Wednesday, April 04, 2007

There is not only a D in Deaf but in Diverse

Continued from Ask NAD President to resign for WHAT? vlog, I would like to share what I have discovered relating to the use of hearing loss by NAD and how NAD describes subgroups of the deaf. Also I would like to mention about Bobbie Beth Scoggin's outstanding qualitifications as a president not only because she is a woman or she is a deaf of deaf or whatever but because she has this dynamic energy and effort to promote unity among deaf community members as evident in publications and NAD magazines.

As mentioned about how Bobbie Beth Scoggins responded to questions by hearing parents or individuals who became deaf in the PBS interview , I don't think anyone could have done a better job. Although she did mention the word hearing loss, it was used to describe, (like what Teri Sentelle said) not necessarily to label, a deaf person. Take this for example: I lost most of my hearing in my left ear and some in my right in Desert Storm and have learned ASL because of this. It came from a hearing person who all of sudden lost, yes lost, his hearing. We just need to realize that the term hearing loss and hearing disabilities apply to these kind of individuals and to describe their status. It doesn't necessarily mean it applies to all of us deaf people.

From NAD website:

Dr. Bobbie Beth Scoggins graduated from Texas School for the Deaf, attended Gallaudet then transferred to California State University at Northridge for her Masters and obtained her doctoral degree at Pepperdine University. She served as administrator of a drug and alcohol recovery center before relocating to become the Executive Director of the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Bobbie Beth Scoggins resides in Frankfort, Kentucky where she is the Executive Director of the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Scoggins attended Pepperdine University where she received a Doctor of Education degree in Institutional Management. She earned a Masters in Administration and Supervision and a BA in Psychology at California State University at Northridge.

Dr. Scoggins served as President of the USA Deaf Sports Federation from 1998 to 2005 and is admired nationwide for her career as an actress. Along with her business success, she has been recognized by many professional and philanthropic organizations for her achievements. She has received many awards from organizations for which she served, but one of her most recent accomplishments was to carry the Olympic flame representing the deaf and hard of hearing community for the 2004 Olympic Games. She served as NAD Region II representative before her election to NAD President in 2006.

So come on, give her a huge credit for her incredible dedication! If you still don't find this satisfying for a leader, then I don't know what is. For her to be a deaf of deaf welcoming deaf because he or she is a deaf of deaf is ridiculous and way out of line. I know for a fact that she interacts with deaf of hearing, oralists, and what-nots. For a leader to exclude someone because of that person's different background, I frankly don't think NAD will tolerate this in a leader. We just need to stop with this bashing mentality. Bobbie Beth Scoggins is indeed an eloquent leader and deserves to be respected.

As for diversity issues relating to how NAD should describe a particular individual in a deaf community, please check out LaRonda's blog :

We are such a diverse “deaf community.”



Deaf Mute

hard of hearing

pre-lingually deaf

post-lingually deaf

“early” late-deafened

late-deafened adults

deafened suddenly

people with progressive hearing loss

adults with age-related hearing loss

deaf with Usher’s Syndrome


deaf with special needs

CI Users

Oral deaf

ASL users

Cued Speech users

SEE users

Deaf of Deaf families

Deaf of Hearing families

Deaf with Deaf children

Deaf with Hearing children

attendees/graduates of deaf residential schools

attendees/graduates of mainstream schools

attendees/graduates of oral school programs


Jean Boutcher said...

We no longer use two out-dated terms, prelingually deaf and postlingually deaf because ASL is a real and true language according to the research conducted by Stokoe and other linguists. A deaf child learns ASL as his first language; therefore, he is not prelingually deaf. He later learns a second language, say, English.
Therefore, he is bilingually deaf.
If he knows French, then he would be known as trilingually deaf.

Hearing babies' picking up ASL from his deaf parents before picking up English does not make him "prelingually hearing" either.

I could be wrong. I would welcome
your opinion.

Anonymous said...

I posted this at Aidan's blogsite but wanted to share this with you as well:

I agree with IAmMine. I think it is very good to have this dialogue and get it all out in the open. Its healthy.

If we always stay in our comfort zone, then how do we grow as a diverse community. I have to commend Aidan, Barb, and LaRonda for setting an example on how to a have a honest discussion.

All three Deaf women have different views and reactions. They are creating new boundaries of dialogues via vlogs/blogs. We are again heading into unchartered waters where we will find new strengths as a community via dialogue.

