I do not know yet. His track record may be poor in combating audism. I do know from being involved in past efforts to get an alumni organization to follow the same steps that Gallaudet University adopted in 1988.
I left that organization in 1980 after reading "Deaf Heritage" by Jack Gannon when it showed how hearing people behaved towards deaf community. It also showed AG Bell's stance against the deaf community. I was in shock when I read more. I dug deeper and deeper.
I tried to ask the alumni organizaton to adopt Gallaudet's system of having 51% deaf majority on board, hire deaf teachers, incorporate the use of ASL (with bi/bi system). and few things that would align the school to meet the real needs of deaf education. I was backstabbed, put down, ignored and insulted by some alumni members. I even lost friends due to my stubborness in correcting the social needs of Deaf community.
I got energized after reading Harlan Lane's book, "The Mask of Benevolence:Disabling the Deaf Community" I got more angry and was determined to do some kind of social change to alleviate the needs of the deaf community.
The last 21 years have brought more light and truth to the problems of audism.
Like Brian Riley's recent comments, "...the crucial political issue is finding ways to enlighten hearing parents on the issues so that they can avoid the pitfalls that have historically been associated with the narrow and exaggerated claims which originate within the medical industry, i.e., claims and "treatments" which generally tend to serve entrenched business interests and the financial interests of a particular professional class (audiologists, speech pathologists, etc.)", it is true and it still happens.
I am indeed concerned about the direction that Dr. Hurwitz may lead Gallaudet Unversity. He needs to understand that audism is not tolerable anywhere and that he needs to show his true colors by combating audism.
His first task may be to inform oral schools across the country including Central Institute for the Deaf, St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf, Moog Center for Deaf Education and Special School District of St. Louis that audism is not tolerable in schools and anywhere.
He needs to be reminded that there were two national reports that condemned oral schools for education failures. ( Babbage report of 1965 and Deaf Education Act of 1988).
Now with him leading Gallaudet University, it sends mixed messages to the public community as CID in the past had slandered Gallaudet University. I was even ridiculed by the former principal and other teachers for my decision to go to Gallaudet back in 1970s.
He needs to stand up for Gallaudet University by being truthful about how audism is rampant and how AG Bell and his cronies were lying about oralism since 1880.
He needs to help rescind the infamous Milan conference of 1880 that removed sign language from classrooms. It amounts to abuses when not allowing sign language in classrooms.
So now that Dr. Hurwitz is in the driver's seat at Gally starting January 1, 2010. He can help us combat audism.
Will he do it?
Will he waffle to make audists happy?
It did take him long time to get AG Bell plaque from the NTID dorm.
It may take him longer time to make any decisions to combat audism.
Will he do it?
Only time will tell!
Good luck, Dr. Hurwitz!
Central Institute for the Deaf:
Moog Center for Deaf Education:
St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf: