Saturday, March 1, 2008

Sign On Now

to sign petition - go to:

Reasons for the removal of the plaque & dorm name in AG Bell's honor:
1. AG Bell's ideals were to:
- forbid the use of ASL in schools
- raze Deaf schools
- prohibit d/Deaf publications, organizations and conventions
- stop d/Deaf and d/Deaf marriages
- prevent d/Deaf offsprings
- prohibit d/Deaf people from becoming teachers

2. promoted a device (the telephone) that would not be accessible for d/Deaf people for almost one century resulting in a huge amount of job discrimination for d/Deaf people
- accused of plagiarizing the patent and engaging in bribery to claim the title as the inventor of the telephone - See "The Telephone Gambit" by Seth Shulman
- made no attempt to invent any device that would allow d/Deaf people to communicate via long distances
- ignored George Veditz's inquiry "I wonder if you could be induced to turn your attention to a sort of television that will do for the eye what the telephone does for the ear." 1915

3. Caused tension, conflict, and communication barriers between oral and ASL d/Deaf people

See O&B Coalition vlog introducing the petition
O& B Coalition request for feedback and possible new names for the dorm

Sources re: AG Bell's oral/aural only approach as destructive to ASL, Deaf culture and d/Deaf people:
Dr. Edward's article on the dorm/plaque in Bell's honor
Forbidden Signs: American Culture and the Campaign Against Sign Language by Dr. Douglas Baynton
Mask of Benevolence: Disabiling the Deaf Community by Dr. Harlan Lane
The Twain Shall Never Meet: The Communications Debate by Richard Winefield
A Place of Their Own: Creating the Deaf Community in America by Dr. Van Cleve and Dr. Crouch

NOTE: all the above authors are hearing scholars.


Anonymous said...

I don't understand what do you doing on vlog? You're weird! Sorry!

patti said...


ruler slapped on hands was used in oral only programs to stop signing

change it to the sign for put-ur-name-on-the-petition

get it now?

Jarlath said...

AG Bell did a lot of good things for the Deaf, such as giving them speech and education, so they could be contributing members of the society. I would have been proud to have lived in the Bell Hall during my RIT days.
Jarlath, came in 1969

Peng said...

Today is Alexander Graham Bell's birthday :D

Brian Greenwald said...

Regarding your post that A.G. Bell sought to "stop d/Deaf and d/Deaf marriages" does not fully show the whole picture.
- He did try to interfere with the marriage between George Sanders and Lucy Swett, but came to realize the love between these two deaf people overrode any eugenic concerns. After their marriage, he did not attempt to interfere with Deaf marriages again.

- AG Bell's 1891 address to the Gallaudet Literary society affirmed his belief that individual happiness sometimes would win over eugenic concerns and emphasized he did not seek to interfere with deaf marriages. He was quite explicit in his comments and even brought a stenographer to take notes at this meeting.

- AG Bell's address to the American Breeders Association reaffirmed that marriage could not be legislated, unless marriage between first cousins that could produce harmful effects. He then shifts attention to immigration and longevity studies.

Bell, Alexander Graham. "Marriage: Address to the Deaf" Volta Bureau (Washington, DC: Gibson Bros, Printers and Bookbinders, 1891)

Bell, Alexander Graham. "A Few Thoughts Concerning Eugenics" The National Geographic Magazine (February 1908), 119-127

Bell, Alexander Graham to Mabel Hubbard Bell, 5 May 1890, Alexander Graham Bell Family papers, Library of Congress.

In full disclosure, I am not affiliated with NTID/RIT in any way.

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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