Friday, July 19, 2013

AFA Rally Part 1

Ruthie Jordan shares the events that took place on July 18, 2013 at the Omni and the AFA rallies at the AG Bell Symposium.  Text summary below the video box.  To see schedule of events to July 19 and 20 go to

Ruthie Jordan explains that in walking through Omni hotel to find the restaurant & bar, Judy Harrison, AG Bell Program director, called Omni hotel security on her.  Security and Judy Harrison proceeded to follow and surveillance Ruthie as she sat peacefully having a drink in the Omni cafe.  Security spoke at Ruthie without any attempt to make their words accessible until Ruthie requested they get an interpreter or write.  They returned with Judy H. and an interpreter.  Security questioned her numerous times if she had a room in the Omni.  Each time Ruthie assured them she did and was just waiting for the 3 pm check in time.  (Note: Ruthie had already asked the Cafe server if non-Omni hotel guests could patron the Cafe which is situated as part of the Omni hotel and the Plaza space and the Cafe rep. said yes.)  Finally security, Judy H and the interpreter left Ruthie to enjoy her drink in peace.  She checked into her room at 3 pm and then met Deaf rally folks with open arms and hugs before the 5 pm Rally.

Ruthie reports that the rally went beautifully with some KODAs signing ASL IS A GIFT, Jon Savage sharing a poem, John Maucere performing and leading a chant, Guy Wonder giving a wonderful message and more.  People created signs and posters.  There police cars had arrived and Ruthie checked in with them ensuring that AFA was aware of the rules in using the public sidewalks - no obstructing of traffic and being peaceful. 

At one point the hotel manager had come out and even sent out staff to try to block AFA ralliers away from people exiting the hotel.  The managers behavior was reminiscent of the Marriot Hotel manager at the first AG Bell protest in VA hosted by DBC in 2009.  At one point the hotel security came out with Judy Harrison, AG Bell Program director, and she proceeded to try to interpret for the security.  Ruthie made it clear that there were ASL certified and qualified interpreters at the rally and at no point should the security or police utilize AG Bell staff members as interpreters.  The peaceful protest is a direct confrontation to illuminate the truths of AG Bell's conduct and practices and for security or the police to use an uncertified staff member of AG Bell Association to interpreter what Deaf ASL people are signing to the police or security opens things up for the Deaf peaceful protestors words to be twisted or misunderstood.  Ruthie explained to Judy Harrison that it is not right for her to take up this role of being "interpreter."  Ruthie also explained to the hotel manager and security that their treatment of Deaf ASL people - speaking at them or pulling at them - is not acceptable as we are not animals and should be treated as humans.  They simply either need to get an ASL interpreter or write.  She asked what they would do to insure no further mishaps take place the next day and they said they would be posting notes of what areas are restricted to AG Bell conference registrants only and will not be physical but rather write or get an interpreter if needed.

As the hotel manager and security walked away the police asked the hotel manager why she was behaving in the manner that she was - sending out staff to control people's movement out on the sidewalk and approaching the protestors outside etc.  She evasively said she was just doing her job and wasnt in favor of AG Bell or anything but just doing her job.  The police officer explained that it is THEIR - the Police - job to make sure traffic is not obstructed on the side walk and everything is in order at the rally - it is NOT the hotel or security's job. 

Ruthie gives her heartfelt appreciation to all the people who attended the rally, performed, made signs, stood and for all the members of our community who took pictures signing STAND or other artwork and posted them online in solidarity.  Ruthie explains AFA's commitment to PEACE and Justice and that is the strongest thing in the world.  She explains todays schedule of morning rally at Advanced bionic, afternoon at House Ear Institute, and evening vigil at John Tracy Clinic where candles will be lit for all the survivors of Oralism and cochlear implants.  We will also light a candle for John T. Williams, Native American Deaf woodcarver who was killed by a cop and for Trayvon Martin in solidarity with all injustice. 

Ruthie concludes with a message of gratitude, inspiration, peace and love as we STAND against audism.

Let Freedom Roll

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

AFA Announcements

AFA Announcements

Audism Free America, AFA, wishes to express our heartfelt upset, dismay, and shock at the George Zimmerman verdict of not guilty for the murder of Trayvon Martin.  We call upon members of our community to stand in unity with the Martin family against this injustice.  Hood up.

