Monday, February 11, 2008

AG Bell Petition

video
This Video is an ASL translate of the plaque located in tower B Bell Hall that honors AG Bell and his philosophies. The plaque will be shown at the end of the video.

This petition supports the plaque removal and renaming of Bell Hall with someone who is supportive of D/deaf people and our education and culture.

Click on:
http://www.PetitionOnline.com/RMAGBELL/petition.html


52 comments:

Anonymous said...

When the plaque gets taken down, be sure to have it melted down, too, Lol...

DT

Anonymous said...

You should check the new book on Alexander Bell just out a month ago..."The Telephone Gambit" is the title, I believe. It shows that Alexander Bell DIDNT invent the phone..he stole the patent and profitted from that very act.

And with that theft, the deaf suffered for almost a hundred years.

I still find it laughable that the AgBAD would idolize a thief. It does go very far to show the shadiness of the AgBAD leadership and perhaps its membership base.

Anonymous said...

Adam Stone had a good blog article about the folly of doing something like this.

Doesn't this occur like every 3-4 years anyway?

Anonymous said...

Wow! The debate over AGBell issues keep worse and worse since past year till now. Therefore, it affects us feeling to get sick of AGB which is very REBELLIOUS and DISRESPECTFUL to us as our deaf community!

Now I am looking at AGBad and feel miserable with AGBell because ABGell is part of NAZI's theory influences! Too much discrimination on us and start to war against our deaf community's rights. WE NEED TO SHOUT OUR HANDS WAVE AND START TO WORK AND SWEEP AGB OFF AND GET A FREEDOM OF OUR RIGHTS!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting your vlog. What is the reaction of the deaf community in Rochester to the plaque? What are they planning to do?

Noella said...

hard to see the plaque in the bottom can you zoom in or type the exact wordings in the video??

patti said...

someone above mentioned that this opposition to having a plaque and a dorm named in AG Bell's honor at NTID surfaces every few years - YES TRUE

it usually happens after students have studied Deaf history and start to make connections that they never knew of before. Dr. Rebecca Edwards has a great article in the Public Historian chronicling how the dorm name and plaque came to be at NTID and how students have opposed it.

Usually if an idea keeps resurfacing - it is only a matter of time before people have to address it sincerely and honestly.

NTID at RIT has always been a really unique place - it attracts folks from all walks of life. The opposition to the plaque is never to be confused with the opposition of people who were raised orally and/or prefer being oral.

Rather the opposition is to idolizing and honoring someone who actively tried to diminish Deaf culture, Deaf rights and ASL. This has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt via his own writings and also numerous history books and the recent AG Bell assoc. letter to Pepsi.

Its really important as deaf folks r waking up to seeing what AG Bell and his association stood for and seems to be standing for now - that in NO WAY do we communicate an anti-oral deaf people stand.

Many people who were raised orally, may have even attended Bell school or AG Bell camps, may be members of AG Bell association - may cherish their oral / aural skills. In no way should they be greeted with hostility. Many folks may not be comfortable signing the petition because they are not fully aware of AG Bell's actions or have not read his own writings or seen the AG Bell's Association recent letter to Pepsi. That is fine and their right.

thanks for creating the peaceful petition

Peace

Patti Durr

DE said...

Gladly signed the petition.

AG Bell has colonized our education, and like many countries undergoing post-colonialism, we must begin the process of removing our oppressors' names and plagues from our sight.

Let the healing begin.

(Ruthie- always good to see you in person and online. You were great in Virginia, and we look forward to working together again at the DBC conference in Milwaukee June 27-30!)

GalaxyAngelz said...

Where can I find petition sign ?

Best AgBAD needs go! *remove plague wall*

OCDAC said...

RIT is not Gallaudet and will never be one in the future.

Barb DiGi said...

It is amazing how naive I was when residing in Tower B more than two decades ago knowing that AG Bell advocated oralism but that was it. I never knew he was a part of eugenics movement and how his philosophy had oppressed thousands of oral victims.

After studying more about Deaf history in depth, I became more appalled how this crook was honored especially that there were claims that he stole the telephone invention. We may be Deaf but it doesn't mean that we are deaf about the facts of AG Bell. It is time for him to be exposed by the world about what kind of person he was and how he came to symbolize to the Deaf Community.

