly and honestly helped me understand their perspective and I helped them understand mine. It was a superb learning experience for all of us. I would never have dreamed about asking another hearing person about “Deaf Ways” because, well, they are not a credible first-hand source. After one such support “transitional therapy” meeting ended, a young female student who attended happened to mention the meeting to me saying, “Yea, tonight a deaf person showed up, so we all had to sign. I mean, sometimes I just wanna use my voice, you know?” I cannot even begin to explain how this statement alone showed this young girl is perhaps not ready to be so immersed in Kendall Green. Yet, here we are. What can be done? One workshop or panel discussion or B&B article can’t solve everything…

      However, I am happy to see the dialogue had been opened. This is a tremendous start. Forward with Unity. Peace on Earth and Eyeth. Yeah.

      • Beowulf
        November 14, 2010 at 8:18 PM #

        Okay. Really, if everyone, HoH/Deaf/Hearing, were just to use BOTH voice and signing at the same time; yes, some deaf people know how to voice, but those that don’t want to, don’t have to, along with that to the hearing and hard of hearing.

        So, that girl saying “so, yeah, a deaf person showed up to the meeting tonight and we all had to sign…”…

        I am HoH and I can easily fool everyone thinking I’m from a Deaf family because I’m that immensed with ASL and the actions of how the “”stanard”” deaf person do with their own ASL as each and every person has their own style. I’m from a Hearing Family. Raised Deaf world for 9 years… then I removed my deaf identity for 5 years before putting that identity back… and sometimes I wished I never did… due to the “retardedness” of how cliqued everyone is to each other for being seriously retarded and only being different.

        I MEAN NO INSULT WITH THE USE OF RETARD…

        And so with that being said: we used to be able to get along quite well but then… we’re(deaf/hoh) are raised to put aside the hearing people and say they’re completely different from us when they’re the EXACT same as we are…

        I think i’ve ranted and raved enough.

        Lotsa Love,

        Joshy.

        • A'Ja
          November 14, 2010 at 9:59 PM #

          J BOO!!!!!

          Love you to pieces, but the hearing world is just as clique-y and full of gossip and tearing each other down as the Deaf world, if not more so. It just seems like there’s more of it happening in the Deaf community because it’s so small. I had people completely trash me at one high school just because a girl spread SO MANY rumors about me because the boy she liked like me instead of her. She called me ugly every single day (and wondered why the boy didn’t like her) and spread rumors that I’d slept with so many boys and girls in so many parts of the school and left love notes in girls lockers. Hearing people might be worse!

          At least one thing I notice in the Deaf community is forgiveness. Deaf people that hate each other can still be cordial. Hearies……rarely.

          And while we are the same, the way we communicate is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT – and I don’t just mean sign vs. speech.

          THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BEING ON YOUR SOAPBOX TOO LONG!!!! I LIVE ON MY SOAPBOX!!!!!!

          Honestly, I think the only hearing people that should be allowed to come to Gallaudet are those wanting to major in Deaf related fields, which means they should all be able to be basic to intermediate signers. If some hearing person wants to teach my Deaf child – they should be expert signers. They should sign as well as Deaf people. The hands of the future of the Deaf community should be able to sign faster than a speeding bullet. Interpreting is a neverending process, and some people aren’t fortunate enough to have the best ASL teachers, but those who come should have a hunger and desire to become the best and eventually rise to that level. There’s one student here, don’t know her classification but I think her name is Shannen or something. I’ve yet to hear her voice…….this whole semester. Chick is not playing around.

          Before I refused to voice until I became friends with some of the new signers and HoH students that aren’t jerks and are trying to sign, and I would sim-com because that is adhering to Gallaudet’s language policy. Now if after 4 years at Gallaudet you need me to sim-com……you’re just flat out refusing to soak up all the deliciousness of the Deaf world.

      • What I do...
        November 15, 2010 at 12:38 AM #

        Totally agree that hearing undergrads having a Deaf mentor type person is a better idea than a support group with fellow hearing students.

      • Rae
        December 2, 2010 at 1:01 AM #

        Peace on Eyeth,

        Thank you so much for what you wrote. Sigh* You give me hope. I couldn’t have said it better.

    • Victoria
      November 11, 2010 at 12:48 PM #

      I don’t think it’s all about Deafness, what about embracing and supporting ASL?

  12. Anonymous
    November 3, 2010 at 1:11 PM #

    This attitude is exactly the reason why so many people transfer out of Gallaudet and, as a consequence, the future existence of Gallaudet is in question. No one feels welcome! I totally agree with deafcyclist. You can’t expect every person who walks on the Gallaudet campus to know ASL — that is just not reality. Yes, that would be awesome, but there are constantly visitors coming on campus, hearing parents and outside administrators…what about those people? And hearing people that do come on campus to learn sign language are not granted any slack while they are learning. Would you prefer that – outside of Gallaudet – no one knew how to sign? Would you prefer that hearing students who are learning sign language not attempt to sign at all? How about being appreciative of the fact that these people are here to learn about deaf culture and serve as allies to deaf culture in the outside world?

    There is no excuse for that teacher saying what he or she said about Gallaudet being a “low-tier” school. Period.

    Yeah, it would be awesome if Gallaudet could be an all-ASL campus. But being respectful and inclusive of other’s communication preferences is the way to keep Gallaudet alive. Notice that NTID and CSUN do not have the same retention problems that Gallaudet does. I love Gallaudet (problems and all) and I don’t want to see it die because of attitudes that only certain people belong on our campus.

    • Anon
      November 4, 2010 at 6:39 PM #

      Actually, NTID and Gallaudet have about the same freshman retention rate, about 62%, as of 6 years ago.

      People leave Gallaudet (or any school) for 2 reasons: 1) lack of academic inclination 2) trait emotional instability. Most people who are unhappy at Gally, even after a period of adjustment, are also unhappy elsewhere.

  13. Oscar Serna
    November 3, 2010 at 2:21 PM #

    My videoed response :)

  14. Lucas Lancaster
    November 3, 2010 at 2:25 PM #

    Elena Ruiz,

    First, I want to acknowledge your concern regarding the use Sim-Com on campus in what you refer to as a “half-assed” way to communicate. First you might want to consider that most of the students who use Sim-Com do so because they are communicating with someone who is not a strong ASL user, or they themselves are not strong ASL users. Just like Deaf people are accommodated with interpreters, VRS services and so forth, hearing students with limited ASL skills are also entitled communicate in a way that is conducive to our learning as well. Just like many residential schools support a method of total communication, so should Gallaudet, even with our hearing students. However, people with views like yourself make it almost impossible for us hearing students to adapt to your culture. It is sad to know Deaf people live in a world where they struggle to communicate with the hearing majority, they know and understand this frustration, and then they come to Gallaudet where they are the majority, and they force those of us who are here to work with you to struggle in the same way. The oppressed simply become the oppressors.

    In response to your concern about Gallaudet becoming “hearing-ized,” I would have to say that in a way, you are correct. Every culture and group of people changes over time. Also, we (hearing students) are not working to deplete Deaf culture, believe it or not, we all came here because in some way, we all enjoy (or enjoyed) Deaf culture. To make my point, Gallaudet has hearing students for a reason. Lets face it, when you graduate, unless you stay with Gallaudet for ever, you are going to live and work in a living world. Us hearing students at Gallaudet are here to prepare ourselves to make that hearing world one that empowers and accepts Deaf individuals.

    I am most interested in discussing your point regarding the so called “resistance” you are getting from speech, audiology, and interpreting students in terms of learning ASL and becoming competent in Deaf culture. Have you ever thought of why we’re here to begin with? The first day that I met with my graduate class, our meeting facilitator asked us to introduce ourselves and explain why we came to Gallaudet. You might be surprised to learn that EVERYONE included something along the lines of “I love Deaf Culture” or “I want to learn ASL.” However, as the semester has gone by, I have heard almost every student in my class mention that they have had a negative experience as a result of a Deaf person, or group of persons treating them negatively as a result of their major or ASL abilities. Experiences like this make us feel uncomfortable in Gallaudet’s Deaf culture, and make us less likely to branch out. So before you judge, and claim that we don’t want to learn about your culture, why don’t you consider why we came to this school to begin with and how our behavior is in fact driven by the treatment we receive from Deaf culture.

    Frankly, I feel that the way you express your views is creating a toxic environment on Gallaudet campus. It’s views such as yours that is creating a cleft between Deaf culture and the hearing people who love the culture, it’s language and its people.
    As an audiology student, I want to give you a little food for thought. It is undeniable that as a Deaf person, you will need an audiologist. Whether it’s to fill out your VR paperwork, your school or works accommodation form, your SSI paperwork or discounted Metro pass, we provide a service to Deaf culture. So, do you prefer you to see an audiologist who knows about your culture and who can communicate with you in your language, or would you prefer to see an audiologist who sees you as broken?

    Finally, you should consider that most of us came here with a positive view on what Deaf culture is. However, when we leave, that view can stay the same, it can become stronger, or it could have become the exact opposite, and where our views of Deaf culture goes depends highly on our interactions with Deaf culture. And their acceptance of us as people and professionals.

    And if that is not enough, remember that only 10% of Deaf children have Deaf parents. That means that 90% of children who are born deaf will have hearing parents who have no idea what to do to work with their child. Those parents will usually seek guidance from their audiologist. In short, the future of Deaf culture, is largely dependant on the views that we hearing students develop as a result of our interactions with you. With toxic views and slandering opinions like what you are presenting in this article, you are not doing a very good job of shaping and molding your own future.

    So, really, Who is Gallaudet? Someone who believed in equal communication and acceptance. Who are we? A campus who claims to be bilingual and accept all people regardless of where they are in their walk toward becoming a member of Deaf culture. Finish………….

    • Danielle Silk
      November 3, 2010 at 5:39 PM #

      Hi Lucas,

      I am a deaf/hard of hearing 1st year grad student in education. ASL is not my first language and I am not yet a fluent user. Can I understand SimCom or PSE or contact sign better than ASL? Yes. Does that mean all Deaf/fluent ASL users should accommodate me? No.

      I will NEVER learn ASL if I don’t use it. And let’s be very clear: SimCom and signing systems are not ASL. So if you truly do want to learn ASL I suggest you join me in my struggle to learn *ASL* as a second language and not some, as Elena said, “half-assed” communication system that accommodates the needs of hearing and/or English primary language users needs at the expense of Deaf/ASL users.

      Also, “accommodations”, as you termed them, for the deaf/Deaf/HoH are not the same as accommodations for hearing students on campus. First of all, spoken English will NEVER be fully accessible to me, and many others as we can’t hear. Second, ASL is accessible to sighted hearing people– yes it’s hard– but it is accessible. Finally, your use of the term “accommodations” feels patronizing. To me it seems that you are implying the VRS and interpreting services exist to accommodate folks like me into “the hearing world.” But it’s my world too– and interpreting/VRS services are not just for deaf people– they’re for hearing folks too. Why is it me that is being “accommodated” and not the doctor/audiologist/professor that can’t sign understand ASL? Your whole reply is indicative an audist (audisdic?) world view.

      Finally, I think the Deaf community is perfectly capable of reaching out to and educating hearing parents with deaf children. Deaf communities can employ interpreters as well. We can also write, gesture, sign, and draw. You’d be amazed at what Deaf community can do without hearing folks. Unfortunately, it seems that fields of audiology and speech pathology dominate the majority of conversations with parents. Speaking of those conversations– have you ever thought about why so many of us (Deaf/HoH/deaf/etc) folks wind up needing your help with our SSI/VR applications? Maybe all the promises of spoken-language acquisition and access to sound through speech and audiology training are wasting the critical period of language acquisition and development of deaf/HoH children. If children don’t develop a strong language foundation then they often (not always) struggle and fail academically– leaving their prospects for the future pretty grim. And, as someone who is pretty new to Deaf culture myself I will offer you this hint: VR, SSI, and discount Metrocards are not Deaf culture– they are resources that Deaf/deaf/HoH people often need access to because our education– including all the speech/audiology/deaf education professionals– has failed us.

      Hoping you consider some of this,

      Danielle

      • anonymous
        November 4, 2010 at 7:19 AM #

        Thank you.

