Ol Will

"All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages." -Shakespeare

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Alexander Graham Bell: The Man AND the Association

People have long since argued that the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the man himself are two separate entities and I intend to help you understand why they are one and the same. You see, Bell believed that all Deaf children be should be restored to society through a learning regimen that placed the ability to speak and hear ABOVE/OVER the ability to independently inquire and effectively acquire information as a person of the hands and eyes. With this said, it is clearly seen how the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing was founded with the intention of educating the Deaf and hard of hearing solely through speech and hearing and selfishly disregarding strong evidence of what is effective in developing a fundamental sense of knowledge in Deaf pupils.

If the association were separate from the man for which it is named, it would have long since ceased compliance to the man's beliefs and ideals.

Has it? NO.

If the association were separate from the man for which it is named, it would provide continued support to those who do not procure intelligible speech or the use of hearing technology.

Does it? NO.

If the association were separate from the man for which is is named, it would view American Sign Language as a bona-fide language and essential to the education of Deaf children.


All of the above is true of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and bear merit as prime examples of promoting an attitude towards Deaf people that is condescending, discriminating, and one that pushes for the denial of a right to language for those dependent on their hands and eyes to absorb information and communicate with the world at large.

Alexander Graham Bell, the man, strongly believed that Deaf people who cannot "speak" for themselves have no place in discussions pertaining to the education of the Deaf and equally believed that it was essential for parents and teachers to manipulate children into believing they are something they aren't, a person of the ear and voice. He has created the unfortunately long standing tradition of ignoring the needs of children of the hands and eyes and instilled in our history the selfish denial that American Sign Language IS a true and effective language in educating the Deaf. This tradition is evidenced today in the form of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, which continues to limit the learning opportunities of Deaf children and their families by obscuring facts with futile ideals. That alone, is the core reason why Deaf education has been ridiculously riddled with "failures" and WHY we STILL hold the association responsible.

If you disagree, leave a comment.


  1. can i leave a comment if i agree?

    this is why we STAND and ain't blue tape grand?


    oh - and thank you!

  2. I saw a book to train your baby sign as babies understand sign faster than verbal communication.

  3. We are fighting a public perception that normalization is the way to go...denial and enforced restriction of "disabled ways" in order to impose a normal-appearing way of life.

    The AGB organization was fortunate to have a permanent endowment from a wealthy man who believed in eugenics, restriction and normalization. In order to stop this, we have to fight both the historical person and the organization he founded (and still controls by a clause in its charter that it never teach ASL or else lose the endowment.)

    Several methods: teaching the public that normalization is destructive, proving wrong the man who is still regarded as a benefactor and authority, instilling the beauty and efficacy of ASL, teaching the benefits of ASL for all people, and establishing balanced service agencies that teach all methods. Teaching that it is healthy to be inclusive and use ASL.

    Some of this contradicts AGBADHH teaching, but we HAVE to counter their misleading PR ideas such as "independence through speech and hearing" and to SHOW people that it is a fallacy. If it results in reducing the influence of AGBADHH, so much the better. AGBADHH is a dinosaur that belongs to the past as it is.

  4. A quickie for you: Something I played with just for fun, Im sure a lot more could be tweaked...

    MLK’s "I Have a Dream" Revised As: “Wholly People”
    Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
    And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
    I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
    I have a dream that one day amidst the dogwood trees of DC, the sons of oral education and the sons of former oral educators will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
    I have a dream that one day even the Alexander G. Bell Association, an organization sweltering with the history of injustice, sweltering with the history of oppression, will be transformed into a visual oasis of freedom and justice.
    I have a dream that my deaf children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the decibel of their hearing but by the content of their character.
    I have a dream today!
    I have a dream that one day, in Deaf Education, with its vicious Audists, with its governor having his lips read with the words of "Literacy" and "Deafhood" -- one day right there in Education little deaf boys and deaf girls will be able to join hands with little hearing boys and hearing girls as sisters and brothers through knowing hands and open eyes.
    I have a dream today!
    I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."2
    This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to Education with.
    With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day as whole people.