God Save the British Deaf

Courtesy: http://flickr.com/photos/bikinihoney/1465986364/Colorado Springs – Lately, the recent furor over oralism and AG Bell Foundation within the Deaf blogosphere has created contradictory statements and perceptions about Deaf culture and deaf people themselves. In fact, many anti-oralism advocates seem to be primarily ex-oral deaf people who have succumbed to peer pressure and signed up to be “jumped” into Deaf culture.

In American street gangs, to become part of a gang, one has to abide by certain rules and requirements. More importantly, before becoming a full-fledged member of the gang, males will have their asses kicked (called “being jumped in,” or in some instances, “blood in, blood out”) for about 5 minutes before everybody group hugs the bloodied-and-beaten-up kid. As for women who want to enter the gang, they only need to have sex with certain members of the group to be involved, along with the occasional cheap trick.

In Deaf culture, some formerly oral deaf people tend to do the same things to be included within Deaf culture. They reject any and all things related to oralism. And they must have their asses kicked by Deaf people – especially when mistakes are made. Or, in most cases, if the former-deaf-and-now-Deaf person is not perfect, they will be kicked out of the gang and sent to live with homeless people in England.

But really, the whole criticism against oralism is the fact it doesn’t use ASL as a primary component of educating a deaf child. Additionally, this claim is further supported by charges that oral deaf people on the whole, reject ASL and Deaf culture by and large because as children, oral deaf people did not choose to learn ASL while in preschool.

Recently, a young Deaf woman published a vlog, criticizing a deaf school for catering to oralism. She was upset because she signed to a young oral deaf boy that she presumably wanted to save from the oral monster at that school. Later, she would publish another vlog, this time with a Deaf teenage girl testifying that she tried to include oral deaf children into a Jr NAD extracurricular program at the same school.

And then later, a third Deaf woman published a vlog, in which she appeared obviously angry and animated towards the NAD for not taking action on the supposed exclusion of oral deaf children into the Jr NAD program. She also stated the NAD was not a good organization and that another political entity needed to do something to save the oral deaf children, again, at the same school.

So, what’s with all the saving of oral deaf children by Deaf people?

The reason, it seems, is because some Deaf people view oralism as a form of child abuse. To teach a child via oralism is child abuse, they claim, because it deprives them of access to ASL. This, apparently, is what drives much of the anti-oralism and anti-AG Bell Foundation crusades.

But, if there was such a need to save oral deaf children, then why are oral deaf adults viewed as outcasts – or even foreigners? (One Deaf blogger suggested deaf people were the same as being British.) And here lies the contradiction and hypocrisy shown by many of those Deaf people: save deaf children, but reject deaf adults unless they conform exactly to certain Deaf people’s requirement to gain entrance into Deaf culture.

This is how it works: they try to save oral deaf children from being ostracized by other Deaf adults who will insist that deaf adults are foreigners. That’s what all the fuss relating to oralism and AG Bell Foundation is about – Deaf people are trying to save oral deaf children from other Deaf people, mostly ex-oral deaf people who have become Deaf peons.

Some people would label those Deaf gangbangers as thugs. Thugs run around the country, intimidating any and all people who might disagree with them. Instead of selling drugs, or pimpin’ bitches, Deaf gangbangers pimp themselves with wanton abandonment.

And like kids in street gangs, these thugs want a place to call home. They want to belong to a family of people like them, too. Above all, they have spent years being socially isolated, and like street gangs, desire to fit in anywhere that they can be accepted, even conditionally. They find their “belonging” to be in Deaf culture, but that is still a conditional status.

If a former oral deaf-and-now-Deaf person commits any type of infraction or sin pertaining to certain Deaf people’s perception of the world, they are kicked out of the gang. They are shunned and vilified. And in the case of Jane Fernandes, political lynchings are never enough until the offending party disappears completely from all Deaf ghettos around the country.

So now we have One-Eyed People cults and Deaf thugs demanding all oralism practices to be curtailed. As for the AG Bell Foundation, they still provide links and information for parental consideration – something we rarely see with these Deaf fringe groups. And much like street gangs wearing certain colors of their cliques (or “sets”), these Deaf people wear their “Deafness” as both a badge of intimidation and a knife to backstab unsuspecting deaf people (and quite often, hearing people as well.)

And since reality dictates most parents’ decisions regarding their deaf children, to blame and vilify adult oral deaf people for not learning ASL and jumping into Deaf culture is counterproductive and hypocritical. If oral deaf children are worthy of saving, then why are oral deaf adults not? And I’m not implying or suggesting that oral deaf people need saving, either – I’m suggesting that too many Deaf people are hypocrites with regard to oral deaf people in general.

The old adage is true: a child who has been abused will more than likely repeat the patterns of abuse as an adult. Think of the oppressed becoming the oppressors. Mike McConnell describes this as “Crab Theory,” which is applicable here, especially given that many ex-oral deaf people will deride and ridicule any oral deaf person who might disagree with them.

