Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Are we truly independent?

Jay Krieger wonders if we truly feel independent. He feels that only until we truly own, control, and/or govern interpreting, relay providers, and other technologies and services that we rely for our independence, we can truly be independent.


Oscar the Observer said...

Yes, I agree with you. Unfortunately this country is addicted to an idea of money in return for any kind of service given.

Now like Jay said I understand need of green monster for food, drink, shelter, and clothes but why are they priced if they are ------>BASIC<----- needs?? The same thing can be said about those services we deaf basically need for a successful interaction with the larger society.

are we truly independent as deaf people? I think not yet.
Like I said, find the weakness in the system and attack it in unity and we can change our system.

Barinthus said...

As long hearies control our schools, education decisions regarding our students, lawmakers who decide laws affecting us, money that funds services related to us such as the relay, so on, we will never be truly independent.

Even NAD depends upon hearies' money - government funds NAD via CMP.

As long hearies control those things without any direct control by the Deaf Community, we will be always at their mercy.

Simple as that.

Squ65 said...

Exactly .. Not only the money issue .. Sometimes the hearing society manipulate us too. A several years ago, I had to go to ER but I was not admitted yet. I asked the front desk for the TTY machine so I can call my family. I was told that I must be admitted first then they will allow me to use the machine. I left and upsetted. I wasn't feeling well on that day. The other time .. I asked the hearing person to write down and he/she merely refused. I somewhat truly independent today. I have my own pager, internet, etc .. which are good enough for me to survive thru. I am sure we can change our system by educating the ignorant hearing people out there.

ckblythe said...

I see what you are saying -- all the more reason to switch to Hawk Relay which is owned and operated by the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Anonymous said...

The very same things can be applied to anyone in the modern world, not just deaf people. The difference is that you guys can all band together as a minority culture and rage against the machine of society at large, idealizing a utopian society that will never come to pass. If it did, you would realize that you, as an individual, are still disenfranchised. You aren't independent any more than any of us are - which is to say, hardly at all. Loans, credit, references, family, banks, employees/employers. I read this in an anthropology textbook I used to have:

Dediding to be an "individual" is all very well, but as people rarely occur naturally in this state, becoming one must leave some residue.

And just to add - what makes you so sure that if Deaf people owned and operated services like relay or interpreting services that they still wouldn't rip you off? The bottom line is money. I'm a hearing white American, and plenty of hearing white Americans rip me off every day.

As always, thanks for the thought-provoking musings.

IamMine said...

anoymous above me - yeah, but Jay's point is that WE as deaf people hardly have as much power as hearies.

Jay - get something started! You got plenty of deaf people to recruit over the blogland. :D

You've got technology knowledge... me... hmm... little programming here and there... and we got plenty of deafies out there to work together.

Why not internet business? Hmm yeah!

We can make a lot of money and also give back some to the deaf community to strengthen the economic.

Just don't ask me to do the Statistics stuff. :P

You can do it...if we look at you to calm water, we'll also even surf behind you. :D

Make a bold move....

mule4350 said...

Governemt like to play games against DEAF anytime and they still dont undy what is going on? whyt cant they let DEAF on Board>

IamMine said...

mule - that still don't give us the excuse NOT to even attempt to run a business or own one.

We simply weren't enocouraged - at least most of us.

We need to encourage EACH OTHER.

That's the best way I can tell you...but we should study how hearies run their businesses, though. :D

LaRonda said...

Independent? Not yet, but we have become more empowered as a deaf community and as deaf individuals. As a deaf person, I'm still very grateful for the support we are given.

Nice vlog post.

~ LaRonda

Chuck Baird said...

Exploit is the word. They hate us for us ever thought or used the word.

One time, I just threw the conversation that if there not for us or the problem of deafness ever existed, they won't have the job. The hearing person blew her mind and told me not to say that again ever.
Interestingly, I didnt realize they would react that furious. It is not only that they control or own the right of our dependence but also control our thinking.

There is something there like audism such as owning us, so they could keep making business chain out of us.

The audism doesnt only mean something to do with wanting us to speak over sign but also the authorization in the working place or economy; for instance, they hate the idea of an handicap becoming boss over them.

I fail to understand why can't they let us control or own system. Pride?

You raised the topic a good deal.

Jean Boutcher said...

No one is completely independent,
be they deaf or hearing. But I must agree with you that deaf people are much less independent
or "slavish" to hearing people.
I read Plato's Republic and More's
Utopia and Voltaire's Candide about El Dorado. All of them could not survive in a utopia. All of them were fantasies and surreal. Plato's ideal elites (kings) could not survive without slaves. In Greece, rich white Greeks treated poor white Greeks like salves and dumped deaf white Greeks to the forest as worhtless citizens. But but but in the technology era, it is hearing people who need deaf poeple more than ever before. Cochlear Implant Corporate's Dow Jones would crash to ZERO if 20 million deaf people refuse to be implanted. We cannot reside in Laurent, SD, independently from hearing doctors and nurses in hospitals. C'est la vie, n'est-ce pas?

todos la vie said...

Today's technology and more awareness about deaf culture enables us to lead independent lives. We are basically on the same platform with our own cells, direct cell numbers linked to relay operators, captioning of most, if not all TV/movies, and many more that I can't possibly think of right now. We may have problems with commericals on TV, but I don't watch them anyway. Maybe it's because I'm used to channel surfing as opposed to "accepting" those "limits." I'm straining to think about what makes us equal to be independent, as opposed to in the past where I would have felt more gaps. Maybe I'm more aware and like to "educate". I'm just amazed at all the improvements society allowed us to have with technology and self-advocacy. Maybe someone would like to do a vlog on self-advocacy. ha...