We need to continue to educate the reality of AG Bell's actions. The petition may be a start and I hope that NTID administration will take this seriously. Please keep us posted.

Misha said...

Gladly signed the petition! I'm going to pass around this petition to my deaf friends to remove AGBell plaque.

Thanks for posting up the petition.

Misha :D

David Ennis said...

I am graduate of NTID and RIT(business college). I am proud of your political actions that help empowering the Deaf people. In fact, NTID does not need the high-tech Milan

David Ennis said...

I strongly encourage you and students to establish the DISINVESTMENT FROM AGBELL campaign.

The simple goal is to cut the annual NTID/RIT donation to the AGBELL until the AGBELL philosophy must be reformed.

tayler said...

I wrote a opinion article which was published in RIT's student publication "Reporter" in 2000.

Then Adam Stone wrote something in "The View", NTID's student newspaper a couple years after.

I can tell you the effort is different this time around. Because of the internet. Blogs etc. Word gets around.

I'm still writing about AGB and his plaque.

http://www.ythree.com/?s=bell+NTID

Don't let "it happens every 3-4 years" discourage you. With the internet, blogs and video, you're empowered to do so much more!

Anonymous said...

So you plan to share the Public Historian article with us?

Anonymous said...

John Critser says:

Honestly, any school that uses sign language, such as NTID, should remove all plaques that support oralism only.

Because, times have changed. The Ripples of ASL is ripping through every town, every country farm, and every big city in the United States. Oralism is merely second fiddle now.

ASL Risen said...

Thank you, I already signed up petition. Do I have to confirm by response by email??? But I happened saw Missouri Stem Cells after clicking review my signature name. Weird??

Anonymous said...

Lets bring AGBELL (AGBAD) to JUSTICE !!!!! made sure buried all AGBELL history

cheers peace
DeafCanadian :)

patti said...

Edwards, R.A.R., "Chasing Aleck: The Story of a Dorm," The Public Historian, Vol. 29, No. 3, pp. 87-104 (summer 2007)

sorry dont have copyright permission to upload here

If author and publisher grant permission then someone can put it up

peace

p

Anonymous said...

oh come on NTID...
keep deaf forever...
don' t push deaf down...
keep deaf look up future and success...

mochame said...

I already sign the petition, AGBAD must go!

Joseph Pietro Riolo said...

I agree with the comment made by the third anonymous person above (comment dated February 11, 2008 at 6:45am). Asking to remove the plague is a sign of intolerance toward the other ideas.

The article that the anonymous person referred to is available at http://www.foundinblank.com/?p=202 . Mr. Adam Stone is very wise in pointing out that NTID encourages eclectic environment, something that we don't see in other colleges. I am a strong proponent for pluralism and I am very proud that NTID and RIT encourage pluralism. My strong belief in pluralism necessitates me to allow the other ideas to be welcomed, examined and tried. This includes the methods relating to oral communication, for which Dr. Alexander Graham Bell happens to be the appropriate symbolism.

I would encourage people not to sign on the petition.

Joseph Pietro Riolo
josephpietrojeungriolo@gmail.com
A RIT/NTID alumnus

Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this post in the public domain.

David Ennis said...

To Joseph Riolo

I understood that you strongly believe in pluralism.
.
The main problem with the works of Alexander Graham Bell does not support the idea of cultural pluralism.

Secondly, the past 1970's hearing leaders of the NTID/RIT adminstration don't understand how the Deaf people feel toward the Pure Oralism movement. The same hearing leaders don't have the Deaf experience the Deaf people do have it.

For example, the non-Jewish leader decided to dedicate the wonderful works of Adolf Hitler plaque at the Jewish college. That's why many Deaf people including myself dont make sense with the AGB plaque.

Hope you understand what my perspective of him Anyway, I still respect your opinion.

tayler said...

Joseph Pietro Riolo -- you support pluralism and eclecticism; Alexander Graham Bell did not. He believed oralism was the ONLY method to teach deaf students--he wasn't tolerant of any other methods or languages.

He'd have fought against institutions such as NTID for allowing an eclectic communication philosophy.

He would have rejected the NTID plaque had he been alive in 1974.

AGB was a main proponent in the Eugenics movement here in the United States. Adolf Hilter learned of this which resulted in the genocide of 250,000 disabled people in Germany.

