Friday, April 10, 2009

Wonder Whether Hearing Pass-Bystanders and Drivers Understand "Audism"

After viewing two "Audism Free America" rally videos provided by the AFA website. The hard questions about whether hearing pass-bystanders and drivers really understood the word - "Audism" without getting any fact sheets from demonstrators explaining more what it really meant.

Ironically, the month of April is to be the Month of Autism Awareness. That could be to our own advantages, too.

The Audism Free America and other deaf organizations needs to recruit the "test audience" like plucking hearing people from the street and ask them question(s) about any wordings on the rally poster and get the feedback how to improve and maximize the real impact on hearing pass-bystanders and drivers. So we could effectively educate the hearing society at large about what and why "audism" is a big concern, etc.

The Anti-Globalization demonstrators at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank and other kind of demonstrators effectively put the street theatres and life-large puppets on the street and caught the media's attention to the issue of the dangers of globalization.

We probably ought to put some words below AUDISM in very simple wordings without overwhelming the hearing pass-bystanders and drivers. We have to remmy that those hearing people just had less than a minute of glancing at the AFA rally posters.

For years, the Japanese automakers successfully marketed their small cars to individuals all over the world. Why??? The Japanese automakers always LISTENED and sat with various auto drivers in the rear seat and questions the drivers what the Japanese automakers could improve and satisfy the would-be customers and future drivers.

The American automakers were pretty arrogant and impulsive by making misassumptions about what the American customers wanted. Look at the high stockpiles of unsold American cars like the gas-guzzling Humvee and other kinds of cars across America! The American automakers hardly bother to sit down and listen to what the customer would benefit from real improvements.

Being a culturally deaf myself, I completely understand the word of "AUDISM". We have to be in the shoes of clueless hearing people about the meaning of "AUDISM" and make them care about our issue.

We also have to educate the media people, too and make them being the agent of change, too.

Many companies and entertainment industry especially film studios often recruit the test audience for marketing purpose and feedback. The film studios often change the endings of given film if the test audience strongly feel that the ending was too depressing or confused. In the end, the film studios successfully had the box office hits as opposite to the major flops.

I am NOT saying that the AFA rally last April 3rd to be any kind of flop or disaster. I praise the AFA people and demonstrators for their hard works. We need to win the minds and hearts of hearing people within the society at large to turn against the Alexander Graham Bell Association of the Deaf (AGBell).

I meant to write "AUDISM, AUDISM, AUDISM WHAT???" article for major publications to educate the general public what "audism" really meant before the AFA rally, but I never did. I will do it anyway real soon.


Aslize yours,
Robert L. Mason (RLM)


  1. The DBC and AFA ought to hire the professional publicist or PR firm to help both organizations to spearhead their messages more effectively to the clueless general public.


  2. RLM,

    AFA gave out two cards with informations about AUDism to all the drivers that stopped at the stop signs in both directions. They gave out about 1,500 cards.

    Thanks for your inputs and keep bringing them to AFA.


  3. John,

    Thanks a lot for your clarification about giving out fact sheets on audism to hearing pass-bystanders and drivers.

    I were not there (the rally).

    I meant that we, various deaf organizations ought to do the test audience on our rally posters BEFORE any rally events to see if anyone hearing really feel out our given messages.

    I am really glad that everything did work out for the AFA rally.

    I strongly feel that more and more deaf people ought to distribute fact sheets to Georgetown residents on frequent basis (ex. AGB's birthday day any special AGBell events - fundraising events) to see the real ugly truths of the AGBell what they have done to us, deaf people over years.

    Thanks again, John for your comment.


  4. What do you mean by ‘culturally deaf?’ You either deaf, hearing impaired or hearing. Use of culturally deaf is term I see used by hearing who want to pretend they are in tune with all deaf and experience of it or deaf who want to pretend they oppressed when really they make problem for own self. Deaf not have own separate culture like Aborigine or Tibet people, deaf do culture like hearing have. Only different is language, all else is same. Same TV, same sport, same thing to do in club etc. Anything deaf do as separate is because deaf can’t do it other way, not because culture stop it.

