Update On My Deafhood Journey and Social Media Identity

I don’t like identifying as a victim, but Deaf are indeed economically disadvantaged. Even with the ADA, employers still prefer good communication skills in their hires. I used to try to hide my disability, so I wouldn’t be judged thereby having my chances of getting a job diminished. But I realized that when people don’t know who I am, they can’t communicate well with me. Let alone ME know who I AM! This is why I am angry: AGBell created social environment that permeates Audiology departments even to this day that is Audistic (encourages speaking and listening over sign language). This resulted in me being denied access to Deaf peers and mentors. This resulted in me being denied ASL, a language that I’d have complete access to. This resulted in me being mainstreamed in a school with only hearing kids and I had to pretend to hear to fit in. Soon this led to self-confusion. I am still trying to know myself because I still am learning How to be Deaf.

So, I’ve come to learn about myself that I don’t like being in groups where the conversation is not face to face. I always miss the first few words when ever someone starts talking and I’m not lipreading. It is so exhausting to socialize when I am expected to participate with HearingPeople. Being that deafness is “invisible disease”, people can’t understand why you can’t walk up the stairs when they can’t see the wheelchair. So face to face with good lighting and minimal background noise is really the only way I can hear people.

I have a part-time driving job where my interactions are minimal. Anything that is spoken to me I can pretty much guess because the job is so simple. Pick this up and deliver it. I’d drive full-time but the road noise bothers my ears. I have “noise-recruitment”, which is when hair cells pick up frequencies for neighboring hair cells that are missing. So, perversely, some frequencies actually are perceived to be from 2 to 8 times as loud. So I don’t hear some frequencies and others are too loud. Yeah its fucked up. I don’t fully understand it, and most regular people sure as hell don’t. Anyway, so my jobs are really limited. I was in real estate but I don’t care about that anymore. I want to be a “Deaf Artist”. I’m not sure what that means exactly, but whatever.

Well this leads me into the second half of my post about Social Media Identity. I first blogged about coffee, then Holographic Universe (wrote book about it), then about discovering my Deafhood (my second book). Now I’m starting to Vlog. But I got off Facebook for the most part because it became too Leftist/Liberal for me. On the one hand I identified with the victim mindset minorities because, well, I’m deaf. But on the other hand, I believe we each as individuals can contribute to society in our own way and not depend on government to provide welfare state. Some people need help, in fact, I applied for Disability Benefits, because I’m “legally deaf”, whatever that means. It was denied. When I got fired from a job for not hearing my name over the P.A., I filed a Disability Discrimination claim with the EEOC, but they found no probable cause. I was also denied Unemployment Benefits from that employer.

So I felt kicked out and kicked more when I was down. And the fucking government who claims to protect me, an ‘underprivileged class’, failed to do so, I decided that only I can secure my future. So long story short, I trust only in my willingness to provide value, not in the representation of that commodity transacted (money, or others to circulate it to me). The only thing I can control is MY GIVING. Victim minded people look outside themselves to government as daddy or husband, instead of looking within, where the True Power lies. Anyway, i get into some of that in my book, “Holographic Universe: Law of Attraction & Money”.

But my social media participation ended on Facebook, when i started questioning the value of claiming to be a victim. It all started with questioning feminism. My friends began to attack me as if I hated women. No, I just don’t like the narrative of power struggle because it claims that “Power” is not held within. Feminists have a DISempowering narrative. They create fear of men to drive women to the “protection” of The State. The Democrats destroy the family to get more votes. I disagree with the notion that women are victims from men, they are victims from feminism! I also disagree with idea of white privilege, because my current financial statement doesn’t reflect that. So I’m on twitter now where I can explore these ideas better. It was difficult to realize that most of my friends were left-wing and saw me as the bad guy (cis-gendered, straight, white male).

Oh well. I guess they weren’t my real friends and it is good to know that. I have more integrity now that I am true to how I really feel.