    • Anonymous
      November 3, 2010 at 5:51 PM #

      Well said!

    • Brittany
      November 4, 2010 at 4:43 PM #

      Lucas,

      I think I met you the first week of school. I am not sure why people give you a hard time, you have GREAT ASL skills?

      Anyway, you made some “wow” points. I think you are correct and I am sorry my deaf classmates are not always fair. I’ve talked to some of my Deaf friends and we read this in the cafeteria at dinner yesterday. We want to hang out with you. I will send you an email and give you my number so you can text me. Let’s show everyone that the hearing and speech people are not our enemy. We are glad that for once, its nice to see hearing and speech people that can sign and respect deafies! I’m proud that you spoke up but didn’t accuse all of us Deaf of being ignorant or being the same. I think most support your view, its just that the ones who don’t yell louder. Lets hang out and bring your speech and audiology friends.

    • anonymous
      November 4, 2010 at 4:51 PM #

      thank you alot for this discussion lucas. many deaf people think your not wrong. I thinks other some people here are being bully. We think the same that deaf culture must must must eccept hearing people so we can work together it will help to everyone understand who deaf are in the world!

      • SimCom/Total communication = nono
        November 27, 2010 at 3:41 PM #

        Btw, you should go to Linguistics dept sometimes to ask them for the research on SimCom. The result is stunning. I myself did take the research test by watching videos of people using SimCom and had to answer questions. Often, I could not answer questions. Why? B/c the people ended up actually voicing some words but omitted in signing– so hearie people would know yet deafies don’t.

        Not fair, right?

    • SimCom/Total communication = nono
      November 27, 2010 at 3:39 PM #

      I understand that you want to use SimCom so hearing students can get more involved. But, SimCom is NOT beneficial for deafies- SimCom really hurts deafies! Often, when a hearie person use SimCom, person would end up saying more English words than ASL, accidently leaving out some signs. This is normal because, well, it’s impossible to speak/sign two completely different signs! (Can you speak French and Russian at same time? No.)

      As a result, often when teachers use SimCom, we deafies can’t completely understand and follow his/her lectures. I remember one class a teacher used SimCom and we deafies could barely understand his presentation. My hearing friend in that class, on other hand, completely understood the teacher. Why? Because the teacher spoke clearly yet signed sloppy! As a result, we deafies’ grades are hurt.

      I am ok with using SimCom for casual situation such as in presence of someone who can’t sign, or if you are on phone and merely pointing out what you are saying on phone (I always truly appreciate when hearing people sign a bit while on phone, so I have some idea what they are saying), etc. BUT, NO SIMCOM for classroom!!!

      Frankly, since you are at gally, please try to avoid SimCom anyways! I understand it is hard to learn ASL and to fit in, but hey, you are experiencing what we deafies experienced in mainstream! Just remember you have eyes to see ASL while we deafies don’t have complete access to spoken English.

  15. gradstu5
    November 3, 2010 at 3:02 PM #

    I hope you can find the patiences to help people learn.

  16. Maybe You Should Be Asking "Who Is Deaf Culture?" or "Who are Non-Signers?"
    November 3, 2010 at 4:58 PM #

    Why is it that when something is a problem, it’s pinned on “Deaf Culture,” or, barring that, “Gallaudet?”

    I’m a deaf person and a signer. Do you think I personally gave permission to every stupid intolerant idiot to mock you if your ASL skills aren’t up to par? Do you think I approve of it? Do you think my Deaf friends do? If you do you’re wrong.

    You’re wrong to think we’re all the same. You’re wrong to divide us into camps… whether you’re taking the position that it’s Deaf intolerance or hearing arrogance that cause the problems. In fact there are many overlapping causes of the problems in this community. Sit down and examine them. Learn about them. Don’t contribute to them. Don’t support those who contribute to them. Those are things you can actually do, but they’ll take work and patience, so how many of you will go that route?

    You know what? If you’re hearing and you’re talking on a phone in Gallaudet, I don’t care. If you’re using your voice in a private conversation, I don’t care. When you’re talking to me, and I make it clear I want you to sign, sign. If you won’t do that, leave me alone. And if you can’t do that, question whether or not that might be because you’ve spent all your time at Gallaudet talking on a damned phone or talking with other people in private conversations. It’s too easy to say “Oh I didn’t use sign language as much as I wanted because all the Deaf people were so MEAN to me.” Liars. I have been here the whole time. How many of you sought ME out?

    The same thing applies to intolerant deaf people who demand perfect ASL use. Screw you. It takes time. If I’m a new signer and not trying at all, fine, that’s one thing. Because then why am I here? I can understand that. I could have gone to some other university where ASL isn’t part of the environment or even on the radar as a language. But if I AM trying, and you now feel you have the right to make me feel like shit you’ve scraped off the bottom of your shoe, let me tell you, you don’t. I’m a human being, and I’ve been through as much if not more crap than you have (MOSTLY FROM THE GROUP I JUST ADDRESSED IN MY ABOVE PARAGRAPH… SOMETHING TO CHEW ON LUCAS, EH?), and it hurt, and it made me go looking for people who might understand me and support me and form a community with me.

    It’s a damned shame that the community I HAVE found that supports me and likes me is 10 times smaller than it could be, because so many people are intolerant… not in any one place (Gallaudet included) but everywhere. These kinds of conflicts happen in every state. And NOBODY can seem to stop it, or even seems like they want to.

    So you know what I do personally? I recognize a gun to the head for what it is. Lucas, do you think that intimidates me, your implication that if I’m not a good little deaf person while you help me sign my SSI forms and get my special Metro passes, you’ll tell all your audiologist friends that my culture is mean, that nobody should go to Gallaudet, therefore causing it to close up? And then I’ll get what I deserve? Jesus Christ. I don’t even know how to respond to that.
    Or intolerant ASL pros. What, you think that I’m going to be browbeaten into bowing down to what you think I should be and communicating at whatever level of skill you think I should have?

    I’m going to move at my own pace. I’m going to ignore both groups. I’m going to create a one-person community of some god damned RESPECT, starting with me and my respect for myself, and if you want to join so it becomes a community of two and then two hundred thousand, great. And if you don’t, also great.

    I’d rather be alone than become dependent on the sickness of either group.

    • shellyB
      November 3, 2010 at 9:25 PM #

      I’ll be there to join your community of R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

      Just after I get out here. Somehow I woke up in the middle of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…

  17. Allen
    November 3, 2010 at 5:05 PM #

    Lucas’ comment bothers me. There are hearing students who told me that they are there because it is easy to get accepted at Gallaudet. They said they don’t care about Deaf culture. They are there to get their degrees.

    Lucas is blaming Elena for creating a toxic environment. Whoa! A typical hearing person blaming a Deaf person for something that goes “wrong”.

    Why does every Deaf person need an audiologist? Another hearing attitude! We don’t need audiologists. If we do, we can go with Deaf audiologists. We have Deaf audiologists!
    Stop defending yourself or your hearing peers. Elena has a point!

    Hearing people keep on taking jobs away from Deaf people and then work with Deaf people with lousy signing skills.

    • Sean
      November 3, 2010 at 11:28 PM #

      Allen, why would lucas’ comment bother you? He was very professional and articulate in my opinion. About an issue that needed to be discussed. He might be blaming Elena, but so am I. She posted an article that was hostile toward hearing people and of all places, Gallaudet should not tolerate any discrimination. You must be petrified that deaf culture is in danger or you are just plain crazy. What in the world are you talking about that hearing people are taking your jobs? You also shouldn’t talk about other peoples ASL skills. We all learn ASL somewhere and many of us learn it here at Gallaudet. Nobody is making fun of you ability to speak. Lucas doesn’t need to defend himself, he is making a point. There are plenty of us who believe in what is right and will support and defend who is right regardless of their major or whether they can hear or not. Get off your high horse and accept the fact that there is a place for everyone on this campus.

      • anonymous
        November 5, 2010 at 12:24 AM #

        When hearing and deaf people are otherwise equally qualified, hearing people often will get hired because they’re seen as being cheaper or more efficient. That might be what is meant by hearing taking deaf jobs. It’s probably more about the people doing the hiring, because everyone wants a job. Do we really expect hearing people to stop applying for jobs? Funny.

  18. Emmy
    November 3, 2010 at 5:40 PM #

    Really? Really? Okay, so it’s evident that there are some things at Gallaudet that needs to change. I mean, it’s rather obvious to everyone.
    I just have one question for you guys, though. Would you think that there was a certain reason why Gallaudet University was created? Of course there was. Gallaudet was born because there were deaf people that needed a place to learn, a place to be educated because, well, we were being rejected, shunned because of a disability that ended up making others think that we were debilitated just because we just happened to not be able to hear. Fortunately, Gallaudet University is the institution that it is today simply because one man could tell that inside a “broken” shell of a body that most people regard deaf people as is potential. Potential to become something wonderful, potential to become something tragic, potential to become something beautiful, potential to become something terrible. Potential for greatness. Potential for darkness. Needless to say, we have the same potential as anyone else does because we are all human—regardless of race, gender, disability. It was out of a spirit of fairness and justice that Gallaudet University was begun, and it is up to everyone—students, staff, faculty, and alumni—that Gallaudet University perseveres with this spirit of fairness.
    There are several good points in this article, but I just need to point out the fact that—just like at any other university—people will have a wide range of language skills and sometimes people will just be a little mediocre at their conversation skills and to be fair to them, we need to ensure that we be patient with them about this, help them however we can. On the other hand, I can think of quite a few hard of hearing or hearing students that are rude and inconsiderate enough to speak regardless of the fact that there are other deaf people here that want to be included in the conversation. I know that there are probably a few deaf people here at Gallaudet that came here so they would have a place to belong, just so that they wouldn’t feel left out all of the time because they couldn’t keep up with what was being said. I mean, that’s one of the reasons why I came here! But, like I said, we need to continue with the spirit of fairness that once began this college, though.
    Yes, there are some things that need to change here at Gallaudet and everywhere else. But above all, what needs to change is our attitude. Too long has the deaf society been isolated, excluded from everything that the hearing world has be able to access. Too long have we been shunned because of our disability—which is no disability at all if you strive to be all that you can. The deaf are just people like everyone else—we just happen to not be able to hear. We can still think for ourselves. We can still act on our own impulses. We can accept our own consequences for our actions. One of the things that I was really disappointed about was the fact that Gallaudet’s top students are apparently compared to the average student in “low-tier universities and community colleges”. This is obviously not true. Just because we are deaf does not mean that we happen to have a lower IQ range than the average hearing person. I have met so many people here at Gallaudet who are some of the smartest people that I have known my entire life (and think about it—I was raised in a completely hearing family and went mainstream for 10 years… that’s definitely saying something else that completely flies into the face of popular belief). Sure, we do need some accommodation, to let’s face it: EVERYONE needs a little help every once in a while, no matter who they are. The writer states that Gallaudet is getting “hearing-ized”… while this may be slightly true, it’s still all about attitude. This article does have valid points as I’ve said, but personally, it just seems like an attack on the hearing culture from the deaf culture. Too long have the two cultures been at war with one another. It’s time to learn how to co-exist with one another. After all, this generation is definitely the most open-minded out of all the previous generations, and yet, we still can’t bring ourselves to be more accepting of those that doesn’t conform with our expectations. As A’Ja said, there are cliques and groups here at Gallaudet that eventually ends up cancelling each other out simply because of prejudice and general unacceptance. It’s time to show the world how different we can be and learn how to be more accepting of one another and to show that spirit of justice that Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet made sure to show.
    Also, I was thinking about something else—rather than force Gallaudet to be completely immersed in ASL and not allow any other languages be part of Gallaudet, which, to me, seems to be slightly contradictory since, after all, Gallaudet is a bilingual university the last time I checked instead of just one language alone. If we force Gallaudet to stick only to ASL, this university will become even more damaged than ever before because of narrow-mindedness. We students, as it is our responsibility, must not let this happen! Gallaudet is a beautiful institution located right in the heart of one of the most wondrous, most historic cities in the United States and we are continuing a beautiful culture—but like all cultures, there must be changes in order to make it all the more wonderful.

    • Sean
      November 3, 2010 at 10:54 PM #

      I don’t think there is any argument about whether Deaf people have or do or not have potential. Clearly we hearing students are here because we think that there is potential in Deaf culture and Deaf people! We didn’t come here for an easy degree. We came here to gear up for the rest of our lives and if we chose Gallaudet it’s because we wanted to do that with Deaf people. Everyone has potential, and the hearing students have less potential if they are discriminated against. That is not fair at all, of all places no one should be discriminated against on this campus. Discrimination against hearing students is alive and well here and it is very unfortunate.

      • anonymous
        November 4, 2010 at 7:32 AM #

        Honestly, there are some interpreting students who are already skilled enough to work at, say, VRS. Interpreters now need or will soon need to have a B.A. to be nationally certified. So there are some students who just want an easy way to get a B.A. I know at least one student who seems to act like Gallaudet is a joke of a school, associates only with hearing students, makes a lot of money from VRS, and knows his career is set for him when he leaves. Maybe that’s just one person, but there is a group of hearing students that hang out together and seem to have that attitude then wonder why they feel “oppressed” by Deaf people.

  19. SLP
    November 3, 2010 at 8:09 PM #

    If you don’t want to see an Audiologist or Speech Pathologist, don’t go to one! No one is making you use their services! I’m not sure about other students, but none of the students in the Speech Pathology or Audiology programs wouldn’t be here if they weren’t interested in learning sign and Deaf culture, we wouldn’t have even applied here. I had no idea we were so hated until I arrived on this campus. It’s not “easy” to get in here. Our programs are very competitive and it is difficult to get into any graduate school program in this department, we are here because we want or be; or at least wanted to be. If you see us using sim-com on campus, it’s because our sign skills aren’t strong enough to communicate without using our voice, but that doesn’t mean we’re not trying! Every one of us is enrolled in an ASL class. The problem is that in our classes we’re learning things like how to describe a person and give directions instead of words that we use in everyday conversation. Yes, some of us ARE afraid to approach Deaf students and it is ABSOLUTELY because of articles like the one above. We feel hated and unwanted, who wants to communicate with someone who dislikes them before even knowing them? You say we shouldn’t be here if we don’t sign fluently. The majority of us are here to learn because we want to be better professionals and we want to change the negative experiences that Deaf people have had. Gallaudet is a bi-lingual community. The United States is a multi-lingual country! Do we tell people who come here and speak Spanish, French, or any other language to leave because they don’t speak English? No, because that’s racist and frowned upon! You also can’t blame other Audiologists and Speech Pathologists for their opinions. That is what the majority of students are taught! I chose this school because I took ASL as an undergraduate and I learned about Deaf culture and how the belief that Deaf people need to be “fixed” is wrong and hurtful. Without that course I would have never considered that and many students have never had that experience and believe only what they are taught! It is going to be very difficult to educate professionals in our field of that fact if there is such a negative stigma about students on our campus. If you want Deaf audiologists, why aren’t any of you enrolled in the program? Again, we are here to learn and it would be nice if we could receive a little more respect for the changes we are attempting to make instead of being hated because we can hear. We don’t judge you because you can’t, regardless of what you believe. All hearing people are different, all speech pathologists and audiologists are different, just as all Deaf people are all different. Don’t let your assumptions get in the way of your life. I feel sorry for those who live their lives hating people they never took a chance to know.

    BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD

    • Daniella
      November 3, 2010 at 10:34 PM #

      @ SLP and Lucas,

      I agree with you! I am so sorry that my fellow Deaf students can be so crude. I love my Deaf culture and am very afraid that one day it will disappear. I think this might be the fear of some of the students who are so rude to you. I dont think that is the solution. If we can all learn to get along we can get somewhere. The best way to keep our culture alive is to work with the professionals who represent it in the real world. So far the rest of the world still sees us as broken and becuz of that the slps and auds that support deafness and our culture are our best line of defense to keep deafness accepted as a beautiful quality of people.

      Daniella

      • anonymous
        November 4, 2010 at 7:42 AM #

        “I think this might be the fear of some of the students who are so rude to you.” This has the ring of truth to it, because it seems like push back against an encroaching threat. Siege mentality?

    • anonymous
      November 4, 2010 at 7:40 AM #

      I think there was even recently a Deaf person enrolled in the audiology program. I heard that she struggled with professors not signing. I don’t think it’s exactly a Deaf-friendly department. I went to an SLP last year. I was curious what it would be like to go to a speech therapist who actually knew sign language. I was dismayed to discover that the student barely signed. I requested a different person who did signed, but was asked to give it a try. It was like I was asked to do a good deed and cooperate in this students’ learning to communicate in sign language. It turned out sort of okay–the student was a very nice person and seemed to be competent–but sort of not, because I’m pretty shy of ever trying speech therapy at Gallaudet again…

      • SLP
        November 4, 2010 at 8:36 AM #

        I don’t know how many Deaf audiology students there are now, I know that there is one hard of hearing student who doesn’t know sign and one student with a cochlear implant. Many of the professors do sign, and I’m sure that he is provided with an interpreter if needed. This program is not the only one that has professors who do not sign! I walk by classrooms in other departments all the time and see professors speaking and an interpreter signing. Also, if you come to the speech pathology students here, you are part of that students learning experience! That might have been your therapists first semester at this university, we are not professionals yet! We are here to learn and coming to a student it should be understood that we are no where near perfect or competent in providing services at this point. That’s why we are in graduate school! The idea is that by interacting with our clients we will become better speech pathologists and only our more advanced signers are given a Deaf client. I’m sorry that you weren’t satisfied with your experience, but I’m sure that student is a better therapist today through learning from you!

  20. Jay
    November 3, 2010 at 9:21 PM #

    It is sad that Gallaudet has come to this. I am a deaf Gallaudet graduate and have returned for my masters. There has always been tension between the speech/audiology students and the Deaf students but it’s sad that things have gotten this disrespectful.
    As a Deaf student I am offended by this article and am even more offended by some of your responses. For the first time, I will have to say that I side with Lucas, the hearing guy. It does not seem to me like he was attacking all deaf people, I read his post again after I got to the end of this, and he seems to make it a point to say some when referring to the people creating a toxic environment like Elena does. It makes me embarrassed that we have other students like Elena who bash the hearing people and its more sad that so many of us are supporting her. This is the reason we never see the speech/audiology students and why they hide in their building. But someone said he is wrong for dividing us into camps, and he isn’t. I enjoy being part of the camp that can make hearing friends and not have a bias against others for what they believe, study, or how much ASL they know.
    Growing up, most of us deaf kids get told to hold on or the famous I’ll tell you later when by hearing people. We know is sucks but instead, we do it to hearing people discriminate against them. Of course we don’t need the so called help of audiologists but most of us have had to see audiologist at some point or another. Hearing people have something to offer us just like we have great things to offer them if we ever get along :(
    I hate this situation. Some people have views that will never change and they will be stubborn. I hope the hearing students all get the message that there are some deaf people who support you, who don’t disagree with your major or think there is a problem with you being on campus.
    Actually, Gallaudet use to be deaf only school. How would we prove were deaf to attend without audiologist? We can have our identity without them, but we all work together in the world. Thank you Lucas for being brave enough to post this. Danielle and Allen and the person with no name owe you an apology.

    • Anon
      November 4, 2010 at 6:47 PM #

      Amen! (I’m Deaf too, btw)

  21. MsBri
    November 3, 2010 at 9:36 PM #

    Hey Danielle, we Deaf get accommodation bc the rest of the world doesn’t need them. That’s y there called accommodation. Lucas said accommodation on Gallaudet bc ASL will not be fully accessible to him bc do doesn’t know it! Oh yeah, and doctors don’t doctors/audiologys/professors don’t have to learn sign to accommodate us. The ones who come to school here do that because its their interested in working with us instead of having to use an interpreter. Like he said, hes trying to bridge a gap but a lot of deaf (and some hearing) discriminate against the audiologists. Maybe audiologists have failed us like u say but part of it is our fault bc we don’t support them so they know how to interact with this culture. We should behave like grown ups. We’re in college, Gosh!

  22. Investigate
    November 3, 2010 at 9:44 PM #

    Contempt prior to investigation will cause many a debate. The Walk 4 Hearing is sponsored by the Hearing Loss Association of America. They are a self-help support group for people with hearing loss. I know that the label of hearing impaired or hearing loss is not used here at Gallaudet. However, it is commonly used outside of this campus. Take a look at what this organization does for hard of hearing and deaf people alike. They are instrumental in lobbying for legislation to improve communication access for hard of hearing and deaf people. http://www.hearingloss.org Do your research and you will be quite surprised at what the group is about. Don’t assume that just because the title of the walk contains the word hearing that it’s an Audist word or statement.

  23. ASLDfKd
    November 3, 2010 at 9:51 PM #

    WOWWER! Why is everyone giving Lucas a hard time? I think he finally spoke up and said what many audiologists haven’t had the balls to say for a long time. The fact that he’s getting the paddle for this shows just how intolerant this school is. All of us hearing students get shit for being hearing; I can only imagine what it’s like for the audies. For the person with no name, you said you are creating a community of one person and god damned respect? That’s not respectful!

    Danielle I agree with you, the Deaf community is capable of reaching out to hearing parents of Deaf children. But the audiologists are supposed to be the professionals at it. They will always beat us to those deaf babies. Lets set them up for success so they help our community and not reccomend parents raise oral children. And all those accommodations you listed, we wouldn’t need them if our hearing parents had guidance from a well educated professional. We aren’t disabled, we can do whatever a hearing person can do if we are set up for success. We don’t need audiologists to do that but it sure would be easier if they were always on our side.

  24. Can't Get Anywhere
    November 3, 2010 at 10:39 PM #

    See, you can’t get anywhere. That ASLDfKd comment: “…shows just how intolerant THIS SCHOOL is…”

    How many comments in here are there from people claiming to be Gallaudet students who ALSO don’t like this article? Let’s assume they are. Why doesn’t it seem to matter what they say? They have stated they don’t agree with the BnB article, which was written by one person, and have gone on to say we should respect all languages including English, yet they still get bulldozed over with “THIS SCHOOL” statements.

    Not everyone at Gallaudet is the same, or has the same beliefs. Not all Deaf people are the same, not all HOH people are the same, not all hearing people are the same. Just like not all black people are the same, not all women are the same, not all men are the same, not all Jews are the same…

    Why can people NOT absorb that? If there are some intolerant students, or some faculty members who act like the one described in the article, why does that have to suddenly apply to ALL of the students, or ALL faculty, etc?

    That’s my problem with both parts of the article and with some of the comments.

    • anonymous
      November 4, 2010 at 7:51 AM #

      Really good point you have. I am the one who made the comment above about the hearing interpreting student with the (imo) bad attitude. But I can also think of at least one hearing interpreting student with a great attitude. And most of them are probably somewhere in between.

      People do grow and change too. Someone with a bad attitude now might end up being an ally. I as a Deaf person don’t want to be held responsible for that happening or not though, and that’s the tone some people are taking here, that the burden is on Deaf people to “be nicer” to hearing people.

  25. NoName
    November 3, 2010 at 10:45 PM #

    Im a deaf linguistics student and I thought once that I wanted to become an audiologist. I volunteered with one who told me that he thought I was very nice because he met many deaf people who were very rude and had chips on their shoulders. I was very offended by him and like many people, hated audiologists and decided to chose another major. Now Im think about this and Lucas is right. This man probably thinks the way about deaf people like he does because deaf people were rude to him. I agree with the ppl who support lucas, the audioloys are here to learn about their jobs and to learn about deaf. We should welcome them to our culture. This school is so small to allow discrimination against anyone. deaf have experienced discrimination at one point or another, we shouldnt do it to other people, we know how it feel.

  26. Can't Get Anywhere
    November 3, 2010 at 11:01 PM #

    And Jay, how do you know that Lucas sees you as belonging to the camp of deaf people that enjoy making friends with hearing people and new signers? How do you know he doesn’t simply see you as a signing deaf Gallaudet student, and as someone who therefore automatically MUST hate all hearing students, all audiology majors, all new signing deaf people, etc?

    Even SLP above says that a lot of hearing students are afraid to approach Deaf students because of articles like this, but at the end of the commment SLP says “We don’t judge you because you can’t, regardless of what you believe. All hearing people are different, all speech pathologists and audiologists are different, just as all Deaf people are all different.”

    Well if Deaf people aren’t being judged, why are hearing students afraid to approach them? If hearing students already realize Deaf people are different, why not simply limit their fear of approach to people who have been mean in the past, or who write articles like this? Why spread it to “Deaf people?”

    It’s a double-standard. I’m not saying it’s intentional, but it’s there, and it’s the same kind of thing that happens to Gallaudet as an environment. Those hearing students are part of the Gallaudet environment too, but when the statement was made above regarding who “THIS SCHOOL” is intolerant, do you think the author means those hearing students? No. He means Deaf people. Regardless of the fact that everyone seems to acknowledge that we’re all different and have different opinions!

    I’m sad that things are the way they are but I’m glad we’re talking about it. I personally will be friends with anyone. I don’t care if you’re deaf or hearing or a signer or not. I just want the communication between us to be accessible and to be clear.

    • jay
      November 4, 2010 at 9:17 AM #

      Your right, I don’t know that Lucas isnt just some ignorant guy who hates all deaf people. But if that was the case. Why would he come to Gallaudet? I don’t think this campus is filled with people who hate deaf. It’s not just the audiologists that get shit, some deaf and hearing clash on this campus sometimes and for no good reason. If hearing people take the step to get into this school and most of the time, travel from other states to do it, we should gve then the benefit of the doubt.

      • Can't Get Anywhere
        November 6, 2010 at 2:34 PM #

        Jay (I’m not sure where this response will end up but it’s meant to be in response to your comment that begins with “You’re right, I don’t know…” I can’t seem to get the reply button under that comment to work, so this one might end up above that one…):

        Oh I don’t think Lucas hates deaf people. Or that he hated them before he came to this campus. You’re absolutely right on that, that would be ridiculous and a huge waste of money. I think he’s frustrated. I think Elena is frustrated. These types of frustrations aren’t new. They’ve been going on for decades if not centuries. They’ll keep going on for a long time yet. But I have hope. We have one thing now that we didn’t before… the internet. This can’t stay hidden now or be covered up. So talk about it. Talk out your frustrations. When I was younger there was widespread homophobia all over America. There still is but there’s a lot more acceptance now too. In my parents time there was a lot more racism and sexism. There still is but there has been a lot of progress, too. If the progress came from anything it came from talking things out and communicating and learning and deciding not to repeat actions you know cause others to feel such anguish.

        Keep trying, everyone. If you know inside that you’re good people, you’ll find a way through this.

        • Can't Get Anywhere
          November 6, 2010 at 2:37 PM #

          Ha now it seems like the comment I just made to you, Jay, does’t match the name I’m using. Maybe you CAN get somewhere. It just depends on what you do.

  27. Kyle
    November 3, 2010 at 11:31 PM #

    Well spoken SLP!

  28. Class of 1994
    November 4, 2010 at 9:26 AM #

    Next time that professor says “If our top Gallaudet students could compete with those students from the rest of the country, there would be no need for Gallaudet.”

    Please reply with this: “If Gallaudet doesn’t exist, you’d be out of work!”

  29. alison
    November 4, 2010 at 11:14 AM #

    This is a powerful article, Elena– and I commend you for your courage in illuminating issues that have been discussed in small groups but not addressed openly. Clearly, there is much tension at Gallaudet (and in other Deaf Spaces around the world) related to equal access, privileges, and language.

    When we remain silent about issues, we give them power– and usually that power reinforces the “majority” perspective/ privileged group. So many people are afraid to initiate a discussion for the very reason that is evident in the comments here; people become emotional, angry, and lash out at the person who simply communicates what many people are already thinking and discussing. In fact, many of the responses above give credence to Elena’s article. I do not believe that Elena is responsible for the tension that is present; she is simply spotlighting what is already present, and I believe that the administration at Gallaudet has a responsibility to provide a means for addressing the tension that is prevalent on campus (at every level, whether its among students, faculty, staff, and/or administrators).

    There are several individuals on campus who have been trained in the art of intentional dialogues; this is a valuable tool and I hope that the administration considers utilizing such a tool in allowing for conversations about social justice as well as expectations and unmet needs (both for hearing and Deaf individuals) to take place across campus.

    Elena– you are not alone.

    • anonymous
      November 5, 2010 at 12:33 AM #

      One time I saw a quote that was something like “your silence will not protect you.” I tried to understand what that meant, but I never did until I read your comment just now. Thank you! :D

      I like your point about the intentional dialogues. Maybe those should happen more often.

      I know I’m not always the most respectful toward new signers (whether hearing or deaf). I’m not intentionally disrespectful, but I get impatient and people pick up on body language like that. I just really want the ease of communication I have with more fluent signers. I think that’s true with everyone. I know there are people more fluent than I am who act impatient toward me in the same way.

      • Meredith
        November 8, 2010 at 10:24 PM #

        BTW, that quote is from Audre Lorde. :)

        • anonymous
          November 8, 2010 at 11:01 PM #

          Yeah, I remember that, but I never understood it! :)

  30. first and foremost a Student
    November 4, 2010 at 11:21 AM #

    What is Gallaudet University first and foremost? An University, not the center of all that is Deaf. Not everyone who attends to Gallaudet comes here with the agenda to be in center of the deaf world or to participate in the deaf struggles and all of that.

    As much as many of you may hate this thought, we are losing sight of why we came to Gallaudet for and that is education. Yes, we may have strong feeling, opinions, supports for the various causes under the Deaf name but still, not everyone here came to be forcibly conformed into a deaf advocates or even as a Deaf example. I came here because I could get the help I needs to get my education, not to engage into a pissing match between the deaf and the hearing here on campus.

    So think before you get upset with some of us who may not be able to signs up to your standard, we do not have the time or effort to polish out ASL skills. Instead, we are focusing on our EDUCATION.

    If you do indeed want this place to be an center of all that is Deaf, then do more outreach and stop being so isolated! HELP all of them whether they are HOH, Hearing learning to sign, and the Deafs. Don’t let it be confined to just the Gallaudet University!

    • anonymous
      November 5, 2010 at 12:35 AM #

      This is a really interesting comment. But how can you focus on your education here without knowing ASL?

      • first and foremost a Student
        November 5, 2010 at 4:52 PM #

        I’m not saying that we are coming here for education without ASL. I’m saying that many of us came here because we have no other choices if we want direct teaching and whatnot. Don’t get me wrong, interpreters is essential to us and I love them for what they have done for us, but there is nothing like having a ASL-signing teacher in a small class setting.

        Even if I had a hearing teacher accompanied by interpreter here at gallaudet, the very fact that we have deaf classmates already makes it so that none of us will be left out (at the least for the reason of Deaf vs hearing and linguistic thing).

        We, deaf peoples, only have a very few choices when it comes to deaf universities. There are only like 4 or 5 deaf university in US? and most of them are under another university like NTID is under RIT.

        With such few choices for those of us who are deaf and want a more accessible access, it’s inevitable that there will be quite a few deaf students that comes here only because it was the best choice for them.

        I actually didn’t want to come to gallaudet originally (I’ve come to be very thankful for Gallaudet) but If I wanted full financial aid helps and VR support and better scholarships and the like, Gallaudet is about the best thing out there for me. and all of that have NOTHING to do with coming to Gallaudet to be immersed into the deaf world.

        Sure, it’s (the “deaf world” here) fantastic for our social life but it makes for a tempting thing for the students to lose focus on from their education.

  31. Austin Esposito-Vigil
    November 4, 2010 at 12:44 PM #

    A Letter to the Hearing/Lucas:

    First off, I would like to commend Lucas for being brave enough to use his name instead of cowering behind a pseudo/false name when stating his strong opinions. Unfortunately, that is the only thing I can commend.

    The thing I am most confused with is when hearing people come to Gallaudet they expect accommodations. That is like going to the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (The National Autonomous University in Mexico City, Mexico) and expect accommodations because you can’t speak Spanish. Are you kidding me?! I think responsibility should be placed on the people who can’t sign but decide to attend Gallaudet anyway. I personally would never attend a university without knowing the language yet complain and expect to be accommodated for. For me, that seems bazaar and slightly disrespectful to the community.

    Do the hearing people having problems at Gallaudet understand the history, culture, and reputation Gallaudet has tried to uphold over the years? I think the article (and especially the comments) sheds light on the fact that hearing people benefit because of their majority status everywhere in the world… except for one place, Gallaudet. Because these roles are flipped once you enter the gates, the hearing people who can’t fully communicate become upset and aggravated. Well—now you know how many deaf people feel outside of Gallaudet when they are the minority. Congratulations, you now know what it’s like to feel oppressed… yeah, it sucks. So now that you know how terrible it feels to feel like an outcast and/or alienated, stop doing things on campus that oppresses the group that shouldn’t be oppressed. Where is the respect for Gallaudet’s community—(sorry, I mean the community at Gallaudet that isn’t trying to oppress from inside the gates)?

    For me, the idea to have accommodation for hearing people is a joke. No one FORCED hearing OR Deaf people to attend Gallaudet. No one is FORCED to stay. If you don’t like being the minority because you have been the majority your entire life then I guess this struggle at Gallaudet will only make you more angry and bitter instead of growing and learning form this experience. Yes, it is hard, but, as I said before, there is a reason why it’s hard… the roles have changed. You are now experiencing the after affects of hearing people oppressing Deaf people. Not to say that YOU (whatever hearing person reads this) personally oppresses the Deaf, but the hearing group as a whole did and there are still deep wounds from that. I feel that knowing the deep rooted scars would make ANY hearing person at Gallaudet work as hard as they could to prove themselves to the rest of the campus (yes, if you are a minority, you must prove yourself— every minority group must many times throughout their lives).

    Granted, I don’t condone Deaf people making hearing people’s lives miserable (honestly, I feel that hearing people are actually making their lives miserable when they resist to give the rest of us at Gallaudet respect). I think the mix of Deaf and hearing at Gallaudet has a lot of improvement and with that improvement both groups need to be a bit more flexible— However I think the hearing people must bend a lot more than the Deaf. For Deaf people, we can’t assume that because a person is in the Audiology or Speech path or psychology program that they cannot communicate in ASL and that they don’t belong here. Get to know the person before judgment is passed. For hearing people, we can’t attribute a few bad experiences we had with Deaf people and write them all off. Let’s find the root of why the negative feelings are there and figure out how to resolve those issues. If it’s common for Audiololy, Speech Path, and Psychology students to simcom or not use sign, then be the change- become a better signer, don’t use simcom and prove to everyone that just because you are connected to one of those majors, you are not one of THOSE people. No one can expect another person to change when we aren’t willing to change ourselves (that goes for all groups at Gallaudet).

    As for comments to Lucas’ article:

    I was particularly interested in this quote from Lucas’ article:

    The first day that I met with my graduate class, our meeting facilitator asked us to introduce ourselves and explain why we came to Gallaudet. You might be surprised to learn that EVERYONE included something along the lines of “I love Deaf Culture” or “I want to learn ASL.”

    Apparently those people who said they “love Deaf Culture” knew little to nothing about the culture if they were shocked by receiving negative reactions from people regarding their major at Gallaudet. Also, you realize that these people who “love Deaf Culture” are the ones that use the interpreters for most graduate school activities? These are the people who ‘gave up’ and are now using simcom on campus. These are the people who sit on the second floor of the cafeteria and TALK thinking that they are being hidden from the rest of campus. These are the people who place blame on everyone else for why they can’t communication proficiently instead of taking a look inside themselves. I have yet to meet a Deaf person that has criticized a person for trying.. and not half-way trying, but really, truly TRYING. While patience for every person is different, trying is better than thinking “oh, everyone hates me so I’m not even going to try anymore”. Well when you stop trying and use Simcom on campus—how is that helping your case? To TRY means to IMMERSE, and even though it’s hard, the more you try, the better you’ll get. I don’t understand how a person’s skills can elevate when using what Elena calls “half-ass communication”.