    The Audism Free America and other deaf organizations needs to stop pretending that deaf so poor oppressed and can’t succeed because of hearing and instead get together to look at real issue deaf people face instead of say to deaf you not succeed because of Audism of hearing to deaf. When you stop listening to people who say you not succeed or feel you sell out for having success then you can do more and any deaf who say you sell out just for having job and doing good for self is maybe just annoyed because you show them as lazy people.

    I not saying there no problems for deaf, just that deaf organisations not seem to want to face real problem for deaf and want to keep deaf separate from others. Better thing is to get awareness by neat demonstration and talk to elected people and business people, not scruffy protest. One real problem deaf have is job application, some employers not note if you say text only or TTY relay phone and instead they try voice phone but I think that more lack of awareness than discriminate. Scruffy protest at AGBell not fix that real problem. Of course if most real deaf problem faced and fixed as real then maybe we not need so many organisations and they not have big cause to fight for but quality of life for all majority of deaf will be better.

  5. RLM

    thanks for your post

    AFA did hand out post cards with definition of Audism and our mission as well as a Facts card about AG Bell

    we also had hand out explaining different types of Audism and media kit etc

    alot of the banners and posters gave good context for the word Audism and why we were in front of AG Bell Association

    We could definitely do more and i HOPE you will write your editorial for a newspaper giving the term AUDISM visibility

    really everyone should work to get some info in their local mainstream media outlets educating folks about discrimination issues Deaf folks face

    Peter - i totally appreciate your preference for a different approach. I wish you well and look forward to seeing your outcomes. Re: painting AFA as a group riding a victimization banner - that is funny. Folks get very threatened when others become active and take a stand because they worry about approaches or they feel a call to duty themselves and are trying to quiet it.

    Even during the civil rights movement - some African-American were very concerned about direct engagement and civil disobedience - worried about fellow African-Americans looking uppity, afraid of backlash, afraid of social change.

    I trust u to do whatever u feel is best in reducing audism in your world and look forward to seeing your results.



  6. Peter,

    "Culturally deaf" meant growing up with the use of primary sign language, attending the residential school of the deaf and applying the given norms and cultural tendencies, ex. waving hand to get someone's attention or say GA/SK, etc.

    Many deaf people have their own distinct cultural norms and linguistic use to be in sync with the deaf community.

    Yes, the deaf community at large do use the dominant language like written English to survive, but primarly prefer to hang out with their common linguistic use - ASL and other sign language.

    The AFA and other deaf organizations never beg for societial pity or whine about not being getting a good job. Many of us simply want the equal footings in the society at large - societial embraceness of human diversity for linguistic use and cultural norms, qualified deaf individuals deserve fairness and competitive job offers and timely job promotions and other community services without getting patronized or undermined by the community providers, etc.

    The AFA basically call for the peaceful demonstration to get open dialogues with the Alexander Graham Bell Association of the Deaf to discuss educational method options for deaf babies and youngsters.

    So the parents of deaf babies and youngsters could have REAL options to make decision what is the best for their own deaf offsprings, instead of being victimized to the one-sided institutional bias.

    Let me ask you a simple question, Peter -

    WHY many former or ex-oralists HATE their oral schools and teachers and adminstrators very much as compared to many deaf graduates of deaf residential schools of the deaf?

    WHY many former or ex-oralists end up signing ASL later in their life and abandon the oral speaking skills??

    WHY the former mainstream deaf students greatly envy the deaf graduates of residential schools of the deaf for just attending the deaf school with signing use??

    I could go further, but I have enough to say for today. ;)


  7. Thanks for the word of encouragement, Patti.

    I will let you know when I done with the article writings for mainstream media publications. Okay?

    Every cultural and lingusitic minority group have their own naysayers like not dare to rock the boat. Just keep quiet and do nothing to get the attention of societial oppressor.

    Back in the late 1960s, the "Old Guard" gay leaders usually tolerated the regular payouts to corrupted police officers to leave them all alone at various gay bars. Those leaders had to keep paying whether the police officers felt like needing some money.

    The police would raid several gay bars to make the gay leaders cough up $$ for cooperation and protection.