Granted, it is uncomfortable for many to see this intense dialogue. However, I greatly appreciate the honesty from all three women. It is a fabulous way to feel the pulse of our awesome Deaf USA, so we can find our common grounds.

Julie Rems-Smario

Dianrez said...

Picking up on a mention from your vlog, we should be more inclusive in what "deaf/HH" covers and not fragment ourselves by separating and excluding into many categories.

Numbers speak loudly when it comes to obtaining funding. We shouldn't worry about terminology or personalities, but keep the wider objectives in view.

Anonymous said...

this shouldn't have been dragged out of mud about the issue from another vlogger's first opinion... it's done and over with, why keep trying to be the last to be right!!!... let it go!!!

Anonymous said...

Good job!!! Sad to mention this, Crab Theory s well known used in our deaf community.
Adian already expressed her personal opinion against Beth on her earlier vlog so she s not wasting her time looking for more faults out of Beth. More to come I bet.
Beth must have the thick skin like other deaf leaders just because she has GREAT passion to fill the seat as our NAD president. BETH... keep your chin up!

IamMine said...

I thought this debate was well worth it, even though I swarmed in my seat!

Julie is right that if we stay in our comfort zone, we'll not learn how to force ourselves with different perspectives and discuss! We can move into a new terriority!

That said, I want to applaud all involved to make the most of it and having a healthy debate.

I was singing this song last night before I headed for bed - of course I was doing this in my head in ASL! :D I replaced the “hear” with “see”!

Plaque on the wall says that no one's slept here
It's rare to come upon a bridge that has not been around
Or been stepped on
Whatever the notion, we laced in our prayers
The man upstairs is used to all of this noise
I'm through with screaming

And echoes nobody sees, it goes, it goes, it goes
Like echoes nobody sees, it goes, it goes, it goes like this
We're faithful, we all believe, we all believe it
We're faithful, we all believe, we all believe it
We're faithful, we all believe, we all believe it
We're faithful, we all believe, we all believe it

And echoes nobody sees, it goes, it goes, it goes
And echoes nobody sees, it goes, it goes, it goes
We're faithful, we all believe, we all believe it
We're faithful, we all believe, we all believe it
Were' faithful, we all believe, we all believe it
So faithful, we all believe, we all believe it

M.Y.T.H. is
Belief in the game controls that keeps us in a box of fear
We never listen
Voice inside so drowned out
Drowned you are, you are, you are a furry thing
And everything is you
Me you, you me, it's all related
What's a boy to do?
Just be darling and I will be too
Faithful to you

Deaf Niches said...

Hmmmm...There are MANY niches in the deaf community; many people would rather define themselves how they got "deaf" (like, me, I'd say I am deaf, born that way. Did not learn sign language until 22 years old.) My 10 year old son would call himself hard of hearing even though he is profoundly deaf, oral, that he was born normal hearing and he has progressive hearing loss. It all depends. We keep forgetting that there is 90% of the deaf that is uncalled for... the majority in mainstream, oral, CI, etc. I bet the majority of 90% does not know about

Look at the history of Native Americans... the tribes all shared/share common features, but they had/have their own uniques that make up their tribes... beliefs, foods, different upbringing, different leaderships, etc. They went to wars against each other in the past, before the Europeans set up strongholds on both Americas. Same goes for Asia... they all are different and yet they share Oriental features. I believe that is what Barb is trying to point out. Acknowledge diversity, don't call for rules (must be ASL, must be from DOD in order to lead, etc.)

We have different opinions when it comes to President Bush. Some support him while others want him to resign. Being a leader is not an easy task, being in the spotlight contantly, being criticized, etc.

As Jay Krieger might say, with a shrug, "Remember all of us are humans at the bottomline. We all have two lungs, a heart, a brain, etc. Our blood is red in color. That makes us universal. Our skin, the colors of eyes, height, etc., make us diversal." (I don't know if Jay would actually say this, but I bet he might think that way. :-) )

Anyway, the way I see it, Aidan expressed her opinion, fine, and let's move on.

Anonymous said...

Barb --

I agree with you 100%. Let LaRonda's list of the deaf diversely inclusive into the deaf community. They are welcoming to our community. Like I post your recent blog yesterday to Aidan not just for the deaf, there are more HOH, hearing loss, hearing impaired, and so forth into the deaf community.