    Lucas, the comment that bothered me was:

    And if that is not enough, remember that only 10% of Deaf children have Deaf parents. That means that 90% of children who are born deaf will have hearing parents who have no idea what to do to work with their child.

    Just because you are hearing and cannot accurately sign, doesn’t mean that all hearing people can’t. By saying that 90% of Deaf children that are born to hearing parents won’t be able to essentially communicate excludes all of the hearing people that make the EFFORT (something that some people on campus refuse to do). If you stopped blaming Deaf people for YOUR problems at Gallaudet and took a look inside, you would have a better experience here at Gallaudet. Frankly, your response just adds to the negative view everyone on campus feels toward your major.

    Everyone’s experience at Gallaudet is different- and your experience reflects a lot on how much of an effort you have made. Whether or not you come to Gallaudet for a cultural experience, a cultural experience is what you’re going to get. It’s hard to respond to Lucas’ comment because there is one key factor missing- does he live on or off campus? If not, then I feel like this argument is completely invalid because for a person to live off campus, be in a field that is not seen in the highest regard by the Deaf, and taking classes that are only spoken, what does he expect? How is THAT not a form of oppression on Gallaudet’s campus?

    For me, as a hearing person, I haven’t faced the type of discrimination at Gallaudet because I know my place. I AM THE MINORITY, not the MAJORITY. It is only when you act like the majority in a minority situation that you face the problems mentioned in Lucas’ response. Also, I’m not a hearing person that has perfect sign… far from it and STILL, I have yet to face terribly negative responses since being here. The experiences you have at Gallaudet can be understood in a positive or negative light. Self-reflection is key—it’s something I suggest ALL of us do at one point or another while at Gallaudet.

    • Out of control...
      November 4, 2010 at 4:15 PM #

      You’re right. Hearing people shouldn’t be given accommodations, but if they speak (their first language) to support their sign (their second) you shouldn’t be all up in arms about it. Not everyone comes to Gallaudet with the language abilities to completely depend on sign alone when they get here. You’re also correct that people go to universities of other countries they don’t get accommodations. But when they find a person who speaks their language, they might have to use their language to help get their point across. That doesn’t mean that the student who moved to another country has no interest in that countries language. Why would I move to Mexico to go to school if I hated Spanish? But I also know no Spanish so if I move for immersion, I will at some point have to use my own language to get by as I learn. It’s silly to think that people show up here and all of the sudden know ASL.
      But you’re problem is like you said “Well—now you know how many deaf people feel outside of Gallaudet.” This is the old time opinion that “you’re hearing at Gallaudet and so now we will show you how much we have struggled our entire life.” But why? Do you not understand that the hearing students here are probably not the ones who oppressed us? There is no reason to “turn the tables” and make them feel unwelcome. This is the reason some hearing students come to Gallaudet supporting Deaf culture and leave Gallaudet and do other things.
      “You are now experiencing the after affects of hearing people oppressing Deaf people.” And you agree with this statement? You honestly think this is fair? So you talk about how it’s not fair that Deaf people are grouped into one big clump, but it’s ok to pretty much say that all hearing people are the same and the ones here should pay the price for the mistakes of others? You must have lost your marbles.
      You also said, “I feel that hearing people are actually making their lives miserable when they resist to give the rest of us at Gallaudet respect.” In my opinion, hearing people often times alienate themselves from deaf culture because they feel unwelcomed, and Gallaudet, who can blame them?
      As far as your statement, “I think the hearing people must bend a lot more than the Deaf.” Yes I completely agree. Both sides need to compromise and chances are hearing students will have to compromise more than us. For the hearing students who refuse to do that, that is your problem but many of them don’t I don’t think. I think many of them stay in their little groups where they feel welcome because we are not always patient with new signers or accepting of audiologists and speech therapists (myself included and I will have to work on this).

      • anonymous
        November 5, 2010 at 12:49 AM #

        “you’re hearing at Gallaudet and so now we will show you how much we have struggled our entire life” is not what I get from the “now you understand how Deaf people feel” kind of comment, though I think it’s taken that way a lot.

        I have noticed a lot of the time members of a group that has privilege (whether you’re talking about white people, or men, or people with money) get into a situation where the privilege is removed or reduced, they say that they are being oppressed or that they feel oppressed. Maybe it is a similar feeling and experience to what Deaf people experience with oppression. But in this case it can be part of the process of giving up privilege. And if hearing people aren’t willing to give up privilege at Gallaudet, I think Deaf people will resent it.

  32. A Deaf Epiphany: Sign and get pissed!
    November 4, 2010 at 1:00 PM #

    Yes! Let’s tie up all the hearing people and throw them off a bridge! Yes! Let’s form a deaf-bubble that is detached from 99.999% of the world! Yes! Let’s spit on every hearing person who wishes to bring Deaf culture to the mainstream! Yes! Let’s be angry! Yes! What?! Hearing advocates?! Not in my dictionary!

    Let’s redefine Bi-lingualism as ASL FIRST and foremost and ONLY then any second language as crap that insults ASL.

    I propose we seek out Deafies who were raised in “unfortunate hearing systems” (which accounts for roughly 90% of the deaf population) and give them more SSI because not only do they suffer from hearing loss but they are also victims of the “invasive regime of hearing bodies.”

    Let’s set up a support group at Gallaudet for Deafies of Hearies to realize the unconscious agenda of their oppressive families who offer pseudo-love, care, affection and support for the sake dismantling Deaf culture.

    Take it a step further! Let’s kidnap all the deaf children from their hearing families and raise them in Deaf communes where our redefined Bi-Lingual philosophy will make them proud angry detached model citizens of Deaf Culture! I love it! I love it! Then maybe, JUST maybe we can form an army big enough to tie all those hearing people together and throw them off the bridge, eh?! Let’s call it the “Problem-Solve-Finish!” solution!

    Thank you Elena, you’re a genius! You have opened my eyes and freed my hands from my unconscious hearing-enforced-bondage… Let’s start a revolution! Forget the power of educating ignorance, forget the ability to change attitude and definitely forget bridging gaps! Burn the bridges! Sign and get pissed! That’s how change happens! Yes!

    Problem-Solve-Finish!

    - Future author of, “The Diary of an Angry Deaf Man”

    • anonymous
      November 5, 2010 at 12:56 AM #

      “Let’s redefine Bi-lingualism as ASL FIRST and foremost and ONLY then any second language as crap that insults ASL.”

      Huh? Elena wrote her article in English. I don’t think Bilingualism is trying to be presented as ASL first. But there probably is confusion about what the heck it does mean.

      I thought that Bilingualism meant written English and ASL. In other words, not signed or spoken English (and I guess not written ASL). But maybe that’s not what it means to everyone, eh?

  33. Maybe You Should Be Asking "Who Is Deaf Culture?" or "Who are Non-Signers?"
    November 4, 2010 at 1:31 PM #

    I don’t owe Lucas an apology. I don’t owe Elena one either (though I am sad nobody has demanded I give her one). What I DO owe everyone is a chance. And so do you.

    Lucas, you first. When I first got here I brought those orange disabled metro tickets. I didn’t need an audiologist to do it. I used them a bunch of times and then stopped because one day I saw this person in a wheelchair stuck on the ground floor because neither the elevator or escalator was working. I figured the ticket was for him and not me because I could walk. But I noticed that he could have gotten himself up there had there been a ramp. But there wasn’t. Had there been no access to the escalator (though it was stopped you could still climb it) as well as the elevator, the people who could walk couldn’t have gotten up there either. Yet when we’re talking about ramps, those are “accomodations.” When we’re just talking about stairs or escalators or elevators, those are just “normal things.” It’s all bullshit, and that’s where my irritation with your comments comes from. You’re not responsible for the way society has or hasn’t built itself, but you ARE responsible for assuming I “need” you because of my “disability.”

    I don’t need you or want your “help,” Lucas. I want your cooperation, and through extension, the cooperation of society. But if you persist on seeing me as someone put on this earth so that you can, as an audiologist, provide accomodations for me and help me, then I’m not going to get your cooperation. I’m going to get the receiving end of a one-up, one-down relationship, with you having all the power to “give.” Not only will I not enter into that type of relationship with you or any other audiologist who feels as you do… I won’t let you develop that type of relationship with any deaf person if I can help it. I’ll do it through education and confronting dysfunctional attitudes, so don’t worry, it’s not a threat. But it is a promise, and it’s not a promise I’m making because of “Deaf Culture” or “Deaf Pride” either. I am a member of the Deaf Culture and I do have pride, but it’s based more on my dignity as a human being, and not on some narrow-minded need to reject you or hearing people.

    Elena, you don’t know me and neither does anyone else here, and that’s a fact. So much of what you write is based on your own assumptions. Even if your column is just your opinion, your opinion can still be laced with your own biases and prejudices. I used to be a new signer. Now I sign quite well, thank you. I can sign this well because people took the time to teach me and sign with me so I could increase my exposure and practice. It’s sad to me that you are poised to reject me (and you WOULD have rejected me at one time if your article is anything to go by) based on what you think is true of me. But you don’t know. For example, you don’t know that I think your professor is a jerk, and I would have walked out of his class had he said that to me… to hell with the “F.” You don’t know that I share your frustration with the Walk4Hearing poster because, well-intentioned or not, it again places the focus on HEARING when, like I just told Lucas, many of us are much less concerned with “hearing” and far more concerned with “cooperation.” I understand what the commenter her said about that organization but still. I understand you too.

    Furthermore (I’m talking to everyone now, not specifically you Elena), our cooperation shouldn’t be dependent upon us being “nice.” All of this tension that you see around us didn’t just spring up from nowhere. “I’ll tell you later” has an impact after 18 years of promising to tell us later. Telling us to stop feeling sorry for ourselves, to shut up and be thankful for the in many cases inadequate serves we DO get, to not advocate against hearing people, to stop being “angry deaf people,” etc… to spend years seeing every single problem get blamed eventually on Deaf Culture and Deaf Pride and Gallaudet… ALL of that has an impact, and the impact is to PISS PEOPLE OFF.

    NTID and CSUN don’t have retention problems because RIT and CSUN don’t need their deaf programs. They can dump people turn people away, or cut the programs entirely, and after a little fallout be just fine. Everyone knows who has the power there and it isn’t deaf people, and that might be a big reason why the anger doesn’t show through as much there. Here it’s sort of the opposite but not quite. Here deaf people SEEM to have the power but if we get out of hand Congress might cut our funding, people might withdraw, and so on. You never hear or see the end of it. So no, we don’t have full power, and we’re made aware of the fact EVERY SINGLE DAY.

    Elena and Lucas, I’m going to send you each half a stack of my used disabled metro cards. Some have eight to ten dollars left on them. I could have cashed them in for the balances remaining but I didn’t because I grew sick of feeding into the “Disability” mindset of society. I’m going to give them to you to do with as you will. What I hope you’ll both do is when you hold them in your hands is realize I’m a real person and not just a computer screen that you can vent all of your frustration on with no consequence.

    And then, because the two of you (representing those who think like you), in my opinion, cause the most problems on this campus, you should have to fix them. So for however many tickets are there, every time you have lunch with someone you were previously afraid to approach or didn’t approach because of your own mindsets, you can throw one ticket out. When they’re gone consider the debt paid.

    Start by having lunch with each other.

    • anonymous
      November 5, 2010 at 1:01 AM #

      Too bad you’re anonymous. I’d E-mail and ask you to lunch otherwise ;)

      –anonymous

  34. Michele Westfall Ketcham
    November 4, 2010 at 1:48 PM #

    I’ve been reading the comments left by students on the B&B article, and what I find interesting is, it doesn’t seem to occur to anyone that if a person chooses to major in audiology or speech therapy, s/he has automatically set herself/himself up as an opponent of Deaf culture.

    Why? Audiology and speech therapy seek to fix ears and/or seek to make Deaf people spend hours and hours with a stranger’s hand on their throats while they vainly work on producing sounds clear enough for anyone to understand.

    And I was amused by some of the hearing students who claim that they “love ASL and love Deaf culture”…really? REALLY?! If they loved Deaf culture so much, they would know better than to become an audiologist or speech therapist. They should become teachers or advocates instead.

