Deaf Bilingual Coalition's Blog

May 12, 2010

Strong Letter to California Senators – Health Committee

Filed under: Uncategorized — dbcusa @ 10:33 pm

The AB2072 bill was created by biased supporters of oral-only programs which are backed by big buck $$$$$, including the Oberkotter Foundation, which only supports so-called “speaking and listening” programs, despite protestations to the contrary.

DBC urges California Senators of the Health Committee to oppose AB2072

Deaf Bilingual Coalition

May 11, 2010

Senators of the Health Committee,
The Deaf Bilingual Coalition urges you to OPPOSE AB2072 for these reasons:

  • AB2072 seeks to provide what the author of the bill calls “all communication options” to parents of deaf children directly via audiologists and “other professionals” (Why are these “other professionals” purposely not defined in the bill? This is a huge cause for concern.) Secondly, audiologists are NOT trained to provide information on pedagogy and are NOT trained in linguistics. They are trained to provide medical services and provide auditory technology.
  • The bill was created by biased supporters of oral-only programs which are backed by big buck $$$$$, including the Oberkotter Foundation, which only supports so-called “speaking and listening” programs, despite protestations to the contrary.
  • The author of the bill and the supporter’s programs profit directly from children who receive cochlear implants who are thereby steered into Auditory Verbal Therapy and other oral-only programs. They do NOT include American Sign Language in their programs and they inappropriately recommend/cajole/deceive parents into not allowing their children to use American Sign Language. The irony of this is that hearing babies are being taught ASL, but oral-only proponents are attempting to deny Deaf babies their human right to visual language, i.e., American Sign Language.
  • The authors of the bill seek to control the information that parents receive without any effective oversight or accountability, using their own funds. AB2072 provisions would bypass the already existing Early Start program which follows the guidelines of the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention national program. EHDI programs and early intervention programs have standards of delivery of information to parents that include trained professionals who hold no extra-pedagogical biases.
  • AB2072 seeks to create, print, and disburse this information to parents without defining WHO will create the materials, WHAT exactly will be in the materials (except for inaccurately invoking the deceptive “options” terminology, which serves as a cover for the attempt to impose one “option”) and WHO will pay for these materials. And there is NO real stakeholder collaboration called for in the bill.
  • AB2072 will inappropriately allow one proportionately small sector of vested interests (who purport to be educators) to create and disburse material to be distributed to parents under the auspices of a state program WITHOUT the Early Start oversight, without accountability, and without following standards of avoiding non-research-based bias.
  • This bill was created WITHOUT the real participation of American Sign Language/English Bilingual Stakeholders. American Sign Language is the dominant language of the Deaf Community in America. ASL is a LANGUAGE. It is not a “menu option,” nor is it a philosophy. It is a visual language that is fully accessible and naturally acquired by Deaf children. Many deaf people who were raised orally were not introduced to ASL as young children. This actually caused their language acquisition to be delayed and this practice causes other cognitive, academic, social and emotional development problems. The right to fluency in a natural language is a human right. No one has the right to deny any child, deaf or hearing, access to natural language, especially people who are acting on behalf of corporate front organizations which are trying to control parental choice through the manipulation of the information provided. Please see for more information.

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