And if they’ve got a complaint, it shouldn’t be against oralism – it should be against their parents. As anyone who is a parent can attest, making decisions for children is sometimes the most complicated and emotional part of parenting. And if this paragraph makes you angry, you may want to consider forking out some good dinero to lie down on a shrink’s leather couch whilst you work out your issues with your parents.

So, the next time you see Deaf people bashing oralism and/or the AG Bell Foundation, try to remember that it’s not the organization’s responsibility to make the parent’s decisions – it’s the parents who ultimately decide what they want for their child. And when hearing parents see Deaf thugs and One-Eyed People cult members bashing other Deaf and oral deaf people, can you blame them for running as fast as they can from Deaf culture?

If people really want to help educate parents on which educational system may be most appropriate for their child, then they may need to start acknowledging the hypocrisy that is both harmful to deaf oral children and Deaf culture itself. And if you need to see the proof of the harmful effects, you need not look further than the whole farce called, “Deaf education.”

Frankly, you know, there is a reason why the AG Bell Foundation continues to thrive – because of Deaf thuggery and one-eye peephole focuses on saving the British deaf.

Finally, if anyone needs saving, it’s Deaf thugs and One-Eyed People cult members who need it most – from themselves.

Be good .. or be good at it.


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Posted at 11:15 PM under Daily Crumblings. Follow responses through the comments feed, Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your site.


Once again– a great post! But the girlie pics must go! :-) Please!

Um— OK so I was giving my opinion in another blog about how I thought the Deaf should reach out to the late-deaf to help them transition into deafness. This one Deaf blogger jumped all over me, so I responded in kind. She lives on the east coast, I’m in Seattle. Though she had never been to Seattle, she started telling me how wonderfully active the Deaf were in Seattle. I let her know they had not been reaching out to the LATE-deaf. Next thing I know she’s telling me she doesn’t like my “attitude” and that I just blew it BIG TIME. She had “connections” with Deaf culture in Seattle and she would make sure all the Deaf people here in Seattle hated me because the Deaf culture sticks together. If one of them doesn’t like your attitude, apparently NONE of them does– according to her.

At first I was in shock, and then I thought– Well if that’s how they are I don’t ever want to be a part of Deaf culture. It reminds me of Junior High. Been there and done that already. No thanks!

OTOH– I know a few nice Deaf people in Seattle who aren’t like that, so I’m kinda confused. I don’t know what to think. I think Deaf people are kind of scary now.

I’m more comfortable around hearing people. They might forget to accommodate me, but usually that’s out of ignorance, not out of spite.

Maybe set up a mission type of schooling to train Deaf people on how to save other deaf people, such as late deafened adults, in foreign areas outside of their comfort zone when dealing with deaf and hard of hearing people? Though I don’t see them doing these outreaches to people who live in nursery homes or at independent living residential areas when it comes to people who are late-deafened.

It’s easy to go around and talk about “deafhood” (for example) in an already receptive –>Deaf

you conveniently left this out in your blog. Talk about selective reading.

From my blog:
P.S. Let me clarify a little more. I am not referring to those who are able to benefit from oralism by lipreading, speech and using residual hearing. This method obviously works for them. I mean the children who miss a lot of information because oralism doesn’t meet their needs. They are restricted in their ability to communicate as they aren’t permitted to learn another communication method. At what point does oralism become a form of child abuse? Some of you say abuse is a strong word. Perhaps it is, but others some feel abuse is an accurate description. For those who disagree, what would be the appropriate word? MZ


Well you know elderly people aren’t the only ones who lose their hearing. By the time people hit 65, one in three start losing their hearing so they’re in good company then. When you begin to lose your hearing at 35, it’s isolating because NO ONE you know is going through this. You might have little kids at home. While your friends are all talking about breast-feeding and potty-training, you’re dealing with tinnitus that keeps you awake nights. HLAA doesn’t usually teach ASL and ALDA doesn’t offer ASL either, so your only option is to take it from community college with people who want to become interpreters. Often it’s not really the best match. I’ve been to several programs. The past couple classes I’ve taken have been the best because they’ve been immersion where no talking was allowed and were taught by deaf/Deaf people. But often that isn’t the case. When there’s talking I’m sunk. If the teacher is hearing, she doesn’t get it. I’m taking another class in Jan.

Hi MZ– I don’t believe in forcing oralism on a Deaf child if they can’t talk, but I do believe in forcing English reading/writing skills. I don’t know what that point is where a child can’t talk, but I do realize many can’t. It probably depends on the person. Obviously if the child is crying every day, has low self-esteem, isn’t thriving, doesn’t seem to be making progress– then the parents and school should re-evaluate whether that child is in the right placement.

Easier to “discuss” academically about deafhood than to practice active outreach to other deaf. Suppose some Deaf think targeting the young is the easier job of the two, as oral deaf have too much “history” and all that technology jazz? Again, it comes down to what some Deaf perceive as threats to their language, so they create these qualifiers, and then another and another. The qualifier list never ends, that’s the problem.



Mishka ..

Your article mentioned your friend believed oralism was child abuse. Your entire article is based on that statement at the very top of your article.

My article says, “some Deaf people,” but there’s no mention of you by name. If my article was about YOU, then that would be different.

*shrugs innocently and kicks a small pebble*



Strangely enough, I have yet to see anyone equate poor testing scores in Deaf residential schools to child abuse.

Has anyone?

Just wondering.




I can just imagine how a parent of a deaf child would react to the term “child abuse”. Mention that failed oralism is “child abuse” or abuse of any kind, and that parent is gonna show you the door and tell you to go MYOB. That’s mildly putting it.

It’s another negative term that carries negative baggage. Think this will get ASL proponents on the parents’ good side? Think this will make ASL proponents look good at all? Hardly. Geez, shake up the parents, stir up a hornets’ nest, and set back ASL for toddlers another 20 years, yeah.


That wasn’t difficult to figure as you linked my post to yours Nowhere did I say you are talking about me ;)

Actually, when a friend told me about oralism being a form of child abuse many years ago, I was taken back and vehemently disagreed with her. As an oral person, I didn’t appreciate hearing that. But over the years, I’ve pondered over that concept and gradually I have come to see her POV.

Unfortunately this is true. Some parents are so emotionally invested in making their child ‘hearing’ as much as possible because they couldn’t accept the fact their child is deaf. In the process, they ignore the signs of the child not thriving in an oral environment, i.e. missing out linguistic input and missed socialization with their peers. I’ve seen too many emotionally damaged oral deaf people. Keep in mind I am referring to those where oralism wasn’t appropriate for their communicative needs.

The parents need to remain vigilant ensuring that the communication meets the hoh/deaf child’s needs. Some don’t. That is the fact of life, whether we want to acknowledge or not.



I hear ya. I know what you’re talking about. Parents’ vigilance and participation are key to a deaf child’s comunication needs. And yes, there are parents (hearing ones particularly) who invest too much emotionally and don’t accept the fact that they will always have a deaf child, whether oral or not, and they miss a lot of signs of trouble.

But to call failed oralism “child abuse” is only going to exacerbate the problem. The parents are still the decision-makers until the deaf child is of legal age and they will need careful handling. Think “child abuse” is going to go over well with the parents?

This friend of yours called failed oralism “child abuse” after the fact, when she is an adult now. It’s a difficult threshold when a deaf adult understands what happened to her as a child. And please don’t call such deaf people “emotionally damaged”– they were trying to do the best they could under very trying circumstances, the parents’ selfish desires notwithstanding.


Mishka -

The funny thing about you posting that paragraph is that it contained YOUR opinion. Why else post it?

“Selective reading?”


No wonder you equate oralism to child abuse.




I am what you’d call an ASL deaf person and I have at least 100+ friends who were educated orally. I have no problem with them. I have met several oral deaf people who didn’t know how to sign. It wasn’t that I “shunned” them…it was that I found them difficult to communicate with. Not that I DIDN’T make the effort to do so, I did..but it was tough. Heck, I treat hearing ASL students the same way…if they know some signs I am willing to make the effort..but if they don’t..well what am I supposed to do? Folks who ONLY speak English do not speak to folks who ONLY speak Chinese. It has nothing to do with being an a-hole.

Not every deaf person wants to be a sign language instructor during social events and I am the same way sometimes although i admit that I am far more willing than others generally. However, I have never rejected anyone because they were oral. I recongize that they were probably oral due to their parents making that decision for them.

I do not see many deaf people hating on oral deaf people. Just a select few. I am amused at how you used those select few to paint us all with one broad stroke and claim that it is us that need to be saved from ourselves. Amusing indeed…

Anyway, for your next entry…can you discuss about why you think deaf education is a farce? That should be good reading :-)

J.J. Puorro

Hopefully my post along with many comments from those who went through the experiences alerts the parents to this possibility and avert potential damage. Not everybody benefits from the oralism. Too many parents have told their children many years later.. only if I knew…

Paotie, from reading your previous posts, I actually expected you to say something like this and you didn’t disappoint me ;)

Apparently you don’t know me well. I’ll leave it at this point.

Ann C, some of the adults told me they felt emotionally damaged. Who am I to dismiss their feelings?

I’m sensing that you don’t appreciate my post and are trying to find faults. You don’t have to like it. Many people, both deaf, hoh, and hearing, told me how much they appreciated someone speaking out openly on a sensitive topic.

Happy Holidays


Anne–I agree with both you and MZ. I know a few oral deaf who claim to have had painful childhoods—but then all of them came from dysfunctional families as well— alcoholic parents, divorce, physical beatings, emotional abuse, older brother who raped them, poverty, blah, blah, blah– throw in the forced oralism and you have to wonder was it really the oral training that was the problem or the dysfunctional family?? Again I feel if the family is in tune with the child, the oral training shouldn’t be a huge issue. It shouldn’t be any worse than going to piano lessons or swimming lessons or being pulled out of class for extra reading help. It’s when the expectations are too high, and when parents punish a child for not meeting expectations that can’t be met that it might “fringe” on abuse.

But I’ve actually seen parents do the same thing to their Little Leaguers. It’s disgusting. Most of us probably know parents like that– whose self-esteem is tied up with how well their kid performs on the baseball field or on their SATs. I suppose some parents feel it reflects on them if their Deaf child doesn’t learn to talk. Maybe they feel like they’ve failed somehow. I would guess that’s the rare parent, but I could be wrong. Most parents can’t stand making their kids miserable, so they usually don’t push something that isn’t working for long.


JJ -

I have 1,000 oral deaf friends and 999 of them were shunned by Deaf people. All of ‘em were treated rudely by assholes who equated them as Chinese or British or foreigners.

Good, I’m glad you’re not an asshole. The fact you continue to comment on my articles and are amused means that I’ve touched a nerve in your skull.




Ahhh… the worst and best job for anyone is being a parent, huh? ;o) We are quick to criticize other parents… I am not alone, I also criticize other parents’ style of parenting as well, so I am also guilty.

Anyway, update on my son… after meetings at my son’s school and at ISD, Brian and I agreed that it would be best to leave our son in the mainstream setting for now and that we’d consider part-time mainstreaming for the school year (2008-2009), since it is easier to go mainstreaming in the middle and high school years than in the elementary school years. That way he’d have the best of two worlds… he does not want to give up choir singing and he could continue taking academic classes with hearing people and take the “special” class such as gym, art, Deaf Studies/ASL, etc. at ISD.

I spoke briefly with ISD’s superintendent and the middle school’s supervising teacher and they mentioned that about 52% of ISD students had additional special needs and that there were a few students with low IQ who still HAD to take ISTEP+ tests which really hurt ISD and that he felt it was not fair that the media would paint the picture of ISD and other schools for the matter as failing the tests. In fact, IPS (Indianapolis Public Schools) show middle schoolers (hearing) failing the test at 63%, despite that the test scores improved by 21% from 2006. So there are many data to interpret and I guess we all have to take extra caution when intepreting the data.

Yeah, I remember Mishka’s blog about oralism as child abuse. It was and is still a controversial subject and we all have our own opinions, colored by our experiences and beliefs.

Karen Mayes

Yea, you ever hear the expression, ” One bad apple ruins the basket of apples”? All it takes is one bad comment to start a war… That goes for using comments like “Oralism is considered Child Abuse”, it paints a really bad picture. Like all motorcyclist are bad when one person doesn’t wear a helmet… Even the media painted a bad picture with the iSTEP+ scores – now ISD is bad to the core, when actually it is not. People like MZ and even I need to choose their words better.

Now, let’s look at another angle here, is ASL considered child abuse for others? Sure it is!! You started it, MZ. I know some Deaf parents who are enforcing oral deaf kids who would like to talk to not to… So, it goes both ways and like everyone is saying it is all up to the parents. Personally, I believe that any one who tries to control others actions are bullies and abusers. Just let them go and find their niche is what I ( as well many others ) say. To put a policy on something like restrictions on communication modes is just plain wrong. But we do need to see the bigger picture here – we are living in a hearing environment and we need to make the best of it.

But the way I see it is that those “selective few” are gaining in power and shooting down the masses. And hurting a lot of innocent people in the process.

Many Deaf posts are one-sided and that’s where I have problem with them and they are appropriately named, “One-eyed people”. I think we like the two-eyed ones better, but we won’t stop listening to you anyway.

Brian L. Mayes

If I sounded out of hand, I’m sorry… I’m human and I can talk without thinking or is that the animal in me?? Hopefully, I’m considered a nice person?? ;-) I’m sure, my wife has an answer to that.

All I want is peace and I’ll have it if I can.

Brian L. Mayes

Brian ..

I don’t think you were out of hand at all. You stated your opinion – nothing wrong with that. We do live in America, you know?

We have the right to think independently for ourselves – something many people don’t understand, regardless of whether they are Deaf/deaf/HOH or even hearing.

Mishka was trying to think outside the box with her article and I don’t fault her for doing so.

Fortunately for Mishka, her theory is nothing more than that – a theory.




Your heart is in the right place. Many oral deaf who are learning ASL want to communicate with those who use ASL, so that they can improve that communication. Yes, it must be annoying to feel like you’re a sign language instructor at times, but you don’t ever really know how you may change a person’s life and attitude about being deaf. That giving of yourself is something a few Deaf would not deign to do, because some of them do not feel oral deaf will bother to learn ASL fluently or respect their social situation. I always ask a Deaf person if it’s ok to sign but that if they’re with friends and want to have a social time with them that I’d understand.

MZ, I never said I disliked your post. I understand what your friend meant by the abuse of failed oralism– I have some oral deaf friends who went thru similar experiences growing up oral and also experienced rejection by some Deaf people because of poor ASL, especially when first learning it. And add family factors, as Kim just pointed out. A really horrible conundrum. I can understand why your friend felt she was “emotionally damaged”–it’s a terrible label to put on oneself. *sigh*

But those who are trying to educate parents of deaf children about the benefits of ASL should try avoiding strong terms like “child abuse”. Parents are more than likely to get very incensed at those words. That’s why I say stay away from terminology that has negative baggage when it comes to the parents’ decision.