    The New Guard gay leaders strongly disagreed and launched the protests in very public way and proudly flaunted their sexuality.

    In the end, gay people finally get the society to realize that they are not psychologically abnormal and widened the societal attitudes to accept them for who and what they are.

    More and more gay people became more economically and socially independent than limited themselves to some kind of jobs.

    Anyone gay could be in the corporation leadership or politics or any employment postitons without fearing for someone to find out their true cultural and sexual identity.

    Thanks again for the comment, Patti.


  8. Patti and RLM – what is funny that many deaf are made to feel they can’t achieve? That not funny to me. And I not name AFA specifically as group who ride victim banner, funny you choose them for example. Deaf will need help with things but the groups should not make deaf dependant on them, just be there if needed.

    And I don’t feel threatened by so called active stand or rock the boat, just embarrassed like I am with comparison of deaf issues to civil rights movement or gay. What law say you have to ride at back of bus or use different toilet? None. What bible people say that deaf are hated by God? None. Problems of deaf are more lack of education of hearing people and of some deaf who not like to see other deaf succeed.

    And my preference is for effective approach, one that will work. AGBell are not elected or employ of many deaf people so why waste time? Elected people have to listen to you and business people are ones you want to employ deaf people, they the ones to get on side.

    Meanwhile, I have job and I am part of team. Since I not bother to throw labels at hearing people and look for discriminate in all corners I have no real problems so I reduce Audism by showing the hearing I work with that deaf can do same thing as hearing and that deaf not second class which is more than what scruffy protest will ever do.

    And RLM, you grew up deaf, use of sign is not culture, it is because you can’t talk out loud. Culture is like clothes to wear, food you primary eat, tribal dance, specific way to paint pictures etc. Waving of hand is often used by hearing to hearing as well so deaf not culturally different from the rest of their countries, just different language used so you will get equal footing when you stop see self as fully separate and stop complain all time and look at real issue and real way to approach issue and not see yourself as anything but on equal footing. If AGBell make problem for deaf make it known that they not represent deaf to elected people and not bother with AGBell at all.

    And to simple question as in last three questions with the WHY WHY WHY, ask those people and not me. I not speak for them or other people especially if they have HATE as it for them themselves to say. I just offer opinion on how to do things so it work and not just waste of time. I not say I can change past or erase all HATE for them so I not try to speak for them. I just see that protest at AGBell not do much.

    If AGBell make trouble for deaf a protest to them not work because what they do and how they do makes money to them, protest of 50 deaf people not make AGBell stop do what they do. Making money main thing for most business, also many business not want to admit they wrong. Why have difficult fight of that when you can go around it to people who can make real change of things?

  9. To make clarify on comment on AFA, I not try and say they are definite ride victim banner but they not seem to be helping deaf either and that is not funny. The way protest is being done is make new barriers between deaf and hearing when last thing wanted is barriers and some deaf groups do seem to promote being separate and ride victim banner, that is what I mean by not name AFA specifically but if AFA not ride the victim banner they not help deaf escape from trap of always feeling separate and oppressed and it is trap easy to fall in, why say you did not get job because you simply not best for it when it easier to say it Audism on you.

    Education is needed, not aggressive but real and easy going. You need people to see a real problem for what it is and not just dismiss because all they see is scruffy protestor and protest needed to be at people who can make change you want, not group who have financial or ego reason to keep things the way they are.

  10. Peter,

    With due respect, I really do understand your perspective that we, deaf people needs to prove our own worth to be part of the society by working out with the hearing people in general.

    That's what the AFA is trying to do is to widen the door with the AGBell and put our feet inside the door to get them to open up dialogues and not engage in any kind of sneaky manuevers (AGBell done this all the time from what I had an experience of dealing with those people from time to time).

    AGBell people did complain to me that they never get any kind of response from the DBC, but they never issue any kind of open letter to the DBC and other deaf organizations.

    NAD was quite upset with the AGBell for sneaking up on NAD people by not consulting them on particular issue.

    One of the AGBell people came to me and denied what this person said to me. Whoa!

    I have a photo memory of any people said to me.

    Public campaign materials on the issue of audism and educational options for deaf babies and youngsters.

