Since 1880, They Took the Authority, Opportunity, & Advantage Away From Us, the Deaf People.

In each of my three previous articles, I explained the importance of one of the three terms, “authority, opportunity, and advantage.” I think that for minority groups to develop self-determination and some degree of political power, they must have achieved the above three conditions. As my title states, I believe that we the Deaf people developed these conditions prior to 1880, and that since that time, I believe that they have been taken away from us.

Each minority group that achieves some degree of autonomy has developed these conditions. Ask African Americans, Hispanics, women and maybe the Native Americans what role these three terms have played in their accomplishments.

The deaf minority group is different; we no longer have well-developed conditions like these. We did have them from about earlier than 1817 until 1880. During that period, deaf education was primarily in American Sign Language and teachers and superintendents were primarily deaf themselves. It was a time of many successful deaf professionals, deaf culture, ASL and strong deaf educational system. The deaf community thrived. Then in 1880, an international conference of deaf educators met in Milan, Italy.

Repeat: From article 19th, under the topic, the years between 1817 and 1880, the third clause states on Deaf History:

What Happened in 1880? (By Jamie Berke http://deafness.about.com/bio/Jamie-Berke-80.htm ),

"Milan 1880. No other event in the history of deaf education had a greater impact on the lives and education of deaf people. This single event almost destroyed sign language.

In 1880, there was an international conference of deaf educators, the Second International Congress on Education of the Deaf. At this conference, held September 6-11, 1880, a declaration was made that oral education was better than manual (sign) education. A resolution was passed banning sign language. The only countries opposed to the ban were the United States (represented by Edward Miner Gallaudet, Rev. Thomas Gallaudet, Issac Peet, James Denison, and Charles Stoddard) and Britain. The sign supporters tried, but failed, to get their voices heard. Here are the first of 8 resolutions passed by the convention..."

That is what I call “audism,” paternalistic pressure by the deaf educational hearing professionals.

Of the Deaf People, By the Deaf People, For the Deaf People

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