Tuesday, March 31, 2009

St. Louis Plans for an Audism Free America on April 3

Greater St. Louis Association of the Deaf
2190 Creve Coeur Mill Road
Maryland Heights, Missouri
63043

Friday April 3, 2009
7 pm to 9 pm

Introduction of AFA
The Blue Ribbon Ceremony
The Blue Candlelit (glowsticks) Vigil
Discussion about history, discourse and future goals

For info, contact Paul Kiel at myfavaslworld@aol.com

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sacramento signs on for Blue Ribbon Ceremony in support of ending Audism




Blue Ribbon Ceremony
In Solidarity For
Audism Free America

Everyone is welcome!

Voice interpreting will be provided.

Date:
Friday, April 3, 2009

Time:
6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

Where:
Rafe Hall
American River College
4700 College Oak Drive
Sacramento, CA 95841

Audism Free America, a grassroots Deaf activist organization, will stage a one-day protest rally on April 3, 2009 in front of the Volta Bureau of the Alexander Graham Bell Association located at 1537 35th St., NW in the greater Washington DC metropolitan area. To promote participation by people from the greater Sacramento area in this growing movement for linguistic and human rights of Deaf citizens, this Blue Ribbon ceremony will be held in solidarity for Audism Free America.

Audism is the practices and attitudes based on the assumption that the behaving in the ways of those who speak and hear is best and desired. Audism manifests itself as stigma, bias, discrimination, and prejudice—in overt or covert ways—against Deaf culture, American Sign Language and Deaf people from all walks of life.

Friday, March 27, 2009

AFA/AG Bell Meeting update:

video

AFA RALLY PLAN:

video

Ruthie explains about a plan of AFA Rally:

When: April 3rd, Friday
Time: 11am - 9pm
Where: The Volta Bureau- 1537 35th, NW. Washington DC

We would be gathering to unity and stands for our human and language rights.
During evening, 6pm- we would have a vigil (glowsticks) to dark night.

Our AFA Rally mission: Peacefully to stand for our human and language rights. We are exist as a human being. We are here to stop audism and change what we believe to see.

It is same concept of Martin Luther King Jr's quoted about Power and Love...

"Power without Love is reckless and abusive.

Love without power is sentimental and anemic.

Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice.

Justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love."
~MLK JR.

Let Freedom Roll!!

AFA

Thursday, March 26, 2009

AFA mission post card - print and distribute


AFA - Things YOU can do in your area on April 3

video

Audism Free America
www.audismfreeamerica.blogspot.com

Ella shares ideas of what you can do in your area if you can't attend AFA's April 3rd rally.

April 3, 2009 11:00 am to 9 pm Demonstration and Vigil at AG Bell Headquarters
Volta Bureau, 1537 35th St., NW, Washington, DC (near Georgetown University)

If you regretfully can not join us on April 3, you can do something locally in your area on the same day.

Here are some suggestions:

1) wear a blue ribbon all day. See an example on the Audism Free America logo on our website. This is related to the beautiful and moving Blue Ribbon Ceremony found in Dr. Paddy Ladd’s book “Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood.” As we all know, Dr. Ladd will be honored with an award on April 4th during Gallaudet University’s Charter Day.

2) host a rally at a site that needs to promote better equality and respect for all Deaf people. In short, a site that’s well-known for being quite audist such as:

• an oral / aural ONLY program in your area
• a medical facility that doesn’t provide full access and/or acknowledge Deaf culture and ASL
• A program or service center that has not adequately responded to ASL Deaf people’s rights
• employer or company that has a history of discriminating against Deaf people

3) distribute AFA’s informational materials to people around you . You can download and print from the AFA website.

4) host a screening of the DVD “Audism Unveiled” at your home or work place and lead a discussion group. The DVD can be obtained through Dawn Sign Press (www.dawnsign.com).

5) post a video about audism (your thoughts and/or experiences under audism and any victories also) on your v/blogsite if you have one or use DeafVideo.TV, YouTube, GoogleVideo, etc.

6) make a short public service announcement (PSA) video educating the broader community about audism.

Do you have other ideas? The Deaf community is a champ – creative, resourceful, and enduring community – we know u can come up with great ideas and events.

If u do decide to host something – let AFA know so they can put your town/city on the map in fighting audism. Write to us at audismfreeamerica@gmail.com.

Thank you!! and let freedom roll!!!

Audism Free America

Saturday, March 21, 2009

AFA receives and email we'd like you to read

Today AFA received this important email below and has received permission to reprint it here.