The problem with email is it’s not like a slip of the tongue because it’s permanently recorded. A flippant remark that you regret comes back to haunt your ***for-ever*** We should practice a little tolerance in here for that reason instead of backing someone in the corner for making an inappropriate word choice. MZ has a point. Oralism CAN border on child abuse if accompanied by punishment—and I’m sure it has. All you have to do is look at the art and read their stories.

But Karen is right too. Pushing ASL on deaf children who prefer to be oral is NOT the answer. We must allow each child’s own deaf identity to emerge through his or her own preferred mode of communication.



It takes people like you and Karen and the rest of us here to counter that kind of bullying, else the zealots of both ASL and oralism will take over and try to run “policy” over parental and young deaf children’s objections. It’s not easy– as you and Karen have found out.

One often has to tread carefully in the blogosphere here. Not many commenters or bloggers have thick skins and some of them take things far too seriously, even unverified rumors. I try to remember that many Deaf come from a defensive stance to protect their language at all costs. Unfortunately some Deaf see red at a certain word or phrase and forget to read the rest of the article/comment before criticizing or worse, flaming someone on a blog. I’m a newbie here myself and I’ve read some stuff that either makes me guffaw or pop my eyes out. It’s been an educational and entertaining ride.


Cool! Thanks all! Yea, I’m definitely new at the blogging part at least… My wife has been the “Steady Eddie” with blogging and she tells me what is going on when I ask. Some of the stuff that I was hearing just made me so mad that I want revenge – especially the back stabbing stuff! Just ticked me off. Well, I guess I had enough and wanted to join the bandwagon! But mostly got on cuz you all have some things that crack me up and most importantly it is educational! I just have to remember that you all have a right to an opinion and so do I and I will continue to express them… It might hurt or it might be helpful. But mostly, I wouldn’t want anyone to go through the experiences my wife and I had to endure cuz it is for the birds!

So, let’s keep on partying cuz you all are a great group and most definitely entertaining!!

Brian L. Mayes

lol your article is funny Paotie, your sense of humor just cracks me up. I do see some of what you’re implying. Yet, it’s not the norm. I just had a talk with my sister tonight on VP. she works in a public school with deaf program for elementary kids in a big city. She just about had it with a deaf mom who is all over the whole school about issues you’d find in deafread such as deafhood, ASL, what have you. My sister is deaf. She thinks this mom has gone too far and pretty much sound like the deaf people you mention. What is happening right now is the staff members in that school are leery of deaf people now because of the extreme outlook this mom had imposed on the school. It does seem like some of the extreme deafs are rubbing it in too hard. I know my mom never did that and we lived our life like any other people, deaf or hearing. I do wonder if it’s a generational thing and each generation of deaf people either go to the extreme or not. What you’re implying is in fact the opposite of what really goes on. Perhaps it happens in certain region of the country more so than others. The majority that do not follow these deaf or are not part of that gang, do not read deaf blogs!!! There is a certain generation of deaf and certain attitude of deaf that monopolizes these blogs in Deafread. If you know most of the people personally or by word of mouth, you’d see it the way I do. There is definitely too many followers in Deafread arena, not enough people with mind of their own. Remember, the deafread readers are just a very very very small percent of the majority that is out there.

Let’s not forget many former students from a major oral institute in St. Louis MO who are dealing with many mental health issues due to either actual physical abuse for using signs or other issues related to oralism. Sure, their parents put them there, blame the parents. If someone can advocate and educate parents in making informed choice (being presented with ALL options, not one sided which is actually going on right now), it sure can go a long way in ensuring a better mental health for all deaf/hoh kids. I know many of them and there are more suicidal attempts and successful suicides among oral kids from St Joseph than deaf kids from deaf schools. I don’t know if there are any statistics out there but this is what I personally know. It’s sad, to say the least. This article reflects your view based on your personal experience and what you see in the blogs, I assume. So, If I try to see it the way you did, I can see where you’re coming from, but it’s not the whole truth, tho.


C -

You said:

“So, If I try to see it the way you did, I can see where you’re coming from, but it’s not the whole truth, tho.”

With all due respect, you’re doing the same thing many bloggers/vloggers are doing on DeafRead – maintaining YOUR perspective/opinion is superior to mine. Now, you’re implying my article contains lies in it, and you assume this because of YOUR experiences.

In fact, reread your comment and you will notice that you are projecting your feelings onto my article. You include words like, “assume” and “not the whole truth,” because you might disagree with me – even though you said, “I can see where you’re coming from.”

Of course, I can see where you’re coming from, too. People who maintain that their opinion is superior to others’ makes them an audist and a small-minded person.




“She thinks this mom has gone too far and pretty much sound like the deaf people you mention. What is happening right now is the staff members in that school are leery of deaf people now because of the extreme outlook this mom had imposed on the school.”

This is the most dangerous part of it all!! Dammit!! It is these selective few that is ruining everything for the whole deaf community… These people need to be educated and taught how to say things in a more civilized matter – why is that so hard?

I can understand protecting and having the best for my kids, but we need to think about other kids too.


Brian L. Mayes

Brian ..

You made a very good point.

It’s interesting, too: if a person criticizes Deaf culture, the first thing many Deaf people and their hearing groupies demand are references. Then, they insist on demanding that the person “prove” that they are Deaf.

Of course, we all know it happened to me.

But, if a Deaf person complains about hearing people, or other deaf/Deaf people, very few people view it with healthy skepticism. Instead, a chorus of collectives “Oh yah! Let’s get them!” ensues.

Goes to show, many people don’t know how to separate fact from fiction, in part because their emotions tend to overpower common sense and simple logic.

That’s the most dangerous thing in Deaf culture, in my opinion.



Well, Paotie, you interpret my statement about my perspective to mean that MY perspective/opinion is superior than yours. That never occurred to me and I didn’t think that way. I do believe that every one of our experiences in life and interaction with other deaf people affects how we view them in general. I value other people’s opinon because it shows me what they have experience and how they have reached that perspective. This shows two or more sides and that does not mean what you’re saying are LIES, rather it tells us that it is true, but, to what extend? My perspective, based on my experience tells me that what you experience does not necessarily mean that majority of deaf are like that. (is that superior? if so, how?) I assume and can see where you are coming from because I’ve seen it too! but, it happens less than often from my perspective. However, if I were to ask this one dear friend of mine, he’d say, no, it happens more often than you think!!! so, that was his perspective based on his experience which is obviously different than mine, so who’s telling the truth? both of us. But, to what extend and how often does it happen?

lol but for you imply that I’m an audist and small-minded is far from the truth. So, what you’re saying is if my opinon disagrees with yours, ergo, I’m superior? And if I try to step back and step in your shoes and see where you’re coming from, then I’m an audist and small-minded? I don’t disagree with everything you said, it had some truth in it but…. Are you sure you’re not small minded for considering me small minded? lol You do remind me of this dear friend of mine a lot. So, I do understand where you’re coming from and that is not a superior statement, nor am I audist or small minded. lol

Have a great weeend paotie~


C -

Your first comment mentioned nothing about disagreeing with me. Your entire first comment was based on your perspectives and your ASSUMPTIONS about me, my slant on the article, and my views of Deaf/deaf and DeafRead.

You said it – not I.

And since you suggested that my “interpretation” was incorrect because you didn’t state that you disagreed with me, reflect on the last paragraph of my first response to you. It does not say YOU were a small-minded person.

Who are you trying to convince that you’re not a small-minded person, anyway – me or yourself?

*shrugs innocently and kicks a small pebble*



Boy, childhood memories are more vivid at times than what one did yesterday. I do remember at the clinic where I learned speech and lipreading skills that the instructor often made anyone who used the pidgin sign (keep in mind these are toddlers to 4 and 5 years olds) to sit on their hands. If the kid persisted, the instructor would whack the kid’s palms with a wooden ruler. For some, they developed the habit of sitting on their hands while in class. Even waving “hi” to a classmate got me a stern look from the teach. The instructors were pretty paranoid about anything that smacked of sign. It made me sad to watch it. I’m sure many parents never knew about the practice of punishing any semblance of sign.

Anyway, with the Deaf mom raising Cain at her deaf kid’s school…it may very well be she is the product of Deaf awareness that came about in the ’80′s, with the Gallaudet protests for a deaf president, and the literature coming out about defining ASL as an actual language, for examples. Some goals were finally achieved, but there was also a good deal of militant hysteria that came with the awareness.

I believe Paotie and others here are trying to ask those still pushing “Deaf Power!” in this day and age, “Are you still back in the ’80′s and does it make a lot of sense to alienate the general public, with the end result that the public’s perception of deafness is leeriness??”

Do any of us D/deaf really want that?


This deaf mom changed her stance after bearing a deaf son. She was a graduate of NTID and now is gaga about GU.

what’s the difference between the 80′s and now in deaf culture? Deaf power in the 80s? I must have been in la la land cuz I don’t remember that climate.


I just clicked on DeafRead’s latest addition (Hatred against ASL) out of curiousity and I groaned… I thought that the blonde girl with CI being able to speak is wonderful, it shows a lot of investment from parents and teachers. Nothing wrong, just different approach based on parents’ decision.

Come on. It is getting tiresome… all the childish whiners.

Karen Mayes

And here comes the call for banning “deficit thinkers” in DeafRead.


Did I cause that avalanche?

About time…that cornice was hanging a might bit dangerously.

OK–We need to remember the parents of today were the children of yesterday. Spanking with paddles and sticks in school was common when I was growing up. I don’t know how old you are Ann_C.

The tide turned with my generation, though I had a few friends who swatted their kids occasionally, none of them used belts or paddles or other implements, which was the norm when I was a kid. I didn’t spank, though I was tough about taking away privileges.

My point– people punished harder when we were kids. Several of my friends feel they were abused as kids, not just my oral deaf friends, but hearing friends as well. Many people recall a time someone– an adult– really laid into them unfairly. I personally witnessed some sickening child abuse incidents when I was a kid. There was no way to report child abuse in the early 60s. Everyone ignored it because it was considered private business. They also ignored what teachers did because it was considered school business. Paddles in school were the norm. Parents didn’t butt in. Parents trusted the school to educate. Doctors could spank too. Any adult could hit any kid.

I expect this kind of punishment could have been terribly confusing for a Deaf child who didn’t understand. Some of these Deaf people are angry parents today and they are asserting themselves, and maybe taking their anger out on school authorities and anyone else.

Honestly, do any of you think other Baby Boomers haven’t been demanding parents?? What a laugh. Some hearing parents of my generation have been the worst manipulators ever. If a kid gets in trouble, they’re all over the school with lawsuits. Not me, personally, but I know several parents like this to the point classrooms are out of control since schools are now almost afraid to discipline kids. I really think my generation went too far the other way NOT disciplining and spending too much time building up their precious little self-esteems. Our kids are spoiled rotten because they’ve gotten away with murder. Not mine though. I have nice kids. :-)

While I understand that many Deaf don’t want to spend their social time tutoring a deaf person in ASL, socializing with DEAF people is really the only way a deaf person can learn ASL.

A few weeks ago in another blog I suggested that the Deaf need to do some outreach to the deaf, so that those who want to become more proficient at ASL could without bothering Deaf people during their social times. The reaction I got from one Deaf blogger was pretty negative. She felt I hadn’t recognized ALL the wonderful outreach the Deaf already do, then she mentioned HLAA and ALDA– which she has mentioned several times before. Her message is clear. ** Stick to your own kind.** That’s what I’m hearing. I believe you read that blog too, so I might be reading more into it. Maybe you know her better, but it’s the second time I’ve been told to go to ALDA meetings. She doesn’t realize they meet on days I work, no one there uses ASL, and it’s an hour drive each way.

Again– the late-Deaf and oral-Deaf who want to learn ASL could benefit from some outreach. We know you Deaf don’t want to spend your coveted social hour tutoring us in ASL. I would PAY someone to tutor me privately or meet for coffee with me. I don’t want to practice ASL with other interpreting students who can hear. I am deaf. The interpreting students talk when they’re supposed to be practicing.

Paotie– In your next blog will you please NOT use Playboy bunny pics? As my station is in the middle of the floor when I’m on the desk, it’s embarrassing when patrons walk behind, and see me reading an article with a sexy woman in a bikini. Also some of your blogs have been censored because of the language.

More Playboy!!


Hmm…well, maybe Kim does have a point. Just find ladies dressed in one those Victoria-era frilly swimsuit.

And lets’ be clear about that. NOT Victorias Secret swim wear. McConnell meant something that covers the body from neck to knees that you can’t see through. Thanks, :-)

Correction: Victorian-era.

Wait–Just reading over your new blog. . . I thought the info John dug up on you was false, NOW you’re saying it was private. Which was it? False or private? What’s with all the mystery anyway? There’s nothing wrong with being a whatever you call it– MMA guy– is that what you call it? One of my son’s friends is a wrestler. Don’t ask me anything about it because I don’t know any details.

Kim ..

It was false, especially regarding the YouTube link. As for the private information, it wasn’t exactly private, but the INTENT behind publishing that information is the issue with John. It is called, “cyberharassment.”

It wasn’t me in that YouTube video.




And guess who has egg on his/her face now? Wrong person, Lol.
I better get back to my Intelligence work. Shhh…don’t let anybody know. Or I might have to…



Good one!




I have googled my name before. There are tons of me out there –both genders– because Kim is a unisex name, and also a common name. It’s kinda fun to see who else has my name and what they do.

John simply blogged without thinking it through. He’s taking a lot of crap for it now. Maybe he had a bad day. I’m starting to feel sorry for him.

Mike McConnell also runs a radio show. Honest injun!

Well, Kim. When you go to an AA meeting the first hurdle is to get past your denial and acknowledge that you have a problem and admit your mistake.

Hey, since the comments are “closed” on the recent two blogs, I am writing this comment related to them…

Okay, I am not gonna talk about deficit thinking since it has been analyzed again and again. I want to talk about Deafhood…

I brought up the suggestion that Deafhood crew included other deaf people whose communication method differed from ASL and Mike did remark on it, saying that he inquired about it in one of his blogs (cued speech.) I noticed that no one answered nor volunteered any information in regards to this…

That makes me realize that NO ONE really understand what Deafhood should be about. Of course it is all about the “process” of being Deaf, etc. But it should not be based on AGBell, Milan Conference, ASL implied as the future “universal” language, etc… it should be more than that.

I brought up the fact that there were holes in the way the Deafhood workshop was presented, especially in the history part. I mean, more than a century ago, less than 1/4 of hearing people graduated from college and in regards to “successful Deaf people”, it must have been the reason that some came from families which had money and clout and that the deaf people were late-deafened. We have no clues at how deaf people lived in the colonial times, especially on the frontier… my husband’s family stated that their great great grandfather was “deaf” and they did not know anymore about it, and that he was from Syria. I don’t know anything about the history of deaf people from middle east and nor from Russia, etc., especially during the 16th/17th/18th or earlier centuries. If someone says oh yes there is some historical facts, well, I believe it is because they had families with money and power or they became deaf at a later age… either way.