July 20th, 2013 - 12:00 PM "Justice for Trayvon" National Day of Action Vigils in 100 Cities (including Los Angeles) Federal Court Buildings Nationwide.

At the July 19th vigil - AFA will light candles in memory of Trayvon Martin and John T. Williams (Native American Deaf woodcarver who was killed by a cop)and others.

For the AFA L.A. rallies and events - pls wear black, yellow or blue.
Black is for mourning the suffering and loss of members of our community and represents strengths
Yellow is for caution against the Bermuda Triangle of Oralism and also a sign of hope in resistance
Blue is for Deafhood (Deafhood is about challenging audism and celebrating Deaf gain)

URGENT: The A-Deaf Team van was in an accident and is totaled. The A-Deaf team members are OK but unsure if they can get to LA. Pls make posters and banners to bring to the L.A. rallies - the A-Dream Team van was carrying banners, posters and flags for the rallies.  Also pls keep your thoughs on the A-Deaf Team members - that no serious injuries pop up later.

Join the AFA L.A. CA rallies at AGBAD LSL Symposium facebook page for more info as it comes in at or follow AFA on twitter @endaudism

 L.A. Rallies schedule: 


Friday, July 12, 2013

AFA L.A. Rallies Schedule - Tentative

“I hope that we all will love and guard our beautiful sign language as the noblest gift God has given to deaf people.” 
~ George W. Veditz (1913)

Note - schedule is subject to change

July 18, 2013 Thursday 5pm - 9 pm 
AG Bell LSL Symposium
Omni Hotel 251 South Olive street, Los Angeles, CA 
Peaceful protest of the AG Bell LSL (language and spoken communication) which mandates Deaf children be denied visual acuity and American Sign Language

July 19, 2013 Friday 10:00 am to 12 pm 
Advanced Bionics 
28515 Westinghouse Place, Valencia, CA 
Peaceful protest against Advanced Bionics – a cochlear implant company which has been find by the Food & Drug Administration, sued by parents for $7.25 million dollars for shocking their Deaf daughter due to a leak in the seal of the internal part and had numerous recalls of past devices (one of which has a positioner for the internal part near the brain and lead to infections and deaths)

2:30pm to 430pm 
House Research Institute
2100 W. 3rd Street LA, CA Peaceful protest of this institute which advocates for eradicating Deaf people and promotes a “medical cure” over language and cultural opportunities and rights.

530pm to 9pm 
John Tracy Clinic
806 West Adams Blvd Los Angeles, CA 
Vigil in memory of Deaf children who have suffered under the John Tracy Clinic’s method which denies sign language and visual acuity.

July 20, 2013 Saturday 10:30 am to 3 pm 
AG Bell LSL Symposium 
Omni Hotel 251 South Olive street, Los Angeles, CA 
Peaceful protest of the AG Bell LSL (language and spoken communication) which mandates Deaf children be denied visual acuity and American Sign Language

July 20, 2013 Saturday 7pm to 10pm
Deaf Victories Forum 
UCLA, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095
DODD Building – Room #170 
( and type "DODD BUILDING" and you will see the building on the map.
Presentations and closing of the L.A. Events
Audism Free America’s Three Demands:
AGBell Association, John Tracy Clinic, House Research Institute, and Advance Bionics stop excluding a natural and fully accessible language (American Sign Language - ASL) from Deaf children, and
Stop misinforming the public and the media about Deaf people, and 
Stop the incestuous relationship with cochlear implant manufacturers and
LSL programs.

-the ASL petition to the White House officially recognize ASL as a community language and language of instruction in schools (see community-language-and-language-instruction-schools/CRPw2JLk)
-the movement toward ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities which would ensure justice and equality for Deaf infants, youth and adults in areas of expression, access, education, and employment (see: crpd.html).
-the 2010 International Congress on the Education of the Deaf’s historical announcement rejecting an 1880 resolution banning sign language in the education of the Deaf people. In addition, the Congress expressed regrets concerning the 130 years of detrimental effects of this resolution and called upon all nations to ensure a new era of respecting all languages and promoting collaboration with Deaf citizens (see:
The linguistic, cultural and human rights of Deaf children have been asserted by a number of International bodies including the United Nations (UN), the World Health Organization/World Bank (WHO), the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), and the International Convention on the Education of the Deaf (ICED). (see 05:00&max-results=5&start=5&by-date=false