LaRonda's blog on the "Bridge Builder" is wonderful.

NAD is there for any people who are on the list of deaf diverse into this community. Not just for the deaf only but everybody. NAD is there to mission the victims of the hearing loss or hearing impaired and so forth.

LaRonda is already inspired me! :-) Great Job.

White Ghost

Anonymous said...

This is an excellent proof of the infamous crab theory within the Deaf community. If I had to make a guess, I would suspect that Adian has some past personal conflicts or is envy of Bobbie which led to her to make such extreme request of Bobbie.

I guess it is just a "WOMEN" thing? Cats fighting with claws? Mind you - I am not implying that Barb, Adian and LaRonda are hissing at each other. It is obvious to those who have viewed and followed these vlogs/blogs that there is some ongoing issues between Bobbie and Adian. Perhaps somebody could contact NAD spokesperson and gather Bobbie's defense on using the forbidden term. Give her a chance to explain or defend herself only if she sees a need to do so but I'd suppose she has more important things to do rather than wasting her time trying to defend herself to somebody like Adian who obviously has made up her mind about her.

Anonymous said...

Barb, I wonder if hearing people would call us hearing loses because Black people dont allow white people to call them(N***R).some hearing people dont know me as deaf so other people tell that person that I am deaf and wonder if they are allowed to call me *Deaf* Should I tell them to call me hearing loses? I just dont feel right that they call me as deaf because they really dont know lot of thing about Deaf culture and lifestyles etc.I dont know what I can label myself as deaf or hearing loses or cannot hear but I acually tell them that I cannot hear

Anonymous said...

I just now look at Aidan's vlog. It make me a little embarrass because she look like she have problem with Bobbie and never to forget it. Her sign other woman is proud and snob and enjoy attention to herself. I was embarrass by that. Should keep private. CP signs is too much emotion again and again. Wrong insult to other handicap no matter CP or not. Aidan should stay cool.

Anonymous said...

Your defination of what you have said is very clarified and well subtle.Everything about NAD President is overreaction. Her resignation is too immature! The matter of using hearing loss or hearing disabilities won't affect her position. Thanks for your message showed very clear and simple!

Barb DiGi said...

First of all, I am not supporting to replace DEAF to other terms to describe us in general. To describe a deaf person who experienced hearing loss is a completely different thing especially when s/he used to hear. It is not a matter of labeling or that hearing loss necessarily applies to all of us.

Secondly, if a person wants to call himself or herself whatever from the list is, so be it. The term DEAF is like an umbrella that includes a variety of descriptions for each individuals. NAD just uses DEAF to describe all of us in a general way. There is no way I am implying for NAD to omit the term deaf or to replace to any of these terms in the name of NAD.

Finally, we just need to be more open and acceptable of others. There is no need to exclude anyone who is part of the DEAF umbrella although they may not want to call themselves "deaf" as they preferred to be called other than deaf.

But what can we do about it? We can just gradually raise the discourse that DEAF is not necessarily a four letter word for those who identify themselves as hearing loss individuals.

IamMine said...

Nice way of describing everyone - under an umbrella!

That'd be a cool header for your page! :D

All hands as a pole with rainbow colors as the cover...with the ASL ILY in the middle on the top? Because that shows the history of NAD initially with ASL? Or however you want to interpret it...

Um, yeah back to neopets game with my daughter... she's addicted to that online game for kiddies. pretty colors... :D

Anonymous said...

Well said, Barb.

It is a nice way for us to recognize the deaf organizations in this country.

Moreover, we have the right to control us for what we want to label for ourselves. Nevertheless, we have no right to label other people's lists.

Got that?

White Ghost

Anonymous said...

Hi Barb

What a great presentation you have given us so I really enjoyed every second of it! I prefer 'Deaf', nothing else to cover/ represent all kinds of communication preferences. Deaf is beautiful and simple. As well, it is imperative to include / accept deaf people with different backgrounds. It is better to include them rather than to ostracize them just because of their cochlear implants or their oral background. We need to work together and resolve big issues like captions in Internet, high quality Deaf education, technology, etc... You and Jay Kreiger are great bridge builders!

Just Deaf

Anonymous said...

It was nice meeting you at the Deaf Hope charity. Your professional demeanor is to be commended!


Mule435 said...

