Friday, June 25, 2010

AFA: AG Bell 3 Demands Revisited

Audism Free America would like to remind the AG Bell Association of our past demands and request that they revisit them in light of recent events.

In a July 29, 2009 letter to AFA from the AG Bell Association President Wyant and CEO Graham they stated:
"The AG Bell Board of Directors reviewed AFA's demands and voted unanimously to not meet the demands."

AFA's Three Demands and AG Bell's actions and inactions:
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.

While AG Bell's board unanimously voted to not meet this demands they did mention the AG Bell Association's Position Statement on American Sign Language which acknowledges that some Deaf people do use ASL.

Notice that this position statement was ratified by their board 2 weeks before the Deaf Bilingual Coalition conference and demonstration in Wisconsin in 2008.

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.

AG Bell has NEVER apologized for this offensive letter to Pepsi. AG Bell must refrain from misrepresenting Deaf folks who use ASL as being dependent, isolated and unsuccessful.

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.

The AG Bell Association continues to have very close ties with numerous cochlear implant companies including companies that have been sued for faulty and harmful products or for unethical actions. AG Bell has had Advanced Bionics and Cochlear Americas as their Circle Alliance partners for the past several years. Both companies have had to pay heavy penalties for unethical wrongdoings in the manufacturing and/or marketing of their cochlear implants.

A judge in Idaho has ruled that parents must make their Deaf daughter wear her bilateral implants all her waking hours regardless of whether or not they might be malfunctioning or causing her discomfort. Yet there has been no statement of opposition from the AG Bell association to this order.

AG Bell association has yet to sign the AFA petition calling for an independent and impartial investigating of the physical, psychological, and social impact of cochlear implants on infants, children and adolescents.

In addition to these three demands, we'd also like to know what your thought of the film Audism Unveiled, which we donated to you. Secondly, when will we be getting a copy of the CART transcript of the meeting we had with you and thirdly we'd like to to see you participate in the International Day of Sign Language this September since you now have a position statement on ASL.

We look forward to seeing you soon.