    DBC and AFA really could get some government and corporate grants to conduct the public campaign to educate the general public with raising issues facing the deaf community at large.

    FYI, the use of sign language like ASL is really much part of cultural pardigim.

    ASL storytelling is real cultural thing with aspect of visual movement and minority group perspective on the story itself. That is purely the culture stuff!

    Deaf people have its own cultural values like eyes and hands, norms, behaviors and tastes and preferences.

    The recent AFA rally is the beginning of real change for deaf community to stand up to the AGBell which stop the endless points of whinings and bashings. Just show some real action!

    Thanks for your comments very much, Peter.

    Happy Easter 2009 to you and others!


  11. RLM,

    With due respect as well I can appreciate other perspective as well, as I’m not there I am rely on what you say and I believe what you say about AGBell is truth and I believe some protest would have of good intentions. To teach deaf to talk and lip read is good as they can do more for self but it not good if some not want to or just can’t do it and still try make them or to try and stop sign as lip read is secondary language.

    Problem is in many who protest are people who just want a cause to go to fight for and not care about result whether if for deaf, anti war, or most thing. One reason I see AGBell protest as scruffy protest is information from deaf I see on various deaf sites that there was only 50 and they were scruffy and if fact they scruffy then right away their cause suffer. They not need suit with tie but if you want media to notice and people to notice it seriously better not to look scruffy.

    With AGBell complain of not get response from DBC and that AGBell not issue letter to deaf organisations that show to me that both deaf and hearing not doing it right. AGBell should be open but deaf organisations need to team properly so AGBell only have to issue letter to one location instead of many and also have to guess who wants letter. If there problem that need to be sorted both sides need to know where put communications. I believe when you say AGBell person deny what person say to you, that often happen unfortunate, situation become game where tactic used instead of gaining good result for everyone so if there more open communication and easy then no one can deny who say what.

    If DBC and AFA present case properly and not look to cause fight maybe they get grants to help, trouble is I notice that many deaf go with attitude that all hearing out to get them or hearing owe them something. I know if someone come to me with bad attitude I not want to help them, hearing same. Give bad attitude and always accuse they not want to help out especially as lot of what deaf say about hearing out to get them is wrong.

    Where I work they have deaf with attitude demand job before me, demand all sort of unreasonable thing saying have to have because they deaf so when next deaf person come along they already caution toward deaf and that make it difficult for me. I show them I there to work, not to make them trouble.

    I doubt we will agree on culture issue, use of sign, Auslan for me, is because of need to communicate, not cultural requirement. Apart from paranoia from some deaf that hearing out to get them and use of sign, deaf do nothing different. Eat same food as all other and eat it same way, wear same clothes, play same sport. Aborigines or Buddhist have separate culture with way they paint or requirement in how they have to live, deaf have nothing like that. The main use I see of saying deaf culture is to justify bad behaviour or to keep deaf as separate from everyone else. I think is wrong. I not want to be separate, it make life harder when it not have to be and makes less opportunity for people for no real reason except to have belief that we fully different.

    I still suggest ignore AGBell and go to elected people and to business people. You don’t have to face AGBell if they just brick wall and if they deny thing. Go around them to people who can do something real to help.

    Thank you as well for information given, it useful to have other perspective on things.

    And a Happy Easter 2009 to you and others as well!

  12. Peter Perkins,

    You seems have a good point about not bothering with the AGBell (the brick wall) and get around this organization to some elected people to make things happen.

    Your comment about the AGBell as some kind of brick wall reminds me much of the 1994 American film remake of "Children of the Valley of the Damned" with Christopher Reeve.

    The film climax scene with actor Christopher Reeve and several "alien" children with white hair and glowing eyes which the Reeves character tried to keep the children from finding out what Reeves was up to. Reeves had to imagine the brick wall to keep children from getting in his inner thoughts.

    The numbers of deaf protestors at the AFA rally should be not used as an example of what was wrong with the protest itself.

    Any numbers of protestors showed up haven't done any meanings.

    I wonder HOW COME didn't more deaf people show up for the AFA rally except Gallaudet students.

    In reality, everyone in DC are pretty busy and busy and busy and hardly have time for other things.