So the point is… I think Deafhood needs to re-address the issues and start acknowledging that there is not sufficient facts, etc. Of course, the Deafhood crew would point out to this and state it is an example of deficit thinking due to the colonization.

Karen Mayes

Karen ..

I like the concept, but not as it’s currently framed. I’ve already explained in my Deafhood: Self-Repression article.

I’m still working on the comments.

*shoots a spitball at WordPress*



Oh, WordPress still not cooperating with you, huh?
:o )

Karen Mayes


I’ve been trying to find a different way to put the comments into a more user-friendly format, rather than having to scroll down a million comment balloons to get to a comment. I think I screwed something up somewhere.


Sometimes, I love WordPress. Sometimes, it irritates me to no end.

Still trying, though.


Okay, I re-read your Repression blog and I remembered it…

Which brings me to this question… I wonder if Ella, GG, and DE ever noticed that some things were missing, such as historical facts of the majority of average deaf people’s lives prior to Milan Conference? Or they just ignored this missing part and just focused on the key words such as AGBell, ASL, etc.? Self-victimization/self-repression… hmmm… is to ignore the facts, yup.

I noticed that Ella did recite a lot from Paddy’s book, but none from herself… well it is good that she finds peace in Paddy’s philosophy though, just like other people finding peace in Christianity, Zen Buddhism, etc. But it would be nice if the Deafhood crew stood up and acknowledged that the book was not the answer to Deafhood and that we all had our own journeys, but it should not meet Paddy’s requirements.


Karen Mayes

I read Karen’s, Mike’s and Kim’s comments regarding inclusion of other deaf in the Deafhood concept also and noted that few commenters responded to their suggestions.

Deafhood is a philosophy and the Deaf cult thinks it’s got that cornered and nobody else had better touch it, by gum. Now that’s what I call deficit thinking.


Ann_C, you are right, some deaf people stand by the Paddylized definition of Deafhood, all right. But I wonder if they also noticed that there are several questions but are they too scared to admit that? It is always good to notice there are holes in the philosophies.

I am not obsessing on deficit thinking… I am just questioning Deafhood… why can’t we just acknowledge that Milan Conference is over and that we need to move on, not telling succeeding generation to carry the baggage of oralism and colonization. But I honestly do not see how Deafhood could be the answer to our “problems” whatever they are… I cannot see how someone would come to a relatively content deaf person and tell me that he/she has a problem and that it is not his/her fault, it is AGBell’s fault??? That would confuse him/her.

So that is how Al Qaida pitch the line to disgruntled young men, blaming Americans for their “plight”… I know I am unfairly comparing Deafhood to Al Qaida, but I am making a point that Deafhood should not be pitched to us that way, that our “plight” was AGBell’s fault.

Karen Mayes

Ouch. My latest comment really sounds like it is coming from deficit thinking, huh? ;o)

Karen Mayes

Karen ..

You’re not all that far from me with regard to Deafhood.

Deafhood is based on oppression.

Therefore, it is about self realization of being a victim.

So, you’re right .. a deficit thinker in an educational platform would tell a D/deaf child, “You’re not doing well in school because you’re not part of Deafhood. Get with the program!”




I refuse to think of myself as a “victim.” That means you have to point fingers and lay blame about something that you have no control over. I went over this in my 3 separate “Deafhoodism” series last year questioning the very same things you guys are.


Read all 3 parts, especially part II.

Ah! Well Ann, just because people don’t comment doesn’t mean they aren’t paying attention. :-) Right now, I get a sense many Deaf feel empowerment from these Deafhood workshops.

Karen– Your analogy isn’t far off the mark. Deafhood does almost sound like a religion the way one must believe a certain way and speak a certain way of Deaf culture. I do feel a little bit like an infidel visiting Saudi Arabia in Deaf Read, since I’m late-deafened with oral capabilities. One must avoid a number of sins to be accepted by the community. I’ve done the wrong thing a few times.

“..avoid a number of sins to be accepted by the community”?

I don’t worry about those things. Look at DP. She stated some words in her blog and now this so-called “community” wants to crucify her. How dare she! How dare she say those horrible, horrible things?

I think the term “community” is a bit over-used here in what you’re trying to say. I understand where you’re going with this but this “community” thing is not just this one whole, nice clean community one where it’s “Kumbaya” all the time, and everybody’s welcomed. It’s more like a club than just a community in many cases. The thing is this. We’re already in the same boat. All of us. We all want communication access. We’re already a community in that regard.

I’m not DP, but I do admire her. :-) Club, community, family, office.. . Every group of people has unwritten rules. We’re in the process of clarifying some rules right now in DeafRead. John’s blog was the instigator. Taylor or was it JJ? got to define the term agregator. DeafRead = newstand, not newspaper. Paotie got to thumb his nose at DeafRead. John got his ass kicked by everyone. Everybody has been blogging like crazy and their readership has gone up. None of us has had to think about the stress of Christmas– or maybe we’ve all been stressed out with the dark weather, and this is why we’re at each others throats. It’s better to get mad at people on-line than with our families. :-) The holidays can be so stressful for Deaf/deaf people. I’m sure glad you’ve all been here for me. I’m going to have an eggnog with rum now. Cheers!