We are thrilled this family will be joining us on April 3rd for the rally.

-----------------------

To Whom It May Concern:



I am the hearing parent of a deaf daughter, and deaf grandson. Twenty years ago we fought for our daughter’s right for ASL instruction and interpreters in Florida. Through the Deaf Service Center that was located there, we were able to receive a lot of support. Honestly, thought the battle was over. We later moved to Hampton, Virginia. Large populated area that housed a deaf school, but no deaf service center. Concerned us, but thought our daughter was at the age to not have any situations arise concerning her deafness. We were wrong, but in most situations, she handled the situations successfully herself.



Our daughter is now a mother of a deaf boy. From the audiologist who has tried to guilt my daughter into having major invasive surgery on her son to make him “normal” and be able to hear “rain drops” (we all know how important that is for language) with a Cochlear Implant, to the a firing of the only qualified teacher to instruct him in Hampton (see attachments), we are no longer sitting back we must once again get involved.



http://www.dailypress.com/news/local/hampton/dp-local_deafteacher_0314mar14,0,7174759.story



We, Jasper’s family, intend to drive up to the protest to provide support for the injustices that continue to be inflicted on the deaf community. I hope that this grassroots movement continues to gain momentum and by the time Jasper reaches adulthood he is able to enjoy being deaf rather than having the hearing community attempting to make him feel ashamed.



Looking forward to April 3rd, hope we have the weather in our corner.



Mary Taylor

Thursday, March 19, 2009

vlog about AFA and AG Bell Association Correspondence

video

In this vlog Ruthie explains about AFA's correspondence with AG Bell Association trying to find a mutually agreeable day / time to meet.

For text explanation, the AG Bell Association update email and actual emails from AFA, go to:
http://audismfreeamerica.blogspot.com/2009/03/meeting-with-ag-bell-executive-director.html

See you Friday April 3rd at 11 am at AG Bell Association Headquarters for our peaceful rally.

AG Bell Association says is it devoted to promoting listening and talking - we hope it will listen to and talk with AFA.

WFD Human Rights of Deaf People

Very important report by Word Federation of the Deaf (WFD)


Video in International Signs
http://wfd.schwung.dk/


Written English
http://www.wfdeaf.org/projects.html

Monday, March 16, 2009

Meeting with AG Bell Executive Director and April 3, 2009 Rally

BIG THANKS FOR ALL YOUR CONTACTS OF SUPPORT

OUR RALLY AT AG BELL HEADQUARTERS WILL BE ON APRIL 3, FRIDAY FROM 11 AM TO 9 PM
AFA PR WEB (vlog at bottom)

LETTER TO AG BELL ASSOC FOR A MEETING:

1. On March 3, Audism Free America (AFA) sent an email and hard copy letter (see bottom) to Alexander Graham, executive director of AG Bell association, and Jay Wyant, president of AG Bell Association, requesting a meeting on April 3, 2009 Friday in order to discuss our three demands face to face. (see letter)

2. We, AFA, did not get a response from AG Bell’s executive director, Alex Graham, until Friday March 13 (10 days after we sent our letter) and we only got the reply after repeated phone calls to AG Bell Association and an email check in. He replied that he could not meet with us on April 3rd as requested but could meet with us April 2 at 9 am. AFA has conflicts in our schedule on April 2nd but we have made ourselves available for April 2nd at 4 pm if April 3rd is still not doable for Mr. Graham. We have not received any response from president Wyant.

3. The same day AG Bell Executive Director Graham replied to our letter, AG Bell Association sent out an AG Bell Assoc. e-blast update to their members - (See bottom)

a. notice how they are still using media to misrepresent Deaf ASL people
b. notice how they pick and choose our demands to share with the public
c. notice how they say the purpose for telling AFA they can meet with us on April 2nd instead of April 3rd is to encourage a peaceful demonstration the next day and to clarify AG Bell's association’s mission of supporting families and individuals who choose listening and spoken language.

They are twisting things and trying to control the agenda.

4. We have already informed AG Bell, we are committed to peaceful activism and we know full well what their mission is. We are requesting the meeting to address our three demands in person.

5. We have sent the email reply below to Alex Graham’s March 13 (Friday) on March 16 , 2009 (Monday).

-----------

AG Bell Association's Update

Friday, March 13, 2009

In This Issue….

Group Plans Demonstration at AG Bell Headquarters

A number of our members have contacted AG Bell regarding a recent announcement of a planned demonstration at its national headquarters.