Barinthus said...

IamMine - sure, you can set up a business if you want. But who decides whoever get permits or permission to set up a business in that or this location or whether if that person should even be allowed to set up a business?

Local and state governments. Inspectors. Boards. All run by who? Hearies.

Suppose one day, we wake up only to find out that some idiotic hearie inspector or whoever decide that Deaf people shouldn't own a business because of a whatever lame reason and it happens that the Supreme Court or whoever agrees?

May sounds farfetched but you just never know. Germans in 1920s never thought they'd be ruled by a war-mongering and murderous dictator 15 years later.

As for the hearie Anonymous - sorry, you do not know what you are speaking of. When you have been told you cannot sit in the emergancy exit row on an airplane, that you find that you have absolutely no voice over what happens to your child in schools, have to deal with people who do not know your language on the daily basis, and cannot even the luxury of making a simple choice of just going to a movie theater because you just felt like it, then we can even start to sit down and discuss.

Your daily hearie woes is merely a spark compared to what Deaf folks deal with.

Dianrez said...

As consumers we do have plenty of control: we can choose the interpreters, relay services, hearing aid providers, etc. and there are enough of them to be competitors with one another.

That granted, there is no reason why we can't own some of these services that we depend on. We can compete with them and do a better job of it, too. Who knows what we need better than us?

No man is an island; we all depend on each other for something, like we depend on the grocer, the mailman, the cop, the government. We have some power there--we vote, we take our business elsewhere, we file appeals. We do have the ability to exercise more control than now by owning a peice of that commerce.

Let's find out who are the Deaf service providers and drive our business their way.

Michele said...

Hi Jay, interesting perspective you bring up. I think hearing people do face the same thing but we ourselves are much more limited, I agree.

Like for here, we are very limited to getting Comcast or Verizon services for our internet/cable services. I wish there were more options to choose from. So hearing people have the same problem.

But for relay, I notice that there is a big improvement over the years, in the past we were stuck on using one particular relay (I forgot what the name of the relay was) because it was limited to time schedule, it was always busy, you were lucky enough to be able to get ahold of the relay operator, and all that. I remember those years. Argh! So I appreciate the choices that I have in choosing a relay provider nowdays.

There are deaf owned businesses out there but we certainly can use more of them to expand on captialism and to help us become more independent. Someday, I hope that we would be able to converse with hearing people with NO barriers, that would be a dream come true.

Thanks for bringing out a piece of thought!

Anonymous said...


I admire your thoughts. It is a fact that we, the deaf people, are a minority group. I always consider deaf people as second class citizens because we always receive second hand information through interpreters, relay operators, etc.

We will have to move to EYETH so we would be first class citizens or truly independent. Any deaf person who lives on EYETH, not earth is truly independent. People who live on earth are hearing people. If a hearing person lives on EYETH is a handicapped person who is not truly independent.

That is who deaf people are. We are NOT truly independent. Hearing people ride on us for their $$$$$.

Jay, I always enjoy your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Jay, you gave us food of thought. Why aren't we become independent to begin with. I sorta of blame the idea that started at those who sleep in Dormitory at school, they have the training or habit of having house parents to do the talking for them if necessary, same applies for day students with hearing parents, who do the talking for them. We were never taught to speak for ourselves in our own manners so there goes where we depend on interpreters, etc. Am not against the idea as I do appreciate and need interpreters (if they are qualified). I often told my sign language classes that they are making monies on us, they were puzzled on my comments which the fact is true, to become interpreter and their rates are often skyrocket high. Lot of Professional people (Drs,Lawyers, etc)denied to provide an Interpreter because of their rates despite ADA law requires that they provide it, like it or not. ADA is weak these days...they didnt live up to its laws.

Anonymous said...

As you said "Are we independent?, not really", so what.

As you said "Capitalism", so what.

As you said "Make a lot of money as result of the deaf needs", so what.

Please look at the other countries. No question, we are far ahead in America in almost everything. We are very thankful for what the Federal Govt do for our daily needs.

Michele said...


Right on! When we were in Greneda (an island formerly owned by Soviet Union), we met some deaf people who were making tie dye t-shirts. They asked me about America and if we drove cars. We replied that we have drivers' license and that we drive, they were very amazed and told us that they were jealous of us that in Greneda, they are forbidden to drive. My mouth was agape with what they had said to us. My goodness!!

Then when I was in Mexico, I bumped into deaf peddler who was selling foldable scissors, their first question was if we watched tv alot and that they wanted a tv for themselves. They don't have a tv and they have a very hard life. They have to peddle in order to earn some money for themselves.

So yes, I am grateful to be an American, of course, things can be improved over time and that the barriers can be removed.

Anonymous said...

In reality, we all Deaf people NEVER have a true independence from capatalism. AS long as we are still disadvantage in Hearing society view us like that. We might be better off under socialism that might allow us to govern ourselves. We are still interdepences with good services!

Anonymous said...


Few people mentioned that other countries are far behind and all that. What they are trying to tell you is to shut up. But I disagree with them.

Deaf people seek for better and better. Let this be model/example to other deaf in other countries. Rather than wait for them to catch up.

Continue to florish!