Orange and Brown Coalition said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joseph Pietro Riolo said...

Responding to Mr. David Ennis' comment:

Dr. Alexander Graham Bell is far from a saint. Yet, it can't be denied that he did make a major contribution to the deaf education by introducing the oral methods, albeit in not so constructive way. If it were not for him, the deaf children would have not recognized the potential that they had in utilizing the oral methods.

In the Chinese culture, the philosophy of yin and yang shapes the life of the Chinese people for a long time. Too much yang is not good and too much yin is not good either even though they are opposite. Dr. Bell representing oral methods can be seen as yin (or yang) and the other leaders representing signed languages can be seen as yang (or yin). If NTID allows only yang with no room for yin, the world of NTID will be skewed and out of balance. By letting a bit of yin from Dr. Bell's oralism, NTID is able to create eclectic environment where both yang and yin (as well as variations of yang and yin) can flourish.

I understand what you are saying in regard to your example of Adolf Hitler. I think that this is a very extreme example that is not comparable with Dr. Bell. A better analogy would be someone like Thomas Jefferson. He was not a saint but yet, people continue to honor him at countless places.

Responding to Mr. Tayler Mayer's comment:

I want to explain a bit about pluralism. If Dr. Alexander Graham Bell and Dr. Edward Miner Gallaudet were alive today, pluralism would allow them to work at NTID side by side (but not necessarily in same office :-) ). They would expound their philosophies all they would want to. They would criticize each other (in civilized ways, naturally). They would compete for attention from the students. The students would have the rare opportunity to see the both sides of coin right before their own eyes. Yet, in the end, they would deserve the respect from each other and from the students and professors.

Pluralism does not mean that the individuals within a pluralistic society must accept pluralism. It takes good, courageous leaders to create and protect a pluralistic environment where disagreeable people can thrive. Even if Dr. Bell opposed pluralism with all his strength, NTID would still hire him. He would be foolish if he declined the offer from NTID.

Joseph Pietro Riolo
josephpietrojeungriolo@gmail.com
A RIT/NTID alumnus

Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this post in the public domain.

Orange and Brown Coalition said...

RESPECT is a two way street

If AG Bell's ideals and life work and resulting organization and publication simply advocated for the advancement of oral / aural skills without undermining, degrading, omitting, eliminating, and at times banning ASL as an option from a Deaf person's life then you are right - the plaque and the dorm name would simply be representing another option. HOWEVER that is not the case - Bell's own writings and the work of historians like Dr. Edwards (see above article), Dr. Lane, Dr. Baynton (Forbidden Signs: American Culture and the Campaign Against Sign Language) and many others have shown Bell’s EXCLUSIONARY ideals and practices

If there was a dorm and plaque on NTID/RIT's campus honoring a person who advocated for ASL at the expense of learning English - i would be the first to object

An ONLY anything approach is discongruent with pluralism, multiculturalism, humanintarianism, and just simply
NOT s-o-u-n-d reasoning

in terms of T. Jefferson - i would be shocked if any African-American dorm was named in his honor or had a plaque praising him.

Yes, his words still hold power today and yes he was a brilliant man and a dedicated leader. He was also a slave owner and fathered slaves and yet never thought that the words HE wrote below might apply to ALL men and women of this country - most especially African-Americans. this is why it is doubtful that any African-American college dorm honors him. Instead most such places honor men and women who have contributed to the advancement of their people rather than the fragmentation and destruction of their natural language and culture.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.'

Also its important to note that EM Gallaudet had already begun to advocate for speech classes in addition to regular class subjects being taught in ASL for deaf children and the combined method when AG Bell began his campaign against sign language.

Where as AG Bell - the man and the association have often taken an oral / aural ONLY position (see AVT / CI programs today) - i know of no organization or individual in our history who has advocated solely for the teaching and use of ASL ONLY

Peace

pdurr

Anonymous said...

You people need to really grow the hell up and look at the things going on in this world. Worrying and obsessing over frivolous stuff like a damn plaque is ridiculous. Are you people even a part of HUMAN CULTURE??? Do you even have a conscious that will allow you to care about the important issues in this world??? I do not understand you people. This is why people (meaning everyone from every culture) believes that you lack the intelligence to even debate on such critical issues. The only thing that matters to you is little things like ASL being taught in the Henrietta Schools, a plaque, hearing people using cell phones, and so forth. The list of silly complaints you all have are endless. You might as well do your "little world" a favor and create your own island somewhere. You sicken me with your complaints. Bring forth something worth while and in the mean time try doing what you are supposed to do at RIT/NTID and get an EDUCATION.