    • Janine
      November 4, 2010 at 3:33 PM #

      Michelle, this makes little sense to me. I also am an interpreter, my mother is deaf and my father is an audiologist. They have been married for 28 years. They love each love each other very much and guess what? My mom signs at home with me and my dad. I learned to sign before I learned to speak. Now, my main language is spoken English, but I feel ASL should be an option for everyone. Including hearing people. I am a graduate and no longer attend Gallaudet, but when a friend of mine emailed me this article I was completely disappointed. Audiologists who only seek to fix Deaf people are uneducated. But I think there is something to be said about students who want to become audiologists or speech therapists at Gallaudet. They are going to have the education to tell families “Hey, you know what, Deaf culture is a great option, you child will communicate well using sign.” Audiologists don’t just fix, they counsel. Same thing for Speech Language Pathologists. Its the reason they are called Speech LANGUAGE pathologists. ASL is a language, and often times SLPs provide services to kids who don’t speak. Sometimes Deaf people chose to never speak at all, and that is OK. But sometimes, even Deaf people think it is important to learn to communicate some things in speech so that they can communicate with hearing people when there is no interpreter available, and that is an option they have. For audiologists, they don’t only serve people who are completely Deaf. What about people who only have a little bit of deafness but prefer to hear? Should they not be allowed to? Or the old people who lose their hearing? Do you really think it’s fair to tell a 90 year old person who is losing their hearing that at that age they must learn a new language and make new friends because they cant communicate with anyone? Thats not the age you want to change someones life around! You should really think about the implications of your opinion about speech therapists and audiologists. It’s really a blessing that this school offers those programs. It will help build a profession that is knowledgeable about Deaf culture.

  35. A'Ja
    November 4, 2010 at 3:11 PM #

    Michele, I understand your frustration, but I don’t think audiology and speech therapy students are opponents of Deaf culture. Some Deaf people choose to learn to speak without outside influence, and they have that right. Do I not have the right to learn ASL because I’m hearing?

    Not all audiologists see deaf people as broken dolls to be fixed. As long as there are deaf people wanting to speak and listen, audiologists have a job. Who you should be angry at are the hearing parents that don’t educate themselves and force their children to go completely against nature and speak and listen and never teach them to sign.

    I am first and foremost an interpreter. That is who I am, what I do, what I want to be, and how I identify. Many of my deaf friends will ask me about their voices and sometimes I show them how to say different things. Do I enjoy it? Yes. I love the look on their faces after they’ve learned to say something new and how to say it intelligibly. Saying a word here or there can be a stepping stone to opening communication with hearing people.

    Do I think all deaf people should speak? Nope. Only those that choose to learn how.

  36. Maybe You Should Be Asking "Who Is Deaf Culture?" or "Who are Non-Signers?"
    November 4, 2010 at 3:45 PM #

    Austin, wait until you start getting bashed by people who truly hate you for what they think you are. Trust me, this group of commenters might be frustrated with the way things are going but the REAL haters haven’t shown up yet. Give it time. They will. And when they do they will home in on YOU. (And no, I’m not one of them. But I’ve been ripped up by them and would rather avoid them if that’s okay with you.)

    I think one other thing that people should keep in mind is that, if you take the point of Elena’s article… Gallaudet is YOU (Us), then it is the way it is because of the expectations and beliefs we held before we arrived here, and what happened to those beliefs and expectations once we GOT here.

    That process is still repeating itself all over the country. Why shouldn’t it? And so we’ll still be having this fight next semester and next year and the year after that, and that TOO will be blamed on “Deaf Culture.” “Oh those crazy-ass Deaf radicals can’t get along with anyone…” Etc. That kind of shit.

    Someone here talked about doing more outreach. Excellent suggestion. And someone here talked about growing through suffering. That too unfortunately is true. It’s easy to talk about what a dedicated advocate you are when you haven’t bled. Don’t get me wrong, maybe you have. Maybe Lucas has. AND MAYBE ELENA HASN’T. I don’t know. Maybe Elena had it easy growing up with full access to language and deaf friends and a deaf family and the support of a deaf community. I don’t know her so I can’t tell you but the point is it’s possible. It’s possible to be “Deaf” and not have experienced anywhere near the fucking crap “deaf” people have had to put up with.

    So I think everyone has to get off their horses, here, and if anyone here thinks that includes me, fine. I’m sorry. Really. But I really do want this community to become something new instead of rehashing the same old shit. Actually, not exactly. Keep rehashing it because your time here should be a journey and what’s old for you might be new for someone else. But if you’re a junior or a senior and you still haven’t taken some chances and branched out even though you face the risk of rejection, that’s on you. Because that’s a part of life, and it’s not unique to here, and it’s not unique to Deaf people. I don’t want to say “grow up” because that sounds condescending and I’ve been on the receiving end of that one too many times. But damn it, GROW.

  37. Paul Donets
    November 4, 2010 at 8:01 PM #

    First of all, let me introduce myself.. some of you guys probably know me and some do not. My name is Paul Donets and I’m Deaf, trust me, I am one of those supporters in the Deaf world. For example, stopping Audism, fighting for a Deaf President, involved with helping Deaf kids around the world (Israel), and much more.

    When I heard about this article, it really made me sick to my stomach. It sounded like we, I’m talking about us, ‘D’eaf people, are desperate. I mean, you guys need to realize, there is no such thing as having just a school for the Deaf. Our hearing President, Abraham Lincoln, signed a school for the Deaf to have an education. Gallaudet, who was hearing, helped with setting a form of communication for the Deaf and not to mention, he founded Gallaudet University.

    Let me ask you something, could a Deaf person like Cogswell open a School for the deaf? Oh please. (not being an Audist or anything).

    If you were against hearing people, what do you plan to do after college? You can’t work anywhere, not even at a Deaf School, since everyone who owns something is hearing. Don’t think about applying to work for VRS, Purple, Viable, etc. because they all have hearing people to interpret calls.

    Let me ask you another question, if there was no Audiologist.. how can you enroll at Gallaudet? you need an Audiogram to prove you are Deaf.

    What about if you’re interested in knowing how you became deaf? you need an audiologist to diagnose and determine your deafness.

    An Audiologist is not a person that wants to fix hearing. THERE IS NO SUCH THING TO FIX A PERSON’S HEARING! Audiologist is there to make a client more comfortable with accepting their hearing loss. A lot of hearing families with a deaf child don’t know what to do with thier child, but THANK GOD for an Audiologist to help them understand that their child CAN DO ANYTHING IN THIS WORLD, BUT HEAR!

    I think I forgot to finish off my introduction. I am Deaf and I am an Audiology student here at Gallaudet. I want to become an Audiologist because I’m sick and tired of all of the Parents, leaving their kids on an empty road, hopeing a mircle can happen. I’m becoming an Audiologist to make sure all my patients know ASL and if they want to hear, okay, I’ll offer them hearing aids to communicate as well. But ASL, of course is the number one form of communication.

    Let me tell you something, it isn’t an easy way to get your degree and be called Doctor for the rest of time being. All my friends in the Audiology and SPL department are friendly and they sign in class all the time, wheather or not there is a deaf student in the classroom.

    Next time you want to insult a hearing person, please experience their shoes first before looking at a black and white area. This is an embarrassment for me to read.

  38. pia
    November 4, 2010 at 8:42 PM #

    I think this article has obviously brought up a lot of sensitive issues, a lot of which should definitely be addressed. However, as an alumnus, I don’t think that it should be my position to comment. Don’t get me wrong– I HAVE my opinion on all this, but it may be better if it remains unsaid.

    However, the biggest thing I have a beef with. No, not just a beef. An entire cow. The American longhorn cattle industry… Is the professor who believes that Gallaudet’s highest performing students aren’t, in fact, high-performing. Not only do I find this deeply insulting, I also find this deeply disturbing. I came to Gallaudet because I loved it, not because I had to. And I know a lot of my peers who took the Gallaudet route and went on to receive their graduate and professional degrees from respected top-tier universities. I know a lot of you know people like those.

    What’s really sickening is not only does that professor think like that, but also have the guts to say it out loud. But, it doesn’t just start with him (or her). The fact remains is that s/he HAD “evidence” to corroborate what he said. I would love to know just WHO conducted the study, and I would also love to see the actual published paper or at least the study results. Because the bigotry obviously started there. To publish something that says the best of the best at Gallaudet are just low-tier. Sub-par.

    It’s just disgusting. I’m speechless.

    So, Elena– if you read this, and if there’s any way you can get the information to me, I would absolutely love to see the study and have that professor’s name. Because I’ve definitely got something to say.

  39. Deb
    November 4, 2010 at 10:27 PM #

    Wow. This is a great discussion! There is so much confusion and miscommunication. Ironic, huh. Please let me share my story. I am a 4th year Gallaudet audiology student. I do not live in the DC area anymore because I am completing my externship year in North Carolina. I made my decision to come to Gallaudet for many reasons, but the top reasons I came here were 1) to better learn to communicate in ASL, 2) to talk to Deaf students and understand their experiences/feelings about audiology, 3) because my partner is Deaf and she was coming to Gallaudet for graduate school.

    Let me start by saying that being an audiology student at Gally is a unique experience for me. In the audiology world, Gallaudet students are often shunned because we support sign language/Deaf culture. While some audiologists from other schools support ASL, many do not. It is true and I will admit that about my chosen profession. Gallaudet has the ONLY program for audiology that requires more than a very minimal understanding of ASL. No other schools require, or provides experiences with Deaf clients in which we are required to sign in audiology. This is a huge reason why I decided to attend Gallaudet. I decided I wanted to take full advantage of my time at this very unique institution and to learn as much as I could from my profs and other students. I also knew before I came to Gallaudet, that we are often shunned here because, well, we are audiology students — and after “hearing” many stories from friends I made at Gally, I can certainly understand why!

    For me, the experience I receive at Gallaudet in invaluable. I could not get it anywhere else in the world. I know that I am not a fluent signer. I couldn’t become one in only 3 years on campus even though I took classes and immersed myself as much as I could. Am I disappointed with some things at Gally? Yes. I had assumed that my classes would be in sign – and most of them were not. I assumed that all the other students in my department were there for similar reasons as I – and many of them were not. Do I see a need for change? Yes. Absolutely.

    Now I am living in NC for my externship year and I am learning many new things. I am learning that NC is a very ORAL state. That our “clients” are called “patients”. That deaf children are thought to be “hearing impaired”. That most (hearing)parents are ignorant of the fact that their child needs a system of language just like their hearing children do. From what I can tell sign language is not common here. I see kids from rural areas who are getting little to nothing in the way of communication and it breaks my heart. I try to take what I have learned from my time at Gallaudet and apply it to the Deaf children that I work with and to enlighten some of the audiologist’s that supervise me here. There is a huge gap between the Deaf world and audiology as a profession, IMO. All I can do is to try to bridge that gap in some small way and to try to open people’s minds to ALL options available to them. I hope that today’s Deaf children do not have such awful experiences when their parent’s bring them to see me, their audiologist. I do not need to fix anyone and that is not how I see my job. I want to do what I can to allow kids with all levels of hearing success to the best of the abilities — and to be happy people! Do some audiologists see themselves as “helping poor deafies” or “fixing ears”? Yes, many do. I see it everyday. That is exactly why the audiology department at Gallaudet is so important. That is why I am a proud Gallaudet student.

    Deb Livingston

  40. Leon
    November 4, 2010 at 10:32 PM #

    Last year’s group of new signers picked up really fast by November. This year’s began the year in a clique like Aja says. I understand the feeling of intimidation, but to not make an effort? The results are what? Them not learning much sign language.

    This is just careless behavior in which people who can hear/speak will not even bother to sign. I don’t think this is aimed towards you as a group of hearing status, but directed towards the group that does not try. It’s like going to an university in a country where they do not speak English with a few Americans there, and simply using English instead of assimilating.

    Also, the primary tone I get from this is pointing the finger at our approving the Walk4Hearing ads on campus, pointing the finger at our approving professors who do not even sign, and pointing the finger at our acceptance of our own audist decisions.

