Thursday, October 26, 2006

375: When Bulldozers Attack: Mailbag Suggestions

Protestors Read This! I have been insanely busy. Right now fighting for accessibility on both sides in New York... it's not easy. So I'm doing 12 hour workdays, if not more. However, MANY people are e-mailing me and commenting on my diaries on Daily Kos showing support and suggestions. One reader e-mailed me today:
Is it possible to ask the protest lawyers to obtain emergency injuctions against the university to prevent any representative of the university from approaching protesters without either
  1. qualifications in ASL or
  2. an interpreter present with them?

This is a health and safely emergency, students have been injured, and there is a strong history of students being killed and injured by DPS/DPP in situations involving a lack of access to communication in ASL to transmit warnings / engage in discussions / negotiations.

Your lawyer can argue that this injunction is to enforce what Gallaudet Admin should already be doing as a matter of course, to make Gally enforce their own communications guidelines,and that there are serious concerns over future interaction between DPS / DPP without ASL skills and the students.

At the least, you could seek injunctions against the named individuals above.

Also - on dealing with IKJ's PR firm = From the Washington Post, an extract:
But while Gallaudet officials may not have been able to gettheir message across to the students that she's the best candidate for the job, they have made sure that at least one constituency is getting their side of the story: Congress.

Gallaudet retained Dickstein Shapiro, a Washington-based law and lobbying firm, to "educate" lawmakers about the situation on campus and lobby on appropriations issues.

A peaceful group with nothing better to do might like to get together and go down to their offices and do a peaceful sit-in protest. Take turns holding signs outside their offices every day. We've learned that outside companies hate it when the people they're slagging off suddenly turn up at their offices.

If Shapiro resign their brief, it will get around Washington fast, and isolate JKF and IKJ even more.

What do you think, Readers? I myself am SHOCKED. Don't kick the population you're supposed to serve in the ass then go to Congress and say "Look at the bad deaf people! We're the good deaf people, so protect us!" Since Day One I have been begging the administration to talk TO Deaf people and protestors. Instead they have manured protestors and now bulldozed them... and today they've hired lawyers to tell Congress their side of the story. What do they think is going to happen even if Congress supports them? Are 83% of teachers going to change their minds? Are the students? Are the 4,000 who walked onto the Capitol?

That being said, if protestors are serious, you need to get your shit together and start letter-writing campaigns to everyone's senators and congressmen. Gallaudet students come from all over the country: the stake of these holders is national.

Make some simple "Did you know?" flyers about the protest. Start passing these out to people on the streets.

Has anyone contacted local Unions? This is a civil rights issue. The ADA and freedom of communication is a civil right. Unions are big supporters of that. And if people give you shit, saying stuff like "Oh, stupid protesting Deaf people," remember that hearing protestors started this country. We're just following suit. I close with this comment from Nonnie9999 on DailyKos:

i read about the situation at gallaudet... (2+ / 0-)

just last week. i hadn't heard about it until i read a diary here. it just so happens that my best friend lives and works in the dc area. we email each other everyday and talk about everything. she mentioned that the students were on strike at gallaudet and she was distressed that they were doing so. she had only seen the newspaper and tv accounts. i told her about the diary i had read and about articles i read after googling. i sent her the links and told her not to believe everything she reads in the papers. she was totally unaware of the students' side of the story (as well as quite a few of the instructors and alumni). she now sees the story in a whole new light.

isn't it sickening when the truth can't be told and discussed? instead, they just pr eveything to death. all surface, no substance.
by nonnie9999 on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 08:36:10 PM PDT

See? Hearing people get it. This isn't just a "deaf people" thing. It's time for the protest to get some more allies. The ACLU?


megan_baker said...

To Whom It May Concern,

Being a mainstreamed deaf individual myself, I am baffled as to why the Deaf community is so against having a mainstreamed deaf president at Gallaudet. What the Deaf community needs to realize is that living the life of a mainstreamed deaf person can be difficult & lonely. I have been shunned by other deaf people many times when it becomes clear that my signing isn't fluent and that I can communicate well through the use of speech and lip reading. Yet, I'm never embraced by the hearing community either and have only a handful of friends to prove it. It is my hope that Jane Fernandes is given a fair chance at being Gallaudet's president. Do give her the boot for poor job performance but don't do so because she isn't Deaf (with a capital D).

Megan Baker

Adam Betts said...


It isn't about her being "not deaf enough." That was a clever PR move by IJK adm. Don't be so blind to the fact that Jane is UNABLE to lead Gallaudet as a provost.

Again this is NOT about "Deaf."

Wildstarryskies said...


"What the Deaf community needs to realize is that living the life of a mainstreamed deaf person can be difficult & lonely. I have been shunned by other deaf people many times when it becomes clear that my signing isn't fluent and that I can communicate well through the use of speech and lip reading."

Megan, I've been there. Don't let some dumb deaf people stop you. Take some ASL classes. Get out there and meet people. There are jerks everywhere, and some of them are deaf too.

I know. It's hard. I've been there. Don't give up on deaf people because of a few bad experiences.

P.S. it's NOT about JK's being "not deaf enough". Trust me on this.

Joseph Rainmound said...


I think all of us have been mainstreamed at some point... but the issues about Fernandes are much more than issues about her having been mainstreamed. Her attitude is free of discrimination: she lies equally to everyone. She is using the "not Deaf enough" thing to gain sympathy from people outside the community, that's it.