Friday, July 5, 2013

AFA video explaining mission of rallies at LSL Symposium in LA

Rallies in LA July 18-20, 2013
follow AFA on twitter at @endaudism and

AFA letter of support for the Deaf Studies Programme at Bristol

5 July 2013


 This letter serves to communicate our support for the Deaf Studies Programme at the University of Bristol. The reputation of this programme is both respected and valued in international Deaf communities. The development of this bilingual (BSL/English) university-level program, which has disseminated quality scholarship and nurtured Deaf leaders and educators, is without peer. The programme has also worked with the British Deaf community promoting activism and creative works. We believe this programme has made a significant impact on the way that Deaf people, educators and laypeople view Deaf people worldwide. Do not consign the programme to the annals of history prematurely. There is still much, much work to do and we need this programme to continue as a guiding force.

 As an organization committed to social justice, it is our hope that your institution is also committed to the human, linguistic, economic and civil rights of all peoples. One way you can ACT upon this commitment is to continue to support the value of Deaf Cultural Studies at the University of Bristol.

 Let Freedom Roll!

 Patti Durr, Ruthie Jordan and Karen Christie for Audism Free America

 Audism Free America is a grassroots Deaf activist network in the US, which advocates for Deaf American rights, cultural resurgence, and seeks primarily to challenge the ideological foundations of audism in America. For more information see: or contact us via

 Letter sent to: Professor Eric Thomas, Vice Chancellor Univeristy of Bristol Senate House Tyndall Avenue Bristol England BS8 1TH UK via Mr. denis Burn,Chair of Council

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Open Letter to Deaf Education Programs

In response to several concerns Audism Free America (AFA) has received from Deaf and Hearing students in Deaf Education teacher training programs about the pathological nature of the curriculum, AFA has created this open letter.

To Whom it May Concern:

It has come to our attention that many of the teacher training programs in the field of Deaf education continue to approach the Deaf child as if s/he is abnormal and inadequate. Many of these programs are designed with a heavy emphasis on the spoken language acquisition and English language development of hearing children and how Deaf children are delayed and/or deficient in comparison. There is also an abundance of course work addressing speech pathology and audiology when the stated goal of the programs and of the students in these programs is to become certified to teach elementary school level or a specific subject matter. The course of studies in these programs have a bias towards clinical services in the speech and hearing over methods of teaching, curriculum development, and the discipline areas these teachers will need to teach.

 Furthermore, while many teacher training programs aim to prepare their graduates for working with ‘diverse’ communication preferences and approaches, coursework and teacher expectations clearly value and reward speaking and listening approaches. A whole child approach as well as bilingual/multilingual educational strategies is absent from most of these programs. Students in these programs may bring in information from researchers such as Petitto, Emmory, Mayberry, Nover and Padden on the value and importance of bilingualism for the Deaf child’s linguistic and cognitive development as well as their feelings of contentment and self worth. Routinely, their professors undermine these studies as limiting and guide them back to utilizing research focusing on to speech, audition, cued speech and/or simultaneous communication.

Given that four international documents (see excerpts below) have declared the importance and justness of ensuring that Deaf children have access to a fully natural signed language in their educational environments and in light of the article by Humphries et al. concerning the harms of Cochlear Implants especially in terms of language deprivation
(, we call upon Deaf education teacher programs to give proper, correct, and accurate information in bilingual-bicultural (ASL & English) teaching methodology, research, curriculum, and materials.

Additionally, Deaf students in Deaf education teacher training programs, having experienced Deaf educational systems first hand, have much to teach us. Would that we would listen.

 Students training to become educators of Deaf learners today should not have to face systematic barriers to access to information about ASL, Bilingualism, and quality educational methodology rather than clinical services. We thank you in advance for re-examining your Deaf education program and routing out any bias or injustice that may exist.

 Let Freedom Roll,

Audism Free America

See four international documents asserting the rights of the Deaf child to have a fully natural accessible language and the right to Deaf people to have a say in the way they are educated.