Last week, a newly formed group calling itself “Audism Free America” announced that it will be demonstrating outside of AG Bell’s national headquarters, also known as the Volta Bureau, in Washington, D.C.., on April 3, 2009. In a press release entitled, “Audism Free America Targets the Volta Bureau,” the group states its intent is to “call attention to the denial of linguistic and human rights of Deaf citizens and to highlight how the Volta Bureau/AG Bell Association has worked to perpetuate the denial of these rights.” The group claims that the Volta Bureau “houses a shameful history in the establishment and perpetuation of audism in the United States.”

Audism, as stated by this group, is “the assumption that behaving in ways of those who speak and hear is best and desired. Audism manifests itself as a stigma, bias, discrimination, and prejudice against Deaf culture, American Sign Language and Deaf people.”

In a letter from the group’s representative to AG Bell Executive Director Alexander T. Graham, Audism Free America demands that AG Bell “cease and desist from denying Deaf infants, children and their families the right to a natural and fully accessible language,” among other things. The group also contends in its letter that “oralism (oral/aural only methods) has been proven to be an abysmal failure, it is time for us to unite and work together to ensure the birthrights of Deaf infants and children and the human rights of all Deaf people who have suffered under your iron grip.”

The group also requested a meeting with AG Bell leadership to discuss its demands. On behalf of AG Bell, Graham agreed to meet with the group the day before the demonstration to encourage a peaceful demonstration and to clarify AG Bell’s mission of supporting families and individuals who choose listening and spoken language. “AG Bell’s primary concern is the safety of all those involved, including our staff who work at the Volta Bureau and the particpants in the demonstration,” stated Graham. “AG Bell recognizes that differing viewpoints exist within the deaf and hard of hearing communities and respects the rights of those viewpoints to be expressed in a positive and lawful manner.”

During the AG Bell Convention in Milwaukee last June, AG Bell President Jay Wyant conducted a lengthy on-camera interview with the now-leader of Audism Free America. The interview addressed many of the issues that continue to be raised by this and similar organizations. To see the interview, click here (captions were not provided). Also, in a further effort to clarify its position on ASL, the AG Bell Board of Directors issued an official position statement on American Sign Language. To read the full statement, click here. Any inquiries related to this event should be directed to AG Bell’s director of communications, Catherine Murphy.

------------------

Our original letter to AG Bell Executive Director A. Graham and President J. Wyant:

3 March 2009

Greetings President Wyandt and CEO Graham:

Audism Free America (AFA) is a grassroots Deaf activist organization in the US, which advocates for Deaf American rights, cultural resurgence, and seeks primarily to challenge the ideological foundations of audism in America.

Audism is attitudes and practices based on the assumption that behaving in
the ways of those who speak and hear is desired and best. It produces a
system of privilege, thus resulting in stigma, bias, discrimination, and
prejudice—in overt or covert ways—against Deaf culture, American Sign
Language, and Deaf people of all walks of life.

AFA is committed to:
1. human and linguistic rights of Deaf people
2. unmasking audism and media misrepresentation
3. advocating for future generations

Thus, we would like to request a meeting with you on April 3, 2009 when we are in the D.C. area. Our meeting is to clearly state our demands that:

1. the AG Bell Association and Academy cease and desist from denying Deaf infants, children, and their families the right to a natural and fully accessible language.

2. the AG Bell Association cease and desist from misinforming the public and the media about ASL Deaf people. The AG Bell Association has not retracted its letter to Pepsi objecting to the commercial featuring ASL in a positive light and continually paints ASL Deaf people as unsuccessful and dependent.

3. the AG Bell Association cease and desist its incestuous relationship with cochlear implant manufacturers and join AFA in calling for an independent and impartial study of the physical, psychological, and social impact of cochlear implants on infants, children and adolescents.

Indeed the AG Bell Association follows in the footsteps of your founder in trying to destroy the linguistic and human rights of Deaf people by EXCLUDING ASL from your services, programs and schools (except when legally mandated). A.G. Bell, the man, through publicized reports was an eugenicist, xenophobe, and audist along with recent reports that he was also thief and plagiarist (see D. Baynton, H. Lane, and S. Shulman as well as Bell’s own writings). Oralism (oral / aural only methods) has been proven to be an abysmal failure, it is time for us to unite and work together to ensure the birthrights of Deaf infants and children and the human rights of all Deaf people who have suffered under your iron grip.

We look forward to this meeting as an opportunity to present our demands to you in person and to address any questions you may have.