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“You Are Deaf, Congratulations! My Deafhood Journey and Understanding Audism” Book Now Available!

deafbookcoverClick HERE for My Book about being d/Deaf now available

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“Congratulations, You Are Deaf!” Book Description

Forgetting he was deaf, there was no way David Jonsson could be Deaf. So, not fitting in, he quits wearing hearing aids for 10 years after college. But the problems with society continued until he identified with being Deaf. In “You Are Deaf, Congratulations”, he reveals his anger and his humor, with stories and feelings of his experience discovering his Deafhood and unveiling Audism.

Being mainstreamed with hearing classmates, David was taught to act hearing. Armed with a hearing aid and instructed to sit up front and lipread, he was told he was fixed.

But knowing that life was going to be a struggle, he would just have to work harder. Identified as Hard-of-Hearing, and trying to be a hearing person, but failing, David finally explores the dark side… identifying as Deaf! But not without controversy in the hearing community and the Deaf community.

How to BE Deaf is what nobody taught him, so he had to learn about Deaf Culture on his own. This book will help you make sense of society so you can be happier. It helps to know who you are, so you can navigate in this world more independently, and understand why some interactions are so frustrating.

The oppression of Audism is “the notion that one is superior based on one’s ability to hear or to behave in the manner of one who hears, or that life without hearing is futile and miserable, or an attitude based on pathological thinking which results in a negative stigma toward anyone who does not hear.”

Those who see deaf as a disability, such as audiologists, want to fix you with hearing aids and cochlear implants to force you into listening and speaking, while discouraging sign language.

Using harsh language like cultural genocide and epistemic violence, David’s no-holds-barred approach is invigoratingly refreshing. Linguistic minorities, who regularly experience discrimination, will feel relief after reading this book about someone else who has been through the same. It will validate and legitimize your emotions.

David shares his story so you can be free from dysconscious audism and have Deaf Pride.

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Mainstreaming takes Deaf kids away each other and “assimilates” them into hearing society. That is the theory. The problem is that there are no Deaf teachers. Other minorities have teachers, but linguistic minorities do not.

Here is an article about black teachers that reminds me of Deaf teachers. I copied a few quotes and made some comments.

“I never had a teacher that looked like me,” Blue said. “I wanted to become a teacher because I wanted to influence future generations, and have kids see that I’m here, so you can be here, too. You can do this, too.”

“And also a sense of belongingness,” she said. “I have a greater sense of belongingness as a kid of color if I know there are adults in the environment that look like me.”

In my case- I had no Deaf adults to guide me in how to BE DEAF! I only learned how to pretend to be hearing.

“There’s an implicit message that we are sending to our students, that there’s a certain racial makeup (or level of hearing) we consider competent and professional.”

“We don’t have anyone to look up to…When you come into our schools, you see your white principal, and your white teachers. For some students, that can make them feel like those positions are only meant for those kinds of people,” said Teanna Brisco, 17.

Likewise for Deaf students in hearing schools with only hearing teachers, we feel the same- so we need Deaf teachers in hearing schools if we think Deaf students should be in hearing schools.

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Deaf Books: Recommended Reading

Understanding Deaf Culture, In Search of Deafhood
Paddy Ladd

A Deaf Adult Speaks Out
Leo M. Jacobs

Deaf Like Me
Thomas, James, and Lynn Spradley

Deaf Again
Mark Drolsbaugh

Deaf In America, Voices From A Culture
Carol Padden and Tom Humphries

A Journey into the Deaf-World
Harlan Lane, Robert Hoffman, Ben Bahan

A Place of Their Own, Creating the Deaf Community in America
Van Cleve and Crouch

The Mask of Benevolence, Disabling the Deaf Community
Harlan Lane

Carol PADDEN, Tom Humphries

Forbidden Signs: American Culture and the Campaign against Sign Language
Douglas C. Baynton

When the Mind Hears: A History of the Deaf
Harlan Lane

Open Your Eyes: Deaf Studies Talking
H-Dirksen L. Bauman

8 Ways to Be Deaf
Adrean Clark

Deaf Subjects (Cultural Front)
Brenda Jo Brueggemann

Deaf Eye Satisfy
Chip Green

Hear the Sunshine
Charles E. Wells

My Hard of Hearing Life: Stories From Behind the Hearing Aids
Cynthia Dixon

Hear Through My Ears
Tara Chevrestt

The Source Field Investigations: The Hidden Science and Lost Civilizations Behind the 2012 Prophecies
David Wilcock

Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior
Leonard Mlodinow

Louder Than Words: The New Science of How the Mind Makes Meaning
Benjamin K. Bergen

The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World
R. Murray Schafer

The Castberggaard Syndrome
Tomas Kold Erlandsen

Seeing Voices
Oliver Sacks

Healing at the Speed of Sound: How What We Hear Transforms Our Brains and Our Lives
Don Campbell, Alex Doman

Disability and Passing: Blurring the Lines of Identity
Jeffrey A Brune, Daniel J Wilson

Signing Everyday Phrases
Mickey Flodin

The Pocket Dictionary of Signing
Rod R. Butterworth and Mickey Flodin

Linguistics of American Sign Language
Valli, Lucas, Mulrooney

The Joy of Signing
Lottie L. Riekehof

The American Sign Language Handshape Dictionary
Tennant and Brown

Signing Illustrated, The Complete Learning Guide
Mickey Flodin

Talking With Your Hands Listening With Your Eyes, A Complete Photographic Guide to ASL
Gabriel Grayson

Learning American Sign Language, Levels I & II- Beginning & Intermediate
Humphries and Padden

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When someone loves you they don’t have to say it. You can tell by the way they treat you.

People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude. -John C. Maxwell

Amplifying what is great within you will accelerate you life faster than trying to fix what you *think* ‘limits’ you. -Brendon Burchard

“You cant really be proud unless you know your history.” Nelson Mandela

Be the type of person that makes everyone you come across feel perfectly okay with being exactly who they are.

Ours choice of words are so vulnerable and weak. It’s always been the case as far as mankind could remember. People grossly misinterpret words on daily basis because there’s no accountability if they do. People even abuse words when they felt the need to misguide other. For that reason, scholars after scholars created grammar rules after rules in their desperate but foolish effort to try and strengthen the words, failing to realize that words were without souls. Words are not living things. ~ Barry Sewell

The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear -Rumi

“Man’s concept of his world built on the experience of the five senses is no longer adequate and in many cases no longer valid.” —SHAFICA KARAGULLA

There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal. -F.A. Hayek

The voice, I don’t need it. I even know how to sing in silence. -Atahualpa Yupanqui

“A child cannot be taught by anyone who despises him, and a child cannot afford to be fooled.” – James Baldwin

Before you judge others or claim any absolute truth consider that you can see less than 1% of the electromagnetic spectrum and hear less than 1% of the acoustic spectrum

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
~Mark Twain

“People … don’t want to be cured or changed or eliminated. They want to be whoever it is that they’ve come to be” Andrew Solomon

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to understand. -Kushandwizdom

Don’t believe what they SAY. Believe what they DO. -Sam Stephens

“The problem is not that the deaf don’t hear, the problem is the hearing won’t listen.” -Rev. Jesse Jackson

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. -Maya Angelou

The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. -Thomas Merton, No Man Is An Island

“To make the right choices in life, you have to get in touch with your soul. To do this you need to experience solitude, which most people are afraid of, because in the silence you hear the truth and know the solutions.” -Deepak Chopra

An honest enemy is always better than a friend who lies. Pay less attention to what people say, and more attention to what they do. Their actions will show you the truth.

“They meet every once in a while to hear financial reports, pass resolutions, and adopt policies, without inviting any deaf man to their councils to give them the benefit of his experiences or views in bettering the education or welfare of the deaf children. If you doubt my statement, try to “butt in,” and see what’s coming to you. They will, as they have in the past, ignore you with cold, silent, proud contempt.” (Albert Ballin, 1861).

