AFA thanks everyone who contacted Rep. Cullen’s office about the offensive statement.
Thank you to everyone who has been signing the petition to Gov. Doyle also
Excerpt from Rep. Cullen’s office printed here with permission:
Monday, May 18, 2009, 8:20 AM
Representative Cullen is fully aware that deaf and hard of hearing individuals are very valuable members of our society, fully capable of getting jobs, going to school, and accomplishing whatever they wish in life. He understands this very well and apologizes for the quote that was in the Associated Press story on the bill’s passage. The quote was a one sentence quote from a 3 – 4 minute speech on the importance of the bill and, as such, was certainly not taken in context. While his word choice during the speech was poor, the quote in no way serves as an indicator of his feelings, motivations, or character.
Ritch Williams Clerk, Committee on Insurance Office of Rep. David Cullen
Response to email below – printed here with permission:
Sunday, May 17, 2009 2:58 AM
My boyfriend, Andrew Taylor, is Deaf and has a wonderful job, a family, including our daughter, and had a fantastic education at California School for the Deaf. I’m thankful to his mother for not making the decision to implant him. Implanted kids don’t tend to be allowed to sign: education is so focused on speech that they miss the education that you and I had! In addition, if you were to do some real research, just by walking into your local deaf educational programs, you may find that those cochlear implants don’t make children hearing. Many kids have had serious health problems and have died due to the surgery you are advocating for, a surgery for a disability that Deaf people find as a small inconvenience at most! Apologize for your statement that kids need cochlear implants to keep jobs, etc. Get educated!!!