Sunday, November 2, 2008



With yesterday's MoAD's Presentation: In Search of Deafhood workshop, I have come to realize what was wrong with the Missouri Deaf Community. It is now clear and bright that we are suffering from colonialism. This is a new meaning and an eye-opening one! It is how and why some hearing people are behaving towards us. Those people are depriving us from a fully accessible language and socialization.

We can encounter them with our assertive plans and we can reverse their framings. There are plans to de-colonize Missouri. We are looking into implementing procedures to remove the negative effects of colonialism and audism in our lives.

We are allowed to share and discuss Deaf-related concerns and solutions with others (in person and on v/blogs).

We can prove that oralism benefits the professionals and how it harms the child and their families. It is a vicious cycle that needs to be broken. It can be done.

Many of us grew up oralist. We know and have seen how it hurts our families. My parents were divorced and my mother suffered mental health problems from having to deal with two deaf boys. She thought that God was punishing her. She even tried to kill me when I was three years old. She suffered from post partum that was unheard of in the early 1950's.

I still love her but I had to understand where she was coming from. She was a proud woman who had circles with ladies from country clubs and socials. She felt the world felling apart and in those days, disabled people were considered "no-no". Or was it perfectionism? It was colonization effect that affected my family. The doctor told her the bad news about me being deaf. She went into shock. She told me everything when I was in high school and we discussed a lot about what happened. I did inquire as to why i was "different". I had hard time trying to please hearing people and what did I get in return? You go figure! I am not alone in this issue. I know that you share the same problems I went through. It is colonialism hurting us.

In order to clarify what colonialism is - according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, it defines as a control by one power over a dependent area or people. It is very obvious how the hearing people in Missouri are controlling us. Is it? Prove me wrong! Show me the Deaf community!!!!

This is how and why I enjoyed yesterday's workshop provided by Ella Mae Lents and Genie Gertz! I love them both and they did hit the nail right and they brought the house down with funny stories and of course there were unfortunate stories. We are to look into more activism based on their proposal to encourage us to do Deafhood activism. We are taught to be collective and vigilant in our towns. We are to examine and understand colonialism. We agreed that oralizm is recognized as child abuse. We are always appreciating our allies. We always want to form alliances and we do not need compromises anymore. We are to stand up for our rights as Deaf community.

We understand that David Eberwein could not make it. We appreciate his video message at the start of the workshop. We are glad that we had Deafhood workshop.

While we are searching Deafhood, we are learning to build a vision of a new world...

"*Where being Deaf is celebrated and never condemned.

*Where academic excellence in a natural Sign Language is critical and never compromised.

*Where Deaf-related concerns are "heard" and never ignored.

*Where false divisions among Deaf people are discarded and naturaly diversity is embraced.

We are now embracing Deafhood so that our future generations can dream big, think deep, sign freely, and walk proudly as Deaf people." from

We want simply our Deafhood back to pre-1880 existence levels. We were appreciated by many Hearing people in those days that "interpreters" were not needed. Get my drift? There were no such thing as interpreters in those days. A lot of hearing people were able to use sign language and share the world together. There was a prestigious society in Paris, France for many years in the early 19th century and people from world all over came to share ideas for prosperity and good life. It was shattered by audism and thievery from some hearing people.

Read books and history and you will know what we are talking about. It is time to de-colonize! I have scoured all over internet and great many books about deaf history dating back the three milleniums. The answers are in the history. We need to turn it around and stop them in their tracks!

A BIG THANKS TO PADDY LADD for initiating the steps to DEAFHOOD and we are learning to appreciate the BLUE RIBBON CEREMONY.

What about you? Can you show me your deaf community? Feel free to tell me about it! Have a good one!


Paul Kiel
St. Louis, Missouri
-a private citizen-

For more information about Deafhood, please visit the website at _ _

November 2, 2008