    This is a matter of disconscious audism, not hating on the hearings. It’s not like you can help it anyways. It takes time to learn, but we have got to stop accepting audist signs and professors who do not respect the deaf community as a whole.

  41. a student
    November 4, 2010 at 11:18 PM #

    I am what I am: an individual, unique and different, with a lineal history of an ancestral promptings and urgings, a history of dreams, desires, and of special experiences, of all of which I am the sum total.
    -Charlie Chaplin

  42. Jeff
    November 5, 2010 at 4:06 PM #

    I’m a Ci using student who uses primarily ASL to communicate. I often hear the infamous phrase ” I’ll tell you later” and I never do. sure, I get pissed at that. but I also realize most conversations is worthless. 90% of the conversations around here is gossip, 5% is poltical discussions, and 5% is academic concerns/complaints. yes I pulled the numbers out of my butt, bur most statistics usually is.

    • Jeff
      November 5, 2010 at 4:21 PM #

      grr. didn’t finish

      I don’t eat at the cafeteria because 1. Cliques, who needs them? I’m almost done with my time here, and I don’t expect to gain anything worthwhile out of ” He said She did this” conversations. and come on, surely, everyone has a common interest that could unite us all even if indirectly, for instance my friend knows this guy who knows this guy who is also my friend. with the cliques, it’s impossible to really network and that’s a key point for Gallaudet students.
      Historically, Deaf graduates from Gallaudet tend to become leaders of the community. we need to uphold that tradition more than grouping into obvious cliques like freshman princesses, football teams, frats, sororities, history/government students, older students, etc. you know who you are. until a meaningful change occurs, I’m gonna be eating in my room, enjoying my own television without having to watch dull sport games. sorry all sports fans, that’s just how I am.
      2. I’ve also noticed that when Deaf people come to gallaudet, they somehow develop a chip on their shoulder, ranting about Audism this and that, and they return in the spring semester, they seem a little contrite because they were just reminded about the real world outside those fences. Pardon me if you get offended, but humanity in general is bigoted in almost every way possible and there’s just no way around that. What we CAN do is work on that and become a better person. Say hello to your HUG friends, hearing students, HOH, and especially the people with CI. Oh God, the oppression against the CI people! that’s a different issue.

      This campus is a good one, and if we try to include rather than exclude people, I think overall, we’ll all be happier.

  43. anonymous
    November 5, 2010 at 4:35 PM #

    To Elina Ruiz:

    Could you please provide the citation or presentation specifics of the research discussed in your graduate class? Or if not yet presented, was this a GRI research project? Something sounds really off about this, so I’d like to see it for myself. There is no doubt in my mind that there are plenty of bright students at Gallaudet, so your professor is out of touch if that’s truly what s/he believes.

    I am guessing that you’re a first year student, which means you have been here for just two months. It sounds like you already don’t think much of Gallaudet. I’m sorry it hasn’t been a good experience for you. :(

    Thanks for your opinion piece

  44. Beautiful!
    November 5, 2010 at 5:54 PM #

    O! This is really a beautiful article ever I have read! You are brave to write about it even though you know you will make some people upset after they read your article.

    This article is very interesting plus exciting because you have many comments from Gally students.

  45. A realist
    November 5, 2010 at 7:00 PM #

    College rankings are based on factors like standardized test scores, graduation rates, and what percent of applicants are granted admission – not somebody’s opinion. Check out Gallaudet on some of the competitive college sites for yourself and see.

    http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/washington-dc/gallaudet-university-1443

    http://www.studentsreview.com/DC/Gallaudet_University.html

    http://www.princetonreview.com/schools/college/CollegeAdmissions.aspx?iid=1023328

    • Can't Get Anywhere
      November 6, 2010 at 2:11 PM #

      Hi Realist:

      I can’t get into the first and third of the three links you provided until I set up an account with those sites, so that has to wait. But I went to the second one (www.studentsreview.com).

      I have to say the negative comments about Gallaudet seem bigoted in my opinion but just to make sure my opinion was balanced, I checked out RIT (to get a ranking of some sort on NTID). While RIT has a higher overall grade, I found a very interesting negative comment made by a (presumably) deaf student who attended that school. Here it is. It’s the second one down from the top in the negative comments section. I found it VERY INTERESTING, especially this student’s comment on why “people suck.”:

      “I have spent two years at RIT and I am 100% transferring out of that hellhole officially. I can tell you that RIT has a good reputation, but the question is.. how popular is RIT? I have told my friends back home that I go to RIT and their reactions were always like, where is that..? That clearly tells us that RIT needs to spread its name all over the nation. I’m transferring to a State University and I swear to god, it was the best decision I have ever made for awhile.

      1. People
      People suck. People are not easy to approach. Especially if you are a deaf individual, I’d say you are fucked. Hearing students are difficult to meet.. but deaf people are difficult to meet. So, I fell in between of both worlds, which sucked.
      2. Parties
      Parties are not big on RIT campus. You have to know people that party all the time, but you would have to hang out with them ALL THE TIME. If you started hanging out with other people, they won’t invite you anymore.
      RIT said it’s a dry campus.. AHAH. Sure! It’s a dry campus. Just wait until you start classes there. You will understand.
      3. Classes
      Classes are challenging enough for me. Some classes are very easy. Some classes are supposed to be easy, but RIT makes it way harder for everyone. That part sucked.
      4. NTID Services
      NTID services SUCK. I hate the every bit of NTID services. They are snooty and are not very helpful. I can’t get classes with C-Print service because it’s not “supported” so you will be limited to many classes when you sign up for classes. I hated it because I’m limited to few sections for certain classes. It’s ridiculous because I paid some decent money to go to that school and I get shitty services. Trust me, RIT does a good job at flowering all shit up on campus and I’m sure they were like, Ohh we have good services for the deaf and hard of hearing… YEAH RIGHT. Don’t fall for that!
      5. Campus
      It’s boring. Ugly. It’s a bunch of bricks. It surely can make you really, really depressed.
      6. Dorms/Apartments
      It’s difficult to get a fucking room to live in! The Housing Operations is not good at placing people into rooms. The school I am going to transfer gives me OPTIONS to live in. It’s really nice to have that while RIT doesn’t provide that for students.
      7. RIT/Faculty
      RIT only wants money from you. It’s a private school so they don’t get any money from the state of New York. So they will fine you for many things so they won’t be broke in the end.
      The bottom line.. don’t go there if you think they would happen to you. RIT really, really screws you over in the end.

      There are positive comments too and negative comments that have nothing to do with deaf students, but this is just one I selected to make a point. DOES IT SOUND FAMILIAR?

      You’re saying that college rankings aren’t based on opinions. I’m sorry but that second link… if those aren’t opinions, what are they?

      People should play around with that site. Check out the schools that got good rankings, bad rankings, etc, read the negative comments. I’ve checked out a few, and the negatve comments about them (this has nothing to do with deafness/deaf students here) sound the same… mean/hostile faculty, they just want your money, party university, dry university, ugly buildings, wasting too much money beautifying the campus, etc.

      Draw your own conclusions from this.

      • Can't Get Anywhere
        November 6, 2010 at 2:19 PM #

        Interesting. CSUN got a C. For some reason I can’t read the negative comments beyond the third page but from what I’ve seen so far, stupid, arrogant faculty, unhelpful campus, etc. Nothing to do with deafness from what I can see but who knows. The commenters didn’t specify if they were hearing or deaf.

  46. Deaf student
    November 5, 2010 at 9:56 PM #

    I think the concept of making the hearing Gallaudet students struggle on the campus just because deaf people want them to understand how much they struggled being deaf growing up is ridiculous. Some deaf people are extremely bitter towards the hearing because of that very reason. Don’t they want to make it easier for the hearing so they won’t feel the same way they did? I understand that most deaf people feel it’s helpful to put them in their shoes so they can understand deaf people better. But there are other ways to do this. You don’t have to be all bitter and make the hearing struggle. You’re doing the exact thing others did to you that made you bitter. It’s just plain stupid.

  47. Courtni E. Hurd
    November 6, 2010 at 12:41 AM #

    I applaud Elena for speaking out on this issue. It is a sensitive topic for many people. The people who react positively to her article most likely are people who know what it feels like to be oppressed in some way because of their race, gender, sexual preference,for being deaf, etc. The people who react negatively to her article should think about reading it again. And if you still feel angry or negative about what you read then look in the mirrior. Whatever your reason is for reacting the way you do, the key is to recognize WHY you reacted that way, and then make a change. We all need to do that at many points in our lives.
    “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” -Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor

    • Can't Get Anywhere
      November 6, 2010 at 2:25 PM #

      I think some people reacted negatively to this article simply because they don’t think the author’s views mirror their own. They also dont seem to think some of the comments on the opposite end of the spectrum (to the author’s views) mirror their own. What I see are a lot of people taking the middle ground. In other words, they don’t seem to be disagreeing with each other. They seem to be if anything disagreeing with those who arent taking a position of in-between.

      In other words everyone in here, from one end of the spectrum to the other, collectively pretty much sounds like every community on the face of the earth: Those who believe A, those who believe B, those who believe A-B, and those who believe C, D, F…

      Welcome to the world.

  48. Susan
    November 7, 2010 at 6:28 AM #

    To: the realist

    The links you provided are no good. Do you realize who the reviewers are? Hearing people! Why do we always depend on HEARING PEOPLE’S STANDARDS.

  49. the one and only ridor
    November 7, 2010 at 7:33 PM #

    AS for the professor who said that despicable line even at Gallaudet. I see that nothing has changed since I graduated from Gallaudet. I cannot stand these incompetent hearing professors who behaved like that towards Deaf colleagues & students!

    R-

  50. anonymous
    November 7, 2010 at 11:26 PM #

    You have as much right as any student to say how you think things should be at Gallaudet. But to paraphrase the bard, there may be room for more things at Gallaudet, Ms. Ruiz, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

    “Purity that demands exclusion isn’t real purity.” (Community Season 2 Episode 7, “Aerodynamics of Gender”)

  51. it's true
    November 8, 2010 at 10:41 AM #

    It is true. Gallaudet is ranked very low for it’s undergrad education. Partly because of the low literacy of its graduates. Sad but true.

  52. Anonymous
    November 8, 2010 at 10:20 PM #

    We can not allow Gallaudet to get worse. Things need to be changed by making Gallaudet like it was in the old days when everyone signed including the professors. Hearing students are taking advantage of the system by being accepted into Gallaudet and then not need to sign. We have that outside of Gallaudet. We do not need to put up with attitudes of oppressions and Audism on campus.

    • Zane
      November 11, 2010 at 12:03 PM #

      Pretty sure that Gallaudet has had that problem with professors not being completely fluent in ASL since its birth.

      • Interesting article
        November 21, 2010 at 8:03 AM #

        For a while now, but not sure about since its birth. In Inside Deaf Culture (2005), Padden and Humphries write about a time when everyone at Gallaudet (profs included) signed well.

  53. Jeffrey Palmer, Graduate Student Linguistic Dept (CODA)
    November 10, 2010 at 3:26 PM #

    I support dialogue about the use, mis-use, and lack of use of ASL on campus. Thanks for writing this article– as you see from all the comments a dialogue has commenced.

    In regards to your comment:

    “As our lead hearing researchers presented slanted data about Deaf students to nationwide institutions of education, the numbers of HUGs on campus have increased exponentially.”

    If you look at the reports from the Office of Academic Quality you will find that the number of HUGs has increased recently but not exponentially.

    2009: 58 hearing undergrads, 223 graduate
    2010: 77 hearing undergrads, 223 graduate

  54. Deaf student
    November 10, 2010 at 6:27 PM #

    Hmm, strong words. On the one hand, you have a clear vision. On the other hand your words really could encourage the bullying that already does happen. People who have the attitude of “maybe certain people don’t belong at Gallaudet” are more likely to bully in subtle ways, in my observation.

    The administration decides who belongs at Gallaudet, not the fellow students. And that’s probably a good thing because, well, would you really want Gallaudet to be a fraternity or sorority mentality? Well, maybe you would.

