Saturday, December 6, 2008

Update re: AG Bell plaque and events at NTID \ RIT

Updates at NTID \ RIT

Orange & Brown Coalition reps met with NTID administration to find out:
1. what has happened to the plaque honoring AG Bell q

NTID president, Dr. Hurwitz, informed us that the plaque was melted down and thus destroyed

2. what will the new name of the dorm be q

the name has been returned to its original name - NTID Residence Hall 50C. A new name would be awarded to the building if a large donor comes in and the RIT Board of Trustee's approves etc.

O & B is very grateful that Dr. Hurwitz collected input from the community and made recommendations for the removal of AG Bell's name from the dorm and that the RIT board approved this recommednation.

O & B would also like to commend the RIT President's Commission on Pluralism and Inclusion for hosting their annual Campus Week of Dialogue with a focus on Deaf culture and by A. Sue Weisler (RIT)

Go to and click Diversity Perspectives - Fall 2008 for a newsletter from the Commission offering definitions of audism as well as schedule and description of this years Campus Week of Dialogue. The week included a keynote address by Dr. Bienvenu, which featured a phenomenal amount of information on linguicism, phonocentrism, audism, and Deaf culture in an incredibly high register of ASL and fast speed! The film "Audism Unveiled" was screened and a post film discussion followed, there was a panel discussion on diversity within the Deaf community and Deaf culture, a class shared information and a t-shirt design they created to promote Deaf culture knowledge and ways to combat audism, a presentation on the importance, value and right to signing in public places was delivered, and a workshop on helping RIT faculty understand, respect, and incorporate their Deaf students and ASL into their classroom was conducted.

Big hand wave to Alfreda Brown (Office of Chief Diversity Officer) and Michelle Cometa (Chair of the President's Commission on Pluralism and Inclusion) and all their mighty assistants for hosting and organizing this week.


Jean said...

I am very happy that vox populi
was well heard! Praise be unto
both the community and Dr. Alan

Bury Audism!
Bury Linguicism!
Bury Phonocentrism!

Gratefully yours,
Jean Boutcher

Sherlock Steve said...

I am stunned that Alan Hurwitz would allow a precious heritage of NTID be destroyed. The Plaque should have been preserved and used as an example of what the former name of the dorm used to be.

None of us wanted that Plaque destroyed. Just taken off the dorm. That was the intention of the NTID DEAF Community and it's Alumni. Such a shame.

Anonymous said...


As for "Sherlock Steve"-

Get a life. I wanted it to be taken down and destoryed. You commented: "None" .... was so wrong.

Aluni of NTID, C-1991

Brian R. said...

Three cheers for NTID and Dr. Alan Hurwitz! Wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Three cheers! A big victory for the NTID! I'm prouder of my alma mater more than ever before!

Sherlock Steve said to preserve? Are you kiddin'? A statue of Saddam Hussein was destroyed. The coffin of Stalin who murdered 25 million Russians was removed from the mausoleum. Do your history homework about people whose honors were stripped of demanded by society!

John Egbert said...

Deaf Sherlock,

NTID President Alan Hurwitz may decided not to have the plaque of AGBell to be preserved as a history piece of our Deaf culture anymore than the people would preserve anything such as a plaque from Adolf Hilter as part of the history in their Jewish culture.

Some people think that we should destroy the Volta Bureau building in Washington DC for they gave millions of dollars to A.G. Bell Association for the Deaf to promote monolingualism, the oral only method philosophy that destroyed thousands of Deaf people's right to bilingualism with ASL and English for over 100 years and still do it today with AVT, Auditory Verbal Therapy organization.

I praise NTID President Alan Hurwitz destroying the plaque because it is an eugenic plaque, a deficit thinking ideology plaque that destroyed thousands, if not millions of Deaf people's natural language, American Sign Language since 1880!


Brian R. said...

Good idea, John. Let's buy it, and then tear it down. That would signal the end of the eugenics philosophy.

Paul said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Orange and Brown Coalition said...

O & B egrets we had to remove your comment as you were singling out an individual for personal attack

Please refrain from using O & B Coalition's website as a place to leave attacking comments completely unrelated to the blog post you are responding to.

Thank you for respecting the peaceful and positive spirit in which O & B pursues advocacy and justice.

Orange and Brown Coalition said...

Re: the plague being removed

O & B never had a formal position on what we wanted done with the plaque beyond having it removed. There was never a clear or collective voice on what should be done with the plaque after it was removed - from our read of the community both at NTID and the broader Deaf community

After the RIT board approved of the decision for the name and plaque being removed, many people asked O & B what had been done with the plaque and what would the dorm be re-named

All of the people inquiring what had happened to the plaque expressed concerns that it might resurface in a new place* or expressed the desire to see it be destroyed.
(*there had been some discussion at an open forum about having the plaque moved to the communications lab at NTID or some other place but a professor from that dept promptly noted that if the wording is offensive and objectionable, why would they want to be saddled with the plaque as they do not promote an exclusive oral aural ONLY stance within their area)

O & B followed up on these to inquiries about the plaques existence and the name of the dorm on behalf of community members questions.


O & B

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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