Please let us know the time and location that is best for you both to meet with us on April 3, 2009.

Let Freedom Roll,



Ruthie Jordan, Audism Free America
AudismFreeAmerica@gmail.com

-------------

Our reply to Mr. Graham after receiving his March 13 email reply (10 days after our letter above) saying he can not meet on April 3 but could do April 2 at 9 am.


Greetings Mr. Graham:

Thank you for your reply of March 13, 2009 – 10 Days after we sent our email to you. We regret that you have some conflicts on April 3. We are hoping that you will be able to change your schedule in order to meet with us on April 3 as we have a conflict on April 2.

The only possible time we could meet with you on April 2 would be at 4 pm. We also want to know if AG Bell Association President Jay Wyant will be joining us as well.

To clarify the purpose of our meeting is not to discuss the importance of a “peaceful demonstration and to clarify AG Bell’s mission of supporting families and individuals who choose listening and spoken language.” AFA is committed to non-violent, peaceful activism and we are VERY familiar with your mission as well as your position statement acknowledging the existence of ASL.

While we appreciate your spreading the word about our website, mission, the definition of audism, and our April 3rd rally to your members via your March 13 AG Bell update, we find it very interesting that this announcement stating that you have agreed to meet with us on April 2nd was composed before you even notified us and secured our agreement to the date and time you specified.

We look forward to establishing an agreed upon meeting date and time (April 2 Thur at 4 pm or April 3 Fri anytime between 9-4) so that you can keep your word and meet with us as you have informed your members you would be doing so.

Let Freedom Roll,

Ruthie Jordan, AFA

Our Three Demands:


1. the AG Bell Association and Academy cease and desist from denying Deaf infants, children, and their families the right to a natural and fully accessible language.

2. the AG Bell Association cease and desist from misinforming the public and the media about ASL Deaf people. The AG Bell Association has not retracted its letter to Pepsi objecting to the commercial featuring ASL in a positive light and continually paints ASL Deaf people as unsuccessful and dependent.

3. the AG Bell Association cease and desist its incestuous relationship with cochlear implant manufacturers and join AFA in calling for an independent and impartial study of the physical, psychological, and social impact of cochlear implants on infants, children and adolescents. video

Saturday, March 7, 2009

AFA Rally peacefully at AG Bell building.

video


Ruthie explains about the April 3, 2009 rally at Volta Bureau (AG Bell Association) 1537 35th St, NW.

Why there:
-Audism Central
-AG Bell's promoted audism via oralism (oral/aural only) and was a eugencist.
-AG Bell Association promotes his ideals and tries to deny Deaf Culture and ASL in the media

Why April:
-American School for the Deaf was founded April 15, 1817 (beginning of ASL and bi-bi education)
-Gallaudet University's charter was signed by Abraham Lincoln
-Gallaudet will have a Charter Day celebration April 4.
-Gallaudet/ RIT Rockfest/Brickfest weekends tend to be in April.

-People who couldn't make it to Rally:
We will announce next vlog what we could do at our locals.

Let Freedom Roll,
AFA

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Welcome to AFA and mission:

video





MISSION STATEMENT:
Audism Free America (AFA) is a grassroots Deaf activist organization in the US which advocates for Deaf American rights, cultural resurgence, and seeks primarily to challenge the ideological foundations of audism in America.


Audism is attitudes and practices based on the assumption that behaving in the ways of those who speak and hear is desired and best. It produces a system of privilege, thus resulting in stigma, bias, discrimination, and prejudice—in overt or covert ways—against Deaf culture, American Sign Language, and Deaf people of all walks of life.


AFA is committed to:
1. human and linguistic rights of Deaf people
2. unmasking audism and media misrepresentation
3. advocating for future generations


AFA …recognizes that those who have worked within the American political system have been ineffective in protecting the human and linguistic rights of Deaf children and have outright neglected the views and experiences of Deaf Americans—thus marginalizing us, and promoting behaviors and attitudes in American mainstream culture which manifest themselves in paternalism, bias and discrimination toward Deaf people.

AFA…is committed to unmasking these patterns of discrimination, as well as institutional and social prejudice which have infringed upon our rights as citizens.

AFA…is committed to challenging the control that audist organizations, individuals, and governmental organizations have over mainstream media which has resulted in suppression and misinformation concerning Deaf Americans, Deaf culture, and American Sign Language.

AFA...is dedicated to the proposition that Deaf people and their allies as human beings must now arise and claim these rights for future generations of Deaf children.