Nina said...

What is wrong with promoting the use of voice as well as sign language? It's a bit disturbing that we cannot support both. I see the benefits in using both. My Deaf teacher speaks very highly of Alexander Bell so I am just a little confused and trying to learn more.

Nina

tayler said...

Anonymous (February 12, 2008 11:00 PM) -- look up online inhibition effect

I believe in fighting one battle at a time. The war is AGBell the association who continues to tell parents that it's not OK to teach their deaf child(ren) sign language, while it's proven when sign language is used for early language acquisition, it greatly benefits the child(ren).

Nina, that is why AGB has to go. He did not advocate both using voice and sign language. He would have banished NTID for allowing other communication methods and languages for use in the deaf classroom.

If he would have said oralism was a better way to teach deaf students, I would have been fine with that (however to my dispute :)). Rather, AGB said that oralism was the ONLY way to teach.

Moreover, he was a leader in the eugenics movement. Adolf Hilter picked up on this and brought on a genocide which killed 250,000 disabled people in Germany. Because of this AGB is seen as the "Hilter" of the disabled and deaf community.

Therefore, having a plaque on a NTID building honoring AGB is comparable to a plaque honoring Adolf Hilter on a Jewish building. This is unspeakable.

Read more here: http://www.ythree.com/?s=NTID+bell

Joseph Pietro Riolo said...

This is mainly in response to Ms. Patti Durr's latest comment (February 12, 2008 9:54pm) and a bit to Mr. Tayler Mayer's latest comment (February 13, 2008 1:17pm).

We need to keep in mind that not everyone sees Dr. Alexander Graham Bell in same way. While there are many people who see him as a baddest villain that deserves a place below the lowest devil in hell (I am exaggerating a lot here but you get my drift), there exist some people who do see him in somewhat more positive perspective. Do we want to silence them? Do we want to disrespect their perspective? Do we want to show double standard by allowing the majority (consisting of people who hate Dr. Bell) overrun the minority's view?

While it is true that there was no individual or organization that would advocate the exclusive method of ASL, I do see the increasing intolerance toward the other signing systems and other communication modes. We see that some or few ASL proponents look down on kids and adults who use SEE, PSE, Cued Speech, SimCom, and even ASL signs in English order. We see them criticize or mock their impure signing systems. This has to stop. Perhaps, the plaque of Dr. Bell serves a reminder to the people that no matter how much we disagree with one's position on communication mode, we should strive for tolerance among the people. That includes individuals who believe only in the exclusive method of oralism such as AVT (audio-verbal therapy).

Comparing Dr. Bell to Adolf Hitler is becoming tiresome. This only shows the logical fallacy in one’s argument. It is called "argumentum ad Nazium" or "The Hitler Card", both of which belongs to the logical fallacy of guilt by association.

Joseph Pietro Riolo
josephpietrojeungriolo@gmail.com

Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this post in the public domain.

patti said...

Joseph

Re: your point that some people see Bell in a "somewhat positive light"

a plaque and a building named in his honor is a lot more than a "somewhat positive light" the wording of the plaque concludes with "Today, NTID emulates the ideals for which Alexander Graham Bell worked.”

the ideals for which Bell worked for were:
- oral/aural ONLY education (this resulted in alot of physical abuses to prevent children from using gestures / signs)
- non-residential day programs programs to stop Deaf folks from socializing, signing and falling in love
- against Deaf publications and conventions
- against Deaf teachers
- against Deaf marriages and mating
- he lobbied Congress to prohibit Deaf students from entering the Normal School (teacher training program) at Gallaudet college even after EM Gallaudet assured him he would only allow hearing students
- he actively denied d/Deaf people self-governance and self-determination as it related to their own people's education - he refused to attend NAD conventions and engage in dialogue with its leaders on the subject of Deaf education and more INCLUSIVE models/methods of communication

see "Memories on the Formation of a Deaf Variety of the Human Race" by Bell and his correspondence with Deaf leaders (Hanson, Veditz, etc) and Bayton's, Winefield and other Historians' books

you are right that we dont need to make Bell into the big bad boogey man as Humphries referred to him in "Through Deaf Eyes" doc.

he was not the first nor will he be the last that feel an oral ONLY method is superior and restores Deaf people to society - however, he was the most influential and his legacy the longest lasting

almost EVERY Deaf school in the US became oral at one point in time after Milan Italy 1880, Horace Mann, but most especially after Bell and the spread of Social Darwinism (see Baynton)

Deaf teachers were reduced to almost none and those that could survive were usually regulated to vocational training where signing was allowed for the "oral failures"

in the "through Deaf eyes" doc. Gina Oliva said “I think Alexander Graham Bell’s greatest crime was keeping deaf people apart from each other. It wasn’t so much that he thought speech was important. Worse than that was that he didn’t want deaf people to marry each other. He didn’t want them to be near each other. He wanted them to be apart.”

i think this is the HEART of the issue

while it is wrong to over vilify Bell. I do not believe he belongs in Hades. it is also wrong to honor him and ignore the damage he has done to the Deaf community

if his work was only to introduce oral / aural training while accepting visual acuity and ASL - a bilingual and bimodal approach - then the plaque would not be objectionable

This idea that we can not study HISTORY and FACTS and discuss them honestly and fully because that means we are against being oral or having oral skills - is not logical or wise. I am not nor will i be against anyone who does not sign.

the objection is to ORALISM - which was a systematic form of audism that invaded our American education system. oralISM is similar to racISM, sexISM, agISM, etc. the belief and practice that one way of being is superior to another

the controversy now before us re: the plaque is one of respect

do we leave it up and offend any and all d/Deaf people (regardless of if they r oral, ASL, bi etc) who are aware of the ideals of which Bell worked for or do we take it down and offend some d/Deaf people who feel that by rejecting the ideals for which bell worked, we are somehow rejecting them. We are not nor will we ever. The issue is with Bell's ideals and his work / advocacy to banish ASL and Deaf culture - it is not with the development of oral skills themselves

Re: Hitler and Bell - I agree that the analogy at times has been misused. I believe Tayler mentioned Hilter largely because of the social darwinism / eugenics bent that Bell exhibited interest in and which Hitler brought to a profoundly devastating height

Joseph - i wonder if you have any suggestions as to how the petition could be clearer - that the opposition is to honoring Bell and his ideals and not in any way shape or form an opposition to individuals who communicate orally.

if u prefer to dialogue via email - just let me know. i appreciate ur perspective. it is important to me

Peace,

Patti

Nina said...

Thank you Tayler for better explaining things to me. I am still learning about ASL and Deaf culture. So many mixed messages out there, for example what Anonymous posted yesterday above my comment.

Thanks again.

Nina

Anonymous said...

Adolph Hitler created Genocide to get rid of Jews. A G Bell created Deafocide to get rid of Deaf! Any questions?

Joseph Pietro Riolo said...

This comment is in response to the latest comment made by Ms. Patti Durr (the third previous comment up there, dated February 13, 2008 10:23pm).

I can understand how people interpret the statement on the plaque very broadly to include the deeds that Dr. Alexander Graham Bell did during his life and the legacy that he left to the world after his death. Understandably, not too many people find his deeds acceptable.

May I suggest, however, that the statement on the plaque should be interpreted as narrowly as possible? If the statement is interpreted in the narrowest sense, the ideals then refer to being an innovative teacher, taking great interest in deaf children, maximizing the potential in the children especially in the oral skills and dedicating a great portion of life to the betterment of their lives. In this sense, this is what NTID is trying to include in its philosophy.

I support the individuals to make a petition for this is one of the most civilized ways to express one group's position on an issue. There is no need for me to make any suggestion on rewording or improving the petition. What I can hope is that when a committee or panel takes the petition, the members of the committee or panel will look at all facets, perspectives and sides. If they vote to accept the petition, so be it. It will be no secret that I will be slightly disappointed but I will be glad to agree to disagree and move on. If they vote to respectfully decline the petition, so be it. I will not gloat over the people who signed the petition.

Before I leave the soapbox (or platform or stage or whatever horizontal supporting plane :-) ), I would like to encourage people to look at the forest. NTID has a nice, uplifting theatre that is named after Dr. Robert Panara. It is called The Robert F. Panara Theatre. His love for sign language as part of art can’t be underestimated. This alone is enough to overshadow the small plaque and I think that people should be content with the eclectic environment of different trees.

Joseph Pietro Riolo
josephpietrojeungriolo@gmail.com

Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this post in the public domain.

Jean Boutcher said...

Joseph Riolo,

You cannot be a pluralist if you embrace a non-pluralist. Alexander Graham Bell literally forbad signing students to attend the same school together. See Prof. John Van Cleve's book, "A Place of Their Own."

Joseph Pietro Riolo said...

Responding to Ms. Jean Boutcher's comment (the previous comment, dated February 15, 2008 10:49am):

In a pluralistic environment or society, it is inevitable that some or few individuals within the environment or society don't accept the concept of pluralism. That is to be expected. I will give three examples.

The U.S. is an excellent example of pluralism. We have fifty states and few territories that form their own ways of government and living. California is very different from New Jersey and yet, they co-exist within the U.S. that is unified by the constitution and guided by pragmatic principles. The current ongoing activities of elections for Democratic and Republican candidates show that each state has its own rule for allocating delegates to the candidates.

It is expected that some American citizens don't like the concept of pluralism and want all the states to be identical. Yet, we allow them to live in the U.S.

Second example is Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Throughout its mission statements and policies, pluralism is important and must be emphasized to the highest possible degree. It is expected that some students and professors don't like it but the philosophy of pluralism does not permit excluding them for if they are excluded, pluralism becomes an exclusive tool that is contrary to the philosophy of pluralism.

Third example is DeafRead. I know that DeafRead is primarily an aggregator and neutrality is the main philosophy that guides moderators/editors of DeafRead in selecting entries from different bloggers and vloggers. I can't help but notice that I saw some glimpses of pluralism in DeafRead. There, we see bloggers and vloggers who are on the opposite poles on different issues. These moderators/editors don't reject bloggers and vloggers because they are not neutral, because they don't support cochlear implant, because they don't support ASL or for any reasons.

It seems paradoxical that pluralism would allow the anti-pluralistic individuals to exist in its environment. But, it is possible. To be sure, pluralism is not without weaknesses but this is a whole topic on its own that goes beyond the scope of this comment.

Joseph Pietro Riolo
josephpietrojeungriolo@gmail.com

Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this post in the public domain.

Anonymous said...

NO WONDER WHY THERE ARE MUCH WEAK LAWS ABOUT DEAF CHILDREN'S FUTURE. NO WONDER WHY FEDERAL ALLOWS THE DOCTORS, TEACHERS, PARENTS, AND OTHERS TO DECIDE ON HAVING THEIR KIDS TO HAVE CI WITHOUT THE KIDS' APPROVAL. NO WONDER WHY WE DID NOT GO TO SENATORS TO FIGHT TO HAVE THEM TO PASS THE LAW THAT NO ONE COULD MAKE THE DECISION TO HAVE THE CHILDREN TO HAVE CI WITHOUT THEIR APPROVAL AND THE LAW TO BE PASSED FOR THE CHILDREN TO REACH 18 YEARS OLD TO MAKE DECISION TO HAVE CI OR NOT.
PLEASE HAVE ANYONE WHO HAVE PROBLEM WITH CI TO GO TO SENATORS .
GOOD LUCK

Rita said...

In response to Anonymous who left a comment on February 16th...

The reason why they do CI's for children younger than 18 us because that is when CI's are most effective. Meaning, you get the best results of the surgery if you have it at an early age. To wait and make a decision when you are 18 puts you at a much greater risk for complications, and overall, an unsuccessful procedure.

It would make no sense to wait until a child is 18, sorry.

Anonymous said...

Yippeee! lot of squabbles among deaf community... pro vs anti...
Why could not deaf community think postive and move forward instead of bring up past... If anyone in deaf community want to remove name of AGB, they should start with US Government history and museum and patent office...
If one think that AGB did steal idea of phone, then Henry Ford and Wrights Brother were quilty too..

deafmutearthur said...

Answer to Feb 16th post, US Gov't
support CI plans. Go research on Gov't bill to reduce cost of social security program...

Yoli said...

Thank you! Whew! I agree with the comment made by "Anonymous" yesterday, February 18th. It is critical to focus on the present-dat issues in order to promote a better future. Let's stop picking up these small yet fickle matters. It is important to debate and fight on issues that effect us as a whole nation (i.e. War, Healthcare, Immigration, Taxes... THESE THINGS ALL EFFECT US MORE THAN A PLAQUE).

For me, it is just scary and frightening to think that a plaque with the name of a nonexistent man on it is causing this much grief. Students at RIT/NTID do not need to be conditioned to think that small matters such as this matter more than things that ultimately effect EVERYONE in this COUNTRY. It is time to unite with other groups. I feel that we have a tendency to stick with our own and therefore we can become blinded by many other issues.

Also, you cannot fault a person for trying to help, which is clearly what AGB was trying to do. I do not think he was purposefully trying to abolish or diminish Deaf values or culture. I simply believe with my heart that he was trying to make sure everyone was equal, hearing and deaf, and at that time he thought the best thing to do was support oral.

DEAFNAVYHARLEYDAVIDSONUSA said...

REALLY I NEVER HEARD ABOUT AG BELL IN A YEARS NO ONE TELL ABOUT IT HISTORY AND THERE IS WRONG WAY PATH TO TELL DEAF PEOPLE LEGAL BUT MOSTLY DEAF PEOPLE IN USA THERE WISH FREEDOM WHAT THEY LIKE TO BE PERSON WHO WANT TO BE. THERE IS NO ORDER ALEXANDER BELL IS NOT A JUDGE TELL WHAT TO DO. I BELIEVE DEAF PEOPLE IN USA AND OUT OF COUNTRIES IS FREEDOM OUR WISH. ONE THING I ASK YOU ONE QUESTION DOES LEGAL DEAF CANNOT DRIVE CARS OR TRUCK ???? NO WAY THE LAWS WHO DEAF PEOPLE USA MADE LAWS OUR DEAF RIGHTS FIGHT TO PASS THE LAWS LIKE NAD IS FIGHTER FOR OUR FREEDOM. I HAD MANY FREINDS WHO GO TO NTID BUT NEVER TELL ME ABOUT AG BELL HISTORY. I THINK NTID DEAF DONT SUPPORT AG BELL BECAUSE IT IS WRONG PATH. IF DEAF WANT TO ORAL THAT FINE THAT THEIR LIFE. I USALLY SIGN LANGAUGE EVERYWHERE IN STORES OR BUINESS OR WORKS WHOEVER HAVE CAMERA WATCH YOU AND LEARN FROM DEAF COMMUCATION IS PARTS OF HOMEWORK HEARING CAN STUDY SIGN LANGAUGE BY CAMERA IN STORES DUE DEAF PEOPLE ARE TOUGHEST SPEAK UP EQUAL HEARING SPEAK AND DEAF SIGN LANGAUGE SPEAK TOO. IN FUTURE THERE WILL BE ONE WORLD HOW ??? SIGN LANGAUGE AND SPEAK BY CAMERA WILL MAKE ONE WORLD. AG BELL NEED TO REMOVE BECAUSE IT IS OLD LAWS AND WRONG PATH AND THERE WILL BE MIGHT BE FUTURE POWERFUL DEAF RIGHTS BY NOW 2008 TO NEXT CHILDRENS. EXUSE ME I AM PARTS OF DEAF SOILDER WHO BE STAND STRONGEST THANKS MY PARENT WHO UNDERSTAND DEAF CULTURE AND SPEAK UP DEAF CULTURE WORK HEARING CULTURE AS SHARRING AND UNDERSTAND FEELING HOW DEAF BEEN THRU LIFE IS ON ! SORRY I NEVER HEARD AG BELL AND IT WILL BE FADING AWAY AG BELL BECAUSE THERE IS NO ENOUGH POWERFUL AND WE LEARN FROM YOU SAID PHONE THAT AG BELL STOLE SO WE WILL CHANGE COPY RIGHTS DEAF BUINESS WHO MADE IT FROM DEAF BUINESS.

Valerie said...

I didn't know there was such controversy. I think it's good to be discussing whether or not the name and plaque should stay. If the dorm is re-named, I wonder whose name should be considered.....Maybe SOMEONE like "Tower A"?

