Friday, October 06, 2006

357: audism mandates; what message to tell the world

AUDISM MANDATES: One criticism of Jane Fernandes is that she has no plan for compliance with the audism mandates. I challenged myself to come up with a conceptual structure for campus and community to deal with these mandates. It was clear to me that whereas the concept of audism is a new concept still under development and that change had to happen without and within, I came up with these two concepts made to deal with issues that arise based on the SBG Audism Mandates:
  1. A team comprised of teachers, students, faculty, administration to be selected randomly from the population on an annual basis to meet regularly to discuss issues which arise in the community when audism is invoked and publish their conclusions for discussion in the community. At least five published discussions a year, with a great wall in the HMB dedicated to student comments on the report.

  2. Two annual projects in the local community to be taken on by teams of students to educate or deal with an issue related to access or audism.

  3. Leading to:
  4. An administrative review board to be reconvened in one year to analyze the seven results of this initiative and provide suggestions to refine experimentation or implement any findings.

What do you think? Imagine this. An issue arises in the community where a Deaf person is discriminated against in a local store. As a result a group of Gallaudet students get together to find ways to make the local community more hospitable. A project results where Deaf teenagers agree to volunteer at local daycare centers, exposing families to Deaf people, doing a good deed, and having fun with kids at the same time. (I'm informed zLotte's sisters often do this, it sounds like a great sorority.) A good idea?

What message do we give to the world? We need to do this kind of knowledge collecting so we gain power through language. We need to be able to frame situations like this one. It has been framed against us. The Deaf community has been portrayed as a bunch of squabbling kids. Our very real feelings of wrongness, our very real recognition of benchmarks for concern, are being downplayed. Students, commit to the faculty and staff. Faculty, support the students. Remember you are all family.

Pepper Spray at Gallaudet: Does anyone else think it's cruel and unusual punishment to use a weapon which attacks the eyes, on Deaf people?

Just asking. And do you think Fernandes has done a good job of dealing with any of the Audism Mandates? Maybe the violation of these principles would be important?


Joseph Rainmound said...

Hasn't Fernandes already broken any commitment to the Audism Mandates by refusing to let interpreters terp for protestors?

Anonymous said...

I've dealt with pepper spray, in fact I got a license to use it when it first came out in this state (now you don't need to get one).

The police regard it as a safer alternative to bullets, which it is. (Therefore you are not going to make a credible legal argument that it's "cruel and unusual" in that sense.) However, the video tape of the incident at G. shows there was certainly no reason for pepper (or bullets!) to be used.

Pepper spray burns anyone like the dickens. I don't think it's especially different for a hearing, deaf, or Deaf person to get sprayed.

Anonymous said...

Of course I figured out what bothers me about implying that pepper spray is worse on a Deaf person than a hearing person *after* hitting the send button.

Saying that is pretty much implying the converse: Blind people should not care if they are sprayed with pepper since they don't use their eyes anyway.

The use of pepper was completely and thoroughly inappropriate under the circumstances entirely independent of these peoples' current sensory status.

Joseph Rainmound said...

OK, let's try a little thought experiment.

Suppose you're a Deaf person. You rely on your eyes not only for orientation but communication. Here comes the police! Shouting orders! You're trying to lipread them! You put your head in the line of sight of their eyes! They shoot you with pepper spray!

I mean, jeez, it's not that hard to figure out why it's "worse" for Deaf people. It's like binding and gagging someone. Worse is if the police aren't sensitized - they'll continue to give orders, then punish or abuse Deaf people for not following those orders, when in fact thanks to the pepper spray they can't even perceive those orders. They could be arrested for resisting arrest! Just because they don't have the ability to know what's going on around them because their eyes are burnt with pepper spray.

Anonymous, I expected better of you.

Joseph Rainmound said...

And no: Deaf and Blind are not OPPOSITES, for god's sake. Deaf people are Deaf people. Blind people are Blind people. I speak from experience in New York City working with Deaf people often arrested by the police. I have no knowledge of Blind people. Deaf people use their eyes to communicate. Therefore, anything that puts their eyes at risk....

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I've seen a hearing person sprayed in the face with pepper. More than one person, actually.

You know what? None of them were much up for communication after that, either. It's pretty incapacitating. I think this one's a false argument.

I have *far* more trouble with putting handcuffs on someone who can only communicate by signing. For that matter, blindfolding someone who can only lipread -- I worry about policemen with huge flashlights stopping me at night.

--Deaf Gadfly

Anonymous said...

who cares if deaf people got maced. Once you are out of control it s only way to shut you up. I support it. The city has to put up sending the police over and costing the city tax money. What a screw up the protestors have caused D.C. & Gallaudet. DC police have better things to take care than dealing with retards that go limp and drag their butts like they re mental patients escaped from some local mental hospitial.