    I used to live in DC for more than 20 years. I couldn't get many things done. Some kind of time warp in DC prevent people from getting things done.

    I see how and why you became concerned about some deaf people being unreasonably demanded for getting the job or being a victim of audism.

    Many people noticed that more and more deaf people demanded for anything which they don't deserve to get.

    People pointed out to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act caused handful of deaf individuals acted like a prima donna and expected something on the platter without working hard to prove themselves real worthy for employment position.

    Don't you agree, Peter?


  13. RLM,

    Thank you for noting my point there about go around AGBell, I know it is easy to want to bulldoze over problem like AGBell. I used to do same thing with some problems then I learn why waste time and effort for no real gain, go around problem to where it can be fixed. Some problem have to face head on, others just go around. Although I think if change AGBell attitude it big victory it easier to go around them to other who will be more help to deaf and when AGBell see that they change their attitude to what deaf want. AGBell need deaf people, not other way around. Prove to them deaf not need them they will change.

    I will have to see this Children of the Valley of the Damned, if Christopher Reeve in it I think it must be good! And brick wall is sorry to say what is put in peoples way but we can step around them!

    I take your point on the numbers of protestors as in people be busy but with higher level of deaf unemployment some more who not students could show up? Did people know of it? Students like protesting though, just wish they dress better. Even if protest against AGBell not have effect on it at least be look nice for cameras then people see about there are deaf issues there to be noticed. If I am correct in DC is where many of elected people are and they ones you want to take notice and they will take on cause if they think they get more votes from doing it.

    I can never fault little things that deaf can do like some place will give cheaper price for deaf people, if not demanded or expected then accept and be happy with it, like you say it just the unreasonably demanded or wrong use of Audism I agree in full of it. It make the rest of group look bad. Reality is it harder for deaf as less jobs there and some hearing just not appreciate real deaf problems. I quite agree prima donna make it bad for all of us and real problem not seen because only prima donna is noticed

    We disagree on culture point though I think you agree that deaf can make big contribution to everyone’s culture? If go around group like AGBell and prima donna people deaf can all achieve and contribute. Deaf can do accountant like jobs or own a business or can do something like cleaning or deliver stuff, all of it contributes and for me when I earn own money I feel better person who do more in life.

    One thing I believe better cause to get done is teach sign in school as second language, if hearing know sign then no excuse for them to exclude deaf and deaf will have more opportunity in life for them.

  14. Peter,

    Just reply to your comment regarding the AFA protestors' clothes use.

    People in America are mostly dressed casual, not frill or neatly dressed as most Europeans.

    The elected people really don't give any hoots what the protestors wear.

    Just do something for their own constitutency (voters and residents) thru visibility and demands from their own voters.

    I will come back to reply more on your comments. Okay? ;)


  15. Appreciate where you come from there but generally something like protest is like advertising, research show many notice image of thing first, you want to get people onside of what you want and while not need to be neat like European sense of it you can be casual and look as well neat. You need to say to people while protest that you are not unkempt timewaster who protest for fun of it as many protester is which make it difficult for people who really belief in what they protest for.

    And true to point what you say about elected but also they have to not annoy other of their constituency as well. They will not annoy 1000 of better dressed voter over 50 scruffy voter if 1000 not happy with 50 and in DC with media clean would be better than scruffy. Neater, even if casual would go more in DC than scruffy? Clean jeans and T-Shirt that not have rude words on it or rips all over help more of it?

    It just in general I note that when people look neat that one less thing people can pick on. If they neat no one can dismiss them as scruffy trouble maker and then people have less choice to ignore issue being presented. Most timewaster protestor seem to fit image given of them as scruffy so if you look scruffy you make it more difficult for self. AGbell look and see scruffy type it easier for them to ignore it even though AGBell know actual protest issue against them is correct.

    While big point is protest itself little thing like presentation can make it easier for you to get other to notice it. That is point I try to make on it, don’t make situation more harder if not need to.

  16. Peter,

    I suggest that you take up the issue about approriate dressing code for image purpose with the Audism Free America and DBC. Okay?

    Thanks for the comment again.