Friday, January 4, 2008

DEAF FACTCHECK - Obama and Iowa School for the Deaf

Handful of DeafRead readers somewhat got the wrong impression that Honorable Barack Obama actually visited the Iowa School for the Deaf on January 1st. The victor of the Iowa 2008 caucus just campaigned at the publicly-funded public facility as part of regular campaign stops. Very typical of primary presidential campaigns to find any suitable facility to accommodate the large numbers of supporters and undecided voters.

Nothing special about Obama had a campaign stop at the Iowa School for the Deaf (ISD)'s Harry Langdon Bouvelard Multi-Purpose Room (MPR) while the ISD students hadn't returned to the school from their Winter Break at that time. This rally was arranged and hosted by Kristine Kolky. Honorable Barack Obama never had a chance of touring the school and meeting any ISD students.

The Obama 2008 campaign rally at the ISD was supposed to be held at 6pm which delayed to 10:30pm. Questionable claims about the terps for the deaf and deaf individuals were present at the ISD rally by Dr. Jeanette Prickett, ISD Supertindent on David Evans' "Mr. Sandman's Sandbox" blog. No official information about providing the interpreters for the deaf attendees on the official Barack Obama websites or other Obama supporters' websites. Ever not on Barack Obama's websites for New Hampshire primary campaign events about providing terp services for deaf attendees at all. Yes, New Hampshire presidential campaign events were usually more "grassroots" events than formal campaign stops.

Perhaps the words of mouth got around with the Iowa Deaf Community about the presence of terps for deaf at very last-minute notices. The political campaign teams usually looked for terps willingly to volunteer or donate their time. Ever not bothered to keep their promises of paying terps for the deaf people. That's what happened with the George W. Bush's 2000 campaign people for not paying interpreters of the deaf at all. Several interpreters of the deaf still wait for the Bush people to send their paychecks as promised.

Obama's campaign stop at the Iowa School for the Deaf in Western Iowa that doesn't meant anything for Obama embraced the issues of deaf people or our cultural/linguistic concerns. Just need the facility to give the political speeches and host the rallies within the Obama 2008 campaign.

No validity or confirmation about deaf people being involved in the Iowa 2008 Caucus. The CNN live airings of Iowa 2008 caucuses didn't show any deaf individuals so far. No questions about how often our presence as deaf people tend to be invisible to the society at large.

Were there any deaf campaign volunteers within Obama's Iowa campaign team? Dunno know about all presidential contenders' New Hamsphire campaign team having any deaf volunteers.

What about any deaf individuals as paid staffers on any 2008 presidential campaign staff? Someone deaf claimed to be on Hillary Clinton's campaign staff- volunteer or paid staffer. Any truth to his claim?


  1. This year is going to be a very interesting year for picking a president. In addition to several other topics, I want to see how the next possible president plans on following through with the ADA bill and looking for ways to cater to those who are disabled. But what about us? America compared to Europe is so far behind in technology for the deaf.

  2. Will respond to your comment tommorow Sunday afternoon. I gotta go now. Okay?


  3. Abbie suggested on Jan.5th that Europe is much ahead of US when it comes to technology for the deaf. Please explain in more detail, so that service can be advanced.