Anonymous said...

Maybe that is what many people said about A.G. Bell. But his invention of telephone helped other people today to invent TTYs and Videophones which are for deaf people to use to communicate! I am a deaf person myself and I love to use my Vp! I tired of listening to people who kept on critizing the people who lived in the past.

BJ said...

This was sent to NTID Community, a good sign that the adminstration is open to ideas.

NTID Community:


As you may know, there have been a considerable number of concerns expressed by members of the RIT/NTID community about the name of the Alexander G. Bell Hall and commemorative plaque honoring Bell posted in the foyer of the building. It is argued by many that a number of attitudes, opinions, and actions that Alexander G. Bell promoted during his lifetime are not supportive of the diversity of people who are deaf, and therefore do not represent NTID.



I have decided to establish an advisory group to provide me with guidance on how to proceed on this issue. My decision of what action to take may include the possibility of replacing both the name and plaque. (You should be aware that renaming a building would require the support of Dr. Destler, and is ultimately the decision of the RIT Board of Trustees.)



The group will be composed of representatives of NTID faculty and staff governance groups, the NTID Student Congress, the Deaf Professional Group, alumni, and me; I will be convening the group. It is my intention to have a recommendation by May 1, 2008.


Alan Hurwitz

Anonymous said...

I think it is sad that Deaf people are against other Deaf who is able to speak verbally. I don't think AGBELL is Nazi. I speak verbally and I also use sign language.
I am sick of Deaf vs DEAF. I don't see Deaf who speak verebally discriminate against Deaf Signers.
Stop the HATE against Deaf who speaks Verbally. I feel that you are against me, and I am DEAF.
I suggest you Deaf Signers watch what you say about us. Enough!!
It is ok to speak against an Organization, but remember that we Deaf who speaks verbally have feelings and feel that you HATE us. Most of us verbal speakers had no choice to learn during our upbringing. I am learning ASL and using sign language more than before. I don't see Deaf ASL user learn to speak. (That makes me bilingual yeah.) Anyway. Just becareful about what you say about "Oral" and whatnot. Take care. Thanks for letting me vent my opinion.

Joseph Pietro Riolo said...

To the anonymous person that made the previous comment (dated February 23, 2008 at 6:48pm),

I applaud you for being brave in expressing your feelings. I have the same fear that if the plaque is removed, RIT and NTID will send a wrong message to the prospective students and to the world that they are not tolerant of students and people who are raised in the environment where oral methods are used extensively. It can be dangerously interpreted as a hateful message by some or few students. Few comments left at the petition are not encouraging and can only reinforce my fear.

Joseph Pietro Riolo
josephpietrojeungriolo@gmail.com

Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this post in the public domain.

Jennifer Dans-Willey said...

Awesome! I m delighted this is happening! This man has done nothing good for us in the past and even his organization isnt doing squat for the current community we are living in today.
Names honored should be for someone such like George Veditz, who wanted to perserve sign language, and believed that sign language is a way of life for the Deaf people all over the United States and the world.

Anonymous said...

Deaf people are unnecessarily harsh to those who are deaf and speak. Makes me think that they are jealous of those who are deaf and able to speak and sign fluently. The deaf community has a lot of things to work on: Being kind and descent citizens; your nastiness towards many people will not get you anywhere.

I am praying for all of you deaf people. You seriously are the most hateful group of people I have ever come into contact with.

Barb DiGi said...

I don't believe that asking the removal of AG Bell's plague means that they are against those who can speak. It has nothing to do with that at all and I want to clarify the misconceptions made by previous commentators.

It has a lot to do with who AG Bell was as a person if you have studied history of his involvement in Eugenics and attempt to ban Deaf people from marrying each other. There is no way we should be honoring this person who is a symbol of disrespect and oppression to Deaf people and their culture. Please surf around and read what he had said about this idea. It is all in the documents.

Don't derive this topic by placing the blame on Deaf people who don't use speech that they are against oralism which is not the point at all.

About Orange Brown Coalition

Mission: To share with the RIT community about Deaf Culture (language, history, humor, etc.) and related activities.

To facilitate relationships between Deaf and hearing members of the RIT community through awareness of our cultures.

To provide opportunities for self-empowerment and self-advocacy of Deaf people on campus.

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