Monday, February 25, 2008

OB seeks feedback from RIT Community

Signed by Joe Kolash

Links to Robert Weitbrecht


GalaxyAngelz said...

How about:,M1
Geogre W.Veditz came American and taught Deaf Children/Teenagers use sign languages which very first person.
Would be great benefit Honored that guy includes first Deaf Man who create TTY. Would be great both honored too.

Geogre W.Veditz:
Pretty lot of information also.. related from Gally's archives too.

Up to them.

Anonymous said...

Good ideas that he made the phone work for the deaf. He also learned that ASL are necessary to help view communicated better. Also RIT is technical school that fit.

Joseph Pietro Riolo said...

For those who want to read the newspaper article as mentioned by Mr. Joseph Kolash, the link is .

Out of respect for the RIT/NTID students who want to focus on studying for final exams, I choose to remain silent until the end of this week.

Joseph Pietro Riolo

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

GalaxyAngelz said...

Forgot add:
Check it out!

Anonymous said...

i read the WP article questioning AGBell's telephone patent. Nothing black and white about it so far. Some believe he stole the invention from another guy i think Gary. No hard proof yet.

AGBell was very active in promoting his idea to ban deaf marriage and sterilize people with deaf gene. He was an unashamed eugenicist. It violates RIT Honor Code for sure.

I think Gallaudet community would like to name after Veditz for one of buildings. He was a Gallaudet graduate. I think he is more proper for Gallaudet than for RIT.

I think W... guy is a good choice. He is a good rep for RIT.

Anonymous said...

It doesn’t matter if NTID/RIT decides to name a building after Veditz. It is the same thing as Laurent Clerc. There is more than ONE building that is named after Laurent Clerc.

American School for Deaf have dorm building named after Clerc.

Gallaudet have a dorm building named after Clerc.

There is more such as Clerc Classic and Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet.

And there is more buildings that are named after Clerc, but I forgot where.

Why not we honor Veditz more than one building?

Veditz started the motion picture. That is part of technology to preserve ASL.

Anonymous said...

why replace one oralist with another?!!!!! I think this is a BAD suggestion and you should go back to the drawing board.

patti said...

The petition to have Bell's name and plaque removed from the dorm is due to his actions not being honorable and in fact destructive to the Deaf community and ASL. It is not because he himself or anyone else was an oralist.

By opposing Robert Weitbrecht on the basis of his having been raised orally means that we have allowed AG Bell to win and rule for the day and forever more. If we display intolerance and disrespect of our brothers and sisters and forefathers and foremothers simply because they were raised orally, Bell wins because we are turning against each other. this is simply a waste of our time and wrong.

Weitbrecht did much to bring the Deaf community together via his work with the TTY and couplers. Thankfully he never displayed any intolerance or resentment towards ASL Deaf people - he never said my invention should and will only work for people who choose to be oral only.

Whereas, the telephone was designed and worked only for hearing individuals and lead to the greatest employment discrimination d/Deaf people ever experienced in the US, which lasted for 90 years until the TTY was invented. To my knowledge despite AG Bell tinkering with many other inventions after the telephone took off - he never heeded the plea of George Veditz to invent a television - that would do for the eye what the phone does for the ear.

so anonymous February 28, 2008 11:49 AM - what drawing board do u want us to go back to - an ASL only one? then the pendulum will have swung to the opposite extreme and i want no part of it.

re: Veditz - mais oui - he is a big time hero of mine. As is Weitbrecht.

Rather than cast stones - let us light candles and suggest names we feel are worthy and why.



Joseph Pietro Riolo said...

Now that RIT's Honor Code has been introduced into the domain of this discourse, I would like to highlight several points in the honor code to suggest that the attempt to remove the plaque is not necessarily compatible with the honor code.

Dr. Alexander Graham Bell continues to be vilified by focusing on his deeds that most of us find objectionable. The article from The Washington Post that was mentioned here is the latest example to accentuate the questionable deeds done by him. (To digress a little here, the article mentioned three individuals who were claimed by various people to be the true inventor of telephone and it did not provide a definite answer to the question on who invented telephone.) Focusing on the flaws in Dr. Bell rather than focusing on what contributions he made toward the deaf education is called ad hominem. The highest standard of ethical behavior as required by the honor code greatly frowns on ad hominem for a good reason. When a student goes to the front of the classroom to give his presentation on a topic, we don’t want the students and professor in the classroom to focus on the presenter's flaws in his character and criticize his presentation solely on his flaws. Everyone including the commenters in this blog has flaws. When a commenter leaves a comment in this blog, we don't try to attack him by looking for the flaws in his character. We should extend the same treatment to Dr. Bell.

Since Dr. Bell is already dead, his inability to answer the accusations that were heaped on him gives us a great advantage. We are able to throw stones at him without him returning stones at us. How can this be compatible with decency as expected by the honor code?

There are about 50 individuals that the buildings, structures and roadways on RIT campus were named after. We expend all of our energy to turn ever stone to find any flaws in Dr. Bell but we don't do the same level of scrutiny on the rest of the individuals. The lack of evenhandedness does not fit the moral and ethical standards in the honor code.

We need to consider the long-term consequence if we attempt to reverse the past committee's decision to name the building after Dr. Bell. We may feel triumphant if we reverse the committee's decision and replace the plaque with a new one honoring a different person. This will create a precedent. Who knows if the future students, staff and faculty ten years from now, twenty years from now, fifty years from now will reverse our decision and replace the new plaque with the next one honoring yet another person? The honor code mentions respect. If we don't give respect to the past committees, how can we expect the future students, staff and faculty give us respect?

Sensitivity is part of the honor code. Sensitivity is not limited to one group of people but also applies to all members of RIT. I understand that we need to be sensitive to some members who do not think that the plaque honoring Dr. Bell is appropriate for NTID and RIT. But, we tend to overlook the smaller group of members who do not think likewise. They don’t think that the flaws of Dr. Bell should wipe out the contributions that he made to the deaf education. If we remove the plaque, we are demonstrating that we lack sensitivity for them, contrary to the honor code.

The last key point in the honor code that I want to highlight is the free exchange of ideas. As I stated in my other comments, the plaque honoring Dr. Bell was intended to be a symbol for the oral aspect of the communication among the deaf people and for the dedication of the life to the deaf education. When we want to remove the plaque, we are removing the symbol that stands for the oral methods. How can this reinforce the free exchange of ideas? By removing the symbol, we are sending a message that some ideas will not be accepted from the individuals that have flaws in their life even though these ideas have some merits. I am repeating my suggestion here. We should strive for adding more symbols to NTID and RIT. Honoring Dr. Robert Weibrecht is a great idea but it should not be at the expense of the other symbol. (To digress here again, he might have flaws in his life and yet, we choose not to look for the flaws.) I would recommend the trio of Dr. William C. Stokoe, Dorothy C. Caterline and Carl G. Croneberg for their greatest contribution to the understanding of language. The possibilities for adding more symbols by honoring more people are only limited by our imagination. How about putting a plaque in each floor of Tower A? How about doing a fund-raising to build a new sculpture? How about looking at the map of RIT and look for places that can be named after? The free exchange of ideas is best represented by adding more symbols, not subtracting or replacing symbols.

In closing, if we truly want to apply RIT's Honor Code to Dr. Bell even retroactively, we should be sure that we are following the honor code as well when attempting to remove the plaque.

Joseph Pietro Riolo

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

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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