359: some important updates to put together
Today's a big day at Gallaudet. The campus lockdown, the revolt of interpreters who decided to support students' communication access, and the open support of the protest by several members of the faculty and staff at Gallaudet who call for the resignation of Fernandes. Also, GIS (Gallaudet Interpreting Services) talks about oppression at Gallaudet and the difficult ethics of being an interpreter in a political situation. Check out also this great post by Allison Kaftan. I agree wholeheartedly with this comment:
The fact that Dr. Fernandes grew up orally and learned ASL later has absolutely nothing to do with her ability to empathize and lead. In theory, she could be a deaf child of deaf adults (in fact, isn’t she?!), an extremely articulate signer (of which she IS capable of being, though she doesn’t show it), and still not be able to lead the University.
It's true. I've been saying from Day One that Jane Fernandes should get her hands dirty and sit down and talk to protestors. Instead she seems to be trying to speak FOR the Deaf Community. It's a little frustrating for me to see her skydive into failure. It would be so easy for an intelligent leader to fix this!
I have spoken to some students and faculty today. They are doing well. They seem confident this is the right action. One thing we talked about is Gallaudet's dirty secret - there is no required level of ASL fluency for faculty and staff. There is also no such thing required for DPS officers. This is part of the Audism issue that Gallaudet students keep talking about. My suggestion? Make incoming staff take the CDI test - the test to become a certified Deaf interpreter. If they can understand what students say and translate it, and vice versa, let them stay. If their receptive and signing skills are so poor they cannot pass a version of this test, it indicates serious problems.
I also think some Deaf people should become DPS officers and team with hearing officers to promote security on campus. How does security work when DPS cannot talk to the students it is required to protect? In my time at MSSD there was one signing officer, Dean, but have no idea if he is still there.