We all rely so much on speech, but there are so many other forms of communication, so much transmitted through the eyes and the heart. The deaf world has a huge amount to teach the hearing world -Bella Bathurst

“As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.”
— Andrew Carnegie

“It is a great thing to know the season for speech and the season for silence.” -Seneca

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Vote for best cover art for my new book due out September

Help me pick cover art for my book-

“You Are Deaf, Congratulations: The Deafhood Journey and Understanding Audism”


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Who Is The Minority?

reversing who the minority is to prove how accommodation should be taken seriously #wheelchairs #Deaf #ADA

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Fucking Guy At Bar Says…

BarFightI’m watching Blackhawks hockey game and this guy at bar says, “That’s what I said!” because I said or somehow responded wrong. He was L.A. Kings fan and I was nodding in acknowledgement, not agreement (again, like Misunderstanding At Coffeeshop). What is wrong with people? They assume my nonverbal is an affirmation of their position rather than acknowledgement of interaction. I have not yet made judgment of agreeability to the statement. I am only nodding because I’m aware, not agree. Apparently, Hearies expect stillness from me until they are done blabbin’ their yakjaws about with whatever their position or opinion is and done stating it. Fuck off. I’m processing what I process, and I communicate what I communicate when I want to give info acknowledging interaction- shouldn’t that be appreciated? To know that I’m aware?

I guess Hearies assume I hear and don’t want any nonverbal communication from me that would misinform or befuddle their assumptions about what they expect based on Hearing methodology of communication, which I am not completely privy to. They interpret visual cues within their minimal nonverbal vocabulary. I should remember their limitations and dumb down my nonverbal output for them, so as not to confuse them. They are disabled. Not me. Fuck your poker face, stiff neck, and suit and tie. Staring me down like I’m an object supposed to respond to your soundwave projections. You are so boring to look at. Fuck you for misreading my nonverbal. You ignorant fucking Audist Hearie. What, you can insult Deaf but I can’t insult you? I’m neither anyway! So fuck all. Maybe Hard of Hearing is more like bisexual, interracial, or whatever third category. Its a spectrum.

Audist Hearies presume my submission and compliance as if my response was an indication that Im asking “how high” when you say “jump”? No. Im just letting you know I recognize that you are attempting, in your limited way, to communicate with me. Unfortunately ignorant, due to Audism, their common refrain is, “But I didn’t say anything!” When you know damn well over half of communication is nonverbal. The attitude that Deaf should do speech therapy and lipread and wear hearing devices is derived from Oralism, Audism, colonialism, evangelism, monoculture, monolingualism, ethnocentrism, and privilege. Language and communication is two-way street. I feel that the Deaf have long strived to meet more that halfway.

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Questionnaire of My Deafness and How I Define Myself Within Deaf Culture

Decisions_clipartI was interviewed by Virginia Parker and here is the transcript:

Hi, My name is Ginny and I am hard of hearing. I grew up in Spokane and was mainstreamed in the public schools. My education was supported with speech therapy, lip reading and use of hearing devices. I learned sign language in college and eventually used interpreters for the remaining of my courses at SCC. I am currently enrolled in EWU and working towards my certificate in Disability Studies. This quarter I have chosen to work on a Service Learning Project in which I am researching information pertaining to Deaf and Hard of Hearing culture. This information will be compiled and presented to my professor to use within the classroom. Could you take a few moments to answer the following questions? Your views and experiences are important as it allows students to learn how to gracefully approach a diverse population.

1. Do you consider yourself to be Deaf, deaf or hard of hearing?

Hard of Hearing (HOH) was the identity I was raised with, but I’m embracing my Deafhood, so I’m OK with being ‘Deaf’.

2. At what age were you diagnosed with hearing loss?

Three. My ears hurt so my mom took me in and they drained fluid from my ears. For awhile we thought there was an infection that caused hearing loss, but I’m starting to think it was congenital.

3. Please tell me about your use of hearing aids and assistive hearing devices throughout your life. How do you feel of the technology advancement of assistive hearing devices?

