Friday, January 22, 2010


In the past two weekends ago, I really couldn't believe what happened at the Stork's coffeehouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the monthly deaf social gathering.

Few remaining of us, deaf guys were on our way out of the coffeehouse. One hearing
guy attempted to speak to us. One deaf young 20s guy with cochlear implant, struggled
and struggled and struggle to understand what the hearing guy tried to tell us for more
than five minutes. That deaf guy with CI just stood NEXT to the hearing guy!

Guess what? I CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD what the hearing guy said without any use of
cochlear implant (CIs). The deaf guy with cochlear implant ever could not possibly understand
the lipreading. Jesus Christ!

I had to intervene and inform another deaf guy what the hearing guy said without any delays.

That was not very first time for me to witness too many communication incomptences by cochlear implant users, then saved by culturally deaf individuals and signers!



ASLIize yours,
Robert L. Mason


  1. Hello RLM:

    Yes, it is nothing new to me!

    I have been telling everyone for more than 16 years that the device was merely an expensive hearing aid and surgeries only benefit the medical profession including audists (in education).

    I recall when it came out. The oral school was not able to afford new building or anything. Now they have new upgrades and more stuff.

    Guess where the money trail goes?? Go figure!

    The bribery by cochlear implant companies to those audists is a probable cause behind the tirade.

    Lately, there has been a blitz all over the world by medical profession to get more deaf children to be implanted.

    The bottom line is that it is helping increase their financial portfolios.

    I cannot wait for the day when the Maker passes judgements to those snake oil salesmen and their cronies - be it oral schools, speech and hearing association, so-called hearing people who think it was best for us, etc.

    *sigh* We are not a vanishing breed! We need to turn tables by advocating with DBC and AFA as well as NAD to protect our deaf humanity!

    Those people must be related to Adolf Hitler for their sins since 1880!

    Back to your peer at coffee house, it is nothing new. I often give my hearing test to those with implants. They FAILED! Every one of them! They cannot tell me what I said to them behind their backs!


  2. Paul,

    BRAVO! I really like your comment posting which is very true in many ways!

    Big smile! I meant to get in touch with you how to jumpstart the movement against the CIs.

    Please email me at which I could send you a private email message. Okay?

  3. How true it can be! Yes, I witnessed a guy with CI struggled to understand what they talked about. The worse was I witnessed when he got drunk, he would pull their shoulder to face him so he tried his best to read lipreading. It flunked him big time. My wife was his ex girlfriend told me that he tried to read her lipreading but ended up to vomit on floors. Oh GOSH! The people asked me what was wrong with him. I had to point out the CI problem. More drunks made things go worser than ever.

    Also he told me that his parent forbidded him if he take ASL. If he ingore them, they would disown him. I don't know if they were in that serious but who knows!

  4. Dennis -

    Hello buddy from Missouri - ::wink!::

    Your story is not alone. It is same everywhere.

    Parents have been unfair to their deaf children since 1880.

    Since those audists planted ideas in their heads that their children will hear... it is much like snake oil salesmen of the old western.

    Again, I have to point out that it is greed. Billions of dollars in deaf industry is enough to make them think above and laugh their way to banks.

    I wonder how they sleep at night!!!

    A true story - I knew a teacher at oral school.

    She would be mean during the day.

    She would cry every night for her sins against deaf children.

    She went to grave with a BIG guilt!

    Very sad story!

    Now back to parents --

    I have seen parents disown deaf children when they discovered ASL.

    My mother would not let me use ASL until I finished hearing high school. She said I was free to do that at that time, but later she realized she was wrong. She felt guilty and made up by taking sign language class.

    She tried, but she died not accomplishing the goal to use ASL with me.

    It has been haunting me for more than 37 years. It is how and why many of us suffer mental health with damages caused by oral schools.

    Oral education has been lambasted twice in two national studies in 1965 and 1988.

    As for RLM - I agree about some kind of movement, but we need to stand behind a few organizations that are doing same thing. We need to simply kick butts.


    But it is audism!

  5. Dennis,

    Many thanks for sharing this one with us.

    What a tragic occurence for this deaf guy with CI.

    Thanks again!


  6. Paul,

    Have your own way. I respect yours!


  7. Poor guy... I guess he needed a lot of intervention in school with a lot of specialists pulling him out of class. That reminds me of a friend of mine who grew up in a small town where there was a crooked dentist. Everytime he went to have a cavity filled, the dentist dishonestly drilled a small hole in one of his good teeth. Then he had to come back later and ge another filling, etc.

  8. Paul,

    Chill the fuck out.

    CID was against CI prior to 1984. They aren't audists. The're just oblivious to our native language. With the money throwing at them, can you blame them?

    Can you even explain why St. Louis has THREE oral schools? Not to mention that all THREE are probably the top 5 in the world?


    I embrace those with cochlear implants. It's not their fault.

  9. I agree with Paul.

    CID is still audist.

    They have been doing that since 1914.

    Not three schools you moron.

    It is FOUR.

    It is how they pull wool over the public's eyes.

