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Audism Free America Rally at EHDI in St. Louis, MO
March 5-6 2012
1. Equitable funding .AFA calls upon EHDI, CDC, NIH, and US Dept of Education to address the historical and contemporary inequality of funding by increasing funds for bilingual (ASL and English) materials, early educational programs, Deaf mentoring programs, and services to parents. Equitable funding should be transparent.
2. Early Healthy Deaf Identification.
AFA calls upon EHDI to shift its approach to Deaf infants and their families from a pathological/medical bias to a positive/culturally-additive model in identification. To ensure this, parents need to be informed at the time of identification that American Sign Language is a linguistic human right for a Deaf child and Deaf/ASL early service providers are trained to work with them. In addition, EHDI should implement the labeling/way of thinking that was published in EHD's 2011 Resource book in the chapter on Partnerships with the Deaf Community.
3. Stake Holders in Leadership positions.
AFA calls upon EHDI to hire Deaf people who use and support ASL/Deaf Culture in leadership roles at national and state levels.
4. Full Disclosure.
Audiologists should be required to explain the four international documents and their positions on the language and cultural rights of Deaf people. Also, they need to explain the recalls (both voluntary and involuntary) and risks associated with cochlear implants and Audio-verbal Therapy (AVT) programs.
5. Confidential Information and Genetic research.
AFA calls upon EHDI to guarantee that information about Deaf children and their families will not be used for collecting genetic information beyond consults with the families. EHDI will not support financially nor in terms of information sharing any research related to genetic engineering.