I was 5 when I got one hearing aid even though the ‘loss’ was bi-sensorineural. I think they thought I would adapt socially better? I got two hearing aids (one for each ear) when I went to college. The tech back then was mere analogue amplification and so hearing aids didn’t really help me. They only made the garble louder and background noise louder too. After college I quit hearing aids for 10 years, because I wanted to get in tune with my self (embodiment) and be non-dependent. I now have pair of digital aids and they are great because of noise compression and different programs for different listening situations.

4. How did your parents and family approach your hearing loss?

My family was Audist and Oralist (except for my brother, who introduced me to be conscious of my Deafhood in 2011). I never knew a single deaf or hoh person growing up. I had no idea about sign language. I was encouraged to act hearing, so I often lied about whether I heard something or not, because I wanted to be ‘good’.

5. What were your thoughts and feeling about being deaf/ hard of hearing as you grew up? What impact did those who you were close to have on your feelings about yourself?

I ignored my deafness, to my own peril, because every time I had a communication problem, it was always attributed a ‘bad attitude’ or ‘disobedience’.. everybody around me growing up treated me like a hearing person. My mom was careful to articulate and face me when talking, and interpret everything to me through her fundamentalist christian worldview. My parents divorced when i was three. Sometimes I wonder if my ears caused that. My dad didn’t think of me as hard of hearing or deaf, so I don’t think he understood my struggle in life, until recently.

6. Did you receive your education in a mainstream program or a residential/deaf school as you grew up? What are your thoughts about your educational experience and about mainstreaming and deaf schools? If you could change anything within your education, what would it be? Why?

Mainstreamed. Every deaf/hoh child needs ASL and a Deaf mentor and peers. Period.. no question about it! If I had people around me who understood my ‘worldview’ that would have gone a long way in validating my feelings and perspectives. But as it was, nobody understood me or had true empathy or whatever to allow my feelings about matters from Deaf perspective to be legitimated. So I always fucking doubted myself, as if what I thought about things was wrong. Because nobody mirrored those things back to me, but rather always told me my attitude was wrong. I was even taken to a faith healer and he threw my hearing aid- after the service I had to crawl on my hands and knees under the pews to retrieve my hearing aid- on the way home I had to confess my sin as to why I wasn’t healed.

7. What are your thoughts about Deaf culture? What impact is mainstream schooling having on Deaf culture?

Deaf culture is under attack from second wave of Oralism. Deaf culture needs to be respected. Hearing people who profit off ‘fixing deaf’ will continue to lobby govt to be allowed to infiltrate and dismantle Deaf culture to keep us disempowered and dependent on their technology instead of organic ASL.

8. What is your preferred means of communication? What means of communication do you usually use with your family and those close to you? What are your thoughts about how your family chooses to communicate with you?

Spoken English is my native language but I’m bitter about being denied ASL. Active listening is such a fucking energy depleting activity that an 8 hour workday in hearing environment is like working 12. I don’t really go to family events anymore. I don’t hear everything in group situations. My parents defend raising me how they did (it was the 70’s) and so it is difficult to converse with them on matters regarding MY Deafhood and MY experience without resorting to defensiveness and justifications. My brother is my biggest supporter, though.

9. How much do you associate with others who are deaf or hard of hearing? How important is it to you to be connected with deaf/ hard of hearing folks?

I remember as a kid once I saw another kid with hearing aids and I intentionally avoided him (dysconscious audism). I joined Deaf club couple years ago, though, and I made some deaf friends on facebook. In that process, I felt discriminated against by facebook because of how Deaf communicate. I actively seek friendships now with Deaf/HOH. I took some ASL classes at community college.

10. What advice would you offer to parents of deaf and/or hard of hearing children?

Your Deaf kid needs ASL and other Deaf people to associate with! DO NOT do cochlear implant. It is still experimental and should only be given to consenting adults. Never deny a CI baby his/her rightful use of native language of their ethnicity- ASL!

11. What advice would you offer to your community in regards to deafness and/or hearing loss?

Deaf people need equal rights that have been afforded other minorities. Deaf is not a disability. Denial of accommodation causes disability. It is a social problem, not biological. Bilingualism is the answer. Deaf people have perspectives that are an asset to any organization. Deaf are not a liability. Deaf is beautiful.

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