    They are NOT even top. They are bunch of hypocrites.

    So for you being anonymous, I will do the same.

  10. RLM, Heard that you moved to Fla. from DC. That's nice place. What's your job there? Easy fid job there?
    Fun everyday?

  11. Hi Anonymous,

    Yes, I moved from DC to South Florida since last March 2009.

    Yes and no, the employment market seems not really great in FL unlike DC.

    Fun everyday? Not really at all!

    I live five minutes to the beach, but not go there everyday.

    I really miss DC in many ways. :)

    I found myself a new male lover, but he recently called off the relationship. :( I dearly love that guy, but accept it as part
    of life.


  12. Robert Alfred HawkinsJanuary 25, 2010 at 5:28 PM


    I've known of signers struggling to understand other signers. I've known of speakers struggling to understand other speakers. I've known of signers struggling to understand other speakers. I've known of speakers struggling to understand signers.

    In some situations the Cochlear Implant would be independent of this fiasco. There are occasions in where the same happens and the idiot isn't using Cochlear Implant (never had) or even hearing aid.

    Frankly, that apparently low-functioning type may have difficulties understanding if he used ASL and cochlear implants.

    I'm Deaf and a native user of ASL. I'm not a CI user nor do I have any use for this and I respect freedom of those who wants CI.

    What I've noticed as an issue long-avoided is the share of success stories involving ASL-CI users. They're overlooked in name of double standards. Ditto for successful oral deaf adults overlooked by the Deaf community the same as the mainstream often overlooks the Deaf community.

    I'm in favor of stricter oversight of the CI industry and in fairness I'm in favor of stricter oversight of the Deaf-ASL world especially where both Deaf and non-Deaf are exploiting their own (VRS, favoritism in deaf schools and others to name two of many.)

    If the Deaf avoids selective exposing of faults on the other side we'll look better. I'm more interested in the Deaf building on their own terms and letting the rest come. Why cry uncle while ignoring many ironies including Indiana School for the Deaf (to name one of many state-run deaf schools and facilities) not even having one deaf person on boards. Double Standards is what is really hurting the Deaf community! Clean up our own acts first before taking on any greed perpetuated elsewhere.

    In short---two wrongs doesn't make a right.

  13. RAH,

    The CI user at the Stork's have the MA degree in communication and adveristing.

    I am just pointing out the real absurdity of so-called miracle technology to solve our deafness with the use of CIs.

    This deaf individual comes from the very well-off family in Texas, but the Medicaid program pay for everything from the CI surgery to device and training.

    That deaf guy is a good-looking himself, but many hearing guys find him to be real freakish with the CI on his head.

    I am with you about detesting the deaf elitism and cliqueness without giving anybody a fair chance to prove hir own worth - qualification, skill and competence.

    I hope that I answer all your points. :)


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  16. It's an isolated incident. Just don't bash CI because of one guy is not able to make a good use of CI.

    They are some bad native ASL signers out there yet we don't bash ASL


  17. OK. So I am a hearing parent of Deaf child who uses hearing aids (no implants) and is in a bilingual Auslan/English school.

    Is the problem with the young man you described more because he usually uses Sign or because he doesn't use his implant well? Does it make a difference to how effectively a person can use the device on how old they were when they started to use it?

    Is the problem with the device itself or with how the person uses it?


  18. Curious,

    FYI, this deaf guy just got his CI at age of 25. He still had the problem of comprending what other people said to him.

    Very same guy grew up having speech therapy and using hearing aids.

    I refused the speech therapy and had deaf parent and cousins within my maternal side. I managed to be very excellent lipreader myself without any formal training in speech therapy or hearing aids.

    That is the point what I am trying to get the message out to idiotic parents whose misassume the presence of cochlear implant to be a real savior.

    Your own child will thank you and your wife dearly for not branding hir with the CI device.

    All human beings are adaptable creatures to survive without any artifical means. :)


  19. You were a very fortunate child to have been born into a family that was already in the Deaf community, able to Sign fluently and give you brilliant access to language right from the start.

    It is so much harder when your child is the first Deaf person in the family and when there are not many others around to form a functional community except via the school.

    If you don't mind, a few more questions....
    Was this young man an efficient lipreader beforehand? I believe that it can take quite a while to be able to make the best use of CI especially when it comes to recongising all the speech sounds and in a noisy environment like the coffeshop.

    The only adult I have known who chose implants in his mid-late thirties said that the original transition was very difficult. He is profoundly Deaf and he said that initially he had a very hard time recognising sounds at all. That said though, he is and always has been, a brilliant lipreader. He claims that with the CI and other technology he can successfully manage his sales role which involves a lot of telephone calls and unfamiliar voices and he is able to conduct his business without TTY or other interpreters. This certainly was impossible beforehand.

    Although in regards to the artificial means, aren't hearing aids also artificial and glasses etc.?

  20. OK so, one guy, who was implanted very late, couldn't understand someone in a specific situation

    how does that translate to my kid not being able to hear ? it doesn't. she hears in the normal range and is doing amazingly.