Well i agreed with Barb thst we don't use "Hearing loss" in any media in the world except seldom announced in news in Tv. Hearingpeople undy whast is hearing loss but Deaf perfer DEAF only than that words and It make a sense to use ASL and NAD female president resigned it bec of her business and why can't let other good DEAF people to promte NAD President!

Jean Boutcher said...

NAD President Bobbie Beth Scoggins
indeed does use a term, "hearing losses," on page five in the April-December 2006 issue. However, the
context was very unfortunately
or inadvertently (take your pick) misinterpreted by someone else. Ms. Scoggins does include people of varying hearing status. She
clearly states as follows: "I urge each one of you to join us in making a difference to a deaf child, a late-deafened senior citizen, a hard of hearing athlete or oral deaf advocate by applying online....Together, We Move Forward is a true proactive adage that will inspire us to build a powerful group of indvidiauls with hearing losses to move toward in Deaf America."

Hope the aforementioned quote will clear the air.

mochame said...

Interesting debate, You and Adain. Why did few famous star and music not to mention "Deaf" by themselves, only they said they had "hearing loss"??? They do hide their hearing abilities. Actress Marlee Matlin telling the world that she is DEAF. I applauded her for what she stand for. I want to see who the famous stars or music had hearing loss to include to support NAD organization that helps deaf community stronger too.

Aidan Mack said...


I got it. I know who you are. I am not going to reveal your identity. I have too much respect for that. "Knocking Knocking” Remember that game! We had many many good memories. I am sorry that you felt that you needed to bash me. I also am sorry that you couldn't wait to solve our disagreement and was angry with me because I chose to work on my profiles for my interview as my priority at SVA the very next day. I am glad that I made this decision because I am in SVA now but kind of sad that we chose to go on different direction.
I let you know I still care about you and cherish our good memories. And please look into your heart and find the truth. You were there witnessing and supporting me. After our disagreement, you chose to bash me out of revenge. That's ok. To let you know, I saw you as fan at the Flag Football, Pittsburgh. I was tempted to play our game, "Knocking Knocking". But I was afraid you would bash me like you did on this blog. If you want to solve this matter with me, I am happy to. You can contact me DEAFFILMMAKER@YAHOO.COM
I hope you are doing very well in Texas and happy with your new job. Take care!

Barb and CY: I have no problem for you to disagree with me. I respect your opinions about Ms. Scoggins. I have no problem with people loving her. She was my idol but after we had conflict, well, I don’t have to repeat myself. Yes, I was very hurt that she was no longer my idol.

With VP meetings and stuff like that, I had a hard long thought about it. I am ready to forgive Bobbie Scoggins and give a try to work with her as NAD president. People deserve to have chances to grow. I would like to have a chance to grow so she deserves to have that chance. I support NAD and we must push NAD not to be afraid to use Deaf and including Deaf people with different background like Deaf-speaking, Deaf-oral, Late Deaf. I am working on a proposal for NAD. It will be ready on Wednesday. I will have a tutor session on that day and to polish up on my English writing. I would love everyone to give me a feedback.


Anonymous said...

NAD is not a political orginization at all. NAD is a consumer advocate for all of Deaf and Hard of Hearing for our quality of life. If NAD is a political orgianization would make that law and would be elected for any congress, but only can make public policy that is for only purpose for better quality of life for Deaf and hard of hearing's needs to any Federal agencies such as FCC or FDA or some but not vote to make changing the laws and can be lobbyis. Same with many states association of the Deaf do the same thing what NAD does only consumer advocate with state levels. None of any Deaf politican in this country. I myself was involved with new Democratic Club of the Deaf which has been disorganized due to lack of commitment and involving with political process.

Anonymous said...

NAD President Bobbie Scaggins who is not a political leader but rather consumer advocate leader who represents any of us and she might have good qualified for that position. She uses the term of hearing loss and hearing disabilites for her own benefits. Well that is big deal Hearing loss and hearing disabilites are very useful terms in hospital or other that are involved with medicines, but in our community some of us might be sensitve about how to use that terms "label us' but that is her opinionm she has right to use that terms for any reasons! Her presentation just brought up in professional world they use but we all Deaf and Hard of Hearing community are not professional people, but rather common. I think number of those people are overreacted to that terms.

Darren said...

Excellent presentation, Barb! People, never make your subjectiveness a full-time job because it takes you to nowhere.