    Having a separate space where only ASL is used is a great thing and an opportunity for all of us, in my opinion. But I’m not sure that’s what all of Gallaudet wants. Because Gallaudet is not one thing. There isn’t really a single answer to the question “Who is Gallaudet?”

    And honestly, as a student, I am not sure I understand your focus on the cafeteria and fellow students. Give them time to grow and learn, and if they don’t, they’re only here for four years. It’s the faculty and staff who don’t sign that are the bigger problem. I don’t like it if I’m excluded from conversation in the Marketplace. Being excluded from comprehension in the classroom makes me want a refund from Gally…

  55. A person who cares about both worlds
    November 12, 2010 at 12:38 AM #

    I was required to read this article for a class and I was pretty disguested by this article. I have to admit, I am deaf myself. I totally understand how the deaf feels about ASL/Deafness thing. I also understand that the deaf embrace Gallaudet Campus because like it was mentioned in the article, Gallaudet is like a deafspace for them to be at because there is no other place in this world like Gallaudet. Sadly, I have to say I am embrassed by this article. I did not really like the last sentence because it was very powerful.

    “Who is Gallaudet? We are. Who are we? Deaf, deaf-allies, and ASL-users. Finish”. I am sorry to say this, but this is a very ugly, audism statement. I do not understand why Gallaudet adveristes about ‘audism’ when they actually are doing it towards to hearing people. Please. We should not say ‘We are Gallaudet’, only the deaf? Please! What about being open and having a good heart for everyone? Gallaudet shall be open to all kinds of students. By the way, we live in a Bilingual world today so its impossible to have this campus only be about the deaf because we do have variety of people in our country today. We cannot just simply reject the hearing students on campus and tell them to use ASL. You may not realize this, but you are oppressing them just like when hearing people oppress you to ‘speak’. Then I am sorry to say this, you are being an a phony. You want these hearing students to use ASL? I will tell you the secret to this. Don’t tell them to sign ASL. Let them be and let them want to sign with you. They will evenually want to sign with you. If you push them into doing it, they will push right back. Noone likes to be pushed. Let the hearing students be. They are here at Gallaudet University and for what? Perhaps to learn how to work with deaf people or want to learn sign language. I have to admit, I have a friend here and she is hearing. She knows sign language very well. She told me that the deaf students were looking down at her just because she is hearing. That is awful!!

    Gallaudet Campus shall not only be for the DEAF. If you are doing what you are doing now, you are actually making yourself look bad and making gallaudet’s reputation in more of a bad way. I am deaf myself and its embrassing that other deaf people are behaving this way. You say finish….I say deaf people FINISH!!!

  56. A person who cares about both worlds
    November 12, 2010 at 12:43 AM #

    I have to admit, I overlooked the part where you said this campus shall be for the deaf and ASL users….Again, this is an audism statement which is very wrong. We shall welcome the hearing students to gallaudet u because I have seen so many hearing students who put so much effort to learn sign language, to communicate with other deaf students….They have a heart….Why dont the deaf have a heart? I know the deaf was feeling very resist against hearing people…I say enough! LET IT GO! STOP IT! OPEN YOUR HEARTS! Gallaudet should be a cool campus, but its not. I dont like it here and what its doing to other people.

  57. I have a question
    November 12, 2010 at 1:19 AM #

    What do we do when we have loved ones and family members visit who do not know ASL? What is the best way to handle these visits?

    • What I do...
      November 13, 2010 at 12:15 AM #

      Good question. I think people handle it in all kinds of ways, but here’s what I do. I have family members and close friends who don’t sign and have visited me at Gallaudet. I explain to them that I don’t use my voice on campus around other people because it is a signing environment and I support that. If we are in private in the hotel room or off campus, I can speak with them. I have a hard time with it sometimes if we are walking somewhere together on campus, but it’s more important to me to be respectful of a signing campus community. And my guests (I’ve talked with them about it) are very supportive and not at all offended. The only one who has issues sometimes is me, so I’m working at it :)

      –Deaf student

      • I have a question
        November 16, 2010 at 4:15 PM #

        That makes sense to me,
        Thank you : )

  58. HUG
    November 17, 2010 at 2:30 AM #

    My comment is going to be made just to throw so numbers at you. This article states that the campus has become “hearing-ized.” Let me state that there are only 46 hearing students in the undergraduate program here total. A small portion of which are here for a one semester experience with immersion. So excluding those students there are about 35 hearing students in the undergraduate program here at Gallaudet, which i might add has drastically decreased over the past few years. At the beginning of each year we are required to sign a language policy that states we respect the language use here at Gallaudet. That policy has been warned to follow at all times and I can say form personal experience we follow it. Phones are used in dorm rooms and not out in public places, although it is within our rights to use them where needed. We respect your culture and especially your language, otherwise the strict requirements just to get accepted as a student here at Gallaudet would be none existent.

    As for the talking on phones and vocalizing on campus. Here is another number fact, the amount of new signers on campus have exponentially increased. The number of new signers and hard of hearing students as risen to 60 percent…. 60 PERCENT of the Gallaudet student population. That in just the past year has risen drastically. Is there an issue with that? Why are there a need for labels? These students have possibly grown up mainstream, were it was never inappropriate to use their cell phone to call their parents, and they are not as quite culturally enriched as you are. The main point is they/we are here to become as fortunate as you have been, and be blessed with that. If it were not for the Deaf community I would not have a job in the future. I am thankful for this possibility. If you scare off those that have found it with in themselves to become interpreters, later when you absolutely find a need to have one you may not find one with the skills that can walk out with a Gallaudet education.

    • derrick
      November 17, 2010 at 4:18 PM #

      Can you verify, or cite, where you got the information that the number of hard of hearing and new signers have risen to 60 percent?

      • Amanda Koski
        November 26, 2010 at 3:14 PM #

        If you have any questions regarding the number of hearing students accepted go ask administration, instead of just assuming and bouncing numbers around. Go ask Melba Goodwin in the Admissions Office (http://admissions.gallaudet.edu/Admissions/AC_staff/HUG.htm) Shes responsible for the HUG students.

    • statistics
      November 18, 2010 at 1:49 PM #

      I’m not sure about these numbers. I think there might be more hearing undergraduates than that–Jeffrey Palmer, above lists 77 HUGS, and I am not sure if that includes BAI students. My gut feeling is that including HUGS, BAI, and special/visiting students, the number would be closer to 100 than 46.

      I am also not sure about the statistics for hard or hearing and new signers (and not sure how you are defining those terms).

      I know that 87.4% of statistics are made up on the spot, but I do think Gallaudet keeps statistics at least of participation in the New Signer’s Program, so it would be interesting to have an actual B&B article (not opinion piece) with statistics.

      One insight I take from your comment is that the people we see talking and using phones on campus are not necessarily hearing.

    • Candy
      November 20, 2010 at 11:28 PM #

      I’m wondering why is it an issue for anyone to speak at Gallaudet?

      Hug..

      You provided the numbers, 60% of the population of Gallaudet students are new signers and hard of hearing students. That is quite a lot! And, as you said, they probably grew up mainstream. I would agree, since more deaf/hoh are mainstreamed.

      Here’s the thing…what is happening at Gallaudet? What is causing all of this concern about students or anyone for that matter, to speak on campus? When I was there way back then, there were many deaf/hoh students of culturally deaf parents who also use simcom as well as ASL. Many of them spoke. And, it was never an issue to speak, not to my recollection. However, if one were able to use the phone, you’d have to explain to them you are deaf of deaf so they don’t look at you suspiciously.

      The author of this comment, I see is Elena Ruiz. That would explain it. She was part of the Oppose AB2072 last summer that didn’t want the state of California to keep parents informed of all modalities so they can make their own decision. I blogged a lot on this all summer. And, of course the OpposeAB2072 is controlled mostly by these “Deafhood” and DBC folks. They went so far to attack and harass people who are does align with their view. What’s with mandating sign language for all students? Gallaudet is a place where ASL instruction is given, so it would make sense that all students should know signs. But, after class, they should be able to do what they want. They should be able to use their voices. Many deaf people do. they should be able to call their parents on their cell using their voice anywhere they want to.

      Something is wrong with this picture here. And, lets face it, you have 60% of students that are new signers and/or hard of hearing? Wow. Mandating sign language only policy on campus is going to be hard to enforce. What are they gonna do when that happens? What are the consequences for the students, I wonder?

      By the way I am deaf of a culturally deaf parent. Technically I am hard of hearing.

  59. HUG
    November 18, 2010 at 3:00 AM #

    That has been quoted by one of the heads of the interpreting department here at Gallaudet. Ask for yourself.

  60. A'Ja
    November 18, 2010 at 11:05 PM #

    http://aaweb.gallaudet.edu/Office_of_Academic_Quality/Office_of_Institutional_Research/Annual_Enrollment_Reports.html

    According to the Fall 2010 Annual Enrollment Report…..well, everyone can just take a look for themselves. The link’s right above, save the PDF and look at it whenever you please. I’m glad the Office of Institutional Research at Gallaudet has this so easily available.

    • statistics
      November 19, 2010 at 7:33 PM #

      Well, it doesn’t really give any additional data.

      There’s no demographic information for non degree-seeking students, so like I said above, the number is probably closer to 100 than 46. There are 77 hearing degree-seeking students.

      As for the data on non-signers, there is none at that link.

      • A'Ja
        November 20, 2010 at 7:00 PM #

        Try contacting Debra Lawson in Enrollment Marketing or David Reekers in the Admissions Office, they might have that information.

        While I deeply understand everyone’s frustrations and agree with most, I don’t think there are as many non-signers as people seem to think. I have noticed quite a few hard of hearing students that can sign and have been for years, but associate with a lot of other hard of hearing or hearing people and so they speak. I think that is what is most upsetting to people, myself included, when people can sign but don’t. That might be what people are seeing and therein lies the issue.

  61. LOL
    November 19, 2010 at 10:11 PM #

    Spot on!!! Good impersonation of Dr. Thomas Kluwin!

  62. Robbie Thoryk
    November 22, 2010 at 10:50 AM #

    I commend the author of the article for bringing the topic out into the open, and the author and the respondents for generating such a discussion. It’s OBVIOUS there are strong feelings and hurt and…some bewilderment by hearing that THIS is what it feels like to be a minority…and by D/deaf to find out that it isn’t easy trying to assert and define as a dominant culture. This discussion echoes for me the same issues, on a smaller scale, that occured with Marie Jean Phillips and The Learning Center, when they first attempted to go bilingual.
    To remain viable as a college or university, Gallaudet needs students…more importantly they need students with tuition money, whether it comes from the student’s pocket or is tied to the student thru government funding. So welcoming all students – hearing, deaf, ASL fluent, ASL inept, patronizing and clique-ish, hard workers and slackers – is a matter of survival. The bodies are needed becuz the bodies r tied to the life blood of any institution – money.

    To remain viable, the college also needs to show retention numbers and, more importantly, graduation numbers. The students who come in have to matriculate within a given time period in sufficient numbers. Again, this needs to occur whether the students are strong students or weak, whether they are ASL fluent and culturally sensitive or not fluent and culturally dense.

    Gallaudet “serves many masters.” A large part of the problem is that there is no clear, honest vision or directive for what Galladuet really is, what its function truly is, and identification of whose vision truly leads it. Is it a repository for Deaf language, history and culture or a site for “rehabilitation” where interpreters are manufactured and deaf graduates learn their role in a psuedo-inclusive society?

  63. Amanda Koski
    November 26, 2010 at 3:28 PM #

    Why hasn’t anyone gone to administration yet with questions about this?? We are just sitting on this website bouncing numbers around saying this and that. Why hasn’t anyone gone to Mebla Goodwin in the Admissions Office who is responsible for the HUG students? Why hasn’t anyone asked questions of the interpreting department? Everyone is just complaining instead of DOING something.

    To put it blunt (if you accept this or not its up to you), on Gallaudet’s campus DEAF is the majority and HEARING is the minority. When deaf individuals step off campus HEARING is the majority and DEAF is the minority. Why can’t we bond over the same experiences. Some people might disagree, that hearing and deaf do not experience the same kinds of discrimination. However, being a hearing student I have